How do sex panics unfold? The older of the two men writes: To demonstrate the connection between memory, sexual subjectivity, and activism, I want to offer two stories I received by email from gay men in response to lecture versions of this essay. In fact, my first such experiences shocked me because I was so surprised how much better I was treated by gay men in those spaces as compared to other gay social spaces. The second man, probably ten years younger than the first, has a
Private Decisions and Public Dialogues "Nowadays panic seems to be everywhere—from homeland security to economic crisis—yet sexual topics seem to prompt the most extreme episodes of fear, loathing, indignation, and overreaction. If you want to understand the state of sexuality politics in this country—and have a hope of reversing moral panics and public lies—you need to read this book! Even rejection [End Page ] is kinder and gentler, and in group scenes, you end up having sex with men who you might not have sex with otherwise—men who are both more and less attractive than you are. Moral Panics, Sex Panics provides new and important insights into the role that key moral panics have played in social processes, arguing forcefully against the political abuse of sex panics and for the need to defend full sexual and reproductive rights. The last decade has witnessed a discursive operation that has instigated a cultural forgetting and, as Anderson argues must happen when popular memory is obliterated, the substitution of a newly official remembering that can reconstitute sanctioned identity out of historical violence. Below is the list of vendors that carry our titles in electronic format. My premise will be that the last decade has witnessed a profound shift [End Page ] in sexual subjectivity and that, as Anderson argues will occur with any deep shift in consciousness, the change has also involved a systematic operation of amnesia. Like national identities, the sexual consciousness that emerges from such narratives of forgetting and selective and reformulated memory serves state interests. The contributors also reveal how moral and sexual panics have become a mainstay of certain kinds of conservative efforts to win elections and gain power in moral, social, and political arenas. How do sex panics unfold? In fact, my first such experiences shocked me because I was so surprised how much better I was treated by gay men in those spaces as compared to other gay social spaces. The second man, probably ten years younger than the first, has a Each vendor has its own pricing and delivery policies. I started going to demonstrations again ones that benefit lesbians, too! Anyway, when someone stuck poppers under my nose for the first time, I felt like I was actually transported back to the Seventies. Sex panics are outgrowths of restrictive changes in cultural consciousness, of which the crackdowns on nonnormative sexual spaces by the police or by zoning boards are only late manifestations. Cultural amnesia, in other words, is at the heart of what some are calling the current sex panic: To demonstrate the connection between memory, sexual subjectivity, and activism, I want to offer two stories I received by email from gay men in response to lecture versions of this essay. In this state-of-the-art volume, noted scholars of sexuality take a big step forward in addressing these questions while zooming in on crucial topics such as reproductive rights, sex education, AIDS, same-sex marriage, and the politics of race and empire. The essays in this timely volume provide critical insights to the battle lines that must be overcome for a new world to flourish. Essentialist and sentimental, yes. The older of the two men writes: Here an outstanding group of social scientists give a firm focus to the culture wars and moral panics that split cultures and speak to persistent and deep divides round the world. Different acts of memory, I want to argue, generate and justify different sexual consciousnesses, which in turn shape divergent theories of the relationships sexual subjects—and here I am talking specifically about urban gay men—have to social protest and organization. In contrast to Anderson, however, I want to argue that narrative follows not in the wake of amnesia but precedes it. How can defenders of sexual rights respond effectively? These sexual panics spark moral crusades and campaigns, defining and shaping how we think about sexual and reproductive rights.
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