7 posts tagged gay stuff
do you guys know how many times i had to read this paper in college
it was a lot of times, and you should also read it, maybe also a lot of times
“Furthermore, the appearance of success or failure may be highly ambiguous and misleading. This ambiguity is perhaps best illustrated with dyke: although dyke continues to be used pejoratively, it is often used positively, with pride, by the in-group. Indeed, because of its very pejoration, dyke claims a political fierceness and anti-assimilationism that lesbian lacks, the latter seen to appeal to male, heterosexual, white, middle-class taste. Again, although they may share a common denotation, the connotations are extremely different. Has dyke failed as a reclaimed word since the out-group continues to use it as hate speech? Or does its in-group use alone testify to its success?”
My friend Tom wears eye shadow. He also often pins brooches to his shirts, just a few inches to the left of his skinny antique neckties. Both of us are instructors at the same university. On the evening after our first day of classes of this semester, we drank some wine and he told me about his morning.
“When I walked into the classroom,” he started, “And before I announced I was the teacher, one of my students called me a faggot.”
You know how sometimes things (in this case, Rick Owens) are so generally accepted as awesome that you sort of almost ignore him because it seems so obvious that something is cool that you don’t even really think about it because obviously you’re going to check their collections and care about what they do and they are somehow a staple of whatever media you’ve elected to expose yourself to and you just never really think much about them as an actual 40something man who still, like, wakes up in the morning to put on their skirt and eyeliner or whatever?
And THEN unrelated to that, you end up Googling some weird crude idiom that a friend just used (in this case, the phrase “hint - shit or get off the pot”) and you end up INSTEAD serendipitously having the gods of Google return to you not the urban dictionary definition you were hoping for, but instead an interview from a few years ago that sorta blows your mind with how awesome/hilarious/cool it is and how surprisingly sane/normal/funny/self-aware they seem? No? Whatever, still just happened with this Rick Owens interview here. Seriously, kids:
Let’s talk about your collections…
For a lot of designers their reward is the walk down the runway, but for me it’s about selling. I’m not that extroverted…I’m more pragmatic. It’s not about the glory for me…. I see fashion as something more permanent, like art or architecture. Designers used to be like that, but not anymore. That’s what I try to do….I concentrate on doing tasteful separates at a decent price. I’m not kidding. We do some actually do mostly basic things that flatter a lot of women. I think that’s really cool. I’m just a wannabe Calvin Klein or Giorgio Armani….
(Editor’s interruption here to share with you all that I thought this was great, and also that I wear Calvin Klein underwear and am 110% okay with this because who doesn’t love the 90s and cheesy oversexed ads and really great basics?) Carrying on:
To me, the myth of Rick Owens began with your girlfriend Michelle Lamy. How did the two of you meet?
We met through my boyfriend, one of her best friends. So it’s true I’m bisexual. It’s supposed to be the other way around, isn’t it? People are against bisexuality. It’s either shit or get off the pot. It would be great if things were that black and white, but life is all about ambiguities, and sometimes you have to make up the rules as you go along. It would have been easy for me to be completely gay. There was nothing holding me back. In fact, I started out assuming I would be a gay guy who didn’t really have relationships…[but] it just kind of happened and I really can’t imagine having a relationship with anyone else. It’s been almost fifteen years. God, who knows what that would be in fag years?
Anyhow. Despite the fact that we all know that whatever he shows on Friday is going to end up here (or here, there’s a secret for you!) by this weekend with the other 12 or so designers I’ll be losing my shit over because I always do (special person points to whoever correctly names at least half of them?), we’ll also take advantage of this post to include mindless pictures of leather jackets and black wedges, since my life/real closet/dream closet/blog/whatever seems to revolve around those things anyhow, and looking at these makes me salivate.
Dear readers — of which there are, somehow, thousands of you (why?! how?! when!?) — I know you’re all here from idle clicking or to look at photos of my shoes and of skinny girls in absurd dresses or whatever, but this is the stuff I want you to read and want you to talk about — and want to know what you think too. This is important, this is what I actually want you to read and care about and comment and talk about.
And another disclaimer: nothing I’m going to say here is new; everything are ideas expressed by other people as well, often more eloquently, and many of which I’ve posted before — Jenna at Jezebel, the girls at Threadbared, a lot of the wonderful ladies on my blogroll, some of the other commenters at Contexts, some of the lovely folks who also post at TFS — everyone has these ideas, and there is a lot more to be said about it. I’m just getting it out there with how and why I agree.
I am sick and tired of hearing that fashion is stupid, silly, inane, shallow, for girls, a waste of time, consumerist, idiotic, antifeminist, misogynistic, pathetic, etc, etc, ad nauseam, and this is why.
…being anti-fashion leads to a false notion that we can be in bodies that aren’t modified, and that any intentional modification or decoration of your body is politically undesirable because it somehow buys into the pitfalls of reliance on appearances…..
…More importantly, when we appeal to some notion of an unmodified or undecorated body, we participate in the adoption of a false neutrality. We pretend, in those moments, that there is a natural body or fashion, a way of dressing or wearing yourself that is not a product of culture. Norms always masquerade as non-choices, and when we suggest that for example, resisting sexism means everyone should look androgynous, or resisting racism means no one should modify the texture of their hair, we foreclose people’s abilities to expose the workings of fucked up systems on their bodies as they see fit.
