Queer Marxism in Two Chinas
Queer Human Rights in and against the Two Chinas
This chapter examines the paradox of queer human rights discourse in relation to two Chinas. Starting with the problem that queer human rights are derived from the rights-bearers’ differences (queerness) and their commonality (humanness), this chapter argues that our ability to deploy this concept has been weakened by an uncritical use of the political status of sexual minorities as a metric to assess the extent to which neoliberal globalization has transformed postsocialist and postauthoritarian regimes. This chapter demonstrates that Taiwan’s construction of a liberal, queer-friendly political image is actually motivated by the geopolitical tensions between two Chinas, and the case demonstrates that the intelligibility of sex and sexuality is often governed by material forces beyond sexual minorities’ own initiative. Marx’s labor theory of value is useful here because it shows that the human figure is reproduced by both cultural and material elements. Insofar as the “human” is both a material and a cultural concept, the subject of queer human rights is an appropriate paradox that cannot be defined by economic status or sexual identity alone.