The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and the Ethics of Queer Life

Front Cover
Harvard University Press, 2000 - Social Science - 227 pages
27 Reviews
In this lively and surprising essay on the dangers of normalcy, Michael Warner sends a warning shot to the gay rights movement, which has cleaned up its image in order to blend in with the mainstream. By taking as its raison d'etre the fight for gay marriage, gay politics has abandoned its historic fight against the stigmatization of sex. But, as Warner shows, when gays agree to separate their 'sex' from their 'identity,' they are only rewarded with oppressive trends like stricter zoning of gay clubs and businesses, the 'Don't Ask/Don't Tell' policy in the military and, ironically, the 'Defense of Marriage' act. Warner presents a piercing and cogent analysis of the politics of shame and the stigma of sexual identity. He offers an alternative ethical vision that proclaims sex is as varied as the people who have it, and honesty and morality are not limited to those with a marriage license. His powerful indictment of all that's wrong with the trend to 'normalize' will spark heated debate among all readers; gay and straight, liberal and conservative.
  

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Review: The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and the Ethics of Queer Life

User Review  - Chase - Goodreads

Michael Warner's fiery account of the halting gay & lesbian movement is beyond pleasurable. Sexual shame in the United States is a spitfire cause as is the effectiveness of normativity not only in the ... Read full review

Review: The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and the Ethics of Queer Life

User Review  - Frank - Goodreads

Thought the book is now several years old, Dr. Warner's comments on gay politics are still relevant, particularly his keen analysis of marriage equality. This is essential reading for anybody interested in lgbtq history or queer theory. Read full review

Contents

The Ethics of Sexual Shame
1
Whats Wrong with Normal?
41
Beyond Gay Marriage
81
Zoning Out Sex
149
The Politics of Shame and HIV Prevention
195
Notes
219
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

Michael Warner is Seymour H. Knox Professor of English and American Studies at Yale University. He is the editor of American Sermons: The Pilgrims to Martin Luther King and Fear of a Queer Planet. He also writes for The Nation, The Advocate, The Village Voice, and other periodicals.

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