A year after The Queer Art of Failure, theorist Judith/Jack Halberstam is back with Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal [Kindle] again shredding the heteronormative straight-jacket. Halberstam argues the increasing number of women living alone, men avoiding marriage, pop culture bromances, pregnant men, gay marriage, and queers raising kids all signal the flaming end of heterosexuality. And from those tired ashes will rise freer sexualities and more fluid genders. It's a Gaga world.
Says Halberstam, "In this book I am building on the potentiality of failure to say that if marriage, long-term relationships, the couple form and family itself are all failing as social forms, then instead of grieving their collapse, we should revel in the new opportunities for relationality, connection and kinship that are suddenly and startlingly available to us in the world today."
USC News reports "In large part, the book examines how mass media is struggling to keep up, broadcasting conflicting messages about how men and women are supposed to act, love, marry and raise children. It’s all becoming more liquid "because the social forms that held all those categories in place are dissolving." Halberstam added, "We’re basically going to have an opposition in this country not between gay and straight but between traditional, monogamous households and alternative ones. And, frankly, the alternative ones will probably eventually outnumber the traditional ones."
Out lesbian, author, and New Yorker staffer Ariel Levy says the book is a "provocative and pleasurable romp through contemporary gender politics... as fun as it is illuminating."
This Saturday at 4:30pm, Halberstam reads at Bluestockings, 172 Allen St., NYC.