Queer Marxism in Two Chinas
Chinese Queer Theory
This chapter explores the distinctive features and contributions of Chinese queer theory, focused on the works of Cui Zi’en, Josephine Ho, Wang Ping, and Ding Naifei. These writers develop a unique form of queer Marxism by theorizing the material conditions of possibility for queer thinking and expression in the age of China’s entry into global capitalism. They also analyze the interconnections among sexualized labor, the discontents of capitalist modernity, and queer resistance to identity politics. They theorize non-normative gender and sexualities’ liberating potential for capitalism, while rejecting the semantic splitting of “sex” into gender (anatomical identity) and sexuality (act). For queer Marxists, the queer is not a synonym for homosexuality, but a material reminder of one’s relation to an unequal structure of power, as well as a capacity to recognize the distance between sexual diversity in human cultures and the liberal-pluralist creations of identity categories under global capitalism.