I. Definitions of Gender Criticism/
an euphemism for gay and lesbian criticism/ studies
feminist studies: the study of the dynamics of gender
definition, inequality, oppression and change in human societies.
Women's studies: the gender of its object of study
II. Sex and Gender See Table
sex: male - female
gender: masculine – feminine
female behaviors, model binarism.
Cultural gender is the dichotomized social production
and reproduction of male and
sexuality: heterosexual – homosexual
Sexuality is constituted according to genitals. Sexuality
are the acts, expectations, narratives, pleasures, identity formations
and knowledges in men and women.
Freud and Michel Foucault have argued that sexuality
are not necessarily corresponding to chromosomal sex.
Andrienne Riche''s essay ''Compulsory Heterosexuality
and Lesbian Existence'' asserts ''lesbian continuum''.
Judith Butler claims that gender is not only a social
construct, but also a kind of performance in Gender Trouble. Butler's
main metaphor for gender is ''drag.'' All gender is formed of ''drag,''
for instance, transvestism, cross dressing, and transexism. Thus for Butler,
there is no authentic gender. (Mary Klages)
III. Historicizing Sexuality
Michel Foucault's History of Sexuality investigates
the realms of power and eroticism.
Foucault's argument is that sexuality came into existence,
not with the first sexual acts or sexual prohibition, but culminating in
the 19th century. Sex became discourses imposed on human beings
by the power of tradition and convention.
IV. Specifying Sexuality
The history of sexuality suppresses the discourse
Foucault regards the terms of perversions, such as
sodomy and sadomasochism, in 19th century as both the oppression
and plurality of sexuality.
Foucault excludes the hetero side of homo-hetero
dichotomy. Sexuality is composed of '' a world of perversions.''
It was a morbid phenomenon that sex is a mystery
but also a privileged theme of religious confession.
V. Performing Foucault
Jean Baudrillard Forget Foucault ?
Jeffrey Weeks points out the prevailing homophobia
in the society.
Anti-homophobic analysis debates in gay and lesbian
studies between ''social constructionist and essentialist.''
The dilemma of homophobic and anti-homophobic ideology
is the argument of homosexuality as ''universalizing'' and ''minoritizing.''
Pluralism and diversity of sexuality
Homosexualists call for subjectivity, community,
culture, promiscuous love of sex.
VI. Denaturalizing Sexuality
Foucauldian discourse reflect the historicity and
In 20th century, regular sexuality is
questioned, it is through a reflux movement, originating in peripheral
Sedgwick suggests to go back and look at the matrix
of perversions in order to understand both cross-sex possibility and heterosexist
It's difficult to denaturalize heterosexuality because
it is part of history.
Discursive ecology ?
VII. Professional Boundaries, Political
Connections, Erogenous Zones
Sexuality pluralism is to break the rigid hierarchies
of gender, class, race and sexuality.
Erogenous image means not only desire and pleasure
but also relations to political life. The profession and the progressive
academy are one of erogenous zones.
Synecdonic relations and anachronistic relations
Klages, Mary. “Gender Trouble: Judith Butler.”
2010 Home Page. On line. University of Colorado, Boulder. 8 Dec. 1997.
Sedgewick, Eve Kosofsky. “Gender Criticism.”
the Boundaries. Ed.
Stephen Greenblatt and Giles Gunn. New York: MLA,