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Other contemporary discussions of melancholia and sex occur around the widespread use of antidepressants, along with the equally widespread side effects of sexual dysfunction and depressed libido that seem to accompany the use of many of these drugs. Melancholia and Moralism: Essays on AIDS and Queer Politics. Rather than enabling sexual identification, in this context melancholia is seen as something that neutralizes sexuality altogether, leading some writers to blame lack of interest in sex not on drugs, or even depression itself, but on a culture where unhappiness is taboo.
Little girls might internalize the mother they are not supposed to desire, and keep that desire alive as a lesbian desire, whereas little boys might identify with the mother and desire their fathers, or incorporate the fathers they are not allowed to desire into themselves as love-objects.
At this point gender and sexual object choice become murkily intertwined in Butler's argument, much as they are in Freud's explanation of castration and the Oedipal resolution; in Butler, homosexuality determines gender somehow, whereas Freud similarly conflates heterosexual object choice and having a "normal" femininity or masculinity.
HIV/AIDS activist Douglas Crimp uses melancholia to think about responses to AIDS in the gay community, arguing that a deep sense of loss and mourning has led to melancholia in most gay men, which in turn has caused a malaise surrounding AIDS activism.
He sees this melancholia as the reason gays have rejected their sex-positive culture in favor of mainstream monogamy and political conservatism, and argues that moving beyond the stasis of melancholia will facilitate a return to activism, a return to self-affirming safe sexual practices of all varieties, and a rejection of self-hating conservative gay pundits like Andrew Sullivan.
Freud later argues in The Ego and the Id (1923) that the internalizing and sustaining of lost loves that happens in both mourning and melancholia is important for ego formation, and that identification with lost loves may be the only way one can eventually give them up.
For Freud, melancholia is not necessarily a part of gender formation, though gender and sexuality do develop around loss, specifically around the child's response to the traumatic realization that the mother lacks a penis.He cannot, however, desire his father, any more than the little girl can remain attached to her mother. Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style.Judith Butler has taken up Freud's notion of melancholy identification to argue that gender itself is a melancholic identification in which the same-sex parent one is not allowed to desire, and who is thus lost as a love object, is internalized or incorporated. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.However, Butler's theory of gender as melancholic—the reason she prefers we view gender this way—presents homosexuality as "natural" a psychic process of subject formation as heterosexuality (which takes shape in much the same way) and should not be viewed as a bad or inauthentic copy. The problem with viewing gender as melancholy, of course, is that melancholia is associated with the sadness and listlessness of depression, and melancholic homosexual subject-formation thus seems sick and sad rather than healthy and active. Both melancholia and mourning are triggered by the same thing, that is, by loss.The distinction often made is that mourning occurs after the death of a loved one while in melancholia the object of love does not qualify as irretrievably lost.The "normal" child is supposed to realize—if she is a girl—that she doesn't have a penis, can't desire her mother, and needs to love a man in order to get a baby with a penis; or—if the child is a boy—that he could lose his penis if he doesn't identify with his father and desire a woman who is not his mother.In both cases, the mother is lost as an object of desire, though the boy doesn't have to give up all women (as the little girl does). Jaime Hovey gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).In this culture, they argue, the dark yearning for connection that causes us to seek intimacy with each other has been replaced with the sunny artificiality of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, such as Prozac and Lexapro; these drugs take us out of ourselves just enough to work, but not enough to desire each other. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. In an argument that brings us back to Freud, they assert that restoring a healthy and productive notion of sadness to our happiness-obsessed culture will lead to a better balance that will allow us to escape melancholia, in large part, because we have stopped trying so hard to repress any sign of sadness in our lives.