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■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ Notes Notes to the Preface 1. By agency I mean a sense of entitlement and ability to advocate for oneself and one’s needs. Agency implies taking a proactive stance in attempting to shape one’s circumstances. Although we are all constrained by societal institutions and practices, agency suggests a sense of power or desire to critique and resist those forces, and an ability to envision alternatives. Notes to Chapter 1 1. Here I am referring to incidents that involved physical violence or use of coercion and/or institutional power to force sexual contact. I am not referring to cases of “simple” street harassment such as whistles or sexual comments. All thirty of the women in this sample reported experiencing this type of street harassment , and most saw it as an inevitable part of their lives. Such interactions certainly represent abuses of hetero-relational power and often leave women feeling nervous, angry, or humiliated. But because the young women typically experienced these interactions as discrete moments, rather than part of their relationships or sexual encounters, I discuss street harassment as part of a problematic hetero-relational backdrop. Thus, when I say that twenty-seven of the thirty women experienced rape, battering, or harassment, I mean that these women reported encounters that went well beyond street harassment to include physical violence, manipulation, or threats of repercussions if they did not comply with a man’s (or men’s) sexual demands. 2. I use the word “we” throughout this text to refer to those of us who wish to gain better understandings of young women’s lived experiences and to advocate for their sexual safety and entitlement. “We” may include researchers, theorists , students, activists, advocates, family members, and so on, whether we are women or men, and whether or not we refer to ourselves as “feminists.” Although some of the issues I raise here may be of particular interest to those conducting qualitative feminist research on this topic, I assume that all readers should be concerned with doing justice to the complexities of women’s heterorelational experiences, while also ensuring that their rights to advocacy and legal redress are maintained. 3. See, for example, Paglia (1992); Roiphe (1993); and Sommers (1994). For excellent critiques of these views, see Sanday (1996), as well as contributors to Lamb’s (1999) and Maglin and Perry’s (1996) edited volumes. Notes to Chapter 2 1. In order to protect participants’ privacy, I have changed all names and identifying information (such as where they grew up or names of their partners and family members). 2. Some of the most helpful understandings of subjectivity can be found in the sometimes overlapping schools of postmodernism, poststructuralism, feminist theory , deconstructionism, postcolonialism, and social constructionism. Working most often in and across fields of philosophy, critical social psychology, women’s studies, cultural studies, and education, increasing numbers of feminists are exploring the complexities of the cultural construction of subjectivity. Much of this work is based on Foucault’s (1978; 1980; 1981) provocative work on power and sexuality as well as insights from critical theory. 3. Feminists such as Gatens (1992) and Jaggar (1989) have critiqued such traditional Western understandings of subjectivity not only as theoretically insufficient , but also as reproducing dominant liberal and androcentric notions, and thus reinforcing the status quo. The writings of feminist theorists of color and nonWestern women have been particularly important in disrupting the notion of “self” as context-neutral. Highlighting the cultural embeddedness of identity, authors such as Patricia Hill Collins (1991); Oliva Espin (1984); bell hooks (1984; 1990); Audre Lorde (1984); Chandra Talpade Mohanty (1992; 1993); and Uma Narayan (1989) have revealed not only the extraction of identity from culture in the traditional social sciences, but also the absence of attention to race, class, sexuality, and ethnicity in much feminist writing on subjectivity. Probing the multiple interconnections among race, class, gender, culture, and sexuality, these theorists articulate a vision of subjectivity that is inherently fluid, multidimensional, and culturally and historically situated. This work has pushed forward notions of subjectivity by insisting that explorations of identity be anchored in critical analyses of varying cultural positionality. 4. Consistent with this perspective, Henriques et al. (1984) conceptualize the individual as “not a fixed or given entity, but rather a particular product of histor226 ❙ Notes to Chapter 1 ically specific practices of social regulation” (12). Similarly, Young-Eisendrath (1988) writes, “there is no knowledge or experience of being a person that is first learned alone and then attributed...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780814768150
Related ISBN
9780814766576
MARC Record
OCLC
50724089
Pages
272
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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