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Chapter 9

MDSA01H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 9: Libido, Rooster Teeth, Hypersexuality


Department
Media Studies
Course Code
MDSA01H3
Professor
Ted Petit
Chapter
9

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" Queer!media!scholars!attempt!to!understand!how!media!texts,!as!significant!
outlets!of!cultural!discussion,!contribute!to!the!ordering!of!human!
understanding!surrounding!gender,!sex,!and!sexuality!
" How!images!of!heterosexuality!and!homosexuality,!replicated!across!media!
and!throughout!time,!create!a!binary!understanding!of!sexuality!that!
privileges!heterosexuality!and!marginalizes!homosexuality!
!
QUEER!THEORY:!AN!OVERVIEW!
" Queer!Theory:!interdisciplinary!perspective!that!seeks!to!disrupt!socially!
constructed!systems!of!meaning!surrounding!human!sexuality!
" Sexuality:!enduring!emotional,!romantic,!or!sexual!attraction!toward!others!
based!upon!their!gender!and!sex!
" Americans!traditionally!interpret!sexuality!as!heterosexual/homosexual,!
however!there’s!also!“alternatives”!like!bisexuality!
" Individual!sexuality!is!fluid!and!difficult!to!categorize!and!therefore!the!
categories!we!have!for!sexuality!can!never!full!represent!an!individual’s!
actual!varied!sex!drives!
" Heterosexuality!(like!homosexuality)!is!a!cultural!construction!that!functions!
as!a!heuristic,!a!mental!shortcut,!which!people!draw!upon!to!describe!their!
sexual!practices!
" Assuming!that!the!heterosexual/homosexual!binary!represents!sexuality!
results!in!unequal!distribution!of!social!power!
" Heterosexual/homosexual!are!social!constructs!like!masculine/feminine!
" They!allow!for!the!social!classification,!essentializing,!and!
(dis)empowerment!of!the!groups!that!identify!with!them!
" Heteronormativity:!diverse!set!of!social!practices!that!function!to!(1)!
perpetuate!the!heterosexual/homosexual!binary,!and!to!(2)!privilege!
heterosexuality!
" Heteronormative!social!practices!maintain!the!distinction!between!
heterosexuality!and!homosexuality!out!of!necessity!
" Makes!heterosexuality!seem!normal/desired!
" Binary!must!exist!to!make!heterosexuality!seem!normal!because!
homosexuality!exists!as!the!abnormal!opposite!
" Sexual!othering:!process!of!stigmatizing!homosexuality!(or!any!non"
heterosexual!practice)!as!abnormal!to!privilege!heterosexuality!
" Examples!of!Heteronormativity!in!American!culture:!
!!idea!of!nuclear!family!(husband,!wife,!2"3!kids)!
!!heterosexuals!granted!easier!access!to!marriage!
!!countless!derogatory!terms!for!non"heterosexuals!(faggot,!dyke,!etc)!but!
no!terms!to!ridicule!heterosexuals!
" Feminist!scholar!Adrienne!Rich!suggests!these!privileges!are!so!engrained!in!
American!society!that!heterosexuality!is!best!understood!as!“compulsive”,!in!
the!sense!that!people!(women!in!particular)!are!coerced!into!identifying!with!
the!social!definitions!and!norms!of!heterosexuality!from!birth!
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