chapter  4
23 Pages

MAKING THE SENSE OF BUGGERY

Buggery is not merely another term in the lexicon of the law, through which the male body in its genital relations with other male bodies is to be represented. Buggery has long been assigned an exalted position. This chapter is concerned with the way in which this nobility is generated at any one time, particularly the present, and repeated over time. The position of ‘buggery’ is intimately connected to the meanings that have been associated with and given voice through the use of ‘buggery’ to make sense and nonsense of this male genital body with particular reference to the English legal order. This chapter is an exploration of those meanings. In pursuing this line of analysis, the chapter seeks to achieve another objective: to explore the meanings that have been associated with and given voice through the term ‘homosexual’ in law. In the 1967 Sexual Offences Act, a connection is made between buggery and homosexual. It is made in the name of equivalence, between buggery and homosexual, and in the name of tradition. Tradition, as the bond that connects homosexual to buggery, is important in two ways. First, it suggests that the meanings that are henceforth to be associated with and given a voice through the use of ‘homosexual’ are those that have been produced by way of ‘buggery’. Second, tradition suggests not only a sameness between homosexual and buggery but it also suggests a sameness in the repetition of ‘buggery’ over time. In pursuing an analysis of the meanings of ‘buggery’, this chapter seeks to challenge these claims of sameness and repetition.