Examining if queer theory is based on body politics

By July 18, 2017 Politics

“ Much fagot theory is based on organic structure political relations. ” Justify, with mention to two or more major fagot theoreticians.

The term fagot theory, foremost used by Theresa de Laurentis, refers to genders that are non normative, that is, all other sexual relationships, orientations, or penchants that are non heterosexual. Fagot theoreticians hence set out to turn out that heterosexualism is non unconditioned in all human existences. Rather, it has been created as a tool to function different intents of society. Queer theory deconstructs and denaturalizes our sexual perceptual experiences of maleness and muliebrity and challenges heteronormative political orientations by exposing how the assorted powers of society regulate and command the human organic structure, thereby enforcing heterosexualism as the natural and homosexualism as the unnatural and aberrant. This essay shall hence warrant how much of fagot theory is so based on organic structure political relations, with peculiar mention to Adrienne Rich ‘s essay ‘Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence ‘ , Barbara Smith ‘s “ Homophobia, Why Bring It Up ” , and Monique Wittig ‘s “ One is non born a Woman. ”

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Fagot theoreticians seek to deconcentrate heterosexualism as the cosmopolitan and normal signifier of gender. In making so, they show how heterosexualism has been constructed, imposed, encouraged, maintained and exhaustively perpetuated through assorted powerful forces of society, such as instruction, faith, civilization, history, capitalist economy, the province, the media and the economic system. Foucault, in his essay “ Discipline and Punish ” , explains how the Panopticon is “ a disciplinary technique that organizes organic structures ( inmates ) by transforming corporate organic structures into anomic individualisms through architecture and ego consciousness. ” Jeremy Bentham ‘s construct of Panopticism therefore ‘requires, green goodss, and maintains docile organic structures by engrafting a regard of surveillance that organizes and polices societal organic structures. ‘ Foucault ‘s ‘Discipline and Punish ‘ can be used as an account or a model for the fact that society has ever projected an semblance of heteronormativity, whereby members of society are considered apprehensible merely if they abide by heterosexual norms.

This ‘gaze of surveillance ‘ , which inscribe organic structures with individuality norms, is analyzed and questioned in fagot theoreticians ‘ plants on individuality and organic structure political relations. Adrienne Rich, in her essay “ Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence ” exposes several disciplinary patterns, whether direct or indirect 1s, which individualize organic structures as topics of fixed individuality classs. This essay sagely starts with infusions of Alice Rossi and Doris Lessing, who severally hold the premises, or strong beliefs, that adult females are ‘innately sexually oriented merely toward work forces ‘ and that the ‘lesbian is merely moving out of resentment toward work forces. ‘ Rich uses these to demo that such premises are far from being lone Rossi ‘s and Lessing ‘s ; they are cosmopolitan general beliefs that have been indoctrinated and institutionalized. She uses the term ‘lesbian being ‘ to connote that tribades have ever existed, and that there is a ‘lesbian continuum ‘ , which is unluckily invariably denied, rejected and erased all throughout history by work forces. Even some women’s rightists, she argues, be given to near homosexualism as a ‘less natural phenomenon ‘ alternatively of sing it as equal to heterosexualism.

Rich argues that heterosexualism, instead than being natural, is an establishment designed to perpetuate male societal and economic privilege. The first titillating bond is to the female parent, and since this is the primary bond and is what is most natural, it follows that woman-identification is a more ‘natural ‘ province of being than heterosexualism. Society nevertheless has, in Rich ‘s ain term, historically “ enforced or ensured the yoke of adult females with work forces and obstructed or penalized adult females ‘s yoke or allying with other adult females. ” She provides assorted illustrations to turn out that heterosexualism is a societal and non a biological phenomenon. Whenever adult females have tried to defy the ‘normal ‘ expected signifier of sexual life, there have been efforts to train them, which, if failed, led to punishment. Male control of jurisprudence, scientific discipline, divinity or economic nonviability within the sexual division of labour unimpeachably channel adult females into matrimony and heterosexual love affair and does non let the adult female to react to other female organic structures. She outlines a study from Norway, which relates how a sapphic in Oslo was led to a wellness sanatarium for intervention after being forced to populate in an empty-shell heterosexual matrimony. On uncovering to the physician that she is a sapphic, the latter denies her of her individuality and convinces her that all she wants is to hold sexual intercourse with her hubby, which in fact petrifies her. It can here be seen how Foucault ‘s construct of the subject is at work. Punishment instantly follows in this instance because the adult female refuses to deny her sexual attractive force toward adult females. She is accordingly forced to undergo the ‘couch therapy ‘ for six months, which was no different from physical colza. The writer besides takes the illustration of a sapphic in Mozambique who is forced to deny her homosexualism for fright of being sent to a rehabilitation cantonment or worst, to be condemned to a life of expatriate. Given the restraints imposed by patriarchate, in which terrible subjugation for the deficiency of being female is both recognized and promoted, a ‘profound falsity, lip service, and craze ‘ is created in heterosexual duologue, which renders adult females psychologically trapped, ‘trying to suit head, spirit, and gender into a prescribed book because they can non work beyond the parametric quantities of the acceptable. ‘

