• Sex talk: Mutuality and power in the shadow of HIV/AIDS in Africa.

      Bujra, Janet M. (University of Bradford, 2007)
      Bids for mutuality in sexual partnerships are key to AIDS campaigning slogans such as `negotiate¿, `know your partner¿ and `use condoms¿. This paper explores the contradiction between more mutuality in sexual relations and the gender power politics that render such mutuality difficult to achieve in Africa, as well as the caricatures of `African sexuality¿ that have pervaded some of the literature. It looks at the new discourses of sexuality delivered via NGOs and the state as well as the ways in which customary silences about sex are being broken by ordinary people. It asks whether, given the threat of HIV infection, people are talking in new ways about sexual relationships, and how this talk is gendered. It also addresses the challenge to African feminism of sexuality discourses and how these need to be rethought in the context of AIDS. It concludes that the prospect of death by sex is transforming discourses, challenging customary sexual practice and putting gendered inequalities in question.