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The construction of female sexuality and it is position in heterosexualitydrawing upon recent feminist discussionsAn area of great focus in contemporary feminist theory has been looking at the construction of female sexuality particularly itsposition in heterosexuality Of the recent discussions much of this has been influenced or at least based around Freuds theoryof psychoanalysis and the his account of sexual development that follows from it In very simplistic terms his account placesmasculine sexuality at its centre making the penis the only recognised and valued sexual organ Smart Female sexuality isconstructed as lack of or a void because her genitals offer us nothing to see Irigaray thereby her desire is framed as an urgeto come to possess the valued organ which is the penis Freuds account of sexuality was initially dismissed by Kate Millett in 1969 as she argued his ideas were self-interested and justplain silly however in 1974 Juliet Mitchell brought Freud back into feminism Smart She argued that his references to thepenis shouldnt be taken so literally in attempt to split the symbolic phallus from the biological penis the problem howeverremerged because men have both power and penises so penis continued collapsing in the phallus Smart With Freud now subsumed into feminism heterosexuality posed a real problem for women because it represented a submissionto the phallic power of the penis For many women they felt this left them with only two choices either renounce theirheterosexual desire or remain oppressed by mens phallic power Jeffreys Yet for those that renounced heterosexuality theiractions did nothing to challenge mans power within heterosexual relations they only attempted to put themselves outside theoppressive force of the male sex driveIf anything by advocating only two courses of action they seemed to say womans position in heterosexuality was onlyescapable but not changeable otherwise there would have been a third option to resolve the problems and reformheterosexuality So despite feminisms claim that change is always possibly as means to improve womens position
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