Celebrating Queer Lesbian Desires with Dorothy Allison: From moral monstrosity to the beautiful materiality of the body

Mélanie Grué


Using social and queer theory on domination, sexuality and gender, this contribution explores how the queer American author Dorothy Allison celebrates the vilified transgressive lesbian body. As, in the 1970s, the mainstream american feminist movement crystallized around the definition of an acceptable sexuality in the name of femininity, female sexual practices were standardized according to strict identity frames, carnal desire was denied, and transgressive lesbians who play with gender roles were defined as abject. In response to this extreme taming of the body, Allison interrogates the notions of masculinity and femininity, domination and submission in her exploration of sexual pleasure and traumatized sexuality. She celebrates the aggressiveness and masculinity of queer lesbianism, promotes the fluidity of gender roles, and asserts the primacy of the flesh,sensuality, and materiality in sexuality.


Dorothy Allison; Feminism; Gender; Lesbian Body; Sexuality

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5007/2175-8026.2015v68n2p127

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