Queer Theorizing

6

“Social Text’s “What’s Queer about Queer Studies Now?” along with queer of color critique seek to redress this particular “wrong” in queer theorizing by centering their critique upon foundation texts in women of color feminism – a feminism that has its grounding in black feminist work. Caught in the middle between the struggle to forget and to remember, S.H.E. stands wholly outside or in vestibular relation to feminism and queer theory, respectively. “Aragorn, it is you who are now responsible for middle earth.” If we exclude all references to slavery’s economics of reproduction and desire, then we can make very discretionary claims about its influence upon us, while simultaneously forgetting the (black and white, brown and red) bodies attached to its sorrow and woe. If we attach these bodies to a thoroughgoing feminist catalogue of degradation at the hands of men, then we will not be able to speak to the forgetting that must take place in order for queer theory (or feminist theory) to commence, because wouldn’t such a momentary lapse in responsibility, if not manners, warrant the full force of angry black feminist response? It is my contention that we must break the cycle of our critical attachments by breaking with the tradition of producing black.female.(queer) in a historical register that matters only to her. By breaking with this mode of inquiry, we might be able to reach an epiphany of sorts – one that would allow us to see what happened to us collectively. This collectivity might restore just what we did and do to one another at the moment of our intimate interactions – erotic, racist, and otherwise.”

– Sharon Patricia Holland, The Erotic Life of Racism

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