Erotic Revolutionaries: Black Women, Sexuality, and Popular Culture

Erotic Revolutionaries: Black Women, Sexuality, and Popular Culture

by Shayne Lee


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Why is there no "pro-sex" contingency in black feminist scholarship? Why do so few African-American scholars expound on issues celebrating female sexual pleasure? Perhaps the answers to these questions reside within a discursive matrix of sexual repression commonly referred to as the politics of respectability, and its rein on black sexual politics. In Erotic Revolutionaries: Black Women, Sexuality, and Popular Culture, sociologist Shayne Lee steers black sexual politics toward a more sex-positive trajectory. Introducing feminist analysis to a conceptual ménage à trois of scripting theory, media representation, and black sexual politics, Lee considers the ways in which the feminist quest for social and sexual equality can delve into popular culture to see the production of subversive scripts for female sexuality and erotic agency. Whereas most feminist scholarship underscores how sexual representations of black women in media are exploitative and problematic, Lee portrays black female celebrities like Janet Jackson, Beyoncé, Karrine Steffans, Zane, Tyra Banks, Juanita Bynum, Sheryl Underwood and many more as feminists of sorts who afford women access to cultural tools to renegotiate sexual identity and celebrate sexual agency and empowerment. Erotic Revolutionaries navigates the uncharted spaces where social constructionism, third-wave feminism, and black popular culture collide to locate a new site for sexuality studies that is theoretically innovative, politically subversive, and stylistically chic.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780761852285
Publisher: Hamilton Books
Publication date: 08/04/2010
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 763,782
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Shayne Lee received a PhD in sociology from Northwestern University and is now associate professor of sociology and African Diaspora studies at Tulane University. Lee is also the author of T.D. Jakes: America's New Preacher and co-author of Holy Mavericks: Evangelical Innovators and the Spiritual Marketplace, both published by New York University Press.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v

Introduction: Erotic Revolutionaries of Black Sexuality vii

1 Flipping the Sexual Script: The Social Construction of Sexuality 1

2 Sultry Divas of Pop and Soul: Janet, Beyoncé, and Jill 10

3 Confessions of a Video Vixen 23

4 Zane's Urban Erotica 41

5 Serena and the Power Chicks 59

6 Vagina Power: Alexyss Tylor and the Sexperts 70

7 Black Clergywomen and Sexual Discourse 82

8 Erotic Queens of Comedy 95

9 Tyra Banks: Erotic Talk Show Host 112

Epilogue: Surfing the Third Wave 123

References 133

Index 143

About the Author 147

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