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File Under “Found Art”

Virginia Woolf has found herself in strange company in this image-capture of the Cleis Press website (circa 2003). While Cleis promotes itself as publishing “provocative, intelligent books in the areas of sexuality, gay and lesbian studies, erotica, fiction, gender studies, and human rights,” it is clear that human rights are far less interesting and bankable than smut, whether high minded or low (in the past the text read “provocative books for smart readers” in a shameless appeal to vanity). An understanding of human sexuality—what it is, can, and must not be—is indeed integral to any attempt at achieving social justice, but the deliberate focus on “technique” to the perpetual exclusion of anything that might question just how humane our society has crafted its version of human sexuality is a political coup for the patriarchy.

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