We are not “Queer”

I have come to detest the word queer and the way in which it blankets an incredibly diverse community with extremely different and usually oppositional view points. I think that the experience of homophobia is different for those of us who are homosexual, as opposed to those who are straight/bi etc. Don’t get me wrong, anyone perceived to be homosexual or in a same-sex relationship can experience homophobic discrimination, but for us it is an attack on our very being as opposed to our choice of partner. We don’t have a choice or a way out. Well, some of us choose to transition as a way out, but that’s hardly a solution and can be both physically and psychologically destructive. The war on the lesbian psyche is very real and it’s coming from within the “queer” community. To many lesbians, particularly those over 30, “queer” merely means straight craving a sense of individuality and a new cool label under the queer umbrella. That is what we see and why most of us give the “queer community” a giant “fuck you” and go out own way. There is a really deep divide to the point that lesbians like myself get more respect from hets than our own supposed community. At least they acknowledge our existence and don’t try to co-opt our very name and lecture us about how our very existence is transphobic.

Lesbians need to turn our backs on a community that has done us more harm than good.

Misogynistic, Lesbo-Hating Nonsense.

You know when you read something and you get so cranky you can’t contain the rage? That only happens when I read someone on the left who I either admire or previously admired, say or write something so ridiculous and misogynistic that it takes my breath away. Then I realise that a year ago I may have written or said something very similar. The anger then recedes and I just feel sad…. nope, still angry.

I’m still angry because it is so-called feminists in the media who write this shit – shit that came straight out of the academy and it’s love affair with “queer theory” – that had my thinking so screwed up. So I’m angry at the academy, I’m angry at pomo theorists, I’m angry at lazy feminism, I’m angry at wrong feminism, I’m angry at misogynistic lesbo-hating nonsense, and I’m angry at myself for taking so long to realise just how disgusting it all is.

Ironically, it took me one cultural studies subject, which I aced, to realise the problem, and the problem is not my mansplaining lecturer, but the women that influenced him, the women who wrote books denigrating their own sex. The so-called “lesbians” who embrace “queer” and write theories that are bastardised of foucault, the so-called “father of queer theory” who is really nothing of the sort.

Is it so wrong to see womanhood, femaleness, as being innately different to maleness? Is it so wrong to see lesbians as being innately different to straight women? To understand that neither womanhood nor lesbianism is a “chosen identity”, but that they are defining characteristics that make a lesbian woman who she is? I am not the sum of a social construct. Gendered roles exist as a socially constructed hierarchy, but that is not who we are. We are women because we were born female with xx chromosomes, we are lesbians because we are women who are homosexual. This is who we are, not a “performance of a construct”, but real living, breathing, sexual, loving, humans beings. We are not a sum of what society says we are, we do not deliberately “conform” or not to straight, gendered and sexual stereotypes. We be who we are, and that is lesbians with unique personalities fighting against a world that tells us that we must define ourselves by their rules, by their categorisations, and not by our own.

 

 

Millenia of oppression

One thing I have learned recently is that I am still very much a women’s historian at heart, and no amount of studying cultural theory will change the way in which I come at a problem/question/idea with the full force of historical analysis and the full awareness of Millenia of oppression. Once history is in your head, it is inescapable knowledge that will both haunt and enlighten. So – fuck identity politics, fuck gender-roles, fuck patriarchy, and fuck an academy ruled by political correctness rather than sense.

A Non-Individualist Approach To Feminist Activism.

We are fighting against a belief – gender identity – which is part of a larger ideology – neoliberalism/individualism.

It is important that we focus on the social, on critiquing the ideological belief rather than individual believers. Good thinking is looking at systems of oppression. It is that kind of thinking that has allowed us to understand that “gender identity” is a belief rather than a reality. That gender is a system of oppression rather than an internal essence.

When it comes to activism, we need to critique the belief, not the believer.  Critique the system, critique the ideology it produces. Focus on the base as well as the superstructure. Telling individuals that their actions/beliefs are misogynistic isn’t helpful.

This is something I have to learn as well, I focus too much on telling individuals they are wrong. I intent to try harder to focus on the belief, not the believer.

Greer on Xanthippe

“No historian has ever shown the slightest interest in what became of Xanthippe and her three small children after Socrates’ suicide. Such mundane matters are beneath the consideration of great men and their biographers. To protest that Socrates’ chosen martyrdom brought catastrophe on the four innocent people who depended on him would be merely womanish.”

Excerpt From: Greer, Germaine. “Shakespeare’s Wife.” McClelland & Stewart, 2008. iBooks.
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Am I A Woman? Fuck Yes!

If we take all reference to biology out of what it means to “be a woman” – we are left with only being able to express ourselves in terms of gendered stereotypes. These are obviously inaccurate. Therefore, to take biology out of the meaning of womanhood, is to reduce “woman” to either a sexist stereotype, or to render it meaningless altogether.

Individualism and Gender “Identity”

I’m working through some ideas here that really go against the grain of current beliefs (I use this word deliberately) about gender and sexual “identity”.

I think it would be worse now than it was in the nineties growing up as female and particularly as a lesbian. I think that Neoliberalism, with it’s bastardisation of feminism and the promotion of identity politics, has made it worse.

There has been a cultural shift towards the primacy of the individual and rather than recognising and fighting against gender as being oppressive, we have just added more categories of self expression and called it “doing/queering gender.” Look, we are all special little snowflakes with our own personalities and ways of expressing ourselves in the world. That isn’t gender. Gender is hierarchical, gender is oppressive, gender is about hegemony, it is about class, it is not about clothes or how we feel. Let’s critique the very notion of gender itself and advocate for liberation, not for more bloody boxes.

Let’s critique the idea that there is such a thing as an innate gender identity. We all live in a society dived into 2 genders, 2 classes of humans divided by biological categories. Creating more “genders” doesn’t fix that problem. Class oppression exists despite how a person “identifies”. As individuals, we should have the right to express ourselves however we choose. However, this does not change the fact that gender itself is an ideology, a class structure that oppresses women, and that the personal identity of the individual will not challenge this system. In fact, the more categories we create, the more we entrench the ideology that gendered stereotypes are essential and real. Expanding the categories we have, changing the meaning of terms like ‘man’ and ‘woman, undermines women’s ability to recognise and define sexism and misogyny because they becomes meaningless terms based on categories now defined by individual subjectivity.

Feminism becomes meaningless, women’s liberation becomes meaningless, because if language goes down this path then there is, objectively, no longer such a thing as a woman.  The same thing happens when the term lesbian become something other than a description of a females who sexually desire other females, to the exclusion of men. If we are to recognise that there is structural oppression, then the terms which define these categorisations of oppression must not be fluid.

I do not IDENTIFY as a woman, I do not IDENTIFY as a lesbian.
I am a woman because I was born female. To be a woman is to be a female. To experience this gendered society/culture/system as a female subject to patriarchal oppression.
I am a lesbian because I am a female who is sexually attracted to females only.
Gender and sexuality should not be compared or conflated.
My point is that these are not categories that should be defined by individual subjectivity because to do so would not only make the terms objectively meaningless, but would also have the effect of rendering us politically silenced.