Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Queer Theory

In the uninformed casual language, "queer" is insulting with its negative connotation-- much so that it's included in the Think B4 You Speak campaign (you know, those commercials with Hilary Duff saying that "that's gay" is like saying "that's so girl wearing a skirt as a tube top"). They try to eliminate words like "gay" being used politically incorrectly, mainly by spreading awareness. To the right is a screenshot of one of the sidebars on their site with an alternate definition.

The Queer Theory, as explained by both Jagose and Doty, actually does not define "queer" as synonymous to "gay" or "lesbian." Rather, it is the larger idea that it is "an attitude, a way of responding, that begins in a place not concerned with, or limited by, notions of binary opposition of male and female or the homo versus hetero paradigm usually articulated" (Doty). Like others have pointed out, many gay and lesbian couples are on TV shows now, and aren't always clearly defined in a stereotype. I find it interesting that "queer erotics" are necessary contructs which "define the heterosexual and the straight (as 'not queer')" because the reciprocal doesn't really work that way (Doty 3).

Queer theory includes "cross-dressing, hermaphroditism, gender ambiguity and gender-corrective surgery" (Jagose). So let's take a look at internet celebrity (model, makeup artist, fashion designer, Myspace queen) Jeffree Star. I can't really understand if this is a boy or a girl, or what sexuality is going on.. but it's this ambiguity that raises the question in which we thought we had so easily answered by saying "man" or woman."

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