Chapter

Mourning the Monogamous Ideal: Anti-Prostitution Feminism, Conjugal Sentimentality and the Formation of Melancholic Sexual Modernity

Hans Tao-ming Huang

in Queer Politics and Sexual Modernity in Taiwan

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9789888083077
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9789882209817 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5790/hongkong/9789888083077.003.0007
Mourning the Monogamous Ideal: Anti-Prostitution Feminism, Conjugal Sentimentality and the Formation of Melancholic Sexual Modernity

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This chapter critiques the dominant form of female sentimentality that animates the anti-prostitution feminist public sphere since the mid-1990s, showing how this affective mode, attached as it is to conjugal intimacy, propels a liberal form of state governance that intensifies the regulation of sexualities in present-day Taiwan. The chapter demonstrates how anti-prostitution feminism's redemptive project of sex constructs a pristine feminine sexuality within the institutionalised field of “sexual autonomy”. What inheres in the political unconsciousness of “sexual autonomy” is, the chapter argues, a profound sense of melancholia that mourns the loss of sexual innocence qua feminist ideal.

Keywords: sexual autonomy; intimacy; female sentimentality; melancholia; sexual modernity

Chapter.  12477 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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