Black Women, Sexuality, and Popular Culture
by Shayne Lee
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Why is there no 'pro-sex' contingency in black feminist scholarship? Why do so few African-American scholars expound on issues celebrating female sexual pleasure? Perhaps the answers to these questions reside within a discursive matrix of sexual repression commonly referred to as the politics of respectability, and its rein on black sexual politics. In Erotic Revolutionaries: Black Women, Sexuality, and Popular Culture, sociologist Shayne Lee steers black sexual politics toward a more sex-positive trajectory. Introducing feminist analysis to a conceptual mZnage ^ trois of scripting theory, media representation, and black sexual politics, Lee considers the ways in which the feminist quest for social and sexual equality can delve into popular culture to see the production of subversive scripts for female sexuality and erotic agency. Whereas most feminist scholarship underscores how sexual representations of black women in media are exploitative and problematic, Lee portrays black female celebrities like Janet Jackson, BeyoncZ, Karrine Steffans, Zane, Tyra Banks, Juanita Bynum, Sheryl Underwood and many more as feminists of sorts who afford women access to cultural tools to renegotiate sexual identity and celebrate sexual agency and empowerment. Erotic Revolutionaries navigates the uncharted spaces where social constructionism, third-wave feminism, and black popular culture collide to locate a new site for sexuality studies that is theoretically innovative, politically subversive, and stylistically chic.
- Hamilton Books, August 2010
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