Edelman and Power both exhibit a desire to ignore time. Both want to craft a society wherein those who do not reproduce are treated in every measure equal to those that do and both want “queer” individuals (marginalized persons) to find a space of renewal and inclusion within (or outside of) a broader societal context. Both also find capitalism to be a stumbling block to this endeavor and contest it at the same time they set forth their visions for a queer enclosure of the future.
Over the long run, the project will always be self-defeating, given that even should their communities be fashioned, they will only be able to propagate themselves (by-and-large) through ideological promulgation (teaching, preaching, argumentation, propaganda, cultural indoctrination and so forth). This is only a portion of the problem that is faced for even if Edelman and Power were able to overcome the problem of reproduction inherent to sexually idiosyncratic movements (such as theirs), they would still come up against the fact that they are diametrically opposed to so many fundamental biologically instantiated norms as to always make them, and those like them, the outsiders. It is one thing to say that homosexual men and women are being mistreated, it is quite another to blame heterosexual men and women for all the serious ills of the world, which, in considerably more words, is really the crux of the idea of heteronormativity.
One should not be led to believe that these ideas are lacking in terms of their real-world effects simply because they are highly academic or crowded round in dense and odd-sounding prose (it would be hard to think of a more confounding term than Edelman’s “sinthomosexuality”). For instance, in a TEDx Copenhagen talk, the queer-political activist Mads Anada Lodahl1 described all sex, gender and sexual practices that are inscribed within the classical notions of “man” and “woman,” The Straight World Order. He describes The Straight World Order as “rotten,” furthering going on to note that it is, “-a hierarchy, that puts the heterosexual, masculine man (who is not transgendered) at the top and gets everyone in trouble who cannot be, be like or be liked by him… it is a place where freedom, safety and self-determination are granted to people according to how well they fit into the norm.” He goes on further to note that this is the necessary, but not sufficient, structure for the so-called Straight World Order, as it also entails hierarchies based upon race, class, age and so on. The rejection of any and all hierarchies and norms, however, instantly demands the creation of new ones; this is a fatal trap which Lodahl can’t circumvent no matter how much he might rail against the prevalence of heteronormativity.
Lodahl seems as if he has some good reasons to rail, for in his previously mentioned talk he makes consistent mention of the way gay, lesbian and trans individuals are abused and derided; he cites several examples, one of which includes himself. Lodahl tells the story of how he was once spat upon for being recognized as a gay man and how alienating and horrible such a affair was. Clearly, spitting upon a fellow citizen simply because of their sexual proclivity (real or assumed) is bad; first and foremost because it doesn’t actually change anything, second, because such bodily fluids could contain some disease or another, and, thirdly, because it is breaking the social norm of civility which is required for large-scale, modern civilizations to function without constant tribal strife. The problem, however, is not so easily reducible; after all, as Edelman noted previously, even a “queer utopia” would require exclusion.
Consider the clash between classically-inclined second-wave feminists and third-wave Muslim feminists, or the clash between homosexual Trump supporters and homosexual Trump detractors. A more homonormative future would obviously continue to have the same kinds of problems that Lodahl and others face, it would merely find its source in different norms and different hierarchies; for example, in a Lodahlesque future, one would likely see something akin to Trudeau’s Canada, wherein the prevailing social hierarchy was constituted by who were perceived as being more marginalized, oppressed and transgressed-upon which would itself turn upon those who were previously considered oppressed and marginalized.
Another problem with queer advocates like Lodahl is that they often do not adequately address the question of legitimacy as pertains to a given social hierarchy. In place of positing a new and better structure for social organization, they simply wish to be rid of all social structures as-such. Just as Edelman attempts to trade the future for freedom, Lodahl attempts to trade personal liberation for social stability (seemingly without realizing it) when what he should be arguing for is civility.
Effectively what all of the aforementioned activists and thinkers posit is a tribe within a tribe of those without a tribe. When this wayward tribe is coupled with future negation it becomes starkly evident that such a grouping cannot help but fail in its goal of attaining total personal liberation for its members, but not only has it failed in this goal (and will continue to fail, of necessity) it also consistently destabilizes those other tribes around and inside of which it operates. The obvious question then arises: what is the solution? That entails another question: the solution to what? To biological impulses? To discrimination and exclusion? To approaching the future with forthright vigor?
A bevy of problems detailed within this text only arise as problems because of the conceptual frameworks utilized by Edelman, Power and their contemporaries; shorn of these fetters, neither would face nearly so many problems. But it would be arrogant and factually false to hand-wave away all of the problems posed by Edelman and Power.
The crucial issues, however, are not the problems posed by the aforementioned, but rather the problems created by Edelman, Power and their contemporaries. In place of seeking to control nature (outside of Man) to a degree requisite to bring about the transformations they so desire. Instead of maximizing anthropogenic changes upon the very fabric of the world, they seek, instead, to enact change only on a social level. This narrow social-fixation will forever limit their endeavor to an ossified jockeying against biology itself. Here the Xenofeminist’s are ahead of the curve as demonstrated by their popular slogan: “If nature is unjust, change nature.” However, even the Xenofeminist’s have things wrong, for nature, as-such, is neither just, nor unjust, it simply is all that is. Neither righteous nor evil, nature is merely chaotic and savage and it is this very chaos and savagery which Mankind must tame, must bring wholly to heel if we are to ensure the survival and improvement of our species.
1See, ‘Ending the straight world order: Mads Anada Lodahl at TEDx Copenhagan,’ Oct 4, 2013.