Sexing the Millennium: Women and the Sexual Revolution

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Grove Press, 1995 - Psychology - 282 pages
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Sexing the Millennium is the first major attempt to analyze the cultural explosion that was the sexual revolution. It is an insightful and profound overview of our sexual psyche over the past thirty years and a frank investigation of both liberation and libertinism, in which Linda Grant eloquently argues the need for an eroticized female life. Joan Smith has said that "Linda Grant is on the side of sex and on the side of women", and Sexing the Millennium is a compellingly thorough examination of the colossal social shifts catalyzed by that brief period when sex was free from the threats of both pregnancy and disease. Brilliantly written, Sexing the Millennium charts the origins of sexual freedom from the Ranters' seventeenth-century belief in sex as a liberating agent to the hippie idealism of sixties counterculture - group marriage, politicized promiscuity, organized orgies - to the intellectual backlash of the seventies and, as we stand nervously in the shadow of AIDS, to our present, postmodern obsession: voyeurism. Along the way, Grant examines the full impact of the Pill and its origins, medically, scientifically, and socially, as well as the contemporaneous political movements and changes: the decline of the Catholic church, the rise in experimental living communities, the female desire to achieve the stereotypical male freedom for pleasure that was so enthusiastically endorsed by men. On the heels of heated debate about the backlash against women, Grant examines the rise in violent sex crimes, the prevalence of misogyny, the brutality of porn, and the rarer but compelling phenomenon of violent female response. Emerging from the failed attempt to merge male and female intosomething androgynous and liberated, and from a lack of interest in co-opting traditional male pleasure forms, women are reconstructing their weapons and desires. A seminal and deeply probing examination of the period when sex seemed like a kind of solution, this book is a forward-looking analysis of why, although sex alone did not spell freedom and equality for women, it was a crucial platform from which to foresee the construction of an autonomous female empowerment. "Perhaps", Grant writes, "sex is just the ghost of freedom - but, until we have Utopia, it can speak eloquently of what the heart desires".
  

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Sexing the millennium: women and the sexual revolution

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In certain circles, discussion of the sexual revolution elicits cynical, arched-eyebrowed expressions of "what sexual revolution?'' The perceived backlash against women in recent years has caused many ... Read full review

Contents

What Sexual Revolution? I
1
The Sexual Heresy
19
The AllAmerican Offshore Population Laboratory
37
The Country Run by Men in Dresses
60
Anatomy of a DollyBird
76
Our Age Buys a Fun Fur
81
Fun Fun Fun
108
Someone Keeps Poisoning the Well
126
Sister Kerista Saves the World
152
The Future Has Been Postponed Until Further Notice
177
Theres Something in the Genes
197
Vietnam Tango 203
207
No Glove No Love
226
References
257
Index
273
Copyright

A Clarion Call to the Strenuous Life
132

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About the author (1995)

Linda Grant is the author of "The Cast Iron Shore," "Sexing the Millennium," "Still Here" and "When I Lived in Modern Times," for which she won the Orange Prize.

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