I worry sometimes that I’m too angry and I’ll for sure explode if I don’t do something—like kill someone quickly. I worry that I scream and scream and make a wailing wall, and all of us screaming at the tops of our lungs, screaming for our lives, and no is listening, nothing is changing.
Everything is staying inside me. I worry sometimes that I’m losing my anger. I worry that I’m forgetting and ignoring and becoming apathetic. But I think I don’t have to fight so hard now, becuase I know I’m not the only one fighting, I’m not the only one up against the wall.
It’s Friday night, it’s Saturday night, it’s every night of the week, and I’m here, behind a closed door, writing. Or I’m not—I’m out there, watching you, listening to your words and watching your face to see what you really mean. Or I’m not—I’m with my friends, planting another bomb, holding hands, planning the revolution just by being together. I could be anywhere.
I try to make at least on bomb a day, thrown at someone new, detonated by a different force. The only people who get hurt are those who won’t confront their ideas about safety, those who laugh at the flames.
“Daddy is that a boy or a girl?” I never minded the children’s innocent questions. They are so viscerally honest, it’s beautiful. The little girl who’s asking her father is just saying what all of the adults are thinking. I smile as I walk by.
“Is that a fag?” the teenage boys snicker as I float past them in the mall.
These questions give me strength in a strange way.
I know unquestioningly why the little girl or the teenager finds it foundationally shaking that I, as a woman, don’t shave my armpits or legs, have a shaved head, and wear no make-up. I know why they snicker. I know why they point. I expect these things. I welcome their mockery. I revel in it.
Femininity isn’t inherent, biological, or natural. It takes a lot of work to look like a “woman.” About two years ago I started to realize the amount of time, effort, and most importantly money, women invest in looking feminine and sexually attractive and I sincerely gave up. I vehemently rejected the hour and half that I put in to looking cute each morning.
If someone could explain to me why I should constantly alter my appearance so I can be desirable enough for men to want to fuck me, I would honestly shave my legs and buy a long blond wig. If they could explain to me any kind of fulfillment it could bring. All I see is a brittle shell, with a scared little girl cowering inside.
And at the beginning of the 2 year journey I never thought that I’d end up a hairy, dyke, bitch (haha their words). I never thought my step-mom would shave my head in my parents garage.
The way I look is a constant slap in the face to those who think that there are rigid boundaries between masculine and feminine, and all those who don’t fall into them are outcasts, freaks, weird, or most damagingly wrong in their self expression.
Fuck your curling irons. Fuck your mascara. Fuck your high heels.
But then again, the idea of not actively pursuing the goal of femininity doesn’t mean that one should just adopt masculine attributes. It doesn’t mean that she has to reject the rigid boundaries that have been set for her only to plunge herself into the opposite end of the spectrum with the same rigidity and different boundaries.
I dropped out of the race to be fuckable not because I wanted to be butch or masculine or undesirable. And not because I didn’t want to be fucked! I still very much consider myself as a sexual and desirable being. I don’t feel as though my personification of values and principles on my body make me any less feminine.
To others, specifically other women, I am abhorrent. I am something to be mocked and shoved off to the side so as not to be seen.
But to me the most important part of this journey to true barrier breaking beauty in myself and in others, is the idea of creating it for myself. I can tell you with complete sincerity that high school me would have pointed and laughed at 2011 me. That little petty, jealous, scared, girl wouldn’t and couldn’t have understood why my body is the way it is.
Most females that I know and love glean their value and worth through their appearance. This is something that as women we’ve all been taught and that has been ingrained into our psyche since birth. And it’s scary and lonely to break through to a place where your confidence and worth don’t come from how many men want to fuck you or how many women envy you. There isn’t a very large population of ‘us.’
I don’t mean that every woman everywhere should do the same things I am doing to break through commercialized femininity and the gender barrier. It is of utmost importance to create an image of beauty that you, most importantly and most meaningfully, you alone can find beautiful.
How “liberal” can those oh-so-rebellious liberal boys be if they don’t realize that patriarchy is the meat-eating, xenophobic, wife-beating, system we all must impale if we want to bring the white male capitalist fucks down to spitting level? Even worse, if they think that male supremacy does not exist, or it does and is justified?
Strong girls, remember that sensitive liberal boys are our secret enemies. They disguise themselves with the androgyny of long hair and quiet thoughts, but underneath they are just as much BOY as the young republican of your choice. Be careful, beautiful girl, be strong—just because he holds your hand, and looks into your eyes when you talk to him, doesn’t mean he respects your body and mind.
Stop thinking of anarchism as just another “world order,” just another social system. From where we all stand, in this very dominated, very controlled world, it is impossible to imagine living without any authorities, without laws or governments. No wonder anarchism isn’t usually taken seriously as a large-scale political or social program: no one can imagine what it would really be like, let alone how to achieve it—not even the anarchists themselves.
Instead, think of anarchism as an individual orientation to yourself and others, as a personal approach to life. That isn’t impossible to imagine. Conceived in these terms, what would anarchism be? It would be a decision to think for yourself rather than following blindly. It would be a rejection of hierarchy, a refusal to accept the “god given” authority of any nation, law, or other force as being more significant than your own authority over yourself. It would be an instinctive distrust of those who claim to have some sort of rank or status above the others around them, and an unwillingness to claim such status over others for yourself. Most of all, it would be a refusal to place responsibility for yourself in the hands of others: it would be the demand that each of us be able to choose our own destiny.
According to this definition, there are a great deal more anarchists than it seemed, though most wouldn’t refer to themselves as such. For most people, when they think about it, want to have the right to live their own lives, to think and act as they see fit. Most people trust themselves to figure out what they should do more than they trust any authority to dictate it to them. Almost everyone is frustrated when they find themselves pushing against faceless, impersonal power.
