A Femme Manifesto : Part III

Posted: January 5, 2009 in Uncategorized

A cute girl at Heavy rotation
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Sometimes I play with the idea that masculinity as we experience it is inherently wounded. It is a disfigured version of an underlying healthy self. In this thought experiment boys are like bonzai trees. We are psychologically brutalized and mistreated by one another and by community elders. We are cut off from love, support and the ability to grieve for our own condition. Masculinity as we know it is a product of this psychological mutilation. How would boys develop without this oppression? Is the underlying identity gendered? Could it be a butchness which is corrupted into masculinity? Is it a non gendered self? Could it be that an unwounded masculinity and an unwounded femininity are the same thing?
Femininity is twisted by the patriarchal condition as well, but I find it closer to a healthy self, because it allows its people to offer social and emotional support to one another. The masculine condition is much more isolating. Much of the social interaction of its people occurs in nasty little groups. It is a truism but still accurate all too often that masculinity has its people bond over misogyny and other ‘micro-fascisms.’
Femme seems in some way an attempt to rescue a feminine way of being from the patriarchal condition. I imagine femme as a culture of liberation from the patriarchy. A gender inclusive femme movement would be a great thing because it could cross party lines between male and female, gay and straight. For the male bodied this would be a potentially paradigm shifting strategy. Give the males a way to desert our posts and leave the patriarchal system. Gay male culture is a conservative force, it is not a male femme alternative. Help us liberate ourselves and welcome us into a femme space. Welcome us into a queer space.

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