QUEERNESS AFF/NEG
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No Plan Version
Increasingly technological surveillance practices in the status quo
force queer bodies to the margins – data analysis founded upon
pattern and predictability reinforces exclusion of nontraditional
gender identities.
Conrad 9 Surveillance, Gender, and the Virtual Body in the Information Age, Kathryn
Conrad Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of
English at the University of Kansas. Surveillance & Society 6(4) p 381-385
Tied closely to the surveillance and regulation of sexual behaviour and identity—tied in part
because of the ways gender identity and sexual object choice are linked in the West—is the
surveillance and regulation of gender. The genderqueer body—the intersexed, the
hermaphroditic, the transgender(ed), the transexual, and even the 'effeminate male' or the
'masculine' female—is one that does not conform to the accepted biological binary of 'man' and
'woman' and/or its attendant 'masculine' and 'feminine' behaviours and physical markers.11 The
history of lesbian and gay activism is closely tied to that of genderqueer activism (perhaps first and most obviously with the
Stonewall Riots in New York in 1969, which saw the birth both of contemporary gay rights activism and transgender activism), and
activism to challenge the gender system is one strategy for confronting a system into which genderqueers have not fit. But even
those who are 'out' about their genderqueer status must often 'pass' as one of two genders in
order to survive—quite literally—in a two-gendered world. According to the group Gender
Education and Advocacy, the between 1970 and 2004, 321 murders of trans people have been
tallied; and 'more than one new anti-transgender murder has been reported in the media every
month since 1989' (GEA 2004a, c2004b). Although gathering reliable statistics for the number of people killed because they
were genderqueer is impossible, these statistics along with more publicised cases, such as that of the murder of Brandon Teena in
1993, suggest that being readably genderqueer, at least in the West, still comes with significant risk. Information technologies, as I
have suggested above, have given some gender and queer theorists people hope for liberation from the sometimes oppressive
gendered discourses that accompany biological embodiment. But surveillance, whether driven by criminology or marketing, has, as I
have suggested above, been the engine for the very informatisation of the body in which these feminist and queer theorists have
placed their hope. Further, surveillance, particularly the surveillance tied to prediction, is not only a
use to which information technologies have been put; it is also the inspiration for many of the
new developments in information systems technology. And the patterns that those information
systems create, collect, and circulate are, in turn, intricately and inextricably bound up with
surveillance technologies. This, I would suggest, should lead gender and queer theorists away from
information technologies as a tool for the transformation of the human subject. The predictive
models that are at the centre of current surveillance technologies have been created with the
goal of prediction and therefore control of the future, but they must rely on the past to do so.
The past provides the patterns from which the models take their shape. Given this, predictive models, and
the surveillance systems that feed them, are inherently conservative. By this I do not mean to suggest that they are particularly
politically conservative; indeed, many political conservatives are just as invested in the ideology of privacy that surveillance
constantly transgresses. Rather, predictive models fed by surveillance data necessarily reproduce past
patterns. They cannot take into effective consideration randomness, 'noise', mutation, parody, or
disruption unless those effects coalesce into another pattern. This inability to accommodate
randomness may simply suggest that predictive models are ineffective. But they are not
ineffective; like other surveillance techniques discussed above, they are normative. The
potentially normative effect of predictive surveillance might be clearest, and of most concern, in the
case of the transsexual body who has transitioned from one gender to another. The virtual body created by
data, in the case of a transsexual person, appears contradictory, confusing; the data history for a
trans person comprises two bodies (male and female) rather than one genderqueer body. A hopeful
reading, inspired perhaps by an optimistic (and selective) reading of Butler, would be that this contradictory data would have the
effect of destabilising the gender system. But rather than abandoning the gender system that the transsexual
/ genderqueer body clearly transgresses, predictive surveillance technology, relying on past data
as it does, can only reinforce it. The material body would thus be pressured to conform or be
excluded from the system. Further, Lyon's concerns about 'leaky containers' of data are heightened when one's data
history does not fit into accepted norms. The Director of the National Center for Transgender Equity in the United States, Mara
Keisling, has discussed the potential impact of surveillance technologies on transgendered persons, expressing the fear that, for
instance, radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags embedded in identification cards—an option initially considered in the United
States REAL ID Act of 2005—would allow for the private gender data of a genderqueer person to be read from afar by those with
RFID readers (Keisling 2007; NCTEquality 2008). As suggested above, the risks attending the exposure of personal data for a
genderqueer person can be profound. Just as importantly, however, dataveillance that is tied to predictive
strategies further embeds the very norms those bodies challenge. At the level of the everyday, such
technologies put subjects' ability to control their own self-presentation—and their own decisions
to accept, challenge, or 'pass' within the system—even further out of their hands.
This influx of surveillance begs the question of what a body is and
defines the acceptable body in relation to its comprehensibility –
normative gender standards determine the ‘aliveness’ of a subject.
Puar 09 [Jasbir Puar, professor of women's and gender studies at Rutgers University,
Women and Performance: a journal of feminist theory, Vol. 19, No. 2, July 2009,
http://planetarities.web.unc.edu/files/2015/01/puar-prognosis-time.pdf]//JIH
These are of course older historical questions about the changing contours of what counts as a
living body, reanimated by emergent technologies. Surveillance technologies and related
bioinformatic economies – DNA encoding and species preservation, stem-cell research,
digitization, biometrics, life logging devices, regenerative medical sciences, whose role includes
increasing the contact zones and points of interface between bodies, and their subindividual
capacities (not to mention related technologies developed to manage the constant amassing of
information) – renew all sorts of questions about bodies and their materialities. What is a body
in informational terms? Where does a body – and its aliveness – begin and where does it end? If
we view information itself as a form of life (or life itself as a compendium of information) we might be led to
ask: What is a life? When does it begin and end? And, who owns it? What defines living? In turn, what counts as a death – as
dying?6 Why, as Donna Haraway once asked, should a body end at the skin? (1991). Kaushik Sunder Rajan favors the
formulation ‘‘biocapital’’: neoliberal circuits of political economy which he argues are generating
incipient forms of materiality as well as changing the grammar of ‘‘life itself.’’ New forms of
currency – biological material and information – simultaneously produce the materialization of
information on the one hand, and a decoupling from its material biological source on the other.
As such, we have a constitutive contradiction informing this dialectic between bodily material and
information: ‘‘information is detached from its biological material originator to the extent that it
does have a separate social life, but the ‘knowledge’ provided by the information is constantly
relating back to the material biological sample . . . It is knowledge that is always relating back to
the biological material that is the source ofthe information; but it is also knowledge that can only
be obtained, in the first place, through extracting information from the biological material’’
(Sunder Rajan 2006, 42). If the value of a body is increasingly sought not only in its capacity to labor
but in the information that it yields – and if there is no such thing as excess, or excess info, if all
information is eventually used or is at least seen as having imminent utility – we might ask
whether this is truly a revaluing of otherwise worthless bodies left for dying. If statistical outliers as well
as species can live through DNA, what does it mean to be debilitated or extinct? Are all bodies really available for rehabilitation?
This violent social system determines the meaning individuals assign
to themselves – antiqueerness functions as a system of selfsurveillance and leads to the suppression of the queer soul.
Yep et al., 2003 [Lovaas, and Elia, Professors @ San Francisco University, Gust, Karen, and
John, Journal of Homosexual Studies, Vol. 45, No. 2/3/4,, pp. 21-22]//JCE
These are the internal injuries that individuals inflict upon themselves. Very early in life children
learn from interpersonal contacts and mediated messages that deviations from the heteronormative standard,
such as homosexuality, are anxiety-ridden, guilt-producing, fear-inducing, shame-invoking,
hate-deserving, psychologically blemishing, and physically threatening. Internalized
homophobia, in the form of self-hatred and self-destructive thoughts and behavioral patterns,
becomes firmly implanted in the lives and psyches of individuals in heteronormative society.
Exemplifying the feelings and experiences of many people who do not fit in the heteronormative mandate, Kevin Jennings (1994)
tells us his personal story: I was born in 1963. . .[I] realized in grade school that I was gay. I felt absolutely alone. I had no one to talk
to, didn’t know any openly gay people, and saw few representations of gays in the media of the 1970s. I imagined gay people were a
tiny, tiny minority, who had been and would always be despised for their “perversion.” Not once in high school did I ever learn a
single thing about homosexuality or gay people. I couldn’t imagine a happy life as a gay man. So I withdrew from my peers and used
alcohol and drugs to try to dull the pain of my isolation. Eventually, at age seventeen I tried to kill myself, like one out of every three
gay teens. I saw nothing in my past, my present, or (it seemed) my future suggesting that things would ever get any better. (pp. 1314) Heteronormativity is so powerful that its regulation and enforcement are carried out by the
individuals themselves through socially endorsed and culturally accepted forms of soul murder.
Soul murder is a term that I borrow from the child abuse and neglect literature to highlight the
torment of heteronormativity (Yep, 2002). Shengold (1999) defines soul murder as the “apparently
willful abuse and neglect of children by adults that are of sufficient intensity and frequency to be
traumatic . . . [so that] the children’s subsequent emotional development has been profoundly
and predominantly negatively affected” (p. 1). Further explaining this concept, Shengold (1989) writes, “soul
murder is neither a diagnosis nor a condition. It is a dramatic term for circumstances that
eventuate in crime–the deliberate attempt to eradicate or compromise the separate identity of
another person” (p. 2, my emphasis). Isn’t the incessant policing and enforcement, either deliberately or unconsciously, by self
and others, of the heteronormative mandate a widespread form of soul murder?
The queer body is constantly forced into life as overkill – this is the
naturalization of antiqueerness that perpetuates violence that
renders queerness inherently dead.
Stanley 2011 [Eric, “Near Life, Queer Death Overkill and Ontological Capture,” Social Text
107 s Vol. 29, No. 2 s Summer 2011]
Overkill is a term used to indicate such excessive violence that it pushes a body beyond
death . Overkill is often determined by the postmortem removal of body parts, as with the
partial decapitation in the case of Lauryn Paige and the dissection of Rashawn Brazell. The
temporality of violence, the biological time when the heart stops pushing and pulling blood, yet
the killing is not finished, suggests the aim is not simply the end of a specific life, but the
ending of all queer life . This is the time of queer death , when the utility of violence
gives way to the pleasure in the other’s mortality . If queers, along with others, approximate
nothing, then the task of ending, of killing, that which is nothing must go beyond normative
times of life and death. In other words, if Lauryn was dead after the first few stab wounds to the
throat, then what do the remaining fifty wounds signify? The legal theory that is offered
to nullify the practice of overkill often functions under the name of the trans- or gay- panic
defense. Both of these defense strategies argue that the murderer became so enraged after the
“discovery” of either genitalia or someone’s sexuality they were forced to protect themselves
from the threat of queerness. Estanislao Martinez of Fresno, California, used the trans- panic defense and received a fouryear prison sentence after admittedly stabbing J. Robles, a Latina transwoman, at least twenty times with a pair of scissors.
Importantly, this defense is often used, as in the cases of Robles and Paige, after the murderer has engaged
in
some kind of sex with the victim. The logic of the trans- panic defense as an explanation for
overkill, in its gory semiotics, offers us a way of understanding queers as the nothing of Mbembe’s
query. Overkill names the technologies necessary to do away with that which is already gone.
Queers then are the specters of life whose threat is so unimaginable that one is “forced,” not
simply to murder, but to push them backward out of time, out of History, and into
that which comes before .27 In thinking the overkill of Paige and Brazell, I return to Mbembe’s query, “But
what does it mean to do violence to what is nothing?” 28 This question in its elegant
brutality repeats with each case I offer. By resituating this question in the positive, the “something”
that is more often than not translated as the human is made to appear. Of interest here, the category
of the human assumes generality, yet can only be activated through the specificity of historical
and politically located intersections. To this end, the human, the “something” of this query, within the context
of the liberal democracy, names rights- bearing subjects, or those who can stand as subjects before the
law. The human, then, makes the nothing not only possible but necessary. Following this
logic, the work of death, of the death that is already nothing, not quite human, binds the
categorical (mis)recognition of humanity. The human, then, resides in the space of life and under
the domain of rights, whereas the queer inhabits the place of compromised personhood
and the zone of death . As perpetual and axiomatic threat to the human, the queer is the negated
double of the subject of liberal democracy . Understanding the nothing as the
unavoidable shadow of the human serves to counter the arguments that suggest overkill and
antiqueer violence at large are a pathological break and that the severe nature of these killings
signals something extreme. In contrast, overkill is precisely not outside of, but is that which constitutes
liberal democracy as such. Overkill then is the proper expression to the riddle of the queer
nothingness. Put another way, the spectacular material- semiotics of overkill should not be read as
(only) individual pathology; these vicious acts must indict the very social worlds of which they
are ambassadors. Overkill is what it means, what it must mean , to do violence to what is
nothing.
And, government decrease of surveillance can never be a neutral
action regarding queer bodies – the construction of intimacy becomes
instrumentalized in the calculus of biopolitics.
Puar 14 [Jasbir Puar, professor of women's and gender studies at Rutgers University, “Jasbir
Puar: Regimes of Surveillance,” Cosmologics, Dec 4, 2014,
http://cosmologicsmagazine.com/jasbir-puar-regimes-of-surveillance/]//JIH
Jasbir Puar: Much of the work in Terrorist Assemblages mapped out the dissolution of
public/private divides that have in the past animated feminist scholarship regarding the state
and state intrusion into the “private.” This private, as women of color and transnational feminists have pointed
out, has never quite existed given the level of state bureaucratic and administrative presence in
the households of immigrants and people of color. One interest of mine is connecting the
securitization upsurge that occurred after 9/11 with the formation of Homeland Security to both
earlier and more recent discourses of security that revolve around the “home,” and in particular
the home as something private, national, and safe. So before the War on Terror we had the War on Drugs: this
rationalized policing in the name of safe homes, in Black communities in particular. The War on Drugs no doubt provided a
domestic blueprint for the foreign deployment enacted after September 11th. This is one connective point to 9/11.
Another connective tissue to 9/11 is the financial crisis of 2008, which was not a break from the securitization of the home and
homeland, but a manifestation of one of its tactical failures, that of securing the home economically. I think 2008 marks the
end of the “post 9/11″ moment and re-complicates the “Muslim terrorist” as the predominate
target of surveillance technologies and discourses. Surveillance happens—obliquely, but it happens—
through the instrument of the sub-prime mortgage, whereby once again the security and safety
of the home is determined through the surveillance of those subjects deemed financially suspect.
In this case, predominantly Black and Latino populations were subject to foreclosures. Surveillance and securitization
economies work through a sort of monetization of ontology—certain bodies are intrinsically
risky investments via a circular logic of precarity whereby these bodies are set up as unable to
take on risk in the very system that produces them as risky.
This kind of connective analysis links various kinds of figures that emerge as targets of explicit surveillance—in the case of 9/11, a
religious figure, the fundamentalist terrorist—to the on-going systems of surveillance that bubble underneath. One analysis that
I offer in Terrorist Assemblages is
the irony of the decriminalization of sodomy in the Lawrence decision
of 2004, a ruling that pivoted around the privatization of anal (and thus homosexual) sex within the
sanctity of the privately-owned home. This was at a time when Homeland Security was requiring
registration of men from Muslim countries, infiltrating mosques, enacting home deportations—
just generally disrupting and halting the construction of any kind of private home. One
interpretation, then, of who exactly the Lawrence decision protects is: not so much the lesbian or
gay or homosexual or queer subject, but rather one whose private home has no reason to be
suspected and is not suspicious. The construction of “intimacy,” as it is anchored in the private,
becomes instrumentalized within the calculus of biopolitics, a measure of one’s worth to the
state.
Thus, vote aff to deconstruct the necropolitical oppression of queer
bodies.
Embracing the idea that bodies are undefined intensities provides
possibility for a new realm of the body-as-information in which
identity is determined through encounter rather than rigid sets of
data.
Puar 09 [Jasbir Puar, professor of women's and gender studies at Rutgers University,
Women and Performance: a journal of feminist theory, Vol. 19, No. 2, July 2009,
http://planetarities.web.unc.edu/files/2015/01/puar-prognosis-time.pdf]//JIH
Out of the numerous possibilities that ‘‘assemblage theory’’ offers, much of it has already begun
to transform queer theory, from Elizabeth Grosz’s crucial re-reading of the relations between bodies and
prosthetics (which complicates not only the contours of bodies in relation to forms of bodily
discharge, but also complicates the relationships to objects, such as cell phones, cars,
wheelchairs, and the distinctions between them as capacity-enabling devices) (1994), to Donna
Haraway’s cyborgs (1991), to Deleuze and Guattari’s ‘‘BwO’’ (Bodies without Organs – organs, loosely defined,
rearranged against the presumed natural ordering of bodily capacity) (1987). I want to close by
foregrounding the analytic power of conviviality that may further complicate how subjects are
positioned, underscoring instead more fluid relations between capacity and debility.
Conviviality, unlike notions of resistance, oppositionality, subversion or transgression (facets of
queer exceptionalism that unwittingly dovetail with modern narratives of progress in
modernity), foregrounds categories such as race, gender, and sexuality as events – as encounters
– rather than as entities or attributes of the subject. Surrendering certain notions of revolution,
identity politics, and social change – the ‘‘big utopian picture’’ that Massumi complicates in the opening
epigraph of this essay – conviviality instead always entails an ‘‘experimental step.’’ Why the
destabilization of the subject of identity and a turn to affect matters is because affect – as a
bodily matter – makes identity politics both possible and yet impossible. In its conventional usage,
conviviality means relating to, occupied with, or fond of feasting, drinking, and good company –
to be merry, festive, together at a table, with companions and guests, and hence, to live with. As
an attribute and function of assembling, however, conviviality does not lead to a politics of the universal or
inclusive common, nor an ethics of individuatedness, rather the futurity enabled through the
open materiality of bodies as a Place to Meet. We could usefully invoke Donna Haraway’s notion of
‘‘encounter value’’ here, a ‘‘becoming with’’ companionate (and I would also add, incompanionate) species,
whereby actors are the products of relating, not pre-formed before the encounter (2008, 16).
Conviviality is an ethical orientation that rewrites a Levinasian taking up of the ontology of the
Other by arguing that there is no absolute self or other,15 rather bodies that come together and
dissipate through intensifications and vulnerabilities, insistently rendering bare the instability
of the divisions between capacity-endowed and debility-laden bodies. These encounters are
rarely comfortable mergers but rather entail forms of eventness that could potentially unravel
oneself but just as quickly be recuperated through a restabilized self, so that the political
transformation is invited, as Arun Saldhana writes, through ‘‘letting yourself be destabilized by the
radical alterity of the other, in seeing his or her difference not as a threat but as a resource to question your own position in
the world’’ (2007, 118). Conviviality is thus open to its own dissolution and self-annihilation and less
interested in a mandate to reproduce its terms of creation or sustenance, recognizing that
political critique must be open to the possibility that it might disrupt and alter the conditions of
its own emergence such that it is no longer needed – an openness to something other than what we might have
hoped for. This is my alternative approach to Lee Edelman’s No Future, then, one that is not driven by
rejecting the figure of the child as the overdetermined outcome of ‘‘reproductive futurism’’
(2004),16 but rather complicates the very terms of the regeneration of queer critique itself . Thus the
challenge before us is how to craft convivial political praxis that does not demand a continual
reinvestment in its form and content, its genesis or its outcome, the literalism of its object nor the direction of its drive.
The affirmative's method of convivial assemblage rather than search
for legal inclusion is key to envision a framework independent of rigid
racialized and gendered categories of personhood.
Weheliye 14. Alexander G. Weheliye, professor of African American studies at Northwestern
University, Habeas Viscus, pg. 82
We are in dire need of alternatives to the legal conception of personhood that dominates our
world, and, in addition, to not lose sight of what remains outside the law, what the law cannot
capture, what it cannot magically transform into the fantastic form of property ownership.
Writing about the connections between transgender politics and other forms of identity- based
activism that respond to structural inequalities, legal scholar Dean Spade shows how the focus
on inclusion, recognition, and equality based on a narrow legal framework (especially as it
pertains to antidiscrimination and hate crime laws) not only hinders the eradication of violence
against trans people and other vulnerable populations but actually creates the condition of
possibility for the continued unequal “distribution of life chances.”22 If demanding recognition
and inclusion remains at the center of minority politics, it will lead only to a delimited notion of
personhood as property that zeroes in comparatively on only one form of subjugation at the
expense of others, thus allowing for the continued existence of hierarchical differences between
full humans, not-quite-humans, and nonhumans. This can be gleaned from the “successes” of
the mainstream feminist, civil rights, and lesbian-gay rights movements, which facilitate the
incorporation of a privileged minority into the ethnoclass of Man at the cost of the still and/or
newly criminalized and disposable populations (women of color, the black poor, trans people,
the incarcerated, etc.).23 To make claims for inclusion and humanity via the U.S. juridical
assemblage removes from view that the law itself has been thoroughly violent in its endorsement
of racial slavery, indigenous genocide, Jim Crow, the prison-industrial complex, domestic and
international warfare, and so on, and that it continues to be one of the chief instruments in
creating and maintaining the racializing assemblages in the world of Man. Instead of appealing
to legal recognition, Julia Oparah suggests counteracting the “racialized (trans)gender entrapment” within the prisonindustrial complex and beyond with practices of “maroon abolition” (in reference to the long history of escaped slave contraband
settlements in the Americas) to “foreground the ways in which often overlooked African diasporic cultural and political legacies
inform and undergird anti- prison work,” while also providing strategies and life worlds not exclusively centered on reforming the
law.24 Relatedly, Spade calls for a radical politics articulated from the “‘impossible’ worldview of
trans political existence,” which redefines “the insistence of government agencies, social service
providers, media, and many nontrans activists and nonprofiteers that the existence of trans
people is impossible.”25 A relational maroon abolitionism beholden to the practices of black
radicalism and that arises from the incompatibility of black trans existence with the world of Man
serves as one example of how putatively abject modes of being need not be redeployed within
hegemonic frameworks but can be operationalized as variable liminal territories or articulated
assemblages in movements to abolish the grounds upon which all forms of subjugation are
administered.
A fluid understanding of identity is necessary in order to avoid sexual
othering and exceptionalization.
Perry 14 [Brock Perry, Graduate Division of Religion, Drew University, “Towards an
ontogenesis of queerness and divinity: Queer political theology and Terrorist Assemblages,” May
30, 2014]//JIH
The historical shift in modernity and modern state formation to which the concept of
homonationalism attends is marked by biopolitical control of national and transnational bodies
in which those determined unworthy of homonational citizenship are relegated to racialised and
perversely sexualised populations. Homonationalism is dependent upon this ‘sexual othering’
for the moral, sexual and cultural exceptionalisation of rights-bearing homosexual citizens over against
‘Orientalist constructions of “Muslim sexuality”’ as inherently homophobic, irrationally religious and sexually perverse (Puar 2007,
4). The biopolitical population management that Puar describes is based not only on particular
identities taken as a whole, but also on cross-sections of information ablated from bodies and
represented statistically. As statistics, race and sex are experienced as a series of transactional information flows captured
or happened upon at chance moments that perceive and render bodies transparent or opaque, secure or insecure, risky or at risk,
risk-enabled or risk-disabled, the living or the living dead. (160)
Thus, biopolitical control is made diffuse between populations as identities are dissected into
fragments of information that never fully add up to the representational subject, but are neither
unrelated to it. Puar argues that state practices of surveillance and detention make use of those
fragments of information that are multiplicitously and variably manifested between and within
identities in a way that identity politics and intersectional analyses, which take the
representational subject for granted, have been unable to adequately counter (162, 206). She concludes
that identity politics, both a symptom of and a response to these networks of control, capitulates
once again to chasing the space of retribution for the subject. Control masks itself, or masks its
effects, within the endless drive to recoup the resistant subject. (162)
Puar densely articulates the relation of identity and representation to biopolitics and elucidates the failure of identity politics to
grasp its production by the very systems of power it seeks to resist. An ontologically static and unchanging
understanding of identity lends itself to biopolitical control by confirming the stability of the
information used to determine those included in life and those relegated to a racialised and
perversely sexualised population. Identity politics leaves bodies in these populations always in
need of reclaiming subjecthood along the lines of identity that made the subject separable under
biopolitical control in the first place. Before turning with Puar to affect theory in order to think both with and beyond
identity politics, I want to first turn to issues of political theology and the secular that I contend are related to the issues of modern
state formation being discussed here, and which will be necessary for critical responses to the issues of homonationalism, biopolitics
and identity that Puar describes.
Impact calculus should begin from the perspective of queer
necropolitics – predictive scenario planning disavows zones of
abandonment that perpetuate mundane forms of violence on queer
bodies.
Haritaworn et al. 14. Jin Haritaworn, professor of sociology at the University of York,
Adi Kuntsman, professor of humanities, research, and social sciences at Manchester
Metropolitan University, and Sylvia Posocco, professor of psychological studies at the University
of London, Birbeck, Queer Necropolitics, Routledge, 2014, pg. 1
Most prominently, Jasbir Puar (2007), tracing the shift from AIDS to gay marriage, identifies a recent
turn in how queer subjects are figured , from those who are left to die , to those that
reproduce life . Yet, not all sexually or gender non­ conforming bodies are ‘fostered for living’; just as only some queer
deaths are constituted as grievable (Butler 2004),1 while others are targeted for killing or left to die.
This book comes at a time of growing interest in the necropolitical as a tool to make sense of the symbiotic co-presence of life and
death, manifested ever more clearly in the cleavages between rich and poor, citizens and non-citizens (and those who can be stripped
of citizenship); the culturally, morally, economically valuable and the pathological; queer subjects invited into life and queerly
abjected populations marked for death. Our discussions are inspired by Achille Mbembe’s concept of
‘ necropolitics’ — a
concept he develops when analysing the centrality of death in
subalternity , race , war and terror
‘ queer
(Mbembe 2003) - and by Puar’s (2007) insightful elaboration of
necropolitics’ , which attempts to make sense of the expansion of liberal gay
politics and its complicity within the US ‘war on terror’ , while calling our attention
specifically to the ‘differences between queer subjects who are being folded (back) into life and
the racialized queernesses that emerge through the naming of populations’ , often those
marked for death (p. 36).
Our collection assembles various ways of queering the necropolitical and of interrogating claims to queerness in the face(s) of death,
both spectacular and banal.
Thinking through necropolitics on the terrain of queer critique
brings into view everyday death worlds , from the perhaps more expected sites of death
making (such as war, torture or imperial invasion) to the ordinary and completely normalized
violence of the market. As many of the contributors to this volume point out, the distinction between war
and peace dissolves in the face of the banality of death in the ‘zones of abandonment’
(Biehl 2001; Povinelli 2011) that regularly accompany contemporary democratic regimes. These are not merely about
exclusion; more insidiously perhaps they create their own forms of deadly inclusion .
The insistence on the unremarkable , the ordinary and the mundane is of particular
importance . In contrast to other works in the field that deal with death in relation to queerness and beyond - such as the
AIDS epidemic or the Holocaust - contributors in this book focus less on grand moments or processes of commemoration and more
on the everyday and the ordinary. In that respect, our orientation (Ahmed 2006) is not so much towards a past
that is remembered and celebrated. In the place of the finished past, we turn to the present and future(s),
including those haunted futures (Ferreday and Kuntsman 2011; Gordon 2011) where queer vitalities
become cannibalistic on the disposing and abandonment of others. Indeed, we argue that the
queer nostalgia for other times, coupled with a victim subjectivity that refuses
accountability for current privileges and injustices , may itself work to naturalize and
accelerate death-making logics in the present (Haritaworn, 2013). Furthermore, in considering the rise of
homonormative and transnormative identities as contingent on settler colonialism, anti-blackness and permanent war - which
provide the conditions of queer ascendancies — we refuse a view of the past as finished and the present as democratic and postgenocidal (e.g. Morgensen 2010; Smith 2007; see also Bassichis and Spade, Chapter 9 in this book).
Using ‘queer necropolitics’ as a theoretical entry point and as a concept- metaphor, our
book explores the processes , conditions and histories that underpin and sustain a
range of ‘ unequal regimes of living and dying’
(Luibheid 2008: 190), consolidating and extending the
existing analytical vocabulary for understanding queer politics and experiences. In putting
the concept of ‘queer
necropolitics’ at the centre of our discussion, the book is in dialogue with the emerging scholarship
focussing on the analysis of the necropolitical (see, for example, Inda 2005; Osuri 2006). We extend this
body of scholarship by turning our attention to specifically queer aspects: deadly underpinnings
of militarized queer intimacies, nationalized practices of queer mourning, assimilationist logics
of feminist, gay and transgender rights and criminalizing policies in the name of sexual safety
and queer space. Contributors explore the relations between queerness and war, immigration, colonization, imprisonment and
other forms of population control in various cultural and political settings. Among the many topics addressed in the chapters of this
book are racism in the name of ‘LGBT rights’; queer colonialities; trans migrations; vitality and necropolitics in the new world order;
the ontology and phenomenology of sexual and gender violence; the racialization of ‘LGBT’, queer and transgender politics in the
‘wars on terror’; and regimes of remembering and oblivion of queer and non-queer lives and deaths.
Plan Text Version
Increasingly technological surveillance practices in the status quo
force queer bodies to the margins – data analysis founded upon
pattern and predictability reinforces exclusion of nontraditional
gender identities.
Conrad 9 Surveillance, Gender, and the Virtual Body in the Information Age, Kathryn
Conrad Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of
English at the University of Kansas. Surveillance & Society 6(4) p 381-385
Tied closely to the surveillance and regulation of sexual behaviour and identity—tied in part
because of the ways gender identity and sexual object choice are linked in the West—is the
surveillance and regulation of gender. The genderqueer body—the intersexed, the
hermaphroditic, the transgender(ed), the transexual, and even the 'effeminate male' or the
'masculine' female—is one that does not conform to the accepted biological binary of 'man' and
'woman' and/or its attendant 'masculine' and 'feminine' behaviours and physical markers.11 The
history of lesbian and gay activism is closely tied to that of genderqueer activism (perhaps first and most obviously with the
Stonewall Riots in New York in 1969, which saw the birth both of contemporary gay rights activism and transgender activism), and
activism to challenge the gender system is one strategy for confronting a system into which genderqueers have not fit. But even
those who are 'out' about their genderqueer status must often 'pass' as one of two genders in
order to survive—quite literally—in a two-gendered world. According to the group Gender
Education and Advocacy, the between 1970 and 2004, 321 murders of trans people have been
tallied; and 'more than one new anti-transgender murder has been reported in the media every
month since 1989' (GEA 2004a, c2004b). Although gathering reliable statistics for the number of people killed because they
were genderqueer is impossible, these statistics along with more publicised cases, such as that of the murder of Brandon Teena in
1993, suggest that being readably genderqueer, at least in the West, still comes with significant risk. Information technologies, as I
have suggested above, have given some gender and queer theorists people hope for liberation from the sometimes oppressive
gendered discourses that accompany biological embodiment. But surveillance, whether driven by criminology or marketing, has, as I
have suggested above, been the engine for the very informatisation of the body in which these feminist and queer theorists have
placed their hope. Further, surveillance, particularly the surveillance tied to prediction, is not only a
use to which information technologies have been put; it is also the inspiration for many of the
new developments in information systems technology. And the patterns that those information
systems create, collect, and circulate are, in turn, intricately and inextricably bound up with
surveillance technologies. This, I would suggest, should lead gender and queer theorists away from
information technologies as a tool for the transformation of the human subject. The predictive
models that are at the centre of current surveillance technologies have been created with the
goal of prediction and therefore control of the future, but they must rely on the past to do so.
The past provides the patterns from which the models take their shape. Given this, predictive models, and
the surveillance systems that feed them, are inherently conservative. By this I do not mean to suggest that they are particularly
politically conservative; indeed, many political conservatives are just as invested in the ideology of privacy that surveillance
constantly transgresses. Rather, predictive models fed by surveillance data necessarily reproduce past
patterns. They cannot take into effective consideration randomness, 'noise', mutation, parody, or
disruption unless those effects coalesce into another pattern. This inability to accommodate
randomness may simply suggest that predictive models are ineffective. But they are not
ineffective; like other surveillance techniques discussed above, they are normative. The
potentially normative effect of predictive surveillance might be clearest, and of most concern, in the
case of the transsexual body who has transitioned from one gender to another. The virtual body created by
data, in the case of a transsexual person, appears contradictory, confusing; the data history for a
trans person comprises two bodies (male and female) rather than one genderqueer body. A hopeful
reading, inspired perhaps by an optimistic (and selective) reading of Butler, would be that this contradictory data would have the
effect of destabilising the gender system. But rather than abandoning the gender system that the transsexual
/ genderqueer body clearly transgresses, predictive surveillance technology, relying on past data
as it does, can only reinforce it. The material body would thus be pressured to conform or be
excluded from the system. Further, Lyon's concerns about 'leaky containers' of data are heightened when one's data
history does not fit into accepted norms. The Director of the National Center for Transgender Equity in the United States, Mara
Keisling, has discussed the potential impact of surveillance technologies on transgendered persons, expressing the fear that, for
instance, radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags embedded in identification cards—an option initially considered in the United
States REAL ID Act of 2005—would allow for the private gender data of a genderqueer person to be read from afar by those with
RFID readers (Keisling 2007; NCTEquality 2008). As suggested above, the risks attending the exposure of personal data for a
genderqueer person can be profound. Just as importantly, however, dataveillance that is tied to predictive
strategies further embeds the very norms those bodies challenge. At the level of the everyday, such
technologies put subjects' ability to control their own self-presentation—and their own decisions
to accept, challenge, or 'pass' within the system—even further out of their hands.
This influx of surveillance begs the question of what a body is and
defines the acceptable body in relation to its comprehensibility –
normative gender standards determine the ‘aliveness’ of a subject.
Puar 09 [Jasbir Puar, professor of women's and gender studies at Rutgers University,
Women and Performance: a journal of feminist theory, Vol. 19, No. 2, July 2009,
http://planetarities.web.unc.edu/files/2015/01/puar-prognosis-time.pdf]//JIH
These are of course older historical questions about the changing contours of what counts as a
living body, reanimated by emergent technologies. Surveillance technologies and related
bioinformatic economies – DNA encoding and species preservation, stem-cell research,
digitization, biometrics, life logging devices, regenerative medical sciences, whose role includes
increasing the contact zones and points of interface between bodies, and their subindividual
capacities (not to mention related technologies developed to manage the constant amassing of
information) – renew all sorts of questions about bodies and their materialities. What is a body
in informational terms? Where does a body – and its aliveness – begin and where does it end? If
we view information itself as a form of life (or life itself as a compendium of information) we might be led to
ask: What is a life? When does it begin and end? And, who owns it? What defines living? In turn, what counts as a death – as
dying?6 Why, as Donna Haraway once asked, should a body end at the skin? (1991). Kaushik Sunder Rajan favors the
formulation ‘‘biocapital’’: neoliberal circuits of political economy which he argues are generating
incipient forms of materiality as well as changing the grammar of ‘‘life itself.’’ New forms of
currency – biological material and information – simultaneously produce the materialization of
information on the one hand, and a decoupling from its material biological source on the other.
As such, we have a constitutive contradiction informing this dialectic between bodily material and
information: ‘‘information is detached from its biological material originator to the extent that it
does have a separate social life, but the ‘knowledge’ provided by the information is constantly
relating back to the material biological sample . . . It is knowledge that is always relating back to
the biological material that is the source ofthe information; but it is also knowledge that can only
be obtained, in the first place, through extracting information from the biological material’’
(Sunder Rajan 2006, 42). If the value of a body is increasingly sought not only in its capacity to labor
but in the information that it yields – and if there is no such thing as excess, or excess info, if all
information is eventually used or is at least seen as having imminent utility – we might ask
whether this is truly a revaluing of otherwise worthless bodies left for dying. If statistical outliers as well
as species can live through DNA, what does it mean to be debilitated or extinct? Are all bodies really available for rehabilitation?
This violent social system determines the meaning individuals assign
to themselves – antiqueerness functions as a system of selfsurveillance and leads to the suppression of the queer soul.
Yep et al., 2003 [Lovaas, and Elia, Professors @ San Francisco University, Gust, Karen, and
John, Journal of Homosexual Studies, Vol. 45, No. 2/3/4,, pp. 21-22]//JCE
These are the internal injuries that individuals inflict upon themselves. Very early in life children
learn from interpersonal contacts and mediated messages that deviations from the heteronormative standard,
such as homosexuality, are anxiety-ridden, guilt-producing, fear-inducing, shame-invoking,
hate-deserving, psychologically blemishing, and physically threatening. Internalized
homophobia, in the form of self-hatred and self-destructive thoughts and behavioral patterns,
becomes firmly implanted in the lives and psyches of individuals in heteronormative society.
Exemplifying the feelings and experiences of many people who do not fit in the heteronormative mandate, Kevin Jennings (1994)
tells us his personal story: I was born in 1963. . .[I] realized in grade school that I was gay. I felt absolutely alone. I had no one to talk
to, didn’t know any openly gay people, and saw few representations of gays in the media of the 1970s. I imagined gay people were a
tiny, tiny minority, who had been and would always be despised for their “perversion.” Not once in high school did I ever learn a
single thing about homosexuality or gay people. I couldn’t imagine a happy life as a gay man. So I withdrew from my peers and used
alcohol and drugs to try to dull the pain of my isolation. Eventually, at age seventeen I tried to kill myself, like one out of every three
gay teens. I saw nothing in my past, my present, or (it seemed) my future suggesting that things would ever get any better. (pp. 1314) Heteronormativity is so powerful that its regulation and enforcement are carried out by the
individuals themselves through socially endorsed and culturally accepted forms of soul murder.
Soul murder is a term that I borrow from the child abuse and neglect literature to highlight the
torment of heteronormativity (Yep, 2002). Shengold (1999) defines soul murder as the “apparently
willful abuse and neglect of children by adults that are of sufficient intensity and frequency to be
traumatic . . . [so that] the children’s subsequent emotional development has been profoundly
and predominantly negatively affected” (p. 1). Further explaining this concept, Shengold (1989) writes, “soul
murder is neither a diagnosis nor a condition. It is a dramatic term for circumstances that
eventuate in crime–the deliberate attempt to eradicate or compromise the separate identity of
another person” (p. 2, my emphasis). Isn’t the incessant policing and enforcement, either deliberately or unconsciously, by self
and others, of the heteronormative mandate a widespread form of soul murder?
The queer body is constantly forced into life as overkill – this is the
naturalization of antiqueerness that perpetuates violence that
renders queerness inherently dead.
Stanley 2011 [Eric, “Near Life, Queer Death Overkill and Ontological Capture,” Social Text
107 s Vol. 29, No. 2 s Summer 2011]
Overkill is a term used to indicate such excessive violence that it pushes a body beyond
death . Overkill is often determined by the postmortem removal of body parts, as with the
partial decapitation in the case of Lauryn Paige and the dissection of Rashawn Brazell. The
temporality of violence, the biological time when the heart stops pushing and pulling blood, yet
the killing is not finished, suggests the aim is not simply the end of a specific life, but the
ending of all queer life . This is the time of queer death , when the utility of violence
gives way to the pleasure in the other’s mortality . If queers, along with others, approximate
nothing, then the task of ending, of killing, that which is nothing must go beyond normative
times of life and death. In other words, if Lauryn was dead after the first few stab wounds to the
throat, then what do the remaining fifty wounds signify? The legal theory that is offered
to nullify the practice of overkill often functions under the name of the trans- or gay- panic
defense. Both of these defense strategies argue that the murderer became so enraged after the
“discovery” of either genitalia or someone’s sexuality they were forced to protect themselves
from the threat of queerness. Estanislao Martinez of Fresno, California, used the trans- panic defense and received a fouryear prison sentence after admittedly stabbing J. Robles, a Latina transwoman, at least twenty times with a pair of scissors.
Importantly, this defense is often used, as in the cases of Robles and Paige, after the murderer has engaged
in
some kind of sex with the victim. The logic of the trans- panic defense as an explanation for
overkill, in its gory semiotics, offers us a way of understanding queers as the nothing of Mbembe’s
query. Overkill names the technologies necessary to do away with that which is already gone.
Queers then are the specters of life whose threat is so unimaginable that one is “forced,” not
simply to murder, but to push them backward out of time, out of History, and into
that which comes before .27 In thinking the overkill of Paige and Brazell, I return to Mbembe’s query, “But
what does it mean to do violence to what is nothing?” 28 This question in its elegant
brutality repeats with each case I offer. By resituating this question in the positive, the “something”
that is more often than not translated as the human is made to appear. Of interest here, the category
of the human assumes generality, yet can only be activated through the specificity of historical
and politically located intersections. To this end, the human, the “something” of this query, within the context
of the liberal democracy, names rights- bearing subjects, or those who can stand as subjects before the
law. The human, then, makes the nothing not only possible but necessary. Following this
logic, the work of death, of the death that is already nothing, not quite human, binds the
categorical (mis)recognition of humanity. The human, then, resides in the space of life and under
the domain of rights, whereas the queer inhabits the place of compromised personhood
and the zone of death . As perpetual and axiomatic threat to the human, the queer is the negated
double of the subject of liberal democracy . Understanding the nothing as the
unavoidable shadow of the human serves to counter the arguments that suggest overkill and
antiqueer violence at large are a pathological break and that the severe nature of these killings
signals something extreme. In contrast, overkill is precisely not outside of, but is that which constitutes
liberal democracy as such. Overkill then is the proper expression to the riddle of the queer
nothingness. Put another way, the spectacular material- semiotics of overkill should not be read as
(only) individual pathology; these vicious acts must indict the very social worlds of which they
are ambassadors. Overkill is what it means, what it must mean , to do violence to what is
nothing.
And, government decrease of surveillance through a predictive model
can never be a neutral action regarding queer bodies – the
construction of intimacy becomes instrumentalized in the calculus of
biopolitics.
Puar 14 [Jasbir Puar, professor of women's and gender studies at Rutgers University, “Jasbir
Puar: Regimes of Surveillance,” Cosmologics, Dec 4, 2014,
http://cosmologicsmagazine.com/jasbir-puar-regimes-of-surveillance/]//JIH
Jasbir Puar: Much of the work in Terrorist Assemblages mapped out the dissolution of
public/private divides that have in the past animated feminist scholarship regarding the state
and state intrusion into the “private.” This private, as women of color and transnational feminists have pointed
out, has never quite existed given the level of state bureaucratic and administrative presence in
the households of immigrants and people of color. One interest of mine is connecting the
securitization upsurge that occurred after 9/11 with the formation of Homeland Security to both
earlier and more recent discourses of security that revolve around the “home,” and in particular
the home as something private, national, and safe. So before the War on Terror we had the War on Drugs: this
rationalized policing in the name of safe homes, in Black communities in particular. The War on Drugs no doubt provided a
domestic blueprint for the foreign deployment enacted after September 11th. This is one connective point to 9/11.
Another connective tissue to 9/11 is the financial crisis of 2008, which was not a break from the securitization of the home and
homeland, but a manifestation of one of its tactical failures, that of securing the home economically. I think 2008 marks the
end of the “post 9/11″ moment and re-complicates the “Muslim terrorist” as the predominate
target of surveillance technologies and discourses. Surveillance happens—obliquely, but it happens—
through the instrument of the sub-prime mortgage, whereby once again the security and safety
of the home is determined through the surveillance of those subjects deemed financially suspect.
In this case, predominantly Black and Latino populations were subject to foreclosures. Surveillance and securitization
economies work through a sort of monetization of ontology—certain bodies are intrinsically
risky investments via a circular logic of precarity whereby these bodies are set up as unable to
take on risk in the very system that produces them as risky.
This kind of connective analysis links various kinds of figures that emerge as targets of explicit surveillance—in the case of 9/11, a
religious figure, the fundamentalist terrorist—to the on-going systems of surveillance that bubble underneath. One analysis that
I offer in Terrorist Assemblages is
the irony of the decriminalization of sodomy in the Lawrence decision
of 2004, a ruling that pivoted around the privatization of anal (and thus homosexual) sex within the
sanctity of the privately-owned home. This was at a time when Homeland Security was requiring
registration of men from Muslim countries, infiltrating mosques, enacting home deportations—
just generally disrupting and halting the construction of any kind of private home. One
interpretation, then, of who exactly the Lawrence decision protects is: not so much the lesbian or
gay or homosexual or queer subject, but rather one whose private home has no reason to be
suspected and is not suspicious. The construction of “intimacy,” as it is anchored in the private,
becomes instrumentalized within the calculus of biopolitics, a measure of one’s worth to the
state.
Thus the plan: The United States federal government should curtail
its surveillance of predictive gender models.
Embracing the idea that bodies are undefined intensities provides
possibility for a new realm of the body-as-information in which
identity is determined through encounter rather than rigid sets of
data.
Puar 09 [Jasbir Puar, professor of women's and gender studies at Rutgers University,
Women and Performance: a journal of feminist theory, Vol. 19, No. 2, July 2009,
http://planetarities.web.unc.edu/files/2015/01/puar-prognosis-time.pdf]//JIH
Out of the numerous possibilities that ‘‘assemblage theory’’ offers, much of it has already begun
to transform queer theory, from Elizabeth Grosz’s crucial re-reading of the relations between bodies and
prosthetics (which complicates not only the contours of bodies in relation to forms of bodily
discharge, but also complicates the relationships to objects, such as cell phones, cars,
wheelchairs, and the distinctions between them as capacity-enabling devices) (1994), to Donna
Haraway’s cyborgs (1991), to Deleuze and Guattari’s ‘‘BwO’’ (Bodies without Organs – organs, loosely defined,
rearranged against the presumed natural ordering of bodily capacity) (1987). I want to close by
foregrounding the analytic power of conviviality that may further complicate how subjects are
positioned, underscoring instead more fluid relations between capacity and debility.
Conviviality, unlike notions of resistance, oppositionality, subversion or transgression (facets of
queer exceptionalism that unwittingly dovetail with modern narratives of progress in
modernity), foregrounds categories such as race, gender, and sexuality as events – as encounters
– rather than as entities or attributes of the subject. Surrendering certain notions of revolution,
identity politics, and social change – the ‘‘big utopian picture’’ that Massumi complicates in the opening
epigraph of this essay – conviviality instead always entails an ‘‘experimental step.’’ Why the
destabilization of the subject of identity and a turn to affect matters is because affect – as a
bodily matter – makes identity politics both possible and yet impossible. In its conventional usage,
conviviality means relating to, occupied with, or fond of feasting, drinking, and good company –
to be merry, festive, together at a table, with companions and guests, and hence, to live with. As
an attribute and function of assembling, however, conviviality does not lead to a politics of the universal or
inclusive common, nor an ethics of individuatedness, rather the futurity enabled through the
open materiality of bodies as a Place to Meet. We could usefully invoke Donna Haraway’s notion of
‘‘encounter value’’ here, a ‘‘becoming with’’ companionate (and I would also add, incompanionate) species,
whereby actors are the products of relating, not pre-formed before the encounter (2008, 16).
