In these closing comments from the “Queer Bonds” conference (subtitled “A Symposium on Sexuality and Sociability”), the author suggests that the “sociability” staged at the conference itself depended on a certain forgetfulness, a certain “failure of transmission,” that may also be the condition of any sociability. She suggests that there is also a sociality at stake in human relationality that does not imply the intimate connotations of sociability. This sociality derives from the constitutive conditions of the body itself—a body always given over to others, which exists in a field of social norms and depends on those norms, and those others, for its survival. The ontology of the body is thus a social ontology: we are all over each other, and that is true from the start. The generalized condition of precariousness that characterizes all bodies—and that makes the possibility of both violence and eroticism their constitutive condition—is nevertheless differentially distributed and also politically exploited. Queer theory has played a special role in bringing to light this differential distribution of precariousness, and this means that queer theory is from the outset implicated in politics, indeed in political activism, and cannot be separated from its enactments. We exist in a relation of “queer bonds” with—and are obligated to—those “we” may never know or recognize.
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Judith Butler; Remarks on “Queer Bonds”. GLQ 1 June 2011; 17 (2-3): 381–387. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10642684-1163472
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