The [White Male] Sexual Revolution will be televised: Colonizing Pansexuality
Pansexuality refers to romantic and sexual attraction toward people of all sexes and gender identities. Pansexual television content has been on the rise in the last decade and some scholars think this is one indication of an approaching postgay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) world in North America. Thus, it is important to analyze how pansexuality is being shaped in particular ways in order to understand what post-GLB politics might produce in terms of social change and power relations. This paper focuses on pansexual television characters from Doctor Who, Rick and Morty , Schitt’s Creek , and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia . I use a theoretical framework that draws from queer and social movement theories and views the world of television content as a liminal space that allows for social norms to be suspended, tested, and reconstituted. I argue that because the majority, if not all, of the North American pansexual television characters are White men this establishes political control over pansexual social movements that is linked to one particular ethnicity and gender which limits the antiracist and feminist potentials of these movements.
Sylvia Grills is a PhD student in the Sociology Department at Queen’s University. She is interested in how sexuality is shaped and limited through language use, practices, and cultural representations. She is currently studying antibinary and antiracist potentials of pansexual performativity.
Embodying Indigenous Feminist Resurgence: From Indigenous Erotica to Liberation
Writing Indigenous erotica can be challenging/challenged and fraught with all kinds of tension but it is necessary. In writing to uphold decolonial praxis, authors of erotica produce works that undermine (neo) colonial regimes, specifically by writing to peoples who governments have systematically worked to separate and isolate (Ngugi 64). In thinking of praxis as a dual process, cultural production framed in the erotic conjures Foucault’s theory of biopolitcs to demonstrate the interaction and cooperation of existing bodies that create “new” identities to tear down (resist) and build up (resurge) on pathways to liberation (Hardt & Negri 57-58). Indigenous erotic writers galvanize understandings of our existences that transcend colonial/capitalistic/heteronormative subjectivities. We write to reconcile with ourselves, to make visible erased identities, to take our bodies and lands back, and to breathe new wor(l)ds into existence. When centering ourselves as agents of liberation, communities are equipped with the intellectual, cultural, spiritual, political and social capacities to combat neo-colonialism and settler colonialism in powerfully Indigenous ways.
Hardt, Michael, and Antonio Negri. Commonwealth. Cambridge: Belknap of Harvard University Press, 2009.
Ngugi, Wa Thiong’o. Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature. Oxford: James Currey, 1986.
Geraldine King is Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) from Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek in Northwestern Ontario. Geraldine is an MA student in Indigenous Governance at the University of Victoria, where her primary research is centred on Indigenous erotica as viable nation (re)building praxis. Ms. King is also the Managing Editor of Intercontinental Cry Magazine, a publication of the World Center for Indigenous Studies. As a mother, a dreamer, and a writer who happens to be an academic, Geraldine’s ultimate goal is to encourage thoughtful reclamation of bodies, sexualities, psyches and anti-oppressive governance structures for all Indigenous peoples on the pathways to liberation.
‘Playing’ with (the Inescapability) of Race?: BDSM, Race Play, and Racialized Bodies
BDSM (bondage/domination/submission/sadism/masochism) practices are often perceived to subvert gender and sexual norms (Newmahr 2012; Bauer 2014). Despite the fluid treatment of other categorical identity distinctions, race is not often considered as something that can be played with. By deliberately or unintentionally ignoring race, there is considerable risk of the perpetuation of tacitly racist, neoliberal and hegemonic ideologies about sexuality and intimacy. I take up race play as an entry point to the implications of the practices existing at the nexus of sexuality, gender, and race. There is a possibility in the space of deliberate, consensual, and hyperbolized racism, to raise the subtended and constantly deferred awareness of racial privilege. To highlight these themes, I will utilize work by Sharon Patricia Holland (2012), Saidiya Hartman (1997), and Darieck Scott (2012), to examine how some of the markers of BDSM have been deracialized in the process of neoliberal private desires and politically correct colourblindness.
Morgan Oddie is a first-year PhD student in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University. Her research focuses on BDSM in the Toronto Subspace community, with a focus on sexual ritual and play as theoretical lenses to examine processes of gender and sexuality.