from Commonwealth / Queer politics and anti-identity

Hardt & Negri

Queer politics may be, from this perspective, the most clearly revolutionary form of identity politics since, in the work of its most significant proponents, such as Michael Warner, Judith Butler, and Eve Sedgwick, it links identity politics inextricably to a critique o f identity. Queer politics, in other words, reveals the violences and subordinations of heteronormativity and homophobia along with other gender hierarchies, proposes projects to struggle against them, but at the same time seeks, often through processes of what Jose Muhoz calls ”disidentification,” to abolish (or at least destabilize and problematize) ”the homosexual” as identity, as well as woman, man, and other gender identities. ”Queer . . . is an identity category,” An – namarie Jagose argues, ”that has no interest in consolidating or even stabilizing itself…. [QJueer is less an identity than a critique of identity.” We should note, however, that in the work of many other authors and increasingly in public discourse today, ”queer” is used not as a critique of identity but simply as another identity category, often as shorthand for L G B T (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender/ transsexual). Just as we have noted conceptual (and political) splits i n other identity domains between nonrevolutionary and revolutionary streams, so too the fields of queer theory and queer politics are divided between advocacy projects that affirm queer as identity and propositions that wield queer as an anti-identity to undermine and abolish all gender identities and set in motion a series of becomings.

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