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Jasbir Puar


The Golden Handcuffs of Gay Rights: How Pinkwashing Distorts Both LGBTIQ and Anti-Occupation Activism

[A Double Bind. Image from]

Israeli democracy, through its promotion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights, offers golden handcuffs—a beautiful gift that comes with control—to Israeli queers. At a lecture in Tel Aviv at the Women’s Peace Coalition, I heard the strain in the voices of queer Israeli activists who are chafing under Israel’s progressive gay rights record. One activist stated, “Apparently, we have won all our rights. It is as if we should be grateful and keep silent about ...

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Jasbir Puar


Jasbir Puar is Associate Professor of Women’s & Gender Studies at Rutgers University.  Her research interests include gender, sexuality, globalization; postcolonial and diaspora studies; South Asian cultural studies; and theories of assemblage and affect. She is the author of Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times (Duke University Press 2007), which won the 2007 Cultural Studies Book Award from the Association for Asian American Studies. Professor Puar has also authored numerous articles that appear in Gender, Place, and Culture, Social Text, Radical History Review, Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, and Feminist Legal Studies. Her edited volumes include a special issue of GLQ titled, “Queer Tourism: Geographies of Globalization” and co-edited a volume of Society and Space titled “Sexuality and Space”. Most recently she edited, with Julie Livingston, a special issue of Social Text on “Interspecies.” (Spring 2011).

She is currently working on a new book on queer disability studies and theories of affect and assemblage titled Affective Politics: States of Capacity and Debility. Her most recent publications from this project are “Prognosis Time: Towards a Geopolitics of Affect, Debility, and Capacity” in Women and Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory (vol 19, no.2, July 2009) and “The Cost of Getting Better: Suicide, Sensation, Switchpoints,” in GLQ: A Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies (Winter 2011).

Professor Puar is also a contributor to the Guardian and The Huffington Post, as well as Bully Bloggers ( and Oh! Industry ( Her op-eds have focused on “pinkwashing” in gay and lesbian activism, queer Islamophobia, and the limits and possibilities of the It Gets Better campaign.