‘Nice Women don’t …’: Autoeroticism and Contemporary Women’s Writing – Krystina Osborne.
This session debates female masturbation as one of the last sexual taboos. It examines the extent to which contemporary women’s writing perpetuates or problematises the myth that female masturbation is rarely discussed, often demonised and limited and restricted. Conservative engagements with female masturbation which masquerade as sites of feminist resistance will be problematised. The session will explore in particular the sustained pathologising, criminalising and infantilising of female literary characters who masturbate. The ways in which their treatment exemplifies sustained patriarchal control will also be evaluated. This session concludes with the suggestion that the few privileged female authors who are permitted to engage with the autoerotic, often perpetuate this dominant narrative, however subversive their work initially appears to be.
Krystina Osborne is finishing a PhD thesis entitled ‘An Analysis of Engagements with Female Autoeroticism in Contemporary Women’s Writing from 1972 to the Present Day’ at the Research Centre for Literature and Cultural History at Liverpool John Moores University, where she has taught modules on gender, literary theory, and British literature of the 1950s and 1960s. A former steering group member of the Postgraduate Contemporary Women’s Writing Network (PG CWWN), she is currently Acting Secretary of the Contemporary Women’s Writing Association (CWWA).
She can be found on Twitter: @KrystinaOsborne
This event is part of the GenSex Annual Programme of Events
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Chair: Dr Mari Hughes-Edwards
Co-Chairs: Dr Emma Deeks, Jess Tillings.