Essay Kenzo

Politics is inescapably emotional. Political ideas – such as freedom or equality – are often talked about as if they’re dry concepts, sandpapered down in a seminar room or a theoretical conversation. But political ideas involve feeling. The singer Nina Simone once said that freedom is ‘just a feeling’: a feeling of ‘no fear’. Justice is a state of affairs as well as a state of relief, elation, jubilation. And political advocacy, at its best, involves the passionate expression of strongly felt sentiments and experiences. But not all emotions should necessarily be welcome in politics. Hate and fear, for example, drive exclusionary behaviour. They often result in rash and unfair decision-making.

Perhaps love should be a part of politics. Might it not have a better role to play than hate and fear? In the 2016 presidential election in the United States, opponents of Donald Trump repeated ‘love trumps hate’ at protests and on placards. But Trump also used the language of love before and after his election: he said, for example, that the crowd at his inauguration was a ‘sea of love’. For some, this shows that love is an empty value in politics: an emotion so malleable as to be meaningless. I think they’re wrong, and believe that love has the potential to be a transformative force in politics.

In All About Love: New Visions (2000), the American feminist bell hooks says that men writing about love rarely draw on its practice, and even then tend to focus on the receipt of love, instead of the giving of love or the absence of love.

Bearing these points in mind as a male writer, I want to begin not with some abstract pronouncements about love, but with some reflections on my own personal feelings of love.

When I think of love, I call to mind the kind, caring glow of my mother. I remember the tone in her voice that seemed constant in my years growing up: a register of concern, somewhere between sympathy and pain. I think of her steady presence, in person and other ways, exemplified in a Skype call where she listened, unwavering, as my voice quivered with fear and stumbling self-doubt. ‘Love’ takes me to the feeling of being wrapped in the arms of a romantic partner whose commitment to me feels secure, unequivocal, total. It carries me to the moment when my twin brother held my hand, hour after hour, the day after serious surgery.

When I imagine moments where I’ve given love to others, I think of authentic expressions of closeness – to my parents, for example – that have dragged up a well of good feeling in me. I think of an attempt to be present for a close friend in times of struggle and need, through listening, acceptance, affirmation. I bring to mind spontaneous, unflinching outpourings of affection through words and touch. ‘Lovelessness’ makes me think of moments of absence. I have felt unloved when people from whom I have expected love have been distant, detached or disconnected. I’ve known what it is not to be loved when my romantic feelings of deep curiosity and admiration have been unrequited. I’ve felt a deprivation of love when I’ve faced abrupt, unexplained hostility from those with whom I should have had a loving relationship.

Out of these experiences of the practice of love, it is possible to outline what love might be. I don’t want to define the abstract noun ‘love’ here. Instead, what I am interested in, like hooks, is the verb: what it means to love. It is clear to me, from my experiences, that love involves a deep concern, that love is related to a steady state of support, that love is a force transmitted outwards from one person to another, that love is bounded by relationships in which there are expectations of presence and security.

Love, in sum, is a deep sense of warmth directed towards another. This approach, which I developed with the New Zealand writer Philip McKibbin, highlights love’s depth and directedness. It’s consistent with self-love, which involves a deep sense of warmth being directed towards our own selves. The word ‘warmth’ gets at the outpouring of goodwill that is associated with love. And warmth can take more specific forms, such as affection, attention, care, and concern. To love is a feeling, an emotion, but as Simone said of freedom, that’s ‘not all of it’. Love is between and beyond feeling and emotion. One way of expressing this is to say that love is a feature of the spirit: in other words, that loving is spiritual.

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With this understanding of love in place, it is now useful to say what I mean by ‘politics’. I’ll start with politics in practice. In my experience, politics means many things: the chaotic clamouring of politicians in a debating chamber; the organising, arguing, laughing in some small room a night before a protest; the subtle power play between two people in a conversation, jostling verbally for a particular decision to be made. In essence, though, politics is the set of activities, often undertaken collectively, that relate to how power should be exercised and disciplined.

