The Trials of Trialoguing in Lesbian, Gay, and Feminist Studies
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The influential critical anthology Fear of a Queer Planet (Warner, ed.) belongs to a promising subgenre in the gender/sexuality studies canon—the “crossover” text looking to establish a dialogue between diverse factions in the field, in this case gay and lesbian theory turning its attention to the heterosexual mainstream. The book refers with its first word to a fear unique to self-identified straights, and attempts to mitigate such debilitating fears through the understanding generated by the writings within. Its chapters are grouped under two subheadings, “Get Over It” and “Get Used to It”—language even more pointedly selected to include this hetero other, as it no longer merely refers to but directly addresses the presumed phobic reader. Yet the writings gathered beneath these headings speak primarily about the straight opposition, instead of formulating direct addresses to it. Also, the question remains as to whether the homophobic population discussed in these works includes the straight, leftist academics most likely to encounter this text or only the larger conservative mainstream, which is almost certainly entirely out of earshot.
KeywordsDirect Address Straight Woman Lesbian Study Leftist Academic Lesbian Feminist
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