Sex, Gender, and Sexual Difference
The project of this book is to explore the contention, by way of a specific example, that in Western culture the position of being a desiring subject speaking in public is gendered male. Women who speak in this way — desirously, publicly — have to engage with the implicit gendering of the subject position of speaker. I put this statement in a psychoanalytic framework; the implication of the argument is that full human subjectivity is granted to the male subject in the Symbolic realm. I make this point with specific reference to Petrarchism, a way of writing love poetry, as it developed in England in the sixteenth century. Then I show what women sonneteers have made of the genre and its gendered language and subjectivities across English literary history.
KeywordsSexual Difference Gender Identity Feminist Theory Gender Position Queer Theory
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