How, then, are love and politics related? Some indigenous traditions have for centuries explored how love, or something akin to it, can play a part in collective decision-making. In the New Zealand indigenous Māori culture, aroha (loosely translated as ‘love’) has long been a key value in dispute resolution. Religious traditions have prized the practice of love in everyday ethics. Activists have referred to love in placards and slogans – for example, in organising to oppose war, support marriage equality, or fight for human rights.

Socialist and anti-colonial thinkers have also developed the idea of love as an animating political force over the 19th and 20th centuries. Che Guevara wrote in a 1965 letter: ‘At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love. It is impossible to think of a genuine revolutionary lacking this quality.’ Michael Hardt, professor of literature at Duke University in North Carolina, has developed this reference, doing more than anyone else in contemporary theoretical circles to explore love’s implications for politics.

Over the 20th and into the 21st centuries, thinkers within the black radical tradition – especially hooks, Cornel West and James Baldwin – have also teased out love’s potential in politics. Liberal politicians and political theorists have toyed with love, too: former president Jimmy Carter called for government to be ‘filled with love’; the Czech writer and politician Václav Havel envisioned a government that would ‘radiate love’; the US philosopher Martha Nussbaum has written about ‘civic love’; and Hillary Clinton in her 2016 presidential campaign demanded more ‘love and kindness’ in the US.

The point is to make love a lodestar in politics, which takes us towards a politics of other people

Love should, in my view, be a virtue in, and an end-goal of, politics: this is what I mean by a ‘politics of love’. Put another way, the capacity to practise love – to direct a deep sense of warmth towards another – should be a character trait that is valued in politics. We should admire and encourage those who are motivated by love in their political practice (rather than being motivated by the ‘power and domination’ to which hooks refers), and who express love through political action. We should then also come to see the securing of love as a fundamental aim of what is done in politics.

This general politics of love – which aims for love as an end-goal in politics – leaves room for different visions of love. The project of strengthening a general politics of love involves building up the power of the rhetoric of love, in the same way that, arguably, the neoliberal economic project has involved building up the power of ideas of individualism, freedom and efficiency. But ‘love’ might be interpreted in different ways, just as freedom and equality can be interpreted in different ways; we saw this in Trump’s and Clinton’s very divergent usages of ‘love’ in the 2016 presidential election.

The main purpose of a general politics of love is to make love a lodestar – a starting point or standard – in political discussions. A general politics of love connects politics to everyday felt experiences. It reminds us that the personal is political, as feminism has long emphasised. It steers us away from individualism and self-interest, since, as Iris Murdoch put it in ‘The Sublime and the Good’ (1959), love ‘is the extremely difficult realisation that something other than oneself is real’. It takes us in the direction of an other-regarding politics: a politics of other people.

Despite these advantages, however, a general politics of love is not enough. It’s vague and it doesn’t realise love’s full political potential. To avoid these problems, a general politics of love must connect with radical politics. The logic of radical politics has at least three interlocking elements that are relevant here.

First, it pays attention to history and context. A radical politics of love, consistent with one meaning of the word ‘radical’ – grasping things at the roots (as the African-American activist Angela Davis has said) – tells a mixed economic/socio-cultural story about why contemporary societies have become the way they are. Our societies lack love because of the structure of the economy, which harnesses exploitation and greed while also taking away the time that people need for truly loving relationships. Societies lack love because of an unequal social structure that leaves people wounded, lonely and distant from each other in supposed communities. And they lack love because of the patriarchal, white-supremacist and related oppressive forces that create conditions of violence, insecurity and distrust.

The German psychologist Erich Fromm hinted at this contextual explanation more than 50 years ago, noting in The Art of Loving (1956) that the ‘social structure of Western civilisation and the spirit resulting from it’ are not ‘conducive to the development of love’. Fromm’s largely economic and social analysis needs to be refined, however, to acknowledge how race, gender, ableism and other structures pattern how love is distributed in contemporary societies.

