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Sex And Power

Sex And Power

Defining History. Shaping Societies

Banerji Rita
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‘Sex underlies human existence, and if human life is sacred, how can sex not be?’
As squeamish as India is today about sex, this is also the land where queens once copulated with head horses at religious ceremonies, where the art of love-making was declared the revelation of the gods and recorded in elaborate detail in the kama sutras and prostitution was a form of sacred offering at temples adorned with erotic sculptures.
Using India as a paradigm, Rita Banerji illustrates that sexual morality is not an absolute but a facet of living that undergoes periodic upheavals. She delineates four major periods in Indian history when there were significant shifts in the collective social perception of sex and sexuality, and the associated customs and beliefs. What causes this revision in sexual ethos? To explain this, Sex and Power proposes a modified version of Nietzsche’s slave versus master morality theory. The theory, which is tested against the dynamics of each of the four defined periods, establishes that the moral overview of any given period is determined not by a set of pre-existing ethics but by the existent power structure of the period in question.
The accepted moral code actually serves the party in power. How would this theory play out in the context of India today? Banerji examines this question at length as one of extreme urgency, and concludes that the three most burning issues facing the country today-population explosion, AIDS and female genocide-are the manifestations of a collective sexual malfunctioning of society and need to be redressed in the context of an existent social and economic power hierarchy.

Imprint: India Penguin

Published: Nov/2008

ISBN: 9780143064718

Length : 432 Pages

MRP : ₹499.00

Sex And Power

Defining History. Shaping Societies

Banerji Rita

‘Sex underlies human existence, and if human life is sacred, how can sex not be?’
As squeamish as India is today about sex, this is also the land where queens once copulated with head horses at religious ceremonies, where the art of love-making was declared the revelation of the gods and recorded in elaborate detail in the kama sutras and prostitution was a form of sacred offering at temples adorned with erotic sculptures.
Using India as a paradigm, Rita Banerji illustrates that sexual morality is not an absolute but a facet of living that undergoes periodic upheavals. She delineates four major periods in Indian history when there were significant shifts in the collective social perception of sex and sexuality, and the associated customs and beliefs. What causes this revision in sexual ethos? To explain this, Sex and Power proposes a modified version of Nietzsche’s slave versus master morality theory. The theory, which is tested against the dynamics of each of the four defined periods, establishes that the moral overview of any given period is determined not by a set of pre-existing ethics but by the existent power structure of the period in question.
The accepted moral code actually serves the party in power. How would this theory play out in the context of India today? Banerji examines this question at length as one of extreme urgency, and concludes that the three most burning issues facing the country today-population explosion, AIDS and female genocide-are the manifestations of a collective sexual malfunctioning of society and need to be redressed in the context of an existent social and economic power hierarchy.

Select Preferred Format

Banerji Rita