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The Politics of Difference and an approximation to the queers theories. Adriana Baares Camacho.

"Social identity is the knowledge possessed by an individual belonging to certain social groups together with the emotional significance and value to him / her that membership." Henri Tajfel.

A politics of difference argues [] that equality as the participation and inclusion of all groups sometimes requires different treatment for oppressed or disadvantaged groups. Iris Marion Young.





We split up by category. Race, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, nationality ... etcetera. As a fictional story (whether in literature, film, television ...) each character appears with a very pronounced role (the great example is the critically acclaimed series Lost, where we are almost to a specimen of every social rank and racial ) also in real life we divided into compartments and labels. Even we ourselves often try to exploit that we have been hanging tag, with the idea that to make a difference we mark our identity. But to what extent this idea is correct?

The main problem this poses is that when we are creating differences, we homogenizing social strata, blacks, women, homosexuals, etc., ignoring the individual identity of each person, and ignoring the ambiguities of each indidivuo (can being female, black, homosexual, etc.). Richard Wasserstrom calls for the removal of groups based on the difference. For him, a nonracist or sexist would be one in race and sex of each individual would be equivalent to how we currently feature can be as banal as eye color of a person. Judith Butter also considered an error in this case focusing on feminist criticism and the homosexual-the attempt to shape or assert an identity as such an exclusive way. As Marisol says Salanova in "Postpornografa" (Ed. Pictograph, 2012), "The new strategy feminist thought from the multitude, which no point in trying to define a closed identity model as a watertight compartment and unchanging. The purpose is not to seek true identities and focused, but eliminate the distance between bases and representation from the fictionalization of identity, eliminating the identity categories that are used in regulatory regimes, for such distinctions is commonly used to classify curtailing freedoms: generic differentiation and separation and a vision of legitimate











Returning to Richard Wasserstrom, Iris Marion lists three main reasons he considers crucial to choose the assimilationist ideal of liberation on the ideal of diversity: 1. The assimilationist ideal exposes the arbitrariness of group-based social distinctions which are thought natural and necessary. 2. The assimilationist ideal presents a clear and unambiguous standard of equality and justice. 3. The assimilationist ideal maximizes choice. In a society where differences make no social difference people can develop themselves as individuals, unconstrained by group norms and expectations.

Iris Marion says that The assimilationist ideal retains significant rhetorical power in the face of continued beliefs in the essentially different and inferior natures of women, Blacks, and other groups. Por otro lado, The power of assimilationist ideal has inspired the struggle of oppressed groups and the supporters against the exclusion and denigration of these groups, and continues to inspire many. Just as we can not universalize the entire global society, when we create groups, we are creating microcosms that are also essential differences between members of these groups. We can see, this way, the many subdivisions that has the feminist movement:

The women's movement has also generated its own versions of a politics of difference says Iris Marion.

1. Humanist feminism. Finds in many assertion of difference between women and men only a legacy of female oppression and an ideology to legitimate continued exclusion of women from socially valued human activiy. The humanist feminism somehow advocate for the abolition of the distinction between genres, entiendiendo that women and men should be treated the same way. Feminstas For many, the ideal of sexual liberation would androgyny. This idea is quite close to the young movement transfeminista, to which I refer later.
2. Feminist separatism. Separatism promoted the empowerment of women through self-

organization, the creation of separate and safe spaces chwere women could share and analyze their experiences, voice their anger, play with and create bonds with one another, and develop new and better institutions and practices.
3. I add here the called Transfeminism, whose manifesto for feminist insurrection I

transcribe below, as shown in the trial Pornoterrorismo (Txalaparta Ed. 2011) by Diana J. Torres: We call upon the insurrection transfeminista: We come from radical feminism, we are the dykes, whores, transgender, immigrant, black, the heterodisidentes. We are the rage of the feminist revolution, and we want to show the teeth out of the offices of gender and the right policies, and our desire to be politically incorrects guide us, annoying, rethinking and resignifying our mutations. Not enough anymore to be single women. The political subject of

