Breasted Experience: <sup>*</sup>

Iris Marion Young

in On Female Body Experience

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780195161922
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199786664 | DOI:

Series: Studies in Feminist Philosophy

 Breasted Experience:  *

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This essay explores some aspects of the cultural construction of breasts in a male-dominated society, seeking a positive women’s voice for breasted experience. It begins with a discussion of the dominant culture’s objectification of breasts. Relying on Irigaray’s suggestive ideas about women’s sexuality and an alternative metaphysics not constructed around the concept of object, an experience of breast movement and sensitivity from the point of view of the female subject is presented. It asks how women’s breasts might be experienced in the absence of an objectifying male gaze, and discusses how breasts are a scandal for patriarchy because they disrupt the border between motherhood and sexuality. Finally, the question of objectification is revisited through reflections on a woman’s encounter with the surgeon’s knife at her breast.

Keywords: women; breasts; Luce Irigaray; objectification; sexuality; male gaze; motherhood

Chapter.  10619 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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