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Reconcilable Differences Confronting Beauty, Pornography, and the Future of Feminism

by Lynn S. Chancer

  • ISBN: 9780520209237
  • ISBN10: 0520209230

Reconcilable Differences Confronting Beauty, Pornography, and the Future of Feminism

by Lynn S. Chancer

  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Univ of California Pr
  • Publish date: 04/01/1998
  • ISBN: 9780520209237
  • ISBN10: 0520209230
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Description: This volume examines controversial faultlines in contemporary feminism -- pornography, the beauty myth, sadomasochism, prostitution, and the issue of rape -- from an original and provocative perspective. Lynn Chancer focuses on how, among many feminists, the concepts of sex and sexism became fragmented and mutually exclusive. Exploring the dichotomy between sex and sexism as it has developed through five current feminist debates, Chancer seeks to forge positions that bridge oppositions between unnecessary (and sometimes unwitting) "either/or" binaries. Chancer's book attempts to incorporate both the need for sexual freedom and the depth of sexist subordination into feminist thought and politics.

In one of her examples, pornography, Chancer argues that a "both/and" position can recognize the repressive danger of censorship laws without losing its critical edge on the legacies of patriarchy. She identifies false dichotomies, too, in feminist interpretations of beauty. Here, Chancer suggests that a new theory of attraction is needed. This theory would have to be at once playful and sexual, and to recognize the importance of transforming images of women -- in magazines, film, the fashion industry -- which continue to be extremely discriminatory. Contending that this movement must advance beyond the defensive stance that threatened its strength in the 1980s and 1990s, Chancer calls for a constructive "third wave" based on recognizing greater complexities and on respecting feminist differences and commonalities.

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