"Heterosexual Marriage"!

kenneth.mackendrick at utoronto.ca kenneth.mackendrick at utoronto.ca
Sat Oct 21 14:05:37 PDT 2000

On Sat, 21 Oct 2000 11:32:47 -0400 Yoshie Furuhashi <furuhashi.1 at osu.edu> wrote:

> 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.

Kudos for Kell for anticipanting my next move. And since she mentioned "there is no sexual relationship" I will not do so...

... Perhaps we should talk about what obsolete means. My concern is that such categories will disappear only to be replaced by something even more horrific... I think this is best approached through theories of hegemony... but I think your argument leans toward the overcoming of hegemony itself... I guess my response will then appear conservative compared to what I consider your utopianism (likewise, your perspective appears to me as idealizing): I really don't think politically hegemonic discourses will ever disappear, sexuality, economy, politics, language, community... these are antagonisms that we *can't* get rid of, even if (as you write),

> These are historically bounded & transient categories.

What I'm worried about is this break that you seem to insert into history: from within the shadows of domination to something completely different. I can't help but understand this break to be theorized theology or undigested religiousity. Of course, you will vehemently disagree with this... so I'm interested in how you see it.

> Will we always eroticize power -- the relation of domination and
subordination -- even after the material grounds for domination and subordination cease to exist?

This point, "after the material grounds for domination and subordination cease to exist" - I have absolutely *no* sense of what this would look like in practical terms. Yeah, life could be better - but I can't even imagine a life without antagonism, without some degree of friction between human beings. To think that *all* domination and subordination will cease to exist... is completely foreign to anything that I know and recognize. Which isn't to say I'm comfortable with or tolerant of domination...


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