By E. Ostenfeld
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If this even-handed, humane document can be considered evil, that is because of its implicit but T H E G AY P R E S E N C E 25 no less powerful prescription to the makers of American policy: it is not necessary or even desirable to do anything about ﬁghting an epidemic that may miraculously transform a social desire for the invisibility of certain groups into a social reality. In time, AIDS will fully realize its potential as a politically and morally hygienic agent. Such implicit prescriptions become especially persuasive if we take into account three considerations that have in all probability been crucial in the formulation of government policies on AIDS.
The most interesting (and, given our religion of diversity, courageous) aspect of this argument is Wittig’s suspicion of difference. She goes further than protesting the equation of gender with the phenomenology of difference itself. —in the inferior position: “Men are not different, whites are not different, nor are the masters. ” She concludes: “The concept of difference has nothing ontological about it. It is only the way that the masters interpret a historical situation of domination. ”15 The straight mind valorizes difference.
Though the general sociological discourse of which it is a part prevents it from being explicitly prescriptive, it speaks with concern of the “psychological burdens” borne by those who are stigmatized as a result of HIV infection,6 and it warns of the potential infringement, by government, of the civil rights of HIV-positive people in economically deprived and politically powerless communities. On the other hand, the Times article accurately summarizes what might be called the report’s unconscious, where irrationality and even ferocity are in direct proportion to the report’s neutrality and its consistently maintained distance from the explosive medical, sexual, and political questions it raises.
Ancient Greek Psychology and Modern Mind-Body Debate by E. Ostenfeld