The thesis of this essay is a simple one: to have a measure of control over her destiny, to have any choices, a woman must be a sexual agent, a subject of desire rather than an object. How can women exercise any autonomy in any other realms if in their most intimate lives they are unable to voice their desires? I do not mean to suggest that sexuality has unlimited explanatory power or that everything about women's domination can be explained by a rearticulation of desire. I do believe, however, that although the issue of sexuality is much discussed, feminist legal theorists have been saying "too much about too little." In this essay I propose that we cannot even know the explanatory power of sexuality as long as women do not have the words to express their own desires.
Julia E. Hanigsberg,
An Essay on The Piano, Law, and the Search for Women's Desire,
Mich. J. Gender & L.
Available at: http://repository.law.umich.edu/mjgl/vol3/iss1/3