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The politics of womens bodies sexuality appearance and behaviour


Sexuality, Appearance, and Behavior. This anthology declares its focus clearly in its title: Contributors, on the whole, employ grounded theory within specific case studies or fields of inquiry rather than pursue philosophical investigations. The editor, Rose Weitz, offers an admirably clear account of her editorial policy and practice: She explains that this pruning process has enabled her "to cover many topics while restricting the book's size and, consequently, price" xi.

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This attention to practical concerns complements the political emphasis of the book's contents. Another expressed editorial intention is to present a diverse range of topics and perspectives. Within her own parameters, Weitz fulfils this aim; within a broader arena the collection has its limitations.

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The articles are arranged under four sections: Overall, there is a clear attempt to move away from anglo-centrism. Asian-American Women and Cosmetic Surgery" makes it increasingly difficult for developers of "mainstream" courses to argue that examples drawn from minority groups are unavailable. In addition, many of the other articles notably Janet Lee's study of menstruation are careful to define their limits in cultural and cross-cultural terms. The collection represents a diverse field of feminist research.


At one extreme there is the thoroughly grounded, personal voice of Iris M. Young as she analyses "breasted experience," and of bell hooks's opening anecdote whereby she confronts white readers with our essential privilege of being able to treat racism as "an unpleasantness to be avoided," rather [End Page ] than a continuous embodied condition Such essays speak directly in and about embodiment, they embody their theory.

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