"less interested in analysis, and more interested in daily practice"
March 29, 2022 6:57 PM   Subscribe

An interview with Alok Vaid-Menon, "I Understand the Project of Trans-Feminism To Be About the Liberation of All Genders", and an essay by lazenby ("non-binary/agender gender identities... represent one of the most important realizations it’s possible for a person to have") [previously] discuss gender and art.

lazenby on nonbinary/agender identities, art, power, logic, bodies, nations, and understandings:
Art, as Ruskin wants it to be seen, is a co-equal portal of creation through which it is possible to glimpse a world that is something other than the vigorous hybrid of cleverness and sadism.....

In rather the same way that art does not rely on the logic of power or the power of logic, its example allows us to see still other ways of thinking. Love, for instance, has its own order and virtuosities.....

The body contains and articulates yet another organization of thought. I think the gender each of us ends up with (if any) is a reflection of how well, or badly, we are able to eavesdrop on the inner logic of our bodies. In this it has something in common with the talent for love -- or art: A person who can understand what their body thinks is by definition one who also knows that rationality and power cannot and do not exhaust the possibilities of life.

Alok Vaid-Menon:
What I think I have turned to in my own practice is to create spaces for people to be nourished for all the parts of themselves that they feel.....

I think art is uniquely positioned to give us an emotional and intellectual framework to hold messiness and I think our political movements need to learn that.
posted by brainwane (8 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
Metafilter: The bloodless seduction of abstract ideas.
posted by Oyéah at 7:33 PM on March 29, 2022 [2 favorites]

Lazenby is an outrageously adept intellect, twining opposites in a fine verbal filigree, which comparisons set off like twin dendrites echoing.
posted by Oyéah at 7:41 PM on March 29, 2022

Also the second-best Bond, after Moore.
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:54 PM on March 29, 2022 [7 favorites]

Just thinking about what the world would be like if gender was as salient as hair color after reading the first piece.

And thinking about how so many of the excuses used to police trans bodies are based on the threat of violence, but the underlying violence of patriarchal culture isn't seen as something to address.
posted by Chrysopoeia at 3:38 AM on March 30, 2022 [3 favorites]

Well, the patriarchy is a herd instinct of easy to understand boundaries and rules. You don't have to deal with uncertainty or complicated or uncomfortable. Top down, trust me I'm the boss authority is comfortable and comforting to a large number of people. Why should they change a very entrenched system? When the implicit, often blatant violence protects them from all the pain and uncertainty inflicted by those who want to be different, who says there's a better way? That people can be better if they pull down the walls and risk the exquisite pain of vulnerability....
posted by Jacen at 4:24 AM on March 30, 2022 [6 favorites]

as I approach late maturity I am finally starting to realize the damaging effects that notions of gender have played in my life and around me. in some ways it's like trying to make people 'see' the air. I credit posts and shared resources on MeFi with illuminating this dark area of my life and exposing a lot.
edit to say I've shared the lazenby piece with friends and family
posted by elkevelvet at 7:46 AM on March 30, 2022 [1 favorite]

I think gender being opt-in is an important step in (intersectional) liberation for all. We live in an unprecedented time for self-expression and possibilities for self-expression and self-actualization free from traditional constraints. It's truly beautiful watching those around me find the expression that feels right for them (with the understanding that it's fluid and can change over time). The more socially constructed artificial constraints we can shake off, the better. I've often enjoyed MeFi's approach: "This is freeform. Go nuts!"

As for me: "Gender? Nah."
posted by Eideteker at 9:39 AM on March 30, 2022 [4 favorites]

I've recently begun to entertain the idea that I don't really understand how other people perceive gender. I think of it as a collection of not-very-useful stereotypes that I've worked to exorcise from my perceptions. But it seems very important to some people to "pick a side" for reasons I cannot imagine.
posted by SPrintF at 11:24 AM on March 30, 2022 [4 favorites]

« Older "Get Free Gold Rush Land Today!"   |   Why Global Supply Chains May Never Be The Same Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments