Tag Archives: feminist

I’M ON THIS CAMPUS/HEAR ME/SEE ME

11 May

Some amazing work sent into us from an anonymous campus street artist bringing attention to the invisibility of many underrepresented UW-Madison students. Anyone else seen these around?

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Why I Write

6 Apr

I love queer…it’s an extremely useful polemic term because it is who we say we are, which is, “Fuck You.”

— Spike Pittsberg, Israeli lesbian activist

I stumbled upon this gem of a quote last semester.  It was the final day in a course on queer history and my instructor was, I think, bringing us to the present — asking us to conceptualize contemporary understandings of queerness.  The quote struck me, unexpectedly.  Queerness is usually defined in terms of gender and sexuality, so when I read this quote that described queerness in such broad and fluid terms, I latched onto it.

See, I am, if asked to define myself as rigidly as possible, a heterosexual, cisgendered, feminist.  Admittedly, I’m leaving out some important identities, for reasons that shall be explained quite soon, but in terms of the word queer, I, initally, seem unable to claim the term.  Yet the quote excited me, because it got me thinking…got me asking some questions that had been lurking in the back of my head.  What is queer?  How far can we push the boundaries of its definition?  And specifically for me, can I claim an identity of being a straight, (cisgender), queer feminist?

Problem is, if you ask me, ‘why the term queer?,’ I’m pretty sure all my answers would seem inadequate, or not good enough.  Though I can point to balking at the term “ally” (I feel like I’m more than that) or constantly questioning my sexuality (in terms of how I view attraction, lust, sex, and love)…the devil’s advocate in my head says, ‘So what?  That’s not good enough!  You’re still not using the term properly.’

So I turn back to the quote.  The quote that says FUCK YOU when you try to define me, FUCK YOU when you try to lay claim or impose definitions on words that I use…FUCK YOU when you ask me to reduce my thoughts, feelings, processes — to whittle down the complexity that is my identity to four or five words.

I say FUCK YOU, and maybe that, simply, is why I am queer.

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