Originally Posted by holymadness
Absolutely, and I think deconstruction has now become so ingrained in the academic psyche that it's almost become second-nature. We can all spot the categories and see how they generate behaviour when we sit down and think about them. Nevertheless, I find it difficult to separate discourse-based attitudes from phenomenological responses in real life, especially in matters of attraction. I can easily agree that identities are gendered and that markers of attraction are in large part culturally determined (one needs only to glance over history for this), but it's less clear to me that other aspects of sexuality and attraction don't precede social categories, especially if one agrees that homo/heterosexual inclinations (as opposed to activities) are not a choice. I suppose what I'm trying to say is that I don't see what kind of wiggle room you're looking for, because I don't understand how the physical
fact of male/male relationships should (logically) make them different culturally
from male/female ones, particularly since I don't believe in a template for the latter in any case. Perhaps I'm not expressing myself clearly, but this sort of conversation hardly lends itself to lucidity.
You are right; one thing I say on almost EVERY thread like this is that without knowing our audience clearly, their background or areas of research, it's almost impossible to be clear or thorough. As well, as you mentioned, it's hard to be lucid in GENERAL about this stuff, especially online. Wanna meet for a beer?
I'm with you on the second and third paragraphs and don't have an answer, at least not one that I could get into here without getting the WALL OF TEXT slam from others and not one that has anything definitive about it.
The "wiggle room" I mentioned is only a sneaking suspicion I have, or a "sense" or feeling of something that I don't know that we're really yet in a position to explore. The lines of sexuality are blurring faster than anybody would have believed, for better or for worse, and what all of those lines mean isn't so clear cut. I don't feel like gay guys yet have a set of possibilities for them as a way of life that is so much "desirable" as much as it is simply a form of desire (this, again, is a Foucaultian notion, something he just started to explore when he died). Further, I think that what IS there... namely a form or reflection of a straight relationship... isn't satisfactory. Nevertheless, I think these things are changing and that "wiggle room" is perhaps the freeplay or breathing space that can give us something on which to build. As I've said before, I don't think there really "is" a gay culture yet, or at least not something that is legitimate or authentic in and of itself. We're getting there, but until we do, a lot of guys are going to continue feeling "out of place" in relation to their desires and the conceptual mindsets that are open to them that would allow them to THINK about those desires.