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Existential Eroticism

A Feminist Approach to Understanding Women's Oppression-Perpetuating Choices

Shay Welch

Existential Eroticism: A Feminist Approach to Understanding Women's Oppression-Perpetuating Choices offer a unique lens aimed at the underbelly of the lady through which feminists can reorient discourses on rationality and moral responsibility related to women’s oppression-perpetuating choices. Shay Welch utilizes feminist ethics, broadly construed as feminist philosophy concerned with the ethical commitment to eliminate oppression, to scrutinize how women regard and judge one another and to offer a more representative account of restriction, rationality, and responsibility to begin the healing process between diverse and divergent women. The book aims not only to construct an analysis of self-perpetuated oppression that will broaden feminist understandings of experiences that motivate many women to choose as they do, it serves as a means of understanding the marginalized. « less more »
Lexington Books
Pages: 234Size: 6 1/4 x 9
978-1-4985-0541-3 • Hardback • August 2015 • $90.00 • (£60.00)
978-1-4985-0543-7 • Paperback • July 2017 • $49.99 • (£32.95)
978-1-4985-0542-0 • eBook • August 2015 • $85.00 • (£54.95)
Shay Welch is assistant professor of philosophy at Spelman College.
Chapter Two: Existential Eroticism and Autonomy
Chapter Three: Forms of Restriction and Systemic Patriarchy
Chapter Four: Duress and Necessity under Existential Eroticism
Chapter Five: Trauma as Desperation
Chapter Six: Desperate Rationality
Chapter Seven: Self-Perpetuated Oppression: Individuated Acts, Complicity, and Moral Responsibility
Chapter Eight: Blaming and Forgiving Each Other

Throughout Existential Eroticism, Welch draws subtle distinctions and makes forceful arguments concerning staggeringly difficult issues. . . .[The book] is a resolute philosophical inquiry into the suffering she herself, her family members, and her friends endured (and that so many women like them continue to endure), and it is a sustained reclamation of their dignity as agents.
Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy

Existential Eroticism is a compelling and original contribution to feminist philosophy. It raises and attempts to resolve important issues about complicity under systemic conditions of disadvantage under patriarchy and grapples with the uncomfortable territory of intra-group blame and resentment, while providing a constructive way forward in intra-group forgiveness. Most of all, Welch successfully achieves her goal of providing a nuanced account in which women living in some of the most desperate scenarios of existential eroticism are not simply to be understood as victims or dupes, but in fact as agents, sometimes blameworthy sometimes not, sometimes fighters, and sometimes employing highly sophisticated forms of desperate rationality.
Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews