Ambiguity And Its Effects : Leslie Bell 's Twenty Something Women And The Paradox Of Sexual Freedom

1657 WordsSep 16, 20147 Pages
Ambiguity and its Effects Leslie Bell’s “Twenty-Something Women and the Paradox of Sexual Freedom” encompasses the ambiguity experienced by several women in their quest to find answers as to how to have proper sexual relations in their twenties. Ambiguity, very simply, is uncertainty. Bell’s patients experience this indecision in the lives of women in their “ in-between period of early adulthood” (26). Bell, a psychoanalyst, hones in on culture and environment to better understand the lives of these selected women. The ambiguity experienced by these twenty-something women has triggered disappointment in relation to their parent’s wishes and an unfulfilled answer to each woman’s identity. Many twenty-something women are confined by parental standards. One of Leslie Bell’s patients, Claudia, is a twenty-eight-year–old postdoctoral researcher who comes from a Mexican Catholic family. Claudia, a seemingly nice girl, reflected on her parent’s desire of being “a good girl who would marry her first boyfriend” (25). Claudia clearly did not do this as she enjoyed flirtation and sexual experimentation. This expectation brought upon by her parents has made Claudia uncertain as to whether she has made the right decisions when looking back at her twenties. Claudia’s Catholic parents have an expectation as to how Claudia will live her sexual life: reserved. This makes Claudia feel uneasy, as she has disobeyed her parents’ hopes and sought a different path of sexual expression. Claudia’s
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