Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Queer Theory and Objectum Sexuals

In class today, Stephanie brought up the topic of people who are in love with inanimate objects, and how it would be viewed in the context of queer theory.  Last year, I watched a documentary about “objectum sexuals”, and it still fascinates me to this day.  It’s never bothered me because it doesn’t harm me in any way, but I thought that our reading on queer theory could provide me with the language to describe exactly why I think it is okay.
            In the documentary that I watched, “Married to the Eiffel Tower”, one of the women that is featured is a world champion archer, who also used to have a relationship with her first bow.  Listening to her describe her feelings and experiences with her bow, it is similar to the way that a woman would describe her feelings toward a man that she loved.  She was fully aware that it was just an object, but she identified human characteristics and feelings in the bow that made it easier to compare to a relationship between two human beings.  Although it is odd, the relationship made her happy, and also led her to be a very successful archer.  Furthermore, I like to think of it in terms of Butler’s diagram in the Gauntlett reading.  This woman’s identity and her sex are completely separate from her desires.  Whether she loves a man, a woman, or a bow does not have to completely shape her identity. 
            Objectum sexuals and homosexuals both go against the dominant idea of a relationship as being heterosexual.  But in reality this dominant idea is just a social construct, we are not born knowing that we need to love someone of the opposite sex, just like we are not born knowing that we shouldn’t have relationships with objects.  These are things that we learn from society. 
            Furthermore, these people who have relationships with objects should not be marginalized from society.  Their desires are completely separate from identity.  A person who loves a bow is still a person.  I think that objectum sexuality is a really interesting topic and it’s really cool to think about in the context of queer theory.  It helps me to clarify for myself why I’m not fundamentally bothered by people who love objects.  It makes me a little uncomfortable, but at the end of the day who are what they love does not define who they are. 

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