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Lecture 2

GSWS 096 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Gayle Rubin, Pedophilia, Oedipus Complex


Department
Gender, Sexuality & Women's Studies
Course Code
GSWS 096
Professor
Jason Zuzga
Lecture
2

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Thinking Sexuality Inextricably with Politics (Gayle Rubin)
1. Rubin, Gayle [1984] “Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory for the Politics
of Sexuality,” in Culture, Society and Sexuality: A Reader 2 nd Ed. Routledge
pp.150-187 [In Files]
Rubin:
Basic argument is that sexuality is political : True
Ex: sexuality is heavily censored by the government and is heavily argued about
if it should be allowed in certain circumstances or not (specifically backed up by
Foucault)
Sexual essentialism: the argument that sex comes first, before social life and
institutions
RUBIN ARGUES against this, by stating that sexuality is often created by
society, and especially repressed by institutions like religion
Caste System: she writes about an erotic pyramid, in which heterosexual couples
come first, then homosexuals, then all of the other sexualities, and finally
pedophilia
Argues that at the moment, we think pedophilia is a “disease” but we used
to think that about gay people too.
Parallels of Racism: thinks that they way gay people are ostracized by some
parts of society and “find refuge” in places like NYC, is similar to how black
people were treated. They are being forced to migrate to find acceptance/rights
(different states have different laws)
Feminism: Women have it doubly hard, because they have to get over hurdles of
both gender and sexuality. Everything is in reference to men.
Traffic of Women: ultimately concludes that the only way for women's
oppression to end is to change the structure of the family so that the
development of the libido and ego will not continue to reproduce the outcome
that Freud sees as somewhat inevitable or normal. In particular, Rubin buys
Freud's description of the Oedipus complex but sees it as only a result of a
particular formation that the infant progresses through, one that doesn't have to
remain in place. (Zuzga)
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