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by Danya Ruttenberg

Sex (Yes, “Sex,” Not “Gender”)

For a while now, a diverse stream of feminists under the rubric of “sex-positive” have been working to transform our cultural understandings of sexuality, perversity, work and oppression. They’ve argued that taking control of one’s own sexual pleasure is a vital aspect of women’s personal empowerment, and that people have every right to use their own bodies in ways they freely and consensually choose. A stripper, for example, should be able to exert her power in the capitalist exchange of goods for money. Sex work, goes this new thinking about s sexuality, is actual work that should be regarded as such and should be unionized. Many aspects of non-traditional sexuality (from queer sex to S/M, from non-monogamous relationships to a heterosexual how-to video called Bend Over Boyfriend) can liberate individuals or society as a whole.

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