Conviviality is an ethical orientation that rewrites a Levinasian taking up of the ontology of the
Other by arguing that there is no absolute self or other,15 rather bodies that come together and
dissipate through intensifications and vulnerabilities, insistently rendering bare the instability
of the divisions between capacity-endowed and debility-laden bodies. These encounters are
rarely comfortable mergers but rather entail forms of eventness that could potentially unravel
oneself but just as quickly be recuperated through a restabilized self, so that the political
transformation is invited, as Arun Saldhana writes, through ‘‘letting yourself be destabilized by the
radical alterity of the other, in seeing his or her difference not as a threat but as a resource to question your own position in
the world’’ (2007, 118). Conviviality is thus open to its own dissolution and self-annihilation and less
interested in a mandate to reproduce its terms of creation or sustenance, recognizing that
political critique must be open to the possibility that it might disrupt and alter the conditions of
its own emergence such that it is no longer needed – an openness to something other than what we might have
hoped for. This is my alternative approach to Lee Edelman’s No Future, then, one that is not driven by
rejecting the figure of the child as the overdetermined outcome of ‘‘reproductive futurism’’
(2004),16 but rather complicates the very terms of the regeneration of queer critique itself . Thus the
challenge before us is how to craft convivial political praxis that does not demand a continual
reinvestment in its form and content, its genesis or its outcome, the literalism of its object nor the direction of its drive.
A fluid understanding of identity is necessary in order to avoid sexual
othering and exceptionalization.
Perry 14 [Brock Perry, Graduate Division of Religion, Drew University, “Towards an
ontogenesis of queerness and divinity: Queer political theology and Terrorist Assemblages,” May
30, 2014]//JIH
The historical shift in modernity and modern state formation to which the concept of
homonationalism attends is marked by biopolitical control of national and transnational bodies
in which those determined unworthy of homonational citizenship are relegated to racialised and
perversely sexualised populations. Homonationalism is dependent upon this ‘sexual othering’
for the moral, sexual and cultural exceptionalisation of rights-bearing homosexual citizens over against
‘Orientalist constructions of “Muslim sexuality”’ as inherently homophobic, irrationally religious and sexually perverse (Puar 2007,
4). The biopolitical population management that Puar describes is based not only on particular
identities taken as a whole, but also on cross-sections of information ablated from bodies and
represented statistically. As statistics, race and sex are experienced as a series of transactional information flows captured
or happened upon at chance moments that perceive and render bodies transparent or opaque, secure or insecure, risky or at risk,
risk-enabled or risk-disabled, the living or the living dead. (160)
Thus, biopolitical control is made diffuse between populations as identities are dissected into
fragments of information that never fully add up to the representational subject, but are neither
unrelated to it. Puar argues that state practices of surveillance and detention make use of those
fragments of information that are multiplicitously and variably manifested between and within
identities in a way that identity politics and intersectional analyses, which take the
representational subject for granted, have been unable to adequately counter (162, 206). She concludes
that identity politics, both a symptom of and a response to these networks of control, capitulates
once again to chasing the space of retribution for the subject. Control masks itself, or masks its
effects, within the endless drive to recoup the resistant subject. (162)
Puar densely articulates the relation of identity and representation to biopolitics and elucidates the failure of identity politics to
grasp its production by the very systems of power it seeks to resist. An ontologically static and unchanging
understanding of identity lends itself to biopolitical control by confirming the stability of the
information used to determine those included in life and those relegated to a racialised and
perversely sexualised population. Identity politics leaves bodies in these populations always in
need of reclaiming subjecthood along the lines of identity that made the subject separable under
biopolitical control in the first place. Before turning with Puar to affect theory in order to think both with and beyond
identity politics, I want to first turn to issues of political theology and the secular that I contend are related to the issues of modern
state formation being discussed here, and which will be necessary for critical responses to the issues of homonationalism, biopolitics
and identity that Puar describes.
The affirmative's method of convivial assemblage is key to envision a
legal framework independent of rigid racialized and gendered
categories of personhood.
Weheliye 14. Alexander G. Weheliye, professor of African American studies at Northwestern
University, Habeas Viscus, pg. 82
We are in dire need of alternatives to the legal conception of personhood that
dominates our world, and, in addition, to not lose sight of what remains outside the
law, what the law cannot capture, what it cannot magically transform into the
fantastic form of property ownership. Writing about the connections between
transgender politics and other forms of identity- based activism that respond to
structural inequalities, legal scholar Dean Spade shows how the focus on
inclusion, recognition, and equality based on a narrow legal framework (especially
as it pertains to antidiscrimination and hate crime laws) not only hinders the
eradication of violence against trans people and other vulnerable populations but
actually creates the condition of possibility for the continued unequal
“distribution of life chances.”22 If demanding recognition and inclusion remains at
the center of minority politics, it will lead only to a delimited notion of personhood
as property that zeroes in comparatively on only one form of subjugation at the
expense of others, thus allowing for the continued existence of hierarchical differences between full humans, not-quite-humans, and nonhumans. This can be
gleaned from the “successes” of the mainstream feminist, civil rights, and lesbiangay rights movements, which facilitate the incorporation of a privileged minority
into the ethnoclass of Man at the cost of the still and/or newly criminalized and
disposable populations (women of color, the black poor, trans people, the
incarcerated, etc.).23 To make claims for inclusion and humanity via the U.S.
juridical assemblage removes from view that the law itself has been thoroughly
violent in its endorsement of racial slavery, indigenous genocide, Jim Crow, the
prison-industrial complex, domestic and international warfare, and so on, and
that it continues to be one of the chief instruments in creating and maintaining the
racializing assemblages in the world of Man. Instead of appealing to legal
recognition, Julia Oparah suggests counteracting the “racialized (trans)gender entrapment” within the
prison-industrial complex and beyond with practices of “maroon abolition” (in reference to the long history of
escaped slave contraband settlements in the Americas) to “foreground the ways in which often overlooked
African diasporic cultural and political legacies inform and undergird anti- prison work,” while also providing
strategies and life worlds not exclusively centered on reforming the law.24 Relatedly, Spade calls for a
radical politics articulated from the “‘impossible’ worldview of trans political
existence,” which redefines “the insistence of government agencies, social service
providers, media, and many nontrans activists and nonprofiteers that the existence of trans people is impossible.”25 A relational maroon abolitionism
beholden to the practices of black radicalism and that arises from the incompatibility of black trans existence with the world of Man serves as one example
of how putatively abject modes of being need not be redeployed within hegemonic
frameworks but can be operationalized as variable liminal territories or
articulated assemblages in movements to abolish the grounds upon which all
forms of subjugation are administered.]
Queer scholars must engage the law to combat normalization
Duggin 94 [Lisa Duggan, associate professor of American studies and history at New York
University, Queering the State, Social Text, No. 39 (Summer, 1994), pp. 1-14]//JIH
When we turn our attention to this project, we run into difficulty the moment we step outside our classrooms, books, journals, and
conferences. How do we represent our political concerns in public discourse? In trying to do this, In
trying to hold the ground of the fundamental criticism of the very language of current public
discourse that queer theory has enabled, in trying to translate our constructionist languages
into terms that have the power to transform political practices, we are faced with several
difficulties.
First, the discussion of the construction of categories of sexual identity resist translation into
terms that are culturally legible and thus usable in consequential public debates. To illustrate this
difficulty let 's imagine that you are asked to appear on the Oprah Winfrey show to talk about public school curriculums. Guest A
says material on gays will influence children to think gay is okay and thus to become disgusting perverts themselves. Guest B, from
Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, says that this will not happen because sexual identity is fixed by the age of three, if not in
utero. You are Guest C-what do you say? That "the production of queer sexualities is historically and culturally conditioned," that if
gay materials in class are conducive to the production of queer sexualities you are squarely in favor of their use? The difficulties
here on
the level of legibility and on the level of political palatability are readily apparent. Second,
the use of constructionist language to discuss homosexuality tends to leave heterosexuality in its
naturalized place-it can be taken up by homophobes to feed the fantasy of a world without
homosexual bodies and desires." If history can make them, history can also UNmake them"
seems to be the logic here. At a conference in Toronto a decade ago, Dorothy Allison and Esther Newton suggested
responding to this danger in constructionist arguments by producing buttons demanding" Deconstruct Heterosexuality First." Of
course, we can respond as the button suggests and work to denaturalize heterosexuality which queer studies is, in fact, doing,but this
is unlikely to be received in current public debates without guffaws and disbelief.
The usual response to these difficulties is to resort to what is called "strategic essentialism" the
use of essentialist categories and identity politics in public debates because that is all anyone can
understand and we need to be effective in the political arena. I take the concerns that lead to the embrace of
strategic essentialism seriously but I think that it is ultimately an unproductive solution. It allows sexual
difference and queer desires to continue to be localized in homosexualized bodies. It consigns
us, in the public imagination, to the realms of the particular and the parochial, the defense team for a
fixed minority that most "special" of special interest groups- again, letting everyone else off the hook. I would
argue that we need to find a way to close the language gap in queer studies and queer politics. We
need to do this especially with reference to the operations of the state. Though queer politics is
presently claiming public and cultural space in imaginative new ways (kiss-ins, for example), the
politics of the state are generally being left to lesbian and gay civil rights strategies. These
strategies are greatly embattled at present, and there are still many gains to be made through
their deployment. But they are increasingly ineffective in the face of new homophobic initiatives;
they appear unable to generate new rhetorics and tactics against attacks designed specifically to
disable identity-based antidiscrimination policies.9We cannot afford to fallback on strategic
essentialism(it will not get us out of the trouble we are now in), and we cannot afford to abandon the field.
Impact calculus should begin from the perspective of queer
necropolitics – predictive scenario planning disavows zones of
abandonment that perpetuate mundane forms of violence on queer
bodies.
Haritaworn et al. 14. Jin Haritaworn, professor of sociology at the University of York,
Adi Kuntsman, professor of humanities, research, and social sciences at Manchester
Metropolitan University, and Sylvia Posocco, professor of psychological studies at the University
of London, Birbeck, Queer Necropolitics, Routledge, 2014, pg. 1
Most prominently, Jasbir Puar (2007), tracing the shift from AIDS to gay marriage, identifies a recent
turn in how queer subjects are figured , from those who are left to die , to those that
reproduce life . Yet, not all sexually or gender non­ conforming bodies are ‘fostered for living’; just as only some queer
deaths are constituted as grievable (Butler 2004),1 while others are targeted for killing or left to die.
This book comes at a time of growing interest in the necropolitical as a tool to make sense of the symbiotic co-presence of life and
death, manifested ever more clearly in the cleavages between rich and poor, citizens and non-citizens (and those who can be stripped
of citizenship); the culturally, morally, economically valuable and the pathological; queer subjects invited into life and queerly
abjected populations marked for death. Our discussions are inspired by Achille Mbembe’s concept of
‘ necropolitics’ — a
concept he develops when analysing the centrality of death in
subalternity , race , war and terror
‘ queer
(Mbembe 2003) - and by Puar’s (2007) insightful elaboration of
necropolitics’ , which attempts to make sense of the expansion of liberal gay
politics and its complicity within the US ‘war on terror’ , while calling our attention
specifically to the ‘differences between queer subjects who are being folded (back) into life and
the racialized queernesses that emerge through the naming of populations’ , often those
marked for death (p. 36).
Our collection assembles various ways of queering the necropolitical and of interrogating claims to queerness in the face(s) of death,
both spectacular and banal.
Thinking through necropolitics on the terrain of queer critique
brings into view everyday death worlds , from the perhaps more expected sites of death
making (such as war, torture or imperial invasion) to the ordinary and completely normalized
violence of the market. As many of the contributors to this volume point out, the distinction between war
and peace dissolves in the face of the banality of death in the ‘zones of abandonment’
(Biehl 2001; Povinelli 2011) that regularly accompany contemporary democratic regimes. These are not merely about
exclusion; more insidiously perhaps they create their own forms of deadly inclusion .
The insistence on the unremarkable , the ordinary and the mundane is of particular
importance . In contrast to other works in the field that deal with death in relation to queerness and beyond - such as the
AIDS epidemic or the Holocaust - contributors in this book focus less on grand moments or processes of commemoration and more
on the everyday and the ordinary. In that respect, our orientation (Ahmed 2006) is not so much towards a past
that is remembered and celebrated. In the place of the finished past, we turn to the present and future(s),
including those haunted futures (Ferreday and Kuntsman 2011; Gordon 2011) where queer vitalities
become cannibalistic on the disposing and abandonment of others. Indeed, we argue that the
queer nostalgia for other times, coupled with a victim subjectivity that refuses
accountability for current privileges and injustices , may itself work to naturalize and
accelerate death-making logics in the present (Haritaworn, 2013). Furthermore, in considering the rise of
homonormative and transnormative identities as contingent on settler colonialism, anti-blackness and permanent war - which
provide the conditions of queer ascendancies — we refuse a view of the past as finished and the present as democratic and postgenocidal (e.g. Morgensen 2010; Smith 2007; see also Bassichis and Spade, Chapter 9 in this book).
Using ‘queer necropolitics’ as a theoretical entry point and as a concept- metaphor, our
book explores the processes , conditions and histories that underpin and sustain a
range of ‘ unequal regimes of living and dying’
(Luibheid 2008: 190), consolidating and extending the
existing analytical vocabulary for understanding queer politics and experiences. In putting
the concept of ‘queer
necropolitics’ at the centre of our discussion, the book is in dialogue with the emerging scholarship
focussing on the analysis of the necropolitical (see, for example, Inda 2005; Osuri 2006). We extend this
body of scholarship by turning our attention to specifically queer aspects: deadly underpinnings
of militarized queer intimacies, nationalized practices of queer mourning, assimilationist logics
of feminist, gay and transgender rights and criminalizing policies in the name of sexual safety
and queer space. Contributors explore the relations between queerness and war, immigration, colonization, imprisonment and
other forms of population control in various cultural and political settings. Among the many topics addressed in the chapters of this
book are racism in the name of ‘LGBT rights’; queer colonialities; trans migrations; vitality and necropolitics in the new world order;
the ontology and phenomenology of sexual and gender violence; the racialization of ‘LGBT’, queer and transgender politics in the
‘wars on terror’; and regimes of remembering and oblivion of queer and non-queer lives and deaths.
2AC Extensions
Internal Link
Heteronormativity - Generic
The desire of surveillance to reveal what is hidden and assumed to be
shameful correlates with gendered and sexualized politics that favor
heteronormativity and marginalize genderqueer and transgender
communities
Ball et al 9 (Kristen, Business School, Open University; Nicola Green, Department of
Sociology, University of Surrey; Hille Koskela, Department of Social Policy, University of
Helsinki; David J. Phillips, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto, “Surveillance Studies
Needs Gender and Sexuality,” Surveillance and Society, 2009, es)
Surveillance Studies needs Gender and Sexuality. That is why this issue came into being. Although this is a
comparatively short issue of Surveillance and Society, perhaps representing the fact that the critique of surveillance through these
lenses is still in its infancy, its contributions highlight some of the ways in which studies of gender and sexuality are fundamental to
mounting a critique of surveillance. Surveillance theory holds that surveillance processes are routine,
systemic, purposeful and focused (Surveillance Studies Network 2006). They are woven into everyday life. They
aggregate individuals into populations, in part by creating robust, replicable analytical
categories. This is done with the strategic objective of institutional management of those populations and the everyday life of the
individuals that comprise them. Marginalisation, exclusion and mass discrimination are necessary
byproducts of this manageable order. On reading the papers in this issue, it emerges that the political economies,
methods, outcomes, and profound normalizing tendencies associated with surveillance are deeply amenable to critiques informed by
theories of gender and sexuality. These articles turn our attention to three particularly problematic phenomena that surround
surveillance practices. The first is the oft-cited and fallacious public response to surveillance as being ‘if I have nothing to hide then I
have nothing to fear’. The second concerns the outcomes of categorisation for gendered and sexualised subjects. The third highlights
how intermediated surveillant methods produce new forms of vulnerability. Nothing to hide: nothing to fear? One of the common
concerns amongst the papers in this issue is that of subjectivity and the experience of surveillance. Hitherto, studies of the surveilled
subject have been limited to a very narrow range of areas, as Ball (2009) describes: To date, discussions of the
surveillance society have assumed a limited range of positions for the surveilled subject,
reducing the experience of surveillance to one of oppression, coercion, ambivalence or
ignorance. Few studies have suggested to the contrary (Koskela 2004; McGrath 2004). In some circumstances it is the case that
the experience of surveillance features coercion (for example, in the mandatory provision of DNA on arrest in the UK to feed the
Police National Computer DNA database), oppression (for example, those whose international mobilities are deemed ‘risky’)
ambivalence or ignorance (for example, consumers who are unaware that their data doubles are structuring their access to goods
and services), but this is not the whole story. Indeed if the subject is perfectly docile and compliant, as
Foucault predicted, then we
have perfect surveillance, which is rarely the case. The fact that individuals sometimes appear
may be tolerated
or even sought after because the giving of data satisfies individual anxieties, or may represent
patriotic or participative values to the individual. It may also be the case that individuals are
ambivalent towards surveillance because there is sometimes no identifiable ‘watcher’ or
perceivable ‘control’ being asserted, or because the pleasures of performative display override the scrutinies that come
to do little to counter surveillance does not mean that surveillance means nothing to them. Surveillance
hand-in-hand with self-revelation (Ball 2009: 640-641). Papers within this issue begin to augment the documentation of the
experience of surveilled subjects. In particular they challenge the normative statement of ‘nothing to hide: nothing to fear,’ a
response which is often cited in ‘vox pop’ media coverage of the surveillance society. They do so by problematising the association
between that which is hidden with that which is shameful - an association which is implicit within the phrase ‘nothing to hide:
nothing to fear’. In the Anglo-American north, the politics of what is hidden and what is revealed are
imbued with gendered and sexualised politics of heteronormativity and shame, and of
vulnerability and fear. In this volume, Toby Beauchamp and Kevin Walby, for example, highlight how the equating of
‘what is hidden’ with ‘what is shameful’ is problematic for transgender and genderqueer
communities. Beauchamp’s article on transgendered people and border security explores contradictory revelation and
concealment practices across medical, political, and security discourses, and the almost insurmountable difficulty of managing a
usable gender identity at their intersection. In Walby’s paper ‘Are you looking for fags?’ we are reminded of McGrath’s (2004)
accounts of the Manhattan gay bar ‘Splash’, and of other sexual practices within queer subcultures that embrace exposure as both
political tactic and erotic thrill. Walby explores how that sort of publicness is necessarily marginalised and
suppressed within institutional frameworks of “official” and normative publicness, such as that
maintained and policed by Canada’s ‘National Capital Commission.’ Categorically just? To date, one of the themes
within surveillance studies has been the discriminatory and exclusionary outcomes of social
sorting. Discussions of practices within inter alia consumer surveillance (Danna and Gandy 2002), the surveillance of mobile
populations (Amoore and DeGoede 2005) and surveillance within political processes (Sussman and Galicio 2004) highlight the
difficulties with categorisation which arises as a result of social sorting. Social sorting has very real consequences
for
subjects. For example, errors occur when databases are combined, inaccurate or
unrepresentative data are used and missing data are ‘filled in’ (Danna and Gandy 2002), leading to the
observation that social sorting is nearly always ‘wrong’ at the level of the individual (Berry and Linoff
2000). Recent evidence (Canhoto 2007; Beckett 2008) also suggests that the production of profiles is
socially embedded and replicates the prejudices of data mining experts. Potential is created for
prejudices to be written into algorithms which identify risk, entitlement and criminality. As a result
data subjects may unwittingly suffer discrimination, or may be wrongly allocated to categories
they do not belong. Moreover inadequacies tend to be perpetuated because replacing legacy systems is both
expensive and complex (Head 2007). Social sorting is often based on geodemographic information, and
ascribes value judgement to different groups of people. For example, particular consumption preferences, whilst
forming distinct groups, are mapped onto places when combined with information such as a postcode. Lifestyles and places hence
begin to merge (Burrows and Gane 2006) and neighbourhood characteristics come to determine the products and services offered to
individuals living there. Some of these characteristics include discriminatory categories the likes of which would be illegal in other
settings. For example, in Cherry vs. Amoco Oil Co, a noteworthy legal case in the US, it was revealed that a white woman who lived in
a predominantly black neighbourhood was refused a credit card not because of her personal credit history, but because the postcode
in which she lived was considered too risky in the credit checking system. One of the most important things to note
about the categorisation practices usually discussed in studies of surveillance is that categories
are statistically generated. Central to the operation of a category is its norm, or average: the ascription of any case – human
or otherwise – to a category implies some kind of proximity to the norm expressed by the category. Categories thus have a
normalising tendency. And whilst the majority of the work on categorisation to date critiques at the level of systems and
practices, some of the papers within this issue address the implications of categorisation itself at the local level. Kathryn Conrad, in
particular, critiques the normalizing tendency of categories in terms of the pressure it places on queer
subjects, while Anthony Corones and Susan Hardy, and Kevin Walby show how essentialist discourses around
gender and sexuality normalise diverse responses to surveillant processes.
Current surveillance practices reinforce heteronormativity,
objectification of women, and cause global humiliation for those who
don’t fit neatly into our binaries.
Jakubowska 13 Gender verification in sport as a surveillance practice: An inside and outside perception Jakubowska,
Honorata. The Institute of Sociology, Adam Mickiewicz University Surveillance & Society11.4 (2013): 454-465. Proquest
All the regulations concerning verifying gender apply only to women. These processes of gendering the
female body are not limited to sports only (see e.g., Corones and Hardy 2009), but are highly visible in sports where the female body
is prominent. Confining gender verification to women is also based on the assumption that men
have better physical abilities. It is considered that only men taking part in women's competition can have an unfair
advantage. A woman or feminized man therefore loses at the starting line. People associated with the sport of
running agree with this way of thinking:! It doesn't make sense to examine men, because we always achieve worse results. If the man
has feminine characteristics, he just will achieve worse results. (Athlete 1) With [a] man, there is no problem. Giving female
hormones to the man will rather reduce his athletic potential.2 (Other Respondent 1) This approach can be considered to be right
when we look at sports results in most disciplines. However, the limitation of gender verification as applying only
to women can be considered a major tool for strengthening the dominant gender order in sports.
Men also differ in the levels of androgens so that some of them could have a 'natural' hormonal advantage over others, yet they are
not excluded from competing. In the case of men, a high level of androgens is not perceived as problematic. On the contrary, it
makes them not only better athletes but also more masculine. When a woman has high androgen levels, she
contradicts her femininity in two ways: either by way of the results-where the defeat of other women
challenges the myth of female weakness (or 'the frailty myth')-or, by her physical appearance, which
does not fit the standards of heteronormativity. From this point of view, sex testing that was previously used for 30
years, and has been reintroduced through new rules that guard the 'natural' boundaries of gender through intricate biological
surveillance of women's bodies, reproduces the social order (Lyon 2007: 3); in this case with reference to gender. Current
regulations according to which only 'suspected' cases are verified have a heteronormative character. Since sex verification
examinations concern primarily those athletes who do not conform to traditional feminine
images, certain ideas about what a woman should look like are reinforced. The opinions of interviewees
associated with running prove the power of these norms and their capacity to reinforce a dichotomous perception of gender. Some
questioned the sex of Caster Semenya based on their contact with her. Frankly speaking, her behavior, the
way she moves, she was [like] a man for me, every move, every gesture was not a feminine gesture but a masculine one. ... Her style
of running, the way she showed her joy, the clenched fists, for me, it/she was really like a guy, to be honest. Zero femininity. There
was nothing feminine about her. (Athlete 2) One can see it, physical characteristics, it is not a woman, in short, it is a man. We know
that there are various things in nature, there are also genetic errors and some people are born as hermaphrodites. But in terms of
these features, they have more testosterone, a different body structure etc. (Other Respondent 2) Excuse me for my language, but
she is a tomboy. (Other Respondent 3) The visually aesthetic aspect is obviously not the main criterion of gender verification or the
verification of androgen levels. However, due to the entertaining character of sports in the global media, the visual appearance of
women plays a very important role. As Schneider (2003)3 wrote: ... in the places where sport is practiced, there intersexes,
transvestites and sportswomen of extreme body image no longer appear ... television took away the right to visibility for optical
deviations.! From this point of view, the surveillance of sportswomen's bodies can be perceived not only as
a tool for ensuring fair competition, but also for strengthening heteronormative femininity, and
thereby providing pleasure for sports viewers. The term surveillant scopophilia (Magnet and Rodgers 2011: 3; Magnet 2011) can be
useful here. According to Lyon (2006a: 48), referring to Laura Mulvey (1975):! ... [when] applied to the cinema or, more broadly, to
the viewer society, scopophilia (pleasure of looking) has been translated as the predominantly male gaze of Hollywood that
depersonalizes women, turning them into objects to be looked at. In sport, scopophilia can be understood as the
possibility to watch or peep at the female body doing sport. The outfits worn in many sports
disciplines, such as tennis, volleyball and athletics, as well as the modern technology that allows
people to view the body in close-ups, give aesthetic pleasure and attract many viewers to
women's sports. Surveillance practices support the pleasure of looking by identifying those bodies deemed threatening, from
the heteronormative point of view. Referring to Mary Douglas' theory (1966) these 'dirty bodies' must be excluded to maintain the
purity of the system. Thus, both visual and biological surveillance is an important means by which
female sports spaces are 'sanitized' or purified from perceived troublesome others (McCahill 2002).
The privacy of 'othered bodies' Surveillance of intimate and private issues is common to both sports and many other areas of social
life (see e.g. Lyon 2006a). In medical, travel or athletic contexts, it may be embarrassing for the 'othered' body to undergo this type
of surveillance (Magnet and Rodgers 2011). However, one major difference between sports and other areas of social life is that elite
athletes are public figures and their bodies are also on public display. With certain ideas about what an athlete should look like, there
is extensive discussion of the changes in their appearance or their suitability to compete. Questioning the sex of athletes
also becomes the subject of immense public discussion, which was shown very clearly by the
case of Caster Semenya. Respondents in this study emphasized the harm and humiliation that such public controversy
could bring to an athlete, even though they were convinced that Caster Semenya should undergo the verification of her sex. They
especially stressed the impact of the media coverage of Semenya's case. It caused terrible harm to her. (Athlete 2) It
was very hard for her, mentally. And I will say this-I take my hat off to her, for her ability to take and resist it all, and still
show up on television ... This is a humiliation on a global scale.
The invisible violence goes on all around us. Victims are viewed as
less valuable and denied basic rights, and suffer homophobic violence
daily.
Lloyd 6 Lloyd, M. , 2006-08-31 "Who Counts? Understanding the Relation Between
Normative Violence and the Production of Political Bodies" Paper presented at the annual
meeting of the American Political Science Association, Marriott, Loews Philadelphia, and the
Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, PA Online <PDF>. 2013-12-16 from
http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p150590_index.html
But what if what we recognize as physical violence depends on certain categorizations that are,
in themselves, normatively violent, that operate, in other words, to exclude certain subjects
and/or acts of violence? What if physical violence occurs precisely because some people are
apprehended as less valuable than others? And, here we have only to think of homophobic or racist
violence. What if we cannot see the violence that certain peoples suffer as violence at all because
those people are invisible (‘unreal’, in Butler’s lexicon) to us; that is, fail to figure within our
consciousness as human and are thus denied the rights, privileges, protections and help that
accrue to the human? Should we still argue for an exclusive focus on actual, empirical violence? Or would we be better
evaluating how and why certain persons are construed as somehow deserving of, or soliciting, violence in the first place? It is my
contention in this section that an analysis of normative violence is, in fact, something we cannot do
without since it not only sheds valuable light on the kinds of political violence that characterize
the contemporary world (including war, ethnic conflict, terrorism, racist violence to mention only
some of the most obvious) but also because it forces us to consider how our ability to recognize certain actions as violent might itself
depend on the effacement of other (violent) actions. To illustrate how this argument works, I now want to turn to Precarious Life.
Bodies that don’t fit our definitions of “normal” are under constant
surveillance and causes us to label them as “invalid” or less than
human, denying the relevance of their experience.
Saltes ‘13 'Abnormal' Bodies on the Borders of Inclusion: Biopolitics and the paradox of Disability Surveillance Saltes,
NatashaView Profile. Surveillance & Society11.1/2 (2013): 55-73. Ph. D Sociology, Queen's University
Recognizing the exclusionary impact of understanding disability through medical discourse, the
disability rights movement has made challenging the biomedical response to disability (referred
to in disability studies literature as the 'medical model" or the 'individual model") a priority by
adopting the social model view and reframing 'disability" as a social construct (Oliver 1990a,
1996). The social model rejects the idea that disability emerges from functional
limitations/impairment and argues instead that disability emerges through social practices that
fail to account for the needs of people with impairments (Oliver 1990a, 1996). In essence, it is
attitudes and perceptions of what constitutes ontological norms that result in disability. The
social model takes issue with the medical model for understanding disability within a health
context. The problem with this approach is that it elicits a medical response to disability as a
condition that occurs within the individual and should therefore be treated and cured (Oliver
1990a, 1996: 35-36).3 The social model's argument against the medicalization of disability
resonates with what Williams and Calnan (1996) refer to as the 'medicalization thesis" (1996:
1609), in which conditions that were not initially considered medical issues have become
situated within the field of medicine. They note that the preoccupation and emphasis on
'locating the genetic precursors of illness, diseases, disabilities and behaviours, means that the
knowledge base of scientific medicine has encroached still further into defining the limits of
"normality" and proper functioning, deportment and control of the human body [8]" (1996:
1609). The genesis of normal has altered how the ontology of the body is experienced and
perceived. Consequently, the 'abnormal" body has become objectified by medical discourse and
its techniques of intervention. Hughes (2002) argues that 'the production of medical knowledge
about disabled people has itself been disabling" (59). He explains: The definition of disability as
a corporeal problem has meant that, for the most part, throughout modernity, disabled people
have come under the jurisdiction, control and surveillance of (bio)medicine. This process of
locating disability within the disciplinary scope of medicine has influenced profoundly the state
of knowledge about it. Disability has been understood as sickness, and disabled people have
been understood as invalid. (Hughes 2002: 58) In The Birth of the Clinic, Foucault (1973)
articulates how the body becomes separated from the individual to become the focus of the
'medical gaze". The medical model invariably locates disability in the body as a 'body problem",
placing people with impairments under the scrutiny of the medical gaze and thereby absolving
society from the responsibility of removing disabling social barriers (Oliver 1990a; Rioux and
Valentine 2006). By distinguishing between disability and impairment, the social model is able
to put forth a political agenda that advocates for social change. While the social model has been
credited for advancing rights based disability discourse, it has also been criticized for removing
the body and impairment from this discourse, thereby denying the relevance of individual
experiences of impairment and disability. By understanding impairment as a functional
limitation, a number of scholars have argued that the social model neglects to recognize that
impairment can also be socially constructed (Hughes and Paterson 1997; Shakespeare and
Watson 2001; Tremain 2008). Taking the social model into account, while being mindful of its
limitations, is helpful for understanding the political response toward people with impairments.
It also provides a useful means with which to recognize how the biomedical objectification of
people with impairments can be linked to Foucault"s notion of biopolitics as a means of
regulating populations and 'defending society from the abnormal
Legal
Specifically, the courts’ policing of name changes for trans people
strips them of ontological freedom
Tran 4 (Dinh Tu Tran Dinh is pursuing her L.L.M. degree at Georgetown University Law Center.She has worked as an attorney
on many crucial issues facing transgender people. 25 Women's Rts. L. Rep. 222 (2003-2004). Excerpt from Call Me by My Proper
Name: Legal Surveillance and Discipline of Transgender Body and Identity. Heinonline.org. jsk)
<Tradition differs from law and this differ- ence becomes distinctly evident in limiting how the
court should decide a case. In Lawrence v. Texas, Justice Kennedy admonishes, "Our obligation is to define the liberty of all, not to man- date the majority's code." With this in mind, I
want to introduce a new conception of liberty, that I call ontological freedom. Ontological
freedom entails concrete moments in which the self manifests itself in the outside. In Hegel: The
Restlessness of Negative, Jean-Luc Nancy gracefully describes the moments of freedom: "It is
not starting out from myself that I decide, as if I was free; in liberating myself, it is on my- self,
from out of myself that I decide. Deciding oneself, liberating oneself and giving oneself are one
and the same: the self outside itself in the blossoming, the supreme manifestation of manifestation in general." That is, ontological free- dom involves the process of becoming in which a
self must embody itself, shaping, contouring, growing and changing itself as well as the embodied self in the world. Only through these moments, and these movements toward and in the
outside could it literally become itself and truly be free.
Transgender individuals are denied their ontological freedom because their very being is
restricted by the heterosexual regime of binary sex and gender. This is evident in the change of a
name. Although the court maintains that transgender individuals can alter their name from
either a male to female or a female to male name, it enforces two conditions that only apply to
transgender individuals' application and does so for the only purpose of surveillance and
discipline, ensuring the transgender individ- ual will always suit the proper name, embody- ing
the proper sex and having the proper gen- der mindset while limiting the very assumption of the
proper name itself.
There are two ways in which one could change one's name. First, under common law one may
use any name so long that there is no fraud, misrepresentation or interference with the rights of
others. Common law does not re- quire any judicial proceeding; it just requires the mere
habitual and consistent use of the name. Second, under New York Civil Rights law, Statute § 60,
an individual can file a "peti- tion for leave to assume another name." And I'm going to skip over
what's required, but I'm going on to what the case demands from trans- gender individuals.
Consequently, the court grants the peti- tioner's application only if the order shall not be used or
relied upon by the petitioner as any evidence or judicial determination that the sex of the
petitioner has in fact been changed.
In another case entitled, "In the Matter of Anonymous for Leave to change his name," (1990),
the court denied the petitioner's appli- cation to change his name from William to Ve- ronica
because "his purpose is only to avoid embarrassing situations due to sexual prefer- ence and
physical well-being." The petitioner does not collaborate this claim by "competent medical and
psychiatric evaluation, including whether he is a transves- tite or a transsexual, and if a
transsexual, whether or not he has undergone a sex change operation and now is anatomically
and psycho- logically a woman."
Having a court order to change one's name could be advantageous. One of the advantages is
that where "the court order sets a definite date on which the new name is to be assumed, it gives
the name change an 'aura of propriety and official sanction' and makes it a matter of public
record." The court might be aware of the trans- gender individuals' pressing need to have a court
directive; however, the court's conception of a name is wrong. Names are not property, because
it cannot be an extension of self and cannot materialize. It only leaves this aura, a feeling or
impression of a property. The proper name always and already functions within the social
system of differences, constituting the subject as a "male" or "female."
For Butler, the constitutive moment is also a regulatory moment. In Bodies that Matter, Judith
Butler refers to this interpellation as the "enabling violence," because on the one hand, violence
occurs in the moment in which a trans- gender individual only can come into being or become a
subject if he assume the female name; and on the other hand, through this assumption, a
transgender individual acquires its agency as a female subject in this society. Under Butler's
analysis, transgender individuals can never come into being or even be recognized in their very
being if they do not reiterate the law of father or the dominant norm. The reason un- derlies
many transgender individuals' petition and sometimes even the trajectory of their tran- sitional
process. Without a clearly female name, a transgender individual cannot embody "female"
according to society's eyes, and inevi- tably, falls into the realm of the abject. Trans- gender
individuals' assumption of a clearly fe- male name represents the process in which subjects
come into being in this heterosexual patriarch system. Only through these align- ments of
institutions and practices can domina- tions be exposed.>
Tech/Data
The convergence of technology and identity through surveillance in
the status quo necessitates a new perspective on information that
focuses on embodiment rather than simple representation.
Van der Ploed 03 [Irma van der Ploeg, PhD, Associate Professor at the Infonomics and
New Media Research Centre, “Biometrics and the body as information: Normative issues of the
sociotechnical coding of the body,” 2003]//JIH
Today, the socio-technical production of social categories and identities through IT-mediated
surveillance relies increasingly on a gradually extending intertwinement of individual physical
characteristics with information systems (van der Ploeg 1999a). The impetus for this development
stems to a considerable extent from governments and government-related authorities facing
security problems relating to processes of globalization and increasing mobility of persons . The
apt metaphor of states’ “embrace” of their citizens in the quote from Torpey’s History of the Passport used as an
epigraph at the beginning of this chapter becomes particularly striking when “the files” of which he speaks
show the tendency to include ever more data pertaining to bodily characteristics. But it is in
various domains of society and spheres of activity, ranging from work, health care, and law
enforcement, to consumption, travel and leisure, that the generation, collection, and processing
of “body data” is increasing (Lyon 2001).
I argue that in order to make sense of the normative and socio-political implications of this
phenomenon, we may need to let go of the idea that this merely concerns the collection of yet
another type of personal information. Instead of consisting of mere information about persons, a proactive
understanding of this development may be better served by considering the ways in which this “informatization of the
body” may eventually affect embodiment and identity as such. We may need to consider how the
translation of (aspects of) our physical existence into digital code and “information,” and the new
uses of bodies this subsequently allows, amounts to a change on the level of ontology, instead of
merely that of representation.
As Katherine Hayles writes: When changes in incorporating practices take place, they are often linked
with new technologies that affect how people use their bodies and experience space and time.
Formed by technology at the same time that it creates technology, embodiment mediates between technology and
discourse by creating new experiential frameworks that serve as boundary markers for the
creation of corresponding discursive systems. In the feedback loop between technological innovations and
discursive practices, incorporation is a crucial link. (Hayles 1992: 163)
Instead of the standard dual picture of the body as an ahistorical, natural entity, the
representations of which change over time (due to scientific and technological innovations), we may need to
consider how all three terms are caught in a process of co-evolution. With technological and
discursive practices converging towards an ontology of “information,” it is unlikely that their
mediating link, embodiment – even while acknowledging its constraining and limiting power – will remain
unaffected. And because embodiment concerns our most basic experience of the body and of
being in the world, these developments carry profound normative and moral implications we
ought to attempt to uncover.
Surveillance/Observation
Queer bodies suffer constant observation, and the dominant culture
coerces them into hiding who they are. They suffer like prisoners in
the panopticon, internalizing the surveillance and allowing it to
change their very nature, destroying agency.
LeBlanc 10 UNQUEERING TRANSGENDER? A QUEER GEOGRAPHY OF
TRANSNORMATIVITY IN TWO ONLINE COMMUNITIES by Fred Joseph LeBlanc Master of
Arts in Gender & Women’s Studies Victoria University of Wellington 2010 P27-30
In an early text, written with Wichins, Valentine (1997) discusses the social construction of the body and is
specifically concerned with not only the ways people alter their bodies but the construction of
identities around bodies that are not culturally understandable in terms of existing binary
categories. To him, the altering of bodies calls into play new questions of difference and power, specifically the policing of these
bodies by cultural means. In policing social space and the bodies therein, Foucault’s use of Jeremy Bentham’s
panopticon as a metaphor for surveillance is of particular interest. The panopticon is an architectural technology of a
building in the form of a ring. In the centre of this ring is a tower facing the inner face of the ring. The outer building is divided into
cells, each the width of the building itself. Each of these cells has two windows: one facing the tower, the other on the opposite wall,
allowing light to seep in. The tower’s surveiller surveys the silhouettes of the cell’s captives (see Image 1, next page). It was
considered an easy and effective exercise of power. This policing produced a politics of space
and visibility inscribed in architecture. Visibility is organised around a dominating gaze and the
technology of the panopticon was not so much to punish wrongdoers as to prevent even the
possibility of wrongdoing, by immersing people in a field of total visibility where the opinion, observations and discourse
of others would restrain them from harmful acts. (Foucault 1980: 153) 27 The only downside of the panopticon was the fear of
darkened, and thus unregulated, space which prevents the visibility of the person being regulated. It is in this sense that visibility
produces surveillance (Thompson, 2004). Indeed, it is the technology of the panopticon that allows for
interiorisation of a total, omniscient gaze. A surveiller need not watch the cells, as the potential
for surveillance will result in each individual interiorising the gaze so that the individual will
exercise surveillance over – and against – themselves. This ideal surveillance cancels human agency; it is this
penetrative element of the gaze that polices gender “wrongdoing” and produces a “good citizen” within a certain knowledge/power
matrix. The assimilationist agenda has privileged the internalised gaze as part of its politics:
Gender-normative gays and lesbians self police their gender in such a way that it cannot be
questioned or misinterpreted, thus demonstrating that their sexuality is distinct from their gender.
Constant surveillance assimiliates all peoples into “citizen subject”
thorugh processes of discipline and total normalization, erasing
difference and asserting bio-power over entire populations.
Lee 10 Bare Life, Interstices, and the Third Space of Citizenship Lee, Charles professor of
Justice and Social Inquiry, Arizona State University. Women's Studies Quarterly38.1/2 (Spring
2010): 57-81 proquest
Michel Foucault has conceptualized the modern form of power as "bio -power," wherein the essential measure of liberal governance
is to oversee the welfare of the population (wealth, longevity, health, etc.) through mechanisms of calculation, monitoring,
regulation, and utilization, such that citizen life will be fostered productively in the interests and security of the state ( 1980a; 1997).
Biopower taps into the bodies and souls of human subjects to ensure the reproduction of the social body in a "proper" mode and
"proper" way (Foucault 1980b). As a technique of liberal governance, the inscription of subjects into modern citizenship initiates
modern state's systematic surveillance of its population. David Lyon points out that the civil, political, and social rights granted to
citizens in the age of modernity imply that "people had to be registered, and their personal details filed, which of course
paradoxically facilitated their increased surveillance" (2001, 294). New and minute forms of surveillance and
control were established via documentary identification of citizens (i.e., birth certificates, driver's licenses,
Social Security cards, passports, bankbooks, credit cards) throughout liberal societies by the last quarter of the twentieth century
(294). Rather than an autonomous species standing in opposition to corporate bureaucratic
power, citizenship is itself entangled in the webs of surveillance and subjection, discipline and
normalization as a constitutive part of liberal governance in the making of citizen-subjects
(Cruikshank I999). Aihwa Ong conceives citizenship as what Foucault calls the "technologies of government," involving a set of
"policies, programs, codes, and practices . . . that attempt to instill in citizen-subjects particular values (self-reliance, freedom,
individualism, calculation, or flexibility)" that are conducive to the production of the way of life in advanced liberal societies (2003,
6). These technologies of citizenship nurture a particular type of liberal subject - an entrepreneurial individual who is self-governing,
selfmanaging, and self-regulating (7-9). Woven into liberal regime's biopolitical rationality, citizens are
thus both made and self-making, both subject to regulatory control and "empowered" to act in
their own interests as fullfledged citizen-subjects (Cruikshank 1999, 4; Ong 2003, 9). As Barry Hindess argues,
however, to the extent that modern citizenship structures a biopolitical regime vis-à-vis the internal populations in advanced liberal
states, it further informs the relations between states in an overarching "supranational regime of population management" (2005,
243). In other words, while during the colonial era European states sought to bring non-Western populations into the modern
system of states through imperial discipline and direct domination, the decolonization process has subjected the newly independent
states to a new regulatory regime of market interactions (i.e., international trading in goods and services) supervised by powerful
Western states and supranational agencies to discipline the conduct of states (247). Postcolonial states have to demonstrate their
fitness within the international system by participating in various international arrangements, embracing the market mechanism,
and subjecting themselves to regulations by international financial agencies (250). As Hindess notes, liberalism is not
merely a normative political doctrine or ideology, but a "positive project of government" that
uses "market interactions to civilize and to regulate the conduct both of states themselves and of
those within the particular populations under their authority" (25 1). This supranational governmental
project orients posteolonial states toward a modern liberal world order as their own populations are molded into the institutions of
citizenship (247, 256).
Surveillance in public-private spaces such as parks serves to regulate
and exclude non-heterosexual activities
Walby 9 (Kevin Walby- Dept of Sociology and Anthropology, Carleton University, Canada. "He asked me if I was looking for
fags," Surveillance and Society Vol 6 no 4 (2009). library.queensu.ca/ojs/index.php/surveillance-andsociety/article/view/3268/3231 jsk)
<Public Sex, Parks and Surveillance The notion of ‘public sex’ is misleading. It assumes there is
a stable difference between ‘public’ and ‘private’. Edwards (1994: 91) uses the term ‘not-private’
sex, since the paradox of public sex is its hiding “in darkness, and around corners to evade
constantly increased state surveillance…[oscillating] from apparent non-privacy into
comparative privacy”. For this reason, so-called public sex involves redefining privacy and
anonymity (Bell 1995). Notions of ‘public’ and ‘private’ are also central in the regulation of
sexuality (Colter et al. 1996). The 1957 Wolfenden Report, influential across the UK and North
America, called for complete withdrawal of regulation of sex in the private sphere but broader
policing of public sex. The Wolfenden Report became core policy for many governments,
including Canada’s, facilitating the decriminalization of private ‘homosexuality’ in a 1969
amendment of the Criminal Code of Canada. The Wolfenden Report simultaneously legitimated
regulation of male with male sex in public, evidenced by crackdowns on bathhouses and
tearooms that occurred in Toronto during the late 1970s through the 1980s (Walby 2009; Smith
1988). Decriminalization of ‘private homosexuality’ was advanced while ‘public homosexuality’
became criminalized.
As Califia (1994: 71) puts it, too narrow a definition of ‘public’ or ‘private’ in relation to sex
“could leave us with little or no right to be visibly gay, meet each other in public places, or
participate in sex outside of monogamous, closeted relationships”. That we are ‘free’ to pursue
sexuality in ‘private’ means that sex is subject to various forms of regulation. The surveillance
that occurs where space and pleasure-seeking intersect is only intensified in the revanchist city
(Hannigan 1998; Smith 1996) where business and moral entrepreneurs seek to sanitize space
and create more commercial zones.
Laws concerning public sex are written or enforced in ways that target specific types of people in
specific locations (e.g. men who have sex with men in public). What results from governing
public sex through law “is the performative inscription of a particular type of sexual figure who
is deviant, abnormal, suspect, and in need of regulation by the criminal law” (Johnson 2007:
532). The claim here is that not all public sex is regulated equally. If laws are enforced in ways
that discriminate against public male with male sexual relations, this begs the questions of why.
Is it simply homophobia?
For Herek (2004: 8), the term ‘homophobia’ was important in that it “crystallized the
experiences of rejection, hostility, and invisibility that homosexual men and women in mid-20th
century North America had experienced throughout their lives”. But Herek points out that the
term ‘homophobia’ has been “too diffuse in its application” and “overly narrow in its
characterization of oppression as ultimately the product of individual fear” (ibid. 11). The
stereotyping, persecution and exclusion of men who have sex with men is based on more than an
amorphous fear – regulation of sexuality always has a spatial element.
