the categories of male/masculine and female/feminine are understood as simple, mutually exclusive binaries. Here heteronormativity is seen as so tenacious that even shifting, mobile power relations cannot critically undermine it; they cannot effect a substantial reconfiguration of the gendered world. Rather, heterosexuality is elastic enough to re-encompass or re-envelop ‘queer’ politics—to domesticate it, to reintegrate all dissonant performances. This accords more with Butler’s revised (or clarified) understanding of drag in Bodies That Matter. Acknowledging theoretically the performative underpinnings of gender suggests that a more permissive reading is possible. Contemplating its operation in a world riven by economic disparity, racism, homophobia and sexism sways me in favour of a more circumspect reading. This is not to say that the theatricalisation of politics is ineffectual nor that an aestheticisation of politics cannot have some impact. It cannot, however, be all that politics consists in. As Butler herself notes, ‘The Foucauldian in me says there is no one site from which to struggle effectively’ (in Osborne and Segal 1994:38). The Foucauldian in me would agree.
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Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Politics of Sexuality:Identity, Gender, Citizenship.
Contributors: Terrell Carver - Editor, Véronique Mottier - Editor.
Place of publication: London.
Publication year: 1998.
Page number: 133.
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