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Queer Conversation - Essay Example

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This word has had a storied history that is relatively well known, starting as a relatively innocuous word meaning “strange or abnormal” (though this definition alone is…
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Queer Conversation
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Download file to see previous pages This definition obviously draws heavily on the original definition, creating boundaries of normality and criminalizing or stigmatizing anything that falls outside of it. Queer people then moved to reclaim the word, recognizing its power and the power it could give them if it was successfully reclaimed, which it eventually was. Queer then branched out to describe a political, academic and social understanding of non-hegemonic worldviews (in addition to the more popular understanding of queer as a ‘catchall’ for LGBTQ2SAA etc. people). This, definition, probably more than anything else, defines the word queer today. Yet as a word that combats hegemony it is hard to nail down a distinct and individual definition of queer or queerness – as it probably should be. Michael Warner, and Kate Harding, the authors of The Trouble With Normal, and How to Fuck a Fat Girl respectively, never explicitly state definitions of queer, though each implicitly recognizes disruption of hegemonic systems as central to the queerness, individually exploring different aspects of that disruption.
Michael Warner’s chapter in The Trouble With Normal provides an incredibly useful framing structure for the rest of the discussion of queerness and queer identity. His article describes the evolution of the “Gay and Lesbian movement” (45), something that must be clearly separated from the queer movement. Warner describes how early gay and lesbian movements attempted to ingratiate themselves with the traditional power structures in society, “home, church and state” (48), in order to gain power and acceptance, or at least a little bit less oppression, in society. Such people attempted to argue that a person’s sexual identity is “irrelevant to [their] ideals, principles, hopes and aspirations” (46). Yet Warner argues that this is not an especially useful way of fighting for dealing with hegemonic society ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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