Some argue that ‘heteronormativity’ is a more precise term. Heteronormativity refers to how
heterosexuality is privileged as ‘natural’ sexuality, favouring monogamous relations between
opposite sexes that aim towards child bearing. Same sex relations, promiscuity, and kinky sex
are shunned. It is not only sex acts but also urban areas that are coded through heteronormative
hierarchies of property and propriety (Berlant and Warner 1998). Heteronormativity is not a
thing, however, it is a process. The privileging of heterosexuality and demonization of queer
sexuality is achieved and inscribed through routine text-based surveillance practices (Smith
1988) involving occurrence reports and other kinds of information sharing. Governance of
homoerotic desire occurs in a field of contending discourses, where multiple techniques are used
to produce regulatory knowledge in a search for ‘homosexuals’ (Walby 2009; Kinsman 1996).
The heteronormative order is also a spatial order. Moral contours of heterosexuality are etched
into city spaces: “the city organizes and ‘naturalizes’ heterosexuality in so much as it divides and
confines sexual identities across public and private spaces, defining the locations appropriate for
specific sexual performances” (Hubbard 2000: 211). Parks are a site of such attempts at
ordering. Edwards (1994) writes that parks in Britain have been used for public sex since 18th
century industrialization. Merrick (2002) discusses the policing of male with male sex in the
then wooded and marshy Champs-Elysées area of 18th century Paris. Men having sex with men
choose the park because it is more discreet than the street corner. Parks can be public-private
spaces. The park is sometimes viewed as risky by sex participants, not because of HIV/AIDS, but
since gay bashing from police or homophobic community members is a possibility. This in turn
contributes to how men also think of park sex as thrilling and exciting (Lee 1979). For Edwards
(1994: 108), “public sex is primarily conducted within the context or parameters of pleasure and
danger or eroticism and oppression due to its constant oscillation across a series of codes of
decency, order and privacy”. The park is a liminal zone where the rules for everyday sexual
conduct are suspended.
At the same time, the park (especially at night) is thought of as a site where male against female
violence occurs (Little 2005; Chan and Rigakos 2002; Pain 1997). Public parks are contested
zones because they are accessible by numerous social groups who make different use values of
the locale. Even Christopher Park in New York, iconic in gay communities, is neither stably
queer or heteronormative (Conlon 2004). Instead, it is through contestation that space becomes
produced or intelligible as belonging to one or another social group and the conduct associated
with them. It is not only ‘private’ and ‘public’ that are constituted through such regulation and
surveillance. It is through surveillance that ‘homosexuals’ as so-called sexual deviants become
intelligible as governance objects to organizations like the NCC. Examining the textual
organization of surveillance practices and the work of surveillance agents (Walby 2005), in this
paper I focus on how the NCC as a governance agency mobilizes against and monitors people
with diverse sexualities.>
Constant observation and the assigning of terms like “trans” by the
dominant mainstream erases the lived experience of the victims
LeBlanc 10 UNQUEERING TRANSGENDER? A QUEER GEOGRAPHY OF
TRANSNORMATIVITY IN TWO ONLINE COMMUNITIES by Fred Joseph LeBlanc Master of
Arts in Gender & Women’s Studies Victoria University of Wellington 2010 P27-30
Anita shows the complications of lived experience upon the transgender category and the limits of
transgender as an identity. Anita knows she is “gay” and “a man,” but she also knows that everything
she does is “like a woman” and is therefore read as transgender. In fact, in his field work at the New York
Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center and the surrounding areas, Valentine found many people on whom the
transgender category would be placed, but identified as gay men and saw their gender variance
as part of their (homo)sexuality – and this was not limited to male-bodied women. Jade, an older femalebodied individual who identifies as a “mother,” “lesbian,” and a “man,” found the word
transgender not representative of her experience because “the word ‘trans’ was only used in ‘transsexual,’ meaning
you were flipping over, changing your organs” (ibid.) Valentine considers that this is not merely a mis- or non-education issue and
that some gay-identified people would adopt the transgender label and abandon their gay identity if they were better informed of it.
Rather, for many gender-variant people, personal experiences cannot be accounted for so easily by
the categories homosexuality or transgender; both sexual and gendered experiences exceed the
boundaries of their categories.
Impacts
Bare Life
Bodies become occupied by the state, subjected to surveillance, ID
numbers, passes, and permits. This leads to unthinkable despair and
a state of bare life.
Enns 2004 Philosophy Department at the University of Toronto where she holds a
postdoctoral fellowship Bare Life and the Occupied Body Diane Enns 7:3 | © 2004
If we bracket for a moment Agamben's most extreme case of the Muselmann, the concept of bare life becomes useful for
thinking about the state-occupied body, the inhabitant of nowhere, stripped of political identity,
nationhood, and basic human rights, by virtue of the fact of birth, a body whose very biological
rhythms are regulated and controlled by a sovereign power. We could explore a number of examples here: the
Iraqi's body, ravaged by hunger and disease, occupied by a sinister program of economic sanctions that Joy Gordon calls "a weapon
of mass destruction" that has caused "a legitimized act of mass slaughter"36; the Tamil, the Chechen, the Tibetan, the indigenous
Zapatista -- a discouragingly long list of peoples who are victimized to one extent or another by an occupying or colonizing power. It
is the Palestinian occupation however, that comes most to my mind in this evocation of bare life. Tanya Reinhardt demonstrates in
her detailed documentation of life in the occupied territories, how the Palestinian body is regulated, rendered vulnerable by the state
power that penetrates all aspects of daily life from controlling where one can and cannot travel, where and how one can work,
whether one can import or export produce, medical supplies and cooking fuel, to whether one is safe in one's home.37 This is a
systematic destruction of all semblance of normal life through a complicated and extensive web
of enforcements from passes, identity numbers, permits, routine interrogations, road blocks that require
leaving home in the night to get to work, to surveillance and political assassinations. Out of this emerges the figure of the
"suicide bomber,"38 a figure of bare life, in this sense of abject vulnerability, reduction to a life devoid of any political meaning
except that by which he is excluded, and by the fact that his or her life would be extinguished with impunity if the act did not already
accomplish death. Intriguing contradictions arise however, when we consider the fact that these human bombs become martyrs to
their own people through the sacrifice of their lives -- a sacrifice that defies their own Islamic faith, as well as the figure of homo
sacer, whose life is not able to be sacrificed because it is meaningless already.39 In this case, the element of sacrifice appears to be
the only meaning available, a final recourse to a limited resistance. This is an argument made repeatedly in the struggle to bring the
plight of the Palestinians to the world's attention.40 In an oft-quoted interview, Eyad El Sarraj, a psychiatrist from the Gaza strip
and recipient of several human rights awards, describes the association of sacrifice with power when asked to what he attributes the
escalation of violence in the second Intifada: It's despair. The hopelessness that comes from a situation that
keeps getting worse, a despair where living becomes no different from dying. Desperation is a
very powerful force -- it's not only negative. It propels people to actions or solutions that
previously would have been unthinkable. . . .
To affirm our own humanity, we have forced others into positions of
sacred lives- they may be sacrificed without punishment. Their death
at our hands doesn’t constitute a crime. They have no lives worth
living. There isn’t even a value to their deaths.
Norris 2k GIORGIO AGAMBEN AND THE POLITICS OF THE LIVING DEAD Norris,
Andrew. Andrew Norris is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of
Pennsylvania .Diacritics30.4 (Winter 2000)
http://search.proquest.com.proxy.lib.umich.edu/cv_635091/docview/746427833/fulltext/170B
AD97AF434E1CPQ/1?accountid=14667
With the rise of sovereignty we witness the rise of a form of life that corresponds to it. "The
sovereign sphere [sfera] is the sphere in which it is permitted to kill without committing homicide
and without celebrating a sacrifice [sacrificio], and sacred life [sacra]-that is, life that may be killed but not sacrificed-is the life that
has been captured in this sphere" [83]. Agamben does not define the sacred in terms of "what is set apart for worship of the deity."
He is interested in the more fundamental question of the logic of sacrifice (from Latin sacrificium, from sacr-, sacer, holy, cursed) as
revealed in the life that is sacred (from Latin sacrare, also from sacr-, sacer). What Agamben terms sacred life is, like the sovereign,
both within and without the legal order (or, as its etymology suggests, both holy and cursed). It is inside the legal order insofar as its
death can be allowed by that order; but it is outside it insofar as its death can constitute neither a homicide nor a sacrifice. But where
sovereignty is a form of power that occupies this threshold, sacred life is nothing more than a life that occupies this threshold, a life
that is excluded and included in the political order. Here this takes the form not, as in Aristotle, of a metaphysical puzzle, but rather
of a mute helplessness in the face of death. "Sacredness is . . . the originary form of the inclusion of bare life [nuda vita] in the
judicial order, and the syntagm homo sacer names something like the originary 'political' relation, which is to say, bare life insofar as
it operates in an inclusive exclusion as the referent of the sovereign decision" [85]. This is the explicit revelation of the metaphysical
requirement that politics establish a relation with the nonrelational [cf. note 8]. Indeed, the sovereign decision is the realization of
the ambiguity of the distinction between bare and political life. It is law (political life) that is not law (insofar as it steps outside of the
strictures and limitations of formal law) dealing with bare life (that is, nonpolitical life), and insofar as it does so that nonpolitical
(bare) life it treats is political. The result is the paradox of a sacrifice that is dedicated to no legal or religious end [114] but that
participates in and affirms the economy or logic of the legal/religious system as a metaphysical, political system. Where in René
Girard's superficially similar account of sacrifice the victim is a scapegoat for the murderous desires of the
community that unites around her, here the stakes are considerably higher. Instead of an act of selfprotection on the part of the community [Girard 4, 101-02], sacrifice is the performance of the metaphysical
assertion of the human: the Jew, the Gypsy, and the gay man die that the German may affirm his
transcendence of his bodily, animal life.22 Contemporary instances of this threshold life abound, from refugees and
people in concentration camps to "neomorts" and figures in "overcomas" whom we are tempted to turn into organ farms. Perhaps
the clearest example is that of people in camps forcibly subjected to extreme medical tests and prisoners who have been condemned
to death who are asked to "volunteer" for the same: The particular status of the VPs [Versuchspersonen] was
decisive: they were persons sentenced to death or detained in a camp, the entry into which
meant the definitive exclusion from the political community . Precisely because they were
lacking almost all the rights and expectations that we characteristically attribute to human
existence, and yet were still biologically alive [biologicamente ancora vita], they came to be situated at a limit zone
[una zona-limite] between life and death, inside and outside, in which they were no longer anything but bare life
[nuda vita]. Those who are sentenced to death and those who dwelt in camps are thus in some way unconsciously assimilated
to homines sacres, to a life that may be killed without the commission of homicide. Like the fence of
the camp, the interval between death sentence and execution delimits an extratemporal and extraterritorial threshold [soglia] in
which the human body is separated from its normal [normale] political status and abandoned, in a state of exception [in stato di
eccezione], to the most extreme misfortunes. [159] When, in the United States, men condemned to death have been
offered the possibility of parole in exchange for "volunteering" to undergo tests that could not be
imposed upon those with full rights of citizenship [156-57], the reasoning was quite understandable, and even
attractive in its economy and "fairness": given that the person has been condemned to die, he has
essentially already lost his life. As far as the law is concerned his life is no longer his own, and in
that sense he is a "living dead man" [131]. Hence there will be no crime against him if his life is
"lost" again. But neither will that death be the imposition of the death penalty. Indeed, it is
precisely insofar as he awaits execution that he remains alive: his life remains only to be taken
from him in the moment of punishment. Death in the experiment thus reveals the paradoxes of death row as a sphere
that delayed penalty makes possible, that of the threshold between life and death.23
Biopower Impacts
Biopower allows nations to operate with impunity, committing
spectacular violence, warfare, and genocides all in the name of
securing life.
Newman 4 SPECIAL ISSUE Terror, Sovereignty and Law: On the Politics of Violence By
Saul Newman* is an associate professor in the Department of Government in the School of
Public Affairs at American University [Vol. 05 No. 05] 2004
This inscription of violence and war in the framework of the social finds its modern permutation
in what Foucault terms “biopolitics.” The “race wars” of earlier periods have now become codified in modern political
discourses that have as their central concern the preservation of the biological life of the species. The target of politics in
contemporary societies, according to Foucault, is the administration of life itself. This designates
a new form of power – “biopower.” The operation of power is now aimed at the regulation,
calculation and administration of populations. Violence is still inscribed at the heart of
these modern societies . However, the crucial difference with modern regimes of biopower is that, unlike sovereign
regimes, where blood was shed symbolically on behalf of the sovereign, now
wars are waged on a massive scale
by states on behalf of the populations they administer. Sovereign societies, according to Foucault, were
characterised by the symbol of the sword and the right of the sovereign to either take life or to spare it. The symbolic register
of these societies was a supreme power over life and death: “The sovereign exercised his right of
life only by exercising his right to kill… Its symbol was, after all, the sword.”24 Sovereign societies were
characterised by the power of the spectacle – witness the “spectacle of the scaffold,” whose
grotesque horrors and excessive violence Foucault described in the execution of the regicide
Damiens.25 Power was exercised here in a highly symbolic fashion, through a violence that was excessive, spectacular and
ritualised. Punishment involved, for instance, the literal sacrifice of the body of the condemned. Foucault argues that this notion of
violence as spectacle and symbolic sacrifice is no longer characteristic of modern societies, in which power operates
in a quiet, methodical, regulative fashion. Modern societies, by contrast, are characterised by an entirely different
register and technology of power – one in which the symbolic power of the sovereign to take life has been supplanted by a power that
operates at the level of population and whose principle is to secure life. This modern technology of power is no less
bloody, according to Foucault – having produced unprecedented genocides and holocausts .
However, its symbolic order is non-violent. That is to say, it is based on the principle of the preservation, rather than the sacrifice, of
life. 23 Again we see the parallel between violence and sovereignty - the way that the condition of sovereignty is also this
undecidability, in relation to the law. That power is organised around the principle of the security and preservation of life is an
undeniable fact of contemporary politics. The obsession with security now in the wake of recent outbreaks of terrorism is perhaps
paradigmatic of this modern principle of power. As Agamben argues, the concern with security and the
preservation of life, while always one of the several prerogatives of modern state power, has now
become the fundamental principle of state activity. We can see this new preoccupation with
security in the obsession with “terrorist plots” within one’s own borders, with a new invisible
enemy that can strike at any time. The security and protection of internal populations from this invisible enemy – that
is seen as both an external threat and an internal contaminant - has become the primary concern of political
power. Questions of national security and the protection from terror are now the central feature of any political platform. Needless
to say, this
new raison d’être of the modern state has as its flip side the systematic
destruction of life – the meaningless military operations,
precisely in the name of the preservation of life
for instance, that
are engaged in
The expression of humanist biopower will destroy the planet
Bernauer, Boston College professor of philosophy, 1990
(James, “Michael Foucault’s Force of Flight: Toward an Ethics of Thought,” pp. 141-142)
This capacity of power to conceal itself cannot cloak the tragedy of the implications contained in Foucault's examination of its functioning.
While liberals have fought to extend rights and Marxists have denounced the injustices of capitalism, a political technology, acting in the
interests of a better administration of life, has produced a politics that places man's "existence as a living being in question." The very period
that proclaimed pride in having overthrown the tyranny of monarchy, that engaged in an endless clamor for reform, that is confident in the
virtues of its humanistic faith -- this period's politics created a landscape dominated by history's bloodiest wars. What
comparison is
possible between a sovereign's authority to take a life and a power that, in the interest of protecting a
society's quality of life, can plan, as well as develop the means for its implementation, a policy of
mutually assured destruction? Such a policy is neither an aberration of the fundamental principles of
modern politics nor an abandonment of our age's humanism in favor of a more primitive right to kill; it
is but the other side of a power that is "situated and exercised at the level of life, the species the race, and the large-scale phenomena of
population. The
bio-political project of administering and optimizing life closes its circle with the
production of the Bomb. "The atomic situation is now at the end point of this process: the power to
expose a whole population to death is the underside of a power to guarantee and individuals
continued existence. " The solace that might have been expected from being able to gaze at scaffolds empty of the victims of a tyrant's
vengeance has been stolen form us by the noose that has tightened around each of our own necks.
Liberal biopolitical governance risks unending war against all threats
to the species—that apocalyptic violence will inevitably turn against
the species itself.
Dillon and Reid ‘9 (Michael, professor of Politics at the University of Lancaster, and Julian, Lecturer in International
Relations at Kings College and Professor of International Relations at the University of Lapland, “The Liberal Way of War: Killing to
Make Life Live, pg 30-33, JS)
One way of expressing the core problematic that we pursue in this book is, therefore, in the form of a question posed back to Paine
on account of that definitive claim. What happens to the liberal way of rule and its allied way of war when
liberalism goes global in pursuit of the task of emancipating the species from war, by taking the
biohuman as its referent object of both rule and war? What happens to war, we ask, when a new form of governmental regime
emerges which attempts to make war in defence and promotion of the entire species as opposed to using war in service of the
supposedly limited interests of sovereigns? For the liberal project of the removal of species life from the
domain of human enmity never in practice entailed an end to war, or to the persistence of
threats requiring war. Paine makes this clear in his original formulation. Under liberal regimes, Paine
observes, war will still be defined by relations between the human and its enemies. The enemies of
the human will simply no longer be ‘its species’ (Paine 1995: 595). What that meant, in practice, was
that the liberal way of rule had to decide what elements and what expressions of human life best
served the promotion of the species. Those that did not were precisely those that most threatened
it; those upon which it was called to wage war. Deciding on what elements and expression of the human both serve and threaten is
the definitive operation by which liberalism constitutes its referent object of war and rule: that of the biohuman. Whatever
resists the constitution of the biohuman is hostile and dangerous to it, even if it arises within
the species itself. Indeed, as we shall show, since life is now widely defined in terms of continuous
emergence and becoming, it is a continuous becoming-dangerous to itself. The locus of threat and danger
under the liberal way of rule and war progressively moves into the very morphogenic composition and re-composability of living
systems and of living material. The greatest source of threat to life becomes life. It is very important to
emphasize that this discourse of danger is precisely not that which commonly arises in the political anthropologies of human
cupidity of early modern political theory going back classically, for example, to Hobbes and Locke, which was nonetheless still
formulated in a context still circumscribed by the infinity of divine providence, however obscure this was becoming, and however
much this obscurity helped fuel the crisis of their times. The analytics of finitude, rather than the analytics of redemption,
circumscribe late modern discourses of governance and danger now, instead. Biology, one might
therefore also say, itself arose as a science of finitude; of the play of species life and death outwith the
play of human life and redemption. The same might very well be said for modern ‘political science.’ Biology does not, of
course, recognize cupidity. Cupidity arises in a different, anthro-political, order of things. These days, especially, biology recognizes
only the dynamics of complex adaptive evolutionary emergence and change of living systems, whose very laws of formation it
increasingly understands in informational terms. These, additionally, empower it to re-compose living material according to design
rather than nature in order to rectify the infelicities of nature, or, indeed, pre-empt its expression by positively creating new nature,
rather than merely negating existing nature. Pre-emption here is not negative, it is positive. It is not precaution, so much as creative
production. The discourse of danger being elaborated through the liberal way of rule and war, in the
age of life as information, is
therefore related to the possibility that complex adaptive emergence and
change can go acerbic. The possibility of catastrophe lies, immanently, in the very dynamics of the life
process itself. Neither is this a discourse of danger which revolves around traditional othering practices alone, however
pervasive and persistent these politically toxic devises remain. This
is a discourse of danger which hyperbolicizes
fear in relation to the radically contingent outcomes upon which the very liveliness of life itself is
now said to depend. Biohumanity—itself an expression of the attempt to give concrete form to finitude politically—is
therefore both threat and promise. The corollary is therefore also clear: enemies of the species
must be cast out from the species as such. ‘Just war’ in the cause of humanity here—a constant liberal trope
(Douzinas 2003)—takes a novel turn when the humanity at issue is biohumanity. For just war has constantly to be
waged for biohumanity against the continuous becoming-dangerous of life itself; and less in the form
of the Machiavellian or Hobbesian Homo lupus than in the form of continuously emergent being, something which also prompts the
thought that Foucault’s analytics of finitude might itself have to be revised to take account of the infinity of becoming which now also
characterizes the contemporary ontology of the life sciences. Since the object is to preserve and promote the
biohuman, any such war to end war becomes war without end; thus turning Walzer’s arguments
concerning the justification of liberal war inside out (Walzer 2000: 329-335). The project of removing war from the
life of the species becomes a lethal and, in principle, continuous and unending process. In a way, as a
matter of its biopolitical logic, there is little particularly startling about this claim. Immanent in the biopoliticization of liberal rule,
it is only a matter of where, when and how it finds expression. As the very composition and
dynamics of species life become the locus of the threat to species life, so the properties of species life offer themselves in the form of
a new king of promise: war may be removed from the species should those properties be attended to differently. Consider, for
example, Kant’s ‘Idea for a Universal History’: if he lives among others of his own species, man is an animal who needs a master… he
requires a master to break his self-will and force him to obey a universally valid will under which everyone can be free. But where is
he to find such a master? Nowhere else but in the human species. (Kant 2005; emphasis added) ‘Nowhere else but in the human
species.’ Here Kant, too, discloses the circumscription of his reflections by the analytics of finitude. Put simply, liberalism’s
strategic calculus of necessary killing has, then, to be furnished by the laws and dynamics, the
exigencies and contingencies, derived from the properties of the biohuman itself. Making life live
becomes the criterion against which the liberal way of rule and war must seek to
say how much killing is enough. In a massive, quite literally terrifying, paradox, however, since
the biohuman is the threat, it cannot, itself, adjudicate how much self-immolation would be
enough to secure itself against itself without destroying itself. However much the terror of the liberal way of
rule and war currently revolves around the ‘figure’ of Al-Qaeda, the very dispositive of terror which increasingly circumscribes the
life of the biohuman at the beginning of the twenty-first century is the fear induced by its very own account of life. No specific
manner or form is proper, then, to the biohuman other than this: its being continuously at work instrumentally reassigning itself in
order, it is said, to survive, but in fact to secure itself against its own vital processes. Within the compass of this
biopolitical imaginary of species existence, the biohuman becomes the living being to whom all
manner of self-securing work must be assigned. The task thus posed through the liberal way of rule and war by its
referent object of rule and war—the biohuman—is no longer that, classically, of assigning the human its proper nature with a view to
respecting it. The proper nature of the biohuman has become the infinite re-assignability of the very
pluripotency itself. This is the strategic goal of the liberal way of war because it has become the
strategic goal of the liberal way of rule. From the analytics of finitude, politically, has thus arisen an
infinity of securitization and fear.
Biopower eliminates all value to life
Agamben 98 (Giorgio, U of Verona, Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life, p.139-40)
LA
It is not our intention here to take a position on the difficult ethical problem of euthanasia, which still today, in certain countries,
occupies a substantial position in medical debates and provokes disagreement. Nor are we concerned with the radicaliry with which
Binding declares himself in favor of the general admissibility of euthanasia. More interesting for our inquiry is the fact that the
sovereignty of the living man over his own life has its immediate counterpart in the
determination of a threshold beyond which life ceases to have any juridical value
and can, therefore, be killed without the commission of a homicide. The new
juridical category of “life devoid of value” (or “life unworthy of being lived”) corresponds exactly—even if in an apparently different direction—to the bare life of homo sacer and can
easily be extended beyond the limits imagined by Binding. It is as if every
valorization and every “politicization” of life (which, after all, is implicit in the sovereignty of the
individual over his own existence) necessarily implies a new decision concerning the threshold
beyond which life ceases to be politically relevant, becomes only “sacred life,” and can as such be
eliminated without punishment. Every society sets this limit; every society—even the most modern—decides who its “sacred men”
will be. It is even possible that this
limit, on which the politicization and the exceprio of natural life in the juridical order of the
done nothing but extend itself in the history of the West and has
now— in the new biopolitical horizon of states with national sovereignty—moved
inside every human life and every citizen. Bare life is no longer confined to a
particular place or a definite category. It now dwells in the biological body of every
living being.
state depends, has
The dark underside of biopower is the mobilization of whole
populations for the purpose of wholesale slaughter
Foucault 72 (Michael, Professor of the History of Systems of Thought College De France,
The Foucault Reader, pg. 258) LD
Since the classical age, the West has undergone a very profound transformation of these
mechanisms of power. "Deduction" has tended to be no longer the major form of power but merely one element among
others, working to incite, reinforce, control, monitor, optimize, and organize the
forces under it: a power bent on generating forces, making them grow, and
ordering them, rather than one dedicated to impeding them, making them submit,
or destroying them. There has been a parallel ·shift in the right of death, or at least a tendency to align itself with the
exigencies of a life-administering power and to define itself accordingly. This death that was based on the right of the sovereign is
now manifested as simply the reverse of the right , of the social body to ensure, maintain, or develop its life . Yet wars were
never as bloody as they have been since the nineteenth century, and all things
being equal, never before did regimes visit such holocausts on their own
populations . But this formidable power of death-and this is perhaps what accounts
for part of its force and the cynicism with which it has greatly expanded its limitsnow presents itself a s the counterpart of a power that exerts a positive influence
on life, that endeavors to administer, optimize, and multiply it, subjecting to
precise controls and comprehensive regulations . Wars are no longer waged in the
name of a sovereign who must be de fended; they are waged on behalf of the
existence of everyone; entire populations are mobilized for the purpose of
wholesale slaughter in the name of life necessity: massacres have become vital . It is as
managers of life and survival, of bodies and the race, that so many regimes have
been able to wage so many wars, causing so many men to be killed. And through a turn that
closes the circle, as the technology of wars has caused them to tend increasingly toward all-out destruction, the decision that initiates
them and the one that terminates the� are in fact increasingly informed by the naked question of survival. The atomic
situation is now at the end point of this process: the power to expose a whole
population to death is the underside of the power to guarantee an individual's
continued existence. The principle underlying the tactics of battle-that one has to be capable of killing in order to go on
living-has become the principle that defines the strategy of states. But the existence in question is no longer the juridical existence of
sovereignty; at stake is the biological existence of a population. If genocide is indeed the dream of modern
powers, this is not because of a recent return of the ancient right to kill; it is
because power is situated and exercised at the level of life, the species, the race,
and the large-scale phenomena of population.
Exclusion
Policed bodies are forced into exclusion, and made socially dead- this
mind set extends to justify ethnic cleansing and bio-political
extinction.
Parker 12 Visiting Research Associate in the Department of Sociology at LSE
Between the Reservation and the Camp: Neoliberal Governmentalities of Exceptional Urban
Space
29 May 2012. Simon Parker
As Foucault reminds us, policed bodies have always been the subject of physical separation and
removal from the healthy body politic—a process that gave rise to the physical, permanent
institution of the prison, the clinic and the asylum (Foucault 1977, 2001). In these heterotopic spaces, the
suspension of civic rights gave rise to a disciplinary order in which the state enjoyed qualitative
and quantitative control over the abject which had as its end the intensification and extension of
‘bare life’ (Agamben, 1998) and where law and moral order, these most essential and fundamental aspects of the
civic community, are indefinitely suspended (Parker 2010). The camp therefore represents a controlled
space of the ‘social dead’—the deferment of whose physical death is merely a question of expediency or
technical-administrative exigency (Goldhagen 1996). But its manifestation and recombination extends
beyond annihilationist regimes of biopolitical extinction and 'ethnic cleansing' into the
banal spaces of the everyday urban world where the twin space of controlled
exceptionality and exclusion--'the reservation'--also features strongly within more familiar landscapes of abjection.
Omnicide
Otherization of queer populations leads to mass acts of violence,
psychological violence, and suffering – results in omnicide.
Sedgwick 8 [Eve, Professor of English at Duke University, Epistemology of the Closet,
second revised edition, California at Berkeley Press, p. 127-130]//JIH
From at least the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah, scenarios of same-sex desire would seem to have had a
privileged, though by no means an exclusive, relation in Western culture to scenarios of both
genocide and omnicide. That sodomy, the name by which homosexual acts are known even today to the law of half of
the United States and to the Supreme Court of all of them, should already be inscribed with the name of a site of
mass extermination is the appropriate trace of a double history. In the first place there is a history of
the mortal suppression, legal or subjudicial, of gay acts and gay people, through burning,
hounding, physical and chemical castration, concentration camps, bashing—the array of sanctioned
fatalities that Louis Crompton records under the name of gay genocide, and whose supposed eugenic motive becomes only the more
colorable with the emergence of a distinct, naturalized minority identity in the nineteenth century. In the second place, though,
there is the inveterate topos of associating gay acts or persons with fatalities vastly broader than their own extent: if it is ambiguous
whether every denizen of the obliterated Sodom was a sodomite, clearly not every Roman of the late Empire can have been so,
despite Gibbon's connecting the eclipse of the whole people to the habits of a few. Following both Gibbon and the Bible, moreover,
with an impetus borrowed from Darwin, one of the few areas of agreement among modern Marxist, Nazi, and liberal capitalist
ideologies is that there is a peculiarly close, though never precisely defined, affinity between same-sex desire and some historical
condition of moribundity, called "decadence," to which not individuals or minorities but whole civilizations are subject.
Bloodletting on a scale more massive by orders of magnitude than any gay minority presence in
the culture is the "cure," if cure there be, to the mortal illness of decadence. If a fantasy
trajectory, utopian in its own terms, toward gay genocide has been endemic in Western culture
from its origins, then, it may also have been true that the trajectory toward gay genocide was
never clearly distinguishable from a broader, apocalyptic trajectory toward something
approaching omnicide. The deadlock of the past century between minoritizing and universalizing understandings of
homo/heterosexual definition can only have deepened this fatal bond in the heterosexist imaginaire. In our culture as in Billy Budd,
the phobic narrative trajectory toward imagining a time after the homosexual is finally
inseparable from that toward imagining a time after the human; in the wake of the homosexual,
the wake incessantly produced since first there were homosexuals, every human relation is
pulled into its shining representational furrow. Fragments of visions of a time after the homosexual are, of course,
currently in dizzying circulation in our culture. One of the many dangerous ways that AIDS discourse seems to ratify and amplify
preinscribed homophobic mythologies is in its pseudo-evolutionary presentation of male homosexuality as a stage doomed to
extinction (read, a phase the species is going through) on the enormous scale of whole populations. 26 The lineaments of
openly genocidal malice behind this fantasy appear only occasionally in the respectable media,
though they can be glimpsed even there behind the poker-face mask of our national experiment
in laissez-faire medicine. A better, if still deodorized, whiff of that malice comes from the famous pronouncement of Pat
Robertson: "AIDS is God's way of weeding his garden." The saccharine luster this dictum gives to its vision of
devastation, and the ruthless prurience with which it misattributes its own agency, cover a more
fundamental contradiction: that, to rationalize complacent glee at a spectacle of what is
imagined as genocide, a proto-Darwinian process of natural selection is being invoked—in the
context of a Christian fundamentalism that is not only antievolutionist but recklessly oriented
toward universal apocalypse. A similar phenomenon, also too terrible to be noted as a mere irony, is how evenly our
culture's phobia about HIV-positive blood is kept pace with by its rage for keeping that dangerous blood in broad, continuous
circulation. This is evidenced in projects for universal testing, and in the needle-sharing implicit in William Buckley's now
ineradicable fantasy of tattooing HIV-positive persons. But most immediately and pervasively it is evidenced in the literal
bloodbaths that seem to make the point of the AIDS-related resurgence in violent bashings of gays--which, unlike the gun violence
otherwise ubiquitous in this culture, are characteristically done with two-by-fours, baseball bats, and fists, in the most literal-minded
conceivable form of body-fluid contact. It might be worth making explicit that the use of evolutionary thinking in the current wave of
utopian/genocidal fantasy is, whatever else it may be, crazy. Unless one believes, first of all, that same-sex object-choice across
history and across cultures is one thing with one cause, and, second, that its one cause is direct transmission through a nonrecessive
genetic path--which would be, to put it gently, counter-intuitive--there is no warrant for imagining that gay populations, even of
men, in post-AIDS generations will be in the slightest degree diminished. Exactly to the degree that AIDS is a gay disease, it's a
tragedy confined to our generation; the long-term demographic depredations of the disease will fall, to the contrary, on groups,
many themselves direly endangered, that are reproduced by direct heterosexual transmission. Unlike genocide directed
against Jews, Native Americans, Africans, or other groups, then, gay genocide, the once-and-forall eradication of gay populations, however potent and sustained as a project or fantasy of
modern Western culture, is not possible short of the eradication of the whole human species.
The impulse of the species toward its own eradication must not either, however, be
underestimated. Neither must the profundity with which that omnicidal impulse is entangled
with the modern problematic of the homosexual: the double bind of definition between the
homosexual, say, as a distinct risk group, and the homosexual as a potential of representation
within the universal. 27 As gay community and the solidarity and visibility of gays as a minority
population are being consolidated and tempered in the forge of this specularized terror and
suffering, how can it fail to be all the more necessary that the avenues of recognition, desire, and
thought between minority potentials and universalizing ones be opened and opened and
opened?
Overkill
Queer bodies are forced into a zone of perpetual death as soon as
their queerness is discovered – this serves to justify their eradication
through violent and psychological means.
Stanley 11 [Eric, Prof. President’s Postdoctoral fellow in the departments of Communication
and Critical Gender Studies at the University of California, San Diego, “Near Life, Queer Death:
Overkill and Ontological Capture]
The legal theory that is offered to nullify the practice of overkill often functions under the name
of the trans- or gay-panic defense. Both of these defense strategies argue that the murderer
became so enraged after the “discovery” of either genitalia or someone’s sexuality they were
forced to protect themselves from the threat of queerness. Estanislao Martinez of Fresno,
California, used the trans-panic defense and received a four-year prison sentence after
admittedly stabbing J. Robles, a Latina transwoman, at least twenty times with a pair of scissors.
Importantly, this defense is often used , as in the cases of Robles and Paige, after the
murderer has engaged in some kind of sex with the victim . The logic of the trans-panic defense
as an explanation for overkill, in its gory semiotics, offers us a way of understanding queers as the nothing of Mbembe’s query.
Overkill names the technologies necessary to do away with that which is already gone. Queers
then are the specters of life whose threat is so unimaginable that one is “forced,” not simply to
murder, but to push them backward out of time, out of History, and into that which comes
before. 27 In thinking the overkill of Paige and Brazell, I return to Mbembe’s query, “But what does it mean to do violence to what
is nothing?”28 This question in its elegant brutality repeats with each case I offer. By resituating this question in the positive, the
“something” that is more often than not translated as the human is made to appear. Of interest here, the category of the
human assumes generality, yet can only be activated through the specificity of historical and
politically located intersection. To this end, the human, the “something” of this query, within the
context of the liberal democracy, names rights-bearing subjects, or those who can stand as
subjects before the law. The human, then, makes the nothing not only possible but necessary. Following this logic, the work
of death, of the death that is already nothing, not quite human, binds the categorical (mis)recognition of humanity. The human,
then, resides in the space of life and under the domain of rights, whereas the queer inhabits the
place of compromised personhood and the zone of death. As perpetual and axiomatic threat to
the human, the queer is the negated double of the subject of liberal democracy. Understanding
the nothing as the unavoidable shadow of the human serves to counter the arguments that
suggest overkill and antiqueer violence at large are a pathological break and that the severe
nature of these killings signals something extreme. In contrast, overkill is precisely not outside
of, but is that which constitutes liberal democracy as such. Overkill then is the proper
expression to the riddle of the queer nothingness. Put another way, the spectacular materialsemiotics of overkill should not be read as (only) individual pathology; these vicious acts must
indict the very social worlds of which they are ambassadors. Overkill is what it means,
what it must mean, to do violence to what is nothing .
Queerness is placed in a space of living death – this results in social,
political, civil, and physical punishment, specifically in the forms of
imprisonment and surveillance
Lamble 14. Sarah Lamble, “Queer Investments in Punishment” in Queer Necropolitics, pg.
161
Each of these examples involves the direct or indirect mobilization of discursive ,
financial or labour-related resources towards state practices of imprisonment and
punishment . Given the ongoing colonial legacies of the carceral state , the
disproportionate number of people of colour in prison and racial character of
expanding prison populations, these queer investments in punishment are, by their very
nature, investments in state racism and violence . In this way, such investments are
symptomatic of what Jasbir Puar, drawing from Achilles Mbembe’s work, describes as
queer necropolitics . Necropolitics can be understood as technologies of power that
( re)produce social relations of living and dying , such that some populations are ushered
into the worlds of life and vitality , while others are funnelled into what Mbembe calls
death worlds , worlds of slow living death and dead living (Mbembe 2003). Death here
includes literal physical death , but also social , political and civil death - the social
relations of death , decay and dying that emerge from prolonged exposure to
violence , neglect , deprivation and suffering . Offering a corrective to Michel Foucault’s
work on biopolitics,18 Mbembe puts forward ‘the notion of necropolitics and necropower
to account for the various ways in which, in our contemporary world, weapons are deployed in
the interest of the maximum destruction of person and the creation of death-worlds ,
new and unique forms of social existence in which vast populations are subjected
to conditions of life conferring upon them the status of living dead' (2003: 40). In other
words, while biopolitical powers work to manage , order and foster life for citizens
worthy of protection , such powers work in tandem with necropolitical powers that
produce death for those destined to abandonment , violence and neglect . Taking up
this concept within contemporary queer politics, Puar thus draws attention to the ways in which
the folding into life of some queers is predicated on the folding out of life of others
(Puar 2007: 36). While Mbembe’s analysis focuses primarily on situations of military occupa­
tion, colonialism and war, the modern prison arguably constitutes another key
instantiation of necropower . For the prison is also a site that produces the conditions
of living death ; it is a place where bodies are subject to regimes of slow death and
dying . Not only are deprivation , abuse and neglect regular features of incarceration
itself , but the monotonous regime of caged life - the experience of ‘doing time’ involves the slow wearing away of human vitality and the reduction of human
experience to a bleak existence (Scratonand McQulloch 2009; Taylor 2000). The prison
serves as a site of mass warehousing of bodies in conditions that often resemble the death
worlds that Mbembe describes. While the modern prison was designed as an institution that
aimed in part to train prisoners as productive workers, obedient citizens and docile subjects a
strategy that used disciplinary power in the broader service of biopolitical power (Foucault
1978/ 1995) - contemporary prisons are little more than mass warehouses for poor, racialized
and otherwise disenfranchized populations (Gilmore 2007). Particularly as prison populations
continue to grow to unprecedented levels, many states are abandoning even the pretence of
rehabilitation, by dramatically reducing the hours that prisoners spend out of their cells,
slashing funding for educational and other programmes and leaving prisoners to increasingly
spend their days in monotonous isolation.
These conditions, coupled with overcrowding , lack of adequate medical care and
disconnection from family and friends , mean that prisoners have increased risks of selfharm, psychological abuse, trauma and suicide, both during imprisonment and post-release
(Collins '2008; Taylor 2000). The stigma of a prison record also means that employment and
housing are difficult to secure post-release, such that the consequences of imprisonment extend
well beyond the duration of one's sentence. In this way, the prison thus plays a significant role in
altering the ‘distribution of life chances’ or what Ruth Wilson Gilmore describes as ‘group
differentiated vulnerability to premature death’ (2007: 247).
To argue that the prison is an institution of necropolitical power and that prisoners are resigned
to slow death, is not to deny the resilience and agency of those who survive prison on a
daily basis. It is instead to underscore how the conditions of captivity govern life in ways
that are akin to slow and prolonged death , thus severely restricting the possibilities
for resistance and survival . Ironically, and perhaps most devastatingly, it is through the act
of potentially reclaiming death that prisoners exercise a desperate form of agency .
As Mbembe argues, in the realms of the living dead , death offers a brutal moment of
power . ‘For death is precisely that from and over which I have power. But it is also that
space where freedom and negation operate’ (Mbembe 2003: 39). Hence it should be no
surprise that the hunger strike , the exercise of threat of the living to authorize their
own death , persists as a last resort of collective power in prison. As the recent prisoner
hunger strikes in California, Italy, England, Palestine and elsewhere have demonstrated
alongside other less visible forms of collective organizing inside there is persistent
resilience among prisoners to resist and survive the brutal conditions of their
captivity .
Arguably, what makes the prison an example of necropolitics and not just an instance of ruthless
state brutality is that the imposition of death and suffering on some populations is explicitly
legitimized and authorized in the name of fostering and protecting the life of
others . In other words, the enhancement and protection of life for some is
predicated on the violent sequestering of others . There are parallels here to what
Nikolas Rose (2000) describes as circuits of security and circuits of insecurity - contemporary
forms of governance that work by moving some subjects into modes of security and others into
abandonment - as well as to what Judith Butler (2004) describes as the politics of ‘precarious
life’ or what Elizabeth Povinelli (2011) refers to as ‘economies of abandonment’. Necropolitics,
however, draws more explicit attention to the deathly logic of these modes of
governance , foregrounding the exercise of sovereign power to authorize and
legitimate the politics of death and killing in the name of vitality and living .
Members of the queer community are forced into a ‘near life’ marked
by overkill – this space of nonexistence leads to brutal murders and
other forms of exceptional violence.
Haritaworn et al. 14. Jin Haritaworn, professor of sociology at the University of York,
Adi Kuntsman, professor of humanities, research, and social sciences at Manchester
Metropolitan University, and Sylvia Posocco, professor of psychological studies at the University
of London, Birbeck, Queer Necropolitics, Routledge, 2014, pg. 8
Our understanding of queer necropolitics is further in conversation with Eric Stanley’s (2011) forerunning discussion. Stanley
articulates the sense in which
death-making , figured in relation to the brutal murders of
trans/queer people in the United States and the exceptional violence inflicted on
murdered subjects after death , holds important ontological consequences . The piece
documents how this protracted onslaught systematically fails to be registered in public discourse and public consciousness.
According to Stanley,
the legal category of ‘overkill’ may account for the vicious assaults that
these working-class and largely people of colour gender non-conforming subjects
are subjected to in death, and for how their remains become the object of further
affront . The ‘overkill’ of these subjects is far from an anomaly or an exceptional occurrence;
rather, it
is central to the reproduction of US liberal democracy . As Stanley explains, ‘overkill’
occupies the same social and political terrain as LGBT identities, where the extreme
vulnerability of some can be contrasted to the security of others. LGBT identities appear to be
securely tied to subjects of rights to the extent that they become fully invested in
claims that anti-queer violence is an exceptional occurrence to be dealt with through
the punitive state . ‘Overkill’, by way of contrast, points to a queer ontology of ‘near life’ - a
form of existence that echoes the notions of ‘the living dead’
we have discussed in relation to the
work of Mbembe (2003) and Agamben (1998), and with reference to the ‘social death’ theorized by Patterson (1982).
of nonexistence populated by ‘near life’ and marked by ‘overkill’
Spaces
(Stanley 2011) are
not
external to, but rather constitutive of , the state and the law and form the substratum of
contemporary liberal democracies. The chapters in this volume tease out and explore how relations of proximity and
contiguity between life and death - as graduated and mutually imbricated domains - articulate in different contexts, and fully within,
not outside or beyond, the political.
Violence – Generic
The normalization of a heteronormative cisgender subject leads to
violence and ostracization of queer bodies.
Mary Nardini gang [criminal/anarchist queers from Milwaukee, Wisconsin “That’s Just
Queer,” March 13, 2010, https://undercoverqueer.wordpress.com/tag/mary-nardinigang/]//JIH
Queerness is both a place and position. It is a space that creates room for those our culture
identifies as the alien, the immoral, the criminal, the deviant. It is an anti-society; it is an
insurrectionary response. But it is also an alignment against totality, against the oppression of the overwhelming majority,
against the crushing popular conception. It is a revolt against a culture of privilege that designates us as
being unworthy of privilege, because we do not fit within the limits of “normalcy.”
Normalcy is everything that society has groomed you to be. It is the future already
predetermined for you, without your consent.It is defined and structured by capitalism, by
civilization, by the violence of empire. It is maintained by practices of violence and intimidation.
Normalcy is every slur and every threat you have ever experienced. It is the ostracization and
condemnation of the Christian right. It is the assumption that you should desire the same things
as every other American, that you should assimilate into mainstream American lifestyle. It is the
reasoning that gay individuals should possess the same rights as others because “they’re just like
us.” It is the assumption that until we are “just like everyone else,” with children and a lifelong
partner and minivans and steady jobs, that we do not deserve those rights. Normalcy is police
brutality, it is repeated rape, it is the criminal convictions of four lesbians of color who defended
themselves against the hate of a heterosexual white male. Normalcy is the practice of
domination, the subjugation of everything that does not neatly fall under its totality.
Normalcy does violence to both our bodies and minds; it is emotional and cultural terrorism.
Anyone who has experienced the anguish of not being able to fulfill the rigid expectations of
loved ones, the pain of being considered a lesser person and of less worth and importance, of
being ignored and demonized simply because one is “other,” understands that normalcy rejects
bodies and minds that do not fit within the social code. Normalcy mutilates, poisons and erases
us, in order to “help” and “allow” us to fit within the social norm, to ascribe to the ideals of
whiteness, of prosperity, of “male” and “female,” of monogamy and family-oriented life. And if
we cannot achieve these ideals, we are taught to hate who we are, to blame and abuse our bodies
and our inner selves.
Solvency
The creation of a realm of acceptance for bodies deemed deviant in
the status quo can only occur if coalition politics are centered on
connection and fluid uncertainty.
Weir 2008 [Allison, “Home and Identity: In memory of Iris Marion Young”, Hypatia,
volume 23, Number 3, Summer, pp. 4-21, Indiana University Press]//JIH
Yet we need also to move beyond the dichotomy of home/not home, of safety and risk, to imagine
an alternative: I want to argue for an ideal of home as a site of the risk of connection, of
sustaining relationship through conflict. Thus, rather than oscillating between the desire for a
safe, secure, conflict-free home and the recognition that homes are in fact sites of violence and
abuse, predicated on oppression and exclusion, we can recognize and affirm an ideal of home as
a space of mutuality and conflict, of love and its risks and struggles, of caring and conflictual
connections to others. In particular, our political homes?including our identity politics?might be
seen as places where we engage in the risk of connection with each other, in the conflictual,
messy, dangerous, and intimate work of engagement with each other?engagement in dialogue,
in arguments, in struggles, in openness to vulnerability, to critique and self-critique, and to
change, with a commitment to solidarity with each other that mediates our commitment to our
shared struggles. Shifting to an ideal of home as the space where we risk connection might help
us set clear limits on conflict and risk, so that these do not develop into violence. This might
enable us to address the violence that is a response to terror and anger at those who threaten our
comfort and safety, and the violence that is an assertion of right to dominate the other within
thew alls of home. Ifw e are not looking for perfect safety, for absolute privacy, for a return to the womb, for the mother who is
the angel of the house, perhaps we can learn not to accept violence and oppression as the price of that dream. Perhaps we can
imagine and embrace a different dream of a better home.
