Queer/Race

This week in the news by AJ Short

Posted in Uncategorized by ajshort314 on February 15, 2010

Queer/Race news this week:
·    The Olympics started this week and there has been some discussion over the logo.   “The 2010 Olympics logo is an altered version of traditional Arctic Inuit sculptures. This quasi-indigenous logo has been displayed in a barrage of Olympics branding. … With this Olympics logo, and other Olympics promotional messages, marketers have been portraying the 2010 Games as ‘indigenous’ Olympics. Indigenous references are foregrounded in mass produced Olympics marketing.  The online Olympics store even sells “Authentic Aboriginal Products” (such as t-shirts and silk ties).” The article raises some interesting questions about how we should react to these images. This article links to dozens of other articles and images, if you have some extra time I suggest checking them out as well.  (sociological images)
·    On Saturday the 13th, the brilliant poet Lucille Clifton died. She was a Pulitzer Prize nominee and spent several years in Baltimore, Maryland. Many of her poems touched on issues of black femininity, feminism, and womanhood. To see and hear her read some of her poetry, click here.
·    The Church of England may officially allow women to become bishops. If this happens, it may also open up the door for gay bishops. Christianity may be over 2000 years old, but that doesn’t mean it is not always changing. (washingtonpost Via) This whole story, I think, is especially interesting after last October’s message from the Vatican that “it would make it easier for Anglicans uncomfortable with their church’s acceptance of female priests and openly gay bishops to join the Roman Catholic Church while retaining many of their traditions” (nytimes)

I chose these articles because they were on or linked from blog sites that I read daily. I consider myself part of the Feminist Blogosphere because I regularly read and comment on a couple different feminist blogs. The news items that I highlight here are all, I believe, important however; they are also all stories that are easily missed by the mainstream media. Even though none of these stories are explicitly about notions of queerness, they do all touch on ideas of otherness. I think the changing ideas over who is allowed to be clergy within different religions and religious sects is the most obvious story about otherness. Ideas of who is qualified/worthy of being a representative of the religion (and of God) are always steeped in politics, power, and marginalization. The Olympics story is another interesting lens through which to look at issues of race and marginalization. By turning an “indigenous” icon into a logo and logoed merchandise, the Olympic Committee is commodifying racial ideals. A queer reading of the debate would be a great way to complicate the debate.

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One Response

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  1. cpeverley said, on February 20, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    I also noticed the Vancouver logo. I think minority cultures often are victim to this sort of simultaneous exclusion and commodification. The mainstream requires the other to assimilate and to absorb so-called mainstream values, but is quick to project and commercialize the “other” aesthetic for the economic benefit. This is an issue in much of the Southwestern United States. Native Americans face discrimination, exclusion, and sometimes violence, and yet cities and states absorb superficial forms of Native American “culture” in an effort to make their areas more viable and marketable for the tourism industry. This cycle of simulacra creates commodified version of Native American culture which allows Native Americans to participate only as powerless manufacturers of “artifacts” of what outsiders consider to be “Native American.”

    What exactly do you mean by a queer reading of this debate?


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