《性别自觉、本土性与重行动主义》Gender Awareness, Locality and Queer Activism

《性别自觉、本土性与重行动主义》

包宏伟

 

Gender Awareness, Locality and Queer Activism

HongweiBao

作者介绍:

包宏伟 Hongwei Bao

诺丁汉大学电影、文化与媒体系助理教授,悉尼大学性别与文化研究专业博士。研究方向为媒介与文化研究、电影研究和酷儿理论。

Hongwei Bao is assistant professor in the Department of Culture, Film and Media at the University of Nottingham, UK. He obtained his PhD in Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney, Australia. His research interests include media and cultural studies, film studies, and queer theory.

 

北京酷儿影展历经六届,我一直是以电影爱好者和研究者的身份关注影展。今年有幸成为第七届影展的学术观察员,在这里就简单谈一下我对本次影展节目单安排的总体印象。本次影展选片至少呈现出以下三个特点:(1)性别自觉;(2)地方性、区域性与跨国性的性别地理;(3)重行动主义。在这里我要重点谈的是本次影展中所表现出的女性主义姿态,兼谈其它两点。

 

细心的观众不难留意到,本届酷儿影展增加了大量的女性主义因素。虽然并不是每个导演都自觉认同女性主义,也不是每部影片都能用女性主义影片这一称谓来概括,整个影展的女性主义基调却是令人瞩目的:何小培和袁园导演的影片《奇缘一生》讲述男女同性恋形婚经历;酷儿影展组委会成员、北京女性影展影展策展人杨洋以女性视角和历史参与者的身份回顾了北京酷儿影展过去十几年来不平凡的发展历程;香港女性导演魏时煜的纪录片《金门银光梦》讲述的是第一位在美国执导港片的华人女导演伍锦霞的传奇故事;由夜奔导演、深秋小屋女性文艺网站的女性题材独立电影《链爱》融都市、爱情、剧情、魔幻、轻喜剧等因素为一体,尽情展现女女恋情;《甜蜜的18岁》作为女导演何文超的处女作,甚至被誉为“中国拉拉电影出柜之作”,更是将女女恋情,推向中国的大银幕;主题单元“来自台南的人”回顾的是台湾女性电影导演黄玉珊的两部影片《双镯》和《真情狂爱》;主题单元“云路程裕苏”展映的是三部发生在上海的不同女性主人公的人生经历和心路历程;“有朋自友邦来”介绍巴黎女性主义者和女同性恋影展;“现场影像”、“来一点行为艺术”和“论坛”均有拉拉和女性主义在场;在如此强大的女性主义和拉拉情结观照下,本届酷儿影展呈现出比往届影展更加性别自觉地特征。

 

有观众或许要问:女性主义和酷儿运动的关系如何?为什么要在中国的酷儿运动中增加女性主义因素?这个问题比较复杂。我试着从以下几个方面说明:

 

1.   性别与性的同构关系

 

虽然性别与性作为自然现象,古今中外都有;但两个词作为社会话语(discourse)的历史却并不久远。英语中性别(gender)与性(sexuality)是两个词,似乎暗示了这两个词指代的不同概念。也许台湾对性别一词的译法(“性/别”)更能体现两者相互关联的本质。根据福柯的考证,现代意义上的“性”是在十八、十九世纪的欧洲在医学、心理学、精神病学和法律等一系列社会话语的共同作用下形成的。[1] 女性主义学者斯科特的研究则表明,“性别”这一词与本世纪六七十年代女权运动的推动不无关系:当时的女性主义者为了避免将性别本质主义化,制造了“生理性别”(即我们常说的“性”sex)与社会性别(即我们常说的“性别”gender)的二元对立,发明并推广了“性别”这一概念。[2] 巴特勒指出,“性别”这一概念基于“性”这一概念而产生;在男/女生理性别二元对立的基础上建构了男性气质/女性气质这一社会性别的二元对立。这一过程呈现出强烈的“异性恋霸权”:即男/女,男性气质/女性气质,性/性别等范畴只有当一个社会默认异性恋是规范的条件下才能成立。[3] 由此可见,我们有必要认识到性别与性在异性恋霸权社会语境下的同构关系,打破二元对立,质疑和挑战异性恋霸权。酷儿一词就是对异性恋规范性下传统性与性别秩序的挑战。

