Complex Singularities

Adventures in Thinking Outside the Tower
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Open Letter to Margaret Wente from the Sexuality Studies Association

Dear Ms. Wente,

We write to thank you—tongue properly in cheek—for highlighting the Sexuality Studies Association in your article of 2 June, 2015. As a new and dynamic scholarly association committed to the critical study of sexuality from an intersectional social justice perspective, we appreciate that your column has projected awareness of our association on the national stage. We are especially attuned to the care you took in demonstrating the dire necessity for sexuality studies work and education by meticulously crafting your article to include the maximum amount of homophobia, transphobia, sexism and racism. This was very effective for showing the importance of—pardon the buzzword—intersectionality. By intersectionality, we signal how issues of power and privilege around sex, race, class and gender cross and impact each other in life and culture. Take, for example, recent sexist and ageist controversies surrounding school dress codes; the fraught racial and sexual politics of the new sex ed. curriculum in Ontario schools; the sexist and transphobic comments of US politician Mike Huckabee; or indeed prominent news editorials that, through cherry picking playful essay titles, attempt to mock and deride marginalized members of Canadian society, and their lives, desires or bodies. Finally, we pass along thanks on behalf of the three authors whose papers you mention by title (Toby B. D. Wiggins, Thomas Waugh and Dayna Prest), for showcasing their excellent work in your piece. We appreciate the exposure to their cutting-edge research that your column provided. We would ask, however, that in future if you mention others’ work that you cite it so that those who produced it can receive the proper credit—although we realize that proper citation is sometimes difficult for you.

Thanks again for your enthusiastic support,


Nathan Rambukkana, SSA Chair (Outgoing)

Melissa Autumn White, SSA Vice-Chair

Sheila L. Cavanagh, SSA Chair (Incoming)

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