QotD: “queer theorists and activists who seek to perform gender can be seen to be gender loyalists with a stake in the mainten­ance of the gender system of male supremacy”

The understanding of gender as dominant and subordinate forms of behaviour puts paid to the idea that there can be many ‘genders’. There can only be ways of expressing dominance and submission by other than the usual actors. The genders remain two. The queer approach which celebrates the ‘performance’ of gender and its diver­sity necessarily maintains the two genders in circulation. Rather than eliminating dominant and submissive behaviours, it reproduces them. Thus those queer theorists and activists who seek to perform gender can be seen to be gender loyalists with a stake in the mainten­ance of the gender system of male supremacy.

Sheila Jeffreys, Unpacking Queer Politics

Found via the Bewilderness

2 responses

  1. Nice. As long as it’s still about controlling, it’s still not about freedom. Real freedom is about deeply understanding boundaries and the costs of transgression. We must transgress boundaries merely to eat: to live, someone else must die. So we cannot choose to be entirely kind. But we can choose how to be kind, and see how not to indulge ourselves in ways of feeding ourselves that are excessively unkind, or even promote cruelty as a philosophy.

    We fail when we don’t understand when we must control ourselves, or when we have the right and obligation to protect ourselves.

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