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Feminism: Sex and gender discussions

Queer Theory anyone?

15 replies

suwoo · 07/04/2011 22:21

Seeing as I have just finished an amazing essay on Feminist literary theory, I will now have to specialise in another theory for my exam. I am interested in the other two theories (marxist and post colonial) but Queer theory excites me far more, particularly as I have observed overlaps with feminist literary theorists/critics and could shoehorn some of my existing knowledge in there.

Anyone consider it their specialist subject and want to share any pearls of wisdom with me? You were all fabulous on the feminist theory and it was so hard not to tell my peers how much I had learned from a parenting forum

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MillyR · 07/04/2011 22:36

I would have more time for it if it was called something other than queer theory. Queer was a term already used by a group of people as part of their identity, and now it has been co-opted to mean something else. That doesn't feel right to me.

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suwoo · 07/04/2011 22:43

I know what you mean. Apparently the word Queer was re-claimed by the gay community wasn't it. I felt quite uncomfortable hearing my lecturer repeatedly say the word 'queer'.

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MillyR · 07/04/2011 22:53

I don't mind the word queer being reclaimed. There is something positive about it, and it is very gender neutral. What I don't like about it is that (and I kind of blame queer theory for this), it is drifting from being a term that Lesbians, Gay men and bisexual people use to define themselves. People who are entirely heterosexual will now sometimes consider themselves to be queer due to some minor difference in their sexual behaviour.

I think this is a difficult issue because having a transgressive sexuality as a heterosexual person does not stop you benefitting from heterosexual privilege in wider society. So I think that the word queer should really refer to people who have a sexual and/or romantic interest in the same sex, and that another word should be used to include heterosexual people with a not entirely socially acceptable sexuality.

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sethstarkaddersmackerel · 08/04/2011 10:01

really want to discuss this Suwoo as I have just finished reading a queer theory reader but I am having laptop trouble; I will try to post next week if I get it back from laptop hospital by then.

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suwoo · 08/04/2011 15:38

That would be brilliant thanks, seth.

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suwoo · 10/04/2011 09:32

Anyone else? Dittany you know about this too don't you. Come and inspire me again.

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Prolesworth · 10/04/2011 12:54

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suwoo · 10/04/2011 19:28

Wonderful. Thank you. Its a seen exam and we get the paper on Tuesday, I may just bob in here with a brief synopsis of the question.

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Prolesworth · 11/04/2011 10:07

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dittany · 11/04/2011 11:55

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Prolesworth · 11/04/2011 13:06

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suwoo · 11/04/2011 15:57

I submitted my feminism essay today. I asked for opinions, I didn't get any direct help as such. No-one answered it for me, just pointed me in the right directions. I will be getting my two seen exam questions tmrw. I will do feminism & queer theory, now I know I can duplicate my essay theory. Yay!

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sethstarkaddersmackerel · 11/04/2011 21:16

hi Suwoo, I've dug out the book I read recently.
It was 'A Critical Introduction To Queer Theory' by Nikki Sullivan.



errrr, it talked about, performativity and S&M and stuff.
and wrongly accused Andrea Dworkin of being an essentialist.

I just wasn't convinced, in the end. Putting all these so-called 'transgressive' things into a box marked queer didn't seem to work because some kinds of transgressive things don't count as queer, so it seemed to be a pretty privileged sort of transgressiveness. And some of the things, like S&M or certain kinds of trans, seem to risk enforcing existing power dynamics (ie the patriarchy) rather than subverting anything; it didn't seem very rooted in lived reality. I mean it would be nice if we could all just choose to perform our gender identity of choice but most people don't really have that freedom as things stand, and I don't see how all this subverting (which often isn't as subversive as people would like to think) is actually going to give people that freedom.

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suwoo · 11/04/2011 21:26

Hmm veeeeery interesting. BUT the thing is, I have to write this essay/exam question from a queer theorists perspective so I kind of have to believe it IYSWIM. My friend on my course (an older, educated, feminist) considers queer theory to be flimsy. Let's prove otherwise.

I plan to see what queer treasures the library holds tomorrow.

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sethstarkaddersmackerel · 11/04/2011 21:35
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