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In and out of sexual democracies
Wednesday 23 March 2011

In and Out of Sexual Democracies

Venue: Sala Pintor,

Via dello Scalo San Lorenzo, 67 - Roma

This is a conference promoted by Facciamo Breccia in collaboration with Orgogliosamente LGBTIQ

Attendance to the conference is free


The conference aims at giving voice to those feminist and LGBTIQ politics that deal critically with neo-liberalist attempts to assimilate the issues of gender and sexuality for racist, nationalist and neo-colonialist purposes.

Feminist and LGBTIQ movements have always critically considered their role within those problematic historical processes witnessing the emergence of global paradigms. African-American and post-colonial feminisms have disclosed the Pandora's vase of the collusion of a part of white feminism with colonialism and imperialism. On another front, the movement of women and lesbians have problematized the rhetoric of human rights, criticizing its patriarchal, heteronormative and assimilationist framework. LGBTIQ movements, for their part, have been considering how the concept of sexual citizenship has designed the contours of a neo-liberal contract that, in fact, granted gay and lesbians in the West only a form of economic citizenship. And again, more recently, the feminist and queer movements have denounced how such concepts as democracy, human rights and secularism are used selectively by the West to support the framework of the war on terror and racist policies, focusing on security-paradigms, such as, in Italy, the so called “Security Package” (the application of the Shengen Agreement) and the blossoming of local administrative ordinances against migrants, prostitutes etc.

We are aware that the implementation and institutionalization of feminist and LGBTIQ issues in many European countries have been translated into sexual policies that have improved the lives of many women, lesbians, gays and transsexuals. Just as we are aware of how this process can be a critical element of contradiction from which we want to take our start. In particular we want to disclose the ways in which sexual politics can be turned into tools for a system that uses them to justify its war for hegemony. We define a “sexual democracy” this "regime of justification," where discourses that credit the recognition of sexual citizenship as a distinguishing mark of the superiority of the West coexist and are interwoven with imperialist and nationalist discourses that legitimize this supposed superiority.

Provocatively, but responsibly, we would like to start up this reflection from our local point of view, Italy, a ghost sexual democracy placed simultaneously inside and outside the map of European sexual democracies: a country that ranks 74 in the gender gap world index, where the process of recognition of the LGBTIQ rights has not even begun, but which nonetheless draws extensively on the repertoires of sexuality and gender to enable nationalist, racist and identitarian rhetoric functional to the definition of thresholds for inclusion and exclusion. The sentence "in and out of sexual democracies" offers a look at these contradictions, from our "privileged" point of view: meaning from the point of view of a periphery that is European and Mediterranean, where anti-discrimination legislation converges with rejections at sea, globalization with regionalist identity, neoliberalism in crisis with religious conservatism.

The conference will be divided into sessions that define areas we consider particularly worth exploring


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