 

2.   同性恋身份政治、女性主义与酷儿理论

虽然在国际语境下同性恋解放运动和女性主义有着看似迥异的发展轨迹,二者的关联性也是无可否认的。第二波女性主义和同性恋解放运动同属身份政治,即借助性与性别身份的同一性表达政治诉求。二者同时兴起于二十世纪六、七十年代,在反战和反集权、追求自由平等的历史和社会背景下展开。到了二十世纪八、九十年代,受后结构、后现代主义思潮的影响,第二波女性主义和同性恋解放运动开始受到广泛质疑:这种建立在同一性基础上的身份政治是否有效?身份政治在有效社会动员的同时又遮蔽了哪些声音和怎样的政治可能性?酷儿理论就是在这样的背景之下产生的。它一方面借鉴第三波女性主义的理论成果,批判第二波女性主义为建立其统一性和正统性对多元性和性别表达形式的压制;另一方面它又对同性恋身份政治的得失也进行了反思,指出同性恋身份政治对多元性与性别的排斥和边缘化。不无巧合的是,许多酷儿理论的领军人如巴特勒、劳丽蒂斯等人都同时是第三波女性主义中的重要人物。酷儿理论的理论源泉直接来源于女性主义,其产生和发展依托于与女性主义的对话与交锋。从这个意义上,没有女性主义,酷儿理论和酷儿政治是难以想象的。

 

3.   中国的女性主义和酷儿理论

必须承认,当前中国大陆的女性主义和酷儿理论的发展是在全球化、后殖民的语境下进行的。

 

学者白露在其论著中展示了二十世纪中国女性主义的发展与跨国女性主义之间的紧密联系:“妇女”、“女性”和“女人”这些看似可以互换的概念,与不同历史时期迥异的权力结构、治理方式和主体构成有着千丝万絮的联系。二十世纪八十年代,作为社会主义性别主体的“妇女”地位在市场经济的冲击下趋于式微,女性主义的主体“女性”和消费文化的主体“女人”在全球资本主义和新自由主义意识形态的影响下地位开始上升。[4] 1995年在北京召开的第四届联合国妇女大会标志着着中国女性主义的发展被正式纳入后冷战时期、跨国资本全球治理的世界版图。酷儿理论几乎是在同时被翻译介绍到中国大陆。在这里需要强调的是,翻译不仅仅依靠的是文字转换, 文化的翻译同等重要。在中国学者和社会活动家翻译西方性别理论的过程中,女性、酷儿等词,作为身份指称、主体位置、政治和文化形式、价值观念和意识形态被引入了资本主义全球化背景下的中国。这一过程本身就是建立在政治、经济、文化等领域的不平等基础上的,体现了西方文化的霸权。但是这些有关性和性别的话语传入中国后在中国社会所产生的影响以及自身在文化翻译过程中所产生的变异更是我们关注的焦点。

 

比较遗憾的是,女性主义和有关同性恋的理论引入中国大陆后,两者的交集并不多。这一方面是由于以妇联为代表的国家女性主义对有关性的问题的漠视,仿佛谈论性便会损害女性主义的正统性和道德制高点。在这种情况下,一夫一妻制的、以生殖为目的的异性恋规范得到了强化,多元的性与性别受到了压制。中国的同志运动虽然借防治艾滋病的名义在资本全球治理的语境下得到了发展,但其男同性恋主导性也致使“同志”这一身份带有强烈的男权主义色彩。同志运动一度在中国大陆成为反对女权主义的男权主义运动。

 

正如不同流派的女性主义在八十年代同时涌入中国,在中国大陆的社会语境中争奇斗艳一样,同性恋身份政治和酷儿政治在西方语境下虽然有着三十年的间隔,但却是在几乎同时被引介入中国大陆的社会语境中。于是便出现了同志电影与酷儿电影并存,或一部电影中既有身份政治的因素又有酷儿的元素的有趣现象;于是也就出现了同志社区内“美少女战士拉拉”等引领的同性恋身份政治与酷儿政治的争论和交锋。我们不能将这些简单看作“滞后的现代性”或“文化翻译”的失败;中国社会特定语境对“酷儿”的创造性解读和灵活使用挑战着酷儿定义的单一性和欧洲中心主义,并让酷儿一词更具文化多元性和包容性。

