I am a male, I am also queer, and throughout my life I have maintained a steady albeit contentious allegiance with the philosophy of feminism. Now before we all pull out our fedoras and start a manly chant let me also say that my perspective on the ideology is shaped by my political beliefs as well as my understanding of gender theory, which I will admit, is not incredibly extensive, but I feel as though it is enough to throw in my two cents on the issue.
There is a horrible divide these days within the media wherein pundits enjoy the splendor of being able to toss around political buzzwords without being at all educated about the meaning behind them. A tragic example being the word “socialism”, as shown when a heavily opinionated fox news telecaster scorchingly slanders a progressive scapegoat by verbally assaulting him with the umbrella term “socialist”, thereby heaping upon the individual all the tenets of every failed regime operating under a red flag from the 1920′s onward. Most people who throw around the word these days are entirely unaware of the incredibly broad spectrum of political systems the term has come to represent, coming from as far left as the anarchist libertarian socialist to the far right extremist national socialist parties. In American media the term has simply come to represent Stalinist/Maoist Communism, which is a philosophy so far removed from the general theory espoused by most who identify themselves as leftists as can be. I bring this up because as it is, a similar disservice has been done to political feminism.
The struggle for womens equality in the work place is as much about classism as any other union issue I can identify. One need not go further than AMC’s hit show “Madmen” to witness a hyperbolic (yet stunningly sober) exemplification of the masculinity inherent in American society.
But patriarchy doesn’t only harm women, there are victims on all sides of the issue. Those who identify as being within the LGBTQ spectrum are often set aside by societies stereotypical typecasting, and even men who consider themselves straight yet who appear effeminate become castigated, spoken ill of, or often times befall far worse fates. Yet somehow, transgendered people, who should seem to be those most embraced by feminism, become alienated by a political collective that only recognizes gender as that which is genetically given at birth, entirely casting aside those who are born intersex.
We share this planet with species of animals that have the capability to alter their sex at will, yet we who are “so far advanced” cannot seem to grasp the idea that sexuality is a fluid continuum, not a static variable. This is a principle I have held close to my heart for many years and will continue to defend until the day I die. I feel as though the majority of people probably at some point in their lives experience some sort of same sex attraction, and that the shame they feel from this feeds into their fears of being socially isolated and deemed somehow “other” or not “normal”. But what society en mass needs to come to realize is that homosexual, or otherwise queer behavior is entirely antithetical to the definition of the word, being that such behavior can be observed amongst many other of earths animals.
The problem lies typically with those who believe that wo/man is not an animal, or that s/he is somehow derived from divine origin, rather than from the same root as the rest of the earth. The archetypal argument between creationism and evolutionary theory commonly defines what side of the coin one falls by. Unfortunately, though, even many who end up siding with the latter become pushed to the side by the mainstream argument because of a general misunderstanding of the relationship of gender to the human genome. Humanity cannot be divided between ones and zero’s, phalli or vagina. Those who seek to do so misunderstand the spectrum that exists hidden behind the veil of societies assumptions about how one should sexually conduct ones self.
I bring all of this up because I have recently been engaged in a conversation with a person who identifies as transgendered who believes that the newly developing weltanshauung of queer-feminism does something of a disservice to transgendered folk. I am somewhat divided as to where I should stand on the issue, and I look forward to any feedback provided.