Journal Article

IDS Bulletin 37.5

Eroticism, Sensuality and ‘Women’s Secrets’ Among the Baganda

Published on 1 October 2006

Sexuality is intricately linked to practically every aspect of our lives: to pleasure, power, politics and procreation, but also to disease, violence, war, language, social roles, religion, kinship structures, identity, creativity … The connection and collision between human sexuality, power and politics provide the inspiration for this article, which explores the various ways the erotic facility is used, as both an oppressive and empowering resource. In her compelling essay, subtitled ‘The Erotic as Power’, Audre Lorde (1984) argues for the construction of the erotic as the basis of women’s resistance against oppression.

For her, the concept entails much more than the sexual act, connecting meaning and form, infusing the body and the psyche. Before Lorde, Michel Foucault (1977, 1990) demonstrated how the human body is a central component in the operation of power.

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IDS Bulletin 37.5


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IDS Bulletin, volume 37, issue 5