One of four panels held by the Platypus Affiliated Society at Left Forum 2014, from May 30th to June 1st, 2014.
Much has taken place over the last 50 – 60 years in the realm of sexual liberation. The new left of the 1960s and 70s sparked a progression of women's liberation and gay rights by challenging both legislation and cultural norms. In the 1980s and 90s a sexually constricting society was further challenged through sex-positive activism in art and politics and on the street. Today, trans-identified individuals are more prominent in the media, non-heteronormative sexual identifications are more widely accepted, and the binary of gender is challenged through queer theory and supportive communities more widely accessible through the internet. Despite apparent gains in the project of sexual liberation, human sexuality remains subject to daily constraints: structural sexism persists, sex-work remains criminalized, the bourgeois family is the social norm, and impotence and fear of intimacy are among the many rampant inhibitions to sexual experience. What orientation should a movement for sexual liberation take toward sexuality? How can we today reflect on the efficacy or inefficacy of past movements. What are the limitations of politics today to address sexuality? Also, what is sexual repression and how does it function in society? Did past movements for sexual liberation undermine themselves? How were they successful and how did they fail?
Chair: Tana Forrester (Platypus)
A workshop held on May 29th, 2010 at the 2010 Platypus International Convention at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Led by Pablo Ben.
An analysis of how sexuality as a sphere of modern life was formed due to the emergence of capitalism. Sexuality did not exist before the 18th century and it has emerged since then in several parts of the world following the expansion of global capitalism. The analyze follows through a new reading of Foucault from the point of view of Marcuseâs Eros and Civilization. This theoretical framework helps understand some new developments in the historiography of sexuality worldwide,specifically the world history of masturbation, prostitution, homosexuality, and romantic love.