What’s Wrong With The Queer Community?

September 24, 2010 at 12:12 PM (Uncategorized)

I recently had a womyn ask me what I meant when I used the word “queer” because I used it in a negative way, and she thought it simply referred to gay men and lesbians. This is a response to that.

It is true that some gay men and lesbians refer to themselves as queer, but self-identified queer people also include transsexual people, transgendered people, genderqueer people, people who are into BDSM, polyamorous people, cross-dressers, and people who are willing to have relationships with some or all of these people.

When I speak of the queer community, I am referring to the subset of these people who subscribe to certain bullshit ideologies. One of these is the ridiculous idea that people are whatever they say they are. This is why it is considered polite to play along when males say that they are female, females say that they are males (i.e., some trans people) and a genderqueer person says that they are male one day and female the next (I’m not making up this example). People who don’t play along are assumed to be ignorant and/or considered to be transphobic.

Another facet of the queer community is the support of body negativity. If you log in to a queer community and make a post about hating your body and wanting your breasts lopped of, people will not be horrified and exhort you to love yourself. The queer community is filled with so much body hatred and body-negativity that such feelings are commonly accepted as part of someone’s “identity.” Similarly afflicted women will sympathize, people will suggest you get a binder (a breast-flattening device that continues to be used despite its tendency to dislodge ribs
and constrict breathing
), people will give you advice about getting the surgery (called top surgery). You don’t even have to say that you are trans aka “really” a man or give the by now standard narrative of being born in the wrong body. Even people (almost always women) who are not trans are jumping on the surgery bandwagon. No one asks why you dislike your body. Who cares? If that’s what you want, book a surgeon!

Part of the reason for the body-negativity is the heavy focus on androgyny in some queer subcommunities, particular the genderqueer community. The ideal androgynous body is generally closer to male than to female (not to mention being young, skinny and white), so genderqueer males don’t generally express the need to change the bodies, while genderqueer females want to loose weight, get rid of curves, and get rid of breasts.

One issue that particularly gets on my nerves is a serious misunderstanding or misuse of the concept of gender or gender identity. Whereas gender in everyday speech is sometimes used as a synonym for sex, and in the context of feminism, psychology, etc., is spoken of as gender roles, which society forces on individuals, certain queer people seem to think gender is some sort of choice about expressing themselves and/or how they want to be treated by society. Sometimes the phrase “gender identity” is used to express this idea, when in fact gender identity is a term used in the social sciences to refer to one’s awareness of the gender role one is expected to fill. In short, there is no choice about it. It is not some facet of someone’s being or personality or a choice of style, it is some made-up bullshit used to keep people in line, a tool of oppression. They are muddying this important issue with their self-indulgent nonsense.

Another “polite” convention in the queer community is that one does not question another’s identity, EVER. Identity in this sense is a relatively vague, amorphous mass of concepts that may include things such as how one feels about being male or female, the pronouns by which one wishes to be referred, the gender role one prefers to live in, and the style of dress and grooming one prefers (usually in terms of being stereotypically male, female, purposefully androgynous, etc.) The result of this is that people are not challenged when they build “identities” based on self-hatred, stereotypes, and maladaptive attempts to deal with the various pressures of heteronormative conformity. For example, I was reading what someone wrote about being an FTM a while back. She was talking about how she had hated to wear the Sunday school dresses her mother forced on her as a child. Obviously, this doesn’t have a goddamned thing to do with being a man except in this poor woman’s warped mind.

Questioning the morality of some dude identifying with appropriating womanhood, the identity of an oppressed group (womyn) probably wouldn’t go over so well in many queer circles either. Of course, being primarily composed of white, American, middle- to upper-class liberals, many in the queer community will be right at home with appropriation. Thus the endless trotting out of the two-spirit phenomenon (an appropriated facet of a Native American culture) and the appropriation of the experience of the intersexed community (some trans people are convinced that they are afflicted with a sort of brain-based intersexuality, and some just want to lump as many people as possible under the queer umbrella) against the wishes of many intersexed people. And let’s not forget all the “transwomen” appropriating lesbianism on top of appropriating womanhood.