More of that “fashion is for smrt people too” quote-mongering habit of mine….
I think I turned my ‘lunch break’ into writing an epic rant about this via Facebook comments on my wall, most of which I’m just going to repost here as something ‘worth blogging about’…. my issue with the Jezebel reaction was that it attacked Shulman too personally which is just both immature and a shitty tactic (no matter how valid it is or is not.) Other than that I think it’s an absolutely necessary and very astute reaction to it, and all I had to add was:
Shulman’s argument IS the ‘rational’ one rather than the ‘cuz its groce’ or ‘cuz god says its bad’ argument - it’s just that the “logic” he uses, while valid, is the logic of white male american patriarchy. Which is, in a way, logical - it’s just offensive, dehumanizing, cruel, and Schulman is absolutely RIGHT in his descriptions of the institution of marriage as weapon of patriarchy as ways to control women/repress sexuality/maintain a certain system. It’s not even anti-queer, it’s just a straight up defense of our society’s eternal boys club. Thus (pretty openly, fuck, he basically says it) his defense of “heterosexual marriage” is a defense of “the patriarchal kinship and social system,” and therefore not only condones, but supports the whole system. Which seems so patently ridiculous, base, and depressing - what kind of fucking ASSHOLE would stand around saying that patriarchy is unquestionably right? What kind of unexamined bullshit life do you lead to say that? This is where I start getting mad - how can you be that inhumane?!?! This goes beyond the civil rights of a marginalized group to an inexplicable level of assholery that my queer little feminist brain can’t get my head around for the life of me.
So THIS is precisely why gay marriage is a feminist issue and a social issue beyond one of lgbt rights - it’s because the “logical” anti-gay-marriage stance is a defense of patriarchy. It’s because when one defends “traditional marriage” with those arguments, one defends every single misogynistic, repressive tenet of American culture. So gay marriage, then, stands pretty clearly as an idea that lifelong love/fidelity/commitment can have social benefits - a pretty “feminist” but also straight-up compassionate and humanist view of things - rather than as system of preserving patriarchal control. Being in healthy long-term heterosexual relationship with a man isn’t inherently antifeminist, and neither is marriage. It’s the concepts of that as an institution, of a man owning a woman, of marriage being about politics and power and purchase and NOT love or (consensual) sex or even dental insurance, that are so problematic.
I’m going to end up sounding like a hippie here, but no liberal/feminist/queer/whatever is rationally against “love” and “commitment,” or even against “filing our taxes together.” They’re against the patriarchal instution of marriage and all that it stands for — and the same with the conservatives, who are not even necessarily against gay sex (or willing to be so publicly since it MAKES THEM LOOK STUPID) or tax benefits, but rather in favor of the “traditional system.” Supporting gay marriage then - even if you are in a heterosexual relationship - is necessarily being against this as a concept for all partnerships, since it also inherently says “the reason why, as a normative heterosexual woman, I might want to marry a man, is because it seems nice to have some legal benefits to a loving, committed relationship, and because a public social symbol of our love and fidelity and existence as a ‘team’ for life would make me happy, not because I want his financial support or because my chastity needs to be preserved or because I want to make babies.” Gay marriage changes our society’s concept of straight marriage on a root societal organizational level, and this is apparently just TOO MUCH TO HANDLE.
And again, this totally revolutionary concept (relationships?! about love?! and equality?!) is pretty difficult to get across in straight relationships, since externally it still resembles like the patriarchal concept of it - man and woman, ok. But when you change the gender of one of those people, it suddenly becomes EXTREMELY threatening because the potential threat to the system is visually obvious, and this is why it isn’t about The Gays or me being a self-righteous queer, it’s about the fact that patriarchy is psychologically and emotionally damaging to 100% of the population (since it also does that bullshit where men obviously can’t be supported by their partner, male or female, or feel need or love, since marriage is all about owning a woman to fuck and make babies, which is pretty degrading to men, because I’d like to think y’all are more than penises. So Schulman’s argument is downright fucking depressing in that way too, since it basically is all, “Yo, I’m a dude, I just want to fuck some chicks, I got no feelings and needs, y’all are threatening me with this shit, go away.” )
Obviously, all relationships can go wrong and it’s not like all marriages are about healthy loving relationships and lifelong commitments, and it’s not like tax benefits are all that sexy or romantic - but theoretically, this should be the (totally OPTIONAL, not saying its something everyone should want/need) ideal, no? The idea of ‘marriage’ that I 100% DO support is that if people - regardless of gender, meaning I’m also supporting aformentioned new concept of heterosexual marriage as well - want to somehow incorporate their LEGITIMATE EMOTIONAL CONNECTION into society, or even just share the boring sorts of taxes-and-health-insurance-rights which have otherwise traditionally just been aligned with ‘man owns woman marriage’, they should be able to do that and have access to those political, financial, and social benefits, and this therefore goes beyond my own sexuality. That’s what “marriage” should be about, a way to integrate the productive emotional/sexual/personal intimacy between a couple into the larger picture of society - and therefore, a way that intimate connection between people can therefore help them deal with, you know, the bullshit that’s humanity at-large.