“Integral Voices on Sex, Gender, and Sexuality: Critical Inquiries” edited by Sarah E. Nicholson and Vanessa D. Fisher— Gendered, Sexual Self in a Postmodern World

integral voices

Nicholson, Sarah E. and Vanessa D. Fisher, editors. “Integral Voices on Sex, Gender, and Sexuality: Critical Inquiries”, (Suny Series in Integral Theory), State University of New York Press, 2014.

A Gendered, Sexual Self in a Postmodern World

Amos Lassen

In “Integral Voices”, we get a new and unique approach to what it means to be a gendered, sexual self in a postmodern world. It presents insights based on the Integral paradigm of theory and practice. With the inquiry into sex, gender, and sexuality having become so broad today and with diverse voices within both academia and popular culture, the Integral approach makes sense of the various theories and agendas present in this discussion. This volume contains essays and criticisms of the integral paradigm.

We hear from the works of Sri Aurobindo, Gregory Bateson, Jean Gebser, Ervin Laszlo, and Ken Wilber to name a few and see that the Integral approach acknowledges and works with multiple and contradictory experiences, theories, and realities. We have a variety of topics which include feminism, the men’s movement, sexual identity, queer history, and spirituality and the contributors come from varied backgrounds personally and politically and from varied academic and practitioner schools of thought and from differing genders. This gives different voices and opinions that show complex and integrated understanding of what it means to be woman, man, human. The articles in the book are

concerned with significant issues and thereby push the conversation forward. These essays are provocative volume and they bring us to consider a critical inquiry that transforms our philosophy and our personal thoughts. What we read here might not be especially comfortable but it does contain a great deal of thought and information. We deal with questions here of ”how is Spirit fully recognized and fulfilled in its myriad gendered, sexual embodiments in this integral age? What blinds us from recognizing (both individually and collectively) and from fulfilling (individually and collectively) our sexual complexity and gender creativity?”

Some of the topics considered here are “a history of the women’s movement, a challenge for the men’s movement, an inquiry into gay cultures, an evaluation of sexual harassment, interrogations of feminine essentialism and masculine bias, a window to artistic practice, and a vision of sex education”.

“Not only does this volume serve gender, feminist, and men’s studies by bringing and integral approach to bear on its multilayered topics, but it also serves Integral Theory by modeling critical inquiry that is generative. So while Integral Theory can offer an integrative framework to a field that is often paralyzed by its own diversity, it can also benefit greatly from this same field by developing a more self-critical and reflective approach to model building and theorizing.” This is a look at a more constructive, nuanced, compassionate set of discussions around being a gendered and sexual human being.

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