Sunday, April 3, 2011

Duffy's Painful Case

"Joyce appropriated one of Stannie’s bile beans for Duffy’s journal entry that expresses his pain at the prohibition against love between men, according to Jackson: “Love between man and man is impossible because there must not be sexual intercourse and friendship between man and woman is impossible because there must be sexual intercourse.” Duffy’s straightforward articulation of the double-bind created for gay men by the Labouchere Amendment indicates his awareness that his homoerotic desires separate him from other men who, Sedgwick argues, must be kept in a state of ignorance about the true nature of their own desires; they must never be certain they are not homosexual.” (335-336)

Joyce, James. Dubliners. Ed. Margot Norris. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2006. Print.

This particular passage struck me as interesting because there is a lot of point made in here that say a lot about society. The double bind that Duffy deals with that Jackson speaks of implies that love cannot exist unless sexual intercourse is present, and it also implies that if sexual intercourse is present that a friendship cannot exist. However, this is not the case. Can a father not love his son and vice versa? Cannot a married couple who engages in sexual intercourse be friends? Love between two males can exist because it is quite common for a father to love his son, and a son to love his father. It is also a love that can exist between two brothers. There is more than one type of love, and the love that can exist between two males does not have to be erotic. It is most likely safe to make an assumption that a man and woman that are married engage in sexual intercourse, but are also friends since they have to be life partners, therefore a friendship can exist even if eroticism between the two are there. It was also confusing what Sedgwick meant by his argument. Are men that are not homosexual aware of their desires because they don’t explore erotic desires for other men? Is that not the same thing as saying a homosexual man is ignorant of his true desires because he does not explore erotic desires for a woman?

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