Posts Tagged ‘gender binary’

Alternative Rock Isn’t Really Alternative – Show Review

December 14, 2009

I went and saw a concert called “WreX the Halls 2009” with a handful of bands, notable: 30 Seconds to Mars, Rise Against, and AFI.  I was disappointed with 30 Seconds to Mars because they played a song called “Kings and Queens” and they claimed it was “about you” which it clearly wasn’t as it was enforcing a gender binary.  The show was filled with heteronormalivity and the crowd was eating it up.  It probably all went unnoticed by the people in the audience who claimed to be alternative.  They’d go to a show about being against the establishment but work and live within the system with being the servant not the master.  How do they expect anything to change?

30 Seconds to Mars released a new album called, “This is War” and the title track talking about battle and believing in nothing but the truth of themselves.  I don’t think they can even begin to know “truths” being so caught up in illusions, gender roles, and maintaining social order.  It was like going to a show filled of Hot Topic punks.  It was corporate punk with corporate sponsorship trying to pass itself off at alternative.  You can’t fool me.

Rise Against is a good band and I appreciate their music but the show seemed almost as a joke.  At $39 dollars a ticket – it wasn’t a diverse audience with it being mostly white males in their 20’s and 30’s with their girlfriends.  It was white men playing for white men.  Rise Against is a bit political but I was surprise they had a song for the soldiers called “Hero of War” which is pretty violent and sounds almost patriotic of supporting war and not being given the support back home.  They sing of the hungry and the poor to the middle class which will never do anything to change things.  The show was full of a bunch of liberals who are useless.

I was wearing my sweatshirt with sheeps being abducted by a UFO and I had a pretty good response to it.  However, one girl came up to me and was like, “That sweatshirt is gay.”  I was like, “No, it’s not.”  She was like,”Yeah, it is.  I mean gay like absurd.”  I just kind of stared at her blankly and was like, “I got to go.” It was neither the time or place to explain to her that gay doesn’t mean absurd.  It either means homosexual or happy.  The sweatshirt was silly but wasn’t gay.  It might have been queer because I was wearing it but it was odd that the girl felt the need to stop me and use the wrong words to explain things.  I also had a moment of gender confusing the ticket lady, “Ma’am… Sir…” I was tempted to say “Call me ze” but it really wasn’t a genderqueer safe space in the middle of lots of straight males who are angry at the establishment but are mere sheeps and pawns.

So, the reason I went to the show to begin with was AFI.  They were amazing and put on a great show.  I know, I know, AFI isn’t punk rock anymore but I am still a fan. One of my favorite albums of all time is The Art of Drowning.  I go to hear their old music.  Their new music isn’t bad but not as good as their old music.  I rocked out the entire time.

I just wished the alternative scene was really alternative with radical politics instead of supporting a liberal agenda and pushing faith in the system.  The system was and is working for the angry people at the show who are just angry at their own banality.  They are boring.  Going to shows and having to drink to have fun.  It’s like dude, you are at a show, you should be able to have fun without alcohol.

I was surprised at how much the music was about being broken inside with no solution how to fix it or make it better.  Or how they didn’t want to make it better.  Like being broken is okay and feeling nothing or pain is the way life should be.  Experience, learning, is painful but life is joyous if you find the beauty in small and large.  There was just a lot of hollowed shells of people, like the living dead, it was almost overwhelming.

I know I’m not perfect – but I am working on healing myself from past hurts so that I can be as productive in the world and help society.  In order to heal the world, you first need to heal yourself.

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On Being Genderqueer and the Gender Binary

December 8, 2009

The interesting thing about explaining being outside of the gender binary is that you first have to explain what  gender binary is in order to understand what it means to be outside of it.  There is no quick and easy way to explain what it means to be genderqueer and even after several attempts at trying to explain it, people still don’t get it because they are stuck trying to put it in a box.

The gender binary is a form of hierarchy and oppression.  It divides the human race into two groups instead of uniting us as one.   Most people’s concept of self is centered around their identity and it influences the course their entire life.  It controls how most people will treat you down to which bathroom you can use.  I want no part in it.

For me, genderqueer is beyond male and female.  I don’t want people judging me based on genitals or my body.  My private parts do not define me as they do with so many of my fellow humans.  If we are to eventually have equality in the world, we need people to be treated as people not as genitals.

It is strange to me that I get treated with more respect and taken more seriously when I get mistaken for  a male verses a female.  I don’t like being called, “Honey,” “Sweetie,” or “Dear” because of the body I happen to exist in.  At the time it happens, I don’t even know where to begin because it’s socially acceptable.  Just because something is tradition doesn’t make it right.

It embarrasses me that our species didn’t have a women’s rights movement until War World II, that there was a division at all.  It wasn’t that long ago and it still isn’t over.  It won’t be over until we abolish gender all together.  As long as there is separation into groups, one group will oppress the other until people understand equality isn’t the same as sameness.

I imagine a world in which males wear skirts as often as females.  A world in which people can just be people.  No gender, no sexuality, no racial tension.  That we can be fluid and undefined.  Once you start worry about defining something, you lose it.  It’s like grasping sand, the tighter you grip it, the faster it slips through your fingers.   Be free.  As long as you know yourself, that’s all that’s important.  People like what they like and that should be it.

The problem with society is that most people don’t know themselves.  They know an illusion which they considered to be self – but all those layers are fake.  What’s real, is that we are all human and all need love.  If we learned to love and accept each other regardless of outside fluff, we can have utopia.

