Friday, November 18, 2005

who knew?

I would never have guessed from reading The Epistemology of the Closet that Eve Sedgewick was funny, but she is. This quote, about her recovery from and treatment for cancer, is from her essay "Gosh, Boy George, You Must Be Awfully Secure In Your Masculinity!" published in the anthology Constructing Masculinity (Berger, Wallis, and Watson).

"...I suddenly noticed that both my cheerful oncologist and the matter-of-fact medical textbooks I could not seem to stop reading apparently had the same question on their mind: to castrate--me!--or not to castrate. I did not even know what the word could really mean, in this context, but that did not keep me from keep me from bursting into the tears that mark the heaping of injory on insult: here I thought I already was! All these years my Lacanian friends had me convinced I had nothing to lose."

Later in the same essay she also postulates that some people may not just be more masculine or feminine than others, but that some people might just be more "gender-y" than others. I appreciate it when major theorists are willing to use a word like "gender-y."

1 comment:

erica said...

i remember laughing outloud at her anecdote about what it would be like if one had to "come out" as jewish, in that was funny. of course, i didn't read much more of the book than that, so my perception of her funniness might be a bit swayed.
lauren e-c and i just had a big conversation about the irritating-ness of "bravery" and "masculinity" it takes for a man to dress as a woman...i'm ending a lot of words with "ness" that shouldn't be...but anyway, sounds interesting!