Subversive Readings of Sexuality

According to the medical psychiatrists August Forel and Havelock Ellis, women have the same sexual needs as men. However, Forel has admitted women's sexual requirements as more passive'. Furthermore, the physical strength and assertiveness of both mind and action are considered as the positive aspects of male behavior. A female maternal function should be considered as the important matter in life. Foel's instinct of procreation is more vivid and firm in a woman than a man. Women's most pressing concern is the ability to play the part of the one who devotes herself.

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Works on Sexuality Written Havelock Ellis

As well as in Foel's works, The Evolution of Modesty: The Phenomena of Sexual Periodicity Auto Eroticism by Havelock Ellis, it describes the role of men and women in sexual relations. The male takes the part of the naturally aggressive attitude. On the contrary, female takes a naturally defensive attitude. The current assertions have formed the rest of his books. They are closely intertwined with the emancipation of women. In The Man and Woman, Ellis wrote the lust of power and knowledge, the research for artistic perfection, are usually masculine characters. He starts with the assertion the hope of our future civilisation lies in the development of equal freedom of both the masculine and feminine elements of life. An important aspect of Havelock's writings occurs by placing the womens erotic desire on the equal footing with men's. Indeed, in the treatise Sexual Inversion, Havelock shows the compassion and acceptance of the same-sex desiring individuals known as inverts. Havelock wrote that, the dramatic and artistic aptitudes of inverts are partly due to the circumstances of the invert's life, which render him necessarily an actor,-and in some few cases lead him into a love of deception, comparable with that of a hysterical woman.

It is interesting to assess the intersection between sexology and psychoanalysis through Havelock's model for a sexual invert. Firstly, this is depicted by noticing the manifestation of Elliss sexological thoughts in Freud's work Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality. Moreover, Freud has indicated his attention to Ellis's ideas in his footnote: the information contained in this first essay derives from the well known writings of Krafft-Ebing, Moll, Moebius, Havelock Ellis Freud acknowledges the weight of Ellis thoughts in his works. On the other hand, it seems like Ellis fails to convey the same influence of psychoanalysis on sexology. Although, he believed that psychoanalysis was not ready to recognise homosexuality as congenital, he praised the insight of genius (about Freud) and separated him from his more dogmatic followers. In Sexual Inversion, Ellis has determined a Freudian conception of homosexuality as an acquired phenomenon. Probably, it was not diverse enough and scientifically rigorous to explain the problems associated with the invert through the overwhelming focus on different forms of the Oedipus complex. Though there were many contradictions between Freud and Ellis, it is important to recognize that both contributed to the developing of the invert understanding during the 1920s. Moreover, one of many Freud's works merits implied a professional significance to the role of sex as something that can be discussed. Freud's attention to sexual behaviour during adolescence was important in reflecting a change of attitudes on the supposedly unhealthy aspects of sex. Before Freud, such behaviour has been considered obscene and dangerous. But now it is a matter of the legal and medical consideration.

Several sexologists were distancing themselves from the views of same-sex desire. For instance, Krafft-Ebing understood it as a form of illness. This statement leads us directly to the following question: What is sexual inversion? We can find the answer in Havelock Ellis work The Studies of the Psychology of Sex: Is it as many would believe, an abominably acquired vice, to be stamped out by the prison? Or is it, as a few assert, a beneficial variety of human emotion which should be tolerated or even fostered? Is it a diseased condition which qualifies its subject for the lunatic asylum? Or is it a natural monstrosity, a human sport, the manifestations of which must be regulated when they become antisocial? There is probably an element of truth in more than one of these views.

Concepts Integrated by Havelock Ellis

Turning to Havelock Ellis, he has integrated many concepts taken from Freud. For instance, the conception based on the firm evidence that homosexuality was not about a misguided choice or an anomaly that needed to be cured. Also, the acceptance of same-sex desire depended upon the level of sexual knowledge. In fact, the term sexual invert, offered by Havelock Ellis, is actually natural. In Sexual Inversion, Ellis wrote, the law and public opinion combine to place a heavy burden and a severe social stigma on the manifestations which to these persons who possess it frequently appears natural and normal. In his opinion, in the invert he acknowledges overlapping of women features with masculine traits, The general conformation of the body is feminine. But with arms, palms up, extended in front of her with inner sides of hands touching, she cannot bring the inner sides of forearms together, as nearly every woman can, showing that the feminine angle of arm is lost. There is the true relevancy of the mannish lesbian adoption in an early sexological discourse. It shows how a sexual invert had been created, and, in turn, how it, as a figure of sexual excess, could have grown into the figure that deviated from the female prerogatives.

