#7

  1. What exactly is this “radical potential of queer politics”?
  2. Has Othering expanded?  How so?
  3. Is the lesbian perspective important?  Why?
Advertisements

19 thoughts on “#7

  1. 1. What exactly is this “radical potential of queer politics”?

    According to Cathy J. Cohen’s “Punks, Bulldaggers, and Welfare Queens: The Radical Potential of Queer Politics” essay, queer politics is composed of young anti-assimilationist activists who are committed to challenging the very way people understand and respond to sexuality. These activists seeks a radically transformed politics that will disrupt the existing norms of sexuality.
    Now, the potential of queer politics is energized by the anger of the activists, “queer anger is the means for queer politics,”(page 448). Michael Warner informs us that queers want to be represented and included fully in American Culture. Further, they want to be part of a change or in commencing a reconstruction of the politics of the norm. Destabilization is what they desire, and not necessarily the destruction of the current norms (in page 444).
    In page 445, Cohen tells us that Queer politics leans toward a genuine transformational politics, which is a politics that does not search for opportunities to integrate into existing dominant institutes and normative social relationships, but instead pursues a political agenda that seeks to change values, definitions and laws which make these institutions and relationships oppressive. Queer politics does not want to be assimilated into the existing norm, rather, it seeks to transform the existing norm, and this is why it is radical: queer politics could change laws, and change values. And queer politics seeks to accomplish this by challenging heteronormativity, which assumes that heterosexuality is the only sexual orientation, and furthermore, it defines queers as marginalized(in page 446.)
    The radical potential of queer politics is its vision to form a new political formation composed of a united and broader coalition movement work with communities and movements who seek justice and societal transformation(in page 481 and 453). Once this is accomplished, the radical potential of queer politics will result in a radically transformed society.

    Like

  2. 3) I believe that a perspective is formed from the experiences and the ideology that a certain person has towards life or towards the topic at hand. From this definition, it is evident that different people have different ideas and needs based on their ideology or perspective. The perspective of every type of female needs to be considered in a feminist theory, even that of lesbians. In an article written by Patricia A. Cain, titled “Lesbian Perspective, Lesbian Experience, and the risk of Essentialism” she argues that the perspective of every woman has to be taken into account when forming a feminist theory. This is evident when she states that “it is dangerous to build grand or totalizing feminist theory from the perspective of only a few woman” (Cain 43). By a few woman, she means that of straight woman and not lesbian woman who have a different perspective on life and on feminism. This is brought to light when she states that “it is not enough for feminist theorists to realize that they speak from partial perspectives, they must listen to other perspectives carefully as they theorize solutions” (Cain 53). The solution to the feminist problems cant come in one answer form because that is only tailored towards the perspective of one type of female rather, there should be freedom to choose the answer that is tailored towards you and your perspective, no matter what you associate yourself as.

    Like

  3. The “radical potential of queer politics” in Cathy Cohen’s essay, “Punks, Bulldaggers, and Welfare Queens”, refers to the idea that queer politics can be transformed into an effective movement that is including of intersecting race, sexual, and gender identities in society that have suffered from hetero-normative and white-male dominant oppression and marginalization. Cohen points out that queer politics has failed to challenge heteronormativity effectively because it “has often been built around a simple dichotomy between those deemed queer and those deemed heterosexual” (440). Cohen says that a “single oppression framework” inhibits queer politics. Instead, Cohen emphasizes that the radical potential will rely on the coalition of intersecting identities that dictate an individual’s chances and privileges within the heteronormative laws and norms that govern society. For Cohen, recognition of the intersectional and multifacited nature of oppression within the distribution of power in society are at the core of what should be the priority of the queer politics movement. Cohen frequently invoked the term, destablization, with regard to the ability of queer politics to affect change. She does not think a straight versus queer construction of queer politics will be effective in mobilizing for the cause and fighting against oppression in heteronormative society.

    Like

  4. 2. Has Othering expanded?  How so?