Prisons embody a failure of love in institutional form, and make people see themselves in terms of the worst thing they’ve ever done

Second, a radical logic understands the preconditions that need to be realised to give meaningful effect to values. A radical politics of love does not just exhort people to offer warmth to all, but accepts that some steps need to be taken before love is possible. Survivors of sexual violence, or those affected by white supremacy, cannot be expected to turn spontaneously into ciphers of love. As hooks puts it so succinctly: ‘Without justice there can be no love.’ A radical politics of love is therefore bound to a commitment to redressing historical wrongs and other existing injustices. It requires us to ‘think constellationally’, in the words of the Nigerian-American novelist Teju Cole: we must think about how love is nested in a network of other values and relationships, which also need to be attended to for love to be realised.

Thirdly, being radical involves turning abstract commitments into positive action. A radical politics of love will hence have to heed Guevara’s call to ‘strive every day so that [the] love of living humanity is transformed into actual deeds’.

One particularly promising application of a radical politics of love is through what Davis describes in Are Prisons Obsolete? (2003) as ‘decarceration’ in criminal justice: a phasing-out of societies’ reliance on incarceration as a response to crime. Prisons embody a failure of love in institutional form: they deprive individuals of the tenderness of social contact, and require people to see themselves in terms of the worst thing they have ever done. Decarceration – which involves a collection of strategies ending incarceration for young people, abolishing short-term sentences, bolstering effective treatment and rehabilitation for individuals with serious problems – is an attempt to bring love to the fore.

Another action that could serve as a love-based lightning-rod for people to rally around is the introduction of a Universal Basic Income (UBI). This is a government payment to all individuals within a political community, usually monthly, which is not tied to work or other status. It has the potential to free people from unloving, exploitative work relationships. If a UBI is set at a sufficiently generous level, it might also give people the time and space to practice love directly in community with family, friends and neighbourhood. A UBI might be part of an economic platform that views human beings no longer as Homo economicus (self-interested individuals) but rather as interdependent, socially connected, loving members of a wider community.

These two examples both require state action to support the cause of love – but a radical politics of love can also have a bearing on activist politics itself. Too often activists, single-mindedly committed to the causes they are fighting for, burn out and face fatigue, self-doubt, mental health challenges and loneliness. A radical politics of love recentres the significance of solidarity and mutual care within activist movements, reminding individuals of the need for self-care and self-love.

One example of an activist group already trying to apply a radical politics of love is the Love-Driven Politics Collective in the US. Its co-founder David Kyuman Kim is also a professor of religious studies at Connecticut College, and draws on religious as well as moral, political and critical traditions in his efforts to build a loving public ethic. He told me he believes that ‘we have let [the] heartbeat of progressive politics diminish’. It’s ‘one of the reasons progressive politics is particularly uninspiring to folks’. Kim, who has co-taught a course on Radical Love with Cornel West, has led efforts to use love to address the ‘acidic’ culture within US academic institutions. And, with the Love-Driven Politics Collective, he’s now trying to bring love to bear on race and education in the US.

The sketch I’ve offered of a radical politics of love is distinct in important ways from past work on love and politics. It’s more developed than the throwaway references to love that have appeared in liberal political discourse recently from figures such as Clinton. Moreover, this radical politics of love involves love being directed towards ourselves and fellow participants in the political process, rather than being directed primarily towards the nation or the country, as Nussbaum has proposed. It’s about love of each other, rather than patriotism, and is a less exclusive and less dangerous approach than calls to love an abstraction, such as ‘nation’ or ‘state’.

A radical politics of love is not passive. It does not license pushover politics. Recall that justice must be done before love can be completely realised. And sometimes love itself requires anger, conflict and confrontational action. There is no inconsistency, then, between a radical politics of love and the calling out of racism, or direct action against sites of racism, capitalism and oppression. Nor does a radical politics of love have to distort the meaning of love. 

In The Human Condition (1958), Hannah Arendt articulated the worry that ‘love … is killed, or rather extinguished, the moment it is displayed in public’. She thought that ‘love can only become false and perverted when it is used for political purposes’. Arendt is undoubtedly right that we should be wary of love’s perversion or its manipulation for politics. And the enterprise of creating a radical politics of love certainly involves a creative reimagining of the expectations we should have within political relationships. But love is always, everywhere, a project of planting ambitious expectations within a set of defined relationships. A radical politics of love merely requires an expansion of the types of relationships to which expectations of love should be attached.

