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Don’t be gay for Israel or Uncle Sam July 23, 2011

Posted by Summerspeaker in Anti-imperialism, Queer politics.
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Reading this stimulating and difficult book over the last few weeks has inflamed my disappointment with mainstream gay politics in the United States. Puar begins with a robust critique of homonormative nationalism, the phenomenon of gay, lesbian and even queer bodies employed to support the nation-state and imperialism. Ey draws on Lisa Duggan’s critique of the demobilized LGBT community and privatized gay culture conducive to market relations. (I might just say assimilated or assimilationist.) Puar shows how the construction of U.S. sexual exceptionalism – the notion of the United States as especially tolerant and/or sexually liberated – contributes to the neo-colonial project and process creating the Muslim terrorist Other. Puar goes on to demonstrate how torture, particular the torture practiced and publicized in the Abu Ghraib scandal, constructs the Muslim Other as sexually deviant. An analysis of South Park also reveals in the sexual politics and neo-Orientalist discourses involved. In this narrative, an exaggerated, animalistic but repressed and ultimately failed heterosexual masculinity leads to monstrous passions. The proper homosexuality focused on signs of respectability such as marriage appears in contrast to the foreign enemy. The Other’s supposedly irrational intolerance of homosexuality becomes a justification for imperial adventures.

Consider how Hank Pellissier told me I’d better get on board with Zionism or get thrown to barbarian Palestinian fanatics and ripped to pieces for being queer. It’s nasty stuff. We need more anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist queer politics. Inclusion based on affluence and conformity will never work for all us.

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