The Pleasure Principle: Sex, Backlash, and the Struggle for Gay Freedom

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9780312156251: The Pleasure Principle: Sex, Backlash, and the Struggle for Gay Freedom

A provocative look at the gay rights movement explores its impact on breaking down traditional societal structures and uses practical examples from history, politics, and popular culture to illustrate the interaction between gay culture and the mainstream.

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"We are your worst fear," went one 1970s rallying cry among gay activists. "We are your best fantasy." Michael Bronski runs with that paradoxical notion, arguing that "straights" are correct to believe that homosexuals represent a threat to the values of Western civilization--and that's a good thing. What they fear (and resent) most in homosexuality, Bronski argues, is the ability of homosexuals to simply enjoy themselves, to take the pleasures of sexuality without the cultural baggage of reproductive responsibility and social conformity. Consequently, the "unique position" of homosexuals "as sexual outsiders endows them with an unparalleled vision for cultural and social change."

Bronski deftly deals with a dizzying array of post-WWII American history and culture, from the battles between homophile assimilationists and gay liberationists to the media controversy surrounding Pee-Wee Herman's arrest and the rise of lesbian chic. He makes a strong case both for the vitality of gay culture (including sexuality) and the necessity of explicitly recognizing the contributions that it has made and continues to make to mainstream culture. "Only when those in the dominant culture realize that they are better off acting like gay people," Bronski writes, "will the world change and be a better, safer, and more pleasurable place for everyone." --Ron Hogan

From the Publisher:

'Bronski ranges widely, often with great insight...a nice feature of his approach is that he seeks to understand gay culture and politics not in isolation but in relation to comparable phenomena both past and present." LA Weekly

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Bronski, Michael
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Book Description St. Martin's Press, New York, 1998. Hard Cover in Dust Jacket. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition. 1998 First Edition Hardcover book in DJ . BRAND NEW from 1998 publisher; Never opened, Never owned. Thin red pen line and small dot bottom page edges. Nice Clean Gift Giving quality. Handsome book; steel grey boards with red metallic gilt title impressed on spine, in matching red & black & white photographic jacket. Size 6-1/4 x 9-1/2 x 1" thick; 294 pages , with index. Renowned cultural critic and commentator , author Michael Bronski , in this book, examines 50 years of gay history - and looks at why it makes some heterosexuals uncomfortable. From post World War Two fashions, through to mainstream film such as The Birdcage , to the Mapplethorpe controversy, up to the right-wing anti-gay referenda , Bronski brilliantly maps the fasinating and often ironic interplay between culture and politics. *** The Pleasure Principle - Sex , Backlash , and the Struggle for Gay Freedom *** by Michael Bronski . Hard cover book in Dustjacket ; published by St. Martin's Press, New York 1998 *** Securely packed for Safe discreet delivery , since 1965 *** Size: 6-1/4 x 9-1/2 x 1 ". Bookseller Inventory # 90987

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