It should be obvious at this point that queer ideology butts up against womyn’s liberation in a million different ways. We can’t even agree on what a woman is. Feminists are trying to delineate a group (womyn) so that they can point and say, “this group is being treated like shit and something needs to be done about it.” Queer people are saying, “but these males (transwomen) are in that group, too!” They are so focused on validating the “identities” of a bunch of men that they can’t or won’t see the difference between throwing on a dress and wanting to be treated as a feminine person with being expected to be a fucktoy for men, a baby-making machine, a cute, submissive airhead, and generally oppressed as a female from birth onward. The misunderstanding of/glorification of gender, the body-negative preoccupation with surgery and hormones, the overlap with the pro-BDSM, pro-prostitution, pro-porn “sex positive” community, and the general unwillingness to analyze anything anyone does are other anti-feminist issues.

As for the BDSM community, I’m sure I don’t have to explain the problem with people who get off on beating the shit out of and/or psychologically dominating each other.

I could probably go on.

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DON’T TRUST WHITEY

April 20, 2010 at 10:52 PM (Uncategorized) ()

If there are any women out there who are still operating under the delusion that feminist spaces or lesbian spaces are safe spaces with regard to race, ethnicity, or nationality, this is your wake up call: DO NOT TRUST WHITEY.

White feminists and white lesbians can be some of the shadiest white supremacists (yes, that reads “white supremacists,” not “racists”) out there. The KKK knows that they are white supremacists and will be straight up with you about being white supremacists, but these women DO NOT EVEN REALIZE THAT THEY ARE WHITE SUPREMACISTS, AND DON’T WANT TO SEE IT WHEN YOU POINT IT OUT.

I know this stuff has probably been said before, but it needs to keep being said, again and again until everyone has read it 57 times and actually get’s it. I’m going to make this simple for all the white people out there whose IQ suddenly drops to -12 when it comes to issues of race.

If you are talking about a group of people, and randomly mention the race of the non-white people, especially while not saying a damn thing about the race of the white people in the group, YOU ARE SUPPORTING WHITE SUPREMACY.

If someone calls you out on your white supremacist bullshit, and your first/only response/thought is that you are “not a racist!!!” THEN THERE’S A GOOD CHANCE THAT YOU ARE RACIST.

If someone tells you that a white woman said something that blatantly indicates that she is a racial fetishist, and you say that women don’t fetishize others, YOU ARE SUPPORTING WHITE SUPREMACY.

If you also jump to pull out the good ole’ “it’s just a preference for certain physical characteristics” bullshit with regard to that white racial fetishist after being told that she fetishizes racial minorities in general, YOU ARE DOING DOUBLE DUTY SUPPORTING WHITE SUPREMACY. Just what the fuck kind of physical characteristic preference is “all ethnic minorities”?

If you mean that someone doesn’t speak English very well, but what you actually say is “this person is X nationality,” YOU ARE RACIST FOR CONFLATING NATIONALITY AND ENGLISH-SPEAKING ABILITY.

If you don’t think white supremacy is an important issue with regards to feminism and women’s liberation, or don’t think it is within the purview of feminism or women’s liberation, YOU ARE SUPPORTING WHITE SUPREMACY.

If you are supporting white supremacy, you are not helping women, and you are not showing love of women, so think carefully about what you mean when you call yourself a lesbian or a feminist. If you are supporting white supremacy, you are also supporting male supremacy – by supporting white males specifically, by condoning and applying hateful, divisive, dehumanizing tactics and attitudes that males in general use, and by remaining blind to the ways male supremacy affects women who aren’t white..

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The Patriarchy Attacks on All Fronts

April 13, 2010 at 9:36 PM (Uncategorized) (, )

I am a lesbian.

There is power in typing those words, and there is power in saying them. There is power in living them. Living a life without sexual and romantic dependence on men sharpens the vision of a feminist utopia in our mind’s eyes like it can for few others, and, the clearer the image, the greater our motivation to fight for it’s realization. Our energies are free to fight the feminist fight when we banish potential patriarchal oppressors from our beds, when we organize our lives so that we aren’t coming home to them everyday. Just by living our lives, we send society the messages that start revolutions: messages of individual agency, of rejection of patriarchal religious conceptualizations, of flouting sociocultural pressure, messages that shatter the illusion of universal heterosexuality, that weaken male supremacy, that embolden young and questioning lesbians, that open the eyes of potential allies.

Without question, there is great power in proclaiming one’s status as a lesbian. The patriarchy, however, is no two-bit villian. It has a clever organization, it does, and has molded the world in such a way that even the power of out-and-proud lesbianism can be transformed into a sort of weapon.

I am a lesbian, but what is a lesbian? A lesbian is a female whose sexual and/or romantic interests lie with females, and not with males. What is a female, what is a male? Here, we run into the tangled mess that is patriarchal medical science and fear/hatred/ignorance of difference.

