The Peep Show- “Perpetual Motion”—Queer/Feminist Theory
Carter’s language surrounding the gallery in the peep show exhibiting “a man and a woman conducting sexual congress” seem to remark on the suppressed sexual freedoms/hampered desires of humans due the fear to deviate from the social norm. The hegemonic, heterosexual majority oppresses others’ sexual freedom by adhering to and normalizing the belief that all human relationship’s foremost concern is passing on their genetic material. Desiderio pities this copulating couple commenting that they “were not so much erotic as pathetic, poor palmers of desire who never budged as much as an inch on their endless pilgrimage.” Palmer, referring to a medieval, Christian pilgrim who wore palm leaves as proof of a visit to the Holy Land denotes that religion is one of the main components of that hegemony. It is an oppression which limits the possibility of sexual exploration as a morally or socially valid means of establishing an identity. The man in this couple seems to the one most without an identity. The woman, is fulfilling the role of sexual exhibitionist therefore she openly displays her delight in orgasm, but the man’s is hidden within woman’s neck. This seems to suggest that males are more oppressed than females in not only exposing their bodies, but in adhering to the heterosexual norm. I attribute this to the fact that male homosexuality is more heavily ridiculed than female homosexuality. The less resistance that female homosexuals are subjected to is due to the trend of females as the preferred sexual objects. This beneficial (though unjust) prejudice has allowed women to be more graciously accepted as homosexuals than men.