Apologies for the lateness!
Sexuality is a fickle thing. Honestly, I’ve got a blog on tumblr and I see daily posts speaking of sexuality, cisgendered and transgendered people, rights and needs for proper health care and the end of discrimination – the list goes on and it never goes away. Society has changed so much since Foucault’s time and I have to agree with the observation that we are once again talking about sex and sexuality all the time. But are we doing it in the right ways?
Sexuality for Foucault seems to be related to and centered around several societal factors. Admittedly less societal than Fanon and more influenced by the scientific community. These external influences, how we shape each other, are important in the progressions of our cultures. I remember reading a quote once that said that we love to measure everything, things always have to be categorized, a value must be placed, etc. From what Foucault is saying it is quite obvious that sexuality has become a sort of slave to this human practice.
I noticed that the word “bourgeois” comes up as Foucault talks of the Victorian age of repression. I remember “bourgeois” also being mentioned in Fanon (read: I’m too tired to look up the page) and it reminded me of the similarities between the presences of sexuality and racism and their prominence (or lack thereof) in society. The Victorian age of repression and silence made me think of a sort of “sleep” mode on a computer. Foucault speaks of sexuality being an open and accepted before the Victorian era and then it became taboo and controlled. It changed as history moved on after that, but it didn’t exactly return to the way it was before.
Although, perhaps I’ve confused sexual acts and sexuality here? Are they separate to Foucault? Should they be? I should probably keep an eye out for that since some of the things Foucault talks about concern sex or sexual acts as part of a type of sexuality, but not as an interchangeable term for sexuality.
I think I just confused myself. What just happened there?
Defining sexuality is such a complicated thing. I give Foucault an A+ for effort. I’ll let you know if I understood him after I finish the book.