more on expectations, and connections
1) In 4 to 5 typewritten, double spaced pages in font no smaller than this, write a paper that examines what the concept "queer" is understood to be by at least three of our speakers. Some of the questions you might examine are: How has each employed a specifically queer criticism to enlighten their topic? What element(s) of their lecture/topic have been advanced by a specifically queer critique? What does a queer critique allow the speaker/author to do that would not have been possible by other methods or approaches?
Finally, what is the goal of a queer critique as you understand it? In other words, how do you understand "queer"? Which of the speakers you have heard comes closest to articulating your vision of what a queer critique should be?
Um, this is only Introduction
to Queer Studies. Because of this class, i’m developing a summer reading list so i can learn more about queer theory and why it doesn’t work for me, but for now i don’t really know what it is. (And of course part of the problem is that part of the essence of “queer” is defying categorization.) (This
is also interesting.)
Layna’s friends Becky and Kim are visiting this weekend. I hung out with them for a while yesterday. Becky was talking about life after Smith and mentioned something I have already noticed since I go home frequently. At Smith, she was considered very much center, but in the mainstream, without having actually changed her politics at all, she’s seen as very left. She audited the 2-credit version of Queer Studies, and felt like she totally didn’t belong there, like if she ever actually said what she really though about anything, she’d be lynched. (“But we are
just like everybody else.”) I totally understood, and i’m in the 4-credit version, which includes a discussion section, so it’s worse. Generally i don’t say anything because everyone in the class knows so much more than i do and i’m totally out of my league, but also because i’m so not “queer.” I embraced Lauren Martin’s definition of it, because it really fit my sexual identity, but the more i learn about the politics, the less they fit for me.
A friend of a friend wrote a great post
on how things are referred to as being just a phase as if that were a bad thing, as if that makes them less valid. Just because something may change later doesn’t make it any less valid for now.James is Catholic. Unbeknownst to him, forty years from now, he will marry a Jewish woman and convert. Therefore, he's not truly Catholic.
That’s one reason why i embraced Lauren Martin’s definition of “queer,” because it allows for fluidity and change. None of the categories work for me right now, anyway. Let’s see, mostly asexual, recent crushes have been on males, totally into slash fanfic... yeah, “queer” works quite well.
A friend of mine is totally fulfilling the stereotype of gay men having “like 800 boyfriends a year” (his words). This bothers me, but at the same time there’s something to be said for Nicole’s method of just enjoying dating instead of getting all intense and forever-y. Partly i’m just amused that in New Hampshire he can find a bajillion boyfriends and here at Smith i haven’t found any women i want to date. I said i’m all high standard-y, like i don’t wanna date someone i couldn’t see myself marrying down the road, and he made a joke about most lesbian relationships being based on renting a U-Haul. It took me a few minutes to get it because i’m at Smith where Nicole jokes that “monogamy” (and “heterosexual”) doesn’t exist. I think that’s what bothered me most about the conversation. Different attitudes toward dating, fine, but this blatant buying into stereotypes, especially from someone who’s otherwise very cool and activist and race/sex/class aware.Buffy:
I mean, look at me obsessing about being with someone. It's like... I don't need a guy right now. I need me. I need to get comfortable being alone with Buffy.Xander:
Well, I'll say this, she's a pretty cool person to be alone with.
-from “I Was Made to Love You” (BtVS
Not really related, my dad e-mailed this
to me with the subject line “Silly, but entertaining.” And it is quite entertaining. I particularly like the bits on Baked Alaska and on food that “passes.”
Sheesh, this could have been titled “the queer post” or something. I hadn’t actually meant for everything to connect quite so much. I’ll have to rant about something else next time.