Sexualities and Separate Spheres: Gender, Sexual Identity, and Work in Dominica and Beyond
- Author(s): Maurer, WM
- Editor(s): Lugo
- et al.
In 1988 I wrote an essay on the conceptual vocabularies of sexuality and work in Dominica, a small island in the eastern Caribbean. That essay began with a critique of the public/domestic dichotomy in the literature on women in Caribbean development. The crux of my argument was that the way some researchers had deployed the public/domestic analytic naturalized sexuality by locating it in the "private" domain of procreation and thus removed from view the relationship between the devaluation of women's sexuality and the devaluation of women's work (Maurer 1991). I was attempting to outline the shortcomings of feminist scholarship that had explored Michelle Rosaldo's (1974) proposal that the public/domestic dichotomy should prove a useful device for looking at gender inequality cross-culturally, and I was interested in bringing the dichotomy to bear on the issue of sexuality, a theme not explored in Rosaldo's work or in any feminist work following in her footsteps.