In Halperin's Is There a History of Sexuality, he explains that sex as an act is a natural and universal phenomenon and thus has no history. On the other hand, he clarifies that there is a history of sexuality, although it is a fairly recent history and is socially constructed. By this, he means to enlighten his readers to the fact that sexuality is not fixed, but rather is constantly changing and that sexuality exists differently in different contexts throughout history.
In Greenberg's article, Transformations of Homosexuality-Based Classifications, he argues that the modern homosexual identity has emerges as a result of continuously shifting categories and constant transformations over time. Like Halperin, Greenberg gives an extensive timeline of homosexual categories within their historical context.
[...] Pornography on the other hand, creates and maintains women's sexual oppression. Pornography emphasizes sensation without feeling, as it is visually based and superficial. Lorde relates pornography to men and men's oppression of women and the erotic is tied to women and feminine power. I agree with the distinction that Lorde makes here. Although much of what is categorized as pornography is exceedingly demeaning to women, this is not to say that all sexual media should be expelled. One great example of a celebration of the erotic is the work of Annie Sprinkle. [...]
[...] Greenberg believes that sexuality is fluid and constantly changing throughout history and attributes the modern homosexual identity to a transformation over time. D'Emilio, on the other hand, acknowledges only one paradigm shift. He believes that the homosexual identity was born out of free labor and capitalism and draws a distinct line between pre-modern and modern sexuality. Jagose makes a distinction between social construction and essentialism as ways of explaining identities that is echoed in many of the texts that we have read. [...]
[...] [compare and contrast] In Greenberg's article, “Transformations of Homosexuality-Based Classifications”, he argues that the modern homosexual identity has emerges as a result of continuously shifting categories and constant transformations over time. Like Halperin, Greenberg gives an extensive timeline of “homosexual” categories within their historical context. He defines the two pre-modern categories to be Greek/Roman pederasty and Medieval European sodomy or buggery. Moving along, he defines three modern categories to be Mollies, Inverts and the homosexual of modern day. Greenberg thoroughly illustrates the social context that led to each transitional category and believes that sexuality is fluid and constantly changing. [...]
[...] Rich focuses on the plight of women specifically but Rubin would agree that political and economic institutions keep women dependent on men thus instilling a pressure to be heterosexual. Where these two authors differ is with their opinions of how to achieve sexual liberation. Rubin calls to eliminate sex laws and to give rights to people of all sexual identities. This includes allowing freedom for acting in sexual behaviors typically reserved for men, such as pornography. Rich, on the other hand, holds the view of pornography that it is demeaning to women and forces male sexuality upon women. [...]
[...] In conclusion he states that we should stop letting sexuality define identity so it can be fluid and destroy the binary of hetero/homosexuality. I agree with Halperin's argument that sexuality is a social construction and that it changes as its historical context changes. I also thoroughly understand why this particular construction is capable of oppression and causes confusion. It is not necessary to attribute the binary of hetero/homosexual to a person's identity. However, I believe that the reason for this oppression is not due simply to the fact that sexuality exists in a social construction. [...]
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