Denaturalizing Normality. The Paradoxical Questioning
Promoted by Gender and Sexuality Studies
Are sex or sexuality social structures? Which is their modus operandi? Which are the links with other hierarchical categories of social space such as class or race? These are a few questions that Gender and Sexuality Studies, in the variety of their approaches and methodologies, have enabled us to express. Starting from an historical and a theoretical analysis of a selection of the texts that since the mid-1970s mainly contributed to the emergence of this intellectual domain (Butler, Chauncey, Delphy, Halperin, Scott, Sedgwick, Wittig), this article aims at reconstructing how these studies question the naturalization of sex and sexuality. The hypothesis that this contribution sketches out is that, in denaturalising sex classes and classifications, Gender and Sexuality Studies go beyond the comprehension of the sexual order’s functioning and more generally deal with the process of racialization questioning the grounds of the belief that social order is a natural one.