The Stake and the Wedge

September 15, 2009

The female is immanent, the female is bone-deep, the female is instinct. With Lili’s

eager complicity, The Professor drives a massive wedge between the masculine and

the feminine within her. –Sandy Stone, Posttransexaul Manifesto

The “Professor’s” use of the wedge cuts like a knife to distinguish, separate, rule, master. This is neither the stake nor the wedge I call for. While a wedge holds within it much that might be queer—some of the cheesiness of camp, the tip of a stable heel, or the sexual toying (of a wedgie)—I want to use the term in relation to issues…wedge issues.

The Parliament works it out. From The Owls, photo by Love

The Parliament works it out. From The Owls, photo by Love

In common parlance we use wedge as does The Professor: to mark, signal, and create divides. But I’d like to think about how we dealt with the “wedge issue” of butch/trans while making The Owls as the queer sort of wedge I aspire to.

Jack Halberstam on the set of The Owls, photo by Love

Jack Halberstam on the set of The Owls, photo by Love

By inviting Jack Halberstam to the set to begin a conversation about this issue, the OWLS Parliament signaled its interest in naming (not hiding) this controversy amongst the cast and crew, and within the script itself. While individual actors went on to make choices about the gender/sexuality identification of their characters along lines that were rather traditionally butch/femme (and which closely matched their own lived enactments), the conversations surrounding this (many of them filmed) began to create ripples across the Parliament. The fiction part of the film ended up recording Cheryl’s (and the cast’s) vision of this issue, but the documentary part of the film recorded something else: the discord and debate, and then, related transformations. Once cut into the film, these documentary moments will inevitably change and grow the “story,” allowing for the dissonance of the dialectical. Wedge as conversation, not as division. The stake opens it up, and the wedge becomes the stage for dialogue and for dreaming.

Cheryl and Skyler (Carol and Skye), dreaming/scheming on The Owls, photo by Love

Cheryl and Skyler (Carol and Skye), dreaming/scheming on The Owls, photo by Love



7 Responses to “The Stake and the Wedge”


  1. […] The Stake and the Wedge The female is immanent, the female is bone-deep, the female is instinct. With Lili’s eager complicity, The Professor drives a massive wedge between the masculine and the feminine within her. – Sandy Stone , Posttransexaul Manifesto The %26ldquo;Professor’s%26rdquo; use of the wedge cuts like a knife to distinguish, separate, rule, master. This is neither the stake nor the wedge I call for. While a wedge holds within it much that might be queer%26mdash;some of the cheesiness of camp, the tip of a stabl […]


  2. […] time for queer theory writing now. None of the fun and glamour of queer  collective […]


  3. just plz write some more about tranny or trans as we would like to call them!

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  7. I got amazed for real by your post , any more like this last one ? thank you!


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