"Heterosexual Marriage"!

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at osu.edu
Sat Oct 21 08:32:47 PDT 2000

Ken confuses the issue:
>On Sat, 21 Oct 2000 10:16:10 -0400 Yoshie Furuhashi
><furuhashi.1 at osu.edu> wrote:
> > I am arguing that the point is to abolish heterosexism, as well as
>capitalism and all other oppressions, and then our modern categories of sexual
>orientation will be irrelevant.
>This is where we disagree. You're arguing that heterosexuality is
>heterosexist and, further, that the elimination of heterosexuality will
>eliminate heterosexism. First, I'll agree. Heterosexuality is a hegemonic
>discourse that is historically heterosexist. Second, I disagree that these
>forms essentially related. I don't this that being 'heterosexual' necessarily
>entails being a bigot. The argument you present circular and static.

Not at all. Physical sexual activities between a man and a woman are not the same as fantasies of such activities. Such activities & fantasies are, again, not the same as heterosexism & heteorsexuality either. Sex between a man and a woman, as well as fantasies about it, predate the emergence of heterosexism & heterosexuality. Therefore, it is logical to assume that both will survive the demise of heterosexism and "heterosexuality" as we know it.

My argument is that the abolition of heterosexism, together with all other oppressions, will make the modern _categories of sexual orientations_ -- the idea that there are different _natural kinds_ of people called "heterosexuals," "bisexuals," and "homosexuals" -- obsolete. As Foucault, John D'Emilio, Jonathan Ned Katz, etc. have argued, these categories did not exist before the emergence of modern capitalist societies with their attendant transformation of the nature of families, etc. These are historically bounded & transient categories.

> > >As for the eroticization of power, I suspect as long as human
> > >beings are passionate beings, power will always be eroticized in
>one form or
> > >another.
> > Why? Will rape be always "sexy" -- a material of fantasy for some
> > as it is now? Will rape always exist, even after the abolition of
> > class society, gender oppression, oppression of "sexual deviants,"
> > and all other oppressions? Maybe you suffer from the poverty of
> > imagination as well as of philosophy.
>You're making the claim that fantasy essentially translates into concrete
>reality (the fantasy of rape = actual rape). And then insinuate that I'm
>suffering from the poverty of imagination.

No, I don't. Only those who think like Catherine MacKinnon, Andrea Dworkin, etc. believe that a fantasy makes people act out the fantasy -- an idealist conception.

My question concerns a _particular_ fantasy. A fantasy of rape -- eroticization of power, as you put it. Suppose all fantasies won't disappear, but will _rape and rape fantasy_ be always with us, even _after_ the abolition of class, gender, and all other oppressions? Will we always eroticize power -- the relation of domination and subordination -- even after the material grounds for domination and subordination cease to exist? Do ideas have "lives of their own," _pace_ what historical materialists (from Marx & Engels, the Frankfurt School, Thomas Laqueur, to even Foucault in his own way at his best moments) have argued?


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