Body Police State

From McKenzie Wark, A Hacker Manifesto (#230):

Sometimes what is demanded of the politics of representation is that it recognize a new subject. Minorities of race, gender, sexuality — all demand the right to representation. But soon enough they discover the cost. They must now become agents of the state, they must police the meaning of their own representation, and police the adherence of their members to it.

The reason I write this is that it reminded me of a keynote address I attended recently by Mark Tewksbury, former Canadian Olympic swimmer and gold medalist. Tewksbury, an openly gay athlete, is Co-President of the organizing committee for the 2006 1st World Outgames, and is a champion for gay rights in sport as a Director of the Gay and Lesbian International Sport Association (GLISA).

I asked Mark after the presentation if GLISA planned to become a signatory to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). I said that I wanted to know if there is a paradox, philosophically, between GLISA trying to eradicate the types of policing of body sexualities and identities that affect its constituents, while at the same time policing an "ethical" (read: drug-free) sporting body. Wark's passage seems to highlight the challenge, in my opinion, of GLISA joining the "mainstream" sporting bureaucracy.


One response to Body Police State

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  1. sportsBabel » Metamorphosus Interruptus says:

    [...] shift that sediments or stratifies the remaining fibres. Dogma and hygiene set in. Identity is policed. Fluidity is compromised. And the one thing feared most by any agent in the field of potential is [...]