Women’s Bodies as Symbols in Public Spaces

Women’s Bodies as Symbols in Public Spaces

Publication Type:
paper-conference
Date Issued:
2007
Authors:
Carina Listerborn
Language:
eng
Abstract:

Several feminist researchers have pointed at the symbolic dimension of women in public spaces (for example Wilson 1994). Historically, women have been associated with the private spheres (see Bondi & Domosh 1998) and therefore becoming an anomaly in the urban public. Connected to the private sphere is also the biological reproductive aspect, which focuses on women’s sexuality. Today, the female body is still often ‘problematic’ in public spaces. With the theoretical starting point of the body as a situation (Moi 1999), four topics of the symbolic and material dimension of women’s bodies in the city, will be discussed in this paper:  The female body and urban fear  Sexualisation of female bodies in public spaces  Women with veils as the female symbolic other Here the body is not only a surface of representation, but also a physical and biological fact, experienced through a cultural situation. I argue that Toril Moi’s conceptualisation of the body will contribute to a deeper and better understanding of the relation between female bodies and space.