    Yes, I believe Othering has expanded, over the past few decades as well. In the article “Lesbian Perspective, Lesbian Experience, and the Risk of Essentialism,” the author Patricia A. Cain is a woman and a lesbian. She asks herself questions like “What is she? What is it that is at the core of lesbian experience and existence?” Women have been “othered” in the past and have had to deal with former subordinate statuses. Now, lesbians and gay men are being othered because of their sexual preferences. In this specific paper, Cain suggests that there is no real essence or real core to a “woman,” because she is a construct. Cain is reluctant to call a lesbian woman a construct because it is not real. Society has constructed what people are supposed to be and how they are supposed to act because of their given gender or who they choose to date or sleep with. This coincides with essentialism, which in Cain’s paper is defined as “false universalization and biological determinism” because from the beginning of time, women specifically have been told how to act because of their gender, being inferior to men. Now, lesbians and gays are inferior to the norm of only man and woman being together in an intimate relationship. Cain argues how she rejects biological determinism because her body does not predetermine her nature or her essence. She also says how we create our own selves and our own essence, so that our essence does not limit who we become.

    Like

  5. 1. The “radical potential for queer politics” is the following. It is the potential for a political identity that would be satisfactory to lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgendered communities. It fights for the destabilization and deconstruction of sexual categories. “I am interested in examining the concept of queer in order to think about how we might construct a new political identity that is truly liberating, transformative, and inclusive of all those who stand on the outside of the dominant constructed norm of state-sanctioned while middle and upper-class heterosexuality”(Cohen 441). Queerness goes against white supremacist ideologies. Heterosexual people and queer people do not have the same benefits and heterosexuality is seen as more dominant. Queer people have suffered from sexual oppression and economic exploitation. An example is the following. “Such as the exclusion of many out black gay men have encountered from some black churches responding to AIDS” (Cohen 450). It was also mentioned that wealthy gay men were denied access to drugs for HIV and Aids. Queer people aren’t seen as equal as heterosexuals and this radical potential for queer politics could combat against the oppression that they go through and give them privileges.

    Like

  6. For Cathy J. Cohen the “radical potential of queer politics” is the political idea that actively goes against the standard of Heteronormativity that rules society and that fights for a political stance that is not controlled by one set identity. As Cohen states in the text activists, who are for the movement of queer politics, fight against heteronormativity by showcasing peace and yet shocking protests against society such as having two people of the same gender kiss in public spaces such as malls and dance clubs. ” queer kiss-in at malls and straight dance clubs” (Cohen). They use shock value to make their stance known to society by not hiding their identity. This political stance also includes the idea of anti assimilation. “Reject cultural norms of acceptable sexual behavior and identification”(Cohen). They actively go against the societal norm of “family” which includes a mother and a father that are married which produce children. They also include the norm for what is considered sexually deviant or not. For example the idea that it is acceptable for a Middle Aged gay man to be with a teenaged gay boy. In heterosexual society if it was a much older man with a much younger girl that would be more condemned than the idea of two men in homosexual society.

    Like

  7. The radical potential of queer politics refers to a theory, which is established on several feminists’ challenges that promote the perception that gender is part of vital self. It also builds upon studies of gays and lesbians that carefully examine cultural establishments of nature such as sexual identities and acts (Hancock, 2004). This theory represents a field of poststructuralists, which emerged in the late 20th century from the areas of women studies as well as queer studies. It includes a strange reading of various texts as well as queerness representation. While studies on lesbians and gays emphasized their efforts to focus into natural as well as unnatural behavior inquiries concerning homosexual characteristics, the queer theory exemplifies its focus to include any sexual activity or behavior that falls into the category of deviant or normative behaviors (Hancock, 2004). Therefore, the principal objective of queer politics or theories is to be used as a benchmark or lens through which various players can deconstruct the presented monolithic heads of the several social norms as well as taxonomies and how they originated(Cohen, 1997). Similarly, the radical potential of queer politics is a theory that evaluates the correlation that is available for identification as well as power distribution while at the same time getting to comprehend the diverse aspects of privilege and oppression. It is significant to be able to embrace queer and queer theory as an appropriate concept that offers a conducive framework, which explores these societal issues about identities. Queer is also viewed as a broad umbrella for individuals that are seen to be sexually deviant regarding social domination (Cohen, 1997).They are also used in describing people in te society that feel they are marginalized due to social identities and practices.

