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Bartky, Sandra Lee. Femininity and Domination
1990, Routledge.
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Added by: Emma Holmes, David MacDonald, Yichi Zhang, and Samuel Dando-Moore
Publisher’s Note: Bartky draws on the experience of daily life to unmask the many disguises by which intimations of inferiority are visited upon women. She critiques both the male bias of current theory and the debilitating dominion held by notions of "proper femininity" over women and their bodies in patriarchal culture.

Comment: Chapter 4 is about what a feminist should do when they have a sexual desire which is in tension with their feminist beliefs in a way that makes them feel ashamed. There are two natural choices: to give up the shame and continue to have the desire, or to give up the desire. Bartky examines both of these choices and finds us in a tricky situation: it is sometimes apt and understandable to feel shame about a sexual desire (when it really is in tension with your principles), but she is sceptical about the view that we can change our desires at will or with therapy.

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Willis, Ellen. Toward a Feminist Sexual Revolution
1982, Social Text, 6: 3-21.
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Added by: Emma Holmes, David MacDonald, Yichi Zhang, and Samuel Dando-Moore
Abstract: In this essay I argue that a sexual liberationist perspective is essential to a genuinely radical analysis of women's condition. Much of my argument centers on the psychosexual dynamics of the family, where children first experience both sexism and sexual repression. This discussion refers primarily to the family as it exists - actually and ideologically - for the dominant cultures of modern industrial societies. Clearly, to extend my focus backward to feudal societies or outward to the Third World would require (at the very least) a far longer, more complex article. I strongly suspect, however, that in its fundamentals the process of sexual acculturation I describe here is common to all historical (i.e., patriarchal) societies.

Comment: Willis describes the double binds women are in: between being too good – boring, frigid, a sexual failure, a cold bitch – and being bad – easy, insatiable, demanding. Willis argues that the only way to solve this is to end the association between sex and badness. This presents an answer to Bartky's dilemma: we should choose to eradicate sexual shame, rather than our desires.

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