The summary is about chapter three ...
Summary and Reaction of "The End of Normal"
The summary is about chapter three of J.
Jack Halberstam’s Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender and the End of Normal. In the
chapter, the author addresses the issues of gender fluidity and
heteroflexibility as the main themes. Throughout the chapter, the author uses
various stories based on personal experience from travel in different parts of
the country and also outside the country. The author also uses illustrations
from films to help drive the point home.
The chapter begins with a personal story
where he talks about his girlfriend and him having been confronted by an author
wanting to write about women who leave their male partners for other women.
Halberstam explains that their situation was easy to misinterpret because her
girlfriend of the time had left her husband before they had started dating. He,
however, explains that by the time they meet, her girlfriend was not seeing her
male partner and that she was single. The situation could, however, be
interpreted as her partner leaving her husband for her. The author explain the
second problem as that he does not identify himself as a woman and the article
seemed to do so while normalizing heterosexuality. He presents the argument of how
the article shows the whole shift from men to a “pseudomen” unrealistic
therefore a compromise for the women. The author believes that the article was
depicting butches as a last resort for a desperate woman rather than a choice
made deliberately. He says that the system each and every boy and girl is
raised in makes it hard for a woman to think of choosing a butch because the
butch masculinity is represented as an inferior and gross perversion of
masculinity/ the real thing.
The author further goes and explains
about his discovery on the presentation of various films for children, a
discovery that counteracts the idea that the system representation of boys and
girls prevents any thoughts of a woman opting for a butch rather than “the real
thing.” The author explains by presented a film where children are exposed to
alternatives that are viable to the naturalized heterosexuality. The film in
question is Finding Nemo where Dory voiced by Ellen DeGeneres is represented as
a butch fish. He argues that the point of bringing this up is because people
for over a hundred years have been classified as female or male. The author
emphasizes the need to do away with the categorization of male or female. The
author presents an argument that has been portrayed as a woman coming out late
during her forties due to frustration on dating men or because she has been
suppressing the feelings for all that long. He argues that the transition could
have just happened not after suppression but just at that time.
The author also presents another
argument where people interpret a woman “coming back” after leaving a
heterosexual relation for a lesbian then back to heterosexual. In Halberstam’s
argument, the same analogy is not applied when a woman shifts from a lesbian to
a heterosexual and then to a lesbian. In the second scenario, they are not said
to have come back. The author also presents the story of him traveling to
Indiana where he chats with the drive on his work prior being a taxi driver.
The author narrates on how the cab driver and his wife use to help their horses
mate because they could not be able to do it on their own. The author deduces
that the concept of Normal may have reached a conceptual conclusion. In his
view, normal is the name people give to the version of sex people like to stand
with for the sake of moral order and social stability.
In another discussion, the author
presents the popularity of gay on the global level. He says that homosexuality
views differ depending on race, social status, culture, geographical region and
so much more. He goes further and presents various examples of cultural
differences. Examples given are where in some countries in mid-east, Eastern
Europe, India and China allow female children to be raised as boys where farms
require males and boys are prized more than a girl. Other countries like
Albania girls are raised as male and continue further into adulthood where they
are allowed to take wives.
The final subject the author takes about
is the heteroflexibility where he presents the case of pornography and what
makes a particular group of individuals tick. The groups are classified as
heterosexuals and gay men and women. The author presents the argument that
women in all categories get aroused by watching any pornography whether, from a
gay or straight couple, straight men, on the other hand, are not so much into a
gay male couple. The author to emphasize on the inflexibility of straight men
presents the case of underwear where he tells of a friend who calls him with an
issue on the make of the underwear. He concludes that the straight males reject
a comparison of them with the butch. Halberstam advocates for heteroflexibility
which according to her definition is reconfiguring the meaning of gender and
sex in ways that favor heterosexual women most especially.
The author addresses various issues in
the chapter one of them being how people misunderstand sexual fluidity. The
author expresses the idea that one changing from heterosexual to gay at a late
age doesn’t mean that they were suppressing their sexuality. According to the
author, this could be a stage where the change just happened and not that the
feelings were there previously. The issue also touches on heterosexuality where
she advocates for reconfiguration of the meaning of sex and gender putting
heterosexual women in mind.
The chapter opens up a new understanding
and perspective of how we judge things without a deeper understanding of the
issue on the table. I would agree with the author because what he presents is based
on personal experience and on the observations that he has conducted throughout