    Like

  8. Radical potential of queer politics is some activist in the field of gender and sexuality have partly abandoned the designation of lesbian and gay and instead write and organize under the banner of queer ( wikipedia). According to the article of Cathy J Cohen ” this term will not only come to denote not only emerging politics but also a new cohort of academics working in program” ( Cohen, 1997). This theory is mainly for opposition, or in contrast , to the category- based identity politics of traditional lesbian and gay activism ( in the article page 440 ). The radical potential of queer politics is that in hetermonavity the social standing is a certain type of heterosexuality is normal. The problem with queer politics is estabilizing the problem between homosexual vs heterosexual . Queer theory is something that focuses on to disrupt sexual categories.

    Like

  9. The lesbian perspective is important because many women, regardless of their sexual orientation experience situations differently. For instance, every women has a different point of view considering each individual has their own circumstances. Cain states the following: “Although I do not believe there is a universal woman’s experience, I do believe the category “woman” is meaningful for creating theory (pg 9. Cain). ” In simpler terms, every women’s situation varies based on location, status, and other factors. She gets more in depth and speaks about the modern women’s struggle in the professional field and how her salary is affected when she goes on maternity leave. This ties in with lesbian perspective because her partner is not recognized as a care giver and most likely will not be allowed to take off from work to help. Expanding on the idea that all women see perspectives differently, lesbian women will respond differently from straight women in certain situations. For example, their interactions with men will be different from a straight women and construct her understanding of the body in a way a straight women won’t recognize. This idea ties back to the societal construction of the word “women” and what does it actually mean to be a women. First and foremost, the meaning of “women” is constantly changing with the evolving times; as Cain gives an example of women finding physical strength and questioning Darwin’s biology theory that women are weaker than men, women are proving their capabilities when given the opportunity to thrive. “Women” is a now a “social collective,” according to Cain, which means all women do fall under one category of “women” however they are different and also defined by other factors such as race, class, and sexual orientation. Therefore each life experience is understood differently and can not be generalized to fit into one theory describing all women’s circumstances.

    Like

  10. 1. What exactly is this “radical potential of queer politics”?

    According to Cathy J. Cohen’s “Punks, Bulldaggers, and Welfare Queens: The Radical Potential of Queer Politics” essay, Cohen mentions that “The “label “queer symbolizes an acknowledgement that through our existence and everyday survival we embody sustained and multisited resistance to systems(based on dominant constructions of race and gender)that seek to normalize our sexuality, exploit our labor, and constrain our visibility.(Cohen,440). In non-academic speak, Cohen is specifically saying that these activists are trying to assimilate the different ways that people understand and respond to sexuality. Assimilation is the the process of adapting or adjusting to the culture of a group or nation, or the state of being so adapted.(www.dictionary.com/browse/assimilation). Like we mentioned in class, in the “I hate straight gays” piece that Cohen mentions, we see that there’s kissing involved which ignores the problem of those who are not white andmay be misconstructed as a youth movement. Notice how Cohen puts a question mark next to the term ““radical potential of queer politics.” This means that may or may not be a problem with queer politics. In theory there is a problem in which activists are trying to understand.

    Like

  11. #1 In “Punks, Bulldaggers, and welfare queens by Cathy J. Cohens imposes that queer politics are young activists who feel as though society doesn’t understand who they are and see their sexual attraction as wrong. These young activists want to be treated with the same rights as heterosexuals and not deem as going against society norms. Most of these young politics are upset that they did not fit in and that’s basically how political of queer politics started. Cohen herself states “queer anger is the means of queer politics” (448) Queers want to be accepted by society and they also want change in societal norms which see their lifestyle as deviant. Queer politics do not want to be a part of today’s norms which shows judgemental acts towards them, they want change in laws so that the queer community can value themselves.

