Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Queer Theory, Yo!

The queer theory, perhaps the most interesting of all theories we have studied in the course thus far has served to open my eyes quite a bit to what queer and gender theories can and cannot do for a text. Butler, while dense at times, was ultimately informative in the best way and broke down the theory in a way that made queer theory one that is understandable and relatable. There are so many ways to illustrate the queer theory because as we all know and have discussed, queer theory is prevalent everywhere. Ultimately, what Butler wants readers to know that, for example, the label of a lesbian is different from actually being a lesbian. You can say you are something and not think that you are performing a role, however in reality you are indeed, role playing. This is what keeps performance metonymic.

"The parody of "heterosexuality"-- when and where it exists in gay cultures-- is always and only an imitation of an imitation, a copy of a copy, for which there is no original." (Butler) This quote embodies the metonymy of queer-ness so well. Without homosexuality, there would be no heterosexuality. It goes back to the discussion that a "thing" cannot exist with the absence of a binary opposition. There is no original sexuality, there just is deviations of sexuality.

 My piece of artwork is very clearly an illustration of the pride flag. If you can see, the text says the iconic "love is love". While the pride flag and the associated slogan is, without a doubt, a beautiful sentiment, it begs the question, why do we have a "gay" pride flag when there is no "straight" pride flag? In deconstructing the deconstruction of queer theory, it is interesting to me that this piece of art can exist without an opposing one, unlike so many of the binary oppositions we have previously discussed. If heterosexuality cannot exist without homosexuality, how can the pride flag exist for one sexuality without existing for any other sexuality?


  1. That ending got me hard.

    I imagine queer theory finding the holes in a straight pride flag and showing how each of the straight pride colors actually leads back (on the color wheel) to a pride color, and that there would be no straight pride colors if there were no gay pride.

    But what would be the colors of the straight flag? Even the word straight implies that there is an orientation that is curvy, loopy, circular, something. The straight pride flag would have to be the perfect antonym of "rainbow" is that grayscale? Would it imply singularity? Would it just be a white sheet of paper declaring "WE ARE THE ORIGINALS!"?

    I bet hipsters love Judith Butler. "You can't define 'original' man, you only heard of it first BECAUSE I heard of it second."


    I think Emmett is on to something with the flag thing. The rainbow flag does seem, to me, to counter a straight pride flag. The only difference is that the straught pride flag is so neutral, it is invisible. Straight pride doesn't need a flag or parade because it is ubiquitous and everywhere, and so dominant that it becomes invisible. The power of the pride flag is not just that it highlights queer identities, but also that it shows that "heterosexuality" is indeed an opposite sexuality, an alternative-- that it is not the ONLY sexuality or the universal sexuality. So the queer flag actually makes heterosexuality visible as a category instead of allowing it to exist as a norm that we can't even see. Does that make sense? Anyway, solid questions here, and I appreciate that you are trying to work through the poststructuralism that underlies this theory.