Comrade, why the homophobia? I always appreciate the posts you make on Third Worldism and other subjects... but then you suddenly start throwing "faggot" around. It's upsetting. Don't you know that the word is a dehumynising slur?
At this point I had not actually commented with that banned account on anything regarding sexual topics. I assume that the user “marxism-feminism” can tell when I am posting simply because of the lines I take on the Western Labor Aristocracy (or maybe Tor doesn't exactly guarantee one of anonymity online). The idea “marxism-feminism” is presenting to me is that I have a correct position on the Labor Aristocracy, so why do I say the things I do about faggots?
Deciding to be initially polite, I recommend some literature to read:
Homophobia is a loaded term.
I used to have the same sort of views on the gay-question as your standard "Leftist" in the West. While I had been exposed to some critical Queer Theory years ago, I never took it more seriously than investigating whether or not homosexuality is biological in origin, and then only as a critique of the claims that it is, not as an investigation into the social-constructivist position.
It all began to change when I was attending a conference of a self-proclaimed anti-war youth organization during the bombing of Libya, and we never once talked about the bombing of Libya, yet spent days explaining terminology like "cis-gendered" for hours on end. That's when I started developing a hostility to this crap that I couldn't put into a theoretical context.
Then a comrade on Facebook who I deeply admire sent me a copy of Joseph Massad's Desiring Arabs, and I was finally able to articulate what I had experienced in a theoretical way grounded in some of the most advanced Queer Theory available. I suggest reading this interview of Joseph Massad for a condensed version of what he talks about in the book:
Then I suggest reading the work of Queer Theorist Jasbir Puar, who Joseph Massad largely copies anyway, except in a more negative fashion. If you can master this material, then you'll understand my feelings on the topic.
And to push it further, you can go back to the works of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao, to realize they all had similar, perhaps even more viciously negative conclusions about male homosexuality. From what I can gather, the Albanians even went as far as to suggest that male homosexuality is actually an extreme form of misogyny. I have yet to investigate this claim, as I myself am trying to explore the available research into the psychological origins of male homosexuality, without much success. I have a working hypothesis not based in Freudian nonsense, but have no way to confirm or disconfirm it. My theory is male homosexuality and autogynephilia have similar psychological origins, but begin at different points in the life of the male. Male homosexuality is what happens when the process begins before puberty, and autogynephilia is what happens when it begins after. Just a hunch that I can neither confirm or disconfirm, and contacting the alleged experts on homo-psychology yields nothing of any value whatsoever either. Guess I'll have to wait for someone else to explain the psychological origins of male homosexuality, and see if my guess comes close to theirs or not.
There was some more back and forth exchange, but it isn't as interesting.
A few days later, the Klanadian “Maoist” JMP is a busy beaver, blogging away about his own reading of Jasbir Puar's book. That this conversation with the person calling themselves “marxism-feminism” and JMP's blog is linked is beyond question in my mind, given as how JMP himself directly references me in his opening post about the book. To quote him:
And since, months and months ago, there was this internet eclectic-revisionist-chauvinist-tanky-pseudoTWist marxist who cited Puar in a meandering attack on some post I wrote in order to justify his homophobia (which I could tell, from the 50% of Puar's book I had read, but only foggily remembered, was an insulting appropriation of her intellectual labour), it's all the more appropriate that I try my first (and hopefully not last) "Let's Read" series with her.
No link back to my attack on his post is given, of course. In any case, it appears JMP has been assigned the task by whatever handlers he has of declawing the work of Jasbir Puar. The implications of Jasbir Puar's work are very, very profound, and represent a clear and present ideological danger to much of First-Worldism, particularly organized “Maoism” in North Amerika.
For JMP to accuse me of writing a “meandering attack” on one of his posts is a bit hysterical, considering how long-winded and full of shit his three posts have been so far. JMP's hatchet-job of Jasbir Puar is so wandering and aimless than even the most ardent boosters of Puar could find something to agree with in JMP's 'critique'. JMP's first point to the reader says all most people will care about:
My first impression of Puar's Terrorist Assemblages is that it is going to be a frustrating read. Although it seems to excavate important territory (i.e. the way that queerness has been, one the one hand, appropriated by the imperialist camp for the war on terror and, on the other hand, displaced to terrorist bodies), and promises important theoretical concepts, so far it seems to be entrenched in the kind of smorgasbord approach to theory I've complained about before. That is, instead of providing a rigorous interrogation of the concrete and material factors of a social phenomenon upon which to build a theoretical development (which is, at least to my mind, the very strength of the historical materialist approach), it instead becomes waylaid in academic eclecticism.
