Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Straight Male Cheerleaders are QUEER

Queer theory, described by Doty in Making Things Perfectly Queer, encompasses a people greater than those of just lesbians and gays. It includes a group that is “politically radical and ‘in your face’: to paradoxically demand recognition by straight culture while at the same time rejecting this culture.” Therefore, claiming something to be “queer,” is claiming it to be anything against the dominant opinion or non-straight.

In rejecting the dominant opinion, something that embodies queerness, Doty explains, is something that exists within, “a flexible space for the expressions of all aspects non (anti, contra-) straight cultural production and reception.”

An example of this kind of queerness is found within the movie highlighted last week, “Bring It On”. The male cheerleader on the Toros cheerleading squad, Jan, is an identifiably heterosexual male who takes queer enjoyment in cheerleading. Although knowingly straight, Jan faces numerous situations where his sexuality is questioned based on the hobby that he enjoys.

The Toros

When placed in these situations (often interactions with members of the football team), Jan defends himself and his passion for cheering. By standing up for himself and embracing his “queerness,” Jan’s character actively rejects society’s character profile of a heterosexual male. In doing this, Jan does creates the flexible space that Doty says Queer Theory calls for to express aspects of non-straight cultural production.

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