(yeah, thats totally a link. click it. yeah. do it.)
I think that queering can definitely be related to the ideas of power, normative ideology, body image, and in a way, innocence.
Firstly, Cohen does a great job in explaining how power works in a "queering" sense. Her articulation of how queering and politics can relate to eachother really gave me the jumping off point I needed to play the mash up game today. Cohen says "I envision a politics where one's relation to power, and not some homogenized identity, is privileged in determining one's political comrades... if any radical potential is to be found in the idea of queerness and the practice of queer politics, it would seem to be located in its ability to create a space in opposition to dominant norms, a space where transformational political work can begin." But this makes me think... How does one queer politics? How does one queer power? When I think of queering power, I think of how power situations begin, especially in a patriarchal society. The answer to that is Family. Kincaid does a great deal of work in the ideas of queering children and how children are expected to be pure and innocent. He talks about how we remain powerful over children and their sexual identities by silencing them in situations of sexual crisis, like molestation. The political system, legislation and courts alike are supposed to protect the "innocence of children." But how is that to be if innocence and sexual purity are not especially inherent in children but are instead projected onto them by adult fantasies.
Speaking of adult fantasies... Kincaid's article got me thinking about how women are really expected to be children, that is childlike. Innocent, pure, smooth skinned, youthful, and quiet. This reminds me of the Queer this post of the Ralph Lauren ad featuring the ridiculously skinny women. Her waist was of a childlike size, and her skin was smooth. She appeared to be very young. Her body was the center of the image, and the eyes are drawn to it in lieu of the face. It is a very oppressive image in my mind. This, to me relates back to Cohen's discussions of power and how it can be queered.
It is not unusual for people in positions of power (politicians, adults, parents, men... what have you) to silence or try to silence those in opposition to it (women, children, constituents... etc). Those who queer power are those who react to this oppression with steadfastness and courage.
A lot of what we talk about in class has to do with oppression of women, homosexuals, transgender folks, and bisexuals. Sometimes we touch on race, but it isn't very often. I would like to change this pattern. When we talk about power and patriarchy like Kincaid and Cohen do it is important to read between the lines and expand the principles to other kinds of societal issues. The issues of racial stratification in our society are truly disheartening. I think that is what is at the heart of some of the arguments discussed by Cohen and Kincaid, how these principles apply to all people.
In Cookiekidd's Direct engagement with Richard Thompson Ford's article, he talks about what is queer about race. Since race is directly connected to power, i found this engagement fitting. CookieKidd said something that really excited me in this engagement, "Being queer is not about one's identity but rather how one chooses to live their lives by challenging mainstream society's social and ideological construction of race and gender." This to me really helped solidify what I'm trying to mash up... this is really feeling like mashed up bananas coming out of my head at this point, lots and lots of blogging today. However, his engagement with this article has a lot to do with interracial homosexual relationships and how they function to queer both race and heterosexual and heteronormative relationships. He says, "His article dealt with a lot of analyzing into race and social identity construction and how queer theory to him played an important role in challenging these views. It's almost as if he refers to himself as queer theory itself, and yet by him choosing to marry his partner, he is also choosing to obtain a part of what heterosexuals views as sacred and "normal"." This is extremely relevant, especially because a lot of what I study is how race is socially constructed, and i try to apply that ideology to how sexuality is a social construct in society too. Kincaid, Cohen and Ford have all helped me form this argument, Race is formed to maintain power heirarchies between whites and non-whites in society, just like sexual norms and identifications are formed to maintain heteronormative power structures and patriarchy.
Ok I feel like I'm rambling. Thats all I have.