Thursday, December 20, 2012

Linguistic Polyamory on a Dark and Snowy Night

It's been a busy day, so this will be a quickie, two quotations from Sarah Schulman's new book Israel / Palestine and the Queer International (Duke, 2012).  One, from page 153, refers to Haneen, a queer Palestinian activist who visited the US on a solidarity tour Schulman organized:
Similarly, she addressed the American LBGT obsession with determining words to call ourselves. 'I find it ["queer"] useful for the time being but I am not attached to it or any other term. I am happy to move along with language. I am not looking for a term to marry. When it comes to language, I believe in short affairs."
The other, from page 166, is Schulman's own opinion:
I have always hated the "safety" discourse. Feeling "safe" is not the paramount goal of life; it's being able to move forward constructively even if one is afraid. Total safety is impossible unless other people's rights are entirely infringed, and it's not a desirable state for an adult. How '"safety" of the most dominant became the agenda of the LGBT community center is beyond me.
Israel / Palestine and the Queer International is, in my opinion, Schulman's best book since 1998's Stagestruck.  I recommend it highly.