"If the fact that I am a male is not enough to “be masculine" then, obviously to “be masculine” is performance… and for me it has always been a high-pressure performance, that has always been terribly acted. One of my first performances was after being confronted by other boys at school. As I clutch my home-made Spice Girls Trapper Keeper to my chest, these boys tell me to “man up” cause “your acting like fag or something” and I… not even fully aware of what “fag” means, tense up and take from these guys their mumbling, yet aggressive, yet inarticulate cues as to how to behave in order to avoid continued questioning and embarrassment – I take those cues and perform, the only way I know how… I look down, purse my lips, lean back and say, “Psssh, Dude, Whaaat? Dude…Fag? What?”
Whenever I actively try to “be masculine” it feels like that type of pressure again… and confusion, always wondering why; even though I have a dick, being male alone is not enough to “be masculine”.
I haven’t worked very much on my performance skills, these days I go back to what I did as a kid. I dumb myself down to bro myself up. But in doing this, I realize that 90% of the examples of responsibility, leadership, power, loyalty, safety, sacrifice and achievement in my life have been displayed by women. Many of the examples of masculinity I’ve seen in my life have been of reticence, destruction and arbitrary aggression. This is not to say that men are all destructive, they’re not, I love men, they’re great, but I place no premium on this sense of masculinity- I can be powerful without having to “be masculine.” A strong brow and a nude lip are enough for me to pay homage to those- teachers, my mom, Hillary Clinton, etc- who’ve proven with their lives that being masculine is literally just for show.”
In my experience working with a multitude of anti-racist organizing projects over the years, I frequently found myself participating in various workshops in which participants were asked to reflect on their gender/race/sexuality/class/etc. privilege. These workshops had a bit of a self-help orientation to them: “I am so and so, and I have x privilege.” It was never quite clear what the point of these confessions were. It was not as if other participants did not know the confessor in question had her/his proclaimed privilege. It did not appear that these individual confessions actually led to any political projects to dismantle the structures of domination that enabled their privilege. Rather, the confessions became the political project themselves. The benefits of these confessions seemed to be ephemeral.
w/r/t the buzzfeed bullshit that’s going around. although that’s in many ways even worse, because it’s telling so many people that they are “Not Privileged” with no nuance or intersectionality. privilege is not a badge that you put on to deflect yourself from criticism; neither is “not privileged, certified by buzzfeed.”(via disabilityhistory)
How then can one expect the state to solve the problem of violence against women, when it constantly recapitulates its own history of colonialism, racism, and war? How can we ask the state to intervene when, in fact, its armed forces have always practiced rape and battery against “enemy” women? In fact, sexual and intimate violence against women has been a central military tactic of war and domination.
Yet the approach of the neoliberal state is to incorporate women into these agencies of violence—to integrate the armed forces and the police.
Marsha P. Johnson, transgender gay rights activist (1944 – 1992)
Little known (or recognized) in the Stonewall Rebellion that launched gay liberation, was the role of Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. These two transgender activists were on the leading edge of the rebellion, battling the police, and coining the term “Whose Streets, Our Streets!”
Marsha co-founded STAR (Street Transvestite/Transgender Action Revolutionaries) with Sylvia Rivera, to help aid, feed and shelter queer/trans people without homes and those who’d runaway.
Marsha was found floating in the Hudson River shortly after the 1992 Pride March; the police declined to investigate and ruled her death suicide. Marsha P. Johnson remains a legendary figure in the fight for queer liberation as part of the struggle for racial and economic justice.
- Intergenerational Relationships/Interactions: I’ve observed and experienced a lot of older queer folks attempting to fuck a younger member of the community under the guise of mentorship. It’s fucking abusive and disgusting, and I think we need to work, as a community, to hold…