Fear and Loathing in Louisiana
Considering the rise of fear in Americans from the LGBTQ community and other minority groups caused by the new presidential elect, many groups are expressing concern to their leaders in the community, schools, and families. A rash of reported crimes against those that are identifying or have identified themselves other than what is the binary norm of sex have been targeted by not only hate groups but public policy as well. The executive order of the governor’s office of the state of Louisiana to enforce LGBTQ protections was ruled invalid based on a technicality, not its legality, creating conflict with the attorney general because of the LGBTQ wording and blocking healthcare contracts for state workers. Wording is keeping thousands of American state workers from their healthcare. Wording is the cause of this particular discourse, not how one identifies sexually, but wording. Michel Foucault would agree that this type of repression is exactly what has been happening since the seventeenth century. Is it really repression or are we allowing these type of infringement to continue to happen because of what we think we know about SEX? Only to a slight extent, we are told.
Sex according to Foucault has been reconstructed by political and economic authorities for capitalistic gains and power, perpetuated in society by some code of decency. Even though our talks, advertisements, and media is flooded with matters of sex, some elements of political, religious, and economic dominance have articulated what sex is in a logistical, mechanical, and spiritual manner. Who, in the case of Louisiana LGBTQ case is the subject matter expert? An individual’s belief or how this case affects one personally (which may sway one to propose for/against the LGBTQ community) will divide groups even further. Foucault asks with a subject like sex that is constantly surrounding everyone; (including children) how can we be limited by what we are told what sex is? How can we tell others what sex is? Because fear is a powerful tool.
I was told that sex was a sin outside a conventional marriage, every day we read or hear reports of harassment and transgressions against sex, and the new fear of sex and what bathroom is used. Fear and other concepts (morals, spirituality, etc.) are used to create conflict and impose ideas that people use to maintain the repression of sex. Wording in a legal contract to ensure health coverage for a minority group can be controversial, but have you ever tried to read your insurance policy before you sign it? How can the so called subject matter experts find a problem with “wording” they write and understand constantly? Fear. Fear can disrupt or extend a system that has been in place without challenge, it is that same fear that keeps a person preserving that system. Recently, as I looked to educate myself of the proper pronouns, identification, and etiquette in the LGBTQ community my motives were questioned. I was there to actually learn and apply, but was seen as just some effort to appease my professors and the requirement of a class. Fear was the cause of my motives to be questioned from both sides, was I really willing to accept others and their meaning of sex? And on the other, was I really willing to broaden my level of thinking from a system that I have grown up with my whole life? This type of conflict for one individual Foucault delineates: the mutual reinforcement of subjugation of sexuality (the two sides of the one coin). If sex then is so popular among all members of society in talks, politics, economics, and religion why so much discourse on sexuality? Because both sides are strengthening the popular belief that was established long ago and in the middle everyone else sitting in circles talking about sexuality and continuing to or failing to take any action due to the fear of sex. Foucault would agree that we are a calculated, controlled, and regulated people and fear keep us on the right track and the wrong (Trump) train.