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Jyoti Puri

In: The SAGE Handbook of Feminist Theory

Chapter 20: States' Sexualities: Theorizing Sexuality, Gender and Governance

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States' Sexualities: Theorizing Sexuality, Gender and Governance
States' sexualities: Theorizing sexuality, gender and governance
JyotiPuri

The embodied being of what counts as the state is not a neutral body, but is instead a thoroughly sexualized one, whose sexual operations are invested with political power. (Aretxaga, 2005: 265)

Look a little more closely at the word ‘state’ in its political significance as polity, commonweal, commonwealth. Place it alongside that other meaning of ‘state’ (and of ‘fantasy’) as loss of authority, and it appears that the private and public attributes of the concept ‘state’ are not opposites but shadows – outer and inner faces precisely – of each other. (Rose, 1996: 8)

This article grapples with the imperatives of sexuality and state-based governance from a feminist standpoint. It calls on but ...

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