Queerfeminism

Pic: Amadhi (PD)

Pic: Amadhi (PD)

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.

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  • Gjallarbru

    This is really bizarre, all this thing humanity has about sexuality. To me, whatever floats your boat is fine, I don’t care what happens in your pant, in private times. I also see no difference between the sex, save that men tend to have greater physical strenght. Hell, I even dated a transgender woman, and ended the relationship because she hated herself. I can’t be with someone that believes she’s something “wrong”.

    In the end, I believe the only reason we still need discussions like this is because of sexually repressive religions. In the end, if we were all to admit that sex is a pleasant aspect of our exsitence, that would be a start. From there, we could also admit that we will not all prefer the same kind of pleasures, as not all like chocolate cake. From there, we just might make much less of fuss about things, and treat each other better, no matter the details of our sexual aspects.

    It is the same thing with racial tensions. If we stopped calling a men or women as black, white, yellow, red, and just called them men or woman, things would go better. Instead, we seem to insist on separating ourselves, addicted as we are to us vs. them. If we stopped caring about what others are, and just went with what we liked, for our own sake, the current debate about sexuality would dissipate.

    In other words, yes do correct inequalities, but the end goal is to make sexual differences lose importance, to the point of banality. When sexual differences are insignificant, we will all be able to enjoy ourselves freely according to our tastes.

    • American Cannibal

      I like your thinking. Please sign my petition at White House DOT gov to make orgies mandatory at all Church services beginning in 2015. Thanks

      • Gjallarbru

        Can I sign if I’m not American? I you want to have orgies, whom am I to refuse my support…

        That being said, I would rather eliminate dogmatism, where it is found, including most churches. I would create instead a church of free thought. Perhaps with a room specifically designed for orgies? Just for you!

        • American Cannibal

          One-man orgies are soo booorrinnggg…

          • Gjallarbru

            Well, that would be just you, AND your friends of course…

  • Jimbo Slice

    “The Sexual Politics of Meat” by carol Adams really expands on this idea… It’s a must read for anyone who believes in (real) feminism

  • n0b0d1

    They have a lot to do with each other…it’s been a long time since I read Simone de Beauvoir’s “The Second Sex”, but the points relating to gender “othering” apply both to women and to all “non-standard masculinity”.

    As long as heterosexual machismo is considered the standard and the norm, everyone else is in the same boat of trying to not only achieve fair and equal political treatment, but also to find a genuine self-definition apart from the othering paradigm.

    In other words, when hetero masculinity is considered the standard, everyone else is defined as opposite to the standard; if hetero masculinity is defined as “strong”, “courageous”, “smart”, “rational” etc, etc, than that must mean that *EVERYONE ELSE* is considered weak, sexually available/”slutty”/deserving of sexual domination, stupid, emotional, incapable, etc. (I’m sure you can think of more adjectives which would apply equally to “non-standard masculinity” and femininity from the “hetero machismo” perspective).

  • InfvoCuernos

    At first glance, I thought the title was “Queefeminism”, which would have been much funnier.

    • American Cannibal

      LOL!

    • Juan

      Oh, behave!

    • I_abide

      I feel better knowing I’m not the only one.

  • Juan

    You queers, get off my lawn.
    Shakes fist, turns and shuffles back inside. Slams door.

  • AlabamaAnomaly

    I’ve suffered social disgrace for years from a comprehensive education that included the biological sciences as well as our collective unconscious/mythological connections. Somewhere along the journey, I found the traditional bell-shaped curve to be helpful in thinking about polarized arguments, particularly gender identity and the nature-nurture noise that permeates any discussion.

    Picture, if you will, overlapping bell-shaped curves, one “male” and one “female”. In the concurrent area there are concentrations of the various androgenies … chromosomal, hormonal, spiritual, physiological, nutritional, etc., in which a much larger than socially recognized population lives. Because the media, marketing, miseducated, and fundamentalist aspects of society recognize only the most separated tails, it is extraordinarily difficult for those of us in the “center” to claim our place in humanity.

    Without feminism the struggle becomes an individual effort: exhausting and potentially life-threatening. With feminism, many of the barriers to discussion and inclusion have been identified and community becomes remarkably easier.

    • Empath TwentyThree

      Well put.

  • SNFU.UFNS

    I think this is especially concerning when websites who claim to be challenging normative ideas and focus on “guarding and nurturing new consciousness” i.e Reality Sandwich, post pretty problematic articles like this:
    TRIGGER WARNING!
    http://realitysandwich.com/216046/gender-reassignment-it-sure-aint-simple/

    Ideas about consciousness often fall dramatically short when it comes to real talk on gender identity and privilege. Any ideas how to help incorporate these ideas with more metaphysical ones on a larger scale? i know there are plenty of people doing this work, but it seems like we are on the fringe. I would sure like to see a synthesis of the two (not so dichotomous) realms. Thanks!

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