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Limits of Equivalence: Thinking Gay Male Subjectivity Outside Feminist Theory

  • Author(s): Galloway, Samuel R.
  • et al.

I’d like to begin by citing one of the great feminists of our time, Brittany Spears, who hypnotically rouses us to “give them a freak show.” My own attraction to this invitation, and no doubt I’m not alone in this, lies precisely in the desire for an encounter with the extra-ordinary. Judith Butler even gives such a desire for the “outside” normative value when she situates critique, and critical imagination, in relation to such encounters with the exceptional, the strange, the freakish. While this may seem a strange horizon against which to begin an exposition on the limits of equivalency confronted by efforts to theorize gay male subjectivity through feminist discourses, my goal is to, from the outset, open the space to problematize this project. In other words, if the problem is a dissolution of the force of feminist “descriptive” and “prescriptive” or normative discourses when taken up by gay men, how does Brittany’s ventriloquial repetition expose the potential futility of a certain response to this dissolution, or this limit of equivalence?

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