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Thinking Sex: Notes for A Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality Essay

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Gale Rubins article is about a radical approach to understanding the politics of sex. Her opinion and ideas on how policymakers and the general public must come to understand sex is welcome news for those who belong to the minority when it comes to sexual orientation.

She also seem to support those whose sexual practices are currently considered as illegal, unlawful, and unnatural. Rubins asserted that by creating laws that benefit a particular group of individuals and punishing a few segments of society means that sex is no longer a simple topic that must be relegated to politicians and religious leaders. She believes that it is time to rethink how the world understands sexuality and she is hoping that in the future people will have a more enlightened view regarding the topic.

The author firmly believed that like gender, sex is political (Rubins 171). She explained this theoretical framework when she wrote that there is a system that exists within society that is selective when it comes to punishment and rewards when it comes to sexual behavior (Rubins 171).

She added that the legal mechanisms in place is a is a broken mechanism that desperately wanted to block the path of progressive thinking (Rubins 171). She gave examples such as the possibility that a person can be imprisoned by simply carrying a picture of a nude friend. She also cited laws that can be used to harass homosexuals and lesbians. Her goals were clearly to provoke people to question and protest against what she called as harsh laws (Rubins 157).

It is understandable why Rubins reacted this way. It can be argued that she favored homosexual and lesbian relationships. However, the theoretical framework that she presented was vague and there were no limitations given with regards to the freedom that she wanted people to enjoy.

For example she criticized the kind of power that the American Psychiatric Association (APA) wielded when it comes to their capability to dictate sexual norms. She said that it was a significant breakthrough that the APA dropped homosexuality in their list of mental disorders.

She was probably correct with this one however she said something that suddenly created confusion and possibly weakened her position because immediately after that statement she asserted that the APA must also change their minds when it comes to fetishism, sadism, masochism, transsexuality, transvestism, exhibitionism, voyeurism, and even pedophilia (Rubins 151). Does she mean to say that pedophilia must be added to the bill of rights?

It is clear that Rubins theoretical framework was an eye opener to many people. The author was correct in pointing out the harsh laws such as those that can empower police officers to arrest homosexuals must be overhauled. On the other hand it must be pointed out that she did not give evidence to prove that these are recent occurrences.

For example she wrote that in San Francisco police and media waged war on homosexuals throughout the 1950s (Rubins 145). However, this is no longer true today. There are places where gay marriage is allowed making this statement irrelevant.

Rubins wanted freedom but to what extent. She did not provide boundaries. It is very much possible that she is biased towards homosexuals and lesbians. The whole article gave the impression that only a few benefited from sex laws.

Does she mean to say that parents will be glad to see sexual predators roam the streets? If this is true then this means that her rhetoric regarding the rights of sexual deviants is just a smokescreen for the benefit of gays and lesbians. However, she is treading in dangerous waters because her desire for sexual freedom knows no bounds.

Works Cited

Rubens, Gale. “Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical theory of the Politics of Sexuality”. Culture, Society and Sexuality. Eds. Richard Parker & Peter Aggleton. PA: UCL Press, 1999. Print.

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"Thinking Sex: Notes for A Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality." IvyPanda, 4 Mar. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/thinking-sex-notes-for-a-radical-theory-of-the-politics-of-sexuality/.

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IvyPanda. "Thinking Sex: Notes for A Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality." March 4, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/thinking-sex-notes-for-a-radical-theory-of-the-politics-of-sexuality/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Thinking Sex: Notes for A Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality." March 4, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/thinking-sex-notes-for-a-radical-theory-of-the-politics-of-sexuality/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Thinking Sex: Notes for A Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality'. 4 March.

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