 

值得注意的是,女性主义在中国的酷儿运动中一直起到至关重要的作用。许多酷儿活动家也是自觉的女性主义者;拉拉和男同在酷儿运动中长期合作、相互促进,积累了许多具有中国特色的酷儿运动经验:女同组织同语策划的情人节同性婚礼等活动便是很好的例证。女性主义的因素在往届酷儿影展中一直存在,只是在本届影展中由于轮值主席的性别主体身份以及其它一系列偶然和必然的因素凸现出来。在酷儿影展反思异性恋和男权霸权的指导思想下,本届影展突出女性主义主题有着重要意义。

 

4.   地方性、区域性与跨国性的性别地理

在全球化、后殖民的今天,我们是否有资格谈论本土性和民族性?答案自然是肯定的,关键是怎样谈才能让我们既有本土关注,又不至于落入民族主义和中西方二元对立的认识误区。本届影展节目安排对此作出了自己的回答。本届影展较好地体现和突出了地方性:魏时煜、黄玉珊、程裕苏的电影都带有强烈的地域特征;他们的电影分别讲述的是旧金山、台南与上海的故事,这些故事与民族国家的宏大叙事或许有关或许无关,它们在一定程度上挑战着民族国家和跨国资本的单一叙事。这些故事又共同构建着跨国华人酷儿身份和社区的想象共同体,对酷儿理论与酷儿政治的西方霸权表下面出自觉的抵制和抗衡。这一点与台湾学者陈光兴提出的“作为方法的亚洲”有一定的契合之处:华语世界和亚洲文化圈应该这样的文化自觉性,联合起来对抗西方文化霸权和想象新的政治文化格局。[5]

 

本届北京酷儿影展在安排节目单时还打破了国别界限,从而构建起跨国酷儿共同体。所以便有了“长歌”和“短句”单元里中文电影与外文电影平起平座的现象。这些迹象表明:北京酷儿影展的组织者们在认真思考着跨国酷儿运动中不平等的权力关系,并用实际行动挑战着和重构着这些关系。

 

5.   重行动主义

 

本届酷儿影展明确提出“重行动主义”:从“反恐礼,518”到“家长志”,从“现场影像”到“来一点行为艺术”,“行动主义”成为本次影展的关键词之一。如果说传统的影展注重的是电影的艺术性、技术性以及商业价值,北京酷儿影展注重的则是影片的社会功能,即如何使用电影这一媒介来影响和改造社会。影展中的许多影片都是社会运动影片:他们的拍摄过程本身就是社区参与和群众动员的过程。影展不排名、不评奖、不请领导和明星、不搞红地毯效应。所有报名影片只要符合参展要求就一律展出;影展的组织工作也在最大程度上体现了民主的原则。这种影展形式的存在本身就是一种社会行动:它在改写着传统影展的定义,也在创造着一种民主的、自由的社会文化组织形式。

 

影展组织者之一崔子恩指出:“我们不认为那些所谓标准的、艺术精良的、优质电影那样的概念是值得推崇和提倡的。我们提倡的是用影像作为行动,来改造世界。用电影的这种方式跟硬性的时代接壤或者接轨,或者改造这个时代,是比较便利的,也是十分直接的。”[6] 另一位影展组织者扬洋在第五届北京酷儿影展举办受阻的紧要关头直陈主流意识形态对于影展的影响和继续举办影展的意义,她反问道:质疑、对抗这种“主流”意识形态,不也正是酷儿影展存在的价值和追求的目标么?[7] 由此可见,举办北京酷儿影展本身就是社会行动。它的成败与否在当今中国的语境下同样重要。影展的存在和持续发展,就是当今中国社会发展进步的明证。

 

以上我简单谈了本届影展呈现出的三个主要特征:(1)性别自觉;(2)地方性、区域性与跨国性的性别地理;(3)重行动主义。当然本届影展还有其他突出特点,如注重历史书写和理论总结、突出“微电影”在当今中国的作用等,在此篇幅有限,无法一一展开论述。影展的主角是电影。我们要看同性恋电影,也许是因为电影好看,也许是因为电影表现的题材和内容与我们的生活和情感经历息息相关,也许是因为看电影为我们提供了与新老朋友聚会的机会,也许仅仅是因为看电影是虚度时日的有效方式:所有这一切都是看电影的正当理由。有一点是可以肯定的:“独乐乐”有自己的逍遥,“与众乐乐”也有自己的快乐。很希望能借着本次影展的机会,和年轻的电影作者和观众们一起共同享受看集体电影的美好时光。

 

[1] Michel Foucault, History of Sexuality, vol.1. New York: Vintage, 1990.