The way to respond to negative emotions in politics is not to try to shut down emotions in politics altogether 

The real barrier to the realisation of a radical politics of love, however, is not the necessity of anger or the nature of love. The real barrier is the combination of a cramped ideological discourse and a paralysing cynicism that pervades so much contemporary political discourse. To open up a space for love in our time, we need to broaden what is regarded as politically possible in the face of such cynicism.

We can see more clearly now than ever the presence of emotions in politics, particularly negative ones. The way to respond is not to try to shut down emotions in politics altogether – to try, in vain, to insist on calm, rational discourse. The way forward lies in working out which emotions have a rightful place in politics, being clear about what we mean (and do not mean) by those emotions, and translating those emotions into political practice. That’s maybe, just maybe, part of how love could trump hate.

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Max Harris

is a fellow at All Souls College, Oxford. His writing has appeared in the New Statesman and, among others. His first book is The New Zealand Project(2017).

[An Introduction to the X-AXIS:

Correlations between The Fashion Model and Non-Binary Pedagogy]

The structure of this essay is an introduction to Eric Sommier’s The Fashion Model which serves as a materialization of fashion as a theoretical concept. Oxford’s definition of fashion encompasses both “A popular or the latest style of clothing, hair, decoration, or behaviour.” and “A manner of doing something.”. What we have covered in class are historical and more contemporary understandings of socio scientific understandings around gender/sexuality and the issues surrounding the ethnographic transnational studies lack of integrating both ones positionally and intersectionality into developing methodology. This essay will not argue against Eric Sommier’s The Fashion Model in “Essai sur la mode dans les sociétés modernes” but amplify Sommier’s cartesian plane and highlight Sommier’s axis of Appearance versus Reality and the axis of Past versus Future. The question proposed for this essay is particularly; Does Sommier’s The Fashion Model inform a Non-Binary Pedagogy? This Non-Binary Pedagogy will site perspectives of Finn Enke’s “Stick Figures and Little Bits: Toward a Nonbinary Pedagogy”. We will discuss the material and contextual evidence of Sommier’s model and it’s relation to Non-Binary Pedagogy. Might be worth noting that Enke’s Four Modes Of Explanation are introductions to one of many frameworks of a Non-Binary Pedagogy that focuses on the discourses of gender spectrum through material understandings of masculine and femininity. (..stick figure is not a static representational entity that simply points to “real” entities outside of itself (males, females; binary gender system), but rather, the signs themselves produce binary gender.” (Enke 2016) The conversation of entities and the other spectrum within discussions of a Non-Binary Pedagogy; organic and artificial will be introduced in this essay. This pedagogy is a method and practice of teaching for youth that do not identity with a binary gender being male or female. The Fashion Model’s material evidence mentioned will be looking at examples of material bodies and representations of fashion shows being oxfords first definition of fashion “A popular or the latest style of clothing” and The Fashion Model’s contextual evidence will be defined as looking at the “A manner of doing something.”. By splitting it up until these two methods of looking at The Fashion Model we will be able to have a better understanding of Sommier’s cartesian plane and how they inform not just a Non-Binary Pedagogy but also other socio scientific readings discussed in Social Science of Sexuality and Gender. Each section of this essay will conclude with correlations between Appearance versus Reality and the spectrum of masculine and feminine within the Non-Binary Pedagogy as well as how Past versus Future correlates with the Organic versus the Artificial within the Non-Binary Pedagogy. This essay serves as an introduction to questions surrounding the multiplicity of gender and sexual identities and how existence is possibly not a matter of evolution but an involution. A transient realization that transgresses into a dispersal of entropy.

