In The History of Sexuality, Foucault focuses his discussion in the beginning chapters on the specification of individuals. This is interesting to me because Foucault makes it clear that individuals are brought and placed into categories and these categories become a part of their identity.
In the book, Foucault gives an example and says “the nineteenth-century homosexual became a personage, a past, a case history, and a childhood (pg.43)”. This shows that homosexual had their entire lives interpreted under this category which includes their past beginning from their childhood. Also, in the same passage, Foucault says that homosexual became “a type of life, a life form, and a morphology, with an indiscreet anatomy and possibly a mysterious physiology (pg. 43)”. Therefore, homosexual became not only a category such as a social category, but a biological category also. This shows that homosexual were trapped in such a category, as if they were another race different from a normal human being.
I think this is why Foucault says “the homosexual was now species”. If we think of animals, they are put under species because they are biologically different from humans. We can see that if homosexual were designated as a species, then they were considered fundamentally different from humans in general.
In the same way, homosexuality became “less a habitual sin than as a singular nature (pg. 43)”. This means that homosexual were expected to act a certain way because they were considered to be fundamentally different. I find this very unfair. Even if, as people, homosexuals are essentially the same as others, because of persecution were forcefully said to be different and inferior.
However, we can also see the situation improving lately as more countries consider the legalization of same-sex marriage. After all, we could know ourselves better through categorizing or even make good use of it, “sexuality is something that we ourselves create—it is our own creation, and much more than the discovery of a secret side of our desire. We have to understand that with our desires, through our desires, go new forms of relationships, new forms of love, new forms of creation. Sex is not a fatality: it’s a possibility for a creative life” (ibid.,382)
More thoughts came to my mind during Monday’s lecture when I heard all these complicated categories; voyeuristic, frotteuristic, asdistic, masochistic, fetishistic, pedophilic, transvestic disorders……
Heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality
Androphilia, gynephilia(or gynecophilia)
Why do people in general love categorize themselves?
Is it because one could get a sense of security or superiority when one categorizes himself into the majority and excludes other “special” people?
Is it because if they are the majority, then they would be assumed to be “good” without question? That is to say, they must be “good” simply because they are part of the majority?
Can being part of the majority really give you a sense of security?
Judging by years of worldwide homosexual persecution, why is it that the majority are still “scared” of the minority when they already have a superior number of people? What kind of insecurity is it, a fear of assimilation?
Does the minority really do as much harm to the majority as the majority assumes?
What if the majority have already become “zombies”–I mean one might categorize himself into the majority only because this is majority, without knowing what category it is, without the awareness of what he is doing.
In this way, is the majority still “good”?
If the minority is struggling and suffering, that is because they know what they want and they are fighting for it. Do the majority know what they want? If not, what should be done about it? And who should be doing what?
BTW, If you haven’t watched V for Vendetta, you’d better watch it. Now……!