Readings on Writing (p. 110-129)
“Queer Texts, Queer Contexts” by Harriet Malinowitz
In “Queer Texts, Queer Contexts,” Harriet Malinowitz attempts to address the issue of the homosexual community and how its practice in the writing discourse community influences identity. Malinowitz argues that a classroom does not have a set ideology and that ignoring the topic of sexual identity does nothing to help limit discrimination. Malinowitz claims that the term “gay” or “lesbian, or even “woman,” does not have a set definition in culture but it nonetheless unifies those who believe they belong to that category. The array of characteristics shared or differentiated within each category contributes to that categories generalized view from the public. Generalization is a wide view of a community, though when people (like Sojourner Truth- who defied her generalized view) stand up to what is a common belief- it ultimately strengthens the respective community. Malinowitz describes how the “stigmatism” of sexual identity can hugely impact one’s social identity. Heterosexuals would not exist if the counterpart (homosexuals) weren’t also a community. Since heterosexuality is believed to be the most common of the two, homosexuality caries a social identity that is not as desirable. Malinowitz’s main argument is that sexual identity and homosexual studies should be incorporated into the classroom because it ultimately discourages discrimination, and because otherwise -it denies students the opportunity to learn how “sexual identity is constructed through language” and writing discourse.