[Material Evidence: Appearance Versus Reality]

Sommier’s The Fashion Model states a spectrum of Appearance and Reality on one axis that highlights concepts of the aesthetic appearance of clothing design for human subjects and the Functional Reality of the the clothes themselves and what particular function it is providing for the human subject. The way the model is introduced is by placing fashion or clothing brands somewhere on the cartesian plane. The first material evidence within The Fashion Model is clothing designed by Christian Lacroix, a well known designer during the 90’s who frequently showed at Paris Fashion Week. Lacroix was most known for brocade, tucking, and draping fabric within dress design. The focus of the Lacroix was more around designing clothing that served social constructions of how to sexualize female assigned at birth. “McIntosh is one of the first sociologists to suggest that "sexuality" itself may be socially constructed.” (Nixon 2017) Lacroix did this by at times using minimal fabric where there would be an increase in visibility of the legs and breasts. By draping and gathering fabric around the hips it would exaggerate the appearance of the hips. As discussed in class it has not been historically uncommon to assume dresses are designed exclusively for those female assigned at birth but also used as a means to enhance sexualization of so called male counterparts. As McIntosh mentioned “..he goes on to discuss societys in which there are reports of sanctioned adolescent and other occasional “experimentation.” (McIntosh 1968) Lacroix is not participating in a sexual experimentation but a historical aesthetic experimentation of fabric on subjects female assigned birth at a time period that viewed the sexuality as a spectrum of feminine and masculine where points on that spectrum can be exaggerated as a function in order to attract a particular gender, this gender being those that are assigned male at birth. On the other side of this axis of The Fashion Model is Reality. The functional reality of clothing designs has traditionally been viewed as “Items worn to cover the body.” as oxfords definition of clothes states. Material examples of clothing brands or design that fall until reality is Timberland. According to Sommier Timberland is a good example of functional clothing design. Timberland is an American clothing bland that designs and produces outdoor wear with a focus on footwear established by shoe maker Nathan Swarts in 1928. What is possibly worth noting is this definition of clothes as “items worn to cover the body” when Sommier’s understanding of fashion focusing on appearance instead of function involves appearance as ones ability to be sexualized as mentioned previously. This contextual observation immediately highlights the correlation of assumed masculine and female attributes when discussing what constitutes appearance and function. As discussed in class through Emily Martin’s work on how science has constructed a romance based on stereotypical male-female roles, this assumption is exactly this construction that Martin discusses. “I am intrigued by the possibility that culture shapes how biological scientists describe what they discover about the natural world.” (Martin 1991) Interestingly this use of the word culture shaping biological scientists correlates with how Sommier’s assumption of Appearance versus Reality and how Non-Binary Pedagogy’s spectrum of feminine and masculine creates a framework of assumptions. This framework of assumptions says that Appearance is feminine with so called “Womenswear” designers such as Lacroix, Dior, and Jean Paul Gaultier as near the top of Appearance and Timberland exits near the bottom of Reality. Gap is placed in the middle of Appearance and Reality as means of serving both binary genders or perceived as uni-sex clothing. This section as only highlighted a few material examples of how The Fashion Model informs only one aspect of A Non-Binary Pedagogy and Socio Scientific references. Furthermore, making a distinction between material evidence and contextual evidence allows us to segway into more metaphysical conversation about the Past versus Future axis and how identifying as entities outside of masculine and feminine open up conversations of Non-Binary Pedagogy existing as not just the feminine and the masculine but also the Organic versus the Artificial.

[Contextual Evidence: Past Versus Future]

