chapter  6
16 Pages

POLICING AND THE PRODUCTION OF THE HOMOSEXUAL(ITY) OF LAW

Any attempt to study policing as a complex technology of production that incites, extracts, distributes and institutionalizes the homosexuality of law has to address a general problem. Until recently the police (like other agents of law) have been in a privileged position with respect to the production of the male genital body in its genital relations with other male bodies in law. This privileged position can be explained in various ways. First, it is a position that reflects the fact that, as agents of the law, the police have not only been duly authorized to deploy the limited lexicon of the law through which this body of the law might be imagined, but have also developed the practices whereby this lexicon might be deployed on a day-to-day basis. Second, the privileged position of policing reflects the fact that access to the lexicon of the law was also access to the silence of the law. This has produced particular effects. Policing has played a central role on the more general production of the male genital body in its genital relations with other male bodies, creating and enforcing silences at the same time as producing an immense verbosity by way of the official lexicon of the law. This has particular consequences for a study of policing. For example, until recently, public access to information about practices of policing was very limited. It was largely confined to the official reports of cases contained in the law reports and more generally in media reports of police operations or court proceedings. In addition it must also be recognized that these records of police practices produced this male body of law in a particular way. Here it is a body produced by way of a specific lexicon and a body that is made sense and nonsense of by way of particular schemata of knowledge that produce that body as a criminal body, a pathological body and a marginal body.