They were seen as a violation of marriage bonds, the law and with these a violation of what was naturally determined. (Foucault, 1990, p. 38) The modern concept of homosexuality comes from a desire to see sexuality as a fundamental aspect of who we are. But is this desire correct? And more importantly: Is sexuality a part of identity within the terms of Foucault’s theory? To be able to answer this question it is first noted to make clear what is meant with the terms of “sexuality” and “identity”.
Using the work and writing of Lord, Ingraham and Concannon this paper will explore the relationship between citizenship, sexual identity and social exclusion. “The Silencing of Sexuality” by author Cassandra Lord focuses on the negative response society places on homosexuality. The concept of living a... ... middle of paper ... ...owards heteronormativity. What people refer to, as normal human behavior doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone. However, due to conservative traditional and religious beliefs, the integration of homosexuals in society is often met with resistance.
Attempting to resist the accustomed outlook that marriage and sexual relationships are only appropriate between a male and female, queer theory directs its main focus toward analyzing both the subtle and apparent non-normative ... ... middle of paper ... ...e that is lesbian as Marlow speaks of them together and not separately. By considering the different meanings behind words of a text, queer theory magnifies the possible sexual relations and connotations authors imply. Not interested in mere “straight” ideology, queer theory extends the interpretations on sexuality beyond the sheer obvious. Works Cited Butler, Judith. Undoing Gender.
In an effort to legitimize all subcategories of sexuality considered deviant of heterosexual normatively, queer theory acknowledges nontraditional sexual identities by rejecting the rigid notion of stabilized sexuality. It shares the ideals of gender theory, applying to sexuality the idea that gender is a performative adherence to capitalist structures that inform society of what it means to be male, female, gay, and straight. An individual’s conformity to sexual or gendered expectations indicates both perpetration and victimization of the systemic oppression laid down by patriarchal foundations in the interest of maintaining power within a small group of people. Seeking to deconstruct the absolute nature of binary opposition, queer theory highlights and celebrates literary examples of gray areas specifically regarding sexual orientation, and questions those which solidify heterosexuality as the “norm”, and anything outside of it as the “other”. The difficulty of determining what gay and lesbian text is poses a challenge in finding material applicable to queer theory.
Rubin, Gayle. “Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality.” Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Female Sexuality. Ed. Carole S. Vance. Boston: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1984.
Through the Eyes of a Travesti The dominant conceptualization in contemporary U.S society is that people place certain behavioral expectations based on a person’s sex. People identify themselves in various forms. If I were a Travesti I would argue that my identity is actually formed by my sexuality not by the physical features I was born with. Being a Travesti I would adopt all forms of feminine qualities and even styles but would not identify as a women or wish to change my genitalia. Taking that all into consideration I would view the sexual subjectivity of Latina girls, people whose identities don’t match their behavior: ex-lesbians and straight white males and the varied sexual identities of transgender and transsexual people in society as cases that I can relate to in some respect but differ when it comes to actual identity in each.
In all, many view lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender lifestyles as deviant and immoral. Gender theorists believe that heteronormative views remain dominant, because sexuality is socially constructed and supports heterosexuality as the only natural sexual orientation. This makes heteronormative views unquestionable and oppresses efforts to prove otherwise. That is discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals is encouraged through heteronormative views of what is morally acceptable, rather than conclusive research that proves these individuals are a threat to the institutions of marriage and family.
In Boys Don’t Cry there is a strong sense that Brandon acknowledges stereotypical masculinity and the narrative represses any form of the transgender through Lana’s denial of Brandon’s biological sex. Similarly in The Crying Game, Dil conforms to heterosexual femininity and when her true biological sex is revealed, she continues to be a woman. On the other hand, both texts also challenge heteronormativity through the recognition of identities outside of the norms of gender and sexuality. Boys Don’t Cry and The Crying Game both provide the narrative with shocking revelation scenes which force the viewer to accept these new forms of queer identities. In conclusion, texts may open up different approaches to gender identity, yet it is never clear to which approaches we should or should not acknowledge.
Furthermore, the term “feminism” may fals... ... middle of paper ... ...inscription from a cultural source figured as ‘external’ to that body.” Butler then questions that idea and delves into the concept of drag, which serves to alter the rigid binary male/female sexual construct, and demonstrate through exaggerated femininity how gender is a performance. Conclusion: “From Parody to Politics” Butler imagines a state of feminism without any gender pronouns, questioning the meaning and usefulness (and on the other hand, negative power) of such labels. Butler suggests that drag can unearth and then blur gender assumptions. Butler suggests that real transformation and freedom from repressive gender politics is possible, stating: “Genders can neither be true nor false, neither real nor apparent, neither original nor derived. As credible bearers of those attributes, however, genders can also be rendered thoroughly and radically incredible.”
Alongside this lies the challenge of combating the disdain many have towards individuals of different lifestyles. Venturing back to the Victorian era, the line between men and women was clear. As Jonathan Ned Katz describes in his piece “The Invention of Heterosexuality,” the True Woman was characterized by her “distance from lust,” whereas the True Man was understood to “live closer to carnality.” Society regulated sex and male-female sexuality so that the “penis and vagina were [to be used as] instruments of reproduction, not pleasure” (Katz 152). Prostitutes or other “monsters,” such as those who self-pleasured themselves through masturbation, were looked down upon as sacrilegious individuals who threatened the purity elicited by the True Man and True Woman. As the world began to industrialize, there was a change in how individuals viewed the use of their bodies.