Rarely can we fathom ideas of material evidence outside of human experience. This section introduces a less articulated conception of Non-Binary Pedagogy but coincidentally correlatively almost harmoniously with The Fashion Model. Sommier discusses a distinction between clothing designers and brands that design either for the future or for the past. Contextual evidence for Sommier’s past are designers such as Dior, which was founded by Christian Dior in 1925. Instead of discussing the material qualities of designs done by Christian Dior over the years, we will focus more on the contexts and themes that have revolved around the House of Dior. The logic of Sommier may not be as simple as Appearance versus Function but also a temporal quality of design. Design that emulates not a question of attraction or repulsion but a matter of design that associates itself to certain traditions or concepts. “Anne Fausto-Sterling's The Five Sexes is an attempt to challenge the Western biomedical establishment's insistence on binary sex models” (Nixon 2017) Anne Fausto-Sterling discusses various challenges but shows as an example of traditional analysis tackling more modern concepts. The tradition of Fausto-Sterling is implicating a five sex model “whom I call herms, who possess one testis and one ovary (the sperm- and egg-producing vessels, or gonads); the male pseudohermaphrodites (the “merms”)," who have testes and some aspects of the female genitalia but no ovaries; and the female pseudohermaphrodites (the "ferms"), who have ovaries and some aspects of the male genitalia but lack testes.” (Fausto-Sterling 1993) but contradicts their progressive concepts of “Hence legal protection for people whose cultural and physical genitals do not match is needed during the current transition to a more gender-diverse world” (Fausto-Sterling 1993) this gender-diverse world. This gender-diverse world is exactly the contextual axis that exists in the Non-Binary Pedagogy. Dior, Burberry, Hermes are contextual evidence for Sommier’s past because traditional design did not just encompass function but the ideas that certain design attributes were associated with in that particular time period. Tradition was played a major role during the early 21st century, with Dior’s construction of The New Look, focused design around class, idealism, and social constructions of what constitutes sophistication. Worth noting, Hermes also placed on the axis of past by Sommier which supports a discourse of the origin(s) of fashion design being one of the most expensive brands today. Hermes sells the most expensive bag in the world that goes for over $50,000 US dollars. This mention of origins is the relational factor to The Non-Binary Pedagogy. Origin as Oxford’s positional definition is “The point or place where something begins, arises, or is derived. ‘his theory of the origin of life’” highlights the Organic of the; Organic versus Artificial axis of The Non-Binary Pedagogy. Organic identities that exist conceptualize into the contextual evidence of the Sommier’s Past as Dior has been proven to produce more organic dress designs resembling floral qualities and plant association. This distinct analysis is only a minor example for a much large correlation of human perceptions of what constitutes organic design. Jumping to the last part of The Fashion Model is looking at contextual evidence Sommier uses for the Future on the Past versus Future. Repeating that we aren’t looking at the material design evidence of the designers listed such as Kenzo at this point of the cartesian plane. It is not the minimal physical design of Kenzo that make it a participant of Sommier’s future but it’s association with the context and concepts surrounding minimalism and technology. Kenzo is also a french luxury house founded in 1970 by Japanese designer Zenzo Takada. Even thought they were made famous for jungle inspired decor Zenzo is a contemporary designer typically associated with youth culture. This youth culture is what emulates discussion of technology. Zenzo doing modern collaborations with H&M and social media contests feed more contextual and temporal evidence. In class “Namaste addresses how trans/gender non-normative bodies/identities are publicly regulated and controlled through acts of discrimination” (Nixon 2017) we discuss modern ideas around Non-Binary Pedagogy as situated as “Trans, Transgender, and Non-Binary Subjectivities and Identities: Global Perspectives” (Nixon 2017) These subjectivities associate themselves with youth culture in many different respects. Namaste’s piece written in 2000, temporally situates itself at the dawn of the millennium entitled “Genderbashing: Sexuality, Gender, and the Regulation of Public Spaces” doesn’t just discuss subjectivities of youth but also these temporal qualities we are discussing. “Gendered Space and the Public/Private Dichotomy: One of the remarkable things about the study of violence against sexual minorities is the way in which such aggression can be linked to common-sense assumptions of what constitutes “public” space..”. (Namaste 2000) This mode of aggression is amplified as a literal modality in The Fashion Model and The Non-Binary Pedagogy. Mode of aggression correlates with a mode-fluidity within the two spectrums situated inside both cartesian planes. Namaste is also making think linkage to aggression and a common-sense assumptions of what constitutes a space which builds on a Framework Of Assumptions discussed in the first section. This public space Namaste is referring to is also a temporal space that exists as the past or future and in this case Sommier’s future. Design that occupies spaces. Non-Binary Pedagogy inherently encourages designing of new gender identities and therefore gender spaces. These gender spaces are only recently manifesting into the human experiences of youth through technologies of graphic design. What is also coincidental are that these graphical spaces resemble mini cultures produced by particular collections produced my fashion designers that also manifest into new forms of identities and ways of being. This ends this section of ways of existing, which explain ways of existing may not always be material evidence of design but new contextual and conceptual ways of existing within the Non-Binary Pedagogy. Existing as genderless is one thing, but the possibility of existing outside of human experience such as a plant or a robot truly visualizes the multiplicity of opportunities in existing. This Contextual Evidence: Past versus Future seems to correlate with Material Evidence: Appearance Versus Reality.

