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”.
In a patriarchal society that enforces the construction of heterosexual citizenship we are policed to follow normative discourses and structures that regulate social policies encouraging heteronormative behavior. Dominant ideologies of sexuality thus regulate and normalize social policies that create this second-class status for LGBT people. Those who fail to comply with conventional male and female behaviors are forced to live on the margins of society, excluding them from social, legal and economic rewards forcing homosexual individuals to live a life where they are required to constantly defend their sexual loyalties. The following essay will be used to discuss the challenges to normative constructions of sexuality by dismantling the naturalization of heterosexuality in analyzing the binary of heteronormativity with the use of the song ‘Same Love’ by hip-hop artist Macklemore. Heterosexuality is a political institution, which disempowers women and men by taking away their right to citizenship.
However, there is no truth to it, but rather it is merely a vehicle for social control. Foucault distinguishes the discourses of sexuality from the science of sexuality, while also discussing how enforcement of the discourse on sex was made possible by various strategies of social control, such as the medicalization and scientification of sex. Further, he asserts that sex and sexuality became social issues in an effort to manage and direct the life of individuals, and this change contributed to providing society with more power over individual bodies through the “true” discourse of sex as this discourse internalized over time. According to Foucault, “truth is a thing of this world: it is produced only by virtue of multiple forms of constraint as it induces regular effects of power” (1980:131). Therefore, he suggests that the production of “truth” is not entirely separable from power, and knowledge is power, as it constitutes new objects of inquiry that can be manipulated and controlled (1994:97).
Homosexuality from a New Perspective Sexuality means many different things to different people, especially sexuality of a homosexual nature. Everyone has their own personal ideologies about sexuality, many of which have been forced on us by mainstream society's portrayal of what of is right or wrong. Bersani's objective is to take these societal sexual idiosyncrasies and turn them upside down to reveal how he feels gay male sex should be. In Bersani's article, Is the Rectum a Grave?, he entertains ideas of the self, sexuality (especially homosexuality), and power. Bersani believes that abolishing the self opens many options sexually and psychologically.
Both these books give a warning to our society about sex, emotion, pleasure, and intimacy becoming robotic in our world. We should make an effort to look out for this happening in our own world. By looking out for sex becoming robotic in our world, we can stop it before it even happens. Since both of these dystopian societies deal with the fact that sex is not about pleasure/love, they give our society today a warning that sadly, if we don’t pay attention, our society could end up becoming robotic in the act of sex, emotion, intimacy and pleasure. It is our responsibility to make sure that every action we take in this world is filled with emotion and intimacy, so that our society does not crumble without the things that really make up most of our humanity.
Therefore the search for a gay identity and inclusion into this type of society is something that individuals with alternative sexualities seek out in order to somehow fit into the charmed circle of heteronormative status that our modern society subscribes to. Discourse involves both communication as well as who is doing the communicating, how they have communicated, and what the context is for the communication. This is an important point when understanding how to define sexuality as nothing more than a social control. Sexuality has become the center of discourse in education, law, medicine, government, demography, and within the LGBT community itself. We use social controls to prohibit certain types of sex, we conduct statistical studies which help the government label and classify sexual behavior, and we even use psychiatry to evaluate the mentally ill.
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 bemoans the oppressive laws that tell people what sexual practices are to be accepted and unaccepted, as if laws were to be obeyed - a presumption that already constitutes a particular type of subject in relation to a kind of power (the power of/in Law). Because we are so oppressed, unable to choose between sexual practices, we should give up these overrated relics of good sexuality and bad. Instead let everyone do anything, so long as they practice the vaunted ritual of consent. And while consent may be hard to locate, and does have problems, it should still b... ... middle of paper ... ...it in the settled form Rubin’s partial agenda of consent relies on for its humanist restraints, as if recapitulating prevalent representations of the control of nuclear weapons - on a hair trigger, under control, mutually assured, and yet therefore also for these assurances mutually constitutive on the other side of the trigger and self-deploying in their fluxes of power and selves. Sexuality can be much more exciting for “bodies and pleasures” (Foucault 157) than this half-hearted effort lets itself argue.
Society and Sexuality in Waiting for the Barbarians, and The History of Sexuality Within our modern minds reside two very different ways in which we deal with the subject of sexuality. The conceptual framework of modern society, to some extent, has developed out of past notions about the body. We can see that springing from our historical roots, issues concerning sexuality have been dealt with through mutual feelings of desire and disgust. The relationship between these two opposed feelings arises from a dual sense of our awareness of our sexuality. One direction we are pointed in, is to view anything sexual in content, as socially digressive.
Ms. Baker: What are those approaches? Becker: We have to look at the social nature of deviant activity. Deviant behavior first has to be labeled. Homosexuality becomes deviant because it does not fit into what society labels as normal. The labeling process involves two groups “the person who is labeled as deviant and the person who has the authority or the right to invoke the label” (Cuzzort and King, 2002, p. 63).