JMP makes it clear to his readers: Puar is difficult reading. Expect academic language similar to the likes of Jacques Lacan, Jacques Derrida, or Louis Althusser. Expect to read something that looks like the output of The Postmodern Essay Generator. JMP doesn't have to himself imply all of this is nonsense, akin to the critiques aimed at postmodernists by the likes of Noam Chomsky and Jean Bricmont (not just a theoretical physicist critic of postmodernism, but a staunch anti-imperialist as well), as this conclusion will come naturally to certain readers of his. Perhaps even the whole book is just an academic fraud of sorts, like the infamous Sokal Affair. Better trust JMP's judgment, as he is trained to read this sort of academic mumbo-jumbo lingo. JMP got a PhD in Philosophy somewhere, after all.
JMP continues this theme later in the essay, this time taking a potshot at “queer theory” itself: Puar's 'method' (if we can call it that) lacks formal 'rigor' and is akin to throwing around random conjectures wildly.
Which brings me to Puar's defense of her theoretical eclecticism by simply deeming it queer theory: "a queer philosophical methodology… challenges a linear mode of conduction and transmission: there is no exact recipe for a queer endeavor, no a priori system that taxonomizes the linkages, disruptions, and contradictions into a tiny vessel." (xv) As a philosopher this bothers me immediately, particularly since it claims that there can be a philosophical methodology that lacks rigour (and celebrates this lack of rigour) justified as queer––this seems like a complete rejection of what philosophy means, a discipline that was always intended to provide clarity, and conflate it with random theorizing. More to the point it reads as an excuse for eclecticism and an excuse to not be coherent: I'm not going to try to provide a concrete analysis of a concrete situation because that would be not-queer.
JMP lets the reader know, Puar is a representative of something called “queer theory.” While not definitively implying all “queer theory” is like this, it is suggested to the reader it may well be. And perhaps without fully realizing (or maybe he does), JMP gives a tell to his real thoughts:
JMP doesn't like the idea of sexuality itself not being contained in a “tiny vessel.” This “tiny vessel,” in reality, is the Western sexual epistemology itself.
Allow me to introduce a concept I've been thinking of for awhile now. I like to call it the Faggot Ball. People who subscribe to an origin of homosexuality as essentially a biology based phenomenon (the “essentialist” understanding, as opposed to the Queer or “social constructivist” position) are believers in the Faggot Ball. The Faggot Ball is the cause of homosexuality. It could be in your genes, or caused by hormones in fetal development, but it is basically a ball inside you, that has been with you since you were a small collection of cells, making you a faggot. The Faggot Ball is always there. It can not be gotten rid of. You might not even know you're a faggot, until you look deep inside yourself and find the Faggot Ball somewhere. The Faggot Ball defines essentially everything about you, and you know others have the Faggot Ball inside them too, hence their shared life experience must be very similar to your own (the basis of Homo Nationalism).
Queer Theory is essentially the denial of the existence of the Faggot Ball. It is the denial of the idea that allows faggots to treat themselves as if they were a real Nation. Whatever turns men into faggots has nothing to do with biology. The ultimate origins of male homosexuality are psychological and ideological. The understanding itself of who and what a faggot even is bullshit: there are no Faggot Balls. There can not be a Faggot Nation, as the common identity is built on a false understanding of reality itself.
Allow me to reference something from Zionist Hollywood, ala Zizek. There is an episode of the show American Dad where the show's main character is presented as trying to become a homosexual. The character eventually reaches a point where he is with a homosexual in bed, and he goes to kiss him. After the kiss, the character just immediately gets up and declares himself not a homosexual. Then the character proceeds to go the GOP convention and to tell them homosexuality is not a “choice.” The obvious thought to any critical reviewer would be that in real life, the main character would have probably been coaxed to getting his dick sucked on before declaring himself not a homosexual. People undoubtedly would think a bit differently about a protagonist who closed his eyes and let himself be sucked off by another man declaring he is not a homosexual than merely engaging in a kiss.
In a very real way, JMP's objection to the rejection of a narrative where everything fits in a “tiny vessel” is an objection to Queery Theory itself. JMP believes in the Faggot Balls.
