It's surprising that the term "heterosexuality" is less than 150 years old and that heterosexuality's history has never before been written, given how obsessed we are with it. In Straight, independent scholar Hanne Blank delves deep into the contemporary psyche as well as the historical record to chronicle the realm of heterosexual relations - a subject that is anything but straight and narrow. Consider how Catholic monasticism, the reading of novels, the abolition of slavery, leisure time, divorce, and constipation of the bowels have all at some time been labeled enemies of the heterosexual state.
With an extensive historical scope and plenty of juicy details and examples, Straight provides a fascinating look at the vagaries, schisms, and contradictions of what has so often been perceived as an irreducible fact of nature.
©2011 Hanne Blank (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I'm Audible's first Editor-at-Large, the host of In Bed with Susie Bright -- and a longtime author, editor, journo, and bookworm. I listen to audio when I'm cooking, playing cards, knitting, going to bed, waking up, driving, and putting other people's kids to bed! My favorite audiobooks, ever, are: "True Grit" and "The Dog of the South."
The term "heterosexual" was invented as late as the 1860's. Our society's assumptions and criteria for what it means to be heterosexual has gotten narrower ever since.
Like Joan Roughgarden’s "Evolution’s Rainbow", "Straight" addresses gender, sex and biology, but goes on to explore historical and political attitudes, and perceptions of straightness and homosexuality.
Once again, Blank challenges our assumptions and explores the historical evolution of our sexual hang-ups in an engaging and funny manner.
SO much interesting information yet leaves you with more questions than answers- I was a little disappointed that it seemed to focus a bit more on the history of male queerness than female, but the general point is well made that our idea of what it means to be heterosexual has always been in a constant state of flux
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