The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and the Ethics of Queer Life

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9780674004412: The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and the Ethics of Queer Life

Michael Warner, one of our most brilliant social critics, argues that gay marriage and other moves toward normalcy are bad not just for the gays but for everyone. In place of sexual status quo, Warner offers a vision of true sexual autonomy that will forever change the way we think about sex, shame, and identity.

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The Trouble with Normal argues passionately against same-sex marriage, but here's the twist: not because it denigrates the institution of marriage, but because it perpetuates the cultural shame attached to sex between consenting but unmarried adults. When gay men and lesbians try to claim that they're just like "normal folk," Michael Warner writes, they do a profound disservice to other queer folk who choose not to live in monogamous or matrimonial bliss and who believe that the solution to being stigmatized for your sexuality is not to pretend it doesn't exist. Same-sex marriage advocates, he continues, often seem to be willfully blind to the cultural ramifications of their position, viewing marriage as "an intensified and deindividuated form of coming out." They don't seem to realize that if society validates their relationships, other types of relationships will by necessity be invalidated. (He also makes a strong case for the fight against sexual shame's being more than a queer issue, citing 1998's presidential impeachment crisis: "[Bill] Clinton, certainly, was not the first to discover how hard it is in this culture to assert any dignity when you stand exposed as a sexual being.") Extending his analysis, Warner shows how the championing of married gays and lesbians as "normal" is part of the same cultural climate that leads to "quality of life" crackdowns against queercentric businesses--as is already underway in New York City--and a deliberate sabotage of safer-sex education that puts millions of Americans at continued risk of exposure to HIV. Warner's precise, straightforward argument is enlivened by numerous sharp zingers, as when he accuses Andrew Sullivan of "breath[ing] new and bitchy life into Jesuitical pieties" about sexual morality. The Trouble with Normal is a bold, provocative book that forces readers to reconsider what sexual liberation really means. --Ron Hogan

About the Author:

Michael Warner is Seymour H. Knox Professor of English and American Studies at Yale University. He is the editor of American Sermons: The Pilgrims to Martin Luther King and Fear of a Queer Planet. He also writes for The Nation, The Advocate, The Village Voice, and other periodicals.

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Book Description HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Michael Warner, one of our most brilliant social critics, argues that gay marriage and other moves toward normalcy are bad not just for gays but for everyone. In place of sexual status quo, Warner offers a vision of true sexual autonomy that will forever change the way we think about sex, shame and identity. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780674004412

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Book Description HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Michael Warner, one of our most brilliant social critics, argues that gay marriage and other moves toward normalcy are bad not just for gays but for everyone. In place of sexual status quo, Warner offers a vision of true sexual autonomy that will forever change the way we think about sex, shame and identity. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780674004412

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Book Description Harvard University Press, 1999. Book Condition: New. 1999. New Ed. Paperback. This work argues that gay marriage and other moves towards "normalcy" will have negative effects for the gay, and wider, community. It offers an alternative to sexual status quo, offering instead a vision of sexual autonomy that challenges conventional thinking on sex, shame, and identity. Num Pages: 240 pages, Ill. BIC Classification: JFC; JFSK. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 216 x 142 x 16. Weight in Grams: 230. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780674004412

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Book Description Harvard University Press 2000-11-01, 2000. Book Condition: New. Brand new book, sourced directly from publisher. Dispatched within 2 working days from our warehouse. Book will be sent in robust, secure packaging to ensure it reaches you securely. Bookseller Inventory # NU-BNT-00564872

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