¡§Texts both inform us of the social identities available to us, and problematize them; both police our social selves and subvert them.¡¨
Both texts, The Crying Game by Neil Jordan and Loaded by Christos Tsiolkas, use
characters within the discourse to project social identities that have been
problematized due to social constraints. Throughout this essay, I will focus on
sexuality, as this type of social identity has been depicted as a central theme in both
texts. The characters from the texts work to, police and subvert their own sexual
identities within their social milieu.
¡§To claim an identity as a homosexual is to claim a place in a system of social
regulation¡¨ (Connell & Dowsett, 1992). I would firstly like to establish the fact that
homosexuality, in its most general sense, has been argued to have been socially
constructed, therefore sexuality, in this case homosexuality, has to be considered a
form of social identity. I support this with Freud¡¦s theory that sexuality is a result of
social processes whether it be within the family, cultural, class etc., all such processes
assist in forming a particular sexual identity, ¡§ sexualities are not received as a
package¡K.is arrived at by a highly variable and observable process of construction,
not by an ¡¥unfolding¡¦ of the natural; and that social process is deeply implicated into
this construction.¡¨ (Connell & Dowsett, 1992).
The Crying Game and Loaded, exhibit sexual identities yet in different ways. ¡§Liberal
Humanism¡¨ was concerned with universal humanism which tended to homogenise
various types of gays and lesbians. It was ¡§Identity Politics¡¨, which was bench-
marked in western countries throughout the 1960¡¦s, that appealed to Liberal
Humanism and saw that everybody had a right to express themselves and their
identities. It was this recognition that distinguished identities within the ¡§homosexual
identity¡¨. The increase of sexual personae, diversified drag queens, dykes, macho
gays, and from The Crying Game, transvestites. Throughout the novel Loaded, These
diversities of homosexual identities were captured. The central character, Ari,
repeatedly makes the distinction between these identities and refuses to be
homogenised into such a broad identity, ¡§I hate the word gay. I hate the word
homosexual.¡¨ Ari would be defined as a man that has preference for men, sexually.
He recognises the fact that he is gay yet to an outsider, or his family, he can hide his
sexual identity complying with the social ¡§norm¡¨, heterosexuality. Ari states that his
attraction is towards real men and masculinity, ¡§ Every time I look at a gay man, even
if I think he¡¦s attractive, I can¡¦t forget he¡¦s a faggot. I get off on real men,
In contrast, the character of Dil in The Crying Game, was portrayed as a transvestite.
Dil is a man that functions in society as a woman. To encourage Dil¡¦s sexual identity
as female, the film failed to reveal Dil as a transvestite until the latter half of the film,
and lead the audience to believe the she was a woman.
Sexual identities have been problematized due to social constraints. Deconstructionist
theories have given motive as to why such sexual identities have been seen as
¡§problematic¡¨ in society. This theory governs the fact that heterosexuality is what is
considered the social norm and any identities varying from this norm would be
considered abnormal thus experiencing unjustness. Foucault debates that, ¡§the social
bases of concepts of normality and deviance, to the pervasiveness of social control,
and to the role of professions such as medicine in sustaining control over ¡¥deviants¡¦.¡¨
This is exemplified by Fuery & Mansfield by stating that in society we generalise, in
a text, a character¡¦s sexuality as heterosexual and if not, we...
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