Outline_Rubin-1 - Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory...

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Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality Gayle Rubin I. The Sex Wars A. "The time has come to think about sex" (3). 1. There are times, like the present, when we live with the possibility of destruction that people become crazed about sexuality. 2. Sexual values and erotic conduct "acquire immense symbolic weight" (4). 3. "Sexuality should be treated with special respect in times of great social stress" (4). 4. Within the realm of sexuality we can find issues of politics, inequality, and oppression. 5. Is should be noted that sex is always political. B. The nineteenth century has left its imprint on modern day. 1. It has left attitudes on sex. 2. It has left attitudes on medical practices. 3. It has left attitudes on child-rearing. 4. It has left attitudes on parental anxiety. 5. It has left attitudes on police conduct. 6. It has left attitudes on sex law. 7. "The idea that masturbation is an unhealthy practice is part of this heritage" (4). C. Many of the sex laws currently on the books are from the nineteenth century. 1. 1873- The Comstock Act named for Anthony Comstock. 2. 1910- The Mann Act, also known as the White Slave Traffic Act 3. 1950's- saw sex offenders become the object of public fear and scrutiny. a. molesters b. rapists c. sex offender became a code word for homosexual to police 4. 1940's-1960's- erotic communities drew intense
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persecution. 5. homosexuals were the objects of witch hunts and purges that lasted into the 1970's. 6. 1977- campaign to repeal the Dad County gay rights ordinance. a. inaugurated a new wave or violence b. inaugurated a new wave of state persecution c. inaugurated a new wave of legal initiatives These were directed against the minority sexual population and the sex industry. (1) the motto for the repeal campaign was "Save Our Children" because homosexuals were trying to recruitment, yeah right! (2) a new bill that is even tougher against child porn has passed the house 400-1 which allows the prosecution of anyone even possessing a snapshot of a minor (sexual) could go to jail for fifteen years. D. "Like communists in the 1950's, boy-lovers are so stigmatized that it is difficult to find defenders for their civil liberties" (7). 1. The police have focused on them. 2. "Local police, the FBI, and watchdog postal inspectors have joined a huge apparatus whose sole aim is to wipe out the community of men who love underage youth" (7). 3. It will take about twenty years or so for this wave to pass but by then many lives will have been shattered and many will be embarrassed to have associated with this scam but it will be to late. 4. "During this period (1950's) Alfred Kinsey and his Institute were attacked for weakening the moral fiber of Americans and rendering then vulnerable to communist influence" (7-8). E. "Right-wing opposition to sex education, homosexuality,
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course LGBT UNKNOWN taught by Professor Unknown during the Spring '08 term at Kent State.

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Outline_Rubin-1 - Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory...

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