Academic journal article Gender Forum

Editorial

Academic journal article Gender Forum

Editorial

Article excerpt

Is marriage a cruel institution that preserves religiously saturated nuclear family structures, normalizes heterosexual citizenship, and conceptualizes all those who reject its universalizing good life claims as "'affect-aliens'" (Ahmed 30)? Is it an out-dated concept of the past, since more and more young people all over the world voice their unwillingness to ever enter nuptial bonds? Yet, how to tackle the multi-faceted debates over queer-inclusive marriage, taking place in liberal and queer liberal, queer radical and openly homophobic conservative circles? Or controversies over marriageable age and the racialized Othering of migrant and refugee communities? Surely, there are no easy or universal truth answers to the above, intentionally provocative, intrinsically polarizing and always deeply ideological questions. After all, questions of marriage in its gendered, cultural and socio-political implications call for nuanced and contextualized theory formation, for caution not to fall into the trap of simplified oppositions, discriminatory heterocentric or Eurocentric ethical violence or the displacement of differentiated desiring subjects.

The articles assembled in this issue deal with the multiplicities of contemporary marriage formations. They shed light on their gendered manifestations in neoliberal consumer societies, but also engage modes of thinking intimate relationships outside the normativizing powers of institutional marriage and marriage outside the juridico-political, paradoxically secular-minded yet WASP-centric bio-power of the (U.S.) nation-state.

In "'I'm the Bitch that Makes You a Man': Conditional Love as Female Vengeance in Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl", Patrick Osborne reads Flynn's novel as a satirical response to violence against women perpetuated by patriarchal simulations in the media. The novel provides an outlet for female violence and frames revenge as a response to a consumer culture that impedes female happiness through the construction of emphasized femininity, inequality in marriage, and 'raunch culture'. Amy Dunne, the protagonist, breaks under the pressure generated by hyperrealities and narcissistic desires of America's consumer culture that suffocate the traditional bonds of marriage. Thus, deviance is a reaction to a patriarchal social structure that reinforces gendered illusions of self-actualization and allows male entitlement to remain unchallenged. …

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