Maria Antonietta Trasforini

Il corpo accessibile. Una riflessione su corpi di genere, violenza e spazio

  • Abstract

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The paper investigates the connection between the social construction/social definition of the loci of modernity (the basic distinction of public and private) and the social construction/definition of bodies, moving from a genealogy of the concept of social accessibility of women's bodies. Practices of exclusion or preclusion, or the definition of territories of gender-bound competence (particularly the discourse of 20th century medicine on the female body as a body at risk) have progressively sedimented. Eventually, they laid the ground for the modern rhetoric of danger and invasiveness which both strengthens the definition of the female body as vulnerable and at risk and, in the end, legitimates male violence over the female gender as a "natural" fact. The essay suggests a definition of gender bodies as relational territories (a term mediated by research on body psychotherapy), which are culturally accessible within boundaries and according to dynamics that are socially negotiated and regulated, and which reflect power hierarchies and differentials. In such a context, violence against women is defined as the social legitimisation of the male gender to have unnegotiated access to the territory of female bodies.

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