I am Not Sex Positive: A Riff On the Collusion Between Sex Positivity and the Carceral State

Arrianna Planey's Blog

The past few days, I’ve been pondering why I have not embraced ‘sex positivity’ in liberal/Western feminisms. I was too keenly aware of the ways that my sexuality as a Black woman with a disability is shaped by histories of coercion by community members, the State and non-State actors. As a Black woman with a disability, I am doubly a candidate for the forcible sterilization touted by the ‘elite’ eugenicists. In fact, had I been born 40 years ago, I would have been a prime candidate in 31 US states.

Furthermore, I cannot escape the ways in which African-descended women’s sexual agency has been circumscribed in the ‘new world’ since its inception. As enslaved persons, as nominally free persons, and as 2nd class citizens, our bodies, our sexualities have always been the subject of intense scrutiny under the white gaze, the State, and our immediate communities (which have internalized and…

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