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September 13, 2010 | by  | in Books |
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Think pansexuality is confusing?

Try PoMoSexuality. I remember a few weeks back an article written about pansexuals (people that like a person for who they are, not for what their gender is at all) and I was glad that it got the attention it deserves. But I’m going to talk about a book I’ve read called PoMoSEXUALS: Challenging Assumptions about Gender and Sexuality edited by Carol Queen and Lawrence Schimel. PoMoSexuality goes a step further and is defined in the book as “the queer erotic reality beyond the boundaries of gender, separatism, and essentialist notions of sexual orientation.” It totally screwed over my mind.

This book is basically saying ‘who cares that some people like men, women and trans people?’ Instead of just being bisexual, which assumes there are only two genders, why not just mix up the labels until there is nothing left of them to pick apart? If you’re content with the simple gender and sexual binary, then reading this will break all your previous knowledge into pieces. Of course, for those who like gender bending, it won’t be as much of a shock, but I think at least something in it will surprise anyone that reads this book. It’s the perfect introduction if you’re still not happy with the whole “you can only be gay, or bi, or straight” theory, and if you feel there must be more gender issues besides simply females born in males’ bodies and vice versa. It consists of short essays or snippets from other books, and each author gives an experience that doesn’t quite fit into any of the prescribed queer identity labels.

Here’s an example: you are a mostly straight feminine man born in a female body. You are stuck as being labeled a lipstick lesbian. The positive thing about the situation is that you can be as girly as you like, since you currently are considered female, and it wouldn’t be so easy to do this as a man. The negative thing is that people think you are a woman attracted to women, and it’s soul destroying to be unable to be intimate with another woman the way you feel you should. Even though, when you imagine yourself as a man, you would be able to be with another man, you just cannot imagine straight sex with a man as a female. Complicated, right?

Gender and sexual orientation can be stretched a bit further still by not feeling the need to explain who one is. In the case of a female-born, feminine, mostly straight man, they could dress as a drag queen in order to go from female—male—female all at the same time. Men dressing as women, women dressing as men, gay men loving lesbians, lesbians loving gay men, why does it all matter? Why does this obsession with labels for such mundane things mean so much to us? This book is trying to provoke that question, and make you come up with an answer.

I’m not very good at persuading people to do things; just go read it. If you want to find out what more there is to gender and sexuality besides the mainstream norms, then get it from the Kelburn Library. Yup, it’s there, and it’s just literally collecting dust (before they put a new due date sticker on, you could see that the last time this book was taken out, besides this year, was in 2004.)

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  1. Ben says:

    Holy Shi’ite warriors. These are the words I’ve been looking for forever. Without these labels and black-and-white mentality, society would be so much better. I need this book.

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