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Did sexual abnormality set the stage for the end of France’s presumed ?natural” domination of Algeria? The Algerian revolution for independence (1954-1962) coincided with the sexual revolution in France, and Todd Shepard sees the two movements as inextricably linked. In the revolution’s aftermath, those on the political right in France rehearsed claims about sexual acts, sexualized humiliation, and lust to explain how France had lost Algeria, homing in on ?deviant” masculinity and aberrant hypermasculinity of ?Arabs,” whose decadent effeminacy had made the French unable to defeat them. Shepard shows that the debates about the sexual revolution in France?over issues such as prostitution, sodomy, and rape?relied on the rhetorical trope of the ?Arab man.” The ”Arab man” played a central role in the claims of the gay liberation movement. The French new Left meanwhile elevated the model of the ?heroic Algerian man” as an incarnation of the revolutionary immigrant worker. Public debates on the slave trade in white women (involving presumptions that Arab pimps had seized control of the French prostitution market) invoked the Arab male to castigate the weakness and vulnerability of French men and French women. Shepard then considers the vogue for sodomy in the 1970s, which was repeatedly linked to Arabs, just as that invocation shaped intense discussion around rape. Shepard’s study engages in systematic questioning of long-standing assumptions in the fields of postcolonial criticism, French history, queer theory, contemporary European history, and sexuality studies.
Number of Pages: 317
Genre: History, Social Science
Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
Author: Todd Shepard
Street Date: January 8, 2018
Item Number (DPCI): 248-48-5136
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