Males and females are the two components of a binary system of biological sex that ignores and/or pathologizes (irrespective of whether or not the relevant conditions pose a legitimate physical health risk) those whom it subsequently classifies as “intersexed.” There is no inherent problem with a binary system of biological sex, insofar as “biological sex” refers to reproductive sex. There are two, and only two, human reproductive sexes. The problem arises when we begin to generalize biological characteristics that have little or no bearing on reproduction, such as clitoral length, amount of body hair, or muscle mass, as constituting a part of this binary sex system, as they do not always follow a neat pattern of sexual dimorphism. The problem arises when we take biological sex out of the realm of reproduction.

Insofar as the word “lesbian” is defined by and based on this unrealistic and oppressive sex system, it is problematic. This fact, contrasted with the undeniable anti-patriarchy power of the term, can create something of a conundrum for conscientious lesbians. As a descriptor of attraction, the very concept of a “lesbian” presumes an unequivocally female subject, whereas “female” (as well as “male”) is not a precisely-defined biological category. Are we complicit in sex-based oppression and bad science by using this term? If we are, what can we do to fix the situation?

I do not offer solutions here, only a sketch of a patriarchal double-bind and a lesson on the importance of language.

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There Is More Than One Way To Be A Lesbian

December 30, 2009 at 11:48 AM (Uncategorized) (, , )

This post is for the bisexual women (and the same discussion could apply to pansexual or any other non-lesbian women) who wonder why some lesbians want nothing to do with them.

Not all of us think you are lying cheaters. Not all of us are worried that you will leave us for men. Not all of us think that you are sexually confused or trying to dupe us into a threesome with some boyfriend we don’t know about yet.

On the other hand, there is more to being a lesbian for some of us than for others. Some of us think that you being a female is not enough.

Some of us are attracted to women who are only attracted to other women, attracted to a shared sexual orientation.

Some of us are attracted to women who expend as little energy as possible on men, especially something as energy-intensive as a romantic and/or sexual relationship.

Some of us think that being a lesbian is about more than an interest in the female sex – some of us are also lesbians in the sense of being wholly committed to women, and, in a world where men are our oppressors, that commitment to women may include a refusal to engage men on as many fronts as possible, including a vicarious engagement through your sexuality.

How, you might wonder, does a romantic and/or sexual relationship with a bisexual/pansexual/etc. woman force us to engage with men? If we welcome you into our lives, we also invite your attitudes into our lives. We invite someone who enjoys, has sought, or will seek, sex with men, despite the fact that sex with men is a major arena of patriarchal oppression. We invite someone who is willing to invite men into an intimate facet of her life, despite the fact that intimate involvement with men is one of the surest ways to become a victim of violence. We invite someone who remains optimistic that she can find a “good man,” optimistic about dating men in the face of all the date rapes, optimistic about an equal partnership with someone from the class that is raised to think of itself as superior from birth onward, optimistic about honest men in the face of a whole culture of lying and acting to get into women’s pants, willing to trust male strangers in a world where women cannot even trust their own fathers, brothers, and uncles to respect, honor and refrain from hurting them, because they are women.

We may roll those ideas around in our minds a bit, and that’s where the engagement with men (specifically, the bullshit they perpetrate in their romantic/sexual relationships with women) comes into play. Some of us have a little trouble respecting the perspective of someone who is so optimistic. Some of us just can’t understand how you can deal with men. Some of us just think you are crazy for doing so, given that you have a choice not to deal with them, and some of us just find your attractions to be…well, unattractive. We ponder this, we ponder that. How do you negotiate the power dynamics in your relationships with men? How do you go about trusting this guy or that guy, how do you keep yourself safe? Do you care if he’s a feminist? Do you behave differently depending on which sex you are in a relationship with? This stuff is important. If you are in our lives, you and your perspectives are important.

Does the need to entertain these thoughts arise with other lesbian women? Not so much. There’s the lack of those questions, the shared sexual orientation – the details may differ from lesbian to lesbian, but they add up. Sometimes, they add up to us wanting to stick with lesbians.

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Appropriating Womanhood in 7 Easy Steps

December 3, 2009 at 9:59 AM (Uncategorized) (, )

1. Re-define “woman” as a “gender identity.” It will never do to allow “woman” to continue to refer to an adult female, as people who do not fit the biological profile of an adult female will never be able to claim to be women. Do not dwell on the fact that this re-definition gives no information whatsoever about what it is exactly that someone so identified is saying about himself; the vagueness makes the word easier to claim.

