3. “IT FORCED ME TO OPEN MORE THAN I COULD BEAR”: H.A.D., PAEDOPHILIA, AND THE DISCURSIVE LIMITS OF THE MALE HETEROSEXUAL BODY

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Aesthetics of Law and Culture: Texts, Images, Screens

ISBN: 978-0-76231-151-4, eISBN: 978-1-84950-304-4

ISSN: 1059-4337

Publication date: 30 December 2004

Abstract

In this paper I want to look at just one of the many contemporary legal narratives of homophobia – the phenomenon of the “Homosexual Advance Defence” (H.A.D.). While I agree with the analysis of one American commentator, who indicts the H.A.D. as a “judicial institutionalization of homophobia” (Mison, 1992, p. 136), I maintain that it is important to extend analyses which take as their main target the entrenchment of bigoted judicial views or which employ as their main critical tool a liberal framework of equality and discrimination (for example, see Potter, 2001). Just as Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick urges us not to view homophobia as simple ignorance or bigotry (see Howe, 2000, pp. 85–87), I argue that there is much more at stake with the H.A.D., and consequently much more required of us, than mere questions of ignorance, discrimination and (re-)education. While it is important to identify and condemn at every turn the various legal and social manifestations of homophobia, of which the H.A.D. is clearly one, it is just as important (if not more so) to interrogate the discursive and epistemological foundations, or legitimations, of these very beliefs.

Citation

Golder, B. (2004), "3. “IT FORCED ME TO OPEN MORE THAN I COULD BEAR”: H.A.D., PAEDOPHILIA, AND THE DISCURSIVE LIMITS OF THE MALE HETEROSEXUAL BODY", Kenyon, A. and Rush, P. (Ed.) Aesthetics of Law and Culture: Texts, Images, Screens (Studies in Law, Politics, and Society, Vol. 34), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 53-72. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1059-4337(04)34003-2

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Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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