Homosexuality has historically been seen as a status ‘characterizing certain individuals in the manner that place of birth or malformation might qualify them ‘ , as a societal job and a sickness requiring intervention. Adrienne Rich uses Jonathan Katz ‘s “ Gay American History ” to highlight this ; decease punishment was prescribed for tribades by the New Haven Colony every bit early as 1656 and the medical field suggested several ‘treatments ‘ and anguishs for them in the 19th and twentieth century. Such efforts to prolong and support heteronormativity, harmonizing to Rich, make a systematized set of societal criterions, imposts and expected patterns which restrict romantic and sexual relationships between adult females. There is a whole procedure of socialisation which canalizes and forces misss toward muliebrity and boys toward maleness in order to keep the stiff unequal patriarchal system. Womans are made to believe that they can accomplish economic stableness, protection and support merely through matrimony with work forces. Rich furthermore utilizations Kathleen Gough ‘s essay “ The Origin of the Family ” to demo how work forces have denied adult females of their gender or forced it upon them. Womans have been forced to be attracted to work forces through the idealisation of heterosexual love affair in art, literature, the media, advertisement, “ psychoanalytic philosophies of frigidness and vaginal climax ; and adult word pictures of adult females reacting deliciously to sexual force and humiliations. ” The map of erotica serves to picture adult females merely as objects of sexual appetency to be consumed by males. One baneful message relayed by erotica is that gender and force are congruent ; it is ‘humiliation enjoyable ‘ and ‘physical maltreatment titillating. ‘ Men and adult females likewise are hence educated by erotica to comprehend male laterality and force upon adult females as normal in heterosexual intercourse. Lesbian erotica on the other side is merely created for the ‘male voyeuristic oculus ‘ devoid of any emotional context and it pictures the tribades as holding resort to perverse sexual activities. Heterosexual intercourse is therefore romanticized through social concepts, alternatively of being portion of purportedly male and female biological thrusts.

In add-on, for Rich, heterosexual intercourse is none other than legalized colza and force ; violent heterosexual coupling is viewed as sexually ‘normal ‘ while love, sensualness and titillating mutualness between adult females are labeled as ‘sick ‘ and ‘queer ‘ . Even vaginal climax is merely a myth which gives adult females the semblance that a male is needed in order to accomplish sexual satisfaction and this attitude once more merely serves in forestalling adult females from holding relationships with other adult females. Clitoridectomy, infibulations, celibacy belts, decease for sapphic gender, psychoanalytic denial of the button, imposter sapphic images in the media and the devastation of paperss associating to tribades are all signifiers of extremist disciplinary and preventative steps of anguish to the female organic structure that have been taken and applied to implement heterosexualism. These enormous societal force per unit areas toward heterosexualism prove that heterosexualism is in fact non unconditioned. There are different societal voices that tell us what is allowable and what is impermissible. These voices “ include the political orientation that surrounds heterosexual love affair, ‘dating/ and matrimony ; the mythology of falling in ( and out of ) heterosexual love, of cracks, crushes, personal businesss, passions, and incapacitated attractive forces ; the cultural setup that purports to help adult females to be heterosexually attractive, to be demure, tempting, ‘sexy/ and coquettish, in order to ‘find true love ‘ or to ‘catch a man/ and so to keep his involvement once he ‘s caught ; the psychotherapeuticss and medical interventions, together with literature runing from self-help manuals to scholarly treatises, that claim to order the nature and signifiers of and accommodation to healthy female heterosexualism and the remedies or Panaceas for its disfunctions ; the cultural images, in popular music, pictures, dance fads, novels, narratives, advice columns, movies, pictures, dramas, and advertisement, that interpret human gender and love entirely in footings of two by two heterosexual coupling ; and the prevailing instruments of western societal life- the bars, dances, parties, nines -that recognize merely the heterosexual twosome. ” The inquiry necessarily arises in the survey of fagot theory and organic structure political relations as to why there is so much insisting via these intensive socialisation mechanisms and ‘violent stenosiss ‘ for adult females to ‘curtail ‘ their homosexualism, rendering it unseeable and to supply their emotional, titillating trueness and subservience to work forces if they are all inclined to be innately heterosexual in any manner.

