Thursday, March 13, 2008

Yes, yes, yes

Mind the Gap has a great post up about femininity and courtly love. And there are a couple things I especially loved.

“The household tyrant has his wife help him into his coat. She eagerly does the service of love and accompanies him with a glance, which says: what am I supposed to do, let him have his little joys, that’s the way he is, only a man. Patriarchal marriage revenges itself on the man through the indulgence, which the woman practices and which has turned into a formula in the ironic lament of male vulnerability and dependence. Inside of the lying ideology, which posits the man as superior, lies a secret, not less untrue one, which reduces him to something inferior, to the victim of manipulation, maneuvers, deception.”

I have a big problem with the idea of the ‘deviant’, mainly because it’s usually meant as a challenge to heteronormative attitudes to relationships, but in actual fact it reinforces them. If you define yourself as a deviant, your identity relies on the existence of a norm. You’ve said ‘fuck you!’ to this norm, but at the same time, if it went away, well, oops, there goes your identity as a deviant.

I think if we’re to have a sexual revolution, if we’re to completely destroy patriarchal ideas of gender and sexuality, we need to get rid of the idea of ‘deviant’ versus ‘normal’, if nothing else because it assumes that everyone belongs to a huge mass of undefined ‘normals’ off somewhere pleasuring the Patriarchy, whereas we hallowed beings who are gathered in this room are all clearly defined individuals, which is of course a bit of an illusion to say the least. On a more basic level, we need to defeat our deeply patriarchal urge to define everything, and particularly as women, to pin and mount ourselves like butterflies.

I couldn't agree more, and that's as someone who has and does certainly define herself equally as much by what I am NOT as by what I am. But the labeling and titles and definitions, they have really started to wear on me and seem increasingly worthless.


  1. "If you define yourself as a deviant, your identity relies on the existence of a norm."

    I've long since said that there is a threefold way of approaching things like that: compliance (accept the norm), rebellion (reject the norm), and independence (do as you will).

  2. very good is for sure, it is damn hard to be woman!


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