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Loose Women, Lecherous MenA Feminist Philosophy of Sex$
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Linda LeMoncheck

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780195105568

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195105568.001.0001

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Challenging the Normal and the Perverse: Feminist Speculations on Sexual Preference

Challenging the Normal and the Perverse: Feminist Speculations on Sexual Preference

(p.67) 3 Challenging the Normal and the Perverse: Feminist Speculations on Sexual Preference
Loose Women, Lecherous Men

Linda LeMoncheck

Oxford University Press

The “loose women” described in this book pose a threat to patriarchy by challenging the constraints of monogamy imposed on women by an androcentric heterosexuality. However, women in search of sexual liberation may also challenge patriarchal appropriations of women's sexuality by challenging traditional heterosexuality's dominance over what constitutes “normal” sex. Along these lines, a feminist reclamation of sex for women would mean redefining and rediscovering so-called deviant or perverted sex as a way to subvert the patriarchal subordination of women that “normal” heterosexuality reinforces. This chapter uses the dialectical and contextual perspective of the “view from somewhere different” to negotiate the tensions between conflicting feminist perspectives with respect to sexual perversion. The chapter proposes to replace expressions such as “sexual perversion” and “sexual norm” with the less evaluatively charged expression of “sexual difference.” It then describes and evaluates the debate over three types of sexual difference of particular concern to both cultural feminists and sex radical feminists: man/boy love, butch/femme sexual role-playing, and lesbian sadomasochism.

Keywords:   women, sexual perversion, sexuality, sexual norm, sexual difference, sexual role-playing, sadomasochism

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