feminism "women" has become smaller, is excluding itself, is left outside the dykes, the trans, the whores, the veil, which earn little and are not in unit, the screaming, the undocumented, the queers ... Lets brake the binomial gender and sex as a political practice. Let the way we started, "not born a woman, but becomes one" continue exposing the power structures, division and hierarchy. If we learn that the man / woman difference is a cultural product, as it is the structure that Bully: borders man / woman. All people produce gender, we produce freedom. We argue with infinite genres. We called the reinvention from the desire to fight for the sovereignty of our bodies to any totalitarian regime. Our bodies are ours!, As are its limits, mutations, colors, and transactions. We do not need protection on the decisions we make in our bodies, transmute gender, we are what we want, transvestites, rolls, superfem, buch, sluts, trans, we veil and speak Wolof. We network: flock furious. We called the insurrection of the occupation of the streets, to blogs, disobedience, not asking permission, to create alliances and structures of its own: not defend ourselves, do we fear! We are a reality, we operate in different cities and contexts, we are connected, we have common goals and you cant shut we up. Feminism will be transboundary, transformer, transgender or will not, feminism will be transfeinst or will not . The transfeminist movement is very young. In Spain has been driven mainly by the philosopher Beatriz Preciado and the group transfemist of Euskadi Medeak: http://medeak.blogspot.com

Very close to the ideas of transfeminismo, we would find Judith Butler, who, according to Spanish philosopher Marisol Salanova says in his essay Postpornografa (Ed. Pictografa, 2012), "considered an error, both feminist criticism and the homosexual, the very attempt to

outline or assert an identity as such, that is, identity as a feminist or as homosexual, thus no point in trying defnir a closed identity model as a watertight compartment and unchanging. The purpose is not to seek true identities and focused, but eliminate the distance between bases and representation from the fictionalization of identity, eliminating the identity categories that are used in regulatory regimes, for such distinctions is commonly used to classify curtailing freedoms: differentiation and separation legitimizes sexual generic vision of sexual and gender identities is ultimately oppressive. " Iris Marion: Women suffer workplace disadvantage because their gender socialization and identity orients the desires, temperaments, and capacities of many women toward certain activities and away from others, because many men regard women in inappropriately sexual terms, and because women's clothes, comportment, voices, and so on sometimes disrupt the disembodied ideal of masculinist bureaucracy.

- Equality as acceptance. In this model, Christine Littleton argues for a gender-conscious approach to policy directed at rendering femininely gendered cultural attributes costless for women.

As we see, are being promoted theories that seek to find freedom away from the identity, understanding the differentiation and the detention in compartments.

New social movements of group specificity do not deny the official story's claim that the ideal of liberation as eliminating difference and treating everyone the same has brought significant improvement in the status of excluded groups. (Iris Marion).

Emancipation through the politics of difference

Democratic cultural pluralism. According to this theory, in a good society there is equality among socially and culturally differentiated groups, who mutually respect one another and affirm one another in their differences. In the other hand, we find liberal humanism, that treats each person as an individual, while the politics of difference promotes a notion of group solidarity against the individualism.

Liberal humanism is to impose the word "humanism" to the concept of "freedom", meaning "freedom" as the product of the dignity of the human. Its premise would be something like the life of an individual is not separate from the rest, and only makes sense in relation to others. In "The Liberal Humanism" by Gustavo Tovar Arroyo (YV Oil Magazine. Number 12. Chile 2010). the author of the system of fingerprint identity to argue that when defining the identity of human beings, there are no races or sexes, or any other characteristic except trace of identity, which is nothing but a "maze" . "Mankind, sum of billions of digital smell, is a maze. [...] This is because every human being, as his mark, is also a maze, his mind intricate and unexplored recesses of his mind, signan its complexity and depth. " For Tovar Arroyo, civilization is when hatch these "mazes".

"Coining the concept of freedom with that of humanism, putting" humanism "to" freedom "because no humanity, no human being could never have freedom, at least as a voluntary and conscious act of man, we come to what I called before liberal humanism. A higher stage of humanism that would be the feasibility of a humanistic society that not only would ensure the

recognition and respect of the thirty rights and freedoms contained in the Universal Declaration, but also, beyond this, that society would support that every human being is able to achieve their hopes, dreams or goals to be, do or have, or is a company that would allow and would support the possibility that every human being can be free. "

As we see, this is important to treat people as independent individuals who make up a society through confrontation.

On the other side would be the politics of difference, which defends the notion of group over individual.

