||[Jan. 31st, 2006|01:02 pm]
To put it another way, the evidence of experience, whether conceived through a metaphor of visibility or in any other way that takes meaning as transparent, reproduces rather than contests given ideological systems--those that assume that the facts of history speak for themselves and those that rest on notions of a natural or established opposition between, say, sexual practices and social conventions, or between homosexuality and heterosexuality.|
Not only does homosexuality define heterosexuality by specifying its negative limits, and not only is the boundary between the two a shifting one, but both operate within the structures of the same "phallic economy"--an economy whose workings are not taken into account by studies that seek simply to make homosexual experience visible.
Theorized this way, homosexuality and heterosexuality work according to the same economy, their social institutions mirroring one another.
Making visible the experience of a different group exposes the existence of repressive mechanisms, but not their inner workings or logics; we know that difference exists, but we don't understand it as relationally constituted.
It is not individuals who have experience, but subjects who are constituted through experience.
"The Evidence of Experience" -- Joan W. Scott
Wow. The ability to rethink the methodology of the phallogo- along with that which "opposes" or seeks to expand it is big. I could be misplacing, but I think it actually makes the operations of lesbian and gay, and most recently trans- investigation more interesting. Problematic yes but interesting. Cuz it seems to me that discursively-produced identities have often been assumed, the process of becoming has also, and the "experience"/story has been privileged in favor. Though--making this particular set of theory too "cemented" could also be basically experiential with regards to Scott and her ideas. So glad I'm not in comp anymore.