Tuesday, January 25, 2005

After the first class, Readings: Smith, Halperin and Boswell. Film: Before Stonewall

In class we discussed the readings some. I thought Smith was fairly straight forward. She basically said that homophobia is the most oppressive "ism" and it needs to be discussed and understood because it is everywhere around us. Being gay is to be oppressed among the oppressed. This is something most people don't think about.

I found Boswell extremely hard to read. Discussion in class somewhat cleared up some questions. What I got from the reading and class is that Boswell thinks that just because you engage in homosexual behaviors doesn't make you gay, or in other words, doesn't mean you identify as homosexual. Halperin on the other hand says people identify themselves as a sexuality based on behavior.

The film we saw in class was Before Stonewall. I enjoyed this movie. There were older people talking about being homosexual in the 1920s-40 mainly. It's strange in a way to see an older person talking about sexuality, homosexuality ever stranger. It was very interesting. The fact that it was "easier" to be a gay or lesbian surprised me. This just means that there seemed to be less vocal anti-gay activists and therefore the gay community in the city was more open. But of course, all this changed after World War II because of women returning to the homes and the McCarthy era.

I am excited about the service learning project. However, my lack of transportation limits me to work within walking distance. I have a few ideas, but the one I'm focusing on is to do something with my photography. I have contacted the Pride Alliance and hopefully can get an idea from them of where to go.


Blogger Celia Easton said...

Hi Sara,

Good work on distinguishing Halperin & Boswell. Taking it a little further, Boswell wants to make the case that sexual identity (whether heterosexual or homosexual) is innate, that at any point in history individuals recognized a psycho-sexual identity, whether or not they had the vocabulary to articulate it. Halperin argues that identity is a social construction, not something that comes from within, and that historians like Boswell are imposing a notion of homosexuality that is only 100 years old on societies that thought about sexuality in other ways--the Greeks, for example, in terms of power relations.

February 3, 2005 at 3:25 PM  

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