Nuit d’été by Winslow Homer
“Sustained grief is particularly disturbing in a culture that offers a quick fix for pain. Sometimes it amazes me to know intuitively that the grieving are all around us yet we do not see any overt signs of their anguished spirits. We are taught to feel shame about grief that lingers. Like a stain on our clothes, it marks us as flawed, imperfect. To cling to grief, to desire its expression, is to be out of sync with modern life, where the hip do not get bogged down in mourning.”
bell hooks – all about love
Femmeness is especially vilified because it’s seen as being connected to decadence and class-privilege. I know this from experience: if you bring five bucks to the thrift store, you can walk out with a total gem and look really good. It takes a good eye but you cultivate that from being without, like I did. You have to cultivate that skill, and you earn it by being able to feel really confident. It’s a problematic notion because it also allows men and masculine people to put on a working class aesthetic: “Look at the one flannel I wear over and over again!” This isn’t seen as performance, it’s seen as more authentic.
I experienced really fucked-up mean-girl dynamics in anarchist spaces, because there was a vying for social capital. There was really shitty and weird behavior. I’m more focused on surviving and creating a sustainable lifestyle that’s not just me crying at the end of every meeting. People were emotionally terrorizing, and I don’t think it’s any coincidence that it happened to femme women more often. In political spaces, the Left demonizes femininity because it is associated with excess – as though all of these heterosexist men would listen to us if we came into meetings looking like shit. They wouldn’t even hear us out if we didn’t look fucking fierce.
-Neo-Femme Artists, Mask Mgazine