[2] Joan W. Scott, “Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis,” American Historical Review 91, No. 5 (December 1986), pp. 1053–75.

[3] Judith Butler, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, New York: Routledge, 1990.

[4] Tani Barlow, The Question of Women in Chinese Feminism, Durham: Duke University Press, 2004.

[5] Kuan-Hsing Chen, Asia as Method—Towards De-Imperialization, Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2010.

[6] 崔子恩《解读酷儿影展:用影像作为行动,改造世界——崔子恩访谈》,载程青松主编《青年电影手册(第三辑)》,山东人民出版社,2010年。

[7] 杨洋《致辞》,载第五届酷儿影展手册, 2011年。

 

 

Gender Awareness, Locality and Queer Activism

Hongwei Bao

 

《性别自觉、本土性与重行动主义》

包宏伟

 

As a film fan and film researcher, I have been fascinated by the development of the Beijing Queer Film Festival during the past six editions. This year I have been invited to be an ‘academic observer’ of the Festival and to write on my impressions of the programme before the Festival starts. As far as I am concerned, at least three features can be observed of this edition: (1) a clear focus on gender; (2) the interplay of the local, the regional and the global; (3) an emphasis on social activism. I will focus on the first point and touch on the second and the third briefly in this article.

 

It is not difficult to notice the strong emphasis on feminism in this year’s programme. Admittedly, not every film director whose works are on the programme subscribes to feminism; and not every film can be referred to as a ‘feminist film’. The feminist stance of the Film Festival is, however, strongly manifested. The festival starts by showing feminist filmmakers’ He Xiaopei and Yuanyuan’s film Our Marriages, which presents a fascinating account of ‘contract marriages’ formed between lesbians and gay men; this is followed by Yang Yang’s documentary on the Beijing Queer Film Festival, Our Story, which reviews the history of the Festival during the past ten years from a feminist perspective. Golden Gate Girls is an impressive documentary made by Louisa Wei about the female film director Esther Eng who made Cantonese language films in San Francisco in the early 1900s and whose story remains largely unknown to date. Links to Love, directed by Ye Ben, unfolds a fascinating and magic story of intimacy between women. Sweet Eighteen is not only the first film directed by He Wenchao but the first lesbian-themed film that passed Chinese government’s film censorship, hence the celebratory news headline of ‘China’s lesbian film came out’. This year’s film festival also features works by Taiwan feminist film director Huang Yu-Shan and mainland Chinese film director Andrew Yu-Su Cheng. Although Cheng is a male film director, most of his films portray lives and emotions of young Chinese women. The ‘diversities’ unit showcases selected films from the Paris International Lesbian and Feminist Film Festival. Both feminism and lesbianism have a strong presence in other sections of the Film Festival. It is evident that this edition is particularly gender conscious than past editions.

 

Here are the questions I shall try to address in this article: what is the connection between feminism and queer politics? How do we justify the strong feminist presence in the Beijing Queer Film Festival?

 

  1. The Gendered Sex and the Sexed Gender

It is often known that gender and sex exist in all societies and at all times in history; it is less well known that as social categories, neither term has a particularly long history. Although gender and sex are two separate words in English, the Taiwanese translation of gender, xing/bie (sex/difference), vividly captures the relation between the two terms. Michel Foucault traces the birth of sexuality in the West to the eighteenth and nineteenth century Europe as a proliferation of discourses on sex and sexuality in medical science, psychology, psychiatry, law and others.[1] Joan Scott attributes the emergence of the term gender to the second wave feminism which ‘invented’ the sex/gender binary.[2] As Judith Butler convincingly demonstrates, the concept of ‘gender’ relies on the concept of ‘sex’: the gender binary of masculinity/femininity is constructed on the basis of the sexual binary of men/women. This process follows strong heteronormative logic: the sexual differences are only possible in a gendered framework; gender is necessarily always already sexed and sex gendered; gender and sex are mutually constitutive.[3] In the light of these theories, it is important that we realise the mutual construction of gender and sex and challenge the established binary oppositions. ‘Queer’ is a powerful way to challenge the sex/gender binaries and norms and to open up possibilities for alternative expressions of genders and sexualities.

