The End of Straight Supremacy

The End of Straight Supremacy : Realizing Gay Liberation

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Rooted in the politics and theories of early gay liberation and radical feminism, Shannon Gilreath's The End of Straight Supremacy presents a cohesive theory of gay life under straight domination. Beginning with a critique of formal equality law, centering on the 'like-straight' demands of liberal equality theory as highlighted in Lawrence v. Texas, Gilreath moves to criticize the gay movement itself, challenging the assimilation politics behind the movement's blithe acceptance of discrimination in the guise of free speech and pornography in the name of sexual liberation, as well as same-sex marriage and transsexuality as tools of straight hegemony. Ultimately, Gilreath rejects both the liberal demand for gay erasure in exchange for meager legal progress and the gay establishment agenda. In The End of Straight Supremacy, Gilreath calls gays and their allies to the difficult task of rethinking what liberation and equality really mean.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 113918461X
  • 9781139184618

Table of contents

1. The metaethics of gay liberation; Part I. Equality and Making Meaning: 2. Law/morality: thoughts on morality, equality, and caste; 3. Law/power: the appropriation of gay identity in Lawrence v. Texas - and the substantive alternative; Part II. Equality, Sexuality, and Expression: 4. Speech/hate propaganda: a comment on Harper v. Poway Unified School District; 5. Pornography/death: the problem of gay pornography in a straight supremacist system; Part III. Millennial Equality: A Primer on Gay Liberation in the Twenty-First Century: 6. Gay/straight: the binary ontology of the gay marriage debate; 7. Knowledge/power: reversing the heteroarchal reversals of religion, marriage, and caste; 8. Trans/sex: transsexualism, patriarchal ontology, and postmodern praxis; 9. Epilogue: flaming, but not burning.
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Review quote

"A valiant and well-reasoned argument for gays and lesbians to reject outmoded templates, such as the traditional, patriarchal marriage or free-speech law that empowers bigots while doing little for reformers and radicals."

- Richard Delgado
University Professor of Law, Seattle University, author of Words that Wound "Readers: Beware. By admission, this book is both 'radical' and 'extreme.' It's driven by a desire to map the converging distortions in law, politics, and society that make being gay-even openly gay, out and proud-an experience of in-authenticity. Piercing the world's appearances to discover its truths, the book dreams of new modes of gay existence under social circumstances more nearly just than our own. If successful, it will stir some spirits from slumber, as conventional gay politics and life are brought under the pressure of complex and unrelenting critique. Agree or don't, it's impossible to engage this work without being jolted by its free thinking. One cannot read it and remain unmoved."

- Marc Spindelman
Professor of Law, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law "Beautifully expressed and compellingly written, Gilreath has written one of the most important texts in gay and lesbian studies in recent memory. Shannon Gilreath not only revives gay liberation insights, but creatively combines them with queer theory to produce a genuinely new vision of sexuality. It is imperative reading for anyone who wants to understand LGBT issues and homophobia in the 21st century in an increasingly globalized world. I personally find Gilreath's concept of 'straight supremacy' particularly useful in contemplating the state of LGBT people and LGBT rights in the Muslim world."

- Hassan El Menyawi
Middle-East human rights activist and Visiting Professor, the U N University for Peace "This book makes brilliant, provocative, eloquent and unabashedly Radical and Feminist arguments concerning Gay liberation, equality, marriage, pornography, and transsexualism. Shannon Gilreath takes his place as a flaming truth-teller in the magnificent company of those who, like Andrea Dworkin, brook no compromise with the oppressive system that Gilreath calls 'Heteroarchy,' those who, like Mary Daly, name and decry a system that aims to destroy lives, memory and the very being of the female/Gay Self, and those who, like Audre Lorde, know that the erotic is a form of power and that Radical liberated Gay sexuality is inseparable from liberated creativity and culture. Gilreath's arguments are powerfully moving, daring, urgent and essential."

- Jane Caputi
Professor of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Florida Atlantic University Author of The Age of Sex Crime & Goddesses and Monsters
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