Enter Rictor Norton, stage right. Norton is a critic of Queery Theory, the “social-constructivist” view of homosexuality, and is a proponent of the essentialist understanding of the origins of male homosexuality. In other words, he believes in Faggot Balls. And strongly too. Norton has made an academic career of sorts attacking Queer Theory. Norton has wrote a book called Myth of the Modern Homosexual: Queer History and the Search for Cultural Unity, the objective of which is to refute the “social-constructivist” view of the origins of homosexuality and thus Queery Theory itself (as there is no Queer Theory without this proposition).
For those not willing to buy the book, his provocatively titled essay F*ck Foucault: How Eighteenth - Century Homosexual History Validates the Essentialist Model is free to read, and basically covers the same points. Here we have an attempted rehabilitation of the essentialist understanding of faggots, complete with the typical projection of modern understandings of faggots onto the fairly recent past. Foucault is wrong! Faggots are a species (and a Nation, Puar might add)!
Once it is clear JMP and Norton share essentially identical views, the nature of JMP's review of Puar can be understood. JMP is trying to steer the reader away from Queery Theory. Puar represents a dangerous sort of theorizing, that if taken up by certain people, could lead to violence. No one is born a faggot. Faggots are created in some fashion, and the modern homosexual identity is totally the product of capitalism and imperialism itself. Cecil Rhodes was a faggot, after all.
But JMP is trying to do this without bringing up the defining proposition of Queery Theory itself: there are no Faggot Balls! Nowhere in his three articles published so far does JMP directly address the issue of the origins of male homosexuality. JMP wants to leave himself room to straddle the fence here, just like he did in the previous essay of his I attacked (which still seems to have him fuming all these months later). Perhaps JMP is aware on a philosophical level just how hallow the essentialist understanding of male homosexuality is, but is too much of an opportunist to state so outright. It pays better to be a faggot-enabler, after all.
The Hetero-Homo binary upheld by faggots and people like Rictor Norton shouldn't take very long to dismiss as simplistic nonsense, given how varied human sexual practices are. There was a recent article in Vice talking about why some women fuck their dogs. The author Mish Way talks about why some women have relationships with animals. It immediately reminded me of the film Zoo, which is a documentary about the zoophile Kenneth Pinyan, who died from internal injuries caused by letting horses fuck him up the ass. Where does fucking animals fit into the Hetero-Homo binary? It doesn't. Zoophilia is mental illness to such thinkers. There is no ball inside someone that makes them want to fuck their dogs, or to get giant horse cock forcibly rammed in their ass. There are no Zoo Balls, cries the essentialist in this instance. This is outside the bounds of discussion.
Pedophilia is also outside the bounds of discussion, despite the long-standing “Left” critique that attacking pedophilia was a round-about way of attacking faggots. “There are no Pedophile Balls either!” cries the essentialist. It is outside the bounds of discussion as well, as many posters on RevLeft have discovered for years now. BDSM sits somewhere on the dividing line of this boundary of acceptability, this ideological barrier separating bad sex from good sex. It is being negotiated between the imperialist Oppressor Man and his Oppressor Woman (see MIM's ideas on the Gender Aristocracy), and the Homo Nationalist has rightly understood the need to butt out of that conversation.
The Homo Nationalist, the supporter of the essentialist narrative of male homosexuality, says there are no Zoo Balls or Pedo Balls inside you. These are not hard-wired sexual orientations, but inexplicable mental disorders that need to be controlled. To make such claims about Zoo Balls and Pedo Balls would only hurt the Homo Nationalist project itself. In this instance, the Homo Nationalist is turned into the sex police of sorts, or rather, the Homo Nationalist is in charge of policing sexual narratives in the Western imperialist nations.
But the imperialist bourgeoisie and its loyal Labor Aristocracy has put the Homo Nationalists into a bind. While the term LGBTQ is continually being eroded to merely LGBT (minus the Q), the Homo Nationalists also are forced to integrate the transwoman, even though it has been known for some time the Homo Nationalist views the transwoman as a faggot with a mental disorder. I first discovered this was a common view held by homosexuals from my previous student activism, plus various conversations with homosexuals online. I recall being part of a Facebook conversation where this was extensively argued by faggots.
There is a reddit post worth quoting at some length on the topic of Homo Nationalist non-acceptance of the transwoman identity. It is titled “I do not think trans-sexuality should be part of the gay rights movement.” Here is the thrust of it:
This is a bit of a frightening thing to post because people get very, very defensive about this sort of topic, and understandably so.
