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Contemporary Feminism and Women's Short Stories$
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Emma Young

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474427739

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474427739.001.0001

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(p.116) Chapter 5 Sexuality
Contemporary Feminism and Women's Short Stories

Emma Young

Edinburgh University Press

Extending the theoretical lens further, this final chapter moves beyond the initial discussions of gender to consider the significance of sexuality in contemporary feminisms. After some initial reflection on the political significance of sexuality, the main sections of literary analysis engage with how sexuality has been conceptualised and continually re-positioned in feminist discourses. The notion of choice is central to this analysis and through a reading of Kalbinder Kaur’s story this chapter considers the implications of sexuality and women’s choice in the context of race and ethnicity. As such, this first section takes a range of short stories as individual textual moments and scrutinises the dialogue these narratives purport between seemingly diverse feminisms. The section on ‘Sexual Transgressions?’ examines sexuality as a site of political resistance for women, and considers how the ageing and culturally “othered” body is positioned in relation to sexuality. The final part of this chapter questions how the politics of queer theory interact with feminisms via the locus of sexuality in the writings of Kay and Smith.

Keywords:   Queer Theory, Sexuality, Ageing, Body politics

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