Thus, rather than rejecting identity politics as a false home, and turning to strategic coalitions of
disconnected individuals, we might embrace the possibility of identity politics (and coalition
politics?) as homes?as sites of the connections and conflicts essential to solidarity. Surely, Bernice
Reagon is right to point out that when we do feminist politics we should not be looking for safety. Coalition politics are
necessarily risky and dangerous, and when we are doing thisw ork we can feel ourselves
"threatened to the core" (1983, 343). For Reagon, this means that we should not confuse coalition with
home: we must separate the two. But ifw e are able to shift to an ideal of home as a space where
we are able to recognize and confront power relations?which surely exist in the safesto f
homes?and ifw e are able to sustain relationship through these confrontations, and through the
feelings of risk and danger they entail, then we might question the stark opposition between the
safety of home and the danger of politics; between home as a place of happy unity and politics as
a site of hostile collisions. We might imagine overlapping spheres of homes that are places where we risk connection. This
does not mean that everywhere should be home. But shifting to this alternative ideal of home might help us
risk connection in our political lives, and itm ight help us be more realistic about our
expectations of home. It might also help those who are privileged to welcome strangers into
their homes. And this might help us move closer toward Reagon's ideal of an "old-age perspective" (1983, 348). "The only
way you can take yourself seriously is if you can throw yourself into the next period beyond your
little meager human-body-mouth-talking all the time-You must believe that believing in human
beings in balance with the environment and the universe is a good thing" (352-53). With these words,
Reagon holds out for us the dream of a better home, which we can create only by expanding ourselves to
embrace connection. Surely, the only way we can get closer to this dream is by recognizing that
our ideal of home must include conflict and struggle.
Plan Text Version – State Engagement
Good
LGBT movements through the state can be successful and are in fact
necessary to challenge societal heteronormativity
Chen 11 (Jian, Assistant Professor of Queer Studies in the English Department at Ohio State
University, “Entangled Spheres: Review of Eric A. Stanley and Nat Smith, eds., Captive Genders:
Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex.” Postmodern Culture, May 2011 Project
muse, eas)
Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex contributes to the emergent surge of U.S. based
transgender cultural critique over the first decades of the 21st century. In conversation with monographs by Susan Stryker, Kate
Bornstein, J. Jack Halberstam, Judith Butler, David Valentine, Gayle Salaman, Dean Spade, Micha Cárdenas, Kale Bantigue Fajardo,
and Mel Y. Chen, edited anthologies such as the Transgender Studies Reader (with a second volume upcoming), Transgender
Migrations: The Bodies, Borders, and Politics of Transition, Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation, Trans/Love: Radical Sex, Love &
Relationships Beyond the Gender Binary, and Trans Bodies, Trans Selves (forthcoming), and an expanding trans-media network
including work by Yozmit, Ignacio Rivera, Kit Yan, Wu Tsang, Felix Endara, Shawna Virago, Sean Dorsey, and the Electronic
Disturbance Theater, the collection of texts that is Captive Genders produces critical interventions assembled around embodied
transgender, gender deviant, and queer experiences. These interlinked works share a marked shift towards transgender and gender
non-conformant bodies as material interfaces with social regimes of gender and sexual control. But to interpret these pieces together
as “emergent” is to already discipline their divergent workings and our interaction with them. These transgender and
gender deviant interventions are increasing self-aware of the specificities of their mediums and
their networked capabilities, whether they are print book, embodied performance, digital video,
cell phone video, online installation, or electronic disturbance. And they depart from late 20th century
literary, cultural, and social theory that has tended to emphasize the representational economy of the public sphere—mediated by
the linguistic sign—as the chosen field of inquiry and subversion. Therefore, they do not call for a politics of
critical interpretation that would “read” an emergent subjectivity along a single plane of social
history as much as they work through entanglements with, and transmissions of, the multiple
times, spaces, and bodies subjected to the experience of so-called shared society and historical
progress. Taking my cue from these transgender and gender devious works, this review of Captive Genders assembles, connects,
transmits, and intensifies, rather than performing a critical interpretation.
Social movements for decolonization and racial, gender, sexual, and economic justice in the U.S. in the 1960s and 1970s, in
connection with social uprisings in Third World colonies and internationally, transformed the American public sphere to include
communities segregated and subordinated by the apartheid U.S. state. People of color, civil rights, feminist, Third World, gay
liberation, women of color/Third World feminist, leftist, and anti-war movements developed oppositional cultural practices as
critical components of mobilizing against institutional white supremacy, colonialism, patriarchy, classism, homophobia, and
heterosexism. These social mobilizations, therefore, did not only inject previously barred
communities into the dominant public sphere, but also dismantled institutional public culture
through the infusion of divergent, subordinated cultural imaginations. The flexibility and contingency
attributed to the system of the sign by Euro-American post-Marxist intellectual and cultural movements after World War II,
including postmodernism and poststructuralism, are indebted to the de-structuring of the representational economy of the public
sphere by U.S. and Third World anti-colonial and social justice movements, as much as anti-fascist, anti-capitalist critical lineages in
Europe and “new” postindustrial and neoliberal conditions. By the 1980s, the political and cultural transformations activated by
1960s/70s liberation movements began to be translated into niche political blocs, niche markets, and niche cultures. As highlighted
by several pieces in Captive Genders, this moment of incorporation and backlash coincides with the moment when the penal system
under the apartheid U.S. state expands into a booming prison industrial complex, at the edges of the “post”-apartheid American
public sphere. The managed inclusion of previously excluded communities and cultural
imaginations into the apparatuses of the U.S. state, including state sponsored cultural and
economic industries, has had the effect of formalizing cultural and political activism into semitechnical skills and knowledge (including literary and cultural production and interpretation, 501(c)(3) community
organizing, and legal and social advocacy) and severing cultural and political work from embodied communities. Also,
regulated inclusion by the U.S. state has distanced marginally included, more resourced LGBT
(lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) people, immigrants, people of color, and women from less resourced and poorer segments of
these communities, whose direct experience of the state’s administrative and penal systems is often not mediated by measured
participation in the public sphere. The writings collected in Eric A. Stanley and Nat Smith’s Captive Genders provide multi-vocal
accounts of those segments of communities that have been forcibly denied access to the post-apartheid American public sphere.
People of color, economically impoverished people, and people with scarce or no access to quality education, health care, and social
services make up the vast majority of the nearly 2.3 million people currently incarcerated in U.S. state and federal prisons and local
jails, according to the most recent records released by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics in 2010. These numbers do not include
those incarcerated and “detained” in U.S. territories, military facilities, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities,
jails in Native American lands, and juvenile facilities.1 The mass number of people imprisoned and detained in U.S. prisons, jails,
and facilities is bound to increase with the Obama administration’s implementation of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act.
Presently, African American people comprise 12.6 % of the national population, compared to 38% of the U.S. federal or state prison
population. White people comprise 72.4% of the national population, compared to 32% of the prison population. Latino/a people
comprise 16.3% of the national population, compared to 22% of the prison population. U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics 2010
prisoner reports do not count Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, Asians, and people identifying as two or more races in the prison
population separately or explicitly. By deduction, these people together make up 7.3% of the prison population, while together
comprising 8.8% of the national population.2 Although females comprise 7% of the federal and state prisoner population, compared
to the 93% male prison population, women make up one of the fastest growing populations in prisons.3 People in prison are
predominantly from low-income backgrounds, lacking in educational and economic opportunities. Most are unemployed or underemployed prior to incarceration, do not have high school diplomas, read English below a sixth grade level, and have a history of drug
addiction and/or mental illness.4
LGBT people can find a voice in political activism and that component
of movements is necessary to solve
Konnoth 9 (Craig, J.D. Yale Law School, “Created in Its Image: The Race Analogy, Gay
Identity, and Gay Litigation in the 1950s-1970s,”
http://www.yalelawjournal.org/pdf/832_iqr36m8v.pdf, Yale Law Journal, December 5, 2009,
eas)
Serena Mayeri has pointed out that as the women’s movement progressed, it became clear that women’s interests were implicated in
contexts untouched by the civil rights movement. Furthermore, as the Court began to limit the remedies available for race-based
discrimination, women’s rights activists began to decrease their dependence on the race analogy.160 Accordingly, women’s rights
activists did not always rely on direct, rhetorical comparisons of sex discrimination to racial discrimination in court. Rather, in the
foundational sex discrimination case of Reed v. Reed, 161 the plaintiffs, represented by Ruth Bader Ginsburg,
described minority status using “abstract” factors such as trait-immutability, political
powerlessness, and histories of discrimination.162 Formally, these characteristics were independent of the race
analogy. In actual fact, however, they were firmly based in a comparison with race, since their significance lay in their being
attributed to African-Americans. Soon, however, they gained formal significance in Supreme Court
doctrine on their own terms. Groups (including blacks) were not legally recognized minorities because
of their resemblance to another group; technically, they were minorities because they possessed the
relevant characteristics.163 This would lay the groundwork for gay activists’ reliance on these categories
rather than directly on the analogy. While women’s rights activists proffered formal criteria of suspectness to the Court in a bid to
extend the logic of antidiscrimination to areas untouched by the racial justice movement (but before the Court had accepted this
argument), those considering gay equality suggested similar criteria in an academic context and stopped focusing on the race
analogy. A Yale Law Journal note164 and a Journal of Family Law comment165 on gay marriage, for example, advocated that the
Court use a formal characteristics approach. Like women’s rights advocates, the authors were unsure how the Court would approach
an area of litigation untouched by the racial justice movement. As of 1973, as the articles note, the Court did not always apply the
reasoning of the race cases to other areas.166 Furthermore, family rights were not a typical locus for racial justice litigation.
Thus, while the articles suggested that it would be desirable for the Supreme Court to apply strict
scrutiny to antigay discrimination, they did not rely on the direct rhetorical comparison between blacks and gays that
Kameny used. Instead, they engaged in a doctrinal construction of what constituted a suspect class,167
based on the familiar notions of immutability, control over classification, history of
discrimination, and lack of political power. Even if the locus of discrimination involved (family
rights) was not rhetorically comparable to the areas in which African-American litigants generally filed suit, groups
possessing the formal characteristics deserved protection. Instead of relying on the similarity of
contexts and loci of discrimination described above,168 or a point-by-point comparison to a particular group, the
authors suggested that the comparison be mediated through abstract legal categories. Later in 1973,
the Court formally endorsed this approach.169 Since then, other academic writers have similarly focused on the formal criteria of
suspectness, ignoring or deemphasizing the race analogy.170 This emphasis on abstract criteria rather than analogies aided gay
litigants in the bid for an independent identity, without reliance on the race analogy.
These developments were significantly aided by social changes. The uprising at the Stonewall Inn consolidated the
gay activism that Kameny had encouraged and deepened its sense of community; a new generation of activists came to the fore. As
gays became more secure in their group status and their legal and political activism, the use of the
race analogy declined in litigation— not a single brief related to gay issues filed with the Supreme Court in the early 1970s referred to
the analogy.171 While it had been politic for gay activists to develop a narrative of an independent minority status distinct from the
mainstream, they soon understood this status on its own terms without continued reliance on the race analogy.
Thus,
in briefs filed to the Supreme Court in the 1970s, mini-histories of the discrimination that
homosexuals as a group had experienced since time immemorial became regular. In ACLU litigation,
references to the ban on sodomy in Justinian’s Code to establish this history, for example, became almost perfunctory.172
Furthermore, activists articulated their relationship with the heterosexual majority independently,
without looking to that between blacks and whites. In
Baker v. Nelson, petitioners advanced “hypotheses” for
earlier forms of discrimination by the majority due to their “fear and ignorance,” not of minorities in
general, but of “all sexual matters.”173 Simultaneously, they criticized this majority outlook from the
point of view of “psychiatr[y] and sociolog[y],” which were bringing about a change in the majority’s
“attitude.”174 Thus, the appellants implied, since the ignorance of the majority regarding sexuality and homosexuals
had decreased, gays deserved marriage rights, whatever the situation of other minorities . Thus, gays
acknowledged that the causes of homophobia were different from and independent of the origins of racism and that the status of
gays as a minority group was therefore not contingent on that of blacks.
Radical movements end up devolving to legal reform—it’s the only
way to solve
Leachman 14 (Gwendolyn, Sears Law Fellow, Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and
Gender Identity, UCLA School of Law; J.D.; “From Protest to Perry: How Litigation Shaped the
LGBT Movement's Agenda,” UC Davis Law Review, June 2014, lexis, eas)
The LGBT movement is a particularly rich setting for examining the factors that foster
intramovement consensus around legal issues as shared, first-order priorities. This movement
comprises diverse, even oppositional activist communities. Although large, national civil rights
organizations constitute the LGBT movement's mainstream, n4 a critical faction of grassroots
and protest-based activists historically have taken a more confrontational approach. Radical
protest groups that challenged the mainstream LGBT movement's focus on formal legal equality
n5 diffused throughout the country in the early 1990s. Touting a radical, "queer" political identity, n6 these
protest groups articulated a set of structural goals, such as combating the widespread
homophobia propagated by media images and religious organizations and transforming
heterosexual-dominated public spaces. n7 Yet despite queer groups' radical rhetoric, the protest
actions they organized ultimately came to focus on many of the same formal legal priorities that they
critiqued. n8 This Article aims to understand how these seemingly polarized factions within the LGBT
movement have come to agree that [*1671] legal issues are important, action-worthy items - the
priorities of a common LGBT movement agenda.
Marriage equality is a key example of an LGBT legal objective that queer protest groups have
pursued, despite the issue's apparent dissonance with a radical critique of civil rights n9 and
with calls for structural social transformation. n10 One early same-sex marriage demonstration
illustrates how LGBT impact litigation, and the publicity it received, may have put this issue on
the protest agenda. In 1990, an emerging national conversation about same-sex marriage began
to intensify in the mainstream media. n11 News coverage gravitated toward same-sex marriage
as activists prepared for marriage equality litigation in Hawaii n12 and Washington, D.C., n13
and LGBT litigators rallied n14 against the injustices created by unequal marriage [*1672] laws
in other areas (e.g., insurance, employment, and child custody). n15 Protest groups seized on the
public debate. San Francisco's chapter of Queer Nation, one of the major protest groups to
emerge in cities across the United States in the late 1980s, staged its first "marry-in" at City Hall
in September of 1990. n16 Protestors donning "signs, placards, and post-modern wedding drag"
alighted on the steps of the government building en masse for a mock wedding ceremony.
Though this demonstration was emblematic of the group's confrontational and irreverent
tactical approach, n17 the marriage focus clearly contradicted many members' political values.
n18 Queer Nation fliers advertising for the event acknowledged the problem, referring to
marriage as "an institution which we all agree oppresses us." n19 Yet members were strongly
encouraged to attend the protest nonetheless. n20
What compelled Queer Nation to demand the right to same-sex marriage, especially given the
issue's divisive effect on Queer Nation's membership and its clash with the group's radical
politics? I argue that impact litigation and the extralegal benefits it generates can refocus the
priorities of protest-based activists away from their original goals and toward formal legal
objectives. n21 My data on the California LGBT [*1673] movement from 1985 to 2008 show
that litigation received the most news coverage of any movement tactic and that the movement
organizations that used litigation had a greater likelihood of survival than organizations using
other tactics. These benefits favored litigation compared to protest and other tactics, making
litigation the most visible and stable tactic of the LGBT movement. An analysis of archival data
collected from movement organizations further shows that protest groups seized on the
mainstream media coverage of the movement to set their own agendas; protest groups
organized actions in response to recent headlines (rather than members' primary issues of
concern) to attract publicity and participants to the protest's timely and newsworthy focus.
Because the media primarily reported on litigated issues, protest organizations' reactivity to
media coverage appears to have redirected those organizations away from their original
priorities and toward legal goals. n22 The protest groups' agendas came to be centered not on
their members' priorities, but rather the more limited set of issues that could be translated into
formal legal claims. Profound implications follow, suggesting litigation may play a role in
constraining radical politics.
LGBT movements centered around legal reforms find more success
and garner more attention
Leachman 14 (Gwendolyn, Sears Law Fellow, Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and
Gender Identity, UCLA School of Law; J.D.; “From Protest to Perry: How Litigation Shaped the
LGBT Movement's Agenda,” UC Davis Law Review, June 2014, lexis, eas)
The Article proceeds in three Parts. Part I provides background on the contemporary historical trajectory of the LGBT movement,
showing how a civil rights agenda focused on assimilation and formal equality came to define the mainstream LGBT movement. Part
II reviews legal, sociolegal, and sociological literatures about law and social movements to examine the theoretical frameworks that
inform the study of litigation's effect on this movement. A critical read of this literature suggests that litigation generates resources
like media coverage and organizational funding, making litigation a highly visible and stable movement tactic. Sociological
scholarship also suggests that [*1674] social movement activists, even those who operate outside
the courts, strategically select claims and issues that resonate with dominant forms of legal
rhetoric (e.g., individual rights), elevating those claims and issues to the forefront of a movement's
agenda. I argue that these literatures in combination predict that formal legal claims pursued through litigation will become
central priorities on a social movement's agenda.
Part III draws on original data from archival, media, and organizational sources to investigate the processes through which the
movement issues being litigated may become primary LGBT movement agenda items. First, a quantitative analysis of
mainstream newspaper coverage of LGBT movement activity from 1985 to 2008 shows that
litigation was the movement tactic that received the most frequent coverage in the mainstream
news media. This suggests that litigation experienced more public visibility than other
movement action. n23 Second, a quantitative analysis examining the survival rates of LGBT
movement organizations finds that LGBT organizations that used litigation had significantly
higher survival rates (i.e., they were less likely to disband) than those that did not litigate. This suggests that litigation and
the issues pursued through litigation are stable and persistent features of LGBT politics. n24 Third, a qualitative
comparison of strategy-formation processes in litigating, protest, and lobbying movement
organizations examines the processes through which these different types of movement groups
select which substantive issues to pursue. n25 I find that litigating organizations tended to be proactive in selecting
their priorities; litigating groups looked ahead to define future goals and resisted deviation from those predetermined goals. n26 In
contrast, protest organizations planned actions as a post hoc reaction to media events, and
lobbying organizations based strategies around the opportunities for advocacy provided by
legislators. n27 Consequently, litigating groups were more independent and autonomous than other organizations in how they
constructed their substantive agendas. The same logic that made litigating organizations [*1675] proactive, however, may also play
a role in orienting litigating groups' agendas toward the narrow set of possibilities for change that legal doctrine affords. Thus,
although litigating groups were relatively more autonomous than protest groups (in that they chose
forward-thinking priorities and stayed on task to achieve them), litigating groups
nonetheless appear to have been
constrained by the limited set of opportunities afforded by formal law. As I argue in this Article, the rub is
that this constraint may have affected not only the litigating groups themselves but also the
protest and lobbying groups, because groups that did not litigate nevertheless drew their
agendas from news coverage shaped by movement litigation.
Part III then synthesizes my empirical findings and suggests that litigation both defined and constrained the LGBT movement's
substantive agenda. n28 Litigation generated the most media coverage and greater organizational
stability than other tactics, pushing the substantive issues being litigated to the forefront of the
LGBT movement's agenda. Protestors seeking newsworthy and timely action concentrated primarily on recent events,
typically those they found covered in the litigation-focused mainstream news media. Sometimes the events protestors targeted were
not publicized in the media but rather in other places of public access, such as government buildings; yet these public-access events,
such as criminal trials, litigation, or police commission meetings, also tended to be state sponsored and related to law. Thus, the
reactive approach of the protest-based activists appears to have subtly shifted their groups'
actions toward litigation-generated media events or state-generated public-access events; either
way would have caused radical protest groups to become redirected toward legal priorities. Taken
as a whole, my findings suggest a set of systemic processes through which radical protest groups' substantive goals may become
displaced by the formal equality goals pursued through impact litigation.
Sociolegal literature shows pragmatic reforms are more successfullegal rhetoric attracts media attention, resources, and support
outside the original movement
Leachman 14 (Gwendolyn, Sears Law Fellow, Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and
Gender Identity, UCLA School of Law; J.D.; “From Protest to Perry: How Litigation Shaped the
LGBT Movement's Agenda,” UC Davis Law Review, June 2014, lexis, eas)
B. Legal Mobilization Scholarship on Litigation Attracting Movement Resources
The sociolegal literature on legal mobilization provides a second theory of law's agenda-setting
capacity within movements. Sociolegal [*1688] scholarship on "legal mobilization" looks at the
collective translation of movement grievances into an assertion of legal claims. n88 Focal
questions for legal mobilization research are how and why movement actors engage with law,
what meaning this has for the actors who do it, and what implications it has for the movement.
n89
Empirical studies of legal mobilization emphasize how litigation and legal rhetoric attract three
primary extralegal benefits to a movement's cause (beyond the material legal remedies that may
result from movement litigation). n90 First, litigation attracts significant coverage in the
mainstream news media. n91 In his study of the pay equity reform movement, Professor
Michael McCann found that lawsuits generated a "tremendous amount of mainstream media
attention." n92 News media coverage of litigation for pay equity reform was five to ten times
greater than coverage of any other tactic, including legislation, electoral politics, and protest.
n93 McCann also found that "the overwhelming majority of this coverage explicitly concerned
law suits and legal issues." n94 These findings square with other social science accounts, which
would suggest that law and litigation are newsworthy items. The corporate structure of news
organizations compels competition for readership. Reporters, operating under pressure to
effectively gather stories under deadline, keep an eye on sites of routine news production such as
political and legal institutions. n95 This [*1689] likely biases coverage toward movement issues
and tactics that occur in those legal institutions. n96 News outlets also try to attract readership
with general interest stories or drama. n97 Social movement litigation, which pits opposing
parties in a dramatic, high-stakes contest over politically potent issues, offers a dramatic story
line as well as identifiable protagonists for personal interest profiles. n98 Protest, by contrast, is
typically much less disruptive, n99 and it may be difficult to identify individual representatives.
Second, litigation generates financial resources for social movement organizations n100 that
contribute to those organizations' long-term survival. n101 The publicity that lawsuits receive
generates support for movement organizations and facilitates fund-raising. n102 Litigation also
attracts funding by offering a clear marker for success in the resulting judicial opinion.
Organizations that specialize in litigation emphasize [*1690] the outcomes of their legal cases regardless of whether a case is a clear win or loss - to galvanize fund-raising and organizational
support. n103 An outright win incentivizes support by allowing contributors to assess the impact
of their efforts. Conversely, the "denial of the claim might serve to highlight more intensely the
injustice suffered by the group," creating "a sense of urgency for the movement" that motivates
support. n104 Furthermore, unlike protest or lobbying tactics, the outcomes of litigation are
clearly traceable to the litigating organizations themselves, whose official involvement is on
public record. Protest and lobbying, by contrast, typically involve collective efforts by multiple
movement entities, making it difficult to identify the impact of any particular movement actors.
The contributions that result from protest and lobbying tactics are thus more likely than those
that result from litigation to be diffused throughout the movement, rather than flowing to the
individual organizations involved. n105 Accordingly, litigating organizations are more likely
than protest or lobbying organizations to generate organization-sustaining resources.
A third extralegal outcome of litigation is its ability to galvanize movement activism outside the
courts. n106 Litigation efforts can motivate activists by helping them name particular
grievances, blame responsible parties, and lay claim to a specific remedy. n107 A public lawsuit
can awaken a sense of collective rights entitlement n108 or provide activists rhetorical tools for
claiming injustice, n109 sparking grassroots mobilization and protest. Litigation can also focus
activists' [*1691] obscure sense of grievance into pointed political effort with concrete goals.
n110 These factors enable litigation to sustain the momentum of collective action in the face of
virulent opposition, n111 which may otherwise sap the energy of a mobilized group.
These resource-generating facets linking litigation to increased publicity, organizational
support, and movement mobilization would appear to contradict the critical legal scholarship,
which sees litigation as an agent of disempowerment and deradicalization. Legal mobilization
scholarship, rather, rejects the critical notion of a "competitive, zero-sum relationship among
political tactics," n112 focusing instead on the "synergistic" and "mutually influential" n113
relationship between protest and litigation. In this view, litigation is a "complementary and
interactive" element of a social movement's diversified tactical approach. n114
Sociological scholarship shows that legal reforms’ social environment
enables an organized and strong focus on a couple issues
Leachman 14 (Gwendolyn, Sears Law Fellow, Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and
Gender Identity, UCLA School of Law; J.D.; “From Protest to Perry: How Litigation Shaped the
LGBT Movement's Agenda,” UC Davis Law Review, June 2014, lexis, eas)
C.
"Discursive Opportunity" Theory and the Privileging of a Movement's Legal Tactics and Agenda
Sociological scholarship expands on the legal mobilization research by providing insight into the
mechanisms through which litigation [*1692] generates extralegal resources and the
consequences this has for a movement's agenda. This research examines how a movement's
social environment may constrain or enable opportunities for activism and thereby shape
patterns of movement mobilization and sustained organization. n115 While sociological research
has focused mostly on how activists seize on shifting political or economic conditions as
opportunities for action, n116 a growing body of research suggests that movements may also
respond to relatively stable features of their cultural environments. This research suggests that
social movements' rhetorical strategies are constrained by "discursive opportunity structures,"
or the deeply embedded ideas and belief systems that dominate the political culture in which a
movement operates. n117 Movement activists strategically keep ""a finger on the pulse' of the
wider arena," much like business strategists do for the competitive marketplace, to perceive
opportunities for action in the cues conveyed by their "targets, opponents, allies, potential allies,
and the public." n118 Activists who hope to convince these broad audiences of the value of their
movement's cause must select rhetoric that "resonates" with culturally dominant values and
systems of meaning. n119
Legal norms and ideas derived from constitutional texts, court decisions, and statutes constitute
many of the ideas and values that dominate political discourse and become privileged social
movement rhetoric. n120 Social movement actors "draw upon critical concepts emphasized in
the legal domain" to produce "claims [that] are more [*1693] likely to resonate, and thus to
persuade potential supporters." n121 In the United States, institutionalized legal discourse
emphasizes rights claims that adhere to liberal legal principles of formal equality and limited
state involvement in individual liberty. Empirical work suggests that these liberal assumptions
that prevail in formal legal doctrine also prevail over alternative definitions and dominate
movement discourse. n122 Professor Myra Marx Ferree has shown that U.S. feminists frame
abortion as a matter of individual choice, a liberal construction that defines rights as formal
protections for individuals. n123 Feminists devised their strategies to conform to judicial
rhetoric, which itself "drew upon longer-standing political traditions of liberal individualism."
n124
The sociological literature expands theoretical understandings of litigation as a source of
extralegal movement resources (i.e., media and organizational support). Litigation is the sole
social movement tactic that is inextricably linked to dominant legal principles; lawyers who seek
to prevail in litigation (or who are at least ethically obligated to try) must "translate" n125 or
"repackage" n126 their clients' and movements' grievances into a resonant legal claim.
Movement litigation thereby engages dominant legal ideas and viewpoints by necessity.
Furthermore, previous work has found that movement lawyers draw on dominant legal rhetoric
during litigation - even when that rhetoric is widely viewed as problematic - to a greater extent
than movement lobbyists advocating for legislative change. n127 This bolsters [*1694] the
hypothesis from the legal mobilization literature that movement litigation will generate rhetoric
that receives greater media coverage and organization-sustaining resources than other tactics.
n128
The sociological literature on "discursive opportunity structures" further suggests that legal
issues will become privileged priorities on a social movement's agenda. If dominant legal
principles shape social movements' rhetorical strategies, as sociological research shows,
dominant legal principles may also shape activists' strategic selection of agenda items.
Discursive opportunity may compel activists to prioritize grievances that may be translated into
formal legal terms. Critical legal scholarship, which shows that lawyers pursue priorities that
can be adapted into legal claims, supports this hypothesis. n129 Theories of discursive
opportunity suggest this may be a more widespread phenomenon, wherein both lawyers and
grassroots activists alike selectively focus on issues that resonate with the ideological structures
of formal law.
Empirics prove that litigation focused strategies are more effectivemedia and organization
Leachman 14 (Gwendolyn, Sears Law Fellow, Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and
Gender Identity, UCLA School of Law; J.D.; “From Protest to Perry: How Litigation Shaped the
LGBT Movement's Agenda,” UC Davis Law Review, June 2014, lexis, eas)
III. Empirical Evidence for the Legalization of the LGBT Movement
This Part draws on three original empirical studies to investigate potential mechanisms that
may privilege litigation over other LGBT movement tactics so that the issues being litigated
come to dominate the LGBT movement's substantive agenda. Considering the LGBT movement
over the past thirty years, these studies investigate several questions: Which movement tactics litigation, lobbying, or protest - have been most visible in the mainstream news media? Are
organizations that use litigation, lobbying, or protest most likely to survive and become
permanent movement players? n134 How do the strategy-formation processes used by primarily
litigation-, lobbying-, or protest-based movement organizations vary with differences in each
organization's relative ability to drive its own agenda or the agendas of others in the movement?
The overarching theory here is that if litigation produces media visibility and confers
organizational [*1696] stability, the organizations that litigate will rise to prominence in the
movement, and their legal goals will come to dominate the movement's overall substantive
agenda. I call this process the "legalization" of a social movement's agenda.
My empirical studies show that litigation received more media coverage than any other LGBT
movement tactic, suggesting that litigation had greater visibility than other tactics. In addition,
LGBT movement organizations that used litigation were at a statistically lower risk of demise
(i.e., they were more likely to survive, and for longer) than other types of LGBT movement
organizations. This finding suggests that litigation will become a stable presence in social
movements and that litigating organizations will become more prominent and influential
movement actors. A qualitative analysis of a small subset of LGBT movement organizations
explores these findings in greater detail and reveals the processes through which litigation
influences a social movement's broader agenda. Whereas litigating LGBT movement groups
proactively pursued preplanned organizational priorities, protest groups formed their agendas
reactively, focusing on the issues covered by the mainstream media. This phenomenon appears
to have diverted protest groups away from their original priorities and toward the issues that the
media found newsworthy. Given earlier findings that litigation coverage dominated news
headlines, I argue that the processes identified here may enable litigation to dominate protest
activism as well. These findings suggest that the media visibility and stability of social
movement litigation can legalize the agendas of movement actors outside the courtroom.
2AC-A2: FW
We Meet
We meet – we are the USFG. The binary established by the negative to
differentiate between who is and isn’t the USFG is a biopolitical
method of creating an included class and an excluded class and
reduces us to bare-life
Agamben, Italian philosopher who teaches at the Università IUAV di
Venezia, 2000 (Giorgio, Means Without Ends: Notes on Politics, p. 30.1)
Any interpretation of the political meaning of the term people ought to start from the peculiar
fact that in modern European languages this term always indicates also the poor, the underprivileged, and the excluded. The
same term names the constitutive political subject as well as the class that is excluded – de facto, if not de jure – from politics.
The Italian term popolo, the French term people, and the Spanish term pueblo – along with the
corresponding adjectives popolare, populaire, popular – and the late-Latin terms populus and popularis from which they all
derive, designate in common parlance and in the political lexicon alike the whole of the citizenry as a unitary body
politic (as in “the Italian people” or in giudice popolare” [juryman] as well as those who belong to inferior class (as
in homme du peuple [man of the people], rione polplare [working-class neighborhood], front populaire is more undifferentiated –
does retain the meaning of ordinary people as opposed to the rich and the aristocracy. In the American Constitution one
thus reads without any sort of distinction: “We, the people of the United States…”; but when
Lincoln in the Gettysburg Address invokes a “government of the people, by the people, for the
people,” the repetition implicitly sets another people against the first. The extent to which such an
ambiguity was essential even during the French Revolution (that is, at the very moment in which people’s sovereignty was claimed as
a principle) is witnessed by the decisive role played in it by a sense of compassion for the people intended as the excluded class.
Hannah Arendt reminds us that:
The very definition of the word was born out of compassion, and the term became the equivalent
for misfortune and unhappiness – le peule, les malbeureux m’applaudissent, as Robespierre was wont to say; le peuple
toujours malbeureux, as even Sieyes, one of the least sentimental and most sober figures of the Revolution, would put it.
But this is already a double concept for Jean Boldin – albeit in a different sense – in the chapter of Les Six Livres de la Republique in which he defines
Democracy or Etat Popular: while the menu peuple is that which is wise to exclude from political power, the peuple en corps is intended as entitled to
sovereignty.
Such a widespread and constant semantic ambiguity cannot be accidental: it surely reflects an
ambiguity inherent in the nature and function of the concept of people in Western politics. It is
as if, in other words what we call people was not actually a unitary subject but rather a dialectical
oscillation between two opposite poles: on the one hand, the People as a whole and as an integral body
politic and, on the other hand, the people as a subset and as a fragmentary multiplicity of needy and excluded
bodies; on the one hand, an inclusive concept that pretends to be without remainder while, on the other hand,
an exclusive concept known to afford no hope; at one pole, the total state of the sovereign and
integrated citizens and, at the other pole, the banishment – either court of miracles or camp – of the wretched,
the oppressed, or the vanquished. There exists no single and compact referent for the term people anywhere: like many fundamental
political concepts (which, in this respect, are similar to Abel and Frueds Urworte or to Dumont’s hierarchal relations), people is a
polar concept that indicates a double movement and a complex relationship between two
extremes. This also means, however, that the constitution of the human species into a body politic comes into being through a
fundamental split and that in the concept of people we can easily recognize the conceptual pair identified earlier as the defining
category of the original political structure: naked life (people) and political existence (People), exclusion and inclusion, zoe and bios.
The concept of people always already contains within itself the fundamental biopolitical fracture. It is what cannot in included in the
whole of which it is a part as well what cannot belong to the whole in which it is always already include.
State Engagement Bad
Queerness
Government reform is bankrupt for the queer body – attempts to
create progress through the law only replicate the law’s own antiqueerness and mask the structural violence that it inherently creates.
Stanley 11 [Eric Stanley, President’s Postdoctoral fellow in the departments of
Communication and Critical Gender Studies at the University of California, San Diego, “Near
Life, Queer Death: Overkill and Ontological Capture”, Social Text 107, Vol. 29, No. 2, Summer
2011, https://queerhistory.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/near-life-queer-death-ericstanley.pdf]//JIH
Where statistics fail, scars rise to tell other histories. From the phenomenological vault of growing up different, to
the flickers of brutal details, one would not have to dig deep to uncover a corpse. Yet even with the horrific details, antiqueer
violence is written as an outlaw practice, a random event, and an unexpected tragedy. Dominant
culture’s necessity to disappear the enormity of antiqueer violence seems unsurprising. Yet I suggest
that mainstream LGBT discourse also works in de- politicized collusion with the erasure of a
structural recognition. Through this privatization the enormity of antiqueer violence is vanished. 21
Thinking violence as individual acts versus epistemic force works to support the normative and
normalizing structuring of public pain. In other words, privatizing antiqueer violence is one of the
ways in which the national body and its trauma are heterosexualized, or in which the relegation
of antiqueer violence, not unlike violence against women, racist violence, violence against
animals (none of which are mutually exclusive), casts the national stage of violence and its ways of
mourning as always human, masculinist, able- bodied, white, gender- conforming, and
heterosexual. For national violence to have value it must be produced through the tangled
exclusion of bodies whose death is valueless. To this end, as mainstream LGBT groups clamber
for dominant power through attachment of a teleological narrative of progress, they too reproduce the
argument that antiqueer violence is something out of the ordinary. The problem of privatizing violence is not, however, simply one
of the re- narration of the incidents. The law, and specifically “rights” discourse, which argues to be the
safeguard of liberal democracy, is one of the other motors that works to privatize this structural
violence. Rights are inscribed, at least in the symbolic, with the power to protect citizens of the
nation-state from the excesses of the government and against the trespass of criminality. In
paying attention to the anterior magic of the law, it is not so much, or at least not only, that some are
granted rights because they are human, but that the performative granting of rights is what
constitutes the promise of humanity under which some bodies are held. This is important in thinking
about the murder of Brazell, and about antiqueer violence at large, because it troubles the very foundations of the notion of
protection and the formative violence of the law itself. According to the juridical logic of liberal democracy,
if
these rights are infringed upon, the law offers remedy in the name of justice. This necessary and
assumptive formal equality before the law is the precursor for a system argued to be based on
justice. In other words, for the law to lay claim to something called justice, formalized equality must
be a precondition. The law then is a systematic and systematizing process of substitution where
the singular and the general are shuttled and replaced to inform a matrix of fictive justice. Thus
for the law to uphold the fantasy of justice and disguise its punitive aspirations, antiqueer
violence, like all structural violence, must be narrated as an outlaw practice and
unrepresentative of culture at large. This logic then must understand acts like the murder of Brazell in the singular.
Through a mathematics of mimesis the law reproduces difference as similarity. By funneling the
desperate situations and multiple possibilities into a calculable trespass kneading out the
contours and the excess along the way, equality appears. To acknowledge the inequality of
“equality” before the law would undo the fantastical sutures that bind the U.S. legal system. In the
hope of being clear, for the law to read antiqueer violence as a symptom of larger cultural forces, the
punishment of the “guilty party” would only be a representation of justice. To this end, the law is
made possible through the reproduction of both material and discursive formation of antiqueer,
along with many other forms of violence. I too quickly rehearse this argument in the hope that it might foreclose the
singular reliance on the law as the ground, and rights as the technology, of safety.
The state acts to regulate bodies and reinforce oppressive norms – we
must challenge oppression through rejection.
The Mary Nardini Gang 8 [“Towards the Queerest Insurrection”, 2008,
http://www.weldd.org/resources/towards-queerest-insurrection]//JIH
Susan Stryker writes that the state acts to “regulate bodies, in ways both great and small, by enmeshing
them within norms and expectations that determine what kinds of lives are deemed livable or
useful and by shutting down the space of possibility and imaginative transformation where
peoples’ lives begin to exceed and escape the state’s use for them.” We must create space
wherein it is possible for desire to flourish. This space, of course, requires conflict with this social
order. To desire, in a world structured to confine desire, is a tension we live daily. We must understand
this tension so that we can become powerful through it - we must understand it so that it can tear our
confinement apart. This terrain, born in rupture, must challenge oppression in its entirety. This of
course, means total negation of this world. We must become bodies in revolt. We need to delve into and indulge in
power. We can learn the strength of our bodies in struggle for space for our desires. In desire
we’ll find the power to destroy not only what destroys us, but also those who aspire to turn us
into a gay mimicry of that which destroys us. We must be in conflict with regimes of the normal.
This means to be at war with everything. If we desire a world without restraint, we must tear this one to the ground. We must
live beyond measure and love and desire in ways most devastating. We must come to understand the feeling
of social war. We can learn to be a threat, we can become the queerest of insurrections.
The political will fail – moving within the state causes a sense of
pacification where the left believes they have done good while still
upholding the existing inequalities
Mieli, leader in the Italian gay movement, 1980 (Mario, Libcom, “Towards a gay
communism” 1980, https://libcom.org/library/gay-communism-mario-mieli, MMV)
I believe that homosexuals are revolutionary today in as much as we have overcome politics. The
revolution for which we are fighting is among other things the negation of all male supremacist
political rackets (based among other things on sublimated homosexuality), since it is the
negation and overcoming of capital and its politics, which find their way into all groups of the
left, sustaining them and making them counter-revolutionary.
My arsehole doesn't want to be political, it is not for sale to any racket of the left in exchange for
a bit of putrid opportunist political 'protection'. While the arseholes of the 'comrades' in the
groups will be revolutionary only when they have managed to enjoy them with others, and when
they have stopped covering their behinds with the ideology of tolerance for the queers. As long
as they hide behind the shield of politics, the heterosexual 'comrades' will not know what is
hidden within their own thighs.
As always, it is only rather belatedly, in the wake of the 'enlightened' bourgeoisie, that the leftwing groups have begun to play the game of capitalist tolerance. From declared hangmen, and a
thousand times more repugnant than the hustlers and fascists, given all their (ideological)
declarations of revolution, the activists of these groups have transformed themselves into 'open'
debaters with homosexuals. They fantasise about becoming well-meaning and tolerant
protectors of the 'deviant', in this way gratifying their own virile image, already far too much on
the decline, at a time when even the ultra-left have suddenly to improvise 'feminist'
representatives for 'their' women. Moreover, the fantasy of protectors helps them to exorcise the
problem of the repression of their own homoerotic desire. Under it all, the activists of the left
always hope to become good policemen. They do not know that real policemen get in there more
than they do, and that when this happens, they make love precisely with us gays. When will
there be a free homosexual outlet for the activists of the ultra-left ?
Legal strategies fail- lawyers don’t stick to their clients’ agenda and
they can hijack movements
Leachman 14 (Gwendolyn, Sears Law Fellow, Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and
Gender Identity, UCLA School of Law; J.D.; “From Protest to Perry: How Litigation Shaped the
LGBT Movement's Agenda,” UC Davis Law Review, June 2014, lexis, eas)
A. Critical Legal Scholarship on Lawyer Domination Within Social Movements
Litigation is an important tool for social movements, which often "lack the power to seek their
demands through the normal political processes or through direct action." n73 Yet several
critiques have emerged regarding the role of lawyers in the struggles of these powerless groups
and the potential for social movement lawyers to exert disproportionate influence over
progressive movement agendas. This critical work suggests that conventional legal practice has a
deradicalizing effect on social movements. Movement lawyers, the argument goes, are often
preoccupied with legally achievable ends, which are often formalistic and less radical or
transformative than the substantive goals articulated at the movement's grass roots. n74
Lawyers may substitute their own agendas for those of their clients n75 or overshadow their
clients in their pursuit of rights-oriented legal change. n76 Lawyers may also co-opt their activist
clients by forging [*1686] relationships with activists who require the lawyers' technical
expertise (e.g., to seek nonprofit tax-exempt status or to defend arrested protestors from
criminal charges). n77 Through these subtle means of persuasion and domination over the
lawyer-client relationship, the critical legal literature has shown, lawyers can operate as a
mechanism through which conservative legal goals replace radical movement objectives.
Derrick Bell's analysis of the NAACP is a prime example from this area of scholarship. n78 Bell
shows how lawyers in the civil rights movement displaced their clients' goals of substantive
social change in the lawyers' pursuit of viable legal claims. n79 NAACP lawyers and their clients
were part of a social movement intent on ameliorating racial inequalities in public education.
n80 However, after the NAACP won a major victory in Brown v. Board of Education, n81
NAACP attorneys and their clients became divided over the specific priorities they should
pursue to achieve this goal. The attorneys were focused on achieving racial integration. n82 The
African American parents and public-school children they represented, however, were more
concerned with increasing the quality of education within African American schools than with
pursuing a racial balance. n83 Bell argues that the lawyers' strategy, which ultimately shaped
civil rights law, n84 was less effective than their clients' proposals for furthering the movement's
antisubordinationist goals. n85
[*1687] Critical legal scholarship identifies instances in which lawyers have taken control of the
agenda through individual strategic negotiations with their clients. However, it does not provide
a comprehensive theoretical approach for explaining the sources or scope of lawyers' power
within movements. Professor Sandra Levitsky's work, for instance, exposes further ways in
which movement lawyering may generate intramovement power imbalances. In a study of LGBT
movement organizations in Chicago, Professor Levitsky finds that litigating organizations were
able, in the words of one activist, to "hijack" the movement's agenda n86 because the litigating
organizations had the financial backing to act independently without seeking other groups'
cooperation. n87 The grassroots organizations, which had significantly fewer resources, were
forced to contend with and support the highly visible litigation agenda. Levitsky's research
suggests that litigating movement actors may garner power within their movement
inadvertently, owing to the unique ability of litigation to attract resources and publicity.
Biopolitics
The ethical creation of self comes before their political prescriptions - it determines our relationship to biopolitical decisions regarding
which lives and lifestyles are and are not allowed to subsist
politically—their framework arguments just recreate this violence
Gabardi 2001 [Wayne, Negotiating Postmodernism pp. 77-79]
Based on his research into ancient Greek ethics, Foucault identified four interrelated modes of ethical practice
that formed the basis of both a framework of ethical analysis and a model of freedom. They were ethical
substance, a mode of subjectivation, ethical work, and telos.5° Ethical substance refers to that aspect or part
of an individual’s behavior that is determined to be the main focus or “the prime material of his (or her) moral
conduct.” The mode of subjectivation is the form with which the different parts or aspects of one’s self are arranged. It is the model that
fashions or molds one’s self into a distinctive style of existence. Foucault’s own mode of subjectivation fused aesthetics and politics into a
model of creative resistance, making one’s life into a work of art formed out of social and political struggle. Ethical work involves
the means, the methods, and the techniques by which we change ourselves into an ethical subject. Telos
involves committing oneself to a certain mode of being and striving to consciously place one’s everyday
actions within a pattern of conduct. Taken together, these ethical practices inform a conception of selfhood in which a person takes an active role in shaping his or her identity, rather than conforming to
existing external standards and systems of power/knowledge. The self is an assemblage of practices rather than
an innate entity. While both disciplined bodies and active ethical subjects are forged within the same power
environments, the active reflexive self appropriates practices of conduct from power/knowledge formations
without being dependent on their disciplinary codes. Foucault based this activity principally on an aesthetic
model because it was his conviction that art is the most potent medium of radical reflexivity and resistance. Art
is a potentially explosive transformative force. By linking it to the pursuit of an ethical life, Foucault was able
to stabilize and channel its energy into a relationship where “self-care” and “responsibility for the other”
inform and enhance the aesthetic drive. The interview “The Ethic of Care for the Self as a Practice of Freedom” (1984)
illuminates how in his final work Foucault was reweaving ethics, aesthetics, and politics by making connections between power, resistance,
self-care, liberty, and caring for others. He states that freedom is the ontological condition and the basis of ethics.5’ He
defines ethics as a practice, a way of life, an “ethos,” rather than as a theory or a codified set of rules.52 He makes clear that self-care
“implies complex relations with others” and that “this ethos of freedom is also a way of caring for others.”” He states that power means
“relationships of power:’ that resistance and freedom are implicit in power relations, and that
“domination” is different from power. It is a situation in which “the relations of power are fixed in such a
way that they are perpetually asymmetrical and the margin of liberty is extremely limited?’54 Foucault
further concludes that the relationship between philosophy and politics is fundamental and that philosophy
is charged with the duty of “challenging all phenomena of domination at whatever level or under whatever
form they present themselves’55 This leads me to conclude that Foucault’s idea of freedom as ethical agency
involves choosing a life “style” and then integrating specific techniques of self-formation within an
environment of power formations. The power context of life stylization further requires the cultivation of selfdiscipline and agonistic struggle to both resist disciplinary power matrices and carve out a space for selfempowerment and creative choice. In other words, freedom entails a movement from resistance to ethics to
political action. Resistance, the most primal expression of freedom, involves the revolt of the body against
the normalizing effects of disciplinary biopower. This critical resistance, largely reactive and defensive, is
channeled into an affirmative ethical project concerned with self-care. The rejection of an imposed
identity and a set of norms becomes the impetus for fashioning one’s own ethical code and conduct. The
ethical agent becomes a political actor in joining struggles that seek to alter power relations so that one can
more freely live one’s life. The battle is joined at the local and microlevels by countering norms with norms
and techniques with techniques. I further conclude that if, as I have argued, ours is a time of cultural
postmodernization, of global-local flows of postmodern goods services, and identities, of greater aestheticreflexive individuation, and of the pervasive effects of information and mass media in our Lives, then
quality of life and lifestyle issues should take (and have taken) on a greater importance in our daily social
interactions, economic decisions, ethical considerations, and political concerns. Understood in this way,
Foucault’s idea of freedom as an aesthetic-ethical-political practice of lifestyle determination takes on
greater significance. It is both a product of our late modern/postmodern transition and a new mode of
being and normative guide in negotiating this condition.