2. If absolutely necessary, back up this re-definition by explaining how hopelessly vague the meaning of “woman” currently is (ignoring the fact that it’s never been so vague as to include men, of course), that language is fluid and changes over time, or that strict definitions are inherently oppressive. Do not mention that none of these shortcomings lead to your re-definition. With skill, it is even possible to argue that “woman” should be re-defined to include “mtfs/transwomen” because otherwise, it excludes “mtfs/transwomen.”

3. Convince people that gendered pronouns exist to reference “gender identities,” as opposed to biological sexes. Bonus points for convincing people that the proper use of pronouns is determined by feelings.

4. Continue with the brainwashing phase, pretending that “woman” was a gender identity all along, or should have been, at least. Try to avoid being dragged into discussions about why it should be that way, except to assert that the alternative is transphobic.

5. If anyone refers to the common meaning of woman (an adult female) in any way, slur them as biological essentialists. Throw in “transphobic” for bonus points.

6. Pretend that everyone who refuses to accept you as a woman is specifically ignoring/disrespecting your “gender identity,” despite the obvious fact that most people don’t know what “gender identity” is, don’t care, never use the phrase/concept and have no need of it, and obviously don’t agree with your self-serving re-definition. Be careful not to frame such situations in terms of a difference in definitions, as this will draw attention to your tactics. Instead, frame it as ignorance of/transphobic refusal to admit what woman “really” means.

7. Reinforce the conceptual superiority and cultural hipness of your re-definition by talking about educating people/raising awareness about it.

ADVANCED APPROPRIATION: If possible, convince people that “female” is a gender identity. This tactic will allow you to skip straight to appropriating femaleness, and will even make appropriating womanhood easier.

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Bi/Pan Superiority Complexes and Blind Faith in Kinsey

November 25, 2009 at 9:01 AM (Uncategorized) ()

Not content to let heterosexuals monopolize the market on positioning one sexuality as superior to all others, some bisexuals, pansexuals, and other sexually “fluid” people have gotten in on the game. All over the internet, you can find:

“I’m bisexual/pansexual/fluid/whatever. I fall in love with the person, not their genitals.”

NEWSFLASH: No one falls in love with what’s between people’s legs, or any other body part for that matter. Body parts don’t even really fit in with the way “love” is used in the English language, so the concept makes no sense. In trying to perpetuate this ridiculously false distinction between themselves and people who aren’t open to having relationships with anyone and everyone, with the glaringly obvious implication that there is something undesireable about being discriminating with regard to the bodies one wants to date/have sex with, it is clear to see that these people think that being bisexual/pansexual/whatever-other-multisexual-terms-there-are is somehow ideal, more natural, or superior to heterosexuality and homosexuality.

Another grab for dominance in the sexuality arena comes from those who “believe,” or, in some cases, insist, that “sexuality is fluid.” For some reason, they feel the need to take the fact that the type of person/people they want to fuck changes every other week and extrapolate it to the rest of the human population.

Google hits for “my sexuality is fluid”: 26
Google hits for “sexuality is fluid”: 6,610,000

Some people’s sexuality might be subject to change. That doesn’t mean that this is true for everyone.

Some part of the unilateral insistence that sexuality in general is fluid is the acceptance of the Kinsey Scale and its implications (and, perhaps to a lesser extent, other sexuality models such as the Klein Grid) as The Gospel Truth. Of course, Kinsey’s actual research and methodology aren’t referenced nearly as often as the scale. This helps to obscure the fact that his definition of sexuality is markedly different from that used in everyday language, which would force people to recognize that his sexuality model is at best misleading and, at worst, completely inappropriate, as a basis for the conceptualization of “sexuality” as “fluid,” at least, without further qualification of the meaning of “sexuality.”

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The Bastardization of Identity

November 24, 2009 at 3:20 AM (Uncategorized) ()

To “identify” has taken on a special meaning in the GLBTLOLWTFBBQ and feminist communities. Let me illustrate with a short dramatization:

Person Who Is Obviously Not X: “I am X.”
Sane Person: “No you aren’t.”
Person Who Is Obviously Not X: “How dare you?!? I identify as X! Who are you to question my identity!”

