tisdag 18 november 2008

Zoroastrianism and queer culture

Dear Dino

I agree completely but we are also threading on thin ice here regarding if this really is a concern on a Zoroastrian forum. But let's summarize the issue anyway within this reservation of mine.
Basically the family and marriage has a central place in Zoroastrian teachings and culture.
What is strikingly different though is that the modern western dilemma of the sexualization of intimate relationships is alien to most of Iranian and Indian culture and certainly to Zoroastrianism.
So I regard the queer movement as a creative force within a western cultural context as a reaction against a specific heteronormative and sexonormative mainly modernist view of marriage, love, sex and family life (basially the nuclear family of 1950s Americana).
Zoroastrianism always had a far more pragmatic approach towards these issues so the queer reaction is there largely out of place. The relative strength of women and the tolerance towards gays and the de-sexualization of marriage and intimacy doesn't motivate such a strong opposing force within the Zoroastrian cultural context. There isn't a major enemy to fight, so why then fight it?


2008/11/18 Special Kain

Dear friends,

I'm fully aware that this isn't about Zoroastrianism per se, but I find it most interesting and I'd like to share it with you. It is politically and socially relevant, especially if you look at the situation in some countries in Eastern Europe and the band of same-sex marriage in a few states of the US.
Why is "queer" far more revolutionary than "gay"? Because "gay" is being integrated into society via two completely different and sometimes complementary ways: via demonstrating homosexuals' conformance or via profitability. Either the journalists and politicians observe and communicate that most homosexuals live heteronormative lives or they observe and communicate that we can make lots of money with homosexuals, since they're often considered spend-happy consumers or producers of new fashion and media trends. So any male can be integrated into capitalism and exploited financially via new trends specifically for males. And that's how gay people are turned into role models of consumption.
This is where "queer" makes a difference: by defying heteronormativity and critizing power relationships in our late-capitalist consumer culture! Queers do not surrender to their newly imposed roles of being exploitable consumers and heteronormatively prudish and coy citizens. In fact, they do not surrender to any fixed identities at all, creating their own fluid selves. That's why "queer" is STILL more revolutionary than "gay".
But do we have to think of the rise of "the gay consumer" as a bad development? No, we don't. Nothing is bad or good only, there's always a mixed state of bad and good - a grey goo, so to speak. If making perfect capitalists is the way for homosexuals to gain more rights, then we should support it - and create better alternative solutions along the way.
I'm sorry, Alexander, if this is too off-topic. But this is EXACTLY what I found out during the past few days when working on my thesis. It perfectly mirrors what everybody else was thinking, anyway.

Ushta, Dino

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