Ruby-Fruit Jungle Thesis

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In the epilogue of Michael Bronksi’s A Queer History of the United States (2011), Bonski asserts that the recent battle for marriage equality may in fact undermine the LGBT movement’s original intention to “fight to eliminate or limit the state’s involvement in consensual relationships” by insisting that it forces queer people take on the classic American lie: we are “just like you” (pp. 240, 241). Implicit in this claim is the belief that most queer people are not interested in establishing families in long-term, monogamous relationships. Claiming a similar desire to heterosexuals for family and marriage is only a lie if most queer people are not interested in such a lifestyle. Because the LGBT rights movement choose to focus on marriage …show more content…
Because the Ruby-Fruit Jungle was written in a first person perspective, it is easy to finish the novel disenchanted with heterosexual marriage. Molly’s perspective was not forgiving of the institution. She saw it as a trap where all she would have to show in her old age would be “that square pink house sitting next to the railroad tracks with other square houses” like her father Carl (Brown, p. 82). She believed that the sex would be so unsatisfying that she would get to the point of asking “But how can you make love without a fantasy?” like Polina (p. 182). She saw marriage as a place where she would grow to look “forty-five years old” at a young age like Loeta (p. 194). Despite her dreary view of her parent’s and lovers’ marriages it is clear some of them did in fact value monogamy in their own marriages, despite Molly’s skepticism from the outside. When Carl cheated on Carrie, she was heartbroken, and she wondered why “he couldn’t be satisfied” with her (p. 214). Loeta insisted that she “couldn’t ask for more” (p. 195). It remains to be demonstrated why Molly and many other queer people of the time held marriage in contempt while many of their straight counterparts valued it so …show more content…
For much of human history, the practice of monogamy has been tied to childbirth and the structure of heterosexual family units. However, after the FDA approval of the birth control bill, for the first time in human history “the separation between sex and reproduction” became socially acceptable, and progressive politics began to focus on individual bodily autonomy (Bronski, p. 207). In many circles, marriage, or even a monogamous relationship, was no longer a prerequisite to socially condonable sexual activity. In fact, cohabitation among straight couples was on the upswing in a trend that would eventually result in a 1,150 percent rise in cohabitation by the year 2000 (p.

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