Analysis of biopolitics cannot succeed from a state-oriented approach
Milchman and Rosenberg 2005 [Alan & Alan, “Michel Foucault: Crises and
Problemizations”, The Review of Politics, Volume 67, p. 340]
According to Dean, it is through an analytics of government that the specific technologies,
practices and rationalities of liberal government, and its implication in a regime of bio-politics,
can be investigated. For Dean:
An analytics is a type of study concerned with the analysis of the specific conditions under which
particular entities emerge, exist and change. It is thus distinguished from most theoretical
approaches in that it seeks to attend to, rather than efface, the singularity of ways of governing
and conducting ourselves. Thus it does not treat particular practices of government as instances
of ideal types and concepts. Neither does it regard them as effects of a law-like necessity or treat
them as manifestations of a fundamental contradiction. An analytics of government examines
the conditions under which regimes of practices come into being, are maintained and are
transformed. … These regimes also include, moreover, the different ways in which these
institutional practices can be thought, made into objects of knowledge, and made subject to
problematizations (pp. 20-21). Thus, an analytics of government in the Foucauldian mode, is
genealogical; it examines the historicity and contingency of both liberal regimes of practices,
and the modes of subjectification to which they give rise, even as it eschews any metaphysics,
philosophy of history, or philosophical anthropology. Moreover, such an analytics of
government also acknowledges the enormous significance of political power beyond the state in
the liberal regimes of modern democracy. From the perspective of governmentality, with its arts
and regimes encompassing, as Rose points out, “a multitude of programmes, strategies, tactics,
devices, calculations, negotiations, intrigues, persuasions and seductions aimed at the conduct
of individuals, groups, populations-and indeed oneself”(p. 5), the state is no longer the sole, or
necessarily primary, power container. Indeed, for Rose: From this perspective, the question of
the state that was so central to earlier investigations of political power is relocated. The state
now appears simply as one element-whose function is historically specific and contextually
variable-in multiple circuits of power, connecting a diversity of authorities and forces, within a
whole variety of complex assemblages (p. 5). Thus, governmentality studies, which investigate
power relations at the molecular as well as at the molar level, cannot limit themselves to an
analysis of the state. The web of power relations in modern democracies requires an analytics of
government that is, as Dean claims, pluralistic; that acknowledges the existence of “a plurality of
regimes of practices in a given territory, each composed from a multiplicity of in principle
unlimited and heterogeneous elements bound together by a variety of relations and capable of
polymorphous connections with one another” (p.27). Such an analytics, will investigate the
distribution of power between state and civil society, public and private, juridical and social,
coercive and non-coercive, disciplinary and normalizing. And according to Dean, the point of
departure for such “an analytics of government is the identification and examination of specific
situations in which the activity of governing comes to be called into question, the moments and
the situations in which government becomes a problem” (p. 27).
Examinations must separate themselves from sovereignty—including
the state makes understanding modern power relations impossible
Milchman and Rosenberg 2005 [Alan & Alan, “Michel Foucault: Crises and
Problemizations”, The Review of Politics, Volume 67, p. 340]
What Foucault does insist upon in “Society Must Be Defended” is that if we want to analyze
modern power relations, we need to extricate ourselves from the theory of sovereignty. This is
the meaning of his claim that in political theory we have still not cut off the head of the king. In
the place of the theory of sovereignty as a basis for political theory, Foucault enjoins us to
investigate the microphysics of power: “... let me say that rather than orienting our research into
power toward the juridical edifice of sovereignty, State apparatuses, and the ideologies that
accompany them, I think we should orient our analyses of power toward material operations,
forms of subjugation [assujeissement], and the connections among and the uses made of the
local systems of subjugation on the one hand, and apparatuses of knowledge on the other” (p.
34).6 and the uses made of the local systems of subjugation on the one hand, and apparatuses of
knowledge on the other” (p. 34).6
A2 Roleplaying
Adopting the stance of the policymaker in debate is integrally linked
to the normative practices of power that work to oppress queer and
other marginalized populations – means we become apathetic
spectators.
Reid-Brinkley 8 [Shanara Rose Reid-Brinkley, Ph.D. Candidate in Communication at the
University of Georgia, holds an M.A. in Communication from the University of Alabama and a
B.A. in Political Science and Government from Emory University, 2008, “The Harsh Realities of
‘Acting Black’: How African-American Policy Debaters Negotiate Representation Through Racial
Performance and Style,” University of Georgia Ph.D. Dissertation, Available Online at
http://www.scribd.com/doc/93057917/Reid-brinkley-Shanara-r-200805-Phd, Accessed 07-092014, p. 117-119]//JIH
Genre Violation Four: Policymaker as Impersonal and the Rhetoric of Personal Experience.
Debate is a competitive game. 112 It requires that its participants take on the positions of state actors (at least when they are
affirming the resolution). Debate resolutions normally call for federal action in some area of domestic
or foreign policy. Affirmative teams must support the resolution, while the negative negates it. The debate then becomes a
“laboratory” within which debaters may test policies. 113 Argumentation scholar Gordon Mitchell notes that “Although they
[end page 117] may research and track public argument as it unfolds outside the confines of the
laboratory for research purposes, in this approach students witness argumentation beyond the
walls of the academy as spectators, with little or no apparent recourse to directly participate or
alter the course of events.” 114 Although debaters spend a great deal of time discussing and
researching government action and articulating arguments relevant to such action, what
happens in debate rounds has limited or no real impact on contemporary governmental policy
making. And participation does not result in the majority of the debate community engaging in
activism around the issues they research.
Mitchell observes that the stance of the policymaker in debate comes with a “sense of detachment
associated with the spectator posture.”115 In other words, its participants are able to engage in
debates where they are able to distance themselves from the events that are the subjects of
debates. Debaters can throw around terms like torture, terrorism, genocide and nuclear war
without blinking. Debate simulations can only serve to distance the debaters from real world
participation in the political contexts they debate about. As William Shanahan remarks:
…the topic established a relationship through interpellation that inhered irrespective of what the particular political affinities of the
debaters were. The relationship was both political and ethical, and needed to be debated as such. When we blithely call for
United States Federal Government policymaking, we are not immune to the colonialist legacy
that establishes our place on this continent. We cannot wish away the horrific atrocities
perpetrated everyday in our name simply by refusing to acknowledge these implications”( emphasis
in original).116 [end page 118]
The “objective” stance of the policymaker is an impersonal or imperialist persona. The
policymaker relies upon “acceptable” forms of evidence, engaging in logical discussion,
producing rational thoughts. As Shanahan, and the Louisville debaters’ note, such a stance is integrally linked
to the normative, historical and contemporary practices of power that produce and maintain
varying networks of oppression. In other words, the discursive practices of policy-oriented debate are
developed within, through and from systems of power and privilege. Thus, these practices are critically
implicated in the maintenance of hegemony. So, rather than seeing themselves as government or state actors, Jones and Green
choose to perform themselves in debate, violating the more “objective” stance of the “policymaker” and require their opponents to do
the same.
A2 SSD
Switch side debate is irrelevant – reflexive thought about a subject
pre-round is enough to solve.
Yudkowsky 08 [Eliezer Yudkowsky, research fellow of the Machine Intelligence Research
Institute, June 9, 2008, “Against Devil's Advocacy,”
http://lesswrong.com/lw/r3/against_devils_advocacy/]//JIH
I surely don't mean to teach people to say: "Since I believe in fairies, I ought not to expect to find any good arguments against their
existence, therefore I will not search because the mental effort has a low expected utility." That comes under the heading of: If you
want to shoot your foot off, it is never the least bit difficult to do so. Maybe there are some stages of life, or some states of mind, in
which you can be helped by trying to play Devil's Advocate. Students who have genuinely never thought of trying
to search for arguments on both sides of an issue, may be helped by the notion of "Devil's
Advocate". But with anyone in this state of mind, I would sooner begin by teaching them that policy debates should not appear
one-sided. There is no expectation against having strong arguments on both sides of a policy
debate; single actions have multiple consequences. If you can't think of strong arguments
against your most precious favored policies, or strong arguments for policies that you hate but
which other people endorse, then indeed, you very likely have a problem that could be described
as "failing to see the other points of view". You, dear reader, are probably a sophisticated enough reasoner that if
you manage to get yourself stuck in an advanced rut, dutifully playing Devil's Advocate won't get
you out of it. You'll just subconsciously avoid any Devil's arguments that make you genuinely
nervous, and then congratulate yourself for doing your duty. People at this level need stronger medicine. (So far I've only covered
medium-strength medicine.) If you can bring yourself to a state of real doubt and genuine curiosity,
there is no need for Devil's Advocacy. You can investigate the contrary position because you
think it might be really genuinely true, not because you are playing games with time-traveling
chocolate cakes. If you cannot find this trace of true doubt within yourself, can merely playing
Devil's Advocate help you? I have no trouble thinking of arguments for why the Singularity won't happen for another 50
years. With some effort, I can make a case for why it might not happen in 100 years. I can also
think of plausible-sounding scenarios in which the Singularity happens in two minutes, i.e.,
someone ran a covert research project and it is finishing right now. I can think of plausible arguments for 10-year, 20-year, 30-year,
and 40-year timeframes. This is not because I am good at playing Devil's Advocate and coming up with
clever arguments. It's because I really don't know. A true doubt exists in each case, and I can follow my
doubt to find the source of a genuine argument. Or if you prefer: I really don't know, because I can come up with
all these plausible arguments. On the other hand, it is really hard for me to visualize the proposition that
there is no kind of mind substantially stronger than a human one. I have trouble believing that the human
brain, which just barely suffices to run a technological civilization that can build a computer, is also the theoretical upper limit of
effective intelligence. I cannot argue effectively for that, because I do not believe it. Or if you prefer, I do not
believe it, because I cannot argue effectively for it. If
you want that idea argued, find someone who really
believes it. Since a very young age, I've been endeavoring to get away from those modes of thought where you can argue for just
anything. In the state of mind and stage of life where you are trying to distinguish rationality from
rationalization, and trying to tell the difference between weak arguments and strong arguments,
Devil's Advocate cannot lead you to unfake modes of reasoning. Its only power is that it may
perhaps show you the fake modes which operate equally well on any side, and tell you when you
are uncertain.
Defending both sides of the topic makes students complicit with
dehumanizing violence. Their interpretation creates indifference, not
engagement.
Spanos 13 — William V. Spanos, Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative
Literature at the State University of New York at Binghamton, interviewed by Christopher
Spurlock, 2013 (“William V. Spanos: An Interested Debate Inquiry,” kdebate, Volume 1, Issue 1,
Available Online at http://kdebate.com/spanos.html, Accessed 07-09-2014)
CS: When we had our discussion in Binghamton, you asked me if teams were ever marginalized or excluded for reading arguments
based on your work. Some have argued that this move is most frequently enacted during debates with an argument aptly referred to
as "framework" where one team will define and delimit their ideal 'world picture' of a carefully crafted resolution and then explain
why the opposing teams argument have violated the parameters of this 'frame.' In earlier comments on debate you had criticized the
disinterested nature of the activity and its participants - the detached model of debate where anything goes so long as you "score
points" and detach yourself from the real (human) weight of these issues. How might debaters approach debate or relate to our
resolutions in a more interested sense?
WVS: The reason I asked you that question is because I've always thought that the
debate system is a rigged
process , by which I mean, in your terms, it's framed to exclude anything that the frame can't contain
and domesticate . To frame also means to "prearrange" so that a particular outcome is
assured," which also means the what's outside of the frame doesn't stand a chance : it is
"framed" from the beginning. It was, above all, the great neo-Marxist Louis Althusser's analysis of the "problematic" - the
perspective or frame of reference fundamental to knowledge production in democratic-capitalist societies -- that enabled me to see
what the so called distinterestness of empirical inquiry is blind to or, more accurately willfully represses in its Panglossian pursuit of
the truth.
Althusser's analysis of the "problematic" is too complicated to be explained in a few words. (Anyone interested will find his extended
explanation in his introduction --"From Capital* to Marx's Philosophy" -- to his and Etienne Balibar's book *Reading Capital*. It will
suffice here to say that we in the modern West have been *inscribed* by our culture --"ideological state apparatuses (educational
institutions, media, and so on)-- by a system of knowledge production that goes by the name of "disinterested inquiry," but in reality
the "truth" at which it arrives is a construct, a fiction, and thus ideological. And this is precisely because, in distancing itself from
earthly being --the transience of time --this system of knowledge production privileges the panoptic eye in the pursuit of knowledge.
This is what Althusser means by the "problematic": a frame that allows the perceiver to see only what it wants to see. Everything that
is outside the frame doesn't exist to the perceiver. He /she is blind to it. It's nothing or, at the site of humanity, it's nobody. Put
alternatively, the problematic -- this frame, as the very word itself suggests, *spatializes* or *reifies* time -- reduces what is a living,
problematic force and not a thing into a picture or thing so that it can be comprehended (taken hold of, managed), appropriated,
administered, and exploited by the disinterested inquirer.
All that I've just said should suggest what I meant when, long ago, in response to someone in the debate world who seemed puzzled
by the strong reservations I expressed on being informed that the debate community in the U.S. was appropriating my work on
Heidegger, higher education, and American imperialism. I said then – and I repeat here to you – that the traditional form of
the debate, that is, the hegemonic frame that rigidly determines its protocols—is unworldly in an ideological way. It
willfully
separates the debaters from the world as it actually is —by which I mean as it has been produced by the
dominant democratic I capitalist culture—and it displaces them to a free-floating zone, a no place , as it were,
where all things, nor matter how different the authority they command in the real world, are equal. But in *this* real world produced
by the combination of Protestant Christianity and democratic capitalism things – and therefore their value – are never equal. They
are framed into a system of binaries—Identity/ difference, Civilization/barbarism I Men/woman, Whites/blacks, Sedentary/
nomadic, Occidental/ oriental, Chosen I preterit (passed over), Self-reliance I dependent (communal), Democracy I communism,
Protestant Christian I Muslim, and so on — in which the first term is not only privileged over the second term, but, in thus being
privileged, is also empowered to demonize the second. Insofar as the debate world frames argument as if every
position has equal authority (the debater can take either side) it obscures and eventually
effaces awareness of the degrading imbalance of power in the real world and the terrible
injustices it perpetrates. Thus framed, debate gives the false impression that it is a truly
democratic institution, whereas in reality it is complicitous with the dehumanized and
dehumanizing system of power that produced it. It is no accident, in my mind, that this
fraudulent form of debate goes back to the founding of the U.S. as a capitalist republic and that
it has produced what I call the "political class" to indicate not only the basic sameness between the Democratic and Republican
parties but also its fundamental indifference to the plight of those who don't count in a system where
what counts is determined by those who are the heirs of this quantitative system of binaries.
Grassroots Good
Non-state social movements are more influential and have a bigger
impact on society
Goldberg 10 (Robert, Professor of History, University of Utah, “THE CHALLENGE OF
CHANGE: SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AS NON-STATE ACTORS,” 2010, Utah Law Review,
http://www.epubs.utah.edu/index.php/ulr/article/viewFile/345/283, eas)
In a world of great crises—economic, environmental, and political—men and women usually turn to
state actors for solutions. The United States government, the European Union, or the World Bank are seen as the agents of
change and reform. This focus blurs the stimulus to change that comes from the bottom up via
grassroots movements. The events of September 11, 2001, and more recently in Mombai, Thailand, and Greece suggest the
power of social movements, non-state actors, to move history and create the crises of current events. In challenging state
authority in American history, social movement activists have nurtured revolution, pressed
suffrage and equal rights for women, and transformed the racial status quo, among other
changes. In the process of staking a claim to influence, a social movement organizes itself as a community governed by alternative
role models, values, and rituals. From this base, social movement agents raise hope of a better world and
choose mobilization strategies in a quest to govern. Claims on power demand that activists
grapple with authorities who stand ready to protect established institutions and practices. The
social movement perspective on governance, then, is twofold. Activists must exercise governance
within the movement to firm it for the coming struggle for power. They also must protect
members from authorities who seek to disrupt and disband challengers. With its base secured and
resources gathered and focused, the social movement is prepared to claim a share of governance and authority from state actors.
This Article outlines internal movement characteristics and factors that effect challenges to state actors. It also considers the
dynamic of contention, particularly the responses of state authorities to social movement claims on governance. When state
actors deny the legitimacy of a constituency and ignore the salience of grievances, opportunities
arise for social movement mobilization. A social movement is an organized group that acts with some continuity and
is consciously seeking to promote or resist change. Key to social movement activism are the means of
challenge. Social movements launch collective action to influence those who make decisions about the distribution of benefits in
a society. Silent vigils, parades, sit-in demonstrations, cross burnings, Boston tea parties, strikes, rallies, kidnappings, boycotts,
violence, and similar collective behaviors are initiated to persuade authorities to recognize challengers and to bring change. In
gathering numbers and offering inducements or adding disadvantages, activists warn rulers of their power and demand action.1
Such means, however, suggest the weakness of social movements. Powerful actors, unlike social movement
activists, have easy access to those who govern. They routinely apply resources—for example, through
lobbying or offers of information and funding—and successfully lay claims on authorities. These actors, in fact, may rely
on the state’s means of coercion to protect them from social movement challenges. In turn, in its role of preserving the
status quo, government seeks support from established groups that have a stake in the system as it exists.
Social movements cease to be such once they gather sufficient resources and abandon collective
action for more prosaic means of influence. As contenders for influence, social movements yearn to sit on the
balcony of power, but their weakness demands that they take a stand on the streets and behind the barricades.2 Challenging the
status quo is hard labor. It requires that social movements sustain their members over time to withstand assaults from within and
without. It means the creation of self-contained communities, non-state entities, administered by their own leaders and codes of
conduct. Particularly important in beckoning followers and holding their allegiances are movement
blueprints of the good society. These ideological statements diagnose the problems being faced and fix
the blame. They offer means and goals. They provide a rationale that glorifies and justifies the
movement and its cause. Ideology is a bulwark against frustration, resistance, and factionalism. It is the scaffolding of a
new and alternative community of believers. Also necessary to mount a viable challenge is an organizational
structure that anoints leaders who set policy, assign tasks, and harness movement resources to goals. Together, ideology
and hierarchy create the crucible for challenge and protest. Moreover, they shelter an alternative
world, a community of activists whose loyalty is to the challenging group and a vision of a better
world.
2AC A2 Kritiks
Generic
Perm Cards
Critiquing the system through the lense of queerness is a way to
recognize intersectionality while attacking the normative.
Mary Nardini gang 14 toward the queerest insurrection Printed clandestinely by the
Mary Nardini gang, criminal queers from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Published Date: 20/06/2014
http://www.weldd.org/resources/towards-queerest-insurrection
The Perspective of queers within the heteronormative world is a lens through which we can critique and
attack the apparatus of capitalism. We can analyze the ways in which medicine the prison System the church the State,
marriage the media, borders, the military, and police are used to control and destroy us. More importantly we can use
these cases to articulate a cohesive criticism of every way that we are alienated and dominated.
Queer is a position from which to attack the normative- more a position from which to understand and attack
the ways in which normal is reproduced and reiterated in destabilizing and problematizing normalcy, we can destabilize and
become a problem for the Totality. The history of organized queers as borne out of this position. The most
marginalized- transfolk, people of color, sex workers have always been the catalysts for riotous
explosions of queer resistance These explosions have been coupled with a radical analysis wholeheartedly
asserting that the liberation for queer people is intrinsically tied to the annihilation of capitalism
and the state. It is no wonder then that the first people to publicly speak of sexual liberation in this
country were anarchists or that those in the last century who struggled for queer liberation also
simultaneously struggled against capitalism racism and patriarchy and empire. This is our history.
The LGBT movement is inherently intersectional – all revolutionary
movements are fighting against the heterosexual system of
oppression
Mieli, leader in the Italian gay movement, 1980 (Mario, Libcom, “Towards a gay
communism” 1980, https://libcom.org/library/gay-communism-mario-mieli, MMV)
Today, the real revolutionary movement includes above all else the movement of women and
gays, in struggle against the system and the heterosexual phallocentrism that upholds it,
chaining to it the (male) proletariat itself. The organisations of the left, on the other hand,
essentially male and male supremacist, heterosexual and anti-homosexual, support the public
and private capitalist Norm, and hence the system itself. The movement of revolutionary women
has shaken the entire society, putting in crisis even those groups who call themselves
revolutionary and yet have so far been ramparts of male supremacist bigotry. Even the
movement of conscious homosexuals, revolutionary or at least open to a vision of themselves
and the world that is different from the traditional one, can no longer be simply neglected by the
left politicos. The parties of the left, great and small, now have to try and recuperate
homosexuals too, though I think Stalin would still turn in his grave at the very idea.
The heterosexual left, in dealing with the homosexual question, is trying a similar recuperation,
if on a lesser scale, to that which it has effected vis-a-vis feminism. Up till only recently, the
thieving and 'fascist' government, for the extra-parliamentary left, was also obviously 'queer'.
Today, however, it seems even a gay person can prove himself a 'good comrade', a 'valuable
activist in the service of the proletariat', while it is also opportune that all 'good comrades'
should begin to take account of the contradictions inherent in the sexual sphere. The contrast is
blatant. On the one hand, the term 'queer' is used as an insult; on the other, the wolf dresses up
as a lamb, preaching acceptance and understanding for homosexual comrades.
For almost all activists in these groups, the homosexual question is a problem of secondary
importance, 'superstructural' and involving only a minority. 'We must tolerate homosexuals, so
that they don't cause trouble by questioning our heterosexuality and pretending that we too
would like to get fucked in the arse'. This last type of reaction enables us to grasp, behind the
appearance of a new and more open attitude, the really closed mentality of the heterosexual
'comrades'. And, as a general rule, I would reply : Dear comrade, you are upset when someone
questions the repression of your homosexual desire ? And don't tell me : 'You can do what you
like among yourselves, but don't interfere with me', when you are not free to desire me, to make
love with me, to enjoy sensual communication between your body and mine; when you rule out
the possibility of sexual relations with me. If you are not free, then how can I be free ?
Revolutionary freedom is not something individual, but a relation of recipocity : my
homosexuality is your homosexuality.
I believe that homosexuals are revolutionary today in as much as we have overcome politics. The
revolution for which we are fighting is among other things the negation of all male supremacist
political rackets (based among other things on sublimated homosexuality), since it is the
negation and overcoming of capital and its politics, which find their way into all groups of the
left, sustaining them and making them counter-revolutionary.
Critical Race Feminism and Queer theory must be combined to
succeed.
Saffin 8 BODIES THAT (DON'T) MATTER: SYSTEMS OF GENDER REGULATION AND INSTITUTIONS OF VIOLENCE
AGAINST TRANSGENDER PERSONS: A QUEER/CRITICAL RACE FEMINIST CRITIQUE By LORI A. SAFFIN DOCTOR OF
PHILOSOPHY WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY Program of American Studies AUGUST 2008
The merging of Critical Race Feminism (CRF) with Queer Theory serves as one such intervention
into political and theoretical dialogizing. In juxtaposing two non-analogous theoretical
discourses, understandings of sexuality and race are complicated, thereby breaking down unitary
and monolithic subjectivities/identifications that these theories (generally) assume and demand. The fusion of
Queer Theory with Critical Race Feminism emphasizes the idea that sexuality and race are not
disparate constituents of identity but systems of meaning that inherently define one another.
Race and sexuality do not exist independently of each other: Race is always sexualized and
sexuality is always raced.10 The integration of these two critical and theoretical postures not only
makes disciplinary boundaries more permeable, but also allows for a construction of identity
that accounts for the imbrication of race, class, gender and sexuality
Embracing queerness opens up space for fluidity across identity and
therefore incentivizes effective coalitions across lines of class, race,
and gender.
Bassi 14 Tick as Appropriate: (A) Gay, (B) Queer, or (C) None of the Above: Translation and
Sexual Politics in Lawrence Venuti’s A Hundred Strokes of the Brush Before Bed Serena Bassi
Cardiff University, School of Modern Languages, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow Comparative
Literature Studies > Volume 51, Number 2, 2014
As a response to these critiques of mainstream gay politics, a new category emerges that attempts to make sense in radically critical
ways of the cultural territory inhabited by those who do not live heterosexual lives. The expression “queer,” derived from an
explicitly homophobic vocabulary, is reappropriated as
a sign through which to reject the “homonormative”
paradigm of gay politics. The rejection articulated by the term “queer” is twofold: the concept both highlights the
fluid nature of identity and takes distance from the liberal political objective of inclusion. In the
realm of academia, queer theory—notably in the work of authors such as Teresa de Lauretis, Eve Sedgwick, and Judith
Butler—has critiqued the notion that sexual and gender identity is ever fully knowable and fixed, as
well as the idea that there should be a causal link between the sex that an individual is assigned at birth (female or male), their
gender expression (feminine or masculine), and their sexual desires.23 Beyond academia, “queer” has emerged as
political paradigm in its own right which seeks to generate alternative ways of imagining the
a
political struggle of those whose lives are not knowable by means of heterosexual categories.
Instead of defining an identity that is different from mainstream society exclusively on the basis of sexual desires, “queer” is an
open-ended signifier which, for Allan Bérubé, stands for everything that is understood as “perverse,
… odd, outcast, different and deviant.”24 Instead of constituting community on the basis of a fixed, identitarian
principle, “queer” has been read as able to “affirm sameness by defining a common identity on the
fringes.”25 In other words , it allows us “to open up possibilities for coalition across barriers
of class, race and gender ,” that is, to build political alliances on the margin with a broader
struggle for liberation in mind.26 Finally, “queer” may also help us imagine an intervention in
public discourse that goes beyond liberal ideas of what constitutes “political action” and
envisage a form of agency that is even more oppositional, as well as fluid and changeable.
Permutation solves – analyzing oppression of queer bodies alongside
postcolonial, feminist, critical race, and materialist studies is
necessary in order to interrogate all facets of modern oppressive
power.
Oswin 08 [Natalie Oswin, Urban and Social/ Cultural Geography, Associate Professor in the
Department of Geography, Critical geographies and the uses of sexuality: deconstructing queer
space,” 2008 http://phg.sagepub.com/content/32/1/89.full.pdf]//JIH
The experiences of non-heterosexuals are no longer excluded within critical geographical work.
This important change is undoubtedly the result of various disciplinary engagements with queer
theory. And for as long as non-heterosexuals are discriminated against, queer spaces will remain something that, to borrow
Spivak’s phrase, queers cannot not want. So there is certainly a need for the recent geographical readings of
queer spaces that help us understand queer cultural politics as contested sites in which
racializations, genderings and classed processes take place. There are also other geographical uses for queer
theory. Much of the work that I have highlighted adopts a queer approach to such issues as transnational labour flows, diaspora,
immigration, public health, globalization, domesticity, geopolitics and poverty. It demonstrates the use of queer
theory to these central concerns of critical geography far beyond analysis of their relationship to
gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered lives. Once we dismiss the presumption that queer
theory offers only a focus on ‘queer’ lives and an abstract critique of the heterosexualization of
space, we can utilize it to deconstruct the hetero/homo binary and examine sexuality’s
deployments in concert with racialized, classed and gendered processes. Queering our analysis
thus helps us to position sexuality within multifaceted constellations of power. As critical geographers
seek to understand these constellations, the advancement of a queer approach alongside postcolonial,
feminist, critical race and materialist approaches will most certainly help to ask new questions
and illuminate a broader range of critical possibilities.
Ableism
Approaching disability from the starting point of queer theory
Puar 09 [Jasbir Puar, professor of women's and gender studies at Rutgers University,
Women and Performance: a journal of feminist theory, Vol. 19, No. 2, July 2009,
http://planetarities.web.unc.edu/files/2015/01/puar-prognosis-time.pdf]//JIH
I am particularly interested in approaching these questions from the vantage point of queer theory to put
duress on assumptions about what queer bodies are, and to see what queer methods obtain once
we let go of the discrete organic queer body as its literal referent. I am reminded of a recent comment by
Elizabeth Povinelli, who notes that queer theories remain mired in and beholden to ‘‘a certain literalism of
the referent’’ of its narrowly constructed proper object.7 (Which calls forth the following questions: Why do
we need a literal referent? How literal is the referent? And then, What is that literal reference?).
Queer disability studies has taken up these issues, pushing at the boundedness of bodies, by
exploring the ‘mutation’ or deviance of a body that is purportedly whole and organic.8 While it has
generally pursued these questions around the subjectivities and political agendas that are and
ought to be produced through the intersections of subject formations like ‘‘queer’’ and
‘‘disabled’’ (that is, queer disabled subjects or disabled queer subjects), these intersections push at the
definitional boundaries of each term. In large part, this is because these intersections remind us
certainly at the very least because they remind us of the historical entanglements that have
produced disabled bodies as already queer (both in their bodily debilities and capacities but also
in their sexual practices regardless of sexual object choice) as well as queer bodies that are
allegedly intrinsically debilitated. As Robert McRuer writes, ‘‘despite the fact that homosexuality and
disability clearly share a pathologized past . . . little notice has been taken of the connection
between heterosexuality and able-bodied identity’’. ‘‘Compulsory able-bodiedness’’ and compulsory
heterosexuality are mutually constituitive, argues McRuer.9 But I would also add, compulsory able-bodiedness is
absolutely a prerequisite not only for homonationalist subjects but also for certain exceptional
queer subjects, those imbued with a self-proclaimed capacity for transgression, subversion, or
resistance.
Antiblackness
The particular framework of interrogating necropolitical queer
complicities is crucial in order to break down forms of violent
whiteness.
Thobani 14. Sunera Thobani, professor in the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and
Social Justice at the University of British Columbia, “Prologue,” Queer Necropolitics, Routledge,
2014, -pg. xv
Violence and whiteness constitute the intractable foundation of colonial sovereignty
and its processes of subjection, argued Fanon (1961) in his radical anti- colonial praxis. Drawing on Fanon’s insights,
Mbembe (2001) points out that in the ‘terror formation’ that is the colony, power takes the form of
commandment as it incorporates colonizing subjects into its murderous projects
of conquest. Embedded in the depths of such stubbornly brutal terrain, power in the postcolony assumes the
form of necropolitics as ‘it makes the murder of the enemy its primary and absolute
objective’ (Mbembe 2003: 12).
In the 21st-century post/colonial formation that is the ‘war on terror’, the simultaneous constitution of the
West and its many rests relies no less on occupation , invasion and genocide , albeit in
changing configurations and with emergent practices enacted by differentially positioned subjects. For, as Mbembe has astutely
noted, ‘modernity was at the origin of multiple concepts of sovereignty’ (2003: 13). In other words, while liberal democracy
celebrates its citizen-subjects , the mark of extermination that infuses its racial
logic of power gives rise to the ‘Indian’ reserve , the slave plantation , the native
quarter , the Bantustan , the Nazi camp , as well as the slums , prisons and refugee
camps proliferating around the world (Thobani 2012).
Western militarized states, their nationals and private mercenaries now form willing coalitions
as readily as they organize death squads; Western feminists recalibrate their alignments with
their states as they set out to rescue Muslim women or to protect themselves from their
narcissistically construed forms of precariousnesses; and Muslim women and men supplicants
to the West speak in the name of feminism and liberal democracy to indict Islam, along with
their families and communities, providing vital alibis for torture and collective punishment. All the
while, Muslim men around the world arc demonized as misogynist homophobes even as they are incarcerated, deported, raped,
tortured and targeted for assassination; Muslim women and queers are raped, killed, bombed and compelled to surrender
unconditionally to Western gender regimes if they are to survive. As for the Muslims killed in the hundreds of
thousands by bombs, drones and militias, they do not even appear as human in the
register of the war, featuring only as collateral damage - if at all.
Islamophobia has thus become the lingua franca that enables trans/national
allegiances to be remade, international accords to be signed, aid negotiations to be
consolidated, intelligence, security and border control agreements to be implemented, and
assassination squads to be deployed across the planet . Such is the moment that
marks the (re)birth of the West as the singular model for futurity after the age of
independence.
What avenues, then, for contestation? How to strengthen the forces committed to ending the violence that characterizes the
contemporary geopolitical moment? What possibilities for the politics of radical transformation? For justice?
Queer Necropolitics makes a particularly timely and critically engaged intervention. Mapping out how deployments of sexuality,
gender, race and desire inform the self-constituting practices of unlikely imperialist subjects — queer, feminist, left, and yes, even
critical theorists and philosophers - as they simultaneously advance the reach of the Western empire, the authors of this book
highlight how these practices also mark out entire ‘queerly racialized populations’ for occupation, subjugation or elimination (Puar
2007).
Examining the particularities of the instances where ‘ queer vitalities become
cannibalistic on the disposing and abandonment of others’, the authors help to
disrupt a critical axis on which pivot the imperial heteronormative ,
homonormative and transnormative politics of violence and pleasure (Introduction: p. 2).
What comes into view when
homonationalism is named homoracism ? When feminism is defined as
imperialist? When human rights arc conceived of as recolonization? When queer and trans politics are identified as parasitic? The
power of whiteness comes into sharp focus , the everydayness of the institution of
white supremacy is exposed in all its stark (in)visibilities . The authors of Queer
Necropolitics provide the conceptual and analytical tools vital to the politics of
resistance against the deathly trajectories of power that mark these times.
Jin Haritaworn, Adi Kuntsman and Silvia Posocco point to the ‘worrying tendency to dismiss queer and trans of colour critiques in
particular as identitarian, pre-theoretical and inferior’ (Introduction: p. 4). They are absolutely right to draw attention to such
dismissal, for the displacing of radical critical race theory - with all its complexities - in the name of identity politics has become a
habitual practice of the Western theoretico-political tradition, including its feminisms, left activisms and LBGTQ, movements.
Refusing to acknowledge the violence of the imperial practices that incarcerate subjugated populations in their suffocatingly codified
identities or to recognize the forms of violence they themselves enact as they further the universalization of their own identities in
the name of humanism, these intransigent theorists and activists secure their access to white superiority by such dismissal.
Trapped between humanism and its rigidly enforced politics of identities . Where to
turn?
It should not be forgotten that the
chief architects of this ‘war on terror’ are the settler colonial societies
established by Euro-America, namely, US, Canada, Israel, Australia, along with those seasoned imperialists,
the British, the French and the Germans. The massive public support among their nationals for killing ‘terrorists’
wherever they are to be found, for racial profiling wherever the state deems it necessary and for ripping off Muslim women’s veils
whenever possible extends Islamophobia into homes, schools, workplaces, cinemas, shopping malls, social service agencies and, yes,
in hearts and minds. The
public valorization of the statesmen and stateswomen , the
generals and soldiers, the corporations and journalists who plan , execute and legitimize
the new wars of the 21st century chillingly echo the public celebration of ‘Indian
hunters’ , pioneering heroes of an earlier age of US empire and nation-building, as well as of
the white lynch mobs who ‘hunted’ black men and boys in the name of defending the virtue
of white women. Indeed, the continuities in such racial violence cannot but be recognized even by the perpetrators themselves,
whether by design or otherwise. US and other allied soldiers regularly refer to Afghanistan and Iraq as ‘Injun country’ and to the
black and brown bodies of Muslims as ‘Injuns’; mercenaries working for the US state in Somalia define local Somali men as
‘savages’;1 ‘Project Lawrence’ is launched to develop ‘cultural proficiencies’ among elite US forces working in secret military
operations;2 and the codename ‘Geronimo’ is assigned to the mission to kill Bin Laden.
As Western nation-states fortify their various forms of security - military , national and
psychic - neoliberalism morphs into its audaciously murderous phase , overtly so
now; global capitalism acquires a robust new energy in the privatization of the state’s
machinery of death ; new technologies of surveillance and communication are
invented and enthusiastically consumed. The West is resurgent again and ... all this
whiteness . .. ‘(a)ll this whiteness that bums' (Fanon 2008: 86, emphasis added).
It is wise to remember that sovereignty is not abstract. It has a particular name, a face, an address, a
geographical coordinate. Its face is white, it remains housed in white bodies, it is located in
Westernity. Queer Necropolitics does the very important work of teaching its readers how to
recognize the deadly workings of power . We would do well to learn from this book’s passionately principled
outrage at the order of things.
AT: Lesbian/gay studies are racist
Queer theory is different- it’s fluid and open ended
-
This is also like a B- perm card
Saffin 8 BODIES THAT (DON'T) MATTER: SYSTEMS OF GENDER REGULATION AND INSTITUTIONS OF VIOLENCE
AGAINST TRANSGENDER PERSONS: A QUEER/CRITICAL RACE FEMINIST CRITIQUE By LORI A. SAFFIN DOCTOR OF
PHILOSOPHY WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY Program of American Studies AUGUST 2008
However, Queer Theory (or queerness) does not lie outside of racist or classist agendas because it also organizes around singular
categories that reproduce dominant structures. Nevertheless, what I find evocative about Queer Theory is its
potential toward a politics that resists liberalism (and liberal pluralism). By allowing sexuality to be
fluid and gender to be open-ended, "queer" insists upon a politicized and activist-oriented
category of identity that acknowledges experiential differences as well as cultural and historical
specificity. Queer Theory demands a politic that is not simply individual, or good for one
privileged group, but sees how race, class, gender, and sexuality operate together to sustain
structural and systemic oppression.12 Queer Theory and queerness do not seek integration
within the existing social systems because current structures are built upon and rely on the
oppression of Others. Therefore, Queer Theory makes use of contradiction, ambiguity, multivocality,
and the explosion and opening of categories to destabilize normative and hierarchical binary
systems of power.
Cap
Perm do both – a queer marxist-feminist perspective solves better.
Sears 5 Queer Anti-Capitalism: What's Left of Lesbian and Gay Liberation? Sears, AlanView
Profile. Science & Society69.1 (Jan 2005): 92-112. Education Faculty, University of New
Brunswick
A queer marxist-feminist perspective provides us with ways of envisioning a queer anticapitalism. Many people who engage in same-sex sexual practices have won neither full citizenship nor a place within the
currently existing queer public spaces. The brutalizing experiences of many queer youth (or youth perceived as queer) in high
schools is an important reminder of how far we have to go to achieve full human rights (see Frank, 1994; Smith, 1998). A new
queer radical agenda will have to be built around the needs, desires and organizing capacities of
the young, the poor, people of color, women, transgendered people, working-class people,
people living with AIDS and/or disabilities, the elderly and those who cannot or will not come
out. One of the important organizing bases for this agenda will be the emerging movement of queer trade unionists, though (like
the unions themselves) it will need to go much farther to organize the unorganized (people in non-union
workplaces, contingent workers, people who are not employed) and the excluded (on the basis of nationality, racialization,
disability or gender). A queer anti-capitalism takes us back to the best of the liberationist politics that
emerged after Stonewall: the militancy, the breadth of vision and the transformative
commitments. An engaged queer marxist feminism provides valuable tools for negotiating the complex issues that led to the
impasse of gay libertarianism and lesbian feminism, specifically through grounding the analysis of sexuality in a rich understanding
of processes of social reproduction. It is possible to combine a joyous struggle for sexual freedom with a
serious and nuanced examination of the power relations that shape our experiences of gender
and sexuality
Analyzing queer struggles through historical materialism naturalizes
heteropatriarchy by posing capital as the only social threat, and
makes the heteronormative subject the goal of liberal and radical
practices.
Ferguson 03 [Roderick A. Ferguson, professor of African American and Gender and
Women's Studies in the African American Studies Department at the University of Illinois,
Chicago, “Aberrations in Black: Toward a Queer of Color Critique,” 2003,
http://researchmethodswillse.voices.wooster.edu/files/2012/01/Ferguson.pdf]//JIH
As such, she and others like her were the targets of both liberal and revorutionary regulations. Those regulations derived
their motives from the fact that both bourgeois and revolutionary practices were conceived
through heteropatriarchy. 'We may imagine Marx asking, "How could she-the prostitute-be
entrusted with the revolutionary transformation of society?'; Likewise, we could imagine the
bourgeoisie declaring, "Never could whores rationally administer a liberal society." Historical
materialism and bourgeois ideology shared the tendency to read modern civilization as the
racialized scene of heteronormative disruption. Marx fell into that ideology as he conflated the
dominant representation of the prostitute with the social upheavals wrought by capital. Put
differentl¡ he equated the hegemonic discourse about the prostiture, a discourse that cast her as the symbol of immorality vice, and
corruption, with the reality of a burgeoning capitarist economy. Taking the prostitute to be the obvious and
transparent sign of capital, at what point could Marx approach the prostitute and her alleged
pathologies as discursive questions, rather than as the real and objective outcomes of capitalist
social relations? At what point might he then consider the prostitrrì. others like her to be porenrial sites from which to critique
capital? "rrd Naturalizing heteropatriarchy by posing capital as the social threat to
heteropatriarchal relations meant that both liberal reform and proletarian revolution sought ro
recover heteropatriarchal integrity from the ravages of industrialization. Basing the
fundamental conditions of history upon heterosexual reproduction and designating capital as
the disruption of heterosexual normativity did more than designate the subject of modern
society as heteronormative. It made the heteronormative subject the goal of liberal and radical
practices. under such a definition of histor¡ political economy became an arena where heteronormative legitimation was the
prize. universalizing heteropatriarchy and constructing a racialized other that required
heteropatriarchal regulation was not the peculiar distinction of, or affinity between, Marx and
his bourgeois contemporaries. on the contrary the racialized investment in heteropatriarchy bequeathed itserf to liberal
and revolutionary projects, to bourgeois and revolutionary nationalisms alike. Queer of color analysis must disidentify
with historical materialism so as not to extend this legacy.
The alt can’t solve - body politics are sidelined in Marxist analysis to
be replaced by problems deemed more political.
Warner 93 [Michael Warner, literary critic, social theorist, and Seymour H. Knox Professor
of English Literature and American Studies at Yale University, “Fear of a Queer Planet: Queer
Politics and Social Theory,” 1993,
http://ir.nmu.org.ua/bitstream/handle/123456789/142949/93ac0a0904ab819b5542a4e68d2ef
b70.pdf?sequence=1]//JIH
If Rubin's essay has helped to place the thinking of sexuality on the contemporary political agenda,
this would appear to be a task for which Western Marxism has been and remains
underprepared. A case in point would be the 1989 "Marxism Today" conference held at the University of Massachusetts at
Amherst: of its fifty-eight assorted panels, many containing the word "gender" or its various cognates in their titles, one session
alone was devoted explicitly to questions of sexuality. Given the U.S. government's brutally grudging response to the AIDS crisis and
its renewed attacks on the reproductive freedoms of women, such scanty attention seems significant in reflecting what counts as
political among the varied knowledges and practices comprising "Marxism Today." My intention here is hardly to criticize the
conference (as if it simply could have proceeded otherwise), for its reluctance seems continuous with what might be described (with
a few important but relatively isolated exceptions like Alexandra Kollontai)5 as Western Marxism's tradition of unthinking sex.
When Marxist theorists have concerned themselves directly with sexual issues, they've tended to
relate the story (impossible to repeat after Foucault) of how a natural or potentially liberatory sexuality has
been set upon, repressed, commodified, or otherwise constrained by the institutions of
capitalism: as if sexuality were not always already institutional, existing only in its historically
sedimented forms and discourses.6 In addressing, for example, the question "What has sexuality
to do with class struggle?" Reimut Reiche seemed to answer not much in describing his
"personal" interests in "sexual theory" as paling before genuinely "political problems": as if the
relationship between the two could in fact be figured simply as a distinction between the public
and the private.7 Recognizing these shortcomings, other theorists have proposed instead to analyze the material conditions of
"desire": as if this conception of desire — in tending in practice almost inevitably toward the monolithic, the unmodified, and the
hetero — could seemingly unnameable sexuality.8 Why has thinking sex proven to be so difficult for Western
Marxism? Why, if never simply or entirely an absence, does sexuality form an aporia, a blockage
within the tradition's production-centered paradigm?
The perm solves best – the revolution will only be successful in
conjunction with [insert advocacy statement/buzzword]
Mieli, leader in the Italian gay movement, 1980 (Mario, Libcom, “Towards a gay
communism” 1980, https://libcom.org/library/gay-communism-mario-mieli, MMV)
'Capital', writes Virginia Finzi Ghisi, 'has made use up till now of the erotic nature of labour in
order to force man into this, having preventively withdrawn from him any other sexual
adventure (relations with the woman-wife-mother in the family circle are no adventure, but only
an extended substitution) ... Heterosexuality becomes the condition for capitalist production, as
a modality of loss of the body, a habituation to seeing this elsewhere, and generalised.' [15]
The struggle for communism today must find expression, among other things, in the negation of
the heterosexual Norm that is based on the repression of Eros and is essential for maintaining
the rule of capital over the species. The 'perversions', and homosexuality in particular, are a
rebellion against the subjugation of sexuality by the established order, against the almost total
enslavement of eroticism (repressed or repressively desublimated) to the 'performance
principle', to production and reproduction (of labour-power).
The increase in the means of production has already virtually abolished poverty, which is
perpetuated today only by capitalism. And if the sublimation of the 'perverse' tendencies of Eros
into labour is thus no longer economically necessary, it is even less necessary to channel all
libidinal energies into reproduction, given that our planet is already suffering from overpopulation. Clearly, repressive legislation on the number of children, abortion, and the wars and
famines decreed by capital, will not resolve the problem of population increase. Such things can
only serve to contain it within limits that are functional to the preservation and expansion of the
capitalist mode of production. They serve to increase the war industry and to maintain the Third
World in conditions of poverty and backwardness that are favourable to the establishment of
capitalist economic and political control. The problem of over-population can be genuinely
resolved by the spread of homosexuality, the (re)conquest of autoerotic pleasure, and the
communist revolution. What will positively resolve the demographic tragedy is not the
restriction of Eros, but its liberation.
The harnessing of Eros to procreation, in fact, has never been really necessary, since free
sexuality, in conditions that are more or less favourable, naturally reproduces the species
without needing to be subject to any type of constraint. On the other hand, if the struggle for the
liberation of homosexuality is decisively opposed to the heterosexual Norm, one of its objectives
is the realisation of new gay relations between women and men, relations that are totally
different from the traditional couple, and are aimed, among other things, at a new form of gay
procreation and paedophilic coexistence with children.
In a relatively distant future, the consequent trans-sexual freedom may well contribute to
determining alterations in the biological and anatomical structure of the human being that will
transform us, for example, into a gynandry reproducing by parthenogenesis, or else a new twoway type of procreation (or three-way, or ten-way ?). Nor do we know what the situation is on
the billions of other planets in the galaxy, many of which, at least, must be far more advanced
than ourselves.