Patxi Lanceros (Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Deusto) says that after the fall of the socialist model and the corresponding expansion of neoliberal capitalism in the twentieth century, led to a new concept among some circles, "end of history": end point of mankind's ideological evolution, universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government. This view emphasizes the unity of mankind: a philosophy that a census of its capabilities, emphasizing the unity of reason and unity of purpose, and that all design builds moral, social and political landscape has imposed with the full force of its evidence. It is therefore not surprising that after this way of thinking, were imposed as opposed words like "tradition", "recognition" and "respect." Gender claims have emerged that suggest that more than half of the western population has not been recognized or respected by the Western tradition, more than half the population has not participated in his share of "intellectual and moral progress," and you have not because you have not been allowed to do so: for the sharing scheme has been pre-arranged by men and virile conception of citizenship. There have been so self-statements nationalist programs that base their legitimacy on territorial or

ethnic variables, and so on. And at the same time, proposals have broken shield fundamentalist fundamentalists and their eternity in the revelation of a god.

The last conflict of the twentieth century and the beginning of this have been conflicts and identity conflicts apart.

According Lanceros, according to the rational plan of modernity, the human race having reached the conditions for universal reconciliation and positive, has exploded in a number of groups claiming different identities and different identities. Groups claiming their specificity based on race or land, customs, groups whose expectations have the skin color or sexual preference mark. Equality is understood as a sign of oppression: ethnocentrism. And here we come to a new problem, as they question other axioms: fraternity difficult (universal) and questions of freedom (individual).

As Bernard Boxill says: On the one hand, we must overcome segregation because it denies the idea of human brotherhood; on the other hand, to overcome segregation we must selfsegregate and therefore also deny the idea of human brotherhood.

Respecting difference in policy

According to Ph. D in Philosophy from the University of New York and Professor of Political Science at the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research, Nancy Fraser in Chapter 1 "Social justice in the era of identity politics: redistribution, recognition and participation "of" Redistribution or Recognition? A philosophical political debate "(Ed. Morata, 2006), Iris Marion, like other advocates of recognition, insists that a policy of redistribution that takes into account the differences can reinforce injustice, false universalizing norms of the dominant group, requiring that subordinated groups assimilate, not sufficiently recognize the characteristic features of these. The political objective for proponents of recognition is the cultural transformation.

The premise posed by Iris Marion seems obvious and simple: "a goal of social justice is social Equality. Distributions are entailed by social equality ", but if we look around we can see that there is something you normally occur often. For example, Iris Marion mentioned that in American society are usually treated equally in the legal field to all members of all groups except gays and lesbians, who are denied certain rights such as marriage and having sons.

Returning to the text of Nancy Fraser, she says that demands for social justice are divided into a) vindications redistributive b) claims of social justice in the "politics of recognition." In the first case, seek a fairer distribution of resources and wealth. In the second case, the goal is a world that accepts the difference, in which most or integration in the assimilation of dominant cultural norms is no longer the price of equal respect.

The term "recognition" comes from Hegel's philosophy: the phenomenology of consciousness. Recognition designates an ideal reciprocal relation between subjects, in which each sees the other as an equal and as separate from himself. One becomes an individual subject only by virtue of recognizing another subject and be recognized for it. The "recognition" implies the Hegelian thesis that social relations are prior to individuals and intersubjectivity precedes subjectivity.

Having explained a bit these two types of claims for social justice, I will focus on the theme of the text that most concerns us now: exploited classes, despised sexualities and twodimensional categories.

The social division between heterosexuals and homosexuals is not based on political economy. The division is rooted in the status order of society. Value heteronormative patterns pervade popular culture and everyday interaction. The effect is to consider gays and lesbians as representatives of a despised sexuality, sexually subjected to specific forms of status subordination. "This last is shame and aggression, exclusion of the rights and privileges of marriage and parenthood, limitations on rights of expression and association, demeaning stereotypical depictions in the media, harassment and disparagement in everyday life and denial of the full rights and protections of citizens. These harms are injustices of recognition, "says Fraser.

In this case, the remedy for injustice is recognition, not redistribution. Overcoming homophobia and heterosexism requires changing the sexual status order, deinstitutionalize heteronormative patterns of value and replace them with patterns that express equal respect for gays and lesbians.

Nancy Fraser speaks also of the so-called "two-dimensional subordinate groups" which are those with both poor distribution as a wrong recognition in ways that none of these injustices

is an indirect effect of the other, but both are primary and co -originals. Gender is a two-dimensional social differentiation: From point of view of distribution, gender serves as a basic organizing principle of the economic structure of capitalist society, for structure, according to Fraser, the fundamental division between paid and unpaid work. Gender also structures the division between manufacturing and professional occupations and domestic service occupations. The result is an economic structure based on gender, economic marginalization and deprivation. "The injustice of gender seems a species of distributive injustice that cries out for redistributive redress."

