Class Notes (839,147)
Canada (511,218)
York University (35,583)
English (906)
EN 2012 (50)
all (13)


3 Pages

Course Code
EN 2012

This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full 3 pages of the document.
Gender Studies II EN2012 – Winter 2011 – Terry Goldie Reading – ‘The Fem(me)inist Manifesto’ by Duggan and McHugh – Jan 31 The Fem(me) Identity - A proposal or working proposition: fem(me) is the je ne sais quoi of desiring difference prior to any determination of sexual preference or gender identity. Fem(me) is put on, a put-on, fetish production at the hands of subject becoming object, becoming fetish, while always retaining a sense of the performance, always amused yet (here is the challenge, the gauntlet she throws down) possibly bored by its effects. - Femme is the performativity, the insincerity, the mockery, the derision for foreplay – the bet, the dare, the bringing to attention of the suitor, the one who would provide (her) pleasure. - The performer who demands performance in return, the player who brings pleasure into play. - Femme is neither an ideal nor a category. - She steals the show (she is the show) of difference, but she cannot be fixed as a certain effect ‘in itself.’ - Femme is always inter-actionable, never onanistic or narcissistic. - Mirrors are not the pool in which she drowns; they are the instrument or metaphor of her essential irony. - Her perspective is always partially extrasensory – Berger’s ‘women watch themselves being watched’. - In her doubled gaze, virility risks itself utterly (Nietzsche understood this risk well) – the lover, the suitor, the watcher watched, assessed, mocked, calculated. - Double-sighted, however well intentioned, she will only ever speak one truth at the expense of an other. - In her inscription – femme – we find the enclosure of an ego (‘me’), a fundamental challenge to the category, the slot, the ideal of the feminine. - Refusing the fate of Girl-by-Nature, the femme is a Girl-by-Choice. - Finding in androgyny (the rejection of all femininity) too much loss, too little pleasure, and ugly shoes, the femme takes from the feminine a wardrobe, a walk, a wink, then moves on to sound the death knell of an abject sexuality contorted and subjected to moral concerns. Historicizing the Fem(me) - The butch-femme couple share a trajectory from the nineteenth century to the present. - The butch, according to this account, has been unfairly centered; the femme’s parallel tale remains untold. - As Stephen Gordon’s Mary, she alternately signifies both victory and defeat. o In The Butch’s Tale her agency, her choice appears effaced… the choice, the sacrifice is Stephen’s. o Mary’s choice, the tale of her desire, endangers butch and ‘normal’ man alike. o She ‘turns’ gay, she ‘goes’ straight. o Her story isn’t a lesbian (her)story in the singular sense. - Lesbian (her)stories are plural, but none stabilizes a place for the femme. - Romantic friends, androgynous lovers, bohemian expatriates cross through and travel around the (his)story of lesbianism. - But femmes stand at the boundary, never wholly ‘in’ nor fully ‘out’. - At the turn of the century the boundary ‘normal’ women/femme fatale appears, as ‘femininity’ proliferates into its modern ‘normal’ and perverse formations. - During the 1950s, perhaps for the first time, lesbian femme becomes a location for some, in bars, on streets of U.S. cities. But this center cannot hold. - And now, in the postmodern reign of The Queer, the femme reappears, signifier of another kind of gender trouble. - Though femmes occupy the shifting border of lesbian identities of the twentieth century, they are never heterosexual. - Though they may traffic in men, they do not, cannot, will not take up position within a heteronormative framework. - Those femmes who desire masculinity in a partner prefer queer masculinities, occupied with irony and ambiguity. - The masculine heteronormative man is inadequate in this department; the phallus he ‘has’ seems not to be detachable. - Queer men may also make perfectly good partners, of course. Fem(me)inism: The New Science - Femmenism grapples with the thorniest issues – desire and humour. - Feminists ‘have no sense of humour’, they are ‘anti
More Less
Unlock Document

Only page 1 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

Unlock Document
You're Reading a Preview

Unlock to view full version

Unlock Document

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.