genderqueer

When it's not just your gender that doesn't match

There is so much more than just gender in the body we see in the mirror.  For many of us the effects of age, ill-health, poor diet, misfortune or genetics leave us with a body that looks n

TalesofthePack's picture

We Are All Gender Variant

This post originally appeared on www.TalesofthePack.com

Jaded's picture

Cartographies Of Struggle

 

As the eldest daughter of a Hindu family, I am expected to occupy a number of spaces that intertwine, merge and blur with the larger idea or identity that I like to believe is me, somewhere inside, that will still remain once the layers of cultural expectations, communally re-enforced values are taken away, not to mention that little role-play where I imagine for a while what would happen had colonisation not been a part of my collective history or memory. Very little of what I believe in — politically or otherwise — is designed to fit into this public persona of the Dutiful Indian Daughter™, we’re expected to be infinitely nice, obedient, subservient and perhaps more importantly, as voiceless as possible; all of this erasing and silencing goes down in the name of religion, tradition and customs. There is a clear demarcation between what is publicly acceptable and what isn’t, the moment that line is crossed, we become people like ‘that’; and everything we do reflects this invisible wall. More often than not, whatever is the ‘negative’ is seen as ‘Western’ and by extension it is bad — this list includes being independent, setting personal and bodily boundaries, speaking too much in English, wearing ‘revealing’ outfits, swearing, smoking, drinking alcohol, making ‘funny’ faces while eating ice-creams¹, sitting with one’s legs uncrossed among many other things. Most of these rules exist for bodies that identify or are read as ‘feminine’ — who cares as how people really identify themselves as long as society can can extend the chromatic heteronormativity to any body it wishes? — bodies that identify or are seen as ‘masculine’ get away with relatively more transgressions; in fact the closer they look ‘masculine’ the easier to overstep and discard boundaries. Meanwhile, ‘real’ identities swirl inside, lay hidden for the most part. God forbid you’re Queer in such a mix, then it’s just Dr. Dilbag’s guarantee to cure teh Queer out of your crotch! But I digress.

Contrary to popular opinion that ‘colonisation is over‘, we still walk move see swirl stand sleep in the DoucheColonial Daze, still go by Victorian standards², still see the image of the Woman In The Wet Sari as iconic to Bollywood cinema — an image that typically leaves the woman at the mercy of the ‘evil rain’ to not have her sari cling to her so much as to ‘make’ Randomly Lurking Dude rape or assault her, she becomes a part of Nature’s fantasy, the dude’s desire-object-animal as well as a spectacle for the viewer watching the film, washing guilt of assault completely away as it’s a part of a ‘performance’. Having dusty bodies open to assault without any kind of responsibility sounds vaguely familiar to colonisation, no? — as well as use the same excuse of ‘she shouldn’t have worn such revealing clothes, if she did then she can’t complain’ in law courts for cases of sexual assault and rape to citing that jeans on school campuses are ‘vulgar‘, we are very far away from shedding the Collectively Colonised Skin. Whether we acknowledge it or not, most of our fundamental ideas of ‘acceptable’ behaviour, sexual or otherwise, reflects Colonial ideals; there are so many who believe ‘reproduction that doesn’t produce children that we can make into Ideal Indian Citizens is of no use’. At this point my LadyBrain wonders if Blake and his supposedly ‘libertarian’ views – libertarian at the cost of his wife, as always — crafted our ‘modern’ sexual sensibility, or are we that controlled by the State. In any case, this web of colonial meanings, forms and words is the one through which we craft and project ourselves, and wrenching ourselves from such draconian standards is no easy feat³.

arvan's picture

“Femme Means Attack” Call for Submissions

[From Anarchafemme]

“Femme Means Attack” call for submissions:

“Femme Means Attack” is a collaborative zine of submissions by people who identify as femme and as radical, anarchist, and/or anti-authoritarian.  Femmes are often seen as non-radical or counterrevolutionary in many radical communities, despite the fact that we can take to the streets just as well as anyone else, in heels or steel-toed boots, and are FIERCE while doing it.  As radical femmes, we often find ourselves alienated from mainstream femme discourse that focuses on standards of femme/femininity which are white, homonormative, aspire to be bourgeoisie, and rely on conspicious consumption.  Thus, we radical femmes often find ourselves alienated from both our radical communities and femme communities.

“Femme Means Attack” aims to change that by giving us, radical femmes, a voice.  We welcome submissions from femmes of all genders, trans and cis, binary gendered and genderqueer, of all races, socioeconomic backgrounds, both urban and rural, of all dis/ability statuses, etc.  While submissions should touch on both femme identity and radical politics/communities, we leave it up to each contributor to determine what that looks like.  We welcome all types of submissions – essays, personal accounts, poetry, artwork, etc.

cleofaye's picture

Coming out: My story

Cross posted from www.sexetcetc.blogspot.com

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