Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

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Mohan & Foucault

I have the best friends in the world! I have been talking to Mohan today. I have known Mohan since the spring of 1999, and Mohan loves me so much that he has been bothering to read my journal regularly for quite a long time without even having a LiveJournal account. But recently he created one (username oyarsa) just to be able to follow a link I provided, even though he has no intention of actually writing in it or using it as a journal. Because following my links is just that important!

Mohan is from India but has been living in France for the last . . . what, about six months now? . . . and he is wisely making use of this opportunity to read all the books that are banned in India, starting with Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses. He has also been attempting to make use of the opportunity to explore Michel Foucault's old haunts around Paris, but this is apparently not progressing well, because Paris has apparently quite forgotten Foucault, and there is not a museum, a commemorative plaque nor a marker of any kind anywhere about where he lived. Just a sentence or two on the internet about some bars he used to go to.

Speaking of Foucault, I'm over halfway through Volume 2 of The History of Sexuality now, but I'm spending large amounts of it annoyed at him. I mean, I'm glad he wrote the thing, but how ridiculous is it give it such an all-encompassing title as The History of Sexuality when he never even mentions anything but the sexuality (or aphrodisia, as he prefers to call it, since sexuality hadn't been invented yet) of males in ancient Greece? I suppose Foucault would argue that since he's writing about the invention of the modern Christian/Western concept of "sexuality," its roots are in ancient Greece and therefore other cultures that our concept of "sexuality" has been imposed on since are not relevant. But then he should call the book only The History of the Invention of Sexuality, because the entire history of sexuality following its invention would have to include its imposition upon other cultures. And even if he were writing only The History of the Invention of Sexuality, he still ought to include women's points of view, since "sexuality" was invented from the very beginning as something that affected women too. I complained about this to Mohan and Mohan agreed, having observed the same problem in his reading of Volume 1. It's a real problem. It's a sufficiently huge problem, the more of him I read, that I think we need to pick some other people to celebrate as equally huge queer by choice icons so that Foucault becomes less of a prominent celebrity, because I'm becoming embarrassed to be too closely associated with him.
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