I decided to write about the status of LGBT rights and legitimacy in Bangladesh. Bangladesh is perceived to be one of the few Islamic states which exercises considerable tolerance towards the issue of homosexuality. Practicing homosexuality is strictly prohibited by the law under Section 377 A of the CrPC (Criminal Penal Code).The law says- “Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman, or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall be liable to fine.” In the Guardian Article we read, What’s it like being LGBT around the world?, they described a reality in which people of LGBT status live in a “comfortable closest”. They call it “comfortable” because the actual actions of same-sex relations are not policed well and are normally looked over. However, those citizens are still crammed into a closet, nonetheless! I think this really draws into the E. Patrick Johnson’s theories and the idea of Quare theory. There’s explicit restriction of personal expression and processes. How do you feel about this? It it worth fighting the traditions and outing oneself even if there’s loose enforcement? Things are slowly changing however, I have difficulty imagining real changes being made. How much of an impact do you think this restriction has on civilians of LGBT status? Do you think it would be best to live comfortably and not combat the tradition? Even with the support of many human rights groups and individuals, I’m not sure it will be enough to overturn traditional convictions. But, you never know until you try. Right?
Since her start as a performance artist and singer, Lady Gaga has been extremely outspoken through her music and concerts about her support for LGBTQ equality. She tends to stray away from society’s “norm” by the way she looks, acts, and dresses. She has so much influential power because of her fame, so she decides to use that power to express herself and to help others feel comfortable expressing themselves as well. She even said that “I’m just trying to change the world, one sequin at a time.” For example, she was the first singer to reference the LGBTQ at the Super Bowl half time show. She has also participated in multiple equality marches. It has been her goal to get people talking and to feel more comfortable with the entire community, especially since Lady Gaga herself has come out as bisexual. She wants men and women to be able to dress and act however they desire without feeling judged by people. This is why she wears outrageous outfits, because she wants to show people it is okay to be different and it can be accepted. She is one of many celebrities who use their fame as a way to try to make a difference particularly in the LGBTQ community. Jack Halberstam’s focuses on Gaga Feminism because Lady Gaga does a good job at embodying ideas of sex and gender and breaking away from society’s fixed roles that men and women are supposed to have. Lady Gaga resists being put in a bubble or a category. She does whatever she feels like and she has zero shame. This is why she has such a strong fan base and support system behind her and why Halberstam chooses her to help better represent and explain feminism, sex, and gender.
Philips and Reay’s Sex before Sexuality was interesting to me especially because of the opening paragraph with the subversion of the male seducer trope. Men are expected to be the ones that chase and dominate women, not the other way around. I’m not totally familiar with the history of Adam and Eve (except for the small discussion we had in class) but I am familiar with women being put into categories such as the prude, the temptress (or the ‘slut’ since temptress seems a bit outdated), etc. If you don’t belong in one of the categories, then you obviously belong in the other. It’s black and white without any type of gray area. If a woman has sex outside of marriage, she’s considered to be less ‘pure’. I remember talking about a similar topic in another one of my classes where we discussed Prosper Mérimée’s work. He believed all women to be the daughters of Eve; that they were there to lead men to temptation. This connects back to the idea of the image we get in the first paragraph in which men are the more pure sex and women are dirty, less than. Men are allowed to be sexual without repercussions but there is a stigma against women for doing the same. This also can be tied back to the other essay, Goldberg’s “The Utterly Confused Category” and the idea of policing sex acts. The ‘temptress’ trope is often used to pit the ‘pure’ girl against the ‘impure’ one and judge women based off of their sexual history. I think these two essays have a few similarities that would be interesting to point out and discuss. Sex is a slightly controversial topic and yet it’s very prevalent in the media, especially when it comes to television shows and movies. It’s odd how, as a nation, we seem obsessed with sex and still cannot have proper, open conversations about it.