File Size: 2540 KB
Print Length: 560 pages
Publisher: Harvard University Press; Sew edition (August 21, 2012)
Publication Date: August 21, 2012
Halperin is clear that the homosexual culture he describes in this book is American, white gay male culture. Beyond the scope of this book, he promotes others to get this job, if they are so inclined, and utilize it for other aspects of homosexual culture (e. g., while he uses a picture from _Mildred Pierce_, and discusses the cult of Joan Crawford, he appreciates that examining the interest gay men have of Bette Davis may produce different insights) and with other gay populations (e. g., gay men of color, non-American gays, lesbians, trans people). He is not making totalizing statements about gay experience--or positing that gay men have some kind of innately superior experience or presence. In fact , he notes that many gay men, or men who are attracted to other men, don't "do" gay as well as some straight men and women. Gay, in the way Halperin discusses it, is a cultural practice, not a sex-object choice, therefore anybody can do or not do homosexual, regardless of their libido.
Halperin asserts that, if it's true that being homosexual in a straight dominated world produces a certain kind of subjectivity, then gay people do by themselves a disservice by question and underplaying that distinction. Gay culture makes a contribution--understanding the world differently, gay-ly (whether one is homosexual or heterosexual), provides a way of undoing limiting and harmful rules that will remain in place (and are still in place) no matter how many equality gains are made on a political or legal level. Understanding gay subjectivity through cultural appropriation may open freedoms not available through the lens of identity.
I find this work masterful and a necessary intervention in andersrum (umgangssprachlich) studies. As a homosexual man (and a homosexual nerd), I find it compelling and a delightful reply to modern homosexual identity politics. This is an inventive, rigorous item of academic work, although Halperin's language is very accessible. Readers will profit, however, from some familiarity with lesbigay or queer studies, particularly Michael Warner's _The Trouble with Normal_. We strongly recommend this to anyone who has ever felt andersrum (umgangssprachlich), or different (regardless of your sexuality), from the rest of society. Halperin's methodology doesn't have to be limited to homosexual men, but following his lead, one can think differently about the social objects one picks upward and what they might say about how precisely you feel to be queer., We don't necessarily agree with some (or even most) of Halperin's arguments, but you cannot deny actually provocative and make you think. This book will challenge your preconceived notions of homosexuality and what it means TO BE gay. A very accessible and enjoyable read.
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