I would like to start by saying that I am a gay rights activist. I have participated in protests, days of silence, and voted on all the pro-gay legislation I could. I have plastered my town in signs to vote "Yes" on gay marriage, and even defaced anti-gay displays (not that this in any way legitimizes me. The anecdote is provided for understanding of my views.) But I've never really accepted the "T" in the LGBT community.
I am proud that a community could band together to support a group which faces discrimination and ostracization from the world at large. I'm not condemning the decision to defend a group of people who need defending. But I don't think trans-sexuality should be encouraged.
From my point of view, the entire idea of the gay rights movement, and by larger extension the LGBT community, is to accept who you are. It asks you to accept yourself and to accept others as they were made, and to end judgement based on arbitrary terms like sexual preference or gender roles. That is why I want to fight for this community, to see more people happy and accepting themselves. Gay or not.
But I don't feel like trans-sexuality is self acceptance. I think it is self denial in the most extreme form. We cannot, scientifically, turn a man into a woman, or the reverse. We can remove organs. We can alter the shape and appearance of genitals. We can provide hormones which impart characteristics of a gender. But none of this truly changes a sex. Your given sex affects the development of your brain, which is something you couldn't change with all the surgeries in the world. So shelling out huge money and undergoing major biological changes just to chase the idea of the other side, it doesn't seem healthy to me. It seems like the ultimate denial. And I don't think we should be acting like it's an alternative to loving yourself for who and how you are naturally.
I don't hate trans-gendered people and I don't want them to be treated unequally. They deserve love and compassion as much as anyone else. But I think we're doing a grave disservice by promoting it as a regular sort of thing. It is, undeniably, very unnatural. And it far overextends the boundaries of sexuality which LGB is literally named for.
The Homo-Nationalist understanding here is clear: the transwoman is a faggot in denial of their faggotry. The Faggot Ball is bursting forth out of them, regardless of their willingness to accept it or not. They cannot accept the existence of the Faggot Ball, so instead they imagine themselves as women, when they are really just faggots. They should just accept the Faggot Ball, stop pretending to be women, and just be faggots. Like the rest of the Faggot Nation.
JMP is in agreement with the poster here, even if he doesn't realize it himself yet. The transwoman doesn't fit into the “tiny vessel” that is the Faggot Ball theory of male homosexuality. Trannies don't make sense to the Faggot Ball understanding of reality. Neither, for that matter, does male bisexuality. This prejudice of the Homo Nationalist is perhaps probably more familiar to ordinary people who have had any extensive conversations with faggots. To the Homo Nationalist, the bisexual male is just a faggot in denial. There is no Bisexual Ball inside a male (maybe they might admit this is possible for the female, but never the male). It's either a Faggot Ball or a Straight Ball (or more Homo Chauvininistically, mere emptiness). The bisexual male is just a faggot who refuses to acknowledge what having a Faggot Ball inside them means. Having the Faggot Ball means you're a faggot and nothing else, period.
On the website of Kersplebedeb, which also publishes stuff by JMP, there is another interesting critique of the work of Jasbir Puar. It reads sort of like a much better and less meandering and long-winded version of what JMP has written so far, but there is one part in particular I'd like to focus on:
While there were a lot of esoteric catchphrases summing up the whys and hows of this, there was nothing – nada, zilch – in the way of actual historical or political explanations. It seems this judgment on a terrain of struggle was the product of a lot of mental energy and pure logic, no actual practical experience necessary. That would just get in the way.
The phrase “a lot of mental energy and pure logic” I think is key. The edifice which Puar has built is indeed the work of a lot of mental energy and pure logic. Pure logic building upon the very foundations of Queer Theory itself. If there are no Faggot Balls, as Queer Theory assumes, then it is hard to deny what Jasbir Puar is saying to people. Homo Nationalism is real, except calling it Homo Nationalism is just being nice. It is actually Homo Fascism and Homo Imperialism. Faggots are not a species, they are not a nation, they are agents of US imperialism. Gay Rights is the Gay International. The Gay International and Zionism are joined at the hip. Zionism, imperialism, and faggotry are inextricably all linked and bound up together, just like Joseph Massad says.
Or you can believe like Rictor Norton, the anonymous LGB(T?) reddit activist, and JMP do: there are such things as Faggot Balls inside people, and the work of people like Jasbir Puar and Joseph Massad is only contributing to the oppression of those with Faggot Balls inside them. And Israel is a champion of Human Rights, aka Faggot Nationalism.