Analysis Of Queers Are Like Jews, Aren T They By Janet R. Jakobsen

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Janet R. Jakobsen’s essay, Queers Are Like Jews, Aren’t They? Analogy and Alliance Politics, discusses in depth what it means to queer something and to do Jewish. Jakobsen explains the relationship between these two actions and encourages the process of “thinking through the possibilities of playing off multiple norms” (p 82). She is able to do this with the help of a reading by Stacy Wolf on Barbara Streisand’s queer performances. I will look closely at Jakobsen’s argument about Barbara Streisand’s nose and her decision not to change it, while also specifying Jakobsen’s interpretation of how Streisand differs from Sander Gilman’s account of “The Jewish Nose.”
Jakobsen begins on page eighty-one by defining what it means to queer something. Although the meaning of queer is usually in relationship with homosexuality, “it was supposed to name a space of difference that did not just produce a new identity, but might also allow us to remain in the space of difference itself, without being trapped in identity” (Jakobsen 81). The dictionary describes the action of queering as a form of questioning.
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A big reason for this was because of her decision to be different through her refusal to be “fixed” to fit the white American norm. There is an unspoken expectation put on Hollywood actresses to be perfect (a white Christian woman) with the perfect measurements and the idealistic facial features, which Streisand did not have. However, Streisand set herself apart from the norm by not getting a nose job. Her large Jewish like nose is seen as a flaw in Sander Gilman’s account of “The Jewish Nose.” Gilman interprets this kind of physical trait as an “external manifestation of the Jew” (p 172). Therefore, “the nose contribute[s] much toward[s] producing the Jewish Expression” (Gilman 180). Visibilities such as these are considered to be an unwanted disease that affects a person’s

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