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posicionalidades Janeiro 30, 2012

Posted by paulo jorge vieira in queer theory.
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Like most lesbians, my sexuality was not a coherent or consistent identity for me, and the lesbian mantle still only partially covers who I am. I was also a middle-class white woman living and working in a small city in the northeastern United States where I still moved safely through most social spaces. Passing as a proper subject in many of the communities I lived and worked in was still only possible so long as I maintained a conspiracy of silence on the realities of race and class —and being lesbian did not change that. As a mother raising two daughters, I already had found that the passion and heartache, and most of all the domestic labor, of child care were invariably rendered invisible in my professional life —an invisibility I myself too often fostered —and being lesbian did not change that. As an outspoken marxist feminist in the university, my lesbian identity was in many ways irrelevant. Lesbian or not, the fact remained that materialist feminism was being both courted and tamed by English departments looking to be updated but undisturbed in their transitions through the upheavals of the late eighties and nineties. When I found my first tenure-track job, a lesbian profile actually compensated for my much less palatable interest in postmodern theories and my marxist feminism. This was a university, like many others, where the bold oppositional efforts of a handful of women in the seventies had succeeded in clearing a space for feminism and a more narrowly conceded one for openly lesbian and gay teachers, programs, and curricula. Two decades later, however, many of these radical faculty had been fully incorporated into academic power structures to become seasoned professors in positions of influence, too often protecting institutional interests and turf against new critical ideas.

(Rosemary Hennessy “profit and pleasure – sexual identities in late capitalism”, Routledge, 2000, pp.2)

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