    Like

  12. A “radical potential of queer politics” is a movement in which queers try to change the way people see and treat them. They want a recognition that is acceptable for all queers, not what heterosexuals want them to be. Queer politics argues that they want society to stop thinking that as a lesbian or transsexual they have to act a certain way. In the article “Punks, Bulldaggers, and Welfare Queens” By Cathy J. Cohen talks about how she doesn’t want to destroy the image heterosexuals have of queers; she wants to change certain ways that they think. In the article it says, “politics that does not search for opportunities to integrate into dominant institutions and normative social relationships, but instead pursues a political agenda that seeks to change values, definitions, and laws which make these institutions and relationships oppressive”(Cohen, 445). This shows that she wants society to not only understand but change the way they wrongfully treat queers. Queers are treated very different from heterosexuals. Back in the 1990’s people could get fired from their jobs if seen as a queer, they would even get physically hurt by cops or anyone. This is why they wanted a radical potential of queer politics, because things like that were flat out unfair. A way queers in this movement tried to change this was by going out in public and doing things a normal heterosexual couple would do. For example, go to the mall and kiss like any normal couple would do. In the end queer politics was a movement in which queers wanted change on how society thought of them, and they tried to change this thinking by going out and doing things any queer or straight couple would do.

    Like

  13. 1. What exactly is this “radical potential of queer politics”?
    In “Radical Potential of Queer Politics?”, Cathy Cohen talks about the problems with queer politics and how its potential can be used for change, rather than assimilation. Cohen discusses the current problems with queer politics, as an “in your face” type of movement, or a youth movement (439). She mentions their queer communities’ methods of protesting like holding kiss-ins at malls or meeting and organizing with like-minded people. The biggest issue with queer politics that Cohen mentions is the massive focus on differences between homosexuals and heterosexuals.
    The problem with queer politics is that advocates for it argue fiercely for assimilation, but acceptance from society dampens American movements. For example, rather than to attack marriage as a contract created by the government (noting that there is a separation between church and state), the queer community fought to be included in the contract of marriage. This is similar to the Civil Rights Movement in the 60s when African Americans fought to receive their rights granted from the 13th,14th, and 15th amendments. In fighting for assimilation, both groups received little change but more so just a compromise of acceptance and admittance into society’s standards. The radical potential of queer politics deals with embracing intersectionality and rejecting assimilation. More focus on intersectionality will promote connections and sympathizing outside of the queer community (rather than their previous isolation), and an overall movement to the political left, forming a new progressive movement.

    Like

  14. “Punks, Bulldaggers, and Welfare Queens: The Radical Potential of Queer Politics?” was written by Cathy J. Cohen; the “radical potential of queer politics” is the potential political identity that can properly go for the LGBT community, it goes against the heteronormativity society. Cohen states that the queer politics that she had encountered re-solidify heteronormative institutions. Queer politics should focus less on queerness and more on creating unity across the forms of oppression. By placing queerness the most important part of their identity, queer politics reiterates a space that privileges whiteness and the upper class. Cohen believes that queer communities need to focus efforts on forming solidarity across many histories of oppression. (Wikipedia) Cohen explains that there are actions being done to change society’s perception and interpretation of queers. These changes should be acceptable for anyone who isn’t heterosexual. Society classifies a heterosexual couple kissing in public as a social norm but if a queer couple were to show PDA it becomes a problem. That is not what society wants because it is different.They were not hiding who they are and were rejecting the cultural norm of heterosexuals. “Reject cultural norms of acceptable sexual behavior and identification”(Cohen). They continued to put themselves out there to stop society’s norms and create change.

    Like

  15. Lesbian perspective is important, just like any woman’s perspective in which Cain agrees with I (43). The lesbian perspective would help inform feminist theory and that is because lesbian lives tell us something about an oppression that is different that nonlesbian women experience (55). Once a woman discovers she is a lesbian, this changes her life completely, she will now have a lesbian perspective on life and it will vary with every individual lesbian due to her location, finances and etc (69). The ones who aren’t scared of being quiet of their sexuality face challenges and life-risking choices because of the gender they choose to love. Examples of their challenges would be loss of jobs and being shunned from their families and their neighborhood/community .

