The Ethics of Marginality: A New Approach to Gay Studies by John Champagne

By John Champagne

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It might also be argued that the worthiest adversaries are those with whom one shares a certain commonality of ideas. Only such adversaries can help one to dis-cover those places where one's thinking runs up against itself. Concerning the Right's reappropriation of my argument, we may note that the strategist Edward N. Luttwak argues, "In strategy you can never know 'exactly what you are getting in to' " (74). It is not possible for me to predict how certain right-wing forces might respond to, counter, and make use of my argument.

If there is such a thing as patriarchal power—and it is currently difficult to imagine a feminism that would do away with this concept—it must (theoretically) be everywhere. For de Lauretis, the answer to this same question is apparently no. In her formulation, there are spaces—however far outside of the frame—in which patriarchal power does not function. But how does de Lauretis account for this? Apparently, the activity of female agents is what allows for the creation of such spaces. "40 What about these actual female agents makes possible this movement in and out of non-male-centered discursive spaces?

This structure irreducibly divides the subject, rendering impossible all claims to sovereignty by insisting that what we call consciousness is always itself subject to the law of the return of the repressed, so that unspeakable, presymbolic desires return to interrupt the subject's workings. 4 For Marxists, "ideology critique" is an attempt to account for how the subject might desire against his or her (economic) interests. Covering over the gulf between the subject's "real" material circumstances and articulated interests, ideology as a critical concept describes how subjects might be led to (mis)read the relationships between material forces and "lived" experi1 The Subject and/in Ideology ence.

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