Who Gets to Be Sexual and Why?

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  • Title: Who Gets to Be Sexual and Why?: Self-Sexualization and Empowerment
  • Author(s): Wioleta Polinska
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: New Directions in the Humanities
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies
  • Keywords: Self-Sexualization, Self- Empowerment, Selfies, Sexuality, Hyper-Sexualization, Feminism, Christianity
  • Volume: 17
  • Issue: 1
  • Year: 2019
  • ISSN: 2327-0055 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2327-2376 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2327-0055/CGP/v17i01/27-42
  • Citation: Polinska, Wioleta . 2019. "Who Gets to Be Sexual and Why?: Self-Sexualization and Empowerment." The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies 17 (1): 27-42. doi:10.18848/2327-0055/CGP/v17i01/27-42.
  • Extent: 16 pages

Abstract

Many young women embrace sexualized, often nude self-representations to celebrate their own subjectivity. While recognizing certain benefits gained by young women who self-sexualize, this article examines why such self-representations follow sexualizing conventions present in popular media. In conversation with work by feminist social scholars and Christian sexual ethicists, possible limitations of self-sexualization are explored. In addition, it is argued that a more comprehensive definition of sexuality as well as applying principles of justice and mutuality to sexual self-expression could offer a helpful corrective. Contemporary examples of reclaiming women’s bodies as sites of social protest as well as sites of pleasure will be also discussed.