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Erotic AttunementParenthood and the Ethics of Sensuality between Unequals$
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Cristina L. H. Traina

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226811383

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226811376.001.0001

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The Androcentrism of Desire

The Androcentrism of Desire

(p.71) Chapter Three The Androcentrism of Desire
Erotic Attunement
University of Chicago Press

This chapter reviews the history of Western, androcentric visions of power and sexuality. The bulk of this chapter argues that it deserves denunciation as a system of domination and subordination. It indicates that removing eroticism and sensuality from relations between unequals was impossible. The assistance of Bernadette Brooten, David Halperin, Thomas Hubbard, and David Konstan is considered. The textures of “normal” sex through the lens of the potentially or absolutely abnormal—same-sex relations—are explained. To the legacy of Clement of Alexandria's and Paul's act-centered, self-concerned view of sex, Augustine of Hippo added a lasting, misogynistic tendency to treat others as objects and as “dangers” to one's virtue. Despite their thoroughgoing misogynism, Augustine's and Thomas Aquinas' theologies were fundamentally erotic, driven by desire for the good.

Keywords:   power, sexuality, eroticism, sensuality, same-sex relations, Clement of Alexandria, Paul, Augustine of Hippo, Thomas Aquinas, misogynism

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