An important feature of gender injustice is androcentrism: an institutionalized pattern of cultural value that favors male traits while devaluing all coded "feminine."

Women face specific forms dismantling androcentrism,

status subordination and logic of the solution aimed at by restructuring the relations of recognition.

On the other hand, the two-dimensional character of the genre subverts the whole idea of the tradeoff between the paradigm of redistribution and recognition paradigm.

In short: gender injustice can only be remedied by an approach that encompasses both a politics of redistribution as a policy of recognition.

Another distinction made by Iris Marion is between Conscious and Neutral politics. Acording to her, conscious is the preferable one because policies that are universally formulated and thus blind to difference of race, culture, gender, age, or disability often perpetuate rather than undermine oppression.










(http://www.dicc.hegoa.ehu.es), if we search "Gender Policy", we find Nalia Kabber (researcher at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex), which makes a distinction between "gender-blind policies" and "gender-aware policies".

The first are those that appear neutral but are implicitly biased in favor of the masculine, they are a) b) the unique development needs and interests based actors are worthy of are attention from on: male men.

These policies do not recognize gender inequality within reproduce existing gender relations and tend to exclude women of resources and benefits of development.

The "gender-aware policies" assume that development actors are women as well as men, and that both are affected differently, and often unequal, for their contributions. They also recognize that the roles and activities of women are different, and therefore both may have different needs, interests and priorities.

The "Gender-awar policies" are divided, in turn, into three distinct types of policies:

1. Gender-neutral policies. They are based on detailed information about the different roles and responsibilities of women and men, so that project resources are allocated efficiently. 2. Gender-specific policies. Recognizing the specific needs of women leads to policies that favor them, by providing resources that they can control or activities that can benefit directly. 3. Gender redistributive policies. Attempt to change gender relations to make them more equitable, just and compassionate, redistributing resources, responsibilities and power between men and women.

For Naila Kabeer, gender redistributive policies are the only ones that effectively address the goal of eradicating inequalities between women and men, and as such, have begun to be implemented during the 90's thanks the momentum of women's movements in the South and the Gender in Development strategy.

But now, twenty years later, the concept "gender" itself generates a debate:

"Queer" means to keep talking about "women" is irrelevant, although this is more than one subject and, fortunately, an abstraction. "Queer" means we categories as homo - straight lesbian not make sense and are also contradictory and counterproductive. There are so many fagots in the world, many dykes, many and many trans ... and all of them are at most 5%, a minority within a minority would prefer we did not exist.

If only as a strategy, enough to speak on behalf of so many people that not only has nothing to do with us but also we are against. The vast majority of homo and buns Western context, European - American, white, urban, want to be normal and tolerant, religiously pay their taxes rose ghettos, they will marry and form families and their children make their First Communion. Enough to call their names. We have our own, which are transfeministas, queers, hackers, hookers, inmigrantas, vermin, guerrillas, Chaperas, ceroeuristas, hackers, saboteurs, deformed, monstruas, wolves, dogs, pajarracas ".

Excerpt from the text of Diana J. Navarro "Transfeminism ethical and consistent" readed in the Text Transfeminists included in Conferences her of book Barcelona in 2010.


As we see, queer theory breaks with the idea of compartments, shuns labels and groups and focuses on each individual. For within-group differences are also generated. Queer theory is a radical leap to the conclusion reached by Iris Marion Young in 1990 with his "The Politics of Difference." She concludes that

The ideal of the just society as eliminating group differences is both unrealistc and undesirable. Instead justice in a group-differentiated society demands social equality of groups, and mutual recognition and affirmation of group differences. Attending to groupspecific needs and providing for group representation both promotes that social equality and provides the recognition that undermines cultural imperialism.

But, It could be possible the justice taking into account all this differences?

Many of the Queer claims are related with what Nancy Fraser calls affirmative solutions. That is: solutions that attack discriminatory processes and social injustices in a set order, without changing the pillars that support its order. With affirmative solutions for injustice, she refers to those that are aimed at correcting inequitable outcomes of social arrangements without affecting the overall framework is carried out. In contrast, understands the transformative remedies aied at correcting inequitable outcomes precisely by restructuring the underlying framework is carried out.

It is early to know whether Queer theory is right to fight with the injustice. What It's clear, as we have seen throughout this essay, is that it is necessary to make distinctions (either in groups or individually) to avoid falling into a false sense of equality that would result only in a universalized totalitarianism.