 

  1. Gay Identity Politics, Feminism and Queer Theory

Distinct as feminism and Gay Liberation Movement in their own trajectories, the connections between the two are well worth noting. Second Wave Feminism and Gay Liberation Movement both emerged in the 1960s and 70s; they both articulated politics of equality and freedom on the basis of a coherent identity, which was exactly why they were problematised and challenged in the 1980s and 90s by Third Wave Feminism and queer politics: Was identity politics an effective way to articulate politics? What possibilities had identity politics marginalised and hidden? Queer politics emerged in this context: it reflects on the pros and cons of identity politics represented by Second Wave Feminism and Gay Liberation Movement and explores possibilities for alternative politics. Feminism and queer theory converged: Queer theory emerged and developed through active engagement with feminism; it expanded the parameters of traditional feminism by bringing the question of sex and sexuality into feminist debates. Many leading queer theorists, such as Judith Butler and Teresa de Lauretis, are also important feminists. In this sense, queer theory would not be what it is today without feminism.

 

  1. Feminism and Queer Theory in China

The development of feminism and queer theory in China must be understood in a transnational and postcolonial context.

 

In her influential work on feminism in China, Tani Barlow demonstrates the close connections between Chinese feminism and transnational feminism: although funü, nüxing and nüren all translate women, the three terms denote different subjectivities under varying power geometrics and governmentalities. In the 1980s, funü the socialist subject began to decline; nüxing the subject of feminism and nüren the subject of consumerism began to rise with the influence of global capitalism and transnational neoliberalism.[4] The Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing marked the entry of Chinese feminism into the geopolitics of gender in the post-Cold War era. Queer theory was translated into the mainland Chinese context at almost the same time. It must be noted that translation is not merely about rendering one language into another; it is also about making social changes possible. Chinese scholars and activists have not only translated terms such as women and queer from Western to Chinese context; they have also brought specific subject positions, political cultures, values and ideologies into China. The whole process of translation occurs in a global geopolitics characterised by unequal power relations and manifests Western hegemony of culture. Our focus here, however, is on the impact of Western discourses of gender and sexuality on China, as well as the variations and mutations that cultural translation brings about.

 

Oddly, feminism and gay identity politics have not had many intersections in Mainland China. This can be attributed partly to the ignorance about sex and sexuality by state feminism represented by the Women’s Federation. The state feminism in China advocates monogamous and heteronormative sex by promulgating specific norms of gender and sexuality. The Gay Liberation Movement in China, on the other hand, has been heavily dominated by men; their interests in global capitalism are intertwined with their complicity in patriarchy.

 

In the same way that various strands of Western feminism entered China in the 1980s and left their own imprints, gay identity and queer politics were introduced into China at almost the same time in the 1990s. It is no surprise that gay films and queer films coexist in China at the same time, or there are both ‘gay’ elements and ‘queer’ elements in the same film. Gay identity politics and queer politics coexist and contest each other in today’s China. This should not be seen as ‘belated modernity’ or failure in cultural translation. Rather, it demonstrates the dynamics of queer in its active process of formations and translations in various locations; it challenges the Eurocentrism of queer and opens up possibilities for various forms of queer existence.

Feminism has played a crucial role in China’s queer politics. Many queer activists are also self-identified feminists. Lesbians and gays often work together in community empowerment and social engagement. A good example in case is the same-sex weddings designed by Tongyu, a lesbian NGO, and participated by both gay men and women. Beijing Queer Film Festival has always had a feminist presence. The presence this year is particularly evident, in part because of the gender identity of this year’s chairman-on-duty. I believe that the emphasis on feminism is an important step in the history of the Beijing Queer Film Festival.

