Wilkins, Amy C. 2010. “’So Full of Myself as a Chick’: Goth Women, Sexual Independence, and Gender Egalitarianism.” In The Politics of Women’s Bodies: Sexuality, Appearance, and Behavior, 3rd ed. Edited by Rose Weitz. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 163-176.
Third wave’s blend into postfeminism: “a somewhat valgue belief in gender equality, coupled with a belief that women already have won equality and so should now focus on enjoying their freedoms – especially sexual freedoms” (163 – Weitz’s introduction to Wilkins). Subcultural scenes as a buffer from mainstream judgement, using subculture’s celebration of agent sexuality as a resource of sexual resistance against dominant notions of sexuality, femininity, etc. Women’s agent sexuality is stigmatized in the US – labeling of ‘deviant’ sexualities offers stigma that controls behavior in a variety of ways – dress, co-presence, interactions (Lees 1993). However, double standard does not apply similarly to men, which helps reinforce power and distinction from women. Subcultural protection and encouragement in dressing (sexually) provocatively, enforce consequence for those who overstep lines of consent/mutual desire. Respect of spatial boundaries in dance, interaction; putting onus on women to extend offers of attraction, invitations, openness of dress – including nudity. However, this was often monitored differently by size of person and attractiveness – women in club not only not exempt from critical gaze, but are offered it by both men and women. Polyamory’s double standard – bisexual women can date other women, but not other men – explaining that men did not view other women as a “threat”. Challenging gender inequalities on one front – sexuality – only partially challenges larger systemic inequalities between men and women.
CITE: Lees, Sue. 1993. Sugar and Spice: Sexuality and Adolescent Girls. London: Penguin.