“Thinking Sex” (excerpt)
What are Rubin’s concepts of sex/gender system, political economy of sex and
" similar to or different from Foucault’s ideas of discursive
The History of Sexuality I
Is the dream of ‘the elimination of obligatory sexualities and sex roles” (551)
possible to realize?
(The other way to ask the question: in what ways is
heterosexuality compulsory [Rich], or obligatory [Rubin]?)
In what ways do we define sex, gender, sexuality? (More when we get to Judith
biological differences between “female” and “male”
social construction of “femininity” and “masculinity”
differences in the choice of sexual identity, sexual partner,
-- “homosexual” and “heterosexual” –fixed by nature, by
culture, by choice, or fluid and constructed by social environments
4. How do we look at sexual activities usually seen as “abnormal”?
abortion, homosexuality, pre-marital sex, porn, cyber sex, FGM (female genital
mutilation), etc. Is there a way to completely eliminate sex hierarchy?
when and how do we need to define sex as good and bad?
General Introduction to Rubin
Rubin, a sex-positive feminist,
"The Traffic of Women: Notes on the Political Economy of Sex" –
sex/gender system (a neutral term different from “reproduction of labor
power” or “patriarchy”) and how it turns sexual bodies into different
Limitations of Levi-Strauss, Freud and Marx
Political economy of sex: women as forms of commodities in the exchange
system of marriage; (women
status in society
power) In effect, as a socialist-radical feminist she presents “two different
material bases for patriarchy: class-based modes of economic production,
on the one hand, and gender-based modes of sexual and kinship production,
on the other.”