Sexuality – Women’s & gender studies
Analyze the ways that people resist and challenge compulsory heterosexuality and/or heteronormativity. In developing this analysis, you will choose an example of any situation, phenomenon, person, performance, film, television show, space, campaign, or event that portrays or demonstrates the ways that sexuality does not conform to monogamous, reproductive, heteronormativity.
To begin, find an example. You are allowed to rely on the internet or other forms of media—both mainstream and alternative—to find a suitable example. (For example, activist initiatives online, queer art and performance, pop music/celebrities, music videos, YouTube clips, spoken word poetry, films [mainstream or independent], news stories, etcetera). Once you have identified a potential example, please consult to confirm that your example is suitable to the assignment. Consider the following questions in your analysis of your example of non-normative sexuality:
Context: How is the ideological and institutional privileging of heterosexuality (that is, heteronormativity) being challenged and subverted? How is compulsory heterosexuality being challenged and subverted? Are heterosexual courtship rituals and/or the cult of virginity being disrupted, and if so, how? How and why does your example challenge binary logic and/or the normalization/naturalization of heterosexuality? Why does this logic and/or these norms need to be
challenged? To what end?
Intersectionality: Consider how sexuality intersects with gender, race, class, disability, nation and citizenship. Does intersectionality help explain what makes your example non-normative or subversive?
Effects: What are the effects or consequences of challenging normative constructions of sexuality? Do the forms of resistance highlighted in your example disturb or dismantle the dominance of heteronormative discourse? Or do these non-normative sexual practices potentially reproduce the dominance of heteronormative discourse? Why or why not?
You are expected to draw on both non-academic and academic sources for this assignment.
Non-academic sources to give the example: You are allowed to use three non-academic sources (for example, newspaper articles, magazine advertisements/articles, blogs, zines, film reviews, etcetera) to briefly describe/summarize the specific example and to draw on relevant aspects of the specific example for your analysis. You may choose to quote or draw images from these sources to help describe and illustrate the example of non-normative sexuality. Please make sure that functioning links to each of your non-academic sources are in the bibliography. Cite these appropriately in MLA format.
Academic sources: You must use at least three scholarly sources(that is, chapters from a scholarly book such as the Hobbs and Rice textbook and/or journal articles) to support your analysis. At least two of the three scholarly sources must be from the assigned course readings and/or the Hobbs and Rice textbook. One of the scholarly sources may be from library research.
As an argumentative paper, your paper must be organized around a clear and specific thesis. Your thesis should be articulated in the form of an argument (not a statement of topic). Your argument should demonstrate your analysis of the example you have chosen.
“In this essay, I will argue that Beyoncé’s music video for the song ‘Formation’ challenges dominant views
of black sexuality by portraying black women as sexually strong and politically united. Moreover, out of
a history of slavery and ongoing systemic oppression, black women’s sexuality is, and has always been,
a source of personal and political power.”