Our sexualities and genders are developmental and relational constructions: simultaneously biological and social, inventive and defensive. They result from genetic and hormonal predispositions, family expectations and social pressures, conflicts and defences, fantasies, identifications and counteridentifications, projections and introjections. They arise from the incessant attempt to come to terms with one’s own pleasures, anxieties, identities and compromising solutions. Does the orientation of our sexuality have to do with the construction and expression of our gender? The multiplicity of meanings contained in those two embodied concepts is a definite obstacle for a full understanding of the relationship that unites and separates them. So, the first answer should be no – everybody knows that gender expression and sexual orientation are two independent dimensions. Rather, for a long time, psychoanalytic theorisation about homosexuality has overlapped male homosexuality with “femininity” and female homosexuality with “masculinity”. This overlapping, based on a binary and stereotyped idea of “masculine” and “feminine”, has nevertheless delayed the theorisation both on gender and sexual orientation. Homosexual men, for example, have been thought of as “failed women”, a sort of “sub-gender”, losing the inevitable weave of their sexualities, cultures, personal styles. The second answer should be yes, and in any case – homosexuals or heterosexuals. The relationship between gender and sexual orientation is a topic too often approached in a polarised way – we should be able to understand it with a more dialectical attitude. They cannot overlap completely or be separated categorically, and they cannot be read wearing only one type of glasses: biological, psychological or social. “The challenge is neither to essentialize gender nor to dematerialize it.” (Dimen & Goldner, 2012, p. 135). Sexual orientation and gender are not connected in a forced and predictable way. Personal histories and cultural inscriptions influence the gender shadows by which the individual expresses her/his desires. We know that there is no gender that is “expressed” by actions, gestures, or speech. Rather, its performance was precisely that which retroactively produces the illusion that there was an inner gender core (Butler, 1990, 1999). So, when thinking about gender, we cannot make reference to a template
No maps for uncharted lands. What does gender expression have to do with sexual orientation? / Lingiardi, Vittorio. - STAMPA. - (2015), pp. 101-121. [10.4324/9781315714608].
|Titolo:||No maps for uncharted lands. What does gender expression have to do with sexual orientation?|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2015|
|Citazione:||No maps for uncharted lands. What does gender expression have to do with sexual orientation? / Lingiardi, Vittorio. - STAMPA. - (2015), pp. 101-121. [10.4324/9781315714608].|
|Appartiene alla tipologia:||02a Capitolo o Articolo|