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Transcript of Queer Theory
Ma, Jingjing Never drink soda from a straw—
milk shakes? Maybe.
Stop eyeing your mother’s Avon catalogue
and the men’s underwear in those Sears flyers.
I’ve seen you…
Stay out of her Tupperwear parties
And perfume bottles—don’t let her kiss you,
she kisses you much too much.
Avoid hugging men, but if you must,
pat them real hard
on the back, even
if it’s your father.
Must you keep that cat? Don’t pet him so much.
Why don’t you like dogs?
Never play house, even if you’re the husband.
Quit hanging with that Henry kid, he’s too pale,
and I don’t care what you call them
those GI Joes of his
Don’t draw rainbows or flowers or sunsets.
I’ve seen you…
Don’t draw at all—no coloring books either.
Put away your crayons, your Play-Doh, your Legos.
Where are your Hot Wheels,
your laser guns and handcuffs,
the knives I gave you?
Never fly a kite or roller skate, but light
all the firecrackers you want,
kill all the lizards you can, cut up worms—
feed them to that cat of yours.
Don’t sit Indian style with your legs crossed—
you’re no Indian.
Stop click-clacking your sandals—
you’re no girl.
For God’s sake, never pee sitting down.
I’ve seen you…
Never take a bubble bath or wash your hair
with shampoo—shampoo is for women.
So is conditioner.
So is mousse.
So is hand lotion.
Never file your nails or blow-dry your hair—
go to the barber shop with your grandfather—
you’re not unisex.
Stay out of the kitchen. Men don’t cook—
they eat. Eat anything you want, except:
croissants (Bagels? Maybe.)
Don’t watch Bewitched or I Dream of Jeannie.
Don’t stare at The Six-Million Dollar Man.
I’ve seen you…
Never dance alone in your room:
Donna Summer, Barry Manilow, the Captain
and Tennille, Bette Midler, and all musicals—
Posters of kittens, Star Wars, or the Eiffel Tower—
Those fancy books on architecture and art—
I threw them in the trash.
You can’t wear cologne or puka shells
and I better not catch you in clogs.
If I see you in a ponytail—I’ll cut it off.
What? No, you can’t pierce your ear,
left or right side—
I don’t care—
you will not look like a goddamn queer,
I’ve seen you…
even if you are one.
Blanco, R. (2012). Queer theory: According to my grandmother. In Looking for the gulf motel (pp. 34-36). Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press. Queer Theory: According to My Grandmother
Richard Blanco Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Judith Butler Michael Foucault Queer theory as a critical lens for research
Queer theory challenges any kind of category. Queer Theory resists the use of “methods” in research work in order to retain complexities. It focuses on deconstruction discourses and labels, rejecting all conventional methods. The the process of defining and codifying can be unfeasible. Stonewall Inn A Brief Timeline Relationship with Feminism Binary Gender Gender Performative Power and Politics A Theory from the Margins Jacques Derrida Born February 24, 1956
American post-structuralist philosopher
PhD in philosophy from Yale University in 1984
Professor at the University of California, Berkeley since 1993
Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (1990)
Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex" (1993) May 2, 1950 – April 12, 2009
Poet, scholar of gender studies, queer theory, and critical theory
Ph.D from Yale University in 1975
Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire (1985)
Epistemology of the Closet (1990) Defining queer Community of otherly gendered and non-heterosexual persons
Explores the processes and practices of normalization to overturn them
Thinking/doing queer is about deploying, twisting, inverting, challenging and turning identity constructions inside out
Non-normative ways of knowing Heterosexism: The system of advantage or privilege afforded to heterosexuals in institutional practices and policies and cultural norms that assume heterosexuality as the only natural sexual identity or expression. Hetero-normativity: Assumption that heterosexuality is the only normal or natural sexual identity or expression. Heterosexual/Homosexual Binary The rebellion at Stonewall Inn (June 27, 1969) is considered by most as the catalyst for the queer movement
Police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay and drag bar in Greenwich Village, New York City
This often considered the first public moment when gays and lesbians were encouraged to identify distinctly rather than assimilate into hetero-normative culture. Relationship with Postmodernism The second wave of feminism (1960s and 70s) The work of feminism helped to dismantle gender norms.
Feminists did not want the right to be masculine, they questioned if the cultural and normative traits of masculinity were inherently masculine politics of language:
We learn what something is by defining what it is NOT.
