The Study of Sex is the Study of Power


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Essay #: 055163
Total text length is 8,171 characters (approximately 5.6 pages).

Excerpts from the Paper

The beginning:
The Study of Sex is the Study of Power
If sex is repressed, that is, condemned to prohibition...the
mere fact that one is speaking about it has the appearance of
deliberate transgression. A person who holds forth in such
language places himself [herself?] to a certain extent
outside the reach of power...he [!] somehow anticipates the
coming freedom.
(Foucault 6)
The above quote from the French philosopher and theorist Michel Foucault is revealing of the extent to which studying or discussing sex in a critical way is effectively synonymous with the study of power. This passage is particularly provocative given Foucault’s suggestion that the discussion of sex in a repressive context places one outside the web of power relationships...
The end:
.....ce. Lee shares with Foucault an awareness of the extraordinary degree to which the discourses of Orientalist racialized power and control permeate our consciousness and even the self-perceptions of members of this group. To understand Lee’s project and, indeed, the fundamental complexities of Asian lesbian gender roles, it is necessary to recognize how – as Foucault theorizes – the study of sex is necessarily the study of power in our civilization.
Foucault, Michel. The History of Sexuality. New York: Vintage,
Lee, Jee Yeun. “Why Suzie Wong is not a Lesbian: Asian and Asian
American Lesbian and Bisexual Women and Femme/Butch/Gender
Identities.” In Brett Beemyn and Mickey Eliason, eds. Queer
Studies. New York: 1996, 115-132.