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On Female Body Experience“Throwing Like a Girl” and Other Essays$
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Iris Marion Young

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195161922

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195161920.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 October 2021

Breasted Experience: *

Breasted Experience: *

The Look and the Feeling

(p.75) 5 Breasted Experience:*
On Female Body Experience

Iris Marion Young (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This essay explores some aspects of the cultural construction of breasts in a male-dominated society, seeking a positive women’s voice for breasted experience. It begins with a discussion of the dominant culture’s objectification of breasts. Relying on Irigaray’s suggestive ideas about women’s sexuality and an alternative metaphysics not constructed around the concept of object, an experience of breast movement and sensitivity from the point of view of the female subject is presented. It asks how women’s breasts might be experienced in the absence of an objectifying male gaze, and discusses how breasts are a scandal for patriarchy because they disrupt the border between motherhood and sexuality. Finally, the question of objectification is revisited through reflections on a woman’s encounter with the surgeon’s knife at her breast.

Keywords:   women, breasts, Luce Irigaray, objectification, sexuality, male gaze, motherhood

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