The Deviant and the Queer.
A Cinderella story of liberal normativity.
We could say that the deviant has five type of relations to the abnormal.
In the first relation the deviant is the abnormal that most of us is still able to fight against, like illnesses. An illness that distress us and put our lives at danger. It might also be an illness that we could have started fighting since we were in the womb and until the day we die, but that our body is unable to accept as a constitutive element.
This kind of deviant manifestation deviates us from our life; it disables us in one way or another on a race to kill us. In this case, the deviant refers to any illness our body is fighting as an external element and recognises it as pathogenous without our conscious intervention.
The second type of deviant manifestation is the abnormal that most people don’t fight against, but have learned to live with, like genetic oddities, imbalance in the brain, imbalance in our hormones or extreme injuries.
Since these deviant manifestations do not necessary deteriorate our body further, we commonly learn to live with them. Yet, learning to live with them exposes the affected person more often than not to trauma or extreme abuse from peers or society in general.
As a result, the person with these deviant attributes usually develop a trauma-trigger, which when active re-enacts unpleasant memories from past experiences of abuse.
These people are more vulnerable to stress. Their trauma related issues are triggered not necessarily because of their deviant attributes per se, but because of having been bullied and abused. Bullying brings into consideration their political activism, which is asserted in two mayor political demands.
First, their right not to be abused, discriminated and not to have inflicted on them trauma-triggered experiences. Second, their right to be treated humanely and be equally free to contribute to mainstream values as any other human being.
This becomes a difficult issue since deviant attributes based on genetic oddities, hormonal imbalances, anomalies in the brain or extreme body injuries are not per se attributes which show human excellence.
Being LGBTQ, enduring hardship due to injuries, being obese and abused and still be able to love your body as it is, managing to accomplish great deal while having genetic oddities; all that is worth appreciating, but they are not indicators of human excellence or of being exceptionally special.
Human excellence is not as much measures up by how much we endure with what we already got or are given at birth as with how much we endure with what we created on our own that didn’t existed before and can become valuable for us and those around us.
Having deviant attributes do not make us any more special than having any other attribute through which we can measure up our capacity to endure hardship in the worst of conditions and be able to birth in us other attributes which speak better about our excellence as humans.
We can’t grant excellence as a compassionate act when excellence is not really present and it is mainly substantiated by having deviant attributes or anomalies per se. Compassion in that sense is patronising and arrogant.
Excellence is when humans exceed on their own account beyond the normal, the median, the average for the benefit of themselves whatever the patterns of normality might be.
The third type of deviant manifestation appears when the abnormal is made as a choice by an individual or a minority group that does not scale up their beliefs nor aim to embrace the mainstream values.
This kind of deviant can be seen in queer communities, but also in body-positive activists who are reactively affirming their physical body, be them obese or anorexic. It can also be seen in schizo-positive activists who are reactively affirming any mental states, be them depression, delusion, stupidity, conspiracy theories or pseudoscience.
This kind of deviant manifestation is affected in one way or another by gradients of the queer all across a wide spectrum.
According to Annamarie Jagose, an LGBTQ writer of academic and fictional works:
“Queer focuses on mismatches between sex, gender and desire.”
This is what queer meant initially, but we can see today that queer might have nothing to do and could easily do without sex and gender altogether.
David M. Halperin is an American theorist in the fields of gender studies, queer theory and critical theory. He tells us:
“Queer is by definition whatever is at odds with the normal, the legitimate, the dominant. There is nothing in particular to which it necessarily refers. It is an identity without an essence. ‘Queer’ then, demarcates not a positivity but a positionality vis-à-vis the normative.”
The above definition of the queer brings another set of problems with biological and cultural implications.
Could we really consider our DNA as the normal, the legitimate and the dominant in our body while we consider our genes as queer deviant mutations?
Could we really consider humanity spiritual and technological achievements as the normal, the legitimate and the dominant while we consider our deviant half-baked variations as the queer?
The queer per se can be the deviant that brings changes to destroy us, to distort us, to make us better for the benefit of many of us or to make us better through the destruction of others who are not us.
If we were on the side of human excellence and progress, not only as specie but also as individuals, as some of us might be, we would be on the side of deviant mutations and variations which wouldn’t reduce us to a half-baked existence.
Theory org uk tells us:
“Queer theory is a set of ideas based around the idea that identities are not fixed and do not determine who we are. It suggests that it is meaningless to talk in general about ‘women’ or any other group, as identities consist of so many elements that to assume that people can be seen collectively on the basis of one shared characteristic is wrong. Indeed, it proposes that we deliberately challenge all notions of fixed identity, in varied and non-predictable ways.”
The quote above has more of wishful thinking than of factual evidences. Even when identities are not fixed they do determine who we are. Furthermore, identities are not fixed within a context, out of such context they can be fixed.
We can also talk about women or any group in general and still perceive them with great deal of diversity and intricacies. To assume that people can be seen collectively on the basis of one shared characteristic is not wrong.
The fact that we can be seen in that way, doesn’t contradict the fact that we can also be seen on the bases of many shared and unshared characteristics. Notions of fixed identity are being so easily challenged today that challenging notions of changing identity has become almost an impossible task to surpass. Nothing seems fixed today.
The queer eventually bites its own tail, it bites its own queerness and surrenders not to the normal and the dominant in general, but to the very gradients of the normal and of the dominant it naturally harvests.
The queer is not always all that queer. Randomly, it gives itself the chance to add to progress, else it falls fast into oblivion by its own entropy. Progress has never been deterministic, but it does have patterns of occurrences in the randomness of our biological and spiritual existence.
The fourth type of deviant manifestation appears when the abnormal is made as a choice by an individual or an initial small group that scale up to embrace the mainstream values, like Apple brand that has been willing to promote at large a maverick and breakthrough idea which initially costed Steve Jobs being fired of his own company, but who later on came back to revolutionise the mainstream values in the context of techno-industrial design and digital graphic interface.
The fifth type of deviant manifestation appears when the abnormal is made as a choice by an individual or an initial small group that attempts to scale up their beliefs, not to embrace the mainstream, but on the contrary, to either erode or destroy it as they take hold of it with the hidden agenda of promoting their never transparent totalitarian beliefs.
There are three mayors advocates of this fifth manifestation of the deviant. We have the Regressive Left Liberals, the Dark Enlightenment Right Conservatives and the Islamic States (ISIS).
They all share a common element. They have different gradients of being at odd with Western societies values. However, the Islamic States are the ones in the extreme gradient of wanting to destroy Western values completely.
The deviant, in this case, mixes with the normal, the legitimate and the dominant in ways which reveal the true intricacies of political life. Such mixing at times leaves so much behind the cliché attributes of the deviant that a hardcore queer wouldn’t recognise it as deviant at all.