If we can thus understand how the repression and sublimation of Eros, and the heterosexual
Norm, are absolutely no longer necessary for the goals of civilisation and the achievement of
communism, being in fact indispensable only for the perpetuation of capitalism and its
barbarism, then it is not hard to discover in the expression of homoerotic desire a fertile
potential for revolutionary subversion. And it is to this potential that is linked the 'promise of
happiness' that Marcuse recognises as a peculiar character of the 'perversions'.
The revolution will be homophobic – the leftist revolutionaries see
LGBT populations as part of the bourgeois
Mieli, leader in the Italian gay movement, 1980 (Mario, Libcom, “Towards a gay
communism” 1980, https://libcom.org/library/gay-communism-mario-mieli, MMV)
5. The 'Protectors' of the Left The left "” above all the Italian Communist Party, but also all the
self-proclaimed revolutionary organisations "” were slow to adopt even an attitude of
'protection' towards gays. For a long time they simply repressed homosexuality directly,
negating it by exalting the tough, virile figure of the productive (and evidently reproductive)
worker. They ridiculed homosexuals, defining them as an expression of the corruption and
decadence of bourgeois society, thus making their own contribution to confirming gays in an
attitude that is in some respects counter-revolutionary. They put forward an image of revolution
that is grotesquely bigoted and repressive (based on sacrifice and on the infernal proletarian
family) and a caricature of virility (based on productive-reproductive labour and on brute
militarised violence), and they held up the model of those countries defined as socialist, who
liquidate homosexuals in concentration camps or 're-education centres', such as Cuba or China.
It is scarcely surprising, then, that gay people saw only the system itself as their 'salvation'.
When the homosexual liberation movement started in Italy, the left did their best to induce it to
silence and discourage it. We can all cite an endless series of insults, provocations and even
physical attacks from militants of the left. Those of us who belonged for a while to such groups
know very well the sum of humiliations and frustrations involved in being a gay activist in the
heterosexual left.
The left thus did all it could to extinguish our movement. They stubbornly characterised it as
'petty-bourgeois' at the very time that we were starting to come out in a revolutionary way. As
far back as 1971, Joe Fallisi could write that the left was concerned above all to 'modernise
reformist politics and impose (in the heaven of the Spectacle) new ideological images of the
"challenger", the "tough guy", the "extra-parliamentarist", the "new partisan".' And if the
reformist politics of the left are phallocentric and heterosexual, their ideological counterpart was
the 'tough guy with a big cock and muscles of steel', who sets even the fascist bullies to flight.
[16] It is no accident that the extra-parliamentary groups of yesterday are today seated in
Parliament.
The aff is the K – the heterosexual Norm is the same as the oppressive
capitalist system – a homosexual revolution is the only revolution
that will be successful
Mieli, leader in the Italian gay movement, 1980 (Mario, Libcom, “Towards a gay
communism” 1980, https://libcom.org/library/gay-communism-mario-mieli, MMV)
The solution to this problem lies in the victory of the revolution, in the creation of communism,
in the ending of all war, and the definitive withdrawal of all armies. Today, the revolution is
being prepared, among other things, by the conflict between the gay movement and the Norm,
and by the encounter between homosexuals and deserters from the army of normality. The
heterosexual males 'in crisis' must understand that we do not want war : we are forced to
struggle because we have always been persecuted, because the policemen of the heterosexual law
have repressed us, because we look forward to the universal liberation of the gay desire, which
can only be realised when your heterosexual identity is broken down. We are not struggling
against you, but only against your 'normality'. We have no intention of castrating you. We want
on the contrary to free you from your castration complex. Your arse has not really been
amputated, it has only been accused [imputato], along with your entire body.
To come over to our side means, literally, to be fucked in the arse, and to discover that this is
one of the most beautiful of pleasures. It means to marry your pleasure to mine without
castrating chains, without matrimony. It means enjoyment without the Norm, without laws. It is
only your inhibitions that prevent you from seeing that only by coming over to our side can we
achieve our revolution. And communism can only be ours, i.e. belonging to us all, those of us
able to love. Why do you want to be left out ?
It is capital that still so insistently opposes you to us. What you have to fear is not being fucked
in the arse, but rather remaining what you at present still are, heterosexual males as the Norm
wants you to be, even in crisis, as if it was not high time to oppose yourselves forever to crisis, to
castration, to guilt. As if it was not time to gayly reject the discontent that the present society has
imposed on us, and to stop the totalitarian machine of capital in its tracks by realising new and
totalising relations. And given that we are bodies, this means erotic relations among us all.
You fear us on account of the taboo you have internalised, and which you still uphold. But this
taboo is the mark of the system in you. And we don't want to be led into the catastrophe that is
threatening, nor do we want the struggle for liberation, which has only one genuine enemy,
capital, to be crippled by your resistances, dogmas and ditherings, by your susceptibility to
images and your submission to the Father-system. Your terror of homosexuality is the capitalist
terror, it is the paternal terror, the terror of the father that you have not overcome.
There have been wars in which the oppressors, sullied by atrocities, have degenerated to such a
point that the only way for the oppressed to conquer has been to eliminate them to a man. In a
case of this kind, it is impossible to expect many deserters. We find this in the Biblical wars :
God commanded that none of the inhabitants of Jericho should survive the fall of the city. But
we don't want to sound the trumpets of Jericho, rather the Internationale. What we propose is
an erotic understanding. We don't want any more destruction, that is precisely why we still have
to struggle. Revolutionary wars are never anything like the destruction of Jericho.
In 1917 the Bolsheviks and all other revolutionaries proclaimed war on war and preached
defeatism in all armies. The Russian revolutionary soldiers fraternised with the German
'victors', they danced together, embraced one another on the occupied Russian soil and shared
their rations. Today, with gay clarity, we must wage the true war against capital and no one else.
Eros to you and to us, captivating sisters and attractive brothers of the universal incest that is
announced and impending !
Queer theory serves to help re-imagine capitalism to allow for anticapitalist politics to occur.
Gibson-Graham 99 Queer(y)ing capitalism in and out of the classroom Gibson-Graham, J K. Journal of Geography
in Higher Education23.1 (Mar 1999): 80-85. Katherine Gibson is professor and head of the Department of Human Geography at the
Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University. Julie Graham is professor of economic geography
and associate department head for geography in the Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts.
Of course, destabilising images of capitalist dominance is a big project, and I could not do it by myself. Nor could I
do it without
queer theory, that incredibly dynamic matrix of contemporary theory whose practitioners are not only
theorising about queers but who are also making social theory 'queer'. This latter project can be seen to involve not
(or not merely) constituting a minority population based on same-sex desire, set in opposition to
a heterosexual norm, but calling into question the very idea of norms and normality, calling
attention to the violence entailed by normalising impulses, including the impulse to theorise a
social site as subsumed to a hegemonic order [7]. What if we were to 'queer' capitalist hegemony and break apart
some of its consolidating associations? We could start by reimagining the body of capitalism, that hard and
masculine body that penetrates non-capitalism but is not itself susceptible to penetration (this
image conveys some of the heterosexism that structures contemporary social theory). One key `coming together' (a Christmas effect
that participates in consolidating a capitalist monolith) is the familiar association of capitalism with commodification and `the
market'. This association, in which all three terms ultimately signify 'capitalism', constitutes the body of capitalism as dominant and
expansive (at least in the space of commodity transactions). But how might we re-envision that body as more
open and permeable, as having orifices through which non-capitalism might enter? We might argue,
as many have done, that many different relations of production-including slavery and independent commodity production and
collective or communal relations-are compatible with production for a market. What violence do we do to these when we normalise
all commodity production as capitalist commodity production? Surely the market is a mobile and membranous orifice into which
can be inserted all kinds of non-capitalist commodities, whose queer presences challenge the pre-eminence of capitalism and the
discourses of its hegemony. Queering our pedagogy means making differences visible and calling normative impulses and forms of
social closure into question. This is something that geographic researchers are increasingly doing with respect to a wide range of
social and cultural sites and processes, not excluding the 'economic', where differences among industries, enterprises, economic
subjects, cities and regions, national and world economies are often highlighted and explored. The fact that one sameness-their
capitalist nature-- tends to unify all these forms of difference offers a challenge to us as teachers. Can we, with our
students, generate different representations of the economic world, ones in which non-capitalist
class relations and forms of economy are prevalent and widespread? [8] If we can, what might
be the impact of these representations? Might they not help to make anticapitalist activism seem
less quixotic and more realistic? Might they contribute to a non-capitalist politics of economic
invention?
Queerness is an ideal starting point for fighting capitalism
Gibson-Graham 1996 The End of Capitalism (as we knew it) Gibson-Graham, J K. 1996 Katherine Gibson is
professor and head of the Department of Human Geography at the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian
National University. Julie Graham is professor of economic geography and associate department head for geography in the
Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts.
By speaking a language of the diverse economy, we can begin to unravel the dense knots of meaning that sustain the hegemonic
identity of “the capitalist economy.” Working against the condensations and displacements that structure the discourse of
capitalocentrism, we have produced an unruly economic landscape of particular, nonequivalent meanings. Our objective has
been to dis-order the capitalist economic landscape, to queer it and thereby dislocate
capitalocentrism’s hegemony. In the space thus produced, we see opportunities for new economic
becomings—sites where ethical decisions can be made, power can be negotiated, and
transformations forged. A counterhegemonic politics involves dis-identification with the subject
positions offered by a hegemonic discourse and identification with alternative and politically
enabling positions. In the economic realm today we are confronted with no one set of possible alternative identities.
Certainly the historic identity of the communist worker no longer presents itself as an imagined
counter-identity. Instead, as we have shown, the terrain is littered with half-hearted and defensive
“economic” identities that are largely acknowledged as social identities— houseworker, giver of gifts, volunteer, cooperator, petty
trader, home producer, artisan, member of a kin network, indigenous hunter, migrant, public servant, community worker, peasant,
social entrepreneur. This ragtag group has no shared sense of economic right from which it might
launch an articulated attack on a neoliberal global capitalist order.48 Rather, the discourses that
occupy roles as Constructing a Language.
The political will fail – moving within the state causes a sense of
pacification where the left believes they have done good while still
upholding the existing inequalities
Mieli, leader in the Italian gay movement, 1980 (Mario, Libcom, “Towards a gay
communism” 1980, https://libcom.org/library/gay-communism-mario-mieli, MMV)
I believe that homosexuals are revolutionary today in as much as we have overcome politics. The
revolution for which we are fighting is among other things the negation of all male supremacist
political rackets (based among other things on sublimated homosexuality), since it is the
negation and overcoming of capital and its politics, which find their way into all groups of the
left, sustaining them and making them counter-revolutionary.
My arsehole doesn't want to be political, it is not for sale to any racket of the left in exchange for
a bit of putrid opportunist political 'protection'. While the arseholes of the 'comrades' in the
groups will be revolutionary only when they have managed to enjoy them with others, and when
they have stopped covering their behinds with the ideology of tolerance for the queers. As long
as they hide behind the shield of politics, the heterosexual 'comrades' will not know what is
hidden within their own thighs.
As always, it is only rather belatedly, in the wake of the 'enlightened' bourgeoisie, that the leftwing groups have begun to play the game of capitalist tolerance. From declared hangmen, and a
thousand times more repugnant than the hustlers and fascists, given all their (ideological)
declarations of revolution, the activists of these groups have transformed themselves into 'open'
debaters with homosexuals. They fantasise about becoming well-meaning and tolerant
protectors of the 'deviant', in this way gratifying their own virile image, already far too much on
the decline, at a time when even the ultra-left have suddenly to improvise 'feminist'
representatives for 'their' women. Moreover, the fantasy of protectors helps them to exorcise the
problem of the repression of their own homoerotic desire. Under it all, the activists of the left
always hope to become good policemen. They do not know that real policemen get in there more
than they do, and that when this happens, they make love precisely with us gays. When will
there be a free homosexual outlet for the activists of the ultra-left ?
The perm solves best – the revolution will only be successful in
conjunction with [insert advocacy statement/buzzword]
Mieli, leader in the Italian gay movement, 1980 (Mario, Libcom, “Towards a gay
communism” 1980, https://libcom.org/library/gay-communism-mario-mieli, MMV)
'Capital', writes Virginia Finzi Ghisi, 'has made use up till now of the erotic nature of labour in
order to force man into this, having preventively withdrawn from him any other sexual
adventure (relations with the woman-wife-mother in the family circle are no adventure, but only
an extended substitution) ... Heterosexuality becomes the condition for capitalist production, as
a modality of loss of the body, a habituation to seeing this elsewhere, and generalised.' [15]
The struggle for communism today must find expression, among other things, in the negation of
the heterosexual Norm that is based on the repression of Eros and is essential for maintaining
the rule of capital over the species. The 'perversions', and homosexuality in particular, are a
rebellion against the subjugation of sexuality by the established order, against the almost total
enslavement of eroticism (repressed or repressively desublimated) to the 'performance
principle', to production and reproduction (of labour-power).
The increase in the means of production has already virtually abolished poverty, which is
perpetuated today only by capitalism. And if the sublimation of the 'perverse' tendencies of Eros
into labour is thus no longer economically necessary, it is even less necessary to channel all
libidinal energies into reproduction, given that our planet is already suffering from overpopulation. Clearly, repressive legislation on the number of children, abortion, and the wars and
famines decreed by capital, will not resolve the problem of population increase. Such things can
only serve to contain it within limits that are functional to the preservation and expansion of the
capitalist mode of production. They serve to increase the war industry and to maintain the Third
World in conditions of poverty and backwardness that are favourable to the establishment of
capitalist economic and political control. The problem of over-population can be genuinely
resolved by the spread of homosexuality, the (re)conquest of autoerotic pleasure, and the
communist revolution. What will positively resolve the demographic tragedy is not the
restriction of Eros, but its liberation.
The harnessing of Eros to procreation, in fact, has never been really necessary, since free
sexuality, in conditions that are more or less favourable, naturally reproduces the species
without needing to be subject to any type of constraint. On the other hand, if the struggle for the
liberation of homosexuality is decisively opposed to the heterosexual Norm, one of its objectives
is the realisation of new gay relations between women and men, relations that are totally
different from the traditional couple, and are aimed, among other things, at a new form of gay
procreation and paedophilic coexistence with children.
In a relatively distant future, the consequent trans-sexual freedom may well contribute to
determining alterations in the biological and anatomical structure of the human being that will
transform us, for example, into a gynandry reproducing by parthenogenesis, or else a new twoway type of procreation (or three-way, or ten-way ?). Nor do we know what the situation is on
the billions of other planets in the galaxy, many of which, at least, must be far more advanced
than ourselves.
If we can thus understand how the repression and sublimation of Eros, and the heterosexual
Norm, are absolutely no longer necessary for the goals of civilisation and the achievement of
communism, being in fact indispensable only for the perpetuation of capitalism and its
barbarism, then it is not hard to discover in the expression of homoerotic desire a fertile
potential for revolutionary subversion. And it is to this potential that is linked the 'promise of
happiness' that Marcuse recognises as a peculiar character of the 'perversions'.
The revolution will be homophobic – the leftist revolutionaries see
LGBT populations as part of the bourgeois
Mieli, leader in the Italian gay movement, 1980 (Mario, Libcom, “Towards a gay
communism” 1980, https://libcom.org/library/gay-communism-mario-mieli, MMV)
5. The 'Protectors' of the Left The left "” above all the Italian Communist Party, but also all the
self-proclaimed revolutionary organisations "” were slow to adopt even an attitude of
'protection' towards gays. For a long time they simply repressed homosexuality directly,
negating it by exalting the tough, virile figure of the productive (and evidently reproductive)
worker. They ridiculed homosexuals, defining them as an expression of the corruption and
decadence of bourgeois society, thus making their own contribution to confirming gays in an
attitude that is in some respects counter-revolutionary. They put forward an image of revolution
that is grotesquely bigoted and repressive (based on sacrifice and on the infernal proletarian
family) and a caricature of virility (based on productive-reproductive labour and on brute
militarised violence), and they held up the model of those countries defined as socialist, who
liquidate homosexuals in concentration camps or 're-education centres', such as Cuba or China.
It is scarcely surprising, then, that gay people saw only the system itself as their 'salvation'.
When the homosexual liberation movement started in Italy, the left did their best to induce it to
silence and discourage it. We can all cite an endless series of insults, provocations and even
physical attacks from militants of the left. Those of us who belonged for a while to such groups
know very well the sum of humiliations and frustrations involved in being a gay activist in the
heterosexual left.
The left thus did all it could to extinguish our movement. They stubbornly characterised it as
'petty-bourgeois' at the very time that we were starting to come out in a revolutionary way. As
far back as 1971, Joe Fallisi could write that the left was concerned above all to 'modernise
reformist politics and impose (in the heaven of the Spectacle) new ideological images of the
"challenger", the "tough guy", the "extra-parliamentarist", the "new partisan".' And if the
reformist politics of the left are phallocentric and heterosexual, their ideological counterpart was
the 'tough guy with a big cock and muscles of steel', who sets even the fascist bullies to flight.
[16] It is no accident that the extra-parliamentary groups of yesterday are today seated in
Parliament.
The aff is the K – the heterosexual Norm is the same as the oppressive
capitalist system – a homosexual revolution is the only revolution
that will be successful
Mieli, leader in the Italian gay movement, 1980 (Mario, Libcom, “Towards a gay
communism” 1980, https://libcom.org/library/gay-communism-mario-mieli, MMV)
The solution to this problem lies in the victory of the revolution, in the creation of communism,
in the ending of all war, and the definitive withdrawal of all armies. Today, the revolution is
being prepared, among other things, by the conflict between the gay movement and the Norm,
and by the encounter between homosexuals and deserters from the army of normality. The
heterosexual males 'in crisis' must understand that we do not want war : we are forced to
struggle because we have always been persecuted, because the policemen of the heterosexual law
have repressed us, because we look forward to the universal liberation of the gay desire, which
can only be realised when your heterosexual identity is broken down. We are not struggling
against you, but only against your 'normality'. We have no intention of castrating you. We want
on the contrary to free you from your castration complex. Your arse has not really been
amputated, it has only been accused [imputato], along with your entire body.
To come over to our side means, literally, to be fucked in the arse, and to discover that this is
one of the most beautiful of pleasures. It means to marry your pleasure to mine without
castrating chains, without matrimony. It means enjoyment without the Norm, without laws. It is
only your inhibitions that prevent you from seeing that only by coming over to our side can we
achieve our revolution. And communism can only be ours, i.e. belonging to us all, those of us
able to love. Why do you want to be left out ?
It is capital that still so insistently opposes you to us. What you have to fear is not being fucked
in the arse, but rather remaining what you at present still are, heterosexual males as the Norm
wants you to be, even in crisis, as if it was not high time to oppose yourselves forever to crisis, to
castration, to guilt. As if it was not time to gayly reject the discontent that the present society has
imposed on us, and to stop the totalitarian machine of capital in its tracks by realising new and
totalising relations. And given that we are bodies, this means erotic relations among us all.
You fear us on account of the taboo you have internalised, and which you still uphold. But this
taboo is the mark of the system in you. And we don't want to be led into the catastrophe that is
threatening, nor do we want the struggle for liberation, which has only one genuine enemy,
capital, to be crippled by your resistances, dogmas and ditherings, by your susceptibility to
images and your submission to the Father-system. Your terror of homosexuality is the capitalist
terror, it is the paternal terror, the terror of the father that you have not overcome.
There have been wars in which the oppressors, sullied by atrocities, have degenerated to such a
point that the only way for the oppressed to conquer has been to eliminate them to a man. In a
case of this kind, it is impossible to expect many deserters. We find this in the Biblical wars :
God commanded that none of the inhabitants of Jericho should survive the fall of the city. But
we don't want to sound the trumpets of Jericho, rather the Internationale. What we propose is
an erotic understanding. We don't want any more destruction, that is precisely why we still have
to struggle. Revolutionary wars are never anything like the destruction of Jericho.
In 1917 the Bolsheviks and all other revolutionaries proclaimed war on war and preached
defeatism in all armies. The Russian revolutionary soldiers fraternised with the German
'victors', they danced together, embraced one another on the occupied Russian soil and shared
their rations. Today, with gay clarity, we must wage the true war against capital and no one else.
Eros to you and to us, captivating sisters and attractive brothers of the universal incest that is
announced and impending !
Disease Reps
Political approaches towards addressing AIDS are the only way to
bring about actual change
Boone and Batsell 01 [Catherine Boone, professor of Government @ the U of Texas, and
Jake Batsell, professor of journalism @ the U of North Texas, “Politics and AIDS in Africa:
Research Agendas in Political Science and International Relations,” Africa Today,
http://muse.jhu.edu.proxy1.cl.msu.edu:2047/journals/africa_today/v048/48.2boone.pdf]//JI
H
In both cases, we see evidence of a capacity to supply “good governance” that political science does
not define or measure very well. Research aimed at better understanding where state strength
and effectiveness comes from in these cases could be useful. It could contribute to broader and
more general understandings of what it takes to generate state capacity in Africa and it could also
help identify new political resources that could be mobilized in efforts to provide public goods,
including positive responses to HIV-AIDS. Political scientists can make a direct contribution by
analyzing the factors that contribute to constructive public policy responses to AIDS. It is clear
that there is simply no substitute for state action in this domain: governments must be at the
center of AIDS-prevention and treatment efforts. Experiences from the past fifteen years show
that where governments fail to act, the disease spreads faster, the eventual costs of dealing with
it are higher, and the negative effects on development are more far-reaching and intractable.
Conversely, governments that do respond forcefully to the issue of AIDS have registered successes
in bringing HIV infection rates down, such as in Uganda and Senegal. As Peter Mameli wrote in his 1998
dissertation examining variations in state response to the AIDS pandemic, “it is essential that researchers begin to analyze which
background conditions, administrative techniques and organizational forms have worked most effectively at the national and
international levels of political response as we continue to address this health crisis” (Mameli 1998: 24). Nearly two decades into a
pandemic that poses one of the gravest threats to public health and development that sub-Saharan Africa has ever faced, political
science can no longer afford to ignore the political implications of AIDS in Africa. A rich array of research agendas
linking AIDS and politics is worthy of systematic attention, including the explanation of
variations in state responses to the pandemic; the relationship between African governments
and NGOs; the challenges AIDS creates for neoliberalism; AIDS in the context of North-South
tensions; and international security issues. Equally important are issues that we have not
addressed here; including the human rights concerns in connection with HIV testing, drug
experiments, workplace rights, and access to therapies. Also included are the role of intensified
exploitation of Africa’s mining and forest resources and the spread (and perhaps management)
of AIDS and other infectious diseases (Hardin 2000), gender politics issues (including new legal
struggles over inheritance laws and norms), and issues about citizenship and popular
conceptions of state responsibility and state power that are revealed in public assessments of
governments’ response, or lack thereof, to AIDS. These topics deserve attention from political science because
they are real-world problems of critical importance. Researchers can make contributions by
generating data, helping to frame and theorize issues, sorting out the conditions under which
“best practices” are most likely to emerge, and getting a better handle on the institutional and
macropolitical factors that shape governmental and societal responses. Such research also offers
prospects for considerable theoretical innovation in political science. AIDS politics is largely
unploughed territory.
Fem
Permutation solves – a queer feminism is necessary in order to
transcend gender boundaries and constructions.
Rudy 2000 [Kathy Rudy, professor of women's studies at Duke University “Queer theory
and feminism,” Women's Studies: An inter-disciplinary journal, 29:2,195-216, 2000,
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00497878.2000.9979308]//JIH
From a certain angle, these strategies might appear contradictory (why focus on "women" or women's sphere if that's the very
category we're trying to free ourselves from?). My point here is that we need to live with this contradiction for
some while, that we need to focus both on women and beyond them in order to prevent a new
queer world from becoming another cover for the discrimination and disregard of women. Queer
theory can provide us with interesting visions of a non-gendered, politically progressive world,
but only if we recognize the need for feminist analysis as well. To my thinking, feminists today need to attend both to
new queer analyses and to feminist methodologies if we hope to pursue a world that strives to be
truly beyond gender discrimination rather than one that simply hides it. Queer discourse on
academic and popular levels can help us avoid configuring gender as an ontological necessity
and see it instead as something we construct and perform. Moving beyond the male/female
binary will free us from unnecessary gender discrimination currently present in many aspects of
social life. We also need feminism, however, to help us consciously focus on and recover "women's work" as a central concern in
the new queer discourse. As feminists striving to live beyond gender, we need to actively remember the important relational and
emotional work that has been done throughout the ages by the people called "women." Seeing "women's work" as engaging,
important work throughout history will reshape the landscape of our own lives today. I suggest that what we need is a
"feminist version of queer theory," which would see itself not as a set of instantaneous,
deconstructive moves but rather as a collection of staggered events and uneven developments
that pursue two conflicting goals simultaneously. In this feminist version of queer theory, we must strive to pay as
much attention to the role of (what we used to call) women, as we do to overcoming or rising above such categorization. By
understanding a feminist queer agenda not as one move but as a process, we can then see that
both types of work help us reshape the world. Queer theorists and feminists agree on the idea
that the secret of rebuilding the world lies at the level of interpretation. Rather than struggling
over whether an event or text is either queer or feminist, we need to recognize that both
interpretations are necessary and ought to exist side-by-side. In building a new feminist queer
theory in this dialectical fashion, the struggle to recover women and to move beyond them
emerges as an agenda that can offer a better world for people of all sexual and gender
identifications. This version of queer theory understands finally that without feminism, queer theory will simply be another
fight among boys.
Engaging in an analysis of queerness is necessary in order to
transcend the confining identity categories of many feminist
movements and break away from traditional conceptions of identity.
Jagose 96 [Annamarie Jagose, PhD., scholar in feminist studies, lesbian/gay studies and
queer theory,“Queer Theory,” University of Melbourne Press, 1996,
http://www.australianhumanitiesreview.org/archive/Issue-Dec-1996/jagose.html]//JIH
In the sense that Butler outlines the queer project--that is, to the extent that she argues there can't be one--queer may be
thought of as activating an identity politics so attuned to the constraining effects of naming, of
delineating a foundational category which precedes and underwrites political intervention, that
it may better be understood as promoting a non-identity--or even anti-identity--politics. If a
potentially infinite coalition of sexual identities, practices, discourses and sites might be
identified as queer, what it betokens is not so much liberal pluralism as a negotiation of the very
concept of identity itself. For queer is, in part, a response to perceived limitations in the
liberationist and identity-conscious politics of the gay and lesbian feminist movements. The
rhetoric of both has been structured predominantly around self-recognition, community and
shared identity; inevitably, if inadvertently, both movements have also resulted in exclusions,
delegitimation, and a false sense of universality. The discursive proliferation of queer has been
enabled in part by the knowledge that identities are fictitious--that is, produced by and
productive of material effects but nevertheless arbitrary, contingent and ideologically motivated.
Unlike those identity categories labelled lesbian or gay, queer has developed out of the
theorising of often unexamined constraints in traditional identity politics. Consequently, queer has
been produced largely outside the registers of recognition, truthfulness and self-identity.
Queer, then, is an identity category that has no interest in consolidating or even stabilising itself. It
maintains its critique of identity-focused movements by understanding that even the formation of its own coalitional and negotiated
constituencies may well result in exclusionary and reifying effects far in excess of those intended.
Acknowledging the inevitable violence of identity politics and having no stake in its own hegemony, queer is less an identity
than a critique of identity. But it is in no position to imagine itself outside that circuit of
problems energised by identity politics. Instead of defending itself against those criticisms that its operations
inevitably attract, queer allows such criticisms to shape its--for now unimaginable--future directions.
'The term', writes Butler, 'will be revised, dispelled, rendered obsolete to the extent that it yields to the demands which resist the
term precisely because of the exclusions by which it is mobilized'. The mobilisation of queer--no less than the
critique of it--foregrounds the conditions of political representation: its intentions and effects,
its resistance to and recovery by the existing networks of power.
The feminist critique of LGBT issues is flawed and discriminatory –
the alt just perpetuates homophobia
Mieli, leader in the Italian gay movement, 1980 (Mario, Libcom, “Towards a gay
communism” 1980, https://libcom.org/library/gay-communism-mario-mieli, MMV)
Many feminists criticise us queens because we often tend in our dress and behaviour to copy the
stereotyped 'feminine' fetish that women have to fight. But if a woman dressed like a starlet or cover girl is
normal for the system today, a man dressed in a similar way is quite abnormal, as far as 'normal' people are concerned, and so our
transvestism has a clear revolutionary character. There is no harm in us queens having our bit of
fantasy : we demand the freedom to dress as we like, to choose a definite style one day and an ambiguous one the
day after, to wear both feather : and ties, leopard-skin and rompers, the leather queen's chains, black leather and whip,
the greasy rags of the street porter or a tulle maternity dress. We enjoy the bizarre, digging into (pre)history, the dustbins and
uniforms of yesterday, today and tomorrow, the trumpery, costumes and symbols that best express the mood
of
the moment. As Antonio Donato puts it, we want to communicate by our clothing, too, the 'schizophrenia' that
underlies social life, hidden behind the censorious screen of the unrecognised transvestism of everyday. From our vantage
point, in fact, it is 'normal' people who are the true transvestites. Just as the absolute
heterosexuality that is so proudly flaunted masks the polymorphous but sadly inhibited
disposition of their desire, so their standard outfits hide and debase the marvellous human
being that lies suppressed within. Our transvestism is condemned because it shows up for all to see the funereal reality
of the general transvestism, which has to remain silent, and is simply taken for granted.
Far from being particularly odd, the transvestite exposes how tragically ridiculous
the great majority of
people are in their monstrous uniforms of man and 'woman'. You need only take a ride on the underground. If
the transvestite seems ridiculous to the 'normal' person who encounters him, far more ridiculous and sad, for the transvestite, is the
nudity of the person who laughs, so properly dressed, in his face.
For a man, to dress as a 'woman' does not necessarily mean projecting the 'woman-object'; above
all, because
he is not a woman, and the male fetishism imposed by capital decrees that he should
be dressed quite differently, reified in a quite different guise, dressed as a man or at least in unisex. Besides, a
frock can be very comfortable, fresh and light when it's hot, and warm and cosy when it's cold. We can't just
assume that women who normally go around dressed as men, swathed tightly in jeans, feel more
comfortable than a queen dressed up as a witch, with full-bodied cloak and wide-brimmed hat.
But a man can also get pleasure from wearing a very uncomfortable 'feminine' garb. It can be
exciting, and quite trippy, for a gay man to wear high heels, elaborate make-up, suspender belt and satin panties.
Once again, those feminists who attack us gays, and in particular transvestites, for dressing as the 'womanobject', are putting down gay humour, the transsexual aesthetic, the craziness of crazy queens. Their new
morality is in fact the very old anti-gay morality, simply given a new gloss by modern categories
stuffed with an ideological feminism, ideological because it provides a cover for the anti-homosexual
taboo, for the fear of homosexuality, for the intention to reform the Norm without eliminating it.
Heterosexual feminists fail to hit the mark when they discuss homosexuality. And we queens,
moreover, have no intention of being put down by women any more than by men. In the course of our
lives, many of the educastrated educastrators we have encountered have been women, and there are certainly far more
women still opposed to homosexuality today than there are gay men who are male supremacist
and enslaved by the dominant ideology. Many women have abused us and still do so, they have
ridiculed us and still do so, they have oppressed us and still do so. These women cannot but be opposed
to us, and we cannot but 'oppose' them, if we intend, from the gay standpoint, to wage a struggle for
universal liberation (a struggle, therefore, which involves them as well, fighting against their prejudices, with a view to
dissolving all anti-gay resistances). I have already shown how the contradiction between men and women and the contradiction
between heterosexuality and homosexuality are intertwined. And so if feminists cannot but oppose the persistence
of male supremacy among us queens, we cannot but challenge fundamentally the heterosexual
'normality' with which the women's movement is still pervaded, despite the new fashion or ideology of
'homosexuality' that has become widespread in it.
Permutation card – fem (don’t know the advocacy statement so don’t
know how to explain the perm really)
Mieli, leader in the Italian gay movement, 1980 (Mario, Libcom, “Towards a gay
communism” 1980, https://libcom.org/library/gay-communism-mario-mieli, MMV)
When there are women who criticise us gays if we dress as 'women', we should not ignore the pulpit from
which this preaching comes. I have never been attacked by a lesbian for my make-up, my floral gowns or my
silver heels. It is true, of course, that, if for centuries women have been forced by male power to dress up in
an oppressive manner, the great creators of fashion, the couturiers, hair-stylists, etc. have almost always
been gay men. But the homosexual fantasy has simply been exploited by the system "” it still is [2] "” in
order to oppress women and adorn them in the way that men want to see them. For centuries, the system has exploited
the work of homosexuals to subjugate women, just as it has made abundant use of women to
oppress gays (any gay man need only recall his mother). For this reason, if it is very important for women today to reject certain
ways of dress, i.e. being dressed and undressed by men, it is equally important that gays should recapture and
reinvent for themselves the aesthetic that they were obliged for centuries to project onto women.
If Marlene Dietrich in her glitter is an emblem of the oppression of women, she is at the same time a gay symbol, she is gay, and her
image, her voice, her sequins form part of a homosexual culture, a desire that we queens recognise in ourselves. It is true that
for a woman today to present herself like a Vogue cover girl is in general anti-feminist and
reactionary. But for a gay man to dress as he pleases, boldly expressing a fantasy which capital has relegated to
the reified pages of Vogue, has a certain revolutionary cutting edge, even today. We are fed up with
dressing as men. We ask our sisters in the women's movement, then, don't burn the clothes that
you cast off. They might be useful to someone, and we have in fact always longed for them. In due course,
moreover, we shall invite you all to our great coming-out ball.
There can be no doubt that queens, 'effeminate' homosexuals and transvestites are among those
men closest to trans-sexuality (even if frequently, because of oppression, they live their transsexual desire in alienated
forms, infected by false guilt). Queens and transvestites are those males who, even though male, understand
better what it means to be a woman in this society, where the men most disparaged are not the
brutes, phallocrats or violent individualists, but rather those who most resemble women.
It is precisely the harsh condemnation of 'effeminacy' that sometimes leads gay men to behave in a
way that is functional to the system, to become their own jailors. They then balance their 'abnormal'
adoration for the male, the tough guy, the hoodlum, with a 'normal' and neurotic anti-woman attitude,
which is counterrevolutionary and male supremacist. But the homosexual struggle is abolishing
this historical figure of the queen enslaved by the system (the 'queer men' whom Larry Mitchell distinguishes
from 'faggots'), and creating new homosexuals, whom the liberation of homoeroticism and trans-sexual
desire brings
ever closer to women, new homosexuals who are the true comrades of women. To
the point that they can see no other way of life except among other homosexuals and among
women, given the increasingly detestable character of heterosexual males. Whenever we gays see
'normal' males discussing one another, or rather tearing one another to pieces, whenever we see them attack one another in a
profusion of thrusting insertions, then we truly do think they have understood nothing, if they are still unaware of the homoerotic
desire that pushes them towards one another and yet confuses them because it is repressed. And if the gay struggle
elevates the acidic and put-down queen (acidic even when she's not on acid), transforming her into a folle,
a gay comrade who is ever more trans-sexual, it also negates the heterosexual man, since it tends
towards the liberation of the queen that is in him too.
The feminist critique of LGBT issues is flawed and discriminatory –
the alt just perpetuates homophobia
Mieli, leader in the Italian gay movement, 1980 (Mario, Libcom, “Towards a gay
communism” 1980, https://libcom.org/library/gay-communism-mario-mieli, MMV)
Many feminists criticise us queens because we often tend in our dress and behaviour to copy the
stereotyped 'feminine' fetish that women have to fight. But if a woman dressed like a starlet or
cover girl is normal for the system today, a man dressed in a similar way is quite abnormal, as
far as 'normal' people are concerned, and so our transvestism has a clear revolutionary
character. There is no harm in us queens having our bit of fantasy : we demand the freedom to
dress as we like, to choose a definite style one day and an ambiguous one the day after, to wear
both feather : and ties, leopard-skin and rompers, the leather queen's chains, black leather and
whip, the greasy rags of the street porter or a tulle maternity dress. We enjoy the bizarre, digging
into (pre)history, the dustbins and uniforms of yesterday, today and tomorrow, the trumpery,
costumes and symbols that best express the mood of the moment. As Antonio Donato puts it, we
want to communicate by our clothing, too, the 'schizophrenia' that underlies social life, hidden
behind the censorious screen of the unrecognised transvestism of everyday. From our vantage
point, in fact, it is 'normal' people who are the true transvestites. Just as the absolute
heterosexuality that is so proudly flaunted masks the polymorphous but sadly inhibited
disposition of their desire, so their standard outfits hide and debase the marvellous human
being that lies suppressed within. Our transvestism is condemned because it shows up for all to
see the funereal reality of the general transvestism, which has to remain silent, and is simply
taken for granted.
Far from being particularly odd, the transvestite exposes how tragically ridiculous the great
majority of people are in their monstrous uniforms of man and 'woman'. You need only take a
ride on the underground. If the transvestite seems ridiculous to the 'normal' person who
encounters him, far more ridiculous and sad, for the transvestite, is the nudity of the person who
laughs, so properly dressed, in his face.
For a man, to dress as a 'woman' does not necessarily mean projecting the 'woman-object';
above all, because he is not a woman, and the male fetishism imposed by capital decrees that he
should be dressed quite differently, reified in a quite different guise, dressed as a man or at least
in unisex. Besides, a frock can be very comfortable, fresh and light when it's hot, and warm and
cosy when it's cold. We can't just assume that women who normally go around dressed as men,
swathed tightly in jeans, feel more comfortable than a queen dressed up as a witch, with fullbodied cloak and wide-brimmed hat.
But a man can also get pleasure from wearing a very uncomfortable 'feminine' garb. It can be
exciting, and quite trippy, for a gay man to wear high heels, elaborate make-up, suspender belt
and satin panties. Once again, those feminists who attack us gays, and in particular
transvestites, for dressing as the 'woman-object', are putting down gay humour, the transsexual
aesthetic, the craziness of crazy queens. Their new morality is in fact the very old anti-gay
morality, simply given a new gloss by modern categories stuffed with an ideological feminism,
ideological because it provides a cover for the anti-homosexual taboo, for the fear of
homosexuality, for the intention to reform the Norm without eliminating it.
Heterosexual feminists fail to hit the mark when they discuss homosexuality. And we queens,
moreover, have no intention of being put down by women any more than by men. In the course
of our lives, many of the educastrated educastrators we have encountered have been women,
and there are certainly far more women still opposed to homosexuality today than there are gay
men who are male supremacist and enslaved by the dominant ideology. Many women have
abused us and still do so, they have ridiculed us and still do so, they have oppressed us and still
do so. These women cannot but be opposed to us, and we cannot but 'oppose' them, if we intend,
from the gay standpoint, to wage a struggle for universal liberation (a struggle, therefore, which
involves them as well, fighting against their prejudices, with a view to dissolving all anti-gay
resistances). I have already shown how the contradiction between men and women and the
contradiction between heterosexuality and homosexuality are intertwined. And so if feminists
cannot but oppose the persistence of male supremacy among us queens, we cannot but
challenge fundamentally the heterosexual 'normality' with which the women's movement is still
pervaded, despite the new fashion or ideology of 'homosexuality' that has become widespread in
it.
Permutation card – fem (don’t know the advocacy statement so don’t
know how to explain the perm really)
Mieli, leader in the Italian gay movement, 1980 (Mario, Libcom, “Towards a gay
communism” 1980, https://libcom.org/library/gay-communism-mario-mieli, MMV)
When there are women who criticise us gays if we dress as 'women', we should not ignore the
pulpit from which this preaching comes. I have never been attacked by a lesbian for my makeup, my floral gowns or my silver heels. It is true, of course, that, if for centuries women have
been forced by male power to dress up in an oppressive manner, the great creators of fashion,
the couturiers, hair-stylists, etc. have almost always been gay men. But the homosexual fantasy
has simply been exploited by the system "” it still is [2] "” in order to oppress women and adorn
them in the way that men want to see them. For centuries, the system has exploited the work of
homosexuals to subjugate women, just as it has made abundant use of women to oppress gays
(any gay man need only recall his mother). For this reason, if it is very important for women
today to reject certain ways of dress, i.e. being dressed and undressed by men, it is equally
important that gays should recapture and reinvent for themselves the aesthetic that they were
obliged for centuries to project onto women.
If Marlene Dietrich in her glitter is an emblem of the oppression of women, she is at the same
time a gay symbol, she is gay, and her image, her voice, her sequins form part of a homosexual
culture, a desire that we queens recognise in ourselves. It is true that for a woman today to
present herself like a Vogue cover girl is in general anti-feminist and reactionary. But for a gay
man to dress as he pleases, boldly expressing a fantasy which capital has relegated to the reified
pages of Vogue, has a certain revolutionary cutting edge, even today. We are fed up with
dressing as men. We ask our sisters in the women's movement, then, don't burn the clothes that
you cast off. They might be useful to someone, and we have in fact always longed for them. In
due course, moreover, we shall invite you all to our great coming-out ball.
There can be no doubt that queens, 'effeminate' homosexuals and transvestites are among those
men closest to trans-sexuality (even if frequently, because of oppression, they live their
transsexual desire in alienated forms, infected by false guilt). Queens and transvestites are those
males who, even though male, understand better what it means to be a woman in this society,
where the men most disparaged are not the brutes, phallocrats or violent individualists, but
rather those who most resemble women.
It is precisely the harsh condemnation of 'effeminacy' that sometimes leads gay men to behave
in a way that is functional to the system, to become their own jailors. They then balance their
'abnormal' adoration for the male, the tough guy, the hoodlum, with a 'normal' and neurotic
anti-woman attitude, which is counterrevolutionary and male supremacist. But the homosexual
struggle is abolishing this historical figure of the queen enslaved by the system (the 'queer men'
whom Larry Mitchell distinguishes from 'faggots'), and creating new homosexuals, whom the
liberation of homoeroticism and trans-sexual desire brings ever closer to women, new
homosexuals who are the true comrades of women. To the point that they can see no other way
of life except among other homosexuals and among women, given the increasingly detestable
character of heterosexual males. Whenever we gays see 'normal' males discussing one another,
or rather tearing one another to pieces, whenever we see them attack one another in a profusion
of thrusting insertions, then we truly do think they have understood nothing, if they are still
unaware of the homoerotic desire that pushes them towards one another and yet confuses them
because it is repressed. And if the gay struggle elevates the acidic and put-down queen (acidic
even when she's not on acid), transforming her into a folle, a gay comrade who is ever more
trans-sexual, it also negates the heterosexual man, since it tends towards the liberation of the
queen that is in him too.
Foucault
Perm do both – the 1ac is consistent with Foucault’s strategy for queer
resistance.
Spargo 99 [Tamsin Spargo, Reader in Cultural History and teaches creative writing in the
Liverpool Screen School, “Foucault and Queer Theory,” 1999]//JIH
A crucial feature of Foucault’s analysis is his emphasis on the production of ‘reverse discourse’:
‘There is no question that the appearance in nineteenth-century psychiatry, jurisprudence, and
literature of a whole series of discourses on the species and subspecies of homosexuality,
inversion, pederasty, and “psychic hermaphrodism” made possible a strong advance of social
controls into this area of “perversity”; but it also made possible the formation of a “reverse” discourse:
homosexuality began to speak in its own behalf, to demand that its legitimacy or “naturality” be
acknowledged, often in the same vocabulary, using the same categories by which it was
medically disqualified.’6 It is possible to see in this model of reverse discourse the germ of identity
politics. Those who are produced as deviant subjects, ‘homosexuals’, may find a common cause,
a common dissenting voice that turns confession to profession.The discourse of sexology, for example,
produced the identity category of the ‘invert’ as an aberration from the norm, but it might also enable that individual to question his
or her social and political position. It provided a vocabulary and knowledge which could be strategically
used by its subjects. As recent work has revealed, there were a number of explicit attempts to redeploy the knowledge and
rhetoric of inversion and of homosexuality to appeal for decriminalisation in the late 19th century.
But Foucault’s analysis of the ‘perpetual spirals of power and pleasure’ that
were produced in the
discourses of sexuality cannot be easily reduced to a binary opposition of discourse versus
reverse discourse.7 The ‘sexual mosaic’ of modern society is a dynamic network in which the
optimisation of power is achieved with and through the multiplication of pleasures, not through
their prohibition or restriction.8 It is difficult to view power except in traditional terms as a
negative force acting upon individuals or groups, but Foucault’s subtler analysis of its status as a
relation that simultaneously polices and produces, demands that we think beyond a
conventional political logic of domination and resistance. Power relations cannot be simply
overturned or inverted.
Neg Answers
K Links
AntiBlackness
The queer political body is inevitably fetishized and participates in the
sustenance of racial structures – suffocates all possibilities for racial
liberation.
Agathangelou 13 [Anna M. Agathangelou, Associate Professor at Department of Political
Science, “Neoliberal Geopolitical Order and Value,” International Feminist Journal of Politics,
15:4, 453-476, December 17 2013, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14616742.2013.841560]//JIH
This essay tracks a range of often neglected politics, texts, policies, legal practices, spaces and theories to reveal an emergent political
body: the reconstructed sexual queer, whose recognizable humanity (i.e., imminent living-capacity) is
constituted into a recognizable sexual orientation and gender identity, part of an emerging form
of a sovereign body politic, which presupposes immanent (a Deleuzian outside) slave incapacity for
suture (Dayan 2011). Concomitantly, this suffering fetishized ‘queer’ political body participates in the
redaction and subsequent sustenance of racialized structures with its recognizable sexual
orientation and gender identity, whereby white bodies become signifiers of ‘legitimate’, radical
alterity in the form of queerness and blacks are presumed imminently incapacious, never
registering in the ‘legitimate’ global political economy of sex and sexuality (Agathangelou 2004) as well
as law. I offer a peripatetic presentation of the Human Rights Watch reports on Iraq (2011) and Hillary Clinton’s speech to the UN to
articulate their political positions, yoking them without collapsing them into comparison. In so doing, I suggest that the three
moves outlined above constitute not only the ‘straightjacketing’ of sexuality, but also racial
terror – where ‘gay rights’ becomes a discourse and a practice of (perceived) racial economic
superiority and (actual) racial subordination. Querying the genealogy of sex, neoliberalism and
capitalism from the vantage point of black terror (i.e., lynchings, convict leasing to political disenfranchisement,
chain gangs; see Morrison 1987; Dayan 2011) accords us an orientation from which to understand such
‘terror [that] allow[s] to demonise others . . . to do unspeakable things to them’ all in the name
of ‘order’ (Dayan 2011: 32–3) as well as the visions of radical justice emanating from antislavery and
anti-colonial struggles. In the following sections, I theorize the ways in which slavery becomes collapsed as
sexuality into the neoliberal imperium within which blacks and black life serve as the literal raw
materials to guarantee long-term growth (Davis 2003: 94). I also point to insurgent social life as a struggle for ‘total
freedom’ (Goddard 2006). In so doing, I work with two political (ethico-juridical) archives tracing their force on bodies directly.