Being genderqueer to me gives me the freedom of having a label for those who need boxes but still be able to be outside the box.  It’s not fully definable and that’s okay because our language is flawed and can’t express all aspects of being human succinctly.

Gender Binary, Sexism, and Sexuality.

December 4, 2009

The gender binary is a form of oppression and hierarchy. Male and female stereotypes and roles put so much stress on our kind. Things like “Boys don’t cry” or if a girl sleeps around she’s a slut and if it was a man, he’s a stud. Girls are supposed to wear dresses and boys are supposed to wear pants. What madman came up with the idea of dividing humanity along the lines of what’s in one’s pants? What I want is equality which isn’t the same thing as sameness. Men and women will always be different but we can also be equal. I am in the middle of reading a book Sexism in America: Alive, Well, and Ruining Our Future and there is so much overlooked. Just even classic television shows like “Father Knows Best” encourages the model that he male knows best and the woman is inferior. Even recently with the scandalous performance of Adam Lambert with the double standard that it’s okay for some girl on girl action on prime time Television and not guy on guy. Girls can be bicurious but men have to be straight and narrow. We need this to stop this sort of thinking.

I was talking with a friend last night how the label “bisexual” enforces the idea that there are only two sexes. Then again, if the person is only attracted to cis-males and cis-females this works but that is often not the case. It doesn’t really cover all aspects of human sexuality. Then again, why do we need to worry about labels? You can like what you like and just be yourself.

However, in this imperfect world labels are helpful for sorting things and giving meaning. They have their use. I usually identify as “queer” since it is all encompassing. I am against gay and lesbian assimilation like the Steford Gays who want to be the cookie cutter American family with 2.5 kids. I know some people are afraid of the word “queer” due to it’s past and it isn’t PC. That’s the thing though, being gay doesn’t have to be PC – we aren’t going for heteronormalitivity. I am more worried about the issues of homeless youth LGBT (gays make up 10% of the population but 40% of the homeless) than having gay marriage. Gay marriage would be nice for those who want it but it’s mostly a concern of the white middle class. People aren’t worrying about gay marriage if they can’t get their medicine. Universal health care should be more of a queer issue than gay marriage because we wouldn’t need partners benefits if everyone had health care.

Again, equality isn’t the same as sameness. I am proud to be queer and different then 90% of the people. I used to joke with my friends that if 90% of the population was queer and only 10% straight – we wouldn’t have the overpopulation problem. But we do because those breeders want to keep on breeding when there are so many children in need of a good home already.

Essay: Genderqueer

December 2, 2009

Are you a boy or a girl?” A perplexed waitress at a Dunkin’ Donut in the heart of New York City asked of me when I entered the shop.  “I just wanted a muffin; I don’t think my gender matters.”  I said but she didn’t seem to understand, she was rather too interested on what was in my pants. “Are you a boy or a girl?”  I sighed.  I don’t identify as either being genderqueer but I don’t like having to explain myself all the time to everyone.  Mostly because people can only wrap their head around the gender binary and not think outside the box.  It got me thinking though, why do perfect strangers care too much about what’s in my pants?  It doesn’t matter to anyone unless they wanted to sleep with me.  But, for some reasons, this lady’s whole identity was formed around a world of boys and girls.  I bite the bullet since I really wanted my muffin, “I’m a girl.”  She let out a relieved sigh and then got my muffin.  Again, I was forced into the oppressive gender binary to comply with the needs of an oppressive society.  It isn’t just the males that oppress; it is also other women who’ve been conditioned to think as such.

In an ideal society, I would have been able to get my muffin without being hassled about what’s in my pants.  However, this is America – home of the free if you are rich and fix into neat boxes.  Most people can’t wrap their head around genderqueer – which is outside of the gender binary.  I am something else – not just another gender but I am beyond gender.  People can at least understand transsexual, but when it comes to genderqueer, people just don’t get it.  They want to box you in.  I am sometimes envious of my transsexual allies because they have a gender identity to claim – even if they are handicapped by being born into the wrong body.  I, however, have no place to go.  No identity.  I suck it up and usually go with lesbian because I am female bodied and like women but that doesn’t describe me.  I’m queer but queer is considered to be such a dirty word by polite society.

The LGlittleBinvisibleT community has no love for anyone who’s not a Stepford Gay.  If you don’t fit the mold of what a “safe” gay is – being gay but assimilating, the community turns their back on you.  It is a threat to society, the mainstream, the social constructed order, to be an individual and think for yourself.  We live in a society based on group think with team sports, entertainment and job rhetoric paving the way for the classless individual who functions as a cog in the well oiled machine of greed and anonymity.  I – for one, am not going to be part of any machine.  I’m not going to wear the clothes they tell me to wear, I’m not going to watch their programming (it’s called programming for a reason), and not going to take part in their world of a giant rat race.

I am going to fight the system with knowledge and education, compassion and understanding.   As Crass said, “You can’t change the system by bombing number ten, the people will go into hiding but they’ll be back again.”  The only way to change the system is to change the people.  The only way to change the people is with education.

Sometimes, it’s really hard, trying to change things.  I struggle with trying to get people to understand what “genderqueer” means.  Sometimes, it’s dangerous just being who you are.  Every third day, a transperson is murdered.  I’ve been assaulted before at a punk show which was supposed to be about peace and equality for being a “homosexual. “  I just want a world where I can go to punk shows without getting punched and get a muffin without being hassled about what’s in my pants.  I can’t do it alone.  Will you help me?