Why Andrew Sullivan is wrong about Foucault

I wasn’t familiar with this blogger previously, but Jill Dolan at the Feminist Spectator does a brilliant take-down of Andrew Sullivan’s misperceptions and misstatements about Foucault and gay and lesbian ways of being.

A small taste:

Sullivan associates “liberationist” gay and lesbian discourse, the taxonomy’s second track, with Michel Foucault, whose ideas he proceeded to misread. In Sullivan’s interpretation of Foucault, gender and sexuality are “all in our heads.” Well, not exactly. Foucault and the school of “social constructionist” theories of gender and sexuality he in some ways originated, believe that sexuality is constructed by history and language. While men, for example, might have had sex with one another throughout history, they’re only called “homosexual” when culture decides to name these acts as such, bringing into being a stigmatized identity where there wasn’t one before.

One Response

  1. Right — before, there were just dudes having sex with other dudes: very, very different.

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