First, I reengage with Hillary Clinton’s UN speech to trace how the queer is constituted as value in a speculative economy (i.e., the
‘rational’ basis for passing laws that integrate them as capacious civil subjects) that reconfigures capital and globality by
distinguishing between different forms of governance and violence, placing the queer on the inside of the civil society and relegating
the hovering black outside the ‘bounds of the civil’ (Dayan 2011: 22) consequently changing the world itself and ‘all levels of social
existence’ (Quijano 2000: 547). Second, I use the Human Rights Reports in Iraq to trace how sexual and racial technologies are
deployed, exposing how the suturing of a queer speculative economy ‘here’ and ‘there’ depends
fundamentally on ‘value’ as an abstraction device and a risk threshold that distinguishes
between queers, racialized gays as well as the structurally impossible and ontologically dead (i.e.,
blacks; see Agathangelou 2009). Central to my analysis is the concept that queer economies could not and do not
escape being entangled with capital’s foundational terror. In fact, analysing these reports, I show the ways the
neoliberal imperium biopolitically constitutes and manages queer life while ignoring the wailing,
the sounds of living death emitting from the chains and the screams from the slave ships of the
Atlantic crossing and from places such as Attica, Abu Ghraib and US prison states (Morrison 1987: 2010–11 cited in Childs
2009; Dayan 2011). I end with some thoughts on the possibility that queer projects and the Black Struggle can contravene, noting
how differentiations between bodies, sexualities, and races in world politics emerge as strategies
that foreclose and suffocates a range of possibilities, globally constituted imaginaries and
freedoms all in the name of overcoming limits, such as death, stagnation and the loss of material
value.
Cap
The affirmative’s focus on decentering identity traits and individual
queer liberation promotes the goals of global capitalism and destroys
hope for political action.
Kirsch 06 [Max Kirsch, PhD Florida Atlantic University, “Queer Theory, Late Capitalism and
Internalized Homophobia,” Journal of Homosexuality, Harrington Park Press, Vol. 52, No. ½, 2006, pp.
19-45]//JIH
Jameson has proposed that the concept of alienation in late capitalism has been replaced with
fragmentation (1991, p.14). Fragmentation highlights the it also becomes more abstract:
What we must now ask ourselves is whether it is precisely this semi-autonomy of the cultural
sphere that has been destroyed by the logic of late capitalism. Yet to argue that culture is today
no longer endowed with the relative autonomy is once enjoyed as one level among others in
earlier moments of capitalism (let alone in precapitalist societies) is not necessarily to imply its
disappearance or extinction. Quite the contrary; we must go on to affirm that the autonomous sphere
of culture throughout the social realm, to the point at which everything in our social life–from
economic value and state power to practices and to the very structure of the psyche itself–can be
said to have become ‘cultural’ in some original and yet untheorized sense. This proposition is, however,
substantially quite consistent with the previous diagnosis of a society of the image or simulacrum and a transformation of the “real”
into so many pseudoevents. (Jameson, 1991, p. 48)
The fragmentation of social life repeats itself in the proposal that sexuality and gender are
separate and autonomous from bureaucratic state organization. If, as in Jameson’s terms, differences
can be equated, then this should not pose a problem for the mobilization of resistance to
inequality. However, as postmodernist and poststructuralist writers assume a position that this
equation is impossible and undesirable, then the dominant modes of power will prevail without
analysis or opposition. The danger, of course, is that while we concentrate on decentering identity,
we succeed in promoting the very goals of global capitalism that work against the formation of
communities or provide the means to destroy those that already exist, and with them, any hope
for political action.
For those who are not included in traditional sources of community building–in particular, kinship based groupings–the building of
an “affectional community . . . must be as much a part of our political movement as are campaigns for civil rights” (Weeks, 1985, p.
176). This building of communities requires identification. If we cannot recognize traits that form
the bases of our relationships with others, how then can communities be built? The
preoccupation of Lyotard and Foucault, as examples, with the overwhelming power of “master
narratives,” posits a conclusion that emphasizes individual resistance and that ironically, ends
up reinforcing the “narrative” itself.
Capitalism is the root cause of your impacts, and your impacts are
inevitable until capitalism is destroyed.
Khader 13 Will the Real Robert Neville Please, Come Out? Vampirism, the Ethics of Queer
Monstrosity, and Capitalism in Richard Matheson's I Am Legend? Journal of Homosexuality
Jamil Khader PhD* Volume 60, Issue 4, 2013
Despite its multiculturalist politics of recognition, no matter how progressive it was for its time, Matheson's I Am Legend is as
interpellated as Lawrence's (2007) film within capitalist ideology, in that they both translate “antagonism into difference” (Žižek,
2006, p. 362), substituting sexual difference for the importance of class struggle. Transvaluing the antagonism (class struggle)
underpinning capitalist relations of production into the politics of identity and difference obscures the problematic relationship
between capitalism and queer subjectivity. Indeed, the text establishes neoliberal capitalism as an absent
presence, by reproducing the ultimate capitalist fantasy of commodity fetishism, while at the
same time eliding the extent to which capitalism commodifies and exploits queer sexuality. In
other words, neoliberal capitalism is invested with the power to assert itself as the end of history, to the extent that it has subtracted
itself from public discourse to become a completely invisible signifier around which everything revolves but that refuses to be
named. As D'Emilio (1993) memorably states in his article on capitalism and gay identity, “In the most profound sense, capitalism is
the problem” (p. 474). The
absent presence of capitalism as the transcendent signifier especially, for
sexual minorities, constitutes the ultimate site for their doing and undoing. For D'Emilio (1993),
sexual minorities inhabit an ambivalent position within the neoliberal capitalist system, since it
facilitates both their emergence as consumers and producers, allowing, thus, their integration
into the labor market as well as their exploitation to benefit corporate interests, and the
homophobic backlash against them. 5 He attributes this ambivalence to the contradictory position that the nuclear
family occupies in the capitalist system: Capitalism, he argues, has not only subverted the material basis of
heteronormative families, allowing family members to live outside of the family structure, but has also enshrined
these families for their reproductive value as the only functional model of intimate and personal
relationships. He thus states, “in divesting the family of its economic independence and fostering separation of sexuality from
procreation, capitalism has created conditions that allow some men and women to organize personal life around their
erotic/emotional attraction to their own sex” (pp. 473–474). Moreover, capitalism has provided the conditions
for commodifying sexuality and erotic desire as a matter of choice outside the parameters of
procreative sexual economy. As long as such erotic choices are coopted and contained as a “form
of play, positive and self-enhancing,” in D'Emilio's (1993) words (p. 474), sexual identity can be evacuated
from its excessive threats and history of struggle, only to circulate as a fetish of erotic pleasure.
To this extent, sexual identity becomes then the grounds for collective organization that,
nonetheless, substitutes consumption for production. Not all forms of queer transgression, that is, are
necessarily subversive, until the proliferation of the semiotics of queer identity is understood in relation to the larger social
inequalities (Taylor, 2009, p. 201). While capitalism continues to undermine the fabric of social relations ,
moreover, queer
communities have been paradoxically blamed for the social ills and instabilities of
the capitalist system. As such, capitalism as the name of the social totality is left untouched and
invisible. Similarly, Matheson's (1954) text naturalizes and normalizes capitalism and its social relations, by disavowing the need
for recognizing class struggle in “its terrifying dimension” (Žižek, 1986, p. 5). As a work of fantasy, that is, Matheson's novella tries to
deny the specific conflicts that embody the capitalist conditions of its production: What the power of the hegemonic capitalist
ideology will not have disclosed, in short, is the presence of capitalism itself. Throughout the text, therefore, Neville takes for granted
the free commodities he consumes, be it the lathe from Sears, the gasoline, and the water bottles, allowing him to push a shopping
cart, what he calls “the metal wagon,” “up and own the silent dust-thick aisles” (Matheson, 1954, p. 26), clinging as much as he can
to the norms of his bourgeois suburban life as if nothing happened around him. Indeed, Neville lives the pure fantasy of commodity
fetishism that does not only offer him the opportunity to fulfill his fantasy of living in a world of abundant free commodities and
surplus enjoyment (which for the last man on earth can indeed be considered infinite—he would have to live many more lives to be
able to exhaust all these resources), but also to kill the undead owners of the store in which he was shopping, and, thus, foreclose the
question of labor altogether. 6 Moreover, Neville's death operates as a nostalgic affirmation of neoliberal capitalism. After all, it is
only when he can no longer maintain his sovereignty over his private property that the vampires could intrude upon it; in its absent
presence, neoliberal capitalism could at least guarantee his safety inside of his private property. This critique of capitalism in
Matheson can also be supplemented by an attention to the ways in which Matheson (1954) represents revolutionary societies and
forms of enjoyment, and more specifically, the Soviet Union with its spies, collaborators, and purges. Since this new vampire society
is specifically structured by the same violent forms of enjoyment embodied in revolutionary movements, I contend that Matheson's
alleged subversion of the us-them binary of Cold War politics constitutes, in fact, both a thinly disguised liberal critique of Stalinist
terror and a nostalgic affirmation of neoliberal capitalism. Moreover, it is worth pointing out, Matheson's representation of
revolutionary society blends and obscures in an Arendtian fashion, as Žižek (1986) would say, the distinction between fascism and
Stalinism in their differential relations to class struggle. (For a very useful and clear discussion of Žižek's political views, see Dean
[2006, pp. 45–94].) While fascists neutralize class struggle and displace it on a racialized other such as the case of the Jews in Nazi
Germany, as Žižek contends, Stalinism abolishes the class struggle and reenacts the capitalist fantasy of unbridled production and
consumption without adhering nonetheless to the constraints of the capitalist form (private property). For Matheson (1954),
recognizing the monstrosity of one's own nonnormative desire facilitates the relational understanding of the dialectical relationship
between the self and the other, in a way that reinscribes them both within a democratic site of multicultural exchange and tolerance.
Nonetheless, the belief in the legitimacy of sexual rights is maintained without rethinking its
ramifications in relation to the ability of the capitalist system to coopt and contain any threat
that may be embedded in queer sexuality. Identity politics, therefore, cannot effectively serve as
the basis for a genuine politics of gay liberation. Only acknowledging class struggle , as
the fundamental gap that constitutes the totality of the social field, can render the
absence and invisibility of capitalism present , by clearing a space for a radical
reconfiguration of the ethical relationship to the other, and recharting alternative forms of
solidarity, beyond identity politics, that can struggle with other oppressed constituencies in
order to dismantle and reimagine the neoliberal capitalist system itself.
Historical Marxism provides a better frame for analyzing queerness
than queer theory itself
Drucker 11 [Peter, International Institute of Research and Education; 2011;
http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/10.1163/156920611x606412; The Fracturing
of LGBT Identities under Neoliberal Capitalism; 06/29/15; jac]
Sexuality, once a largely unexplored continent for historical materialism, has long since ceased to be so. In the 1970s and early ’80s
lesbian/gay historians, using Marxist and feminist analytical tools among others, began to chart the 1. Some initial thoughts for this
article originated as a talk at the IIRE Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual Strategy Seminar in Amsterdam in August 2000; many thanks to the
2000, 2002 and 2009 IIRE Seminar participants for their comments and ideas. Criticisms and observations by Nina Trige
Anderson, Pascale Berthault, Terry Conway and Jamie Gough, and especially comments, suggestions and written exchanges with
Alan Sears, were particularly helpful. Thanks as well to David Fernbach and to the editorial committee of Science & Society for
comments on earlier versions, to Christopher Beck for his support and stimulating comments and questions, and to Historical
Materialism board-members, especially Paul Reynolds, for their comments and suggestions. This article is dedicated to Torvald
Patterson (1964–2005), in-your-face revolutionary queer, in loving memory. 4 P. Drucker / Historical Materialism 19.4 (2011) 3–32
emergence of contemporary lesbian/gay identities.2 Although historical materialist categories have been supplemented and then to
a large extent supplanted in the field by Foucauldian approaches since the 1980s and queer theory since the 1990s, elements
contributed by the first, Marxist-influenced generation of historians and theorists still survive to some extent within a broad range of
social-constructionist perspectives. Most historians and theorists – if not necessarily most lesbian and gay laypeople – agree that
modern lesbian/gay identities are unique, clearly distinguishable from any of the same-sex sexualities that existed before the last
century or so and from many that still exist in various parts of the world. Whether they cite Marx, Foucault, or both, historians’
analysis of lesbian/ gay identity has linked its emergence to the development of modern,
industrialised, urbanised societies. Some historians3 have linked its emergence, in a more-orless explicitly Marxist way, to the development of capitalism. This connection has continued to
be made by writers working within a Marxist framework.4 Recently, Kevin Floyd has detected more broadly a
‘greater openness [in queer thought] to the kind of direct engagement with Marxism that emphasizes its explanatory power’.5 Yet
some theorists have seemed uneasy in recent years about the questions that were initially not asked in these accounts. Once this
specific form of lesbian/gay identity has been explored and its emergence mapped, the question arises: is this the end of the story?
Especially as more writings have charted the spread of LGBT communities in Asia and Africa, some have wondered whether all
other forms of same-sex sexuality are surrendering to what Dennis Altman has critiqued as the
triumphant ‘global gay’, a monolithic figure riding the wave of capitalist globalisation.6 In much the
same way that homo sapiens was once naively viewed as the culmination of biological evolution, and liberal democracy (according to
Francis Fukuyama) as the culmination of human history, one might have sometimes imagined that all roads of LGBT history 2. For
example, Fernbach 1981; D’Emilio 1983a and 1983b. A word on terminology: the term ‘lesbian/gay’ in this article refers to a
historically specific phenomenon, defined in Section I below. ‘LGBT’ (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) is used as a broader
term for people with same-sex sexualities or identities. Although the word ‘queer’ is sometimes used by others to refer generally to
LGBT people, I try to reserve the word in this article to those who self-identify as queer, who are often rebelling, not only against the
heterosexual norm, but also against the dominant forms of lesbian/gay identity. I sometimes use ‘gay’, ‘lesbian/gay’ or ‘LGB’
particularly to refer to more ‘respectable’ people who emphatically do not identify as queer. 3. See, for example, D’Emilio 1983a. 4.
See, for example, Hennessy 2000; Sears 2005. 5. Floyd 2009, p. 2. 6. Altman 2003. P. Drucker / Historical Materialism 19.4 (2011)
3–32 5 led to Castro Street in San Francisco. A few queer theorists have tried to undermine any such monolithic vision of gay
identity, rejecting the onedimensional focus on gender-orientation that underlies it.7 But, despite their abstract championing of
‘difference’, they have rarely engaged concretely with the historiography that sometimes seems to suggest that LGBT history is a oneway street. In Paul Reynolds’s words, they have ‘centred on the social production of categories discursively rather than
determinantly through essential causality and power of the social relations of production’.8 This article argues that there
are socioeconomic forces that have been leading LGBT people to question lesbian/gay identity
as it took shape by the 1970s. A historically-based, social constructionist, Marxist approach9 can
examine historically different sexual identities under capitalism, without privileging any
particular form of identity; can chart not only the emergence of lesbian/gay identities, but also
shifts in sexual identities in recent decades, exploring connections between shifting identities
and successive phases of capitalist development. One useful tool is the Marxist theory of capitalist long waves, and
specifically Marxist analyses of the mode of capitalist accumulation that was on the upswing until the early 1970s and turned sharply
downward with the recessions of 1974–5 and 1979–82.10 A historical-materialist analysis of this kind may
provide a more solid theoretical basis for addressing a central political concern of recent queer
theory – the defence of nonconformist or less privileged LGBT people against
‘homonormativity’11 – than queer theory itself offers, while helping to lay the foundation for a
queer anticapitalism. It is by now nothing new to link the rise of what might be called classic
lesbian/gay identity to the rise of a ‘free’ labour-force under capitalism. This has taken centuries, and
historians have generally looked at it as a long process. But the breakthrough of gay identity as we know it on a
mass-scale is in fact very recent, more a matter of decades than of centuries. On closer
examination, 7. For example, Seidman 1997, p. 195. 8. Reynolds 2003. 9. This article uses the term ‘social constructionism’
simply as the opposite of ‘essentialism’ (a view of sexual identities as biologically determined or otherwise transhistorical), not to
refer to a specific school of thought contrary to Marxism. Although Marxists such as Klara Zetkin and Alexandra Kollontai wrote
insightfully about sexuality within a purely Marxist framework, more recent Marxist treatments of the subject have almost always
engaged critically with other approaches, such as psychoanalysis, feminism, Foucauldianism, post-colonialism and queer theory. I
believe that a rigorous Marxist approach to sexuality is not only compatible with an engagement with other social-constructionist
approaches, but in fact requires it. 10. Mandel 1978 and 1995. 11. Lisa Duggan has defined ‘homonormativity’ as a set of norms that
‘does not contest dominant heteronormative assumptions and institutions but upholds and sustains them’ (Duggan 2002, p. 179). 6
P. Drucker / Historical Materialism 19.4 (2011) 3–32 the consolidation and spread of gay identity, especially
among the mass of working-class people, took place to a large extent during what some Marxist
economists refer to as the expansive long wave of 1945–73. Gay identity on a mass-scale,
emerging gradually after a period of repression from the 1930s to the 1950s,12 was dependent
on the growing prosperity of the working and middle-classes, catalysed by profound cultural
changes from the 1940s to the 1970s (from the upheavals of the Second World-War13 to the
mass-radicalisation of the New Left years) that prosperity helped make possible. This means
that gay identity was shaped in many ways by the mode of capitalist accumulation that some
economists call ‘Fordism’: specifically by mass-consumer societies and welfare-states.14 The
decline of Fordism has also had implications for LGBT identities, communities and politics. The decades of slower economic growth
that began with the 1974–5 recession had a differentiated impact on LGBT people and their communities. On the one hand,
commercial gay scenes and sexual identities compatible with these scenes advanced and were consolidated in many parts of the
world, particularly among middle-class layers. On the other hand, commercial scenes have not been equally determinant for the
lifestyles or identities of all LGBT people. In the dependent world, many poor people simply have a hard time taking part in
commercial gay scenes. In developed capitalist countries, while commercial scenes are more accessible to even lowerincome LGBTs,
growing economic inequality has meant increasingly divergent realities in LGBT people’s lives. Alienation has mounted among some
LGBT people from the overconsumption increasingly characteristic of many aspects of the commercial gay scene, which inevitably
marginalises many LGBT people. Alternative scenes of various sorts (not always necessarily less commercial) have proliferated.
Resistance purely rooted in queer studies cannot effectively confront
neoliberalism
Drucker 11 [Peter, International Institute of Research and Education; 2011;
http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/10.1163/156920611x606412; The Fracturing
of LGBT Identities under Neoliberal Capitalism; 06/29/15; jac]
There is of course no one-to-one correspondence between economic and social developments and shifts in sexual, cultural and
political identities. In LGBT communities, as in the world at large, there is a whole set of institutions that produce
(among other things) lesbian/gay ideology and identity, mediate the underlying class and social
dynamics, and represent ‘the imaginary 12. See, for example, Chauncey 1994, pp. 334–46. 13. Bérubé 1983. 14. The
concept of Fordism has been largely associated with the French ‘régulation’ school, the current of Marxist economics relied on by, for
example, Floyd (Floyd 2009). Many of the basic elements of what regulationists call the Fordist mode of accumulation are also to be
found in Mandelian long-wave theory or the ‘social structure of accumulation’-approach. These different schools differ with each
other particularly about the causes of the rise and decline of different modes of accumulation. While important, these debates are
not directly relevant to this article. P. Drucker / Historical Materialism 19.4 (2011) 3–32 7 relationship of individuals to
their real conditions of existence’.15 To analyse how all these institutions – from newspapers
and magazines to porn-video producers to (divisions of ) publishing houses to websites and
chat-rooms to lesbian/gay-studies departments to small-business associations to sports clubs
and beyond – functioned ideologically under Fordism, and tended to function differently with
the rise of neoliberalism, would go beyond this article’s scope. Nevertheless, no aspect of capitalist
culture, including sexual culture, exists in complete isolation from the mode of production as a
whole; fundamental shifts in capitalism are detectable, however indirectly, at the level of gender and
sexuality as at other levels of the systemic totality.16 This basic understanding can give us the
audacity, even in the absence of fully worked-out mediations, to point out some trends that
correspond to changing class-dynamics in LGBT communities. A large proportion of the institutions that
define LGBT communities and produce their self-images tend to reproduce and defend a unifying lesbian/gay identity in apparent
continuity with the identity that took shape by the 1970s. But even a schematic analysis can show that classic
lesbian/gay subcultures and identities were put under pressure or into question in various ways
by the decline of Fordism. Ultimately, as the class and social reality of LGBT communities became
more fragmented and conflict-ridden, so did their ideological and even sexual expressions. In
the end, the ‘mode of production of material life condition[ed] [their] social, political and
intellectual life process in general’; their ‘social being . . . determine[d] their consciousness’.17 The
changes have included development of a queer identity seen at least in part as in opposition to existing lesbian/gay identities, a
growing visibility of transgender identities, and the proliferation of a variety of other identities
linked to specific sexual practices or rôles. Despite these identities’ extraordinary diversity, their
rootedness in characteristics of contemporary capitalism can be detected in a number of moreor-less common features. Whether or not they are explicitly defined as queer, they respond to the increasingly
repressive character of the neoliberal order through their stubborn affirmation of sexual
practices that are still – or are increasingly – stigmatised. They also reflect the growing
inequality and polarisation of neoliberal capitalism by making sexual power-differentials
explicit, and above all through gender-nonconformity. To understand these features better, this
article looks briefly, first, at the material basis of the emergence of lesbian/gay identity by the
1970s, and second at the material basis of factors that have been fracturing it. It then 15. Althusser 1971,
p. 162. 16. Floyd 2009. 17. Marx 1968, p. 182. 8 P. Drucker / Historical Materialism 19.4 (2011) 3–32 examines the ways in which
economic changes have been ideologically mediated in new expressions of gender and sexual identity, particularly among
transgendered and other queers. The last section discusses the political implications of these changes and the challenges facing
twenty-first-century LGBT communities.
LGBT identity and culture emerged and were formed under the
development of modern capitalism
Drucker 11 [Peter, International Institute of Research and Education; 2011;
http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/10.1163/156920611x606412; The Fracturing
of LGBT Identities under Neoliberal Capitalism; 06/29/15; jac]
I. Classic gay identity Classic lesbian/gay identity, as opposed to the many other forms of same-sex identity that have existed in
human history, is (or was) an identity reserved for people whose primary sexual and emotional ties are with their own sex; who
generally do not conclude heterosexual marriages or form heterosexual families (unlike, say, latter-day gay icon Oscar Wilde); who
do not radically change their gender-identity in adopting a lesbian/gay sexuality (unlike transgendered people in a great variety of
cultures); and in which both partners in relationships consider themselves part of the same lesbian/gay community (a bizarre notion
to millions of men around the world who fuck men or boys without considering themselves gay, and to millions of women at the less
explicit end of the ‘lesbian continuum’).18 This kind of gay identity emerged in developed capitalist
countries in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries mainly among middle-class layers
(middle-class consumption was particularly crucial to capitalaccumulation in the expansive long wave that lasted from the mid1890s to the mid-1910s). In this same period, declining birth-rates and advancements in birth-control made procreation less crucial
as a focus of at least middle-class sexuality, and sexual desire and object-choice more crucial. The growing importance of
consumption and desire helped foster a shift in the construction of gender under capitalism,
from conceptions of ‘manhood’ and ‘womanhood’ focused on the innate character required for
production and reproduction, to conceptions of masculinity and femininity that were (in Judith
Butler’s term) more ‘performative’,19 defined to a greater extent by patterns of consumption,
dress and everyday behaviour.20 In this same period, middle-class men and women (particularly
women with education and professions) increasingly had 18. Rich 1983; Wekker 1999. Fernbach (Fernbach
1981, pp. 71–5) gave an early and clear account of the uniqueness of lesbian/gay identity among historically existing forms of samesex sexuality. Greenberg 1988 provides the most comprehensive survey available of the range of same-sex sexualities. 19. Butler
1999. 20. Floyd 2009, pp. 57–66. P. Drucker / Historical Materialism 19.4 (2011) 3–32 9 the economic and social
resources to live independently of their families and to defy convention. As John D’Emilio explained in a
seminal article, capitalist development in this way created the conditions for the rise of gay
identity.21 The result was the reification of sexual desire based on gendered object-choice, the
rapid spread among the middle-classes of medical and later specifically psychoanalytical visions
of sexuality,22 and ‘the invention of heterosexuality’ as well as homosexuality as sexological and
social categories.23 Working-class and poor people even in developed countries, by contrast, tended well into the twentieth
century to focus on conceptions of manhood and womanhood rather than reified conceptions of sexuality.24 Working-class
men in the US in particular continued to form relationships between transgendered people
(‘fairies’) on the one hand and non-transgendered, often married men on the other,25 or to
engage in sex with other men for money or social benefit without taking on any distinctive
sexual identity. In the same period in Germany, a homosexuality defined as masculine was notably
championed by the middle-class ‘Community of the Special’, while Magnus Hirschfeld’s studies
of same-sex relations among largely working-class men led him to uphold a transgender ‘third
sex’-model.26 After 1945, however, working-class living standards in capitalist countries went
up rapidly under the Fordist order, in which increases in labourproductivity were matched to a
large extent by increasing real wages that sustained increasing effective demand, and various
forms of social insurance cushioned the blows that hit working people during dips in the
business-cycle. As a result, for the first time masses of working-class people – living off what
D’Emilio, following Marx, calls ‘free’ labour – as well as students and others were also able to
live independently of their families, and give sexual objectchoice a greater rôle in their lives and
identities. Working-class family-structures and gender-rôles also changed. For the first time since the mid- to
late-nineteenth century – when the family-wage had become a cherished ideal, and sometimes a
reality, for broad working-class layers – the Second World-War made waged work at least
temporarily normal for even respectable working-class and middle-class women. This made a
dent in the pronounced gender-polarisation that had been characteristic of both working-class
heterosexuality and homosexuality in the first decades of the 21. D’Emilio 1983a. 22. Floyd 2009, pp. 43–5,
following Foucault 1978, pp. 118–23. 23. Katz 1995. 24. Foucault 1978, p. 121. 25. Chauncey 1994. 26. Drucker 1997, p. 37. 10 P.
Drucker / Historical Materialism 19.4 (2011) 3–32 twentieth century. In fact, as evidence from both the US and the
Netherlands shows, emerging
lesbian/gay communities and organisations in the postwar period
tended increasingly to squelch effeminacy among gay men and masculinity among lesbians.27 At
the same time, higher funding for education and expansion of a social safety-net (in developed countries at least) decreased people’s
economic dependence on parents to support them as students or young people, on spouses to help pay the rent, and on children to
save them from poverty in old age. Full employment meant more job-opportunities for some people who had previously been
marginalised. The combination of increased economic possibilities and a reconfiguration of gender-
rôles helped many more people in the 1950s and 1960s shape a sexually hedonistic culture
extending beyond the largely middle-class limits of the earlier nonconformist milieu of the 1910s
and 1920s. Within this broad hedonistic culture it became possible for a growing minority to form same-sex relationships and
networks. While ‘Fordist mass consumption was, above all, an attempt to secure a broad and
sustained accumulation of capital’, the diversification of consumer-marketing that it entailed
created space for an ‘underground circulation of homoerotic images’ in ‘an increasingly less
underground gay male [and lesbian] network’.28 What remained to prevent people from living openly lesbian/gay
lives were the constraints of the law, police, employers, landlords, and social pressure of many sorts. The lesbian/gay
movements of the 1960s and ’70s rebelled against these constraints, inspired by a wave of other
social rebellions: black, youth, anti-war, feminist and (at least in some European countries)
working-class.29 Supplementing the attempts of early lesbian/gay groups to discipline their members’ gender-norms, the
second wave of feminism was key in drastically reining in the butch-femme patterns that were
still largely hegemonic in 1950s lesbian subcultures (or at least in turning them into ‘a subterranean game’).30
The first lesbian/gay legal victories in the 1970s made mass, open lesbian/ gay/bisexual (LGB) communities possible in the
developed countries for the first time in history. Among the preconditions for these communities were the general increase in
people’s living standards and economic security, which made autonomous lesbian/gay lives possible; the fact that the millions of
people who came out around the 1970s had a certain relative social homogeneity, thanks in part to generational bonds of the babyboom and in part to the narrowing of economic divides in the 1950s and ’60s, so that there 27. Warmerdam and Koenders 1987, pp.
125, 153, 169; Floyd 2009, pp. 167–8. 28. Floyd 2009, p. 174. 29. D’Emilio 1983b. 30. Califia 2003, p. 3. P. Drucker / Historical
Materialism 19.4 (2011) 3–32 11 were fewer barriers to a common sense of identity; and a relatively favourable political/cultural
climate. The homogeneity of 1970s lesbian/gay communities was of course relative. Class and sexual differences always existed.
The relative ease with which women and men coexisted in the early years of gay liberation lasted
only until women became too fed-up with the treatment they often received at the hands of gay
men. Although gender-norms relaxed to a certain extent in the 1960s and ’70s, this led to a true devaluation of masculinity and
femininity only in the context of a radical-feminist critique, which was never hegemonic;31 even in the New Left, gender-relaxing
countercultural influences coexisted with Third-Worldist macho posturing.32 Racism was always a reality.
Differences that existed in the 1970s became far greater in the 1980s and 1990s, however, for
reasons that go deeper than an inevitable sorting-out.
Capitalism fractures LGBT society, hinders the development of individual
identities and renders LGBT resistance impossilbe
Drucker 11 [Peter, International Institute of Research and Education; 2011;
http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/10.1163/156920611x606412; The Fracturing
of LGBT Identities under Neoliberal Capitalism; 06/29/15; jac]
II. Gays in the post-Fordist economy The
depressive long wave that began by 1974–5 was met by the late
1970s with a neoliberal offensive. This offensive included (to be very schematic): a shift to ‘Toyotist’
production-techniques and to ‘lean production’ generally; economic globalisation, liberalisation
and deregulation, taking advantage of new technologies that ‘accelerated the speed and
dispersed the space of production’;33 privatisation of many public enterprises and social
services; an increase in the wealth and power of capital at labour’s expense; an increase in inequality among countries (through
the debt-crisis and structural-adjustment policies) and within countries (through regressive tax and welfare-‘reforms’ and attacks on
unions), and luxury-consumption that increasingly replaced mass-consumption as a motor of economic growth. This offensive
among other things fragmented the world’s working classes. Big differences (re) surfaced
between better and worse-paid workers, permanent and temporary workers, white and black,
native-born and immigrant, employed and unemployed.34 The less pronounced differences in income and
job-security in 31. See Floyd 2009, pp. 177–8. 32. Floyd 2009, pp. 168–9. 33. Hennessy 2000, p. 6. 34. One study of wage-trends
shows that among manufacturing workers in the US, ‘inequality soared in the 1970s and 1980s, reaching levels far higher than those
existing during the Depression. The recovery after 1994 brought inequality down again, but only to just below that of the worst years
of the 1930s’ (Galbraith and Cantú 2001, p. 83). Mike Davis noted ‘extreme income/skill polarization’ in the growing US healthcare,
business-service, banking and real-estate sectors, resulting in a ‘split-level economy’ and ‘reshaping the traditional income pyramid
into a 12 P. Drucker / Historical Materialism 19.4 (2011) 3–32 national working classes in the 1960s, which were
the backdrop to the rise of lesbian/gay identity, became a thing of the past. One factor
complicating the neoliberal offensive was the difficulty of rolling back some of the achievements
of black, women’s and lesbian/gay movements. The contradictions of these emancipatory
movements in a time of workingclass weakness and growing inequality were played out in many
of the ideological debates of the 1980s and ’90s. Women’s equality and racial equality became
steadily more established as political commonplaces (in rhetoric if not in reality) at the same
time that redistributive and counter-cyclical economic policies, far less controversial 40 years
ago, were dismissed as outmoded and counterproductive (until the 2008 crisis prompted massive
redistribution of wealth to the world’s biggest banks and various forms of stimulus). What has the effect of all this been on LGBT
people, communities and movements? The end of the Fordist expansive long wave was not bad news for everyone by any means, and
not for all LGB people specifically. Particularly among some middle-class and upper-working-class social layers that prospered in
the 1980s and ’90s, especially but not only in developed capitalist countries, commercial gay scenes continued to grow, continuing to
underlie lesbian/gay identity.35 Market-friendly lesbian/gay identities prospered in commercialised
spaces, in the construction of two-income households among better-off gays and to a lesser
extent lesbians, and in the tolerant public space fostered by gay-rights victories. Many relatively betterpaid lesbian/gay people who benefited from both economic success and gay-rights reforms have some cause to be contented with the
progress they have made: ‘inside a cozy brownstone, curled up next to a health-insured domestic partner in front of a Melissa
Etheridge video on MTV, flipping through Out magazine and sipping an Absolut and tonic, capitalism can feel pretty good’.36
While all social relations under capitalism are reified – distorted so that relations between
people are perceived as relations with or even between things – the shift under neoliberalism to
economic growth founded increasingly on middle-class overconsumption raised the reification
of human relations among neoliberalism’s beneficiaries to new heights. This applied notably to
sexual and emotional relations among middleclass gay men and lesbians. new income hourglass’ (Davis
1986, pp. 214–18). Figures from the US Federal Reserve show that income-inequality increased further at the end of the 1990s
(Andrews 2003). 35. Altman 1982, pp. 79–97. 36. Gluckman and Reed 1997, p. xv. P. Drucker / Historical Materialism 19.4 (2011)
3–32 13 The 1970s, ’80s and ’90s and the first decade of the new millennium were also years in which open LGBT communities and
identities became more prominent in much of the dependent world, first in Latin America and later in many Asian and African
countries. Given that dependent countries as a whole have suffered especially with the decline of the old forms of
capitalaccumulation, communities and identities there have taken on very contrasting forms.37 The period of slower
growth and neoliberal reaction in the global North was a time of recurrent and devastating crisis
in many parts of the South even before the generalised crisis of 2008 (notably in Latin America
after 1982, in Mexico again after 1994, in much of Southeast Asia after 1997, in Brazil for several
years after 1998, and in much of Africa with scarcely a breathing-space). But this did not prevent
the growth of middle-classes in the South with incomes far above their countries’ averages and
linked to global consumer-capitalism – including gay consumer-capitalism. Commercialised,
Western-oriented lesbian/gay identities seem in this context to have a complex and
contradictory relationship with other same-sex sexualities that co-exist with them in the
dependent world. In many ways ‘gay’ and ‘lesbian’ are still largely middle or upper-class, US or Eurocentric concepts, even if
in other ways they provide a reference-point in struggles for sexual emancipation.38 In both developed and dependent capitalist
countries, the ideological and cultural sway of gay identities in LGBT communities has spread beyond the more privileged social
layers in which people’s lives fit these identities most comfortably. LGBT media in dependent countries rely to some extent on
lesbian/gay media in the capitalist metropoles for their material and imagery.39 In the developed capitalist countries, despite the
proliferation of websites and zines defining identities and subcultures for minorities within the minorities, the most widely
circulated books, periodicals and videos tend to be those most closely linked to the new, predominantly middle-class, gay
mainstream. Even those who are economically least well-equipped for the commercial gay scene are often dependent on it as a
market for potential (short or long-term) partners; more fundamentally, even celibate or monogamous people
who are at least temporarily not in the market for a partner still tend to define themselves in the
culturally hegemonic categories of lesbian, gay, bisexual or straight. Even poor transgendered
and queer people whose lives are most remote from the images of the gay mainstream
sometimes incorporate aspects of gay mainstream-culture into their aspirations and fantasies,
constructing 37. Drucker 2009, pp. 826–8. 38. Altman 2000; Oetomo 1996, pp. 265–8. 39. Drucker 2000a, pp. 26–7. 14 P.
Drucker / Historical Materialism 19.4 (2011) 3–32 their identities in part from images that may be borrowed
and adapted from very different social realities. This hegemony of lesbian/gay identity over
much of the LGBT world, and the physical coexistence of LGBT people of different classes in
lesbian/gay spaces, provides arguments to those who downplay the importance of class in
‘mixed-class’ LGBT communities.40 It is true that the class-segregation that characterised early-twentieth-century
LGBT scenes eased in the Fordist period. But cultural commonalities and cross-class relationships do not
make lesbian/gay identity and spaces class-neutral, any more than the existence of sexual relationships between
masters and slaves meant that slavery was not a significant factor in them. ‘ “Undifferentiated” accounts of gay life tend to narrate
relatively well-resourced and privileged experience as gay experience, and normatively promote this as a script for how gay life
should be conceived and lived.’41 Lesbian/gay spaces are not islands, but heavily influenced by the
structures of class in the surrounding societies: research on young LGBT people’s schooling in
Britain, for example, identifies ‘social class as a major axis of power which positions LGBT
people unequally and unjustly’.42 Moreover, as the next section shows, the fracturing of LGBT scenes in recent decades
also has a class-dimension. Both in the centres and at the margins of the world-capitalist system, three
aspects of the lesbian/gay identity that stabilised by the early 1980s fit well with the emerging
neoliberal order: the community’s self-definition as a stable minority, its increasing tendency
towards gender-conformity, and marginalisation of its own sexual minorities. Lesbians’ and gay men’s
self-definition as a minority group, which built on the reification of sexual desire that progressively consolidated the categories of
gay and straight over the course of the twentieth century, at the same time expressed a profound social fact about lesbian/gay life as
it took shape specifically under neoliberalism. To the extent that lesbians and gays were increasingly defined
as people who inhabited a certain economic space (went to certain bars, bathhouses and discos,
patronised certain businesses, and, in the US at least, even lived to some extent in certain
neighbourhoods), they were more ghettoised than before, more clearly demarcated from a
majority defined as straight. The fact that a fair proportion of those in the bars and bathhouses were always people with at
least one foot in the straight world, sometimes even married people with children, was always an open secret, but one which few
people announced with fanfare; they were generally seen as 40. For example, Seidman 2011. 41. Heaphy 2011. 42. McDermott 2011,
p. 64. P. Drucker / Historical Materialism 19.4 (2011) 3–32 15 people who were still half ‘in the closet’, tended to be discreet in order
to avoid unpleasantness, and were in any event generally marginal to the developing lesbian/gay culture. The fact that people
continued to come out and join the community at all ages – or, for that matter, sometimes form heterosexual relationships at later
ages and as a result often decrease their participation in the community – was also none too visible. The tendency of many early
theorists of lesbian/gay liberation to question the categories of heterosexuality and homosexuality, emphasise the fluidity of sexual
identity and speculate about universal bisexuality tended to fade away with time as the community’s material reality became more
sharp-edged. The lesbian/gay-rights movement accordingly ran less risk of seeming sexually subversive of the broader sexual order
of gendered capitalism. The decline of butch/femme rôle-playing among lesbians and of camp culture
among gay men also contributed to a hardening of the genderboundaries that remain central to
capitalist societies. The drag queens who, rebelling against the postwar tightening of gender-discipline, had played a leading
rôle in the 1969 Stonewall rebellion found that as social tolerance of lesbians and gays in general began to increase in the 1970s,
social tolerance for gender-nonconformity in many lesbian/gay spaces decreased once more. In the earlier, smaller community of
the immediate post-Stonewall years, nongender-conforming gay men and lesbians, less able or less inclined to hide, had been a
higher proportion of the visible lesbian/gay milieu; as lesbian/gay communities expanded, the influx of more
‘normal-seeming’ lesbians and gay men diluted the prominence of transgendered people. In
addition, the less polarised gender-rôles in the broader culture, which had initially facilitated the emergence of lesbian/gay
identities, now increasingly restricted the room available for more gender-polarised lesbian/gay identities. Although the temporary
relaxation of gender-norms in the 1960s had created some space for playful gender-bending, full-fledged drag often seemed
anomalous and even embarrassing in the context of the androgynous imagery that was in vogue in the early 1970s. LGB
communities thus increasingly defined themselves in ways that placed transgendered people –
whose communities predated the new lesbian/gay identity by millennia – and other visible
nonconformists on the margins, if not completely out of bounds. Kevin Floyd’s identification of ‘an ongoing,
radical uncertainty about whether gay male sexual practice necessarily feminizes any of the men involved’43 does not do justice to
the ways in which the relation between gender and sexuality is configured differently at different
times and 43. Floyd 2009, p. 64. 16 P. Drucker / Historical Materialism 19.4 (2011) 3–32 locations within a globalcapitalist totality that is neither static nor uniform, but rather strongly differentiated by period,
class, gender, and the processes of combined and uneven development. We have seen, for example, that
transgendered sexuality was more common in the working class than in the middle-class in developed countries in the earlytwentieth century, as it still tends to be in some parts of the dependent world. The late 1970s, at the cusp of the transition from
Fordism to neoliberalism, was the time in developed countries when space for transgendered sexualities (and thus Floyd’s ‘radical
uncertainty’) was at its historical nadir. While gay-male sexuality was masculinised and lesbianism feminised, the increased
centrality of consumption to LGB identity resulted in a series of shifts in its sexual contours,
some already apparent by the late 1970s and early ’80s, others emerging only in the ’90s or later.
Obviously these shifts did not reflect an instantaneous, spontaneous sea-change in all LGBT people’s felt desires or sexual practices.
Individual desire and psychology are more resilient than that and are shaped over the course of lifetimes, not totally transmuted by
the social developments of a decade or two. In some cases the winds of erotic fashion undoubtedly have shallower causes than
profound socioeconomic change, and it would be a mistake to read too much into them. But when sexual identities and imagery took
on more unequal and gender-polarised forms at just the time when the surrounding societies were undergoing a sharp, long-term
rise in inequality, it would be implausible to dismiss the correlation as pure coincidence. In any event, as the decline of Fordism put
welfare-state programmes under pressure, a renewed emphasis on the centrality of the family to social reproduction helped put a
brake on the relaxation of gender-norms that had characterised the 1960s. This conservative turn in the broader society was
accompanied by a shift among gay men from the largely androgynous imagery and occasional gender-bending of the early 1970s to
the more masculine ‘clone’-culture that took hold by the early ’80s. Feminine forms of selfpresentation that lesbian feminists once
frowned on had also become more common and acceptable among ‘lipstick-lesbians’ by the 1990s – a ‘celebration of femininity’ that
Gayle Rubin, for example, thought could ‘reinforce traditional gender roles and values of appropriate female behavior’. 44 A
higher degree of gender-conformity among LGB people facilitated their incorporation into a
neoliberal social and sexual order. This conformity was congenial for the growing number of gay men and lesbians who
pursued professional, business or political careers in a number of 44. Rubin 1982, p. 214. P. Drucker / Historical Materialism 19.4
(2011) 3–32 17 capitalist societies, without necessarily renouncing or hiding their sexuality but preferably without ‘flaunting’ it. Even
the lesbian/gay middle-class layers that live off gay businesses and nonprofits – far from all of whom were among the real economic
winners of recent decades, but who tended to be spoken for by those among them who were – preferred in general to keep LGB
communityexpressions culturally inoffensive. Another layer of middle-class or middleclass-identified lesbian/gay people, who were
making their careers inside mainstream businesses and institutions, sometimes cringed at manifestations of a lesbian/gay
community that marked them off too much from other people of their class. Many of these people would like to be able to pursue
their careers in straight companies and institutions while being open about their same-sex relationships – fewer people are willing to
contract heterosexual marriages these days and to keep their homosexual lives completely hidden and marginal – and for the rest
deny or minimise differences between them and middle-class straights. This professional layer has provided the solid social base for
the most moderate currents of LGB movements, which have often seen same-sex marriage as the culminating moment in the process
of gay emancipation. And, in fact, same-sex marriage and adoption can be the culmination of some LGBT people’s integration into
the productive and reproductive order of gendered capitalism. Paradoxically, while neoliberalism has in many ways undermined the
direct and obvious domination of wives and daughters by husbands and fathers under the original Fordist gender-régime,45
neoliberal cutbacks in social services, by privatising the provision of basic needs, have been
restoring the centrality of the family-unit to the social reproduction of labour – in classed ways.
While legal same-sex marriage or partnership can in this context secure new benefits for middle-class and privileged working-class
lesbians and gays, for those most dependent on the welfare-state in countries such as Britain and the Netherlands legal recognition
of their partnerships can lead to cuts in benefits.46 As the number of children being raised in households headed by same-sex
couples has risen, same-sex marriage and adoption can serve to legitimise and regulate the growing rôle that lesbian and gay couples
are playing in social production, consumption and reproduction. Yet the rise of same-sex-coupleheaded nuclear families redefines
and even reinforces rather than overcomes the gay-straight divide, since the ways in which lesbians and gay men form 45. Brenner
2003, pp. 78–9. 46. Browne 2011. 18 P. Drucker / Historical Materialism 19.4 (2011) 3–32 families (through sperm-donorship,
adoption, the break-up of straight families or other trajectories) necessarily remain distinctive. In the twenty-first century, an
ideological factor has also played a crucial rôle in integrating lesbian/gay people into the
neoliberal order: the instrumentalisation of lesbian/gay rights in the service of imperialist and
Islamophobic ideologies, which Jasbir Puar has defined as ‘homonationalism’.47 Particularly but not
only in countries such as the Netherlands48 and Denmark, where both same-sex partnership-rights and anti-immigrant racism are
strongly developed, this homonationalism has been key to consolidating and taming lesbian/gay identity. III. Social and sexual roots
of alternative identities The apparent uniformity of lesbian/gay culture in the mid-1970s in fact helped disguise social and economic
fractures opening up among LGB people. As a result, the relatively homogeneous lesbian/gay identities that had taken shape in
North America and Western Europe by the 1970s were challenged and fragmented over the following decades, though to different
degrees in different countries. There has been, in particular, a proliferation of alternative sexual or gender-identities, more-or-less
outside of the mainstream commercial scene. Some, though far from all, of these alternative identities represent challenges to the
basic parameters of the gay/straight divide that emerged and was consolidated through much of the twentieth century. Contrary to
much right-wing anti-gay rhetoric, the prosperous couples focused on by glossy lesbian/gay magazines were never typical of LGBTs
in general. Data gathered by the US National Opinion Research Center’s General Social Survey in the 1990s suggested that lesbian
and bisexual women were still far less likely than other women to have professional or technical jobs and more likely to have service
or craft/operative jobs, while gay and bisexual men were more likely than other men to have professional/technical, clerical/sales or
service-jobs but less likely to have managerial jobs.49 The heteronormative constraints of many economic sectors – the pressures to
abide by a heterosexual norm of behaviour – seems to drive many ‘low-wage service workers . . . to accept a lower wage than they
would be paid elsewhere in exchange for the relative comfort of working in a queer environment’.50 47. Puar 2007, pp. xxiv, 38–9.
