Flirting with Danger: Young Women's Reflections on Sexuality by Lynn Phillips

By Lynn Phillips

In Flirting with probability, Lynn M. Phillips explores how younger ladies make experience of, withstand, and negotiate conflicting cultural messages approximately sexual enterprise, accountability, aggression, and hope. How do ladies improve their principles approximately intercourse, love, and domination? Why do they convey feminist perspectives condemning male violence within the summary, yet usually adamantly refuse to call their very own violent and exploitive encounters as abuse, rape, or victimization? according to in-depth person and collective interviews with a racially and culturally various pattern of college-aged ladies, Flirting with risk sheds helpful gentle at the cultural lenses wherein younger ladies interpret their sexual encounters and their stories of male aggression in heterosexual relationships. Phillips makes an enormous contribution to the fields of lady and adolescent sexuality, feminist thought, and feminist technique. the amount can be of specific use to advocates trying to layout prevention and intervention courses which converse to the complicated wishes of girls grappling with questions of sexuality and violence.

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Rather, they typically feel compelled to accommodate themselves to the expectations of both, despite their apparent mutual exclusivity. The Pleasing Woman Discourse The more traditional discourse regarding good womanhood, the “pleasing woman discourse,” holds that integral to women’s proper gender roles is the desire and ability to be pleasant, feminine, and subordinate to men. Like Victorian prescriptions for the genteel woman, the pleasing woman role stresses morality, sexual “purity,” and service to men and children.

Our relationships to those discourses shape not only what we see, but how we see—what we imagine is possible and what we take for granted. Since we are exposed to multiple and often contradictory discourses that shift across time and place, our senses of our social realities are not static, nor are they independent of the contexts in which we live. Just as a plant is shaped by the various nutrients and pollutants in the water it drinks and the soil in which it grows, so too are our identities constituted by the various discourses—the messages and meanings—we absorb from our cultures.

It is not so much the case that discourses are imposed on young women, but rather that they operate through them (Gee, 1987). Individuals are the “carriers” of cultural discourses, both producing and reproducing them through our language, beliefs, and social practices. Young women may or may not grapple consciously or explicitly with the tensions among the various discourses they encounter. But I will argue throughout this book that they nonetheless simultaneously use and resist them, often actively and skillfully, as they negotiate their way into gendered young adulthood.

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