Friday, December 26, 2008

A Note on Marriage

Kenji Yoshino in his recent legal analysis for The Advocate of where to go from here with the passage of Proposition 8 notes that “Social theorist Michel Foucault once said homophobes were much less threatened by gays departing for a one-night stand than gays in a committed relationships” with Foucault stating that ‘It is not the departure for pleasure that is intolerable, it is the waking up happy” (p. 39). Yet, I don't believe Foucault was advocating for marriage – as if one wakes up from marriage happy.

I do believe that Foucault was arguing about/for the new modes of being or doing relationships that “homosexuals” opened up - of which marriage is not. One night stands and the intimacy such relationships create are in fact a way in which people – gay and straight – wake up happy and find pleasure but it is these relationships that are de-legitimated by the government and that threaten the notion that monogamy and marriage are the only options available for people to "wake up happy". We do not see political activism around these modes of being and doing life because these are the modes of being and doing that are threatening to the sanctity of "marriage" and the pedestal that it seems to occupy on the symbolic political level...

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