48. Mepschen, Duyvendak and Tonkens 2010. 49. Badgett 1997, p. 81. 50. Sears 2005, p. 106. P. Drucker / Historical Materialism
19.4 (2011) 3–32 19 Whatever the causes (less ability or willingness to meet gendered jobexpectations, migration to more
competitive job-markets, discrimination), the net result (contrary to unfounded claims made not only by
anti-gay ideologues but also by some gay publications) was that, at least in the US, both gay men
and lesbians were under-represented in the higher-income brackets (with family-incomes of
$50,000 or more), while gay men in particular were over-represented in the lower-income
brackets (with familyincomes of $30,000 or less).51 A more recent study showed that men in samesex couples were still earning
significantly less on average than their straight counterparts in 2005 ($43,117 compared to $49,777); while women in
samesex couples earn more on average than straight married women, their income is, of course,
less than men’s.52 Transgendered people are even worse off: a 2006 study found that in San
Francisco 60% of them earned less than $15,300 a year, only 25% had fulltime jobs, and nearly
9% had no source of income.53 The expansion of LGBT communities centred on gay commercial scenes did not improve
the situation of lower-income LGBTs. On the contrary, Jeffrey Escoffier has noted that ‘the gay market, like markets in general,
tends to segment the lesbian and gay community by income, by class, by race and by gender’.54 This is especially true of same-sex
couples, particularly same-sex couples raising children together, since two women living together are in a sense doubling the
economic disadvantages they both experience as women. LGBTs are, moreover, more likely to be cut off from broader familysupport networks, and as the social safety-net has frayed, inequalities resulting from wage-differentials have
affected them with particular intensity.55 Across the capitalist world, the welfare-state has been
shredded, unions have been weakened, and inequality has grown. In this context, polarisation
within LGBT communities has been particularly great. Lower-income LGBs, transgendered people, street-youth
and LGBT people of colour have been under assault in various ways in recent decades, as attacks on poor people and minorities have
multiplied, racism has intensified even more in the US, and new forms of antagonism to black and immigrant communities
(especially of Muslim origin) have grown up in European countries. Young LGBTs and sexworkers in particular have been victims of
intensified forms of coercive 51. Badgett and King 1997, pp. 68–9. 52. Romero, Baumle, Badgett and Gates 2007, p. 2, cited in Wolf
2009, p. 241. 53. Transgender Law Center and San Francisco Bay Guardian 2006, cited in Wolf 2009, p. 147. 54. Escoffier 1997, p.
131. 55. Jacobs 1997. 20 P. Drucker / Historical Materialism 19.4 (2011) 3–32 policing.56 Social polarisation within
LGBT communities has coincided with greater prominence for forms of sexual identity and
practice that focus explicitly on gender and power-differences and rôle-playing. One of the first
notable mutations in LGBT identity with the rise of neoliberalism was the rôle that SM and
leather played in the more masculine culture that took hold among gay men by the early 1980s.
While one gaymale leather-bar opened in New York as early as 1955 and many more followed by
the early 1970s, only from 1976 on did leather-culture become a subject of attention and debate
in the broader lesbian/gay community.57 Soon SM came ‘to be linked with male homosexuality in the eighties as
firmly as effeminacy and an attack on gender roles was in the sixties and early seventies’,58 while SM clubs such as New York’s
Mineshaft became ‘an arena for the masculinization of the gay male’.59 Paradoxically at this stage, while divisions between ‘tops’
and ‘bottoms’ that would earlier have been widely rejected on liberationist grounds became acceptable and sometimes blatant,
virtually all the men in the scene were masculinised in the process. It was as if SM, while celebrating ‘difference and power’, served,
in Dennis Altman’s term, as a ritual of ‘catharsis’, of both acting out and exorcising the growing violence and inequality of the
broader society.60 As Gayle Rubin put it, ‘class, race, and gender neither determine nor correspond to the roles adopted for S/M
play’.61 By the early 1980s, forms of sexuality that diverged from the perceived feminist norm also affected the previously hegemonic
lesbian-feminist culture. Lesbian-feminist culture in a sense already struck a divergent note in the 1970s. The sense has persisted
that lesbians in general play less of a rôle in commercial scenes and persevere more in trying to sustain alternative scenes. While of
course some lesbians, like some gay men, are middle-class or rich, the fact that women trying to survive independently of men have
lower incomes on average and are thus more likely to be working-class or poor has contributed to this sense. But while lesbian
feminists had put working-class and poor women under great pressure in the 1970s to abandon
butch-femme relationships that had been common among them for decades, some lesbians
began in the 1980s to 56. Sears 2005, p. 103. 57. Rubin 1982, p. 219; Califia 1982, pp. 280, 244–8. 58. Altman 1982, p. 191.
59. Ira Tattleman, ‘Staging Masculinity at the Mineshaft’, cited in Moore 2004, p. 20. 60. Altman 1982, p. 195. 61. Rubin 1982, p.
222. P. Drucker / Historical Materialism 19.4 (2011) 3–32 21 defend butch-femme vigorously.62 At about the same time
some lesbians took a visible part in SM culture, particularly in San Francisco. This dovetailed with a general upheaval in the lesbian
world through conflict between currents that defined themselves as ‘anti-pornography’ and others that defined themselves as ‘prosex’.63 The most explosive issue in the ‘sex-wars’ was, briefly, the issue of intergenerational sex, which was the subject of a major
confrontation during the organisation of the first US national lesbian/gay-rights march in 1979. Going beyond understandable and
legitimate concerns about coercion and abuse of authority, some currents perceived power-differences between adults and youths as
precluding the possibility of consent to sex.64 However, the very explosiveness of the issue quickly placed it beyond the pale of
discussion. In hindsight, the ‘clone’ and SM subcultures, lipstick-lesbianism and sex-wars of the 1980s
were only an initial phase in a longer-term fracturing of LGBT identity. The consolidation of Reaganism
and Thatcherism by the mid-1980s coincided for LGBT people with the onslaught of the AIDS epidemic, a trauma experienced as a
sharp generational break. While some men who survived the epidemic followed a gay variant of the trajectory of the middle-class
baby-boom generation, many younger people who came of age in the era of AIDS and neoliberalism
found the road to a safer middle-class existence strewn with obstacles. Beginning in the mid-1980s a
queer social milieu emerged, made up to a large extent of young people on the bottom of the unequal social hourglass that had
resulted from economic restructuring.65 One aspect of the underlying social reality is that the lower young queers’ incomes were and
the more meagre their job-prospects, the less on average they identified with or wanted to join the lesbian/gay community that had
grown up since the 1960s and ’70s. ‘Economic changes . . . meant more part-time and contract work, especially for young people,
which left many unable to see a place for themselves in the by then established gay middle class.’66 Above all initially in Englishspeaking developed-capitalist countries – the developed countries where social polarisation is greatest – young queers resisted
disco-culture, a bar-centred ghetto, and the kind of segregation that fit 62. Nestle 1989; Hollibaugh and Moraga 1983, pp. 397–404.
63. Vance (ed.) 1989; Linden, Pagano, Russell and Star (eds.) 1982; Califia 1982, pp. 250–9. 64. The state enforces a related point of
view, as shown in hundreds of prosecutions of LGBT people each year under age-of-consent laws, the repeated prosecutions of the
Canadian gay paper Body Politic for discussing the issue in print, and US Senator Jesse Helms’s successful move to block UN
recognition of any LGBT group that condones ‘paedophilia’. 65. Drucker 1993, p. 29. 66. Patterson 2000. 22 P. Drucker / Historical
Materialism 19.4 (2011) 3–32 with ethnic-style minority-group politics. Self-identified queers refused ‘to be comfortable on the
social periphery – in the ghettos’.67 English-speaking queer scenes have been echoed in some ways by queers in squatters’ milieus in
continental Western Europe. This generation had also grown up in far more diverse and changeable family-structures, which made
the notion of modelling lesbian/gay households on traditional straight ones all the more implausible for them. In some milieus of
young rebels, gender and sexual categories have become more fluid than would be usual in mainstream straight, gay male or lesbian
scenes. Economic marginalisation and cultural alienation were closely interlinked in the
emergence of a queer milieu, making it hard in many cases to say to what extent poverty was a
cause of alienation, to what extent the choice of a queer lifestyle contributed to more-or-less
voluntary poverty, and to what extent some queers were middle-class gays – particularly
students and academics – dressing and talking like down-and-outs, in some cases perhaps only
for a period of a few years of ‘float[ing] in and out of deviance or propriety’.68 In other cases queerness
may be defined so much by dress, style or performance that it becomes as much a matter of consumer-choice and an expression of
reification as the middle-class gay identities it rejects.69 Nevertheless, the overall correlation between lower
incomes and queer selfidentification seems clear. If economic pressures made
integration into the dominant lesbian/gay culture a dubious proposition for many
young and disadvantaged queers in developed countries, the barriers have been
all the greater for poor and working-class LGBTs in Asia, Africa and Latin
America. Dependent capitalist countries have been the site over the last forty years of social
constructions of sexuality that are neither completely different from the predominant lesbian/
gay identities in imperialist countries in the 1970s nor merely expressions of a single ‘modern’,
globalised identity.70 Sexualities that were indigenous to the dependent world’s precapitalist or early-capitalist social
formations (such as the traditional transgender identities of Southeast Asia and Latin America) have persisted, while coexisting with
lesbian/gay identities. The result of this intersection of dependent development, sexuality and culture
was that poor and working-class LGBT people in the dependent world were less likely than
middle-class LGBs to have identities (let alone incomes) that facilitated their integration into a Westernised,
commercialised 67. Seidman 1997, p. 193; Drucker 1993, p. 29. 68. Califia 2003, p. xiv. 69. Hennessy 2000, pp. 140–1. 70. Drucker
1996. P. Drucker / Historical Materialism 19.4 (2011) 3–32 23 gay scene.71 They were more likely to be transgendered people, more
likely to be subject to violence, and more likely to be dependent on family and/or community-structures for their survival. The
economic marginalisation that they experience tended to make post-Fordist lesbian/gay identity at least as problematic and alien for
them as for young self-identified queers in North America or Britain. Marginalisation of millions of LGBT people
worldwide because they are poor, young or black has impelled many of them towards developing
or adopting identities that have broken to some extent with the dominant patterns of postFordist gay identity. As we have seen, the dominant trend since the 1980s, based particularly on the reality of more
prosperous LGB people’s lives, was for the lesbian/gay community to define itself as a stable and distinct minority, tend increasingly
towards gender-conformity, and marginalise its own sexual minorities. By contrast, the nonconformist sexual and
genderidentities that have grown up among more marginalised layers have tended to be non-
homonormative: to identify with broader communities of oppressed or rebellious people, to fail
to conform to dominant gender-norms, and/or to emphasise power-differentials that dominant
lesbian/gay imagery tends to elide. While these counter-identities have shown little sign of coalescing into any
overarching alternative identity – on the contrary, different counteridentities can and do clash with each other72 – they do
share a number of features that correspond to structural similarities in their bearers’ positions
under neoliberal capitalism. Non-homonormative identities defined by marginalisation on the basis of age, class, region
and/or ethnicity have overlapped with the growth or persistence of subcultures that have been marginal in the commercial scene
because they constitute (sometimes extensive) niche markets at best and illicit ones at worse. The relationship between alternative
identities and marginalised sexual practices is elusive, but there does appear to be a correlation. There are, of course, many LGBTs
who limit their sexual rebellion to the safety of a particular brand of bar. But the more attached people are to their sexual identities,
the more reluctant many of them become to give them up at work or in public. Not coincidentally, the more visible transgendered
people are, the less likely they are in most societies to get one of the well-paid, permanent, full-time jobs that have become scarcer
and more coveted commodities in post-Fordist economies. Moreover, some people are virtually or entirely incapable of hiding 71.
Oetomo 1996, pp. 265–8. 72. See, for example, Drucker 1993, p. 29. 24 P. Drucker / Historical Materialism 19.4 (2011) 3–32 aspects
of their identities, particularly effeminacy in men or butchness in women, that are often rightly or wrongly associated with
sexualities that are neither hetero- nor homonormative. Voluntary or involuntary, tell-tale signs of sexual deviance often lead to
management’s excluding people from professional or service-jobs or to fellow workers’ hostility that impels people to avoid or flee
certain workplaces. Paradoxically, in the absence of general guarantees for workers’ job-security or free expression at work,
antidiscrimination laws that protect LGB people in general may be of less than no use to the sexually marginalised, as Ruthann
Robson has noted: ‘If a company employs four lesbians, a new manager can fearlessly fire the one who has her nose pierced or who is
most outspoken or who walks the dykiest.’73 These factors help explain the correlation that exists between
subaltern social positions and various alternative sexual scenes and identities that do not fit into
standard post-Fordist lesbian/gay moulds. This is not a straightforward correlation between non-homonormative
identities and working-class affiliation. On the contrary, working-class lesbians and gays and lesbians and gays of colour
(sometimes, of course, the same people) have sometimes reacted against self-defined queer or other sexually dissident groups when
such groups demanded visibility of them that would make their lives more difficult in particular workplaces or communities.74 The
correlation has been rather with particular sectors of the working class – on average younger, less skilled, less organised and lowerpaid – that have expanded since the 1970s. Part of the younger queer generation has taken up, and to some extent recast, claims for
some of the stigmatised sexual practices that were made during the sex-wars of the early 1980s. In doing so they have rebelled
against homonormative ‘confining straightjackets that inserted some queers as the tolerated “others” within the existing social
relations of gender and sexuality and marginalized others’.75 ‘ “Queer” [thus] potentially includes “deviants” and “perverts” who may
traverse or confuse the homo/hetero division’.76 By contrast with the earlier period, SM has been less in the forefront – SM seems
less politically laden now than it was in the sex-wars of the early 1980s – and gender-bending and transgender all the more. SM
seems to have become less central to LGBT culture as it has increasingly, in diluted form, come to permeate the broader sexual
culture, as seen in the spread of piercing, tattooing, and leather-fashion and accessories. Among LGBTs, the queer generation has 73.
Robson 1992, p. 87, cited in Robson 1997, p. 175, n. 13. 74. Drucker 1993, p. 29. 75. Sears 2005, p. 100. 76. Hennessy 2000, p. 113. P.
Drucker / Historical Materialism 19.4 (2011) 3–32 25 tended more to play with issues of inequality and power-difference in other
ways that expose their artificiality and facilitate their subversion. The contradictions of gender and power have been particularly
visible in transgender and gender-bending subcultures since the 1990s. As Dennis Altman points out, drag has always to a certain
extent subverted mainstream gender-rôles through ‘veneration of the strong woman who defies social expectations to assert
herself’;77 and Judith Butler has argued that drag subverts gender by exposing it as a ‘performatively enacted signification’.78 Forms
of gender-bending have shifted over the decades, however. In the 1980s, Amber Hollibaugh proclaimed that her vision of
butch/femme was not a reaffirmation of existing gender-categories but a new system of ‘gay gender’. More recently, younger
transgendered people seem more likely to take on gender-identities that are difficult to subsume (if at all) under existing feminine or
masculine rôles. ‘Today lesbian butch/femme is acquiring more flexibility than it had in the ’70s when I came out’, says Patrick
Califia, thanks in part to a crosspollination of butch/femme with SM which creates space for ‘butch bottoms’ and ‘femme tops’.79
These more flexible and ambiguous forms of transgender can be associated simultaneously with the myriad forms of transgender
that have existed for millennia around the planet, and with queer milieus that have only emerged since the late 1980s in rebellion
against the lesbian/gay mainstream. They are thus, in a sense, very old and very new. New forms of transgender contrast with the
forms of transexuality, which themselves arose only in the 1950s and ’60s, as defined by a wing of the medical establishment. The
medical experts not only tend to prescribe sexreassignment surgery as the standard cure for intense gender-nonconformity but also
tend to urge transexuals to adapt (perhaps somewhat less rigidly than in the past) to the norms of their ‘new gender’.80 Queeridentified transgendered people do not necessarily reject hormone-treatments or surgery, but they can be selective in what they do
or do not choose for themselves. Califia links this new trend among transgendered people to SM people’s attitude towards ‘bodymodification’: ‘A new sort of transgendered person has emerged, one who approaches sex reassignment with the same mindset that
they would obtaining a piercing or a tattoo’.81 Often these transpeople do not see themselves as transitioning from male to female or
vice versa, but rather as transgendered as opposed to male or female. 77. Altman 1982, p. 154. 78. Butler 1999, p. 44. 79. Califia
2000, pp. 186–9. 80. Califia 2003, pp. 52–85. 81. Califia 2003, p. 224. 26 P. Drucker / Historical Materialism 19.4 (2011) 3–32
More traditional poor and working-class transpeople for their part can often struggle for years to save the money for their
operations, including in dependent countries, or simply change each others’ genitals without resorting to official medicine. The
thousands of transgender hijras in South Asia, increasingly visible and militant among the poorest people of their region and notably
at the 2004 World Social Forum in Mumbai, do not often seem to share European and North American queers’ interest in
transcending or blurring gender-categories. For that matter, even many intersex people (born with genitals that do not identify them
as unambiguously male or female) ‘are perfectly comfortable adopting either a male or female gender identity’.82 Just the same,
many LGBTs in dependent countries have been trying in their own ways to resist pressures to claim them for a homogeneous,
middleclass-dominated lesbian/gay community, purge them of ‘old-fashioned’ aspects of their identities, or make them come out in
ways that would tear them away from their families and communities without providing them with equivalent support-systems.
Chilean writer Pedro Lemebel, for example, has expressed his identification with Santiago’s downtrodden locas [transvestites] and
his rejection of the gay-male model he encountered in New York.83 To a greater or lesser extent, different forms of transgender are
radically subversive of the lesbian/gay identity that emerged under Fordism, in a way that the would-be all-encompassing acronym
LGBT fails to successfully subsume in a single social subject. Transexuals who identify as straight (albeit ‘born in the wrong body’)
often question what they have in common with lesbians, gays or bisexuals. South Asian hijras, identifying with neither gender,
cannot be legitimately classified as either gay or straight. Nor can transgendered queers who insist that they have moved beyond
male and female. In capitalism both North and South in this time of crisis, then, lesbian/gay identity
has been undergoing simultaneous construction and fracturing.84 A very diverse and diffuse set of
alternative sexual identities has been diverging more and more from the post-Fordist, gender-conformist, consumerist lesbian/ gay
mainstream, and in some cases challenge the very social and conceptual basis of straight or lesbian/gay self-definition.
Class struggles and LGBT struggles are not mutually exclusive-queer
conceptions of sexuality solve for a free society
Drucker 11 [Peter, International Institute of Research and Education; 2011;
http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/10.1163/156920611x606412; The Fracturing
of LGBT Identities under Neoliberal Capitalism; 06/29/15; jac]
IV. Implications for liberation Recognising
the deep roots of the fracturing of same-sex identities
necessarily puts in question any universalism that ignores class, gender, sexual, cultural, 82.
Herndon 2006, p. 1, cited in Wolf 2009, p. 230. 83. Mansilla 1996, p. 23, cited in Palaversich 2002, p. 104. 84. Drucker 2000a. P.
Drucker / Historical Materialism 19.4 (2011) 3–32 27 racial/ethnic and other differences within LGBT
communities. These communities and identities are being fractured in large part by
fundamental changes in the productive and reproductive order of gendered capitalism. Young
queers, working-class and poor LGBTs, transgendered people and other marginalised groups have increasingly found themselves in
objectively different situations from people in the consolidating gay mainstream. It is thus no surprise that they have tended to some
extent to define distinct identities. The forms taken by alternative, non-homonormative sexual identities do not necessarily win them
easy acceptance among feminists or socialists. The lesbian/gay identity that emerged by the 1970s had much to commend it from the
broad-Left’s point of view (once the Left had largely overcome its initial homophobia). By contrast, transgendered and
other queers can raise the hackles of many on the Left, since their sexuality strikes many as at
variance with the mores to be expected and hoped for in an egalitarian, peaceful, rational future.
One may doubt, however, whether any sexuality existing under capitalism can serve as a model for
sexualities to be forecast or desired under socialism. Nor is it useful to privilege any particular existing form of
sexuality in present-day struggles for sexual liberation. Socialists’ aim should not be to replace the traditional
‘hierarchical system of sexual value’85 with a new hierarchy of our own. As Amber Hollibaugh pointed
out many years ago, sexual history has first of all to be ‘able to talk realistically about what people are sexually’.86 And in radical
struggles over sexuality, as in radical struggles over production, the basic imperative is to
welcome and stimulate self-organisation and resistance by people subjected to exploitation,
exclusion, marginalisation or oppression, in the forms that oppressed people’s own experience
proves to be most effective. This is not to say that Marxists should simply adopt a liberal attitude of unthinking approval
of sexual diversity in general, in a spirit of ‘anything goes’. Our central concern must be to advance the sexual
liberation of the working class and its allies, who today include straights, LGBs and –
particularly among its most oppressed layers – transgendered and other queers. Resisting the
retreat from class in LGBT activism and queer studies, Marxists should combat heterosexism
and bourgeois hegemony among straights, homonormativity and bourgeois hegemony among
LGBs, and blanket hostility to straights and non-queer-identified gays where it exists among 85.
Rubin 1989, p. 279. 86. Hollibaugh and Moraga 1983, p. 396. 28 P. Drucker / Historical Materialism 19.4 (2011) 3–32 self-identified
queers. This will require seeking new tactics and forms of organising within LGBT movements. The
post-Stonewall lesbian/gay movement waged an effective fight against discrimination and won many victories on the basis of an
identity widely shared by those engaged in same-sex erotic or emotional relationships. But this classic lesbian/gay identity has not
been the only basis in history for movements for sexual emancipation. In the German homophile-struggle from 1897 to 1933, for
example, Magnus Hirschfeld’s Scientific-Humanitarian Committee, the wing of the movement closer to the social-democratic Left,
tended to put forward polarised ‘third sex’-theories.87 This is what one might predict on the basis of the
evidence that egalitarian gay identities were at first primarily a middle-class phenomenon, while
transgender and gender-polarised patterns persisted longer in the working class and among the
poor.88 Today in the dependent world as well, transgender identities seem to be more common among the less prosperous and
less Westernised.89 Rather than privileging same-sex sexualities more common among the less oppressed, however superficially
egalitarian, the Left should be particularly supportive of those same-sex sexualities more common among the most oppressed,
however polarised. Another important consideration is the challenge that alternative, nonhomonormative sexualities can sometimes
pose to the reification of sexual desire that the categories of lesbian, gay, bisexual and straight embody.
Marxists question
the fantasy of consumers under neoliberalism that obtaining the ‘right’ commodities will define
them as unique individuals and secure their happiness; we should not uncritically accept an
ideology that defines individuals and their happiness on the basis of a quest for a partner of the
‘right’ gender.90 How will LGBT communities and movements be structured in a time of increasingly divergent identities? Self-
defined queer activist-groups, which emerged initially in the US and Britain in the early 1990s, have also appeared in recent years in
a number of countries in continental Europe. They pose a 87. See Fernbach 1998, p. 51; Drucker 1997, p. 37. 88. Chauncey 1994. 89.
Oetomo 1996, pp. 265–8. 90. Kevin Floyd argues that ‘the reifying of sexual desire needs to be understood as a condition of
possibility for a complex, variable history of sexually nonnormative discourses, practices, sites, subjectivities, imaginaries, collective
formations, and collective aspirations’ (Floyd 2009, pp. 74–5). Having earlier recalled Lukács’s later criticism of the conflation of
objectification and reification in his History and Class Consciousness, Floyd here reproduces it upside down, celebrating both as
Lukács had rejected both. Objectification, the alternate adoption of subject and objectpositions in an interplay between different
human individuals, is inherent to sexuality; reification, the petrifaction of specific rôles and sexual identities, is not. P. Drucker /
Historical Materialism 19.4 (2011) 3–32 29 radical challenge to mainstream lesbian/gay organisations, although they have yet to
show much of an orientation towards large-scale mobilisation, to take root among the racially and nationally oppressed, or to prove
their adaptability to the dependent world.91 In countries where civil rights and same-sex marriage have been won, the process of
seeking new horizons and finding appropriate forms of organising seems likely to be a prolonged one – especially since the LGBT
social and political landscape seems likely to remain more fragmented and conflict-ridden than it was in the immediate postStonewall period. While lesbian/gay identity has lost the central place it occupied in the LGBT world of the 1970s and ’80s, it is still
far from marginalised; on the contrary, the new homonormativity shows no signs of succumbing to queer assaults in the foreseeable
future. In the dependent world particularly, the diversity of LGBT communities has resulted in an alliance-model of organising as an
alternative or a supplement to the model of a single, broad, unified organisation. The broadest possible unity across different
identities remains desirable in basic fights against violence, criminalisation and discrimination as well as more ambitious struggles
for equality, for example in parenting. On other issues, LGBT rights can be best defended by working and demanding space within
broader movements, such as trade-unions, the women’s movement and the globaljustice movement.92 At the same time, an
alliance-model has in some cases facilitated the process of negotiating unity among constituencies – such as transgendered people
on the one hand and lesbian/gay people on the other93 – who are unlikely to feel fully included in any one unitary structure. It can
constitute a united front between those whose identities fit the basic parameters of the gay-straight divide and those whose identities
do not, fostering the development of a truly queer conception of sexuality that, in Gloria Wekker’s words, is ‘multiple, malleable,
dynamic, and possessing male and female elements’.94 In a more visionary perspective, developing an
inclusive, queer conception of sexuality can be seen as a way to move towards that ‘truly free
civilization’ that Herbert Marcuse described a half-century ago in Eros and Civilization, in which ‘all laws are self-given by the
individuals’, the values of ‘play and display’ triumph over those of ‘productiveness and performance’, the entire human 91. For
discussions from an anticapitalist perspective of the potential and limits of queer radicalism, see Drucker 1993 and Drucker 2010.
92. On sexual politics in the global-justice movement, see Drucker 2009. 93. Califia 2003, p. 256. 94. Wekker 1999, p. 132. 30 P.
Drucker / Historical Materialism 19.4 (2011) 3–32 personality is eroticised, and the ‘instinctual substance’ of ‘the perversions . . .
may well express itself in other forms’.95
Disease Reps K
Their construction of AIDS as an apocalyptic threat via policy
discourse only reinforces the hegemonic authority of security – They
act only out of fear of contamination and lead to xenophobia.
Taylor 98 [Tonya Nicole Taylor, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania,
“Blaming the Infected African Other: An Epidemic of Discrimination,”
http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Workshop/tonya98.html]//JIH
Blaming the infected African other is a dangerous epidemic of discrimination and racial
prejudice. What is central in this discussion of 'blaming the African other' is not the veracity of the statements but how they are
sustained through the inappropriate use of western cultural constructs to define and interpret epidemiology cross culturally. The
authority of epidemiology to define risk is a politics of knowledge that is produced, reproduced,
contested, and sustained through the discursive hegemonic authority of biomedicine and science
as the truth. According to Glick Schiller an "understanding of the hegemonic processes have given us new insights into the
historical, structural, and authoritative location of symbolic construction" (1992: 248). However, an examination of the
micro-politics behind the maintenance of such stereotypes, illuminates how also discourses of
stigmatization and otherness govern the construction, negotiation, contestation, and
maintenance of boundaries between the self and the HIV infected other through fear of
contamination by the dangerous African outsider. These stigmatizing discourses and counterdiscourses are ideological terrains used to insulate the perceived uninfected other from the
afflicted. Stereotypes and generalizations about particular populations perceived to be at risk
have provided a misleading backdrop for policy formation because they underestimate the
diversity of sexual culture within seemingly homogenous sub-groups. Although the social and
political consequences of culturally constructing risk of HIV/AIDS are innumerable, there are
three primary consequences: (1) wide spread misunderstanding of who is at risk and who is not;
(2) the continued spread of the diseases by those infected who are define themselves outside of
those populations at risks; (3) and the perpetuation of the stigmatization of people living with
HIV or AIDS.
The representations of HIV/AIDS are controlled by international
institutions and perpetuate biopolitical forms of surveillance upon
bodies.
Vieira 07 [Marco Antonio Vieira, Senior Lecturer in International Relations and
Postgraduate Research Director at University of Birmingham, Department of Political Science
and International StudiesBraz. political sci. rev. (Online) vol.2 no.se Rio de Janeiro, Dec. 2007,
http://socialsciences.scielo.org/scielo.php?pid=S198138212007000200005&script=sci_arttext&tlng=en]//JIH
It is beyond the scope of this study to engage in a comprehensive historical sociology of the HASN. However, the argument here is
that the social construction of the HIV/AIDS Securitisation Norm would not be comprehensible
without the previous acknowledgment of the historical (social, material and interest-based)
conditions that led to its creation. At the ontological level, this means that the HIV/AIDS actors constituted
their social world in the same way that the social world they created defined the possibilities of
their future interaction (Wendt 1987). This dimension also corresponds to an externalist (Stritzel 2005)
understanding of securitisation that is generally neglected by the Copenhagen School. Contrary to its view of
the securitisation process, the argument put forward here claims that the semantic articulation of security should be analytically
integrated with the larger process of securitisation that involves social/political phenomena other than solely the speech-act.
Stephan Elbe’s (2005) exploration of the biopolitical dimension of the securitisation of HIV/AIDS
sheds some light on the contextuality problem in most of the securitisation literature. Foucault
designates biopower as the power that " brought life and its mechanism into the realm of explicit
calculations and made knowledge-power an agent for the transformation of human life" (Foucault
quoted in Elbe 2005, 405). In
demonstrating the biopolitical dimension of HIV/AIDS, Elbe uses the
example of UNAIDS, " as an institutional apparatus for the detailed statistical, monitoring and
surveillance of world population in relation to HIV/AIDS" (p. 405). Borrowing from Foucault’s reflections on
the concept, he further argues that
The unfolding of the securitization of AIDS follows a net-like deployment of biopower, as it is
being simultaneously driven by a plethora of actors [ …] The net of the securitization of AIDS has
been widely cast, corroborating Foucault’s view that biopower is never solely the property of one
agent; it is always plural, decentralized and capillary in nature. " Power" , he reminded his readers, " is
everywhere; not because it embraces everything, but because it comes from everywhere" . (p.
407/408)
What is interesting in Elbe’s transposition of biopower to illuminate the securitisation of HIV/AIDS is that it allows for a holistic
understanding of the securitisation process. Rather than being solely the activity of isolated securitising
actors performing speech-acts, the securitisation process is seen through these lenses in the
form of a chain of events and actors, or something that historically mutates and evolves into
something else. In line with Elbe’s biopolitical stance on the securitisation of HIV/AIDS, I argue that the historical and
social construction of the disease eventually led to the creation of a hegemonic grammar that
portrays the epidemic in terms of a special type of problem, which demands special institutions
and policies.
In this sense, the securitisation of HIV/AIDS can be understood as a constitutive element of a larger
hegemonic world order that encompasses long-term political, ethical, economic and ideological
spheres of activity on a global scale. This is what Gramsci called a historic bloc (Gramsci 1971). According to Robert W.
Cox, in the historic bloc " there is an informal structure of influence reflecting the different levels of real
political and economic power which underlies the formal procedures for decisions" (Cox 1993, 63).
For him, " international institutions perform an ideological role. They help define policy guidelines
for states and to legitimate certain institutions and practices at the national level. They reflect
orientations favourable to the dominant social and economic forces" (p. 63). I do not use here the concept
of historic bloc in precisely the same sense Gramsci (and also Cox, concerning international relations) gave to it. International
relations are more diffused and complicated than the big power-centred concept of world order those authors conceived. However,
Gramsci’s interpretation of history as a successive movement of powerful hegemonic forms of collective subjectivity is fully
applicable to what was called here the first dimension of the HASN. This means that the proposed securitisation of
the epidemic is the result of social and political processes that are organically integrated into the
current dominant historic bloc.
Solvency
Queer theory fails in practice
Saffin 8 BODIES THAT (DON'T) MATTER: SYSTEMS OF GENDER REGULATION AND INSTITUTIONS OF VIOLENCE
AGAINST TRANSGENDER PERSONS: A QUEER/CRITICAL RACE FEMINIST CRITIQUE By LORI A. SAFFIN DOCTOR OF
PHILOSOPHY WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY Program of American Studies AUGUST 2008
Despite the productive and effective strategies offered by Queer Theorizing, I
am hesitant to firmly adhere only to this body of
the pluralizing of
identity, though important, continues to denigrate the importance of race, class, and gender, as sexuality
becomes the signifying element of identification. Likewise, I have concerns about the open ended politics proclaimed
under Queer Theory. As John D'Emilio illustrates in 12 his account of American gay and lesbian politics, "identity" and "difference" have
simultaneously served as the crux as well as the crisis for most gay and lesbian organizing.13 So, if "queer" is fluid, boundariless,
oppositional, and multiplicitous, how do "we" organize around "difference" or ground in
politics? What are these politics, and who sets the agenda? Queer Theory seeks ^definition in
order to combat the inherent divisiveness created within identity politics and disrupt rigidly
constructed binaries. However, materiality, material reality, and the lived experiences of
individuals/communities residing in the margins and overlaps of structural racism, classism,
sexism, and heterosexism seem overlooked. Therefore, Queer Theory, perhaps, purports alternative and liberatory
strategies in theory, but encounters many difficulties when attempting coalitional politics and everyday
activism
knowledge. Many academics and activists alike have challenged the political efficacy of queer theory, pointing out that
State Good
Queer theory is too suspicious of the state to succeed
Rhetoric? Kinda powerful. Warrants? Somewhat Lacking.
Edgar 8 ENGAGING WITH THE STATE: CITIZENSHIP, INJUSTICE, AND THE PROBLEM WITH QUEER Edgar, Gemma.
is a research fellow at The Australia Institute Gay and Lesbian Issues and Psychology Review4.3 (2008): 176-187.
http://search.proquest.com.proxy.lib.umich.edu/docview//21403791/7D43C20E17E146FCPQ/1?accountid=14667
When I began my fieldwork I was especially interested to explore how queer theory had, or could, be used to address the injustices
experienced by the young people of Twenty10. However, after meeting and interviewing some of Twenty10's young people and staff,
I began reassessing the utility of queer theory as a tool for addressing the coalescence of
injustices the young people faced: Queer theory, it is my position, is too suspicious of the
state's normalising capacities for it to provide a practical plan of activism for an organisation
like Twenty10, which relies upon the financial support of both the Federal and NSW State
Governments. This support allows Twenty10 to supply diverse and strategic services for LGBT
young people. In other words, Twenty10 relies upon the state in order to do its work. This form of activism,
in which an organisation engages closely with the state, is rejected by many proponents of queer
theory, who build on Foucault's govern mentality thesis to instead push for a style of activism that is "at odds with the normal, the
legitimate, the dominant" (Halperin, 1995, p. 62). This form of activism has been useful in many contexts, for example in the early
days of ACT UP (Halperin, 1995, pp. 15-16). But, it is my position, it may not be so useful when addressing the
injustices experienced by LGBT young people who require the support of the state. Rather than
advocating for the use of queer theory, then, I have turned to citizenship discourses as a more
effective tool for addressing the concerns of these young people. Citizenship, while demanding some
forms of 'normalisation' for those included within its sphere, is, on balance, better equipped to respond to the
injustices experienced by the young people at Twenty10. This is because citizens are able to make
demands upon the state for help. This paper is hence an argument for the value of citizenship discourses and engaging
with the state when addressing the concerns of young LGBTI people experiencing economic disadvantage.
The State allows for inclusive citizenship, protection from neoliberal
exploitation, and provision of basic necessities.
Edgar 8 ENGAGING WITH THE STATE: CITIZENSHIP, INJUSTICE, AND THE PROBLEM WITH QUEER Edgar, Gemma.
is a research fellow at The Australia Institute Gay and Lesbian Issues and Psychology Review4.3 (2008): 176-187.
http://search.proquest.com.proxy.lib.umich.edu/docview//21403791/7D43C20E17E146FCPQ/1?accountid=14667
Marshall's analysis of social rights has been particularly influential for modern citizenship theorists, because he questioned the legitimacy of democracy
without equity. He did this by describing the resources required by individuals to access their civil and political rights. He argued that to
achieve
participatory equality, the state must provide a welfare scheme, an accessible education system,
and universal health care. These policy tools were about equipping the individual so that they
could "share to the full in the social heritage and to live the life of a civilized being
according to the standards prevailing in the society" and hence to participate fully as a
citizen (Marshall, 1965, pp. 78-79). Therefore, central to Marshall's thesis is the role played by the state in addressing injustice. For Marshall, the
state is a structure able to prevent the isolation and disadvantage of its citizens by upholding
political and civil rights, and the provision of social services. This is a relatively thick conception of citizenship
because it assumes that those more economically advantaged members of the community will support those less well off, and that this redistribution
will occur through the mechanism of the state. As Bryan S. Turner (1993) has noted, the worth of Marshall's concept of citizenship was the protection it
sought to provide for the economically disadvantaged. For Turner: Citizenship, once inscribed in the institutions of the welfare state, is
a
buffer against the vagaries of the marketplace and the inequalities of the class system, because
citizenship is a method of redistribution of resources to those who are unable to provide for their
own needs as a consequence of some contingent feature of their life circumstances (p. xi). It is my
position that citizenship is even thicker than as explained by Marshall. It is not just about the progression to full civil,
political and social rights. Citizenship is also about being acknowledged, recognised and
included, by both the state and the community (Phelan, 2001). Within this paper then, I define citizenship as including the
rights mapped by Marshall, and hence, I give the state a crucial role in ensuring participatory equality. But I
also use the term more thickly, to suggest, as former Prime Minister John Howard has said, that being a citizen is about being part of the "national
family" (Howard 2007) and about "belonging" (Nolan & Rubenstein forthcoming; Weeks 1995, 1998). It
is perhaps, then, not difficult
to understand why LGBTI movements have sought full enfranchisement through citizenship
claims. It is not just that they have desired the rights mapped by Marshall: They have also have
demanded the creation of a "differencefriendly world" (Fraser, 2003, p. 8), and a place in Howard's "national family"
(2007).8
Queer rejection of the state re-entrenches neoliberalism, and
prevents actually beneficial policies from benefiting those who need
them.
Edgar 8 ENGAGING WITH THE STATE: CITIZENSHIP, INJUSTICE, AND THE PROBLEM WITH QUEER Edgar, Gemma.
is a research fellow at The Australia Institute Gay and Lesbian Issues and Psychology Review4.3 (2008): 176-187.
http://search.proquest.com.proxy.lib.umich.edu/docview//21403791/7D43C20E17E146FCPQ/1?accountid=14667
Queer theorists are not the only ones who are suspicious of giving the state a large role , indeed this
position is probably more often associated with neo-liberalism. Michael Warner has suggested that it is no
coincidence that the success of queer theory, as an activist strategy and as an academic
discipline, should coalesce with that of neo-liberalism . He has argued that queer's "potential for
transformation seems mostly specific to a cultural context" (1995, p. 361) and that context is born post 1991, in an Anglo-American space, in a period in
which neoliberalism has all but triumphed in policy making arenas. In fact, when
we consider queer perceptions of the state
through the use of Foucault's governmentality thesis, it becomes clear that queer and neoliberalism have more in
common than a joint appearance towards the end of the twentieth century. Queer's move away from making
claims upon the state parallels that of neoliberal discourses, which also argue for a society free
from the intrusive hand of government (Self, 2000, p. 99-101). Neoliberalism argues that citizens should
be 'self-reliant' and hence not be dependent upon welfare. Similarly, those relying upon a
Foucauldian view of the state argue that there are "dangers ... in looking to the state as provider,
equalizer, protector, or liberator" (Brown. 1995, p. 196, 195) because "the rise of welfare states have been accompanied by more
insidious methods of surveillance in information-gathering technologies" (Gorham, 1995, p. 36).11 My concern with queer activism
is this similarity with neoliberalism. Through rejecting the dominant role played by the state,
and in arguing against the worth of LGBTI citizens making demands upon the state, just like
neoliberalism, queer supports a form of activism that is unable to rectify socio-economic
injustice. Or perhaps more accurately, it is suspicious of the mechanism that would best do so. A movement away from the
state, and a focus instead upon culture, may well destabilise the foundations of
heteronormativity as the hetero/homo binary is thrown into question, but what use is it to those who rely on
the state to house them ? How is it useful for these individuals, such as the young people of TwentylO, for
theorists to undermine the value of the welfare state, especially when it has been so undermined
through neoliberal reforms? How, in this thinking, are injustices of redistribution to be addressed?
Marshall was rightly criticised for presenting the developments of rights as a linear, teleological progression (Turner 1991: 122). He was criticised
because welfare clearly is reversible and should not be taken for granted; supporting it should be a goal for all those who seek to redress economic
disadvantage. The
queer suspicion of the state and therefore of its welfare programmes, makes it
difficult to accept the argument that queer activism is useful for those experiencing economic
disadvantage. Gorham embodies the governmental concern about the normalising capacities of welfare.
State succeeds empirically to help the LGBT community and confront
heteronormativity.
Edgar 8 ENGAGING WITH THE STATE: CITIZENSHIP, INJUSTICE, AND THE PROBLEM WITH QUEER Edgar, Gemma.
is a research fellow at The Australia Institute Gay and Lesbian Issues and Psychology Review4.3 (2008): 176-187.
http://search.proquest.com.proxy.lib.umich.edu/docview//21403791/7D43C20E17E146FCPQ/1?accountid=14667
Reconstituting Citizenship and the State
One response to the worry that LGBTI individuals and other minorities will be subsumed by
heteronormativity is that the inclusion of LGBTI and other non-mainstream individuals into the
body politic also reconstitutes citizenship . It is my position that the work performed by Twenty10 evidences the
ability of citizenship claims to both challenge heteronormativity and redress redistributive
injustice. Twenty10 engages with the state through the receipt of both Federal and NSW State
Government funding. In a Marshellian vein it takes advantage of the redistributive capacity of the state in
order to provide programmes that redress both the socio-economic and identity based
disadvantages experienced by its young people. Financial support from government has allowed
Twenty10 to provide significant services to its young people, including: medium term supported
accommodation; counselling; case management; social and support groups; family support
services; and community-based early intervention. That is, a politics of citizenship, of engaging with
the state, has allowed Twenty10 to attempt to address injustices of both redistribution and
recognition. One example of this work is Twenty10's provision of six medium-term, LGBTI specific units. As medium-term housing, these
units offer the young people who live in them a safe and secure place to live for 3-18 months. I
interviewed one young person who was living in one of these apartments. She described what it was like as: I guess it just feels
more familiar and safe you know ... I've been to like different youth centres that aren't queer and like here I just feel like I can make myself at home
and like feel safe ... And it's just nice to have queer people all around you like you know people that you identify with (God Pie).13 God Pie's comments highlight the value of
LGBTI specific accommodation for queer young people, which is that 'mainstream' services are not always safe places for LGBTI people. LGBTI specific accommodation is one
These units, however, would be extremely difficult for
Twenty10 to provide if it did not have the financial support of the state. In this example, we can see how relying upon
way to create safer places for LGBTI individuals experiencing homelessness.
a mechanism to redistribute economic resources is a valuable way to address redistributive injustice experienced by LGBTI young people. More, however, is occurring in this
By funding Twenty10, the Government recognises the citizenship
of LGBTI young people. Receiving government funding is a symbol of community inclusion, as
well as being a redress to redistributive injustice. If you are concerned about community embrace, acknowledgment and ultimately,
belonging, then it matters that the welfare of young LGBTI people is supported by the government,
because it means that they are being acknowledged. Another example of how engaging with the
state has allowed Twenty10 to address the injustices experienced by their young people is their
community-based early intervention programme called Ready or Not. Ready or Not is funded through the
Federal Government's Reconnect programme. This funds Twenty10 staff to travel throughout
NSW to conduct training sessions with key community members, such as police, teachers and
health, youth and welfare workers. This training is intended to resource communities so that
queer young people are less likely to become isolated. The idea is that if key community members know how to work with and
example than just a response to redistributive injustice.
support queer young people, then these young people are less likely to turn up on the doorstep of Twenty10 needing help. Ready or Not is one way Twenty10 attempts to create
community change, and it is able to provide it only because of the financial support of the state. One staff member explained the impact of it as: ... the Ready Or Not training ...
we certainly get our message across and we do talk about, we talk about how homophobia hurts, so we talk about things like, increased rates of suicidality and a whole range of
things, so we don't just gloss it over so it's in a nice little tidy package, so people find it palatable. But at the same time I think the way that we do it, in that professional way has
more of an impact, people can actually take it and I kind of think that by the way that we are doing, I think if we were running around with banners here and there, that maybe
Ready or Not again highlights the advantages of
Twenty10's relationship with the state. In this example, Twenty10 addresses injustices of both recognition and redistribution because by
that would make people a little bit more defensive about hearing our message.
challenging heteronormativity and homophobia (recognition), they are also attempting to address the causes of LGBTI youth homelessness (redistribution). What is occurring is
not to do with LGBTI individuals conforming to the demands of the state. Rather, the 'mainstream' community is being challenged by Twenty10 staff to itself change. Rather
than the demand that young LGBTI people must become 'like' the majority, the majority itself is what is being disrupted. Ready or Not fits squarely with the argument that
engaging with the 'mainstream' in order to make it more accepting, and relying upon the state to do so, can reconstitute citizenship and is hence an effective way to address both
recognition and redistributive based injustice. Twenty10 is, I would posit, only able to provide LGBTI specific housing and the Ready or Not programme because it presents a
face that is not "at odds with the normal, the legitimate, the dominant" (Halperin, 1995, p. 62). That is, Twenty10 appears to be the good gay citizen that the governmental thesis
warns us of, in that it works in the 'mainstream' community and relies upon the state to support it.
However, Twenty10 still confronts
heteronormative notions of citizenship through challenging youth and community workers
to recognise the needs of LGBTI young people. Further, Twenty10 uses state funds to assist
young LGBTI people experiencing homelessness. It also provides further services, including:
counseling, case management, social and support groups and family support services. All of
these examples highlight how a reliance upon the state can help to address the injustices of
redistribution and recognition experienced by LGBTI young people. As queer theorists warn us, there are costs to this
and the constraints of the purchaser-provider contracts required by government evidence this. But the idea of citizenship as always being
heteronormative and exclusionary is difficult to maintain when citizenship tools are able to
provide a response to the injustices experienced by the young people at Twenty10. Twenty10
would not be able to do this work if it engaged in the style of politics suggested by queer, that is, if it was suspicious of the
state. As Altman writes, "queer theories are relatively unhelpful in constructing this sort of politics because of their lack of emphasis on political institutions as distinct from
discourse" (2001, p. 158). It is Twenty10's emphasis on political institutions, its demand to fully belong, that has allowed it to do the work it does.
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Queerness Aff_Neg - UMich 2015 - University of Michigan Debate