Monday, November 21, 2005
On sexual politics
The title could just as well be "On cultural politics": I would argue that the modern Western sexual identities ("straight", "gay", "bi" etc. etc.) are an integral part of the perpetual modern quest for fixed identity and personality (which of course is doomed to failure). Before this era of anxiety and fluidity of meaning, personal identity was formed differently, the constellation was different. I may sound like a latter day T.S.Eliot, but I would say that for example there was no such thing as a medieval self-identity: the self was more organically a part of the surrounding culture, not so aware and insecure as it later became, it was both more fluid and more secure than the modern (illusion) of the fixed self. So, briefly back to actual sexuality. We all are sexual beings, scattered on a broad scale: this tremendous, atavistic force will out, but its concrete expression is heavily influenced by the prevailing culture. I am tempted to say that the majority are variously "bi-sexual" in these modern, crude terms, but that would already be misleading. So, what maybe could be realistically said is that practically all people are sexual and that they will end up engaging in various sexual actions in a undetermined, unpredictable mixture of biology and culture. Always beware the modern categories of identity: they will more confuse and restrict than clarify and liberate.