This confusion has led to the determination of homosexual as a genuine criminal (as defined by Lombroso). There the view of homosexuality as a negative representation of those acting upon their same-sex desires has been developed. It refers us to the region of consciousness where the fact and fiction are being mixed, and the view of homosexual as a pathological species struck its roots. Nevertheless, there may be a chance to resolve this problem. After all, Havelock Ellis has chosen to reject the view on sexual inverts illness, stating as it had been a natural phenomenon. It is no wonder he was seeking to liberate homosexuality. Havelock Ellis understanding of inversion as a congenital anomaly is essential. It has established same-sex desire as innate rather than chosen, bringing the acceptance to any features that might violate specific gender boundaries. To my mind, there is a significant difference between the third-sex model advocated by Edward Carpenter and the view of gender inversion encapsulated by Havelock Ellis. It indicates the tension between the forms of sexology beginning to overlap.

Judith Butler Views

Judith Butler has written against the view by which homosexual is a threat to the hierarchy of gender formations. She has reacted against the binary fixity of gender and sexuality serving to support a patriarchal system of the compulsory heterosexuality. Her earlier writings have described the way of re-signifying gender beyond the biological categories of sex. Judith's view has been shaped by an ongoing analysis around the decentering of the subject. Her concern with the abjection of gay and lesbian sexualities by the heterosexual imperative is a part of attempts to radicalize the treatment of same-sex desire and deconstruct binary structures. Consequently, Judith Butlers theory will be used to show how a queer theory aims to deconstruct the heteornormative understandings of sex, gender and sexuality. As for me, the most interesting is how the queer identity and the third wave feminism have addressed the ways in which the experiences of the cross-gendered body opens up a deconstruction of binary structures.

Michel Foucault has a great impact on Judith Butler's work. As for me, the most interesting one is addressing the queer identity and the third wave feminism to the ways in which the experiences of the cross-gendered body opens up a deconstruction of binary structures. This entails her to argue that the unstable gender is being secured by the abjection of homosexuality. Judith Butler elaborates Michel Foucault's investigation through the subjection of the body by material forces. It is producing by demonstrating the ways in which the marginalized identities are complicit with the regimes of power. Under the influence of Michel Foucault, Judith has turned against a biological determinist view of gender. Judith Butlers re-working of Michel Foucault's theory has incited her to the acceptance of sex through the identification with some normative rules. Butler attempts to disassociate sex from gender and resembles Michel Foucaults argument against securing gender by the discursive construction of sexuality. Judith sees it in one way, Sex is effectively secured by casting the duality of sex in a prediscursive domain. Yet, the progressive identities such as drag and parody are crucial to the deconstruction of sex/gender distinctions.

As a result, we are confronted with Judith Butler's parodic performance, in imitating gender, drag implicitly reveals the imititive structure of gender itself- as well as its contingency. The completion of appetency and parody authenticates the view about the social and historical performance of gender. Gender is not defined as something we have but something we do. In support of this argument, in Bodies that Matter, Judith talks about the importance of a regulatory ideal in shaping the materiality of the body. Judith Butler's view of sex is determined by the repetition of acts to bring into view a necessary norm.By incorrectly imitating the regulatory ideal, it creates a modification of gender identity. Thus, revealing the contingency of the norm and opening up some new configurations of sexuality leaving a little belief in identities as stable, natural or inherent.

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and Her Writings

Therefore, Judith Butler highlights some of the thorniest issues raised within the process of overlapping the personal and cultural identities often described in sexological writings. This question is often defined in such writings. It defends and reconstitutes those identities, where the knowledge cannot be taken for granted. The fracturing of masculinity and femininity, together with the homo/heterosexual classifications, so often described by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, are not the grounded categories in Epistemology of the Closet. Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick has described the western culture as governed by a chronic, now an endemic crisis of homo/heterosexual definition. In the chapter Queer and Now, she makes a very important point on the term queer. It may refer to the open mesh of possibilities, gaps, overlaps, dissonances and resonances, lapses and excesses of meaning when the constituent elements of anyone's gender, of anyones sexuality are made (or cant be made) to signify monolithically. This definition inspires to explore the extent to which spaces of silence in the service of the queer theory might draw into a discussion those blanks and gaps and silences, as represented by Elaine Showalter.

Those formal techniques, as the structures of silence, are inviting a reader to fill those blanks in the text that might understand the meaning of silences in the literary text. Sedgwick makes an important claim when she levies for a disjoining of gender from a sexual choice. Without gender, there could be no concept of homo or heterosexuality. But many other dimensions of sexual choice (auto or autoerotic, within or between generations, species, etc.) have no such distinctive and explicit definitional connection with gender. It is quite plain that the virility and femininity engineered by the modes of control are dedicated to the persecution of unlivable sexualities. Therefore, in the following chapter, my reading of Henry James and Bram Stoker seeks to consider how various medical, legal, literary and institutional discourses have centred on defining the sexual identity in terms of legitimizing or punishing certain sexualities or gendered identities as normative or unlivable.


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