By Jeffrey A. Bennett

In Banning Queer Blood, Jeffrey Bennett frames blood donation as a functionality of civic id heavily associated with the which means of citizenship. despite the fact that, with the arrival of AIDS got here the thought of blood donation as a almost certainly risky method. Bennett argues that the foodstuff and Drug management, via utilizing photos that in particular depict homosexual males as contagious, has labeled homosexual males as a risk to the kingdom. The FDA's ban on blood donation by means of homosexual males continues to be in impact and serves to propagate the social misconceptions approximately homosexual males that stream inside either the immediately and homosexual groups today.

Bennett explores the function of medical study pointed out via those banned-blood regulations and its disquieting courting to executive organizations, together with the FDA. Bennett attracts parallels among the FDA's place on homosexuality and the old precedents of discrimination by way of executive firms opposed to racial minorities. the writer concludes by means of describing the resistance posed by way of queer donors, who both lie in an effort to donate blood or protest discrimination at donation websites, and through calling for those prejudiced regulations to be abolished.

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Additional resources for Banning Queer Blood: Rhetorics of Citizenship, Contagion, and Resistance

Sample text

Queer men are realized as both inside and outside the system; as impure separatists and polluted assimilationists; as rhetorically contained but ubiquitously promiscuous. In marginalizing queer bodies, the state concurrently produces a normative citizen ideal to reproduce national identity. Articulating Abjection 31 ENACTING BIO-POWER / ENABLING CITIZENSHIP The last several centuries have witnessed a substantial change in how states regulate populations and exert influence over modes of reproduction.

In this section the bio-political nature of blood as a reproductive force of national kinship identities has been briefly traced. However, along with reproduction, there is a second trope of citizenship valorized by the nation-state and continually reinforced in the rhetoric of the blood ban. The conception of the “sacrifice,” that which is done in the service of others and with no personal gain, is a theme that surfaces time and again through state discourses. THE TROPE OF SACRIFICIAL CITIZENSHIP Blood donation is perhaps one of the most important forms of cultural sacrifice available to citizens.

The harm engendered by the ban can be undone, but only with commitment to a cultural politics that values difference. There is little doubt that presumption currently rests with heterosexism and the state. But the burden 26 Queer Citizenship of proof is increasingly weighing on the shoulders of a few health officials who cannot sustain these blatantly discriminatory practices. The possibilities for reimagining citizenship in the ritual site of blood sacrifice have already begun to take shape. This book furthers the conversation with the hope that all people will be treated fairly, fortifying the health and goodwill of citizens and the democracy we inhabit.

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