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David Gauntlett.

Queer Theory: Critics

There are inevitably people who don't like queer theory because they think it is deviant or inappropriate, or more likely don't really know what it is anyway. In a recent edition of the journal Sexualities, Tim Edwards gave a list of reservations which are at least based on some understanding of what it is.

Edwards's arguments appear below (abridged, of course,
and in blue).

[Possible counter-arguments appear in red].

For most people, their sexual identity isn't particularly fluid, it's surprisingly constant really. [But you could say: How does Edwards know this?].

Queer theory cheats, by focusing on cultural texts (rather than real life) where it is easier to find sexual or gender ambiguities.
[But you could say: No... our theorists are just a bit lazy].

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, for example, deconstructs sexual categories and dualisms in a bunch of 'elite' literary texts. Others have taken this to be an account of real social life.
[But you could say: Sedgwick is a literary theorist -- what do you expect? And it's not her fault if a few Americans (as Edwards has it) can't tell the difference between books and reality].

Judith Butler's followers similarly ignore real-life oppression and instead support their optimistic worldview by gazing at gender-blending movies and photography. Discrimination at home and at work, for everyday gay people, are forgotten about in this approach.
[But you could say: It sounds like a good point. But queer theory fans do want to change the world to be more tolerant of (perceived) difference. And they are keen on efforts to bring this about through popular cultural forms. So..?].

Butler's argument that gender exists at the level of discourse ignores its significance as 'an institutionalised social practice'.
[But you could say: Butler shows that gender exists at the level of discourse because she wants to collapse its institutionalised power].

The celebration of radical diversity may lead to individualism and fragmentation.
[But you could say: That's what white feminists said to black women to keep them quiet...].

By celebrating difference, queer politics makes the 'gay' or 'lesbian' identity all too important.
[But you could say: No. It makes those things less important, obviously, since it refuses to recognise any supposedly fixed or core identities].

Queer theory celebrates pleasure and therefore puts too much emphasis on sex. It also puts too much emphasis on the visual, and too much emphasis on the young and trendy.
[But you could say: Hello? Queer theory celebrates diversity and variety. No theory could be happier with asexual, elderly blind people].

Conclusions? Draw your own.

Edwards, Tim, 'Queer Fears: Against the Cultural Turn', in Sexualities, vol. 1, no. 4, pp. 471-484.