There has been a lot of discussion recently about Flibanserin. In fact, I’m probably going to write something myself about about it over the next few days. In particular, what I think is the overlooked rise of Big Momma Pharma (mainstream women’s organisations pushing a particular matriarchal template of neo-liberal entitlement as exemplified by certain sexual health products). The Even The Score campaign with the American FDA over Flibanserin is a good example of this I would suggest.
In the meantime, here is a new book which discusses Flibanserin. As it has only just been published, the subject is very of the moment, I haven’t read it yet as the paperback doesn’t come out until September (though I may see if I can get a review copy and put a review up here):
“I’m excited to announce the publication of my book: Big Pharma, Women, and the Labour of Love.
It’s available through the University of Toronto Press website as well as on Amazon:
In 2010, Thea Cacchioni testified before the US Food and Drug
Administration against flibanserin, a drug proposed to treat low
sexual desire in women, dubbed by the media the “pink Viagra.” She was
one of many academics and activists sounding the alarm about the lack
of science behind the search for potentially lucrative female sexual
In her book, Big Pharma, Women, and the Labour of Love, Cacchioni
moves beyond the search for a sexual pharmaceutical drug for women to
ask a broader question: how does the medicalization of female
sexuality already affect women’s lives? Using in-depth interviews with
doctors, patients, therapists, and other medical practitioners,
Cacchioni shows that, whatever the future of the “pink Viagra,”
heterosexual women often now feel expected to take on the job of
managing their and their partners’ sexual desires. Their search for
sexual pleasure can be a “labour of love,” work that is enjoyable for
some but a chore for others.
An original and insightful take on the burden of heterosexual norms in
an era of compulsory sexuality, Cacchioni’s investigation should open
up a wide-ranging discussion about the true impact of the
medicalization of sexuality.
Thea Cacchioni’s book is well thought-out, beautifully written, and
important. Her research shows that women themselves are not clamoring
for a pink Viagra. If anything, they deserve a break from the labors
of love that they perform.
Meika Loe, Women’s Studies Program, Colgate University”