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Open Access ‘You live in the West now’

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Homonationalism is a recent topic of debate in the field of queer studies, with scholars such as Jasbir Puar and Jin Haritaworn, Tauqir, & Erdem arguing that homonationalist discourse others Muslims by constructing them as homophobic and thus ‘backwards’, as opposed to Western ‘progressive’ acceptance of homosexuality. However, these arguments have not adequately addressed the adoption and reinforcement of homonationalist discourse by queer Muslims. Using the concept of homonationalism, this article investigates the reinforcement of homonationalist discourse by queer women of colour in their representation of Muslim and Arab sexuality. It does this by exploring the connection between Western secularist and Orientalist discourses, and Western debate on queer reproduction. Through an analysis of the film I can’t think straight, I argue that the reflection of these Western discourses in the film reinforce constructions of Western (sexual) exceptionalism and Eastern ‘backwardness’, implying that inclusion in homonationalist discourse is possible for gay Muslims, as long as they meet certain requirements.
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Keywords: Orientalism; homonationalism; homophobia; lesbian film; sexuality

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Els Woudstra is an incoming master’s student Gender and Ethnicity at Utrecht University. She is interested in the construction of gender, ethnicity, and sexuality in the context of American and British cultural imperialism and colonialism., Email: [email protected]

Publication date: December 10, 2014

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  • Het Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies is het forum voor de wetenschappelijke problematisering van sekse in relatie tot andere vormen van discriminatie en uitsluiting zoals etniciteit, seksualiteit, klasse of leeftijd. Er worden artikelen in gepubliceerd over gendervraagstukken vanuit alle relevante disciplines die een wetenschappelijke bijdrage leveren aan debatten over gender en intersectionaliteit in Nederland en Vlaanderen. Het tijdschrift is een interdisciplinair medium op het kruispunt van maatschappij-, cultuur-, geestes-, gezondheids- en natuurwetenschappen. Het verschijnt vier keer per jaar en biedt wetenschappelijke artikelen en daarnaast ook interviews, boekrecensies, discussiedossiers en opiniërende artikelen in het Nederlands en Engels. Artikelen worden dubbelblind beoordeeld door externe deskundigen.

    The Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies (Journal of Gender Studies) is a Dutch language forum for the scientific problematisation of gender in relation to ethnicity, sexuality, class, and age. The journal aims to contribute to debates about gender and diversity in the Netherlands and Flanders. The journal is an interdisciplinary medium operating at the intersection of society, culture, the humanities, health and science. The editorial staff is open to articles about gender issues from different disciplines, and also accepts English articles. As well as publishing articles, the journal includes essays, columns (short topical and polemical articles), interviews, reviews, summaries of dissertations and conference reports. Articles are subjected to a double blind peer review process.
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