Bioethics Blogs

Queer theory : An anthropological revolution

Introduction

The “bearded lady” has just won the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest. The person concerned is a fictional character called Conchita Wurst who is, to all appearances, female; in fact, the artist imitates a women in dress and aesthetics, but confuses us by keeping a beard. Where does this character come from? Is it a one-off event, a media game or is there some academic theory to sustain it?
Before the appearance of Conchita Wurst, various queer theorists have written about this type of aesthetics that plays at confusing and mixing the typically masculine with the typically feminine, to which they awarded, furthermore, the category of identity. Beatriz Preciado, one of the most influential queer theorists at international level, tell us that “the politics of queer multitudes is not based on a natural identity […] they are the drag-kings, the dykes, the bearded ladies […]”. It would seem that these theories are a single occurrence of a philosophical group or school with no major repercussions beyond a certain academic field. However, that is not the reality. We found a number of news items that present masculinity and femininity overlapped, confused, blurred, i.e. perverted. Really striking cases, such as the option of choosing between 56 genders on your personal Facebook profile available to American users, the case of Australian Norrie May-Welby, who in April this year managed to be officially recognised as of “non-specific” sex, or the case of “transgender” actor Laverne Cox, show that the queer theory are being put into practice, and that today they have a direct impact on our lives.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.