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Lecture 3

Women's Studies 3A03 Text Notes and Discussion Week 3

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McMaster University
Women’s Studies
Dr.Jasmine Rault

How does shame construct identity not question itShame and White Gay Masculinity Judtith HalberstamQuestioning gay shames meaningOmission of people of colouris queer studies whiteQueer work on race becoming more central in academiaWe cannot completely do without shame shame can be a powerful tactic in the struggle to make privilege whiteness masculinity wealth visibleIdentity politics narrow interest in self ex White gay men as a blockDeeply invested identity politics of white gay men that have obscured more radical agendas It is an identity politics moreover that like the identity of other white male scholarship hides behind the banner of general interest or simply knowledgegay HEGEMONYThe future of queer studies depends on moving away from white gay male identity politics and learning from the radical critiques offered by a younger generation of queer scholars who draw their inspiration from feminism and ethnics studies rather than white queer studiesWhite gay male shamepride is the appropriate remedyPart 1 Shame is to Childhood as Queer is to AdulthoodEarly childhood experience of sexual shame that has to be reclaimed reinterpreted and resituation by a queer adult who armed with a theoretical language about sexuality can transform past experiences with abjection isolation and rejection into legibility community and loveGay shamedeep emotional reservoirEmbrace awkward childhoods for part of our political futuresQueer is the prehistory of gaygay pride swamped with contradiction disorder eros3 problems idealizing youth itself the territory of gay shame focusing too much on interiorityfocus too much on the subject and neutralizes critiques of the queer presentYouth groups focus to prevent bullying and promote acceptance but that stabilize around a culture of fixed identityin a context of hurt and damageIn sum gay shame has a tendency to become a totalizing narrative that balances out the consumer focus of gay pride with the fauxradical chic of white gay shame Gay shame as a massive consumer opportunityThe subject who emerges as the subject of gay shame is often a white and male whose shame in part emerges from the experience of being denied access to privilegeShame for women and shame for people of colour plays out in different ways and so we might want to question the notion of a queer politics that begins inside the subjectPart 2 Shame is to Femininity as Rage is to MasculinityShame is multifaceted The shame experienced by white gay men in childhood has to do with exposing their femininity and dramatizing their failure to access the privilege that has been symbolically reserved for them sissy boy is the incarceration of shameFor butch lesbianstomboyism is accepted in childhood and then it is her failure to become properly feminine that prompts her shame
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