 

  1. the Interplay of the Local, the Regional and the Global

Is it possible to talk about indigenousness and national identity in the context of globalisation and postcoloniality? The answer is yes but the question is how: how can we have a local focus without subscribing to nationalism and the China/West dichotomy? The programme of this year’s Festival addresses the question in its own way and with a strong focus on locality: Louisa Wei, Huang Yu-Shan and Andrew Yu-Su Cheng’s films are distinctively local; they tell stories specific to locations such as San Francisco, Tai Nan and Shanghai. These stories may or may not intersect with the grand narratives constructed by the nation state and global capitalism. Together they form imagined identities and communities of Chinese queers in the attempt to challenge the Eurocentrism of global queers. This echoes Kuan-Hsing Chen’s notion of ‘Asia as method’: the communication and dialogues between different countries and regions in Asia may challenge the Western cultural hegemony and contribute to imagining alternative worlds.[5]

 

The films in this year’s programme are not divided by nationalities. In feature-length films and shorts, Chinese language films and foreign language films are put together and in dialogue with each other. This demonstrates a strong consciousness of the unequal power relations in global geopolitics on the part of the Film Festival organisers and their conscious efforts to remap and reimagine these relations.

 

  1. Activism

‘Activism’ has been clearly raised as a slogan in this year’s Film Festival. Traditional film festivals have paid much attention to the artistic and technical merits, as well as commercial values, of films. Beijing Queer Film Festival, on the other hand, places great emphasis on the social impact of films; that is, how films can participate in and promote social changes? Many films in the programme are activist films and they serve the purpose of social movements; filmmaking itself is the process of community engagement and mass mobilisation. The Festival refuses to rank films and give awards to individuals; there are no celebrities, stars and red carpets. All the submitted films that meet the requirement for exhibition are shown at the Festival. The organisation of the Festival is democratic. The film festival in its current form is social activism in itself: it changes the definition of film festivals and initiates an open and free form of community culture.

 

Cui Zi’en, one of the organisers of the Film Festival, states: ‘we do not think that we should prioritise the so-called standardised and refined films. We advocate the type of social activism that aims to change the society with filmmaking. Films can be directly connected to, and thus to transform, the hard world and times we live in.’[6] Yang Yang, another organiser of the Festival, remarks on the significance of the Festival in contesting dominant ideologies at the critical juncture of the Fifth edition of the Festival being closed down by the government, ‘To question and to challenge the dominant ideology, isn’t this the value and objective of the Beijing Queer Film Festival?[7] From these statements we can conclude that organising the Beijing Queer Film Festival is in itself social activism. The continuing existence of the Film Festival is an important marker of the development of the Chinese society.

 

I have so far discussed three characteristics of this year’s Festival: (1) a clear focus on gender; (2) the interplay of the local, the regional and the global; (3) an emphasis on social activism. This edition also manifests other features such as its emphasis on history-writing and theoretical reflections and a strong focus on shorts as a popular form of contemporary media. The central focus of the Festival is on films; the slogan ‘we want to see queer films’ can be interpreted in many ways: we see queer films either because these films are interesting, or because the topics of the films speak to our experiences and emotions, either because these films offer us opportunities to get together with friends old and new, or because watching films is a good way to kill time … all of them are perfectly legitimate reasons to watch films. And we can be sure that it is fun to watch films, either alone or with a group of people. I look forward to the happy time of watching queer films with young filmmakers and audiences.

 

[1] Michel Foucault, History of Sexuality, vol.1. New York: Vintage, 1990.

[2] Joan W. Scott, “Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis,” American Historical Review 91, No. 5 (December 1986), pp. 1053–75.

[3] Judith Butler, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, New York: Routledge, 1990.

[4] Tani Barlow, The Question of Women in Chinese Feminism, Durham: Duke University Press, 2004.

[5] Kuan-Hsing Chen, Asia as Method—Towards De-Imperialization, Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2010.

[6] Cui Zi’en, ‘Interpreting Beijing Queer Film Festival: Filmmaking as Social Activism: an Interview With Cui Zi’en’, in Cheng Qingsong ed. The Youth Film Manual, Vol. 3, Shandong People’s Press, 2010

[7] Yang Yang, ‘Preface’ in the 5th Queer Film Festival programme, 2011.

 

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