Vocabulary for Tyson ch. 10: Lesbian, Gay, and Queer Theory


  1. Silence, Minimalizing, Marginalizing 318: gay or queer author’s sexual identities have been left out
  2. Homophobic Reading 319: seeing characters and situations as better when heterosexual, or as het. when there is other evidence; sets up the binary of normal=straight with the opposite sex, and abnormal=unnatural etc.
  3. Myths 320: sick, evil, natural sexual predators, molesters, recruiters; very small population of deviants; children raised by them will be gay; unchecked, the human population will become extinct; gay people responsible for the decline of power and greatness of American (what does this sound like)
  4. Homophobia 320: psychological dread of same-sex love;
  5. Institutionalized Homophobia 320: dread—built into the culture’s laws and customs, promoted by patriarchy
  6. Internalized Homophobia 321: self-hatred
  7. Heterosexism 321: institutionalized discrimination and the priveledging of heterosexuality
  8. Compulsory Heterosexuality 321: Adrienne Rich, enormous institutional pressure to be het.
  9. Heterocentrism 321: more subtle form of prejudice, unconscious assumption that het. is the universal norm by which everyone’s experience can be understood—makes lesbian and gay experience invisible
  10. Biological Essentialism 321: that anyone is naturally any sexuality
  11. Social Constructionism 321: het and homo are constructs or products of social, not biological, factors
  12. Minoritizing Views 321:  looking at gays as a minority—essentialist view
  13. Universalizing Views 321: focus on the homosexual potential of all people—constructionist view
  14. Homoerotic 322: whitman’s poetry; erotic dipictions that imply same-sex attraction or that might appeal to a same-sex reader
  15. Homosocial 322: same sex friendship, female or male bonding
  16. Closeted 323: posing at het
  17. Lesbian Criticism 323: like feminist criticism, come from a critique of patriarchy, but lesbians deal with sexism and heterosexism—heterosexual priviledge; what is a lesbian—must she have sex, and what kind of sex?  what constitutes a lesbian literary text?  how can we trouble the answers to these questions?  what does this mean when race, class, gender, and sexuality are inseparable from the experience of our daily lives 324; how do we interpret romantic friendships 325; what constitutes a lesbian literary text 327
  18. Lesbian Sexuality 324: does this mean specific genital contact, or sexual desire?  a woman shows sexual desire is directed toward women; may be unconscious especially if somehow sanctioned by the culture 325;
  19. Woman-Identified Woman 325: directing the bulk of one’s attention to other women
  20. Lesbian Continuum 325: Adrienne Rich—a range of woman-identified experience: emotional bonding; giving or receiving psychological support; shared experience of joy; a woman can move in and out of the lesbian continuum
  21. Lesbians deny patriarchy and important tool—heterosexuality 326: deconstruct that binary that it is natural; women’s subservience to men is built in—increases women’s power
  22. Separatists 326: dissociate themselves from men as much as is possible, including gay men and straight women or women who don’t share their views; lesbianism is a political stance; Marilyn Frye—separation is enacted across a range of practices—daycare, divorce, shelters, bars, women’s studies; abortion—even breaking up, excluding someone, withholding support or loyalty, refusal to watch sexist/heterocentric films—all this increases women’s power
  23. Lesbian Literary Critics 328-29: to bring the margins or the invisible into light (new hist.—correct heterosexists readings); show coded lesbian desire underneath het. appearance, like Willa Cather; or show positive female erotic images as evidence of lesbianism—show negative phallic images; use biography to help support lesbian interpretations; show women-identified-women or homosocial foci with the above methods; look for women who violate sexual norms to show them as lesbian; what constitutes a literary lesbian tradition and who belongs in this list—what is a lesbian poetics?  how does sexual/emotional/racial/class intersections effect the author/text?  how is a gay or lesbian text readable/useful for those who are straight 335?
  24. Gay Criticism 330: doesn’t focus on definitions as much; men desiring other men; but in some cultures one isn’t gay if one is masculine or macho still (always the penetrator); in Athens sexual partners were chosen based on caste not on sex
  25. Homosexual 331: vs. gay, is often associated with medical terms, as a disorder defined in the 19th century; masturbation was at the same time defined as pathology; attitudes about homosexuality have changed from cultures and from historical times
  26. Gay Sensibility 331: how does being gay influence the way one sees the world, writes, interprets, lives?  An awareness of being different, or other; looking at responses to het. oppression—drag, camp, and AIDS
  27. Drag 331: dressing in women’s clothes; can be a political statement against traditional gender roles; refuse to be intimidated by heterosexist gender boundaries; also Drag Kings, but not so dominant for women 332
  28. Camp 332: flamboyant gay drag; exaggeration; irreverence; mocks authority and traditional standards; affirm, ironically, one’s difference from het. culture—disarms and deconstructs? heterosexism—change victimhood into power
  29. AIDS 333: foreground the discrimination of the gov. and doctors etc. toward people living with AIDS—foreground the day to day struggle of living with it
  30. Queer 336: attempt to reappropriate the word—to turn it from victim to powerful (deconstruct); also means an inclusive category for everyone who thinks of themselves as non-straight—tries to reunite divided camps—to help avoid all forms of marginalization; but more often queer is used to deconstruct categories like gay and lesbian and straight—deconstructs the binary of homo and het—subjectivity and sexuality are fluid, fragmented, dynamic, multiple—invokes the idea of a continuum (but isn’t a web a better way of saying this?); sexuality is socially constructed 338
  31. Object choice 337: Eve Sedgwick—sexuality can be defined in terms of many binaries, not just biological sex—desire comes in many shapes/ sizes etc.—human/animal?  group or solo?  orgasm/non-orgasm?
  32. Queer Criticism 338: looking at a text from new hist perspective—how did that society view sexuality?  Looking at a text from a non-straight perspective; looks at texts to show the problematic quality of their representations of sexual categories—show how the hierarchies break down; may look at how gender boundaries are crossed by characters like Miss Emily, and if she is with a man, this may show up as a homosexual relationship; or how does a text violate white middle-class definitions of homosexuality or heterosexuality—when does it transgress in any way, eroticises unexpected things 340—a text that refuses to align itself with traditional notions of sexuality and the natural
  33. Homosocial bonding 342:
  34. Gay or lesbian signs 342: overt gender role reversal vs. coded signs
  35. Same-sex doubles 343: more subtle form of signs—two characters that shre similar experiences
  36. Transgressive sexuality 343: questions traditional heterosexuality and can thus call into question all traditions—paradigm shift and experimentation--deconstruction