Thursday, March 25, 2010

univocal interpretations


let's talk about the erasure of difference that threatens the univocal interpretations imposed on bodily experience, the body that writes out of its marginalized, repressed location, challenging meaning, whether through mime, poetry, parody, or myth, to understand sex, gender, and power. why not write from the assumption of a polymorphous, bisexual sensuality, adding complexity and in doing so refusing to stay within the bounds of dominant patriarchal discursive forms?

3 comments:

The Mike said...

Cultural programming is hard to overcome. We (Americans), among other cultures, have been programmed to believe in the binaries of our world. This belief is reinforced by and manifests itself in social cues in many forms. Our computers, at base, are binary constructs. We speak of dialectics. We tend to divide things first in halves. We view ourselves in two parts, left and right; inside and outside; flesh and blood; mind and body.

We have come to believe that our choices are binary also. Cheapest price or highest quality. We narrow our choices to two. Do I do this, or do I do that? Should I buy this, or should I buy that? Do I have the steak, or do I eat the fish?

Maybe, we tend to see the world in binary form because we have two basic sexes, we have two eyes, tow arms, two legs, two lungs, two kidneys. Maybe this view is tautological. It ignores all of the non-binaries of our existence, we have one heart, one liver, one head, ten fingers, ten toes, lots of hair. We have a spectrum of sexuality and sexual experience.

The false binaries of our web of sexual beliefs has been hard to overcome. We have become culturally conditioned to believe that we are either straight or gay (normal or not normal, some would say perhaps, natural or unnatural), when it has been demonstrated to the contrary that there is a spectrum of sexual proclivity. We have been forced by our culture, however, to choose between heterosexual and homosexual liaisons, to the detriment of some people's psyches.

We have entered a time when even homosexuals suffer from what William Raspberry terms "the handicap of definition." Many homosexuals feel pressured by society and their peers to remain homosexual and not explore other tendencies. Bisexuality, though seemingly a binary is anything but. It falls somewhere between the extremes of heterosexual and homosexual experience. Expression of varied sexual experience is taboo and fetishised by the patriarchal discursive on both sides of the extremes.

The only way to break free of this binary discursive is through exposure to what lies between, outside, among, and around the binary. Through extensive exposure to the varieties of experience, we can accustom ourselves to many more possibilities of viewing and experiencing the world and ourselves. Expression may start with the self. Inspiration for such expression may come from other places, art, music, writing, mathematics, astronomy, geology, philosophy. The key is opening up to inspiration and expression.

A.T. said...

It ignores all of the non-binaries of our existence, we have one heart, one liver, one head, ten fingers, ten toes, lots of hair. We have a spectrum of sexuality and sexual experience.

Well put, Mike.

Feminista said...

I agree with Mike, but will add that it's about fear, simple fear to anything different.