The queer female gaze: The Second Mango and breasts

Click on the link to read my guest post on erotica writer Lisabet Sarai’s blog, about what it’s like to grow up in a world where women’s physical attraction to other women is often ignored, and how it influenced the way I wrote about Shulamit, the main character of my novel The Second Mango. (Side note: 10/21 only, use the code ‘fall2013‘ to get 20% off the eBook package, bringing the price down to only $5.00.)

Bodily autonomy means that our bodies belong to us and us alone, and we should respect other people’s bodies as not being our business unless they want it to be our business. Lesbian erasure and invisibility had unintentionally taught me that those who looked at boobs sexually were often predatory men, and never young women. Imagine how that made me feel, especially at the age when everyone feels like they’re the only one. Even as an adult, learning to reconcile my strong belief in bodily autonomy with my attraction to the same body parts that many invasive men have preyed on was confusing and difficult.

Shulamit, in my book, faces these same dilemmas. She’s eager to express her appreciation of a woman’s curves, but she’s also afraid that admitting this attraction will somehow rob her of the femininity with which she so strongly identifies. In a world, much like our own, where those gazing upon women’s bodies with appreciation are assumed to be male, can we blame her?

About Shira

Queer Jewish feminist author
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