Temptress: From the Original Bad Girls to Women on Top
Does the temptress really exist, or is she just a figment of the fevered imaginations of insecure males?
For most of history, men have justified their domination of women by carefully documenting the ways in which they are superior. There is just one problem. In one-on-one encounters in the bedroom, it is often the men who surrender to their unquenchable longing for these supposedly inferior beings. To save face, men created the temptress: an irresistible woman set on creating chaos in a male-dominated world.
In this lusciously illustrated examination of the temptress, Jane Billinghurst looks at reported sightings of temptresses in myth, history, and film, beginning with the original bad girls (Lilith and Eve) and ending with screen sirens Mae West and Madonna. In between, we are seduced by mythological menaces, including Pandora, the Sirens, and Medusa; women of influence such as Cleopatra; vamps Theda Bara and Marlene Dietrich; bombshell Jean Harlow; and numerous other bodacious babes. From shadowy, demonic presences to in-your-face performance artists, the images of the temptress reflect the ebb and flow of menís fears and fantasies as they strive to maintain their position of dominance and explain just why they should be on top.
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