Welcome to my Third Blog Entry..
I really just want to delve straight into what I’ve learnt about Foucault’s “repressive hypothesis” so here goes:
OK so what I understand is that Foucault believes that what we know about sexuality, since the 18th century and the rise of the bourgeoisie can be called Repressive Hypothesis. During this time sexual pleasure became something to be frowned upon and the talk (and action) of sex had become extremely taboo in Western society. Sexual conduct was strictly between man and wife and sex outside these confines was not only prohibited, but repressed. So even without reading Foucault I knew all this – its ingrained in western history -in our laws and religion- sex has always been seen in the sanguinary of marriage between a man and a women.
In our most recent decades though there has been this fight for sexual liberation and the freedom to be loud and proud about our sexuality.
However, back to Foucault , what he discusses is that this repressive hypothesis- this urge to be liberated is actually essentially an attempt to give revolutionary importance on discourse in sexuality. It make us feel that there is a great importance in personal liberation and our freedom to talk openly about sex. The fact is that according to Foucault sexuality in society is not being repressed and is a social construct originating from discourse.Foucault recognizes the repressive hypothesis itself as a form of discourse.
“We must therefore abandon the hypothesis that modern industrial societies ushered in an age of increased sexual repression” (327)
I found when reading Foucault, he uncovers this paradox of discourse on sexuality. Why are we as society proclaiming that we are a repressed and why do we talk about how we CANT talk about sex. Some people sit strongly behind this idea of repression and may think its insane to question the authenticity of it all because it so evident in our society. In questioning repressive hypothesis I don’t think Foucault is interested in contradicting it and he certainly doesn’t deny the fact that sex has been tabooed. What I feel his interested in is why sexuality is made an object of discussion.
Even so , reading about Repressive hypothesis for me we still a little overwhelming. I’ve always thought about sexual liberation and the fight for freedom but never really about why they felt the need to fight. OK wait- so i might be a little biased in my views but i understand why women felt the need to fight for equal rights and i understand that this idea of “free love” because people really did feel repressed sexually because of societies views of sex. Sex is talked about a lot these days which some do believe as being “liberating” but maybe in doing this were losing the meaning in sex!!
my brain hurts…
until next time!