You don’t want to be at the mercy of governments, bureaucracies, police, or other outside forces, do you? Surely you don’t let them dictate your entire life. Don’t you do what you want to, what you believe in, at least whenever you can get away with it? In our everyday lives, we all are anarchists. Whenever we make decisions for ourselves, whenever we take responsibility for our own actions rather than deferring to some higher power, we are putting anarchism into practice. So if we are all anarchists by nature, why do we always end up accepting the domination of others, even creating forces to rule over us? Wouldn’t you rather figure out how to coexist with your fellow human beings by working it out directly between yourselves, rather than depending on some external set of rules? Remember, the system they accept is the one you must live under: if you want your freedom, you can’t afford to not be concerned about whether those around you demand control of their lives or not.
People from the (rapidly splintering) “mainstream” of society in Europe and the United States today take a peculiar pleasure in considering themselves “normal” in comparison to legal offenders, political radicals, and other members of social outgroups. They treat this “normalcy” as if it is an indication of mental health and moral righteousness, regarding the “others” with a mixture of pity and disgust. But if we consult history, we can see that the conditions and patterns of human life have changed so much in the past two centuries that it is impossible to speak of any lifestyle available to human beings today as being “normal” in the natural sense, as being a lifestyle for which we adapted over many generations. Of the lifestyles from which a young woman growing up in the West today can choose, none are anything like the ones for which her ancestors were prepared by centuries of natural selection and evolution.
It is more likely that the “normalcy” that these people hold so dear is rather the feelings of normalcy that result from conformity to a standard. Being surrounded by others who behave the same way, who are conditioned to the same routines and expectations, is comforting because it reinforces the idea that one is pursuing the right course: if a great many people make the same decisions and live according to the same customs, then these decisions and customs must be the right ones.
But the mere fact that a number of people live and act in a certain way does not make it any more likely that this way of living is the one that will bring them the most happiness. Besides, the lifestyles associated with the American and European “mainstream” (if such a thing truly exists) were not exactly consciously chosen as the best possible ones by those who pursue them; rather, they came to be suddenly, as the results of technological and cultural upheavals. Once the peoples of Europe, the United States, and the world realize that there is nothing necessarily “normal” about their “normal life,” they can begin to ask themselves the first and most important question of the next century: Are there ways of thinking, acting, and living that might be more satisfying and exciting than the ways we think, act, and live today?
How many hours a day do you spend in front of a television screen? A computer screen? Behind an automobile windscreen? All three screens combined? What are you being screened from? How much of your life comes at you through a screen, vicariously?
Is watching things as exciting as doing things? Do you have enough time to do all the things that you want to? Do you have enough energy to? Why? And how many hours a day do you sleep? How are you affected by standardized time, designed solely to synchronize your movements with those of millions of other people? How long do you ever go without knowing what time it is? Who or what controls your minutes and hours? The minutes and hours that add up to your life? Are you saving time? Saving it up for what?
Can you put a value on a beautiful day, when the birds are singing and people are walking around together? How many dollars an hour does it take to pay you to stay inside and sell things or file papers? What can you get later that will make up for this day of your life?
How are you affected by being in crowds, by being surrounded by anonymous masses? Do you find yourself blocking your emotional responses to other human beings? And who prepares your meals? Do you ever eat by yourself? Do you ever eat standing up? How much do you know about what you eat and where it comes from? How much do you trust it?
What are we deprived of by labor-saving devices? By thought-saving devices? How are you affected by the requirements of efficiency, which place value on the product rather than the process, on the future rather than the present, the present moment that is getting shorter and shorter as we speed faster and faster into the future? What are we speeding towards? Are we saving time? Saving it up for what?
How are you affected by being moved around in prescribed paths, in elevators, buses, subways, escalators, on highways and sidewalks? By moving, working, and living in two- and three-dimensional grids? How are you affected by being organized, immobilized, and scheduled rather than wandering, roaming freely and spontaneously? Scavenging? (Shoplifting?) How much freedom of movement do you have—freedom to move through space, to move as far as you want, in new and unexplored directions?
And how are you affected by waiting? Waiting in line, waiting in traffic, waiting to eat, waiting for the bus, waiting to urinate—learning to punish and ignore your spontaneous urges? How are you affected by holding back your desires? By sexual repression, by the delay or denial of pleasure, starting in childhood, along with the suppression of everything in you that is spontaneous, everything that evidences your wild nature, your membership in the animal kingdom? Is pleasure dangerous?
Could danger be joyous? Do you ever need to see the sky? (Can you see many stars in it any more?) Do you ever need to see water, leaves, foliage, animals? Glinting, glimmering, moving? Is that why you have a pet, an aquarium, houseplants? Or are television and video your glinting, glimmering, moving? How much of your life comes at you through a screen, vicariously? If your life was made into a movie, would you watch it? How do you feel in situations of enforced passivity?
How are you affected by a non-stop assault of symbolic communication—audio, visual, print, billboard, video, radio, robotic voices—as you wander through a forest of signs? What are they urging upon you? Do you ever need solitude, quiet, contemplation? Do you remember it? Thinking on your own, rather than reacting to stimuli? Is it hard to look away?
Is looking away the very thing that is not permitted? Where can you go to find silence and solitude? Not white noise, but pure silence? Not loneliness, but gentle solitude? How often have you stopped to ask yourself questions like these? Do you find yourself committing acts of symbolic violence? Do you ever feel lonely in a way that words cannot even express?