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Old 06-14-2008, 08:57 PM   #21
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NI has it's own little twisted version of the bible belt.
Some of these people, as I'm sure you're aware, actually studied in the Bible Belt. Ian Paisley got his degree from Bob Jones University.

Still, I would credit Paisley for certain things that he has done recently.
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Old 06-15-2008, 08:10 AM   #22
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Old 06-16-2008, 04:37 PM   #23
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Some of these people, as I'm sure you're aware, actually studied in the Bible Belt. Ian Paisley got his degree from Bob Jones University.

Still, I would credit Paisley for certain things that he has done recently.
Quite aware...i'm not sure I could ever credit Paisley with anything though...he may have mellowed but there is too much that is unforgivable. I have always found it funny that Sinn Fein and the SDLP were never dominated by religious issues and have been much more secular than the DUP...but i guess that is just in the nature of the DUP being founded by a religious fundementalist.
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:15 PM   #24
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There are those who think that one can choose one's sexual orientation, just as there are those who think that blacks are born criminal, women are inherently frail, and those that thought, for sure, that the world was going to end on Y2K.
Depends. I studied queer theory in college, and the prevailing view seemed to have been that sexuality is fluid, rather than fixed -- a spectrum of sexuality, if you will. I never really understood why if it was fluid in one direction, it couldn't be fluid in another.
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Old 06-16-2008, 11:03 PM   #25
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Depends. I studied queer theory in college, and the prevailing view seemed to have been that sexuality is fluid, rather than fixed -- a spectrum of sexuality, if you will. I never really understood why if it was fluid in one direction, it couldn't be fluid in another.
A "fixed spectrum," if you will. The Kinsey scale outlined this perfectly. In that scale, there's a wide range of bisexuality in between the absolutes of heterosexuality and homosexuality, but he doesn't imply that it is anymore or less valid than the extremes.
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Old 06-16-2008, 11:32 PM   #26
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A "fixed spectrum," if you will. The Kinsey scale outlined this perfectly. In that scale, there's a wide range of bisexuality in between the absolutes of heterosexuality and homosexuality, but he doesn't imply that it is anymore or less valid than the extremes.


and what's also important to note is that the apparent fluidity of sexuality is quite small for most people. while there are certainly cases of situational homosexuality, of women who have one intense lesbian relationship but wind up with men, or teenaged boys who fool around with one another, most people tend to be either 1s or 2s, or 4s or 5s.

i also have issues with some queer theory. it always felt tailored for urbanized, intellectual bisexual females (in the way that, say, Freudianism is tailored for 19th century heterosexual males). and i'd say it's underlying point, however, is not so much that sexuality is fluid, but more that there is no single, static, immutable sexual identity -- and that it resists the notion that all variations are, really, deviations and thus "lesser than."

but this does get at a tension that exists betwen lesbian sexuality and gay male sexuality. lesbians tend to have an easier time conceptualizing their sexuality on a continuum in relationship to men, male power, and women. it's not so much that women oppose biological determinism -- which makes quite a lot of sense to the vast majority of gay men -- but that women tend to have a different emotional understanding of their sexuality. when you have an emotional attraction and then attach sexual attraction to that, there's much more room for a host of sexual identities as opposed to someone who forms a sexual attraction and then grafts emotional feelings onto that. sexual attraction and response, gay or straight, seems to be more visceral for men than for women. biology just might be destiny for men, and it might not be for women.

and, FWIW, i am not queer. i dislike that word. i am gay.

i can understand the resistance to the hegemonic paradigm that needs to label various sexual identities and thusly to render one superior, the other inferior, but in the real world, i'm just not terribly concerned about where i get my label from. the shoe fits me, and i've found that i'm better off getting comfortable wearing it rather than decrying exactly why someone put a shoe on me to begin with.
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Old 06-17-2008, 07:16 AM   #27
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i also have issues with some queer theory. it always felt tailored for urbanized, intellectual bisexual females (in the way that, say, Freudianism is tailored for 19th century heterosexual males). and i'd say it's underlying point, however, is not so much that sexuality is fluid, but more that there is no single, static, immutable sexual identity -- and that it resists the notion that all variations are, really, deviations and thus "lesser than."
New Queer Cinema, which was the film offshoot of queer theory, outlines this discrepancy rather well. It generally portrays this "ideal" of being completely normatively pansexual. That's all fine and dandy, except even the directors of New Queer Cinema are almost always exclusively gay themselves--i.e., they can't live up to their ideal, due to the constraints of their own sexuality in reality. It's romanticism, frankly, and little more than that.
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Old 06-17-2008, 09:33 AM   #28
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New Queer Cinema, which was the film offshoot of queer theory, outlines this discrepancy rather well. It generally portrays this "ideal" of being completely normatively pansexual. That's all fine and dandy, except even the directors of New Queer Cinema are almost always exclusively gay themselves--i.e., they can't live up to their ideal, due to the constraints of their own sexuality in reality. It's romanticism, frankly, and little more than that.


it always struck me that the ideal of "pansexual normality" was more an offshoot or outgrowth of feminism than anything else.
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Old 06-17-2008, 11:43 AM   #29
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Don't I get a for making jokes about porn

