It is the kneejerk reaction of loving a person who immerses themselves in Queer Theory to hear the phrase ‘identity politics’ and shudder.
Showing posts tagged identity politics
RE-THINK EVERYTHING, INTERROGATE YOURSELF, KNOW YOUR ENEMY: Pt 1
I want to create political movements where we can be gentle with one another so that we can learn, grow and move together in new ways. Most of the time, we cling really hard to our identities, our politics, and our ways of understanding the world which prevents new connections from happening. On tumblr our defenses are high and when someone speaks out about our identities, behavior, politics, or the problems that they create, we immediately stage a search and destroy mission aimed to take them down and make ourselves seem cool and smart. This usually consists of a group of people getting angry and saying hurtful things about a certain person or issue leaving no room for growth or understanding, only divisiveness and alienation. We need to stop taking each other out and look at the bigger picture.
To me, there is a difference between anger and rage. Rage can be productive, it can fuel us to destroy and rethink our ways of understanding ourselves and the world. It can mobilize us to connect in new ways and look at how we are hurting others and ourselves. Anger strikes me as something very different than rage. Anger often emerges from a place of fear and can be used as a way to exercise power over other bodies and people. Generally the way we talk to each other about our differences on tumblr comes from a place of anger. I don’t think that anger isn’t valid or necessary sometimes, it is. More often than not though, people use angry or aggressive words as a way to prop themselves up as unimpeachable beacons of knowledge, or authority figures and are actually just perpetuating the same counter-norms and exercising power in the same ways as the systems we all claim we want to destroy.
We need to start thinking of power, and oppression in new ways. Probably one of the most important things anyone ever taught me, was that dominance functions by remaining invisible. I think that is really accurate and accessible way to get people thinking about how power functions in the world in more complicated ways. It’s not just about certain people having power over others, or government having power over the people - power is everywhere. Power is all around us and constantly multiplying all of the time. If we aren’t cultivating an awareness of the ways in which we are personally reproducing and perpetuating power in our interactions with others we are just going to continue to recreate the same fucked up dynamics over and over in our social movements.
Our political identities: fat, woman, queer etc. have been created for us by the systems of power that are fucking us over (and denying us rights) in the first place. Our identities are important in many ways but we need to realize they are seriously limiting and getting caught up in the intricacies of them may only serve to dig us in deeper. Until we find new ways that we can start to connect, I think the most important thing we can do is take care of each other so we can be dangerous together. Instead of coming at each other from a place of anger and fear, or an unexamined desire for power — perhaps we can come to one another from a place of love, gentleness, maybe even compassion? This will manifest differently for all of us, but lets take this into consideration and start talking about what this looks like.
- Erin Majestic Legay
Friends and family (same thing) for the sake of transparency I want you all to know I now ID as a “really romantic slut” and high priestess femme. If anyone wants to talk to me about this and start a dialogue, I’m comfortable with that. Thank you for respecting my identity
classicnotcliche said: you may have answered this before, but in your opinion does a femme have to self identify as lgbtq? i've asked aroundand i always get different answers
You will definitely get a lot of different answers as femme means a lot of things to a lot of people but the general idea is that femmes challenge what we’ve been told about femininity and I think its using one’s idea of femininity, sexuality, and sensuality as it pertains to one’s self, unapologetic and non-patriachally based or constructed.
I think its a pretty queer way of thinking but one doesn’t have to be queer to think like one ;)
Telling femmes of the heteronormative variety that they can’t identify as femme is counterproductive and certainly not in the spirit of breaking down patriarchy.
If you feel you’re femme, you’re femme! Its really up to you to define that for yourself I think :)