Quick Hit: the is-she-or-isn’t-she debate

Don’t miss Ryan Thoreson’s astute and rabble rousing summary of why the media coverage of Elena Kagan‘s sexuality has really been so disappointing. An excerpt:

It doesn’t take a queer theorist to point out that the relationships you have in college don’t indelibly and permanently mark your sexual orientation, nor should it take a queer theorist to suggest that some people might have satisfying relationships with men and women — or not find those terms useful at all. What’s troubling about the treatment of Kagan’s nomination isn’t just the homophobic and anti-feminist bent of a lot of it, but how it makes our static, unimaginative views on sexuality so glaringly apparent. The ubiquity of the is-she-or-isn’t-she debate is a depressing indication of how narrowly we conceptualize gender and sexuality after all the visibility of the LGBT movement, revealing an obsession with categories without a hint of was-she-or-has-she-ever-been.

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3 Comments

  1. Toongrrl
    Posted May 27, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    What’s the big deal about her sexuality?

  2. Bridgette
    Posted May 28, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    I actually know a lot more about this than I am able to write about. That said. . .it really does not matter from a personal perspective.
    From a pure out political perspective, it would benefit President Obama with his base if he were to nominate an openly lesbian woman or gay man to the Supreme Court.
    Whether or not Elena Kagan is lesbian does not matter one iota. It would be nice if she was, and open, but it has no bearing what so ever on her ability to do the job.

  3. Broggly
    Posted May 29, 2010 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    It’s weird that even here in South Australia, where our most famous Premier (like a Governor) was bisexual, people don’t tend to think about bisexuals much. As with race, if you’re only “half-normal” you’re considered an “other” (like how Obama, Halle Berry and Powell are considered black, while here people usually think of Premier Dunstan as gay rather than bisexual)
    And if the American media is actually going on and on about Kagan’s sexuality (I get most of my American news from the Daily Show), that is pretty silly.

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