“Identifying” has become a means for people to lay claim to/appropriate groups they are not a part of, with the added bonus that anyone who dares to question the “identity” is villified as closed-minded/transphobic/hateful/etc. We are expected to buy into the nonsense that claiming, wishing for, seeing oneself as, wanting to be seen/treated as, thinking that one should have been, etc., is the same/on a level with actual being, or that there is no “being,” and the category being appropriated is something that anyone can choose or not choose.

Two examples of this behavior are bisexual women who “identify” as lesbians, and “mtfs”/”trans women” (in quotations because it is, of course, impossible for a male to “transition” into femalehood or womanhood) who “identify” as women.

Some women are not yet aware of their true sexuality and some just flat out lie, but I can scarcely imagine why any woman who openly admits to bisexual behavior or desires would “identify” as a lesbian, so I googled it, and, not surprisingly, came up with nonsense. In many cases, part of the philosophy behind “identifying,” whether conscious or not, is that words can mean whatever the hell we want them to, and that is clearly illustrated here:

“If you define a lesbian as a woman who emotionally, sexually, and spiritually centers her life around women, then I am a lesbian.”

Sorry, but a lack of sexual/romantic interest in/relationships with men is part of it, too. Hell, by this definition, any straight woman who has mostly women in her life is a “lesbian.”

This example is just sad:

“I remember talking one time with a bisexual friend about how I wished I could identify as a lesbian because that word sounded so powerful. Lesbian women sounded so sure of who they were. I wished I was that sure.”

Who wrote this FAQ?:

“Others, for political and social reasons, may wish to identify with the lesbian & gay communities. ”

Ok…pretending you’re something you’re not and appropriating lesbianism…exactly whose politics does this further?

Assuming this is a real question, the personal confusion here is pathetic:

“So basically I am only attracted to women and have only ever been with women but for the past year have been dating a guy. I still feel as though I’m lesbian though and I really think it’s only this particular guy.”

She’s only attracted to women, yet she’s dating a guy. Is she not attracted to the guy she’s dating?

I won’t even get into posting examples of the “mtf” and “trans woman” appropriation of womanhood (not to mention lesbianism, intersexuality, motherhood, and more!) because you can find that it has exploded in “queer,” GLBWHATEVER, and even feminist blogs/communities all over the internet like a sewer pipe stuffed with dynamite.

The sad part is when people who really are what they claim to be bend their knees to the specious “identites” of others by “identifying” themselves. Anyone who is really a woman, or lesbian, or whatever else, and “identifies” as such is only supporting the appropriation of her identity (true identity, not the bullshit “you-are-whatever-you-say-you-are” identity) by fakes, wannabes, and privileged/ignorant morons who have spent too much time swallowing postmodern, linguistic nihilism to recognize the importance (or even the possibility) of accuracy, truth, and the political necessity of certain group identifications.

I do not “identify” as a woman. I am one.
I do not “identify” as a lesbian. I am one.

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What Is A Butch? Part 4: Butches Aren’t “Doms”

November 17, 2009 at 8:27 PM (Uncategorized) ()

This is another topic to file under “Avoiding Patriarchal Language.” Language constructs reality, and imprecise, incorrect, and negative language helps to construct nightmares.

No healthy, consensual relationship involves domination. Domination/submission is the language for master/slave (and other abusive) relationships; it is not, in general, proper language for the characterization of relationships that butches and their partners are in.

It seems to me that what people often mean when they characterize butches as “dominant” is closer to something like “taking the lead” or “initiating.” It is obvious that these relatively neutral ways of behaving have nothing to do with the harmful behavior of dominating.

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What Is A Butch? Part 3: Not Trans-Anything

November 9, 2009 at 6:21 AM (Uncategorized) ()

A blunt summary of the concluding point of the previous post is that gender does not exist except as a tool of oppression and a cultural fiction.

Proper conceptualizations of any given phenomenon must eschew patriarchal language. To my absolute horror, I have read people try to paint butchness as a “gender identity,” usually some type of transgender. Aside from the fact that (in the U.S., at least) butchness does not have the cultural stamp of approval that is the fundamental component of any gender, and is thus not a gender at all, the term “transgender” is problematic from a feminist perspective because it defines people in terms of the patriarchy’s (fictional, harmful) categories. It reifies gender with the claim that those so labeled transcend/cross/etc. it(depending on the sense of “trans-” implied). While it is sometimes useful to describe using patriarchal terms in order to underscore opposition to the default or expected patriarchal order, there can be nothing healthy about a personal identity or a definition expressed or conceptualized in patriarchal terms. Besides, the patriarchally-brainwashed point out that butches aren’t like “regular women” every chance they get – they don’t need the help.

