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La agencia, la liberación, y un beso de la mujer araña

By Alissa Murray

From the Author:

Who knew that kissing could be so complicated? Growing up, I learned from movies that a kiss was the prize for a hero after saving the day, the coveted desire of the shy student to get from the cutest person in class, and the product of "going for it" when the "moment seems right." Having grown up a bit since my days as a wide-eyed child, viewing from afar movies and media and the many different portrayals of kissing, I have since changed my mind about what I originally believed to be a "perfect kiss." I have learned that kissing does not have to be about "going for it" or about "winning" the kiss, but instead can be the product of consensual, willing partners who openly express their mutual desire to kiss. Who knew that, "Can I kiss you?", "Yeah!" could be so simple and yet so effective?

However, kissing, although possibly G-rated, exists as part of the bigger picture of sexual politics. Unfortunately, the norm in our society is not necessarily to have an active conversation between partners before engaging in sexual or romantic behavior, but instead to make assumptions, possibly without consent. Basically, kissing, and any other sexual behavior, exists in our uncertain "go for it" culture. Thus, when I read El beso de la mujer araña by Manuel Puig for my SP 318 class, I was very excited by the presentation of "kissing politics" within the novel. One of Puig's protagonists, an individual named Luis Molina, actively asks his partner for a kiss. This sexual agency exhibited by the character has significant repercussions. From a literary standpoint, it liberates Molina and metaphorically frees the character. From a social change perspective, this showing of sexual agency and its positivity in the novel provides a voice, which serves to help advance sexual equality between all individuals. 

Read: La agencia, la liberación, y un beso de la mujer araña

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