No Homo #7

Posted: November 13, 2010 in Uncategorized

I am pissed off with Queer Theory, finally. Really pissed off.

I think it is a white male middle-class, academic ghetto. Why would I trust what comes out of it any more than any other discipline that is a white male middle-class academic ghetto?

I am doing my best to read the Good Books and be a Good Student and I am not enjoying it.

Yes there is a history to be told. Yes some pioneers have told/are telling that history. But now it has become a history that excludes, that privileges (and I hate that word and use it very rarely) a narrow sector of society. White middle class male gay men.

Some queer theorists say they are critical of the ‘gay’ identity. the homogenous, white, male, gay. But in a way it suits them that it exists.Because it mirrors who they are.

All the references are white male middle class gay men: Deleuze, Whitman, Genet, barthes, Blah blah blah. They have canonised these men and now they represent what ‘queer theory’ is. With a cursory nod to Butler, who is really an honorary man.

Well fuck you.

I don’t have a ‘group’ that mirrors me and my experience. Feminism doesn’t reflect or represent me. Lesbian history doesn’t. Neither does transgender/queer/gay/bisexual. I don’t have a ‘history’ that I could convey in a list of people’s names that are like me. That is what being queer is for me. It is like being homeless. I don’t reify that. It’s nothing to write home about. But you homos have got a ‘home’. I just think you are all getting a bit too comfortable sat in it, on your armchairs, smoking your pipes. It is just another boys’ own club.

I am reading about lesbians in 1960s France. I am reading about black men in 1990s America. I am reading about Macedonian men in 1980s Europe. I am reading about sex workers in Odessa now. I am trying to do what Foucault taught me. Knowledge is for cutting.

He didn’t want to be ‘an academic’ or ‘a gay’. SO all those big gay academics who love Foucault so much and enjoy the power of owning knowledge. I don’t think you are remembering Foucault how he would have wanted to be remembered.

You have missed the point.

  1. redpesto says:

    I think I understand your issue with Queer Theory: the sense that it’s too exclusive (no straights, unless they’re women – cf Madonna; LG only, so the BT part of the movement can go hang; and so on). I don’t know if you want recommendations, but how about Marco Vassi (1960s sexual liberationist), Gayle Rubin (especially ‘Thinking Sex’) or Patrick Califia (FtM BDSM writer and activist)?

  2. thanks I know Patrick Califia and Ive heard of Gayle Rubin but not read her stuff! cheers.

    It is also to do with academic elites how they create a ‘canon’ of writers that are the acceptable ones to read/study. queer theory has its own canon.

  3. Knowledge cutting and your worst lay ever! Another fun visit to Quiet Riot.

  4. Papi50 says:

    Well, QRG. I don’t think it works to romanticize Foucault for not wanting to be an academic or gay. He was a posturing prick when he taught at Berkeley, and, like many academic males, seemed very much to enjoy “doing Foucault” for a former academic elite that had become pretty much a fan base.

    You’ve referenced in these pages the Dreyfuss/Rabinow book, where Foucault writes (this is from memory:) “I’m not where you’re looking for me. I’m over HERE! Laughing at you!” What bullshit! What masculinist, academic showboating. This is the same sort of move Harold Bloom or Stanley Fish make when they stop using footnotes and just cite Milton from memory. Or when an academic like Stephen Greenblatt tries to constellate himself alongside Lionel Trilling or H.L. Menken. Foucault was by no means free of this, and I don’t think we are, either. We all pose and we all seek to belong.

    I’m not sure Queer Theory qualifies one for membership in groups as much as it tries to look at groups and group behaviors with new eyes. I believe I’ve written you about bodybuilding, which may be queerest sport in the world. (After American football and Ultimate Fighting.) I think queer theorists — and there are plenty of women writing queer theory — can get a purchase on some of the elements of the sport that queer the mainstream sexual identities. (Can a woman take androgenics and still be a woman? If men touch each other and talk about how their bodies look, does that mean they’re gay? Do they have to beat each other up and go out and fuck women to proves they’re not?)

    I continue to love your blog.


  5. youre right P. I am finding Foucault to be a bit of a prick in my story don’t worry-he wont escape my scalpel!

    when I say queer theory I mean a certain strand of it that came from literary theory. I expect it is not so dominant in academia is it once was.

    The best queer theory is diverse, yes. I have had some bad experiences in academia so I probably react badly when I read some of the more poncy texts.

    Thanks for cutting a bit of my knowledge down! thats what I like!

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