Argh, I hate those rules. I hate ‘em I hate ‘em IHATETHEM. I feel like they cause far more damage than people are willing to acknowledge, even to a lot of people who subscribe to them. Yeah sure, there’s a reasonably sized cluster of people out there who probably have no issue with the rules because they don’t interfere with the life they’d prefer to lead, but I am convinced that there are many others out there who, when it comes down to it, are held back by them and would be far better off without them, or at least without them encroaching upon so much of daily life.
We get hit with the crap because we’re in the front lines, just for existing and being true to ourselves, and we’re the fighters. Never stop fighting! You’re one of the true heroes here! <3
LGBTQ folk bend the norms that the mainstream Western culture are used to. This makes us the “other”, and as all like us, there’s this general inability to see us for the individuals we are. It’s not just us, it’s the physically disabled, the short, the foreign born with thick accents – all these subgroupings that also have to contend with ignorance. What complicates the issue is that there’s even ignorance within these subgroupings as well. Transphobia is just as rampant within the lesbian and gay community.
The best solution to ignorance is exposure. But this is a battle that will take in the order of decades to fully resolve. The ignorance will stay for a while yet, and the improper behaviour along with it.
This comic makes me remember something I read in a zine by a MtF trans woman. I will share the story with you, as it was a great example of the above (it was really well written too, I wish I knew what the zine was called, or had my own copy, so I could tell you how to get it.) Anyway, she wrote that she got crap from her psychologist because she didn’t want to shave her legs, so obviously “didn’t really want to be a woman.” This made me angry! I don’t shave my legs either, and that doesn’t make me not a woman! Gender norms are so fucking bullshit at the best of times, and it made me so angry to hear that someone who KNEW HERSELF and KNEW WHO SHE WAS and was strong enough to start that process was being held back by some weird 1950s conception of what a woman was supposed to be. Even born women, who love everything about being a woman in the most traditional sense you can imagine are BORN with HAIR ON OUR LEGS, medical establishment! Jeez.
Anyway, it seemed (from the zine) that her psych’s assessment was that she couldn’t be a feminist in the way she chose, AND transgender, like the two were mutually exclusive. Like a feminist wasn’t a real woman. I call bullshit on that. Bullshit, I say!
God, these comics are smart. I really love them. It’s because one of the biggest problems for any struggle, like Julien says above, is that there is prejudice even within marginalized groups, because (I think) we’re always taught that our battle has to be the ONLY battle, and that anyone else’s struggle hurts whatever group we are part of, because it distracts, or impedes our mainstreaming or whatever. Like the way the feminist movement was so slow (and actually still is) to accept lesbian women, or women who weren’t white or middle-class, or trans-people of any gender, or feminist men. Well, I call bullshit on that too, feminism. The mainstream? Pah! Who are we trying to impress?
In fact, as much as I love feminism, I’m tempted to stop using the word. I think I will call myself an “awesomeist” instead. Yes, that sounds good. I support AWESOME people! Yay Awesome people pride!
Also, keep making awesome comics. My apologies for the rant.
The word feminist will never grow and develop into something better if we don’t keep using it and expanding it’s meaning – don’t give up on it, even though I can definately see the attraction of ‘awesomeism’ – maybe use them both together? Be an awesomist feminist ..
Yeah I think you hit the nail on the head with this one – it’s not so much the rules but the fear that underlies and informs them – and the need to imagine ways of working without that fear so that you can keep drawing yourself just as you are – which of course is how we love you!
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