    Like

  16. The journal article, “Punks, Blldaggers, and Welfare Queens The Radical Potential of Queer Politics” by Cathy Cohen explains that meaning of “radical potential of queer politics.” It is the opposition to heternormativity; it challenges the systems that follow heteronormativity. Heteronormativity is the idea that heterosexuality is better that any other form of sexuality and thereby is considered normal. Cohen states, “At the intersection of oppression and resistance lies that radical potential of queerness to challenge and bring together all those deemed marginal and all those committed to liberatory politics (440).” She defines radical potential of queerness as a mid-line between queer politics and those that have “multiple identities” and are not just queer (440). Examples of individuals that have “multiple identities” and are not just queer are: punks, bulldaggers, and welfare queens. Punks are gay men that are usually African-American. Bulldaggers refers to lesbians that also usually African-Americans. Welfare queens are women that are assumed to receive welfare by fraud. These three examples illustrate individuals that are queer in some way or form but identify with being African-Americans as well and for welfare queen being a mother so they are not solely queer.
    On the other hand, queer politics refers to opposition to categories that gay and lesbians traditionally fit in. Thus, she does not fully accept the idea of queer politics because it has some misconceptions. For instance, queer politics seem as if it is an act of hate toward all straights. As she states, “The inability of queer politics to effectively challenge heternormativity rests, in part, on the fact that despite a surrounding discourse which highlights the destabilization and even deconstruction of sexual categories, queer politics has often been built around a simple dichotomy between those deemed queer and those deemed heterosexual” (440). Overall, the author defines radical potential of queer politics as politics that connect those that fight for queer rights and not be considered as outsiders and those that are not only queer but also have other identities.

    Like

  17. In the article, it touches on views between heterogeneity and homosexuality mainly with lesbian perspective. The lesbian perspective is important because they are no different from straight people is just their desires are different which makes society view them like “outsiders”. By desires I am referring to the same sex partner, that straight people find unpleasant. Those who do not agree with their desires usually are ignorant and do not see things from the lesbian perspective. The lesbian perspective should be important because they might see things normal than what straight people do. For example, lesbians believe that what they are doing is normal and there is no reason why they should be seen as outsiders because they are able to do the same exact things and work in the same places as straight people, such as being parents. Being a lesbian and having a partner of the same sex can bring up a child, but for straight people they believe that bringing up a child should be by man and women because that is what they call “normal” which now separates the lesbian couple because they do not find it normal and view them as “outsiders” who are trying to raise a child. I believe that the lesbian perspective is also important because just how men were born to like women and women to like men, why can’t a women like someone of the same gender same goes for men. Some women who are lesbians might have had experiences or reasons for becoming lesbians because one does not know their whole story unless they sit down and view things from their perspective. Women might have been beaten and then not like men or even turn lesbians because they were abused and want to find love and what better way to find it with someone who understands them and experienced the same events. Overall, society should not be judging others or even decide what is right and what is wrong because not everyone is the same or like the same things in life.

    Like

  18. the lesbian perspective is important because they too are women whether they identify as a white lesbian or african lesbian . i “lesbian perspective, lesbian experience, and the risk of essentialism “, Cain talks about how she made a plea for feminist legal theorist to consider the lesbian experience and point of views into their theories. I agree with cain that , it is dangerous to build generalize and create feminist theory from a only a few perspectives from women that are most like white, middle class, nonlesbian . lesbian perspective is also important because it help bring together all women and can ensure that nobody is left out regardless of how a woman may self identify , her sexual orientation, class, or even race . cain gives an example about unpaid leave . the problem with this is that a middle class, white nonlesbian woman may bring up this issue to a feminist. this is gets resolved for her and other women that may identify the same with her. this issue does not get resolved for all women . all women ( lesbians in this case ) may not be eligible for or able to afford unpaid leave for themselves or family / partners because they are not recognized in this solution .
    lesbian perspective overall allows lesbian women to have their voices and issues heard and resolved in a way that everyone can understand and that they can feel included and not left out of anything .

    Like

  19. 2.) The lesbian perspective is important for many reasons. The lesbian perspective should not be generalize as said by Cain “In other words, I believed then, as I do now, that it is dangerous to build grand or totalizing feminist theory from the perspective of only a few women.”
    Lesbian are not just women who like other women, but they are so much more than that and Cain expresses that in her article. Lesbian women have many different experiences, so one can not generalize lesbian women as women who are heterosexual because of their lack of differences. But rather Cain says “Indeed, the differences should enrich our understanding of how gender works in society both to the detriment and to the benefit of women.” The lesbian perspective is important because as rights are still being advocated for women, it should not be for women who follow societal “norms” which is to be heterosexual, the right feminist should be fighting for should satisfy all women needs, because even though women identify as different sexual orientation, in a male dominated society they are looked all the same. So having different perspectives of women can help them come together and make benefits for all women.

    Like

Comments are closed.