Sunday, November 2, 2008

Phantasmatic

I wish I had read Judith Butler's article before writing my paper, it
fit perfectly with the subject of surpassing the "phantasmatic plenitude
of naturalized heterosexuality." (Butler) Now, I didn't talk about
sexual preference, but gender and sexual preference, or even the lack of
a preference, fit nicely. I love this image that her and Derrida speak
about, a sort of apparition -that one who does not feel they are of the
normative heterosexual male or female construct - will certainly become.
Or they are this mime who "imitates nothing, reproduces nothing, opens
up in its origin the very thing he is tracing out, presenting, or
producing, he must be the very moment of truth" (Derrida), however, the
mere force of this heterosexual/gender norm creates only the unauthentic.

It makes me think about Prop 8 and, based off of citizens morals, the
want for a separate but equal definition of marriage, thus creating this
"ghost that is the phantom of no flesh." (Derrida) By constitutionally
changing the definition we are in essence telling those who do not fit
into our social constructs, they are of the minority, therefore, they do
not receive the same body which us - heterosexual males and females- are
blessed with or that we have a claim on the "gender proper to one sex
rather than another... that sex's cultural property." (Butler)

Furthermore, Butler states that even the "normal" heterosexuals are in
fact a phantasm of their own making. I see this image of those who hold
fast to their "proper" sexual identities and really they are like this
ghost following their own shadow. So are we all, dogs chasing our tails.

And to further this thought, and a much clearer thesis I could of had to
express succinctly why it is important to transcend our implicit gender
roles, I must directly quote Butler. She talks about the "psychic
mimes" which is the self inclusive with the Other model. She says
"(g)ender as the site of such psychic mimes is thus constituted by the
variously gendered Others who have been loved and lost, where the loss
is suspended through a melancholic and imaginary incorporation (and
preservation) of those Others into the psyche" (Butler). But while this
"mimetism" occurs we are failing our own internal struggles to define
ourselves based off the supposed self or Other. It reminds me of Maggie
the Cat, she defines herself as the "natural woman" and is needing
Brick to confirm that naturalization of her 'self' through procreation
or even just his mere masculine attention.


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