Ooooh, so that's what you were talking about...
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Old 06-17-2008, 11:47 AM   #30
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and, FWIW, i am not queer. i dislike that word.
Word. I'm a straight female, and that word offends me. Seriously, what year is this? 1948?
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Old 06-17-2008, 12:26 PM   #31
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Word. I'm a straight female, and that word offends me. Seriously, what year is this? 1948?


well ... there is a whole history behind it that i had explained to me in college, and in college it makes sense, but not so much in the real world.

here's what wikipedia says:

[q]In contemporary usage, some use queer as an inclusive, unifying sociopolitical umbrella term for people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, transsexual, intersexual, genderqueer, or of any other non-heterosexual sexuality, sexual anatomy, or gender identity. It can also include asexual and autosexual people, as well as gender normative heterosexuals whose sexual orientations or activities place them outside the heterosexual-defined mainstream (e.g. BDSM practitioners, or polyamorous persons). Queer in this sense (depending on how broadly it is defined) is commonly used as a synonym for such terms as LGBT.

Because of the context in which it was reclaimed, queer has sociopolitical connotations, and is often preferred by those who are activists, by those who strongly reject traditional gender identities, by those who reject distinct sexual identities such as gay, lesbian, bisexual and straight, and by those who see themselves as oppressed by the heteronormativity of the larger culture. In this usage it retains the historical connotation of "outside the bounds of normal society" and can be construed as "breaking the rules for sex and gender." It can be preferred because of its ambiguity, which allows "queer" identifying people to avoid the sometimes strict boundaries that surround other labels. In this context, "queer" is not a synonym for LGBT as it creates a space for "queer" heterosexuals as well as "non-queer" ("straight-acting") homosexuals.

For some queer-identified people, part of the point of the term 'queer' is that it simultaneously builds up and tears down boundaries of identity. For instance, among genderqueer people, who do not solidly identify with one particular gender, once solid gender roles have been torn down, it becomes difficult to situate sexual identity. For some people, the non-specificity of the term is liberating. Queerness becomes a way to simultaneously make a political move against heteronormativity while simultaneously refusing to engage in traditional essentialist identity politics.[/q]



so, like i said earlier, i understand it's usage, but it does feel to me like another offshoot of feminism as opposed to specifically speaking to the lives of most homosexual people. i might also argue that the urge to adopt a "queer" identity is, yes, all about resisting the dominant paradigm and refusing to wear the labels that society gives you, and that's fine, but since college, i've simply become less interested in fighting ideological battles like this one. do i not get to be gay because i've had sex with a woman? yes, i'm physically capable of having heterosexual sex, so does that mean i should reject a gay identity? or can i just say that i'm gay, and really be done with it? all sorts of straight people have gay experiences, and all sorts of straight people could, in theory, be capable of performing homosexual sex, but does that make them not straight? no, it just means that while there is variation in human sexuality based upon context, it doesn't mean, so much, that on one day i feel like a 3 and on another day i feel like a 5. it's that kind of thinking that, to my mind, does more damage to the overall quest for acceptance and advancement and respect.

some would argue, well, then, why do we want the acceptance and respect of an oppressive power structure? for saying that you are gay is to accept the reductive, binary expression of sexuality and to thusly accept the "less than" designation as delineated by heteronormative hegemony.

and i'm all, these days, well so freaking what? i fully understand that there are people of contested gender identity who, yes, might feel better with a queer identity. but i also have to point out that their struggle is not my struggle. i love them and support them and wish for them happiness, love, and legal protections and to be fully integrated members of the human family. but when it comes right down to it, i simply don't see myself as all that different, or different in the way that those who promote a panoramic "queer" identity for all those who are not heterosexual. i feel like i have far more in common with Jim and Jane Straight than i do with, say, female sexed individuals who have a variety of gender expressions and seek out relationships with both men and with women. this is also why i am even slightly uncomfortable with the "T" in BGLT. not that i am uncomfortable with the Transgendered, nor am i unsupportive of Transgendered. i am comfortable, and supportive, but i think that their struggle is quite different from mine. yes, we may have a common enemy, but that common enemy isn't, actually, homophobia, for many trans individuals live as heterosexuals (and can get married). the common enemy is, at the base of it all, sexism and the abject fear that many have when we don't perform traditional gender roles. so we might all have this to deal with, but my lived-in experience is vastly different from a TG, and i wouldn't ever pretend that i can understand the struggle of the TG, much in the same way that i would never pretend that i can understand the struggle of, say, African-Americans in Mississippi.

so, anyway. i'm in a reflective mood today, so just thought i'd pontificate a bit.
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Old 06-17-2008, 01:10 PM   #32
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it always struck me that the ideal of "pansexual normality" was more an offshoot or outgrowth of feminism than anything else.
Specifically, the deconstructionist, lit-crit wing of third wave feminism. Which, yes, was strongly shaped by the desire to integrate lesbian women's perspectives (as well as black women's perspectives, working-class women's perspectives, etc.) into feminist thought--something second-wave feminism had made overtures towards, but never really tackled in a systematic way. On the upside, you get more recognition and validation of that need to "find the shoe that fits," and often better listening, more real dialogue, a helpful new set of tools for critiquing authoritarian forms of essentialism; on the downside, you can easily spiral off into fun, but totally arcane and abstruse arguments (roughly, what does it mean to "fit," is it not oppressive and stunting to need or even want to, etc.) that bear little resemblance to most people's actual lived experience of reality--gay or straight, male or female.
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Old 06-22-2008, 01:35 PM   #33
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