Female Desires

Same-Sex Relations and Transgender Practices Across Cultures

Edited by Evelyn Blackwood and Saskia Wieringa

Columbia University Press

Female Desires

Pub Date: January 1999

ISBN: 9780231112611

352 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $34.00£28.00

Female Desires

Same-Sex Relations and Transgender Practices Across Cultures

Edited by Evelyn Blackwood and Saskia Wieringa

Columbia University Press

Evelyn Blackwood and Saskia Wieringa have compiled thirteen essays from a group of historians, sociologists, and anthropologists who discuss same-sex desire among women outside the West, exploring female eroticism in such societies and cultures as India, Polynesia, Latin America, Native North America, and southern Africa.Female Desires offers compelling evidence against the commonly accepted notion that non-Western women are generally passive victims of male domination and compulsory heterosexuality. It also dispells the idea that same-sex female desire is rooted in Western neo-imperialist culture: contributors show non-Western women to be active agents of their own sexual identities. Essays include Giti Thadani on lesbian desire in ancient and modern India, Saskia Wieringa on butch-femme social types in Indonesia and Peru, and Norma Mogrovejo on the lesbian movement in Mexico.In a larger sense, the essays attempt to look past the ethnocentric categories in which sexuality, identity, and culture are often considered.
1. Introduction, by Saskia E. Wieringa and Evelyn Blackwood
2. Sapphic Shadows:Challenging the Silence in the Study of Sexuality, by Evelyn Blackwood and Saskia E. Wieringa
Indigenous Histories Colonial Legacies
3. The Politics of Identities and Languages:Lesbian Desire in Ancient and Modern India, by Giti Thadani
4. Lesbians, Men-Women, and Two-Spirits:Homosexuality and Gender in Native American Cultures
Erotic Intimacies and Cultural Identities
5. "What's Identity Got to Do with It?" Rethinking Identity in Light of the Mati Work in Suriname, by Gloria Wekker
6. Let Them Take Ecstasy: Class and Jakarta Lesbians, by Alison J. Murray
7. Women in Lesotho and the (Western) Construction of Homophobia, by Kendall
Doing Masculinity:Butches, Female Bodies,and Transgendered Identities
8. Tombois in West Sumatra: Constructing Masculinity and Erotic Desire, by Evelyn Blackwood
9. Desiring Bodies or Defiant Cultures:Butch-Femme Lesbians in Jakarta and Lima, by Saskia E. Wieringa
10. Negotiating Transnational Sexual Economies: Femaleand Same-Sex Sexuality in "Tahiti and Her Islands", by Deborah A. Elliston
Nationalism, Feminism,and Lesbian/Gay Rights Movements
11. How Homosexuality Became "Un-African": The Case of Zimbabwe, by Margrete Aarmo
12. Women's Sexuality and the Discourse on Asian Values:Cross-Dressing in Malaysia, by Tan beng hui
13. Sexual Preference:the Ugly Duckling of Feminist Demands:The Lesbian Movement in Mexico, by Norma Mogro

About the Author

Evelyn Blackwood is assistant professor of anthropology and women's studies at Purdue University. She is the editor of The Many Faces of Homosexuality: Anthropological Approaches to Homosexual Behavior. Saskia Wieringa is a senior lecturer in women's studies at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague. She is the author of The Politicization of Gender Relations in Indonesia: Women's Organizations and the New Order, coauthor of Women, The Environment, and Sustainable Development: Toward a Theoretical Synthesis, and editor of several other books.