Functionalists argue that inequality is imperative for the smooth running of society. Harmonizing to them, inequality in society is justified ; hence, adult females have specific functions to play in society, peculiar as female parents and childrearers. This facet is foregrounded and taught in instruction, through the socialisation procedure, in sketchs and books. There is, as MacKinnon phrases it, day-to-day “ eroticization of adult females ‘s subordination ” . And this is depicted as being natural and most right. Maternal inherent aptitude is created by work forces to relieve themselves from the load of childrearing and is alternatively imposed on adult females, leting work forces to come on in their calling edifice at the disbursal of adult females. Rich points out that MacKinnon provinces, in “ Sexual Harassment of Working Women, ” that adult females are ‘horizontally segregated ‘ by gender and busy structurally inferior place in the workplace under capitalist economy. Heterosexuality is seen as being appropriated as a tool for capitalist economy. It reinforces people into being hererosexually-minded and, basically, capitalist economy continues the flow of capital by maintaining the household system integral. The province emphasizes the importance, sacredness and advantages of the ideal atomic household, frequently regarded as the ‘cereal-packet ‘ household, and uses spiritual Bibles as blackmails or tortures to represent adult females on the inactive path of what is considered as the traditional and right manner of life. Adrienne Rich argues that such out-of-date, though deep-seated social prescriptions for adult females are agencies of supplying males with unpaid production. Women necessarily face favoritisms at work in such a society, and lesbians face dual prejudice ; they have to feign to be and adult females, and straight persons. The occupation besides does non simply depend on being heterosexual, but besides ‘straight ‘ adult females in footings of ‘dressing and playing the feminine ‘ . The writer states that the New Right ‘s message to adult females has invariably been that adult females are the ’emotional and sexual belongings of work forces ‘ and that the liberty and equality of adult females threaten household, faith, and province ‘ . Foucault ‘s negation of the inhibitory hypothesis that the power of the province suppresses sexual desires of topics shows how bio-power ’emerges as a engineering ‘ which controls and governs organic structures. Sexual activity became progressively involved in all facets of political and economic life by the 18th and nineteenth century. It became a discourse through the outgrowth of bio-power and was progressively monitored by societal divisions. All these watchtowers, invariably oversing human gender decidedly left cicatrixs even on really modern and sophisticated societies. There has undeniable been, as Rich puts it, an intense ‘sex-colonization ‘ . Queer theory has hence all the manner been, and is still is, concerned with exposing the conditions and effects of such ‘technologies of power ‘ that generate, sustain, and support heteronormativity at the disbursal of homosexualism.

Traveling on now to Monique Wittig ‘s “ One Is Not Born A Woman ” , and Barbara Smith ‘s “ Homophobia: Why Bring It Up? “ , it can be seen that much of the statements are based on individuality and on explicating how the oppressive effects of institutional powers are imposed on those whose organic structures are marked as inferior or who are denied the right to command their ain organic structures. Wittig, in her essay, states that there is no “ natural adult female ” . Alternatively the thought of being feminine is created by the patriarchal society. In “ Is There a History of Sexuality ” , David Halperin defines gender as a historical, cultural consequence and as an appropriation of the human organic structure and its physical capacities. Similarly, Wittig ‘s work takes the reader on a journey through clip and infinite, ego and other, linguistic communication and civilization, to finally make the generation of a new linguistic communication, and a new definition of adult female, where all old stereotyped images of “ adult female ” and “ muliebrity ” are detached. The procedure of societal labeling, and the “ fabulous building ” of adult female operate in two ways as mechanisms of societal control ; they help to supply clear-cut and recognizable thresholds between accepted and unacceptable behaviour. This means that it is really hard for people to float individualities without being considered as pervert and without pulling countenances. Second, they besides serve to segregate the perverts from the others, making a stiff double star relationship between fagot and heteronormativity. Wittig states that to “ decline to be a adult female, nevertheless does non intend that one has to go a adult male, ” which implies that declining to be a “ adult female ” is merely declining to accept imposed political orientations of muliebrity. She besides adds ; “ therefore a tribade has to be something else, a not-woman, a not-man, a merchandise of society, non a merchandise of nature, for there is no nature in society. ” The constructed construct of “ adult female is fantastic ” and the thought of being a adult male and a adult female, being both “ political classs and non natural given ” demand to be rejected.