[A Post-Human Modalities: The Correlations]

This section serves as an explanation for what has been discussed. In the first section we explored the Material evidence of Sommier’s Appearance versus Reality. This section discussed the aesthetic versus the functional and defined material evidence as the literal design qualities that make particular clothing design more geared towards appearance or more geared towards the reality of design that serves the bodies that exist in these clothes. That correlation meets A Non-Binary Pedagogy that introduces a Framework of Assumptions which constitutes what humans perceive as the spectrum; masculine and feminine. This Framework of Assumption leaks into our dissection of Contextual evidence as defined as not the literal material bodies and design but the traditions and concepts associated with temporal qualities within both The Fashion Model and the Non-Binary Pedagogy. This Framework of Assumption is a modality that contradicts this entire essay’s use of the word Versus when referring to the axises within the Cartesian Plane of Sommier’s The Fashion Model; Appearance versus Reality and Past Versus Future. It also contradicts the Non-Binary Pedagogy’s; Feminine versus Masculine and Organic versus Artificial. This is because it is not this binary dichotomy Namaste argues but a transient modality that youth in the Non-Binary Pedagogy use as design tools for creating new forms of being and existing. It should be Appearance and Reality, Past and Future, Feminine and Masculine, Organic and Artificial which allow a Post-Human Modality that escapes human experience and enters a metaphysical toolbox for existing. As ‘and’ offers an option within this toolbox instead of ‘versus’ as a matter of discourse. This also correlates with Social Science’s conversation of Nature and Nature NOT Nature versus Nurture.


This essay concludes by an articulation of the evidence as a whole, both material and contextual. The introduction to this essay was an outline of what we defined as Sommier’s fashion in The Fashion Model. We also in the introduction had a brief introduction to Finn Enke’s Non-Binary Pedagogy that focuses on the multiplicity of identities until a spectrum of feminine and masculine. The function of this essay has been an introduction to the Organic and Artificial axis to the cartesian plane of the Non-Binary Pedagogy which manifests beings that exist outside of human binary or temporal binary that integrates understandings of the gender spectrum (feminine and masculine) in Finn Enke’s Non-Binary Pedagogy. For more information on Finn Enke’s Non-Binary Pedagogy and The Four Modes Of Explanation please read “Explaining Non-Binary Pedagogy through Queer Youth Education” (Wu 2017) on youth that exist outside the gender binary. This introduction also opens up possibilities of non-human subjects and entities that exist as Post-Human Modalities and spaces of entropy. By taking references from McIntosh, Martin, Fausto-Sterling, and Namaste we only scratch the surface of contemporary understandings of social sciences in gender and sexuality studies. Integrating an inter-species analysis as well as artificial-intelligence into social science, queer theory, and trans studies perhaps opens up an intersectional and integration based foundation for Post-Human Studies.


Enke, A Finn 2016, Stick Figures and Little Bits: Toward a Nonbinary Pedagogy. Gilbert 2014, Introduction to Queer Youth In Schools.

Fausto-Sterling, Anne 1993, The Five Sexes: Why Male and Female Are Not Enough, The Sciences March/April 1993, p. 20-24

McIntosh, Mary 1968, The Homosexual Role Author(s): Reviewed work(s): Source: Social Problems, Vol. 16, No. 2 (Autumn, 1968), pp. 182-192

Martin, Emily 1991, The Egg and the Sperm: How Science Has Constructed a Romance Based on Stereotypical Male-Female Roles Signs, Vol. 16, No. 3. (Spring, 1991), pp. 485-501.

Namaste, Vivianne K 2000, Invisible Lives: The Erasure of Transexual and Transgendered People, The University Of Chicago Press, Chicago 606637

Non-Binary Chart 2017,

Sommier Eric 2007, Essai sur la mode dans les sociétés modernes, L’Harmattan 2007 5-7 rue de l’école Polytechnique ; Paris 5,

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