By Emma L. E. Rees

From South Park to Kathy Acker, from Lars Von Trier to intercourse and the town, women’s sexual organs are demonized. within the Vagina: A Literary and Cultural background, Emma L.E. Rees investigates the evolution of this demonization: she considers how writers, artists and filmmakers take care of the quandary of he vagina's perplexing 'covert visibility' and the way the ‘c-word’ is an obscenity that either legitimates and perpetuates the fractured identities of girls globally.

In our postmodern, porn-obsessed tradition, vaginas seem to be far and wide, actually or symbolically yet, crucially, they're as silenced as they're objectified. Even universal slang phrases for the vagina should be noticeable as an try and divert cognizance clear of the truth of women’s lived sexual reviews: slang bargains a handy distraction from whatever taboo. The Vagina: A Literary and Cultural historical past is a vital contribution to the continued debate in realizing the female id.

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Extra resources for The Vagina: A Literary and Cultural History

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For them feminism is, therefore, largely a cultural movement, a new ideology, or a new consciousness. But the socialist countries also consider women's emancipation as a cultural or ideological affair (see chapter 6). After the abolition of private property and the socialist transformation of production relations, it is assumed that all remaining problems in the man-woman relation are 'cultural lags', ideological survivals of the past 'feudal' or 'capitalist' society which can be overcome through legal reform, education, persuasion, cultural revolutions and, above all, constant exhortation and propaganda.

Anyone who wants to reach a realistic foundation for international feminist solidarity has to try to understand how these divisions along sex, race and class lines are combined. A mere appeal to more 'sisterhood' or international solidarity will not be sufficient. As regards the divisions on the ideological and political planes, there have been attempts to categorize and label the various tendencies in the new feminist movement. Thus, some tendencies are called 'radical feminism', others 'socialist feminism' or 'Marxist feminism', others 'liberal feminism'; sometimes, depending on the political affiliation of the speaker, a tendency may also be denounced as 'bourgeois feminism'.

What is needed is a new historical and theoretical analysis of the interrelation between women's exploitation and oppression, and that of other categories of people and of nature. Women following other tendencies, labelled 'radical' or 'liberal' feminism, have tried to fit their analysis into some other theoretical framework. Thus psychoanalysis has been the theoretical point of departure for many feminists in the USA, in France and West Germany (Millet, 1970; Mitchell, 1975; Irrigaray, 1974; Janssen-Jurreit, 1976).

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