The Erotic's Non-Rational Potential

I'm just going to cite this straight out, because Gretchen Legler (discussing Audre Lorde) says it better than I can (from Legler's book, All the Powerful Invisible Things: A Sportswoman's Notebook:

We live in a racist, patriarchal, and anti-erotic society, Lorde writes in "Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power." We live in a pornographic society that insists on the separation of so many inseparable things; that insists on ways of thinking that separate the body from the world, the body from the mind, nature from culture, men from women, black from white; a society that insists on bounded categories of difference.

But we can use erotic power to resist those splitting forces. The erotic is the sensual bridge that connects the spiritual and the political. It has something to do with love. The word itself comes from the Greek word eros, the personification of love in all its aspects - born of Chaos and personifying creative power and harmony. Eros is a non-rational power. Eros is awareness. Eros is not about what we do but about how acutely and fully we can feel in the doing, says Lorde. Its opposite, the pornographic, emphasizes sensation without feeling. Pornographic relationships are those that are born not of human erotic feeling and desire, not of a love of life and a love of the body, but those relationships, those ideas born of a fear of bodily knowledge and a desire to silence the erotic.

Everything we have ever learned in our lives tells us to suspect feeling, to doubt the power of the erotic and to confuse it with the pornographic. But the two are at opposite ends of the world.

What can I add to that? This just goes to show that when you have your eyes out for something (anti-rationality), it just starts popping up everywhere...

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This page contains a single entry by Sophie published on April 24, 2010 4:11 PM.

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