9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN33 Women's and Gender Studies

2009-09-05 13:30:00 2009-09-05 15:00:00 Saturday, 5 September 13:30 - 15:00 The Social Reproduction of Gender Inequalities Building II, C4.02

Gender Narratives and Gay Marriage : Towards Deconstruction of Family Ideology

This presentation deals with the controversy over gay marriage, which brings about the duplicity of governmental intervention and thereby marginalizing complexity of gender narratives by over-simplifying them.

I would be starting by examining genealogy of three historical phases of legal approach to homosexuality. Though homosexuality had generally been recognized throughout human history as abnormal, it was religious ethics that specifically banned and punished homosexuality. Moreover with the rise of imperialism, male homosexuals were persecuted as political scapegoats for masculine culture. Nevertheless with the advancement of human rights discourse, most of states nowadays have seized to prohibit homosexuality, except for gay marriage.

Gay marriage has become burning issue in discourse over human rights of sexual minority, for several countries had already started to approve it. Considering the tendency in cultural changes, it seems just as a matter of time even in many societies, just to converge the difference of homosexuals as that of the Others. However deeper problem originates with a paradoxical situation, for those of whom being oppressed by the government end up desiring the government's desire. In other words when the sexual minorities call for help of governmental authorities or legal enforcement, they cannot but experience excessive interference. Hence, soon as gay couples weave into the official institution of marriage their uniqueness and radical culture would probably start to get drained, and they would end up being assimilated to the ideology of normal family. Hence reconstruction of legislation towards gay marriage should simultaneously take place with deconstruction of family ideology.

For the purpose of eventually deconstructing the myth of home sweet home that unconsciously suppresses sexual diversity, I will try to investigate the very nature of family ideology in legal culture. Such work requires the supplements of various postmodern theories in psychology, legal anthropology, as well as law and literature. It includes the interpretation of mythology on Oedipus and Antigone, fieldworks done in polygamy societies, and critique of literary pieces that deals with sexual minorities.