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Revisiting Millett's Sexual Politics

Marianne Hester

The paper revisits the work of Kate Millett in Sexual Politics (1970), examining in particular her `theory of sexual politics' and the analysis of gendered power and sexuality. Millett presented a framework in which gendered relations of power are perceived as explicitly sexual, and in this sense she paved the way for radical feminist theorising of the links between power, sexuality and violence. Millett's analysis is revisited in the light of more recent `versions' of gendered analyses of sexual violence and power, in particular in relation to the increasingly `hegemonic' Duluth notion of power and control. Questions are asked about the analytic power of Millett's approach; and the disappearance of (hetero) sexuality in analyes of gendered power and violence.

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