Perhaps more horrifying is the use of “butch/ftm,” as if there is some sort of connection between the two. This sometimes rests on the idea that both butches and ftms exist on the same “spectrum.” Spectrum of what, though? Some say masculinity, but, masculinity being nothing more than a patriarchal wet dream, no such spectrum exists.

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Give The Patriarchy Back Its Toys; They’re Dirty

November 7, 2009 at 11:02 AM (Uncategorized)

This is a topic that leaves me sputtering and slapping my forehead so, I scarcely know where to begin to express myself coherently.

Let me begin with a perspective. I actually think of this as “the truth,” but I refer to it as a perspective to put the reader into my shoes.

I’ve already discussed masculinity and femininity. They are fictions. They are tools of oppression, perpetrated through the generations by various means: shaming, ostracization, violence, etc. They are examples of what are called “gender roles,” social roles, stereotypes and expectations arbitrarily assigned to people based on genitalia and secondary sex characteristics. Clearly, they are bad things.

Holding onto that state of mind, imagine my shock, confusion, and irritation as I behold the following sequence of events:

The “roles” in “gender roles” is mostly omitted. People now speak of “gender,” or, sometimes “gender identity.” People talk about “choosing” and “finding” their gender identity. They talk about “gender” as if it’s a personal characteristic. They speak of it as if it were something positive. They don’t want to disrupt or destroy the system of gender; they want to play with it, respect it, champion it as a form of diversity, and so forth and so on.

Did I miss something? When did gender become something positive? When did something that is more or less forced on us become a legitimate part of one’s identity? How does one choose something that is by definition chosen for us?

Thinking the meaning of “gender” changed when my back was turned, I did a little research on this topic. I checked dozens of dictionaries, paper and online. I checked all sorts of websites: websites for “gender” clinics, psychiatry websites, “queer” forums, personal websites that described someone’s “personal gender.” Most of them were too vague to be of help, using the terms without explanation, either explicit or implicit. Maddeningly, several wasted my time with what we call a “recursive definition” in computer science, using the word being defined in the definition. Some defined “gender identity” in terms of “gender,” although the two seemed to be used interchangeably in many other places.

Most recently, I have come across several books and blogs written by and/or about transsexuals and/or the transgendered, and, occasionally, extrapolated to everyone, and they seem to confirm that “gender” has not changed so much after all; they write of it as a kind of social role. What is utterly bizarre, however, is that they and many others seem to think that one or more “genders” is a part of who they and others are, and/or are freely chosen. That they conceive of “gender” as something positive, or at least neutral, is unambiguous. The message coming out loud and clear is that (most of them) want no part of being forced into patriarchal gender, but there is some other “gender” system, it has more than two components, hell, practically infinitely many components, and everybody can have whatever “gender” they want to have, and if only everyone would follow this system, it could help to put an end to genders being forced on people.

My short response to this is, what the hell? The longer response is hey, you know that saying about the master’s tools? Just as some people think they can somehow drag two specific genders, masculinity and femininity, out of the patriarchal sandbox and play nice with them as they choose, others (and there is certainly overlap) think they can take the the whole dull hack saw of gender itself out of the butcher’s shop and neatly organize their lives with it without severing any veins.

Now, I know that the dumb and dull masses (here I cannot truly speak for populations outside of the U.S.) are content to spend their lives grazing on patriarchal fictions, sheep happily fenced in by more or less rigid gender roles. Perhaps foolishly, though, I thought that the various sorts of “queer” people would have more of a feminist consciousness than to be duped into the same old lie: that Gender Is Good, Gender Is Natural. At least some of them know that “genders” are culturally and historically contingent, as I often see mention of “two-spirits” and this culture’s x and that civilization’s y, yet they continue to speak of some sort of personal gender, as if it were something that exists outside of society. Even some of those who eschew claiming a gender seem to think it’s like choosing not to wear a belt or get a tattoo, as opposed to a significant act of bravery of political ramifications, that, nevertheless, is not completely within their power to live out, to the extent that most (if not all) societies will continue to gender them whether they accept it or not.

Gender is a cultural phenomenon; there are no individual genders. It is a system created on a foundation of sexual difference, so it makes no sense to say that “anyone can be x gender;” if anyone can be x, then x is not sex-specific, and thus isn’t a gender! If we’re talking about personal characteristics that are not sex-specific…wouldn’t the proper term for that be “personality”?

Gender is not something to play with. It’s something to be destroyed.

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