Filed under: Attachment, Belonging, Love, Politics, psychoanalysis, queerness, sexuality, supervalent_thought, writing | Tags: LGBT
I tried but failed to complete a challenge made a few days ago by Jaime Hovey to write something about Proposition 8 and the problem/desire of gay marriage, even though I’m neither enthusiastic about marriage as a political project or foundation for the good life; nor enjoy writing useless polemics only to be read by progressives who are as ambivalent as I am about bracketing the whole feminist/queer critique of marriage as moral aspiration and property right, let alone the routing of GLBTQ politics to appeals for normalizing statuses;nor enjoy writing something in haste when I am trying to learn to write beautifully, or at least more effectively. But as my friend Kay Sera says, “Whatever.”
In any case, I am not about to cede civil rights to heterosexuals just because they have a sexual pattern that they like. It’s a sexual pattern, not a way of life! A way of life is a much richer and more complex thing than a sexual pattern. That’s really all I’d like to say.
A way of life involves the cultivation of everyday habits, habits of reproducing life (work, care), of paying attention, of inattention, of intensities of focus that are serious and frivolous. A way of life involves managing the habituated way you show up and the way you check out of relations you are having. A way of life is a thick space of connection, habit, aversion, demand, deference, and pragmatism, enriched by fantasies of what makes it worth maintaining, only some of which you can bear to own while others are more secreted.
A sexual object choice comparatively is a flat empirical episode that endures or not, that repeats or not, that explains you, or not. What do I know about you when I know your sexual pattern? When Alfred Adler invented the term “lifestyle” in 1929, he was talking about such patterning, the patterning that constitutes personality, not the normatively and morally saturated theatre of appearances that is now over-shaping the political in California. Continue reading →