Anti-gender Politics in Queer Times:
“Genderismus” and Norwegian Homonationalism
In the last few decades, much of queer theory and sexuality studies has been engaged in analyzing and resisting the – often partial and exclusionary – assimilation of queer subjects into the cultural and economic fabric of the nation-state. As illiberal anti-gender rhetoric and politics (re)surface across Europe, it might seem as though queer theory ought to reconsider its critiques of queer liberalism and homonationalism – in the face of neo-fascist threats and LGBT-free zones, recourse to liberal ideals of human rights and national acceptance may assume increasing credibility and even urgency. But can anti-gender politics really be so neatly opposed to “progressive” values of gender equality and gay rights, as supposedly modeled by Nordic countries? This article seeks to complicate this apparent opposition between anti-gender politics and homonationalist rhetoric by tracing the racist and nationalist tendencies that transverse both projects. I argue that not only does the homonationalism or anti-gender politics binary disintegrate under scrutiny, but the binary framing itself works to further narratives of national exceptionalism that are parasitic upon, and reproduce, racialized exclusions. In particular, I rethink Norwegian homonationalism as a neoliberal assemblage in light of contemporary anti-gender rhetoric and policies, so as to understand how homonationalism and anti-gender politics not only coexist, but co-constitute each other in these times which are at once profoundly queer and deeply homophobic.
Copyright (c) 2023 Jenny Andrine Madsen Evang
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