Shirley Jackson Studies, Vol. 2, Issue #1: Queer(ing) Jackson
In his now canonical work Monsters in the Closet: Homosexuality and the Horror Film, Harry M. Benshoff describes queerness as that which “opposes the binary definitions and proscriptions of a patriarchal heterosexism." For Benshoff, “Queer can be a narrative moment, or a performance or stance which negates the oppressive binarisms of the dominant hegemony.” Queer, then, has the capacity to embody a multitude of challenging or oppositional stances, playing with or subverting gender binaries, heteropatriarchal orders, political hegemonies, and ingrained systems of meaning. Queer can be playful, daring, and defiant.