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What Is Queer Theory And Why Is It Important?

Like the various theories and topics of research paper writings that have been worked upon in literature, queer theory is one of them. For a long time, we have been surviving in a world that recognizes just two types of genders and the only intimate relationship that can exist is between two people of opposite genders. The path of the ‘normal’ had been broken away by several writers, critics, and theorists who came up with various new theories to change the perspective of the world and the people living

Queer theory is often said to designate gay and lesbian studies, which combines with the critical and theoretical writings about all modes of variance such as transsexuality, bisexuality, and cross-dressing.

Protesters of the Stonewall riots in lower Manhattan in the summer of 1969.

This they do in parallel reference to the society’s normative model of sexual identity, orientation, and activities of an individual. Earlier the term queer was used in a derogatory sense to stigmatize male-female same-sex relations.

They considered this love as deviant and unnatural and thus non-acceptable in society. But since the 1990s, it has been adopted by these very gays and lesbians themselves as a non-invidious term for their way of life as well as an area of scholarly inquiry.

Therefore, this inquiry developed at a fast pace and thus holds importance in the study of literary works written by these people today. There are thus chances that students working on the same may require assignment help to supplement their studies. The reason behind these studies holding importance is that they reflect the long years of struggle that these people have faced.

The Importance Of Queer Theory

Thereafter these studies also present the readers with a different point of view, a point of view that is far more different than the normal and that breaks all the stereotypes associated with it.

Just as the African American and feminist liberation movements, these gay and lesbian movements also began as liberation movements, during the antiestablishment, anti- Vietnam war, and counter-cultural ferment of the late 1960s and 1970s. Since then, these movements have held the attention of the activists who wish to get for these gay and lesbian people, equal social, economic, and political rights, just as the heterosexual ones.

Throughout the 1970s, both movements were primarily separatist. While the gays thought themselves to be quintessentially male, the lesbians aligned themselves to the feminist movements and thought that the gay movement shared the same antifemale attitudes just as the patriarchal society did.

However, there had been a growing recognition of the degree to which both the groups shared a long history of suppressed minorities and possessed common political and social aims.

In the 1970s, researchers in their research paper writings assumed that there was a fixed, unitary identity as a gay man or a lesbian that had remained constant throughout history.

Post-Structuralism And Queer Theory

The task that was taken at hand was to identify and reclaim the works of non-heterosexual writers such as Walt Whitman, W. H. Auden, Oscar Wilde, James Baldwin, Virginia Woolf, and others. The list also includes William Shakespeare as well as Christina Rossetti, who represented homoerotic subject matter in their works, but whose own sexuality is left uncertain by the available biographical elements.

However, by the 1980s and 1990s, because of the assimilation of the viewpoints as well as the analytic methods of Foucault, Derrida, and other poststructuralists, the earlier assumptions about a unitary stable gay or lesbian identity were frequently questioned and the historical and critical analysis of the sexual differences became increasingly subtle and complex.

Several queer theorists adopted the deconstruction mode of dismantling the key binary oppositions of Western culture, such as heterosexual and homosexual, male and female, natural and unnatural.

This view placed everything in just two categories and in which the first category is assigned privilege, power, and authority while the second one is always marginalized, subordinated, or derogated.

Later theorists such as Eve Sedgwick and Judith Butler undertook the task of inverting the standard hierarchical opposition by which homosexuality is made unnatural and marginalized.

The Queer reading has become the term for interpretive activities that take into hand the task of subverting and confounding the established cultural and verbal oppositions and boundaries between the binaries established above.

Homosexuality And Heterosexuality

Another prominent theoretical procedure has been to undo the well-established assumption that homosexual and heterosexual are the universal and trans historic types of human identities or human subjects. This has been achieved by historicizing these categories, which was done by proposing that they are the cultural constructs that emerged under special ideological conditions in a particular culture and at a particular time.

Giving his views on the cultural-constructionist theory, Judith Butler described the categories of gender as performative by establishing that the features which a cultural discourse institutes as binary opposites, the discourse also makes it happen by establishing an identity according to which the individual must act.

The long-standing marginalization and dominance, as well as subordination of these gays and lesbians, have forced them and given them the courage to come up to the front and give a tough fight for their rights. What were normal centuries ago may not be normal now and above all the feelings and desires of individuals know no bounds.

The queer studies brought out to the world a different perspective towards these people. It highlighted their struggles and their fight for equality for a very long time. And above all, most of the time their fight was to gain normalcy in society. Therefore, the points that have been mentioned above are important and sufficient enough to offer assignment help to literature students who have turned their attention towards these studies.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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