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SMC219Y1 Study Guide - Final Guide: Judith Butler, Sodomy, Performativity

St. Michael's College Courses
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Ted Petit
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Chapter 9: Queer Analysis
Queer Whatever is at odds with the normal, the legitimate, the dominant. There is nothing in
particular to which it necessarily refers To make strange, to frustrate, to delegitimize.
Queer Theory Interdisciplinary perspective which seeks to disrupt socially constructed systems over
meaning regarding human sexuality Use of term queer to claim their own group
Sexuality Emotional, romantic or sexual attraction toward others
Binary -The split of something into two categories. i.e. heterosexuality/homosexuality
-Queer theorists work to expose the shortcomings of these labels and show how they
work to support systems of social power and privilege.
-Queer theorists argue that it diminishes sexuality.
Homophobia Used to refer to a range of negative attitudes and feelings towards lesbian, gay and in some
cases bisexual, transgender people and behavior
Sexual Stereotypes
in Media
1. Heterosexuality
a. normal/natural
b. loving/monogamous
c. purity/gender clarity
2. Homosexuality
a. abnormal/deviant
b. hyper-sexual/promiscuous
c. perversion/gender blurring (ambiguity)
Gender Androgyny tends to result in a threatening, unsettling sense that “things are not quite right” with queer
characters and personalities
Heteronormativity -People fall into distinct and complementary genders (man and woman) with natural
roles in life.
-Heterosexuality is the normal sexual orientation (homosexuality is not)
-States that sexual and marital relation are most fitting between a man and a woman.
-Involves alignment of biological sex, sexuality, gender identity, and gender roles.
-With society becoming more accepting of homosexuality, there is a loss of power
Visibility The number of queer characters present in the media
Representation The way that those queers act, feel, and engage in storylines
Sexual Othering The process of stigmatizing homosexuality (or any other sexuality) as abnormal to
privilege heterosexuality
The Closet Homosexuality often constructed as a “problem” to solve
Michael Foucalt Before the late 19th century, one could not “be” a homosexual. A man could have sex with
another man, but this was merely an act, and not a quality of identity.
“The sodomite (person who performs anal sex) had been a temporary aberration; the
homosexual was now a species.”
With the rise of religious, medical and political discourses surrounding sexuality, the
notion of homosexuality (and heterosexuality) came to be a coherent classification of
Judith Butler Gender only exists because people act as gendered beings.
Actions that are supposedly the output of an inner quality called “gender” are in fact the
only force that constitutes any conception of gender in the first place.
Gender Performativity Gender, rather than a coherent component of identity incorporated through socialization, is
in fact a bodily performance of discourse that exists only because people believe it is
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