Author and editor Ted Gideonse is pursuing his PhD in Anthropology and has just submitted this au courant paper: “So if you’re a fag, He hates you, too: Donnie Davies, the phenomenology of gaydar, and the feminist call for parody.“
“Davies” is a professional comedic actor. His parody of a “reformed homosexual” and Christian bigot, possibly unknowingly, does exactly what Weiss and Butler desire: subversion, disruption of performance, a “[recognition and affirmation of] the power of individual agency in the construction of, deconstruction, and reconstruction of the very terms of corporeality.
Effeminacy, then, except when done deliberately as camp, as it often is in Western gay culture, is an unconscious habitus-like movement, mimicry of “feminine” behavior. Once they reach adulthood, most gay men are keenly aware of how their behavior is interpreted. In order to pass, we will consciously sublimate whatever seems to be feminine in our movement and our speech; we become “the I that moves forms movement.” This constant policing of our behavior makes us particularly observant of effeminacy in others. Hence “gaydar.
Fascinating stuff. Read the paper here.