chapter  14
19 Pages

GENDER FUCKING OR FUCKING GENDER? CURRENT CULTURAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO THEORIES OF GENDER BLENDING

Stephen Whittle
WithCurrent cultural contributions to theories of gender blending*

Queer means to fuck with gender. There are straight queers, bi queers, tranny queers, lez queers, fag queers, SM queers, fisting queers in every single street in this apathetic country of ours.

(street leaflet quoted in McIntosh, 1993:31)

AN INTRODUCTORY NOTE

Observing of culture and assessing its ‘contributions’ provides me with all sorts of uneasy feelings. Stuart Hall speaks of: ‘the notion…that movements provoke theoretical moments. And historical conjectures insist on theories: they are real moments in the evolution of theory’ (Hall, 1992: 283). To be involved in cultural studies is undoubtedly a contradictory project. In the process, which is not only one of observation but of textualising a version of the observations, one becomes a ‘cultural contribution’. Cultural studies was defined and originated as a political project; ‘it holds theoretical and political questions in an ever irresolvable but permanent tension’ (Hall, 1992:284). To participate, to textualise, is to become a historical conjecture. It is an active engagement in a pedagogy with the textual producer about whom one is textualising.