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Lecture 4

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Brock University
Melissa St Germaine- Small

SOCI 2P20 – Week 5 October 3, 2013 Intersectionality - Race, gender, sexuality and other socially constructed systems of inequality interact and intersect as part of a matric of privilege and oppression - Inequality is maintained through regulation of sexual practices - Gender and sexuality central to: o Identities, culture, social systems, institutions Compulsory Heterosexuality - The production of gender occurs through the performance of heterosexuality; motivating this performance is the threat of punishment, symbolized by “at least two inarticulate figures of abject homosexuality, the feminized fag and the phallicized dyke” – Judith Butler (1993, p. 102) - Consider white supremacist discourse: regulation of heterosexual and intraracial sexuality produces culturally intelligible, racialized, gendered identities - Extreme regulation vs. cultural, family norms and boundaries What is normal? - Cultural norms = certain forms of living and being comprehensible and others unimaginable - Normalcy – defined, maintained and privileged - Contrast to what is ‘deviant’ - Non-conformists frequently excluded, attacked and denied rights - The construction of the human is always in relation to its outsiders… not fully human Again.. Binart Oppositions - Deconstruction (i.e., white/black, and male/female) directs attention to borders and boundaries - Problem that border between the two terms constructs as coherent and stable identities - Gendered, racialized, sexualized = historical relations between whites and blacks History and Race, Gender, Sex Relations - Race, gender, sexuality inextricably interconnected - Power and normalcy legitimated and maintained through sexual relations - Construction of womenhood and manhood delimited by race = rape, lynching - Fears of blacks’ political and economic equality rearticulated as fears of interracial sexuality - Interracial sexuality condemned in many states until 1967 - White supremacists: o Compulsory intra-racial sexuality – to maintain illusion of racial purity and secure racial boundaries o Decline in white masculinity primary reason why interracial sexuality has increased - Constructed in and through eah other, and through sexual practices - Through normative gender, heterosexual, and interracial sexual relations that properly gendered and racialized subjects produced SOCI 2P20 – Week 5 October 3, 2013 - Boundaries are pivotal to the construction of any identity category Perserving Privlege - When inequality is threatened, those who feel their privilege is at risk seek to sediment those classifications further as normal and natural - By expelling these categories of race, sex, gender and sexuality to the realm of natural and universal, they are placed beyond question and doubt, and privilege protected
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