ms_sabrine: Europe and the Silence About Race | Alana Lentin -
A few notes (and ideas of my own) I collected upon reading the essay by Alana Lentin on the silencing of race, and whether we are entering a post-racial era. Or, rather, race still exists but is being expressed and described through different mediums.
- Contemporary, western societies are…
“An altered activism | Xtra
INTERVIEW / Sociologist Gary Kinsman on the emergence of the neoliberal queer
By Jonathan Valelly
January 31, 2013
The values of queer activism have changed, according to long-time activist and sociologist Gary Kinsman. Kinsman looks at why, and how, in two upcoming Toronto lectures, titled The Making of the Neo-Liberal Queer and Queering Heterosexism in the Social Form of Legal and State Formation.
Xtra chatted with Kinsman ahead of the lectures.
Xtra: What do you mean by the “neoliberal queer?” What interests you about this figure?
Gary Kinsman: There are two terms that have begun to be used by people in the context of queer theory and activism to describe the assimilation of larger layers of queer people into the existing order: there’s “homonormativity,” popularized by Lisa Duggan, describing the sort of middle-class normalness that becomes dominant within our communities and cultures. The other term, “homonationalism,” comes from Jasbir Puar. It describes how some lesbians and gay men in Western and northern countries come to identify with their nation state as the liberator of queer people and how gay rights and women’s rights have been deployed to justify the war in Afghanistan, the occupation in Iraq, and Western opposition to the Palestinian struggle for self-determination. I’m trying to identify the social process that leads to this major shift in queer politics.
What are some examples of that process?
First of all is the shift from the liberation movement to a movement focusing on questions of rights. The people who originally articulated the human rights strategy for the LGBT movement were radical, political people who thought of it as simply a tactic. The emphasis on “rights” now actually undermines the more transformative commitments of those earilier activists. Another instance would be the bath raids in Toronto. That movement was led by grassroots and bar people but ended up producing a new professional, managerial, gay middle class. They became the dominant voice for our community, obscuring the class politics. We moved in the direction of formal legal equality and left aside all our concerns for substantive social equality. I don’t want to reduce the significance of [legal equality], but it does shift the character of our movement.
So has the discourse of “rights” exhausted its potential?
You have this contradiction of, on the one hand, being formally and legally equal to heterosexuals and, on the other hand, the heterosexist terror that young people face on the streets and schools. We’ve made remarkable progress, but we certainly haven’t achieved liberation.
One example: if we are serious about dealing with the heterosexism and transphobia that young queer people face in the school system, it requires doing far more than having GSAs, far more than talking about transformations of the curriculum, far more than an anti-bullying campaign. High schools remain the training grounds for the reproduction of hegemonic heterosexual masculinity in society. We’re not getting at the social roots of violence.
Is that happening anywhere?
There are pockets of especially young, queer people critical of the mainstream movement who are actually fighting queer liberation battles. But what they’re doing is tied up with anti-poverty struggles, migrant rights, other movements.
How do those types of coalitions work? For instance, how could non-aboriginal queer people work in solidarity with a native movement like Idle No More?
How do we create a queer politic that responds to the needs of all people? There are lots of queer and two-spirited indigenous people involved in that movement, as well as lots of white settler queer people. So how do we actually do that? There’s a balancing act between a commitment to how our queerness is bound up with all of these other social movements and at the same time always trying to develop autonomous or specific queer politics around that. It’s not easy.
A lesbian recently became Ontario’s premier. What’s the role of gay politicians?
That Kathleen Wynne can even be the premier of Ontario is a legacy of our liberation movement. That there are lesbian and gay people who are public figures makes a difference, but it doesn’t make much difference if the policies those people implement disadvantage the majority of queer people. The Liberal Party is clear about its commitment to neoliberalism and austerity politics. Kathleen Wynne is involved with that. Glen Murray, also, shows how there are neoliberal queers.
The Making of the Neoliberal Queer: Class, Race, Homonormativity and Homonationalism
Fri, Feb 1, 4-6pm
University of Toronto
University College, Room 179
15 Kings College Circle
Queering Heterosexism in the Social Form of Legal and State Formation: National Security and Homonationalism
Mon, Feb 25, 1-3pm
Ross South Building, Room 701
Copyright © 2013 Pink Triangle Press.”
Homo: as is usual with the (neo)Marxists, they are so good at identification and analysis of the problem (hetero-hegemony, hetero-imperialism), yet so disastrously bad at offering any real solutions.
Instead of becoming staffers at the Rainbow World Development Agency, we should go back to building our individual tribes based on the power of desire. After reviving the tribe(s), we might have enough potency to do some good for the world.
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Photo by Ruth DeSouza
“All of life is a giant leap of faith. And what holds us back is the obsessive and debilitating need for certainty of outcome ahead of time. But that is not how life works. Life requires faith, boldness and courage to step into the unknown with the knowing that my heart and intuition are always guiding me and know the way. As I step out of the way, a way will be made. And as I take a step, even though it looks like there is nothing underneath me, I know that I will be supported.
A lot of people die twice: first when they give up on their dreams, and then finally at the end of their lives. But this is not the path of anyone reading this blog or within the sound of my voice. We want more. And that means that each and every day we take one step, one inch or one giant leap into the unknown. And in doing so, we face a fear daily – which means that every day we are going to be a little scared”
Mastin Kipp (The Daily Love): http://thedailylove.com/being-a-little-scared-is-part-of-living-your-dreams/
It’s becoming increasingly clear to me that, though I didn’t think about this at the time, I probably started a blog because I need somewhere to vent my boundless rage that is not random people’s Facebook walls. I mean, one thing among the many thousands of things that are guaranteed to raise my blood pressure is when folks get all “the internet isn’t real, and it’s not a viable platform for communication,” but also like, Facebook fights are dumb, I’m supposed to be an adult now.
So here’s the thing that got me all het up this week: gay marriage.
Specifically, these goddamn things:
“Revolution for Freedom” January 1952
Monalisa in Hijab - Nasim Harzandi
bint battuta: Of course, within feminism, some bodies more than others can be... -
Of course, within feminism, some bodies more than others can be attributed as the cause of unhappiness. We can place the figure of the feminist killjoy alongside the figure of the angry black woman, explored so well by writers such as Audre Lorde and bell hooks. The angry black woman can be…