Heterosexualism and Colonial Gender Essay
|# OF SOURCES||4|
|# OF PAGES & WORD COUNT||6 ≈ 1650 WORDS|
|Drawing on Spillers (and others), a strain of black studies—Afropessimism—has argued that blackness is the foreclosed other to the concept of the sovereign subject and human, thereby revealing the impossibility of grappling with blackness in tandem with gender and agency (among other things)…I position my work as occupying the space of yes, and in relation to Afropessimism. I ask what it might be to take the violence of the pornotrope and the accompanying impossibility of sovereign subjectivity seriously while dwelling in the selfhoods, intimacies, and knowledge systems that emerge from thinking with the flesh. (6, 9)—Amber Jamilla Musser, Sensual Excess: Queer Femininity and Brown Jouissance(2018)|
1) Lugones observes that men exhibit an “indifference…to the systematic violences inflicted upon women of color,” and that the notion of intersectionality “has not seemed sufficient to arouse in those men who have themselves been targets of violent domination and exploitation any recognition of their complicity or collaboration with the violent domination of women of color” (188). Do you agree with her assessments?
2) Cleaver’s imaginative essay offers an illustration of what Lugones calls the colonial/modern gender system. Without specifically mentioning any racial formations, Cleaver describes “a most weird and complex dialectic of inversion” arising from the binary opposition between Mind and Body in a society stratified by class inequality (211). Discuss your reactions to any of his following claims:
a. Homosexuality is associated with the Omnipotent Administrator because he envies and desires the gendered embodiment of the Supermasculine Menial (212).
b. To be more feminine than her (effeminate) man, the Ultrafeminine “absorbs into her being [i.e., ontology] the femininity of the woman below her,” the subfeminine Amazon, while also casting off her “domestic component” or labor (211).
c. The Supermasculine Menial and the Ultrafeminine are (unconsciously or psychically) attracted to each other, and the sign of their synthesis would be the female orgasm (216-17). This is also why the lesbian is “frigid” (214).
d. The subfeminine Amazon is “lost between two worlds” [i.e., intersectionality] because she’s attracted to both aspects of the “male hemisphere” (219, 218).