Monique Wittig ‘s essay renders it evident that the grade of convergence and sharpness between the field of fagot surveies and adult female surveies is a affair of lively argument and on-going dialogue. She argues that adult females are non born as adult females, but are culturally imagined and molded to suit in that class. She besides outlines sapphism in footings that describe its specific ability to hedge the insisting of heterosexualism. Heterosexuality harmonizing to her is an establishment created by work forces to fulfill male involvements. Given that the construct of ‘woman ‘ is problematized, the undertaking of the tribade is even more debatable than the male homophile ; she has to decline both the ideological, political, heterosexual power of adult male, and the myth of the adult female. Wittig ‘s proposing of the sapphic as being neither a adult male nor a adult female provides the lone plausible societal signifier for the 1 who refuses to fall under these two culturally, politically and historically created and imposed individualities. Such indoctrinations make heterosexualism obligatory, and every bit long as it exists as the norm, the myth of the adult female can non and will non be effaced. Wittig therefore postulates that the being of tribades in our clip is a cogent evidence that the sexual classs “ adult female ” and “ adult male ” are merely ideologically motivated and non innate, for tribades do non keep the same “ natural ” dealingss with the opposite sex, as “ adult females ” do. To accomplish equality, Monique Wittig suggests that “ heterosexualism as a societal system which is based on the subjugation of adult females by work forces and which produces the philosophy of the difference between the sexes to warrant this subjugation ” must peremptorily be destroyed, non physically, but as ideologicalized mainstream class.

Barbara Smith ‘s “ Homophobia: Why Bring It Up? ” exposes a society where homophobia is seen as a really fiddling signifier of subjugation, if considered as an subjugation at all in the first topographic point. Body political relations, in the signifier of ‘law ‘ , subject and penalty, media representations and instruction, are apparent in this essay. The barbarian and unexplained cold onslaught by the New York City police officers on those present in the ‘Blues ‘ saloon shows how homophiles are looked down upon because they do non follow the prescribed sexual manner of life. Another issue raised in this essay is that of racial organic structure political relations, where ferociousness is even more easy inflicted upon the homosexuals because they are hated by the heterosexual aggressors for being colored and queer, every bit good as working category people. Barbara Smith states that this incident absolutely illustrates how the major ‘isms ‘ including homophobia are ‘intimately and violently intertwined. ‘ There is besides the belief that homophiles refer to merely upper in-between category males and is considered as a ‘white disease ‘ . Therefore Black homophiles are made to endure even more subjugation. Smith argues that by categorising homophiles as such, tribades are non taken into history and the Black tribade, as Lorraine Bethel puts it, becomes “ twice an foreigner ” for she possesses merely ‘hated individualities. ‘

The media is one of import establishment through which organic structures can be regulated through informal societal control. The fact that the incident at the Blues saloon goes unreported despite that it happens to be following to the New York Times offices is implicative of the homophobic and racialist attitudes of the presumably heterosexual, white, upper middle category New York Times staff. The homosexual organic structure is considered as inferior in all respects to the ‘straight ‘ heterosexual organic structure. Besides, the creative activity of a specialised, detested and punished function of homosexualism purportedly keeps the majority of society ‘pure ‘ in the same manner that the similar intervention of some sorts of felons helps in maintaining the remainder of society jurisprudence staying. The mere being of homophiles calls ‘straight ‘ work forces ‘s gender into inquiry. Therefore, the humiliation of homosexuals and tribades is one manner through which one can protect his/her ‘heterosexual certificates and privilege. ‘

Barbara Smith argues that a course of study that focuses on issues of sexual individuality, gender and sexism in a positive visible radiation right from primary schools can alter peoples ‘ negative attitudes towards homosexualism and homophobia. She nevertheless comments that ‘schools are practical caldrons ‘ of homophobic graffito in bathrooms or ‘put-downs ‘ yelled on the school resort area and which are about accepted, . Furthermore, most text books at these degrees are extremely heterosexually biased. Schools, she believes, are invariably under hostile examination or surveillance from assorted ‘well-organized conservative forces ‘ which have sets of expected behaviours depending on one ‘s sexual orientation. The deeply entrenched homophobic attitudes can hence be effaced merely when the province changes the educational course of study and erases all signifiers of ideological heterocentricity from text books and from instructors ‘ labeling attitudes towards pupils of different sexual individualities.

The socialization processes, including the heterosexual establishment, aid to specify what feelings we do and make non, or ought and ought non hold. The energy of fagot theory, as has been outlined in Rich ‘s, Wittig ‘s and Smith ‘s plants, is its “ committedness to interrupt political orientations, patterns, constructs, values and premises, ” which have long been considered ‘normal ‘ and unquestionable, in order to research possibilities outside the kingdom of patriarchate, hierarchy and heteronormative dianoetic patterns. It is nevertheless acknowledged by fagot theoreticians that homosexual being, though still stigmatized to day of the month, has become more seeable in recent old ages and that, along with altering economic force per unit areas such as capitalist economy or socialism for case, and with bettering classless Torahs, an increasing figure of work forces and adult females are rejecting the heterosexual ‘choice ‘ .


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