The Department of English welcomes author and activist Julia Serano presenting “Sexuality, Sexualization and Self-Examining Desire.”
In this talk, Serano will discuss various forms of sexualization and offer strategies for how we can challenge them. She also will share her thoughts on how we can navigate being ethically sexual human beings in a world where certain hierarchies and stereotypes will likely influence our sexuality.
Sexuality is a highly diverse phenomenon – we all differ greatly with regards to our sexual interests, orientations, preferences, expressions, and histories. While our sexualities can be positive and life affirming, they are often complicated by sexualization – that is, when sexuality is nonconsensually imposed upon us, or when we are reduced to our sexual body or behaviors to the exclusion of other characteristics. Feminists have long discussed how heterosexual men in our culture often sexualize women. Less attention has been paid to the frequent sexualization of minorities and marginalized groups, who are often stereotyped as sexually promiscuous (and therefore “asking for it”), as sexual predators or deviants, and/or as the objects of “fetishes” or “paraphilias.”
Serano is the author of “Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity.” She is an acclaimed writer, performer, lecturer and speaker on the subjects of sex, gender, sexuality, feminism, queer, transgender, bisexual, and activism.