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The construction of female sexuality and it is position in heterosexuality drawing upon recent feminist discussions An area of great focus in contemporary feminist theory has been looking at the construction of female sexuality particularly its position in heterosexuality Of the recent discussions much of this has been influenced or at least based around Freuds theory of psychoanalysis and the his account of sexual development that follows from it In very simplistic terms his account places masculine sexuality at its centre making the penis the only recognised and valued sexual organ Smart Female sexuality is constructed as lack of or a void because her genitals offer us nothing to see Irigaray thereby her desire is framed as an urge to 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 just plain silly however in 1974 Juliet Mitchell brought Freud back into feminism Smart She argued that his references to the penis shouldnt be taken so literally in attempt to split the symbolic phallus from the biological penis the problem however remerged 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 submission to the phallic power of the penis For many women they felt this left them with only two choices either renounce their heterosexual desire or remain oppressed by mens phallic power Jeffreys Yet for those that renounced heterosexuality their actions did nothing to challenge mans power within heterosexual relations they only attempted to put themselves outside the oppressive force of the male sex drive If anything by advocating only two courses of action they seemed to say womans position in heterosexuality was only escapable but not changeable otherwise there would have been
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