We learn what "woman" or "man" is by defining what it is not. Binary
Deconstructing and dismantling grand narratives and final truths October 15, 1926 - June 25, 1984
French philosopher and social critic
Considered by many as one of the founding thinkers of queer theory
Best know for his work around issues of power, specifically how it controls knowledge and its influence in society.
Major works include: Madness and Civilization (1961)
The Archeology of Knowledge (1969)
Discipline and Punish (1975)
The History of Sexuality (vol. 1, 1976; vol. 2 & 3, 1984) July 15, 1930 - October 8, 2004
Born in French Algeria
Philosopher, literary critic
Most widely associated with Postmodernism. Influential for queer theory because of the way he conceives difference.
Of Grammatology, Writing and Difference & Speech and Phenomena (1967)
Specters of Marx (1993) Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack II Ways this Methodology Has Been Applied :
1)The textual Turn: Rereadings of Cultural Artifacts
4)Performing Gender and Ethnographic Performance
5)Exploring New/Queered Case Studies
6)The Reading of the Self Katie Hnida, University of Colorado placekicker Who is Jo Calderone? Lady Gaga Johnny Weir, figure skater Straight but not NARROW Before the rise of Christianity:
1CE Extremely repressive period in which all sexuality or nudity except for procreation in marriage and cross-dressing was condemned as sin. Much of this repression was to eradicate paganism and pre-Christian religions popular among rural and poor people. No conception of sexual orientation, no stigma
attached to same-sex sexuality. Sexuality and gender played a significant role in culture and worship practices. In Western Cultures Legal code of Orleans prescribed death penalty for same-sex acts. 1260: First English civil law to call for death penalty for same-sex acts between men
(Buggery Law). Prohibitions against same-sex acts were increasingly secularized
and codified in English law. Sodomy perceived as a crime against nature. Rise of Christianity: 1 CE - 700 CE 1533: In Eastern Cultures China and Japan: Sex between men tolerated into mid 1700’s. Emperors,
Buddhists, Samurai have younger male lovers. 1740 1600 CE - 1800 CE First law punishing male same-sex acts in China. A Medical Case for Study 1870-1930 Sodomy is re-termed "homosexuality" and became a medical (and later mental) condition that was studied. 1869 Karoly Benkert (Hungarian physician) coined the term "homosexuality" to describe same-sex acts 1890's The term "heterosexual" was first used toward people who engaged in sex with women and men. This term came to indicate sex with the other gender by the middle of this decade. 1933-1944 Thousands of gay men were killed in Nazi concentrations camps. They wore pink triangles as an identity marker. 1951 Mattachine Society founded by Henry Hay 1955 Daughters of Bilitis founded by Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon 1956 Dr. Evelyn Hooker published "The Adjustment of the Male Overt Homosexual" 1960 Surgeons began performing sex-reassignment surgery in the US 1969 Stonewall Rebellion 1977 Harvey Milk is elected 1988 First National Coming Out Day (October 11th)
Report on hate crimes 1993 Don't Ask, Don't Tell under President Clinton 2000 Civil Unions allowed in Vermont May 17, 2004 Same-sex couples begin to marry in Massachusetts 2012 President Obama takes public stand in support of Gay marriage Griffin, P., Hahn d'Errico, K., Harro, B. & Schiff, T. (2007). Heterosexism curriculum design and Appendix 9D: History timeline. In M. Adams, L.A. Bell & P. Griffin (Eds.), Teaching for diversity and social justice (2nd ed.). (195-218). New York: Routledge. Ambiguous Subject Unsustainable Analysis of Self Reiteration and Consolidation of Social Categories Queer Theory Discourse Sociology Social Categories Framework Racialized Sexualities Conventions Jargon Race Selves &
Identity Binaries mark bodies, select normal sexualities, and eliminate which is considered deviant
Naming, classification, and labeling are not unilateral
Categorization is unequal power
Attributes and particularities are devalued and then defined as deviant
QT acts in non-binary ways which challenges and complicates categories
QT exercises critical resistance against dominant discourses which position people into binaries. To be a body, explains Judith Butler, it is to be under the power of public dimension; as a “social phenomenon” in which a conception of oneself is impressed upon by others. Queer theory urges us to redefine sexuality and gender in political spheres. It subjects our categories to critical examination. Social politics set the gender norms, articulates knowledge, and determines what is normal and what is deviant
sexual identities become universalized through power relations