A Point About Genderqueer Politics
When I first started playing and writing lyrics it was because I had all this idea of getting out from my chest the oppression of patriarchy. Of course I loved music, it was not only gloom. But I thought that all the pain could be transformed into something ‘useful’. Events that I had been passed through affected my life in a way that to scream and say were a way of surviving.
I wanted to fight sexism and misogyny and I thought that in the punk scene I would find a place of support and identification.
Some feminists who are not punks say that I should leave it. But I don’t want to leave it. At least not yet. I just don’t want to stop doing something that means to me, that it’s part of my life (playing and writing) just because people involved also reproduce sexism. In every place, every job, every school, every community, every kind of entertainment, you will always find sexism and misogyny. We can’t just stop living, and leaving spaces in order to make room for others, to make them feel comfortable without our presence, without our fight.
I have been passed through many situations in and out of the punk scene that makes me keep struggling. But I don’t want to talk about that now.
I just want to point that to fight sexism and misogyny in the punk scene is restless, just like it is in our daily basis. I have always been in the brink of war. In the war. For all the reasons – discrimination, jokes, abuse, fear, threat. For some time now something “new” happened. Not to ease our fight, not to be by our side. But to add more effort to our fight. It is the genderqueer views of feminism.
One of these days, a gender fluid man told me that he doesn’t believe in “biological stuff”. I asked what do you mean by that? He said, I for myself like to wear women’s clothes. That could be fine for me (could be) because first I “don’t believe” in “women’s clothes”, isn’t that a convention? I asked why was that, and what it has to do with “biological stuff”? He answered that sentence I was sensing it was coming up: “because I feel like a woman” but he added “sometimes”. Than I just made a simple question: yeah, and how does it feel to “feel like” a woman, please tell me because I actually wasn’t born with that feeling, you know, I was forced to be a woman”. It’s pretty senseless and a very shallow view to say that “you don’t believe in “biological stuff” and say that there is such a thing as “feeling like a woman”. This is as inconsistent as it can get. Like you are saying that there is a feminine brain? Isn’t that biological? Make your decision please to believe or not in “biological stuff”. Are you saying you don’t like gender roles but believe you are in the “feminine side” because you like lipsticks and skirts? Do you actually believe that being a woman means a certain costume to wear? Or even to be feminine? Don’t you really know that we are groomed to be feminine, there is nothing natural on that. And “natural” isn’t biological?
What I see is men thinking they are subverting a convention when in fact they are stressing the gender stereotypes when they say “I like skirts that must make me a woman”. Or all the other stuff we have been listening like “I always liked dolls”, “I was always very sensitive” and so on.
I know that convention exists and the need of people to be part of conventions. I know people have dysphoria. But that is another thing. Even so, we should question why people feel so bad in their bodies, and try to find the roots of their deep discomfort. And it’s not them who should be questioned, but society.
But I also can tell that in the punk scene, and also in the anarchist scene, when you ask directly to these men, are you a woman? They never answer yes. The majority of them say, I’m nonbinary. It’s like they themselves don’t even believe in what they are saying. It’s also a very good strategy to have a possibility to change your mind when it’s convenient. When the time of convenience comes.
And than he and another friend started asking me a lot of questions in a very male socialized way of asking. Very aggressive, very putting me against the wall. I felt more than pressured. I felt what men eventually make us feel: I felt hurt.
They were two men, none of them were reclaiming they were women just for the record. So they were telling me now how I should think and feel. How my feminism “is wrong” and how it “should be”, that I should “respect” people’s choices when they want to be treated like a woman (one of them told me that). First. “people” here means “men” right? Second. You really want to be treated like a woman? Do you want to see your brother have more respect even if you are the elder one since forever? So the hierarchy of age here it was suddenly forgotten. Do you want to be seen as object for your classmates and feel very uncomfortable when they touch you? When your best friend’s father touches you and you are not able to understand what have happened but you sense you have to be in silence, because although you know nothing about it you know for some reason it will be considered your fault? Do you want to go to the gynecologist when you are a teenager and the male doctor abuses you, because “why are you in his office in the first place?” Do you want to keep being abused for male doctors along your life? Do you want to be abused for many men because it’s ok to have sex, and it’s subversive, and they just keep hurting your feelings? Do you want to see your self esteem drowning because you were supposed to be thin, or to have the right curves? Do you want to be forced to get pregnant? I’ll ask again: Do you want to be forced to get pregnant? And forced to get pregnant again? Do you want to have no idea if you want to get pregnant or if it is just pressure of someone else’s expectations or because it’s just another form he can control you even more? Do you want to raise your children alone? Do you want to have no rights and support when deciding to make an abortion? Do you want to walk always in fear???? Do you really want to walk always in fear???
Do you want to be the one chosen to be raped because you are a woman in a group? Do you really want to be the favorite target of rape? And tortured? And killed? Do you want to get less money for the same job you do now? Do you want to have prostitution and pornography as the only “opportunity” for you? Would you rather being not here having this conversation because you couldn’t even be treated further like a woman as they killed you when your were born? Do you want to have been a victim of FMG? What does it mean for you to be treated like a woman? That somebody opens the f***ing door to relieve their consciousness? Or when someone acts nicely because he wants a “favor” in exchange?
And than they told me. You should explain yourself because you seem to be transphobic.
Should I really?
Shouldn’t you try listening to me? Shouldn’t you step back? Shouldn’t you stop telling us how we have to fight against the oppression that is inflicted to us and affects our entire lives in every level? Shouldn’t you better check your position? Shouldn’t you be telling other men what they should or shouldn’t do in order to stop women exploitation as you say you care?
I think you should.