Description : Drawing on a broad range of historical and sociological literature, this book traces the everyday gambling experiences of a diverse group of women. It provides fascinating and original insights into the pleasures afforded to women through their gambling participation and draws on a variety of feminist literature to understand women's motivations and experience of play, and to examine the ways in which women negotiate their right to gamble without reprimand. Since gambling tends to be framed within moral discourses of danger and excess, this book offers a defence of women's decisions to gamble against an often hostile backdrop. It rewrites claims that gambling is 'meaningless' and reckless spending, by pointing instead to the highly complex strategies that women who gamble employ. Importantly, it adds to contemporary feminist debates about women's leisure by showing how women seize control of their lives in order to carve out a time and space for the pursuit of pleasure.
Description : The Lola film is a distinct subgenre of the woman's film in which woman's claim to pleasure is entertained without recourse to the figure of the femme fatale. Lola embodies a recognizable set of characteristics through which over time a select group of directors, actors, and audiences have responded in ways that do not succumb to the imperatives of gender. There are over thirty-five Lola films, starting with Marlene Dietrich in The Blue Angel: many are German, others are French, American, British, Italian, and Spanish, but her claim has also resonated in Argentina, China, Egypt, Mexico, Thailand, and the Philippines. Lola can be working class, lesbian, transgender, ethnic, suburban, or any combination. This book examines Lola as a specific and enduring aspect of the early twentieth-century "new woman": woman's forthright claim to pleasure on her own terms, liberated, if only as a cinematic fantasy, from the usual constraints of sex and gender.
Description : From critically acclaimed author and Japanese scholar Lesley Downer, an enchanting portrait of the mysterious world of the geisha. Ever since Westerners arrived in Japan, they have been intrigued by Japanese womanhood and, above all, by geisha. This fascination has spawned a wealth of extraordinary fictional creations, from Puccini's Madama Butterfly to Arthur Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha. The reality of the geisha's existence, though, whether today or in history, has rarely been addressed. Contrary to popular opinion, geisha are not prostitutes but, literally, "arts people." Their accomplishments include singing, dancing, playing a musical instruments; but above all, they are masters of the art of conversation, soothing the worries and stroking the egos of the wealthy businessmen who can afford their attentions. It is this which imbues the geisha with such power—and which makes absolute secrecy such a crucial aspect of their work. As denizens of a world defined by silence and mystery, geisha are notoriously difficult to meet and even to find. Lesley Downer, an award- winning writer, Japanese scholar, and consummate storyteller, gained more access into this world than almost any other Westerner ever has and spent several months living among them. In Women of the Pleasure Quarters, she weaves together intimate portraits of modern geisha with the romantic legends and colorful historical tales of geisha of the past. From Sadda Yakko, who dined with American presidents and had her portrait painted by Picasso, to Koito, a modern-day geisha who maintains her own website, geisha throughout history step out of the pages of Women of the Pleasure Quarters to become living, breathing creatures. Looking into such traditions as mizuage, the ritual deflowering which was once a rite of passage for all geisha, and providing colorful depictions of the geisha's dress, training, and homes, Downer, with grace, elegance, and respect, transforms their reality in a captivating narrative that both informs and entertains. At once a symbol of a bygone age and an institution more quintessentially Japanese than any other, geisha are a society at a crossroads, struggling to reinvent their place in the new millennium while honoring the traditions of the past. Both instructive and evocative, Women of the Pleasure Quarters is an enthralling portrait of a world unlike any other.
Description : This book explores the aesthetic pleasures of eating and writing in the lives of M. F. K. Fisher (1908-1992), Alice B. Toklas (1877-1967), and Elizabeth David (1913-1992). Growing up during a time when women's food writing was largely limited to the domestic cookbook, which helped to codify the guidelines of middle class domesticity, Fisher, Toklas, and David claimed the pleasures of gastronomy previously reserved for men. Articulating a language through which female desire is artfully and publicly sated, Fisher, Toklas, and David expanded women’s food writing beyond the domestic realm by pioneering forms of self-expression that celebrate female appetite for pleasure and for culinary adventure. In so doing, they illuminate the power of genre-bending food writing to transgress and reconfigure conventional gender ideologies. For these women, food encouraged a sensory engagement with their environment and a physical receptivity toward pleasure that engendered their creative aesthetic.
Description : This volume examines the attitudes and practices that shaped the varied roles of women in the Renaissance and also the important ways women shaped the world in which they lived.
Description : This volume reconstructs London's Victorian and Edwardian West End as an entertainment and retail centre. Moving beyond questions of whether shopping promoted or limited women's freedom, the author explores how business practices, legal decisions and cultural changes affected women in the market.
Description : Fascinating study of geisha, courtesans, kabuki performers as portrayed by masters of Japanese art from 1600 to 1868.
Description : A Woman's Pleasure Trip in Somaliland provides a detailed and descriptive account of how a woman could pleasantly spend three winter months in a country where many of the fancied necessaries of a civilized life are absent. Organized into eight chapters, this book begins with an overview of the geographical description of Somaliland. This text then describes her arrival at Aden. Other chapters consider the Somalis' natural way of ascertaining the time. This book discusses as well Somalis' belief in the theory that mosquitos give fever, which was commented on in printed reports on Somaliland some years before medical science took the matter up. The final chapter deals with the author's concluding remarks about the exceptional attention, consideration, and willing service that she had experienced during her three month's stay in Somaliland. This book is a valuable resource for readers who are interested to learn about Somaliland and its people.
Description : In her new book, Women, Sex, Power & Pleasure, Evelyn Resh, a sexuality counselor and certified nurse-midwife, takes an innovative approach to helping women create the lives – and sex lives – they want. With a funny and compassionate, yet tell-it-like-it-is style, she looks at the relationship between feeling powerful in life and accessing life’s pleasures, and their combined effect on sexual desire. Resh introduces six essential qualities that women must have to live healthfully, stating that when these are out of balance women seem to exist in lives devoid of pleasure, self-empowerment, and sex. These markers of emotional well-being are: • Self-confidence and self-esteem • Healthy Habits • Spiritual Satisfaction • Creativity • Self-assurance/re-assurance • Compassion and Empathy Once the six traits are laid out, Resh devotes the rest of the book to exploring how, when one or more of a woman’s markers of emotional well-being are off kilter, their reasons for avoiding sex mount exponentially. She looks at some of the most common excuses she’s heard over her many years as a sexuality counselor – I Feel Nothing, It’s All He Thinks About, I’m Too Busy!, I’m Too Fat to Have Sex – and outlines the specific imbalances that create this void of sexual desire and activity. With practical guidance, self-assessment questions, and stories from her practice and personal life, Resh explains to modern women how to regain their emotional wellness and live a powerful life that includes a steady relationship with pleasure and sexual satisfaction. This book is a must read for all women. From housewives to sophisticated urban corporate types, from new moms to post-menopausal women – this book will help any woman who feels estranged from her sexual energy and a sense of empowerment, and deprived of pleasure, or who views sex as just another thing to tick off her overwhelming to-do list.