feminist performance

Performing one’s gender wrong initiates a set of punishments both obvious and indirect, and performing it well provides the reassurance that there is an essentialism of gender identity after all. That this reassurance is so easily displaced by anxiety, that culture so readily punishes or marginalizes those who fail to perform the illusion of gender essentialism should be sign enough that on some level there is social knowledge that the truth or falsity of gender is only socially compelled and in no sense ontologically necessitated.
—  Judith Butler, “Performative Acts and Gender Constitution” (528)

In addition to being thin, women (particularly in the west) are expected to maintain the illusion of hairlessness. Any sign that puberty might have bestowed upon us a spray of fuzz beneath our arms or a thatch of fur between our legs has to be eliminated immediately. Waxing, shaving, plucking, electrolysis - women have to fork out precious financial resources just to achieve what is then laughably passed off as a ‘natural’ state. For men and women similarly invested in maintaining patriarchal notions of gender performance, hair on women seems to be oddly terrifying. 

- Clementine Ford, Fight Like A Girl 

A woman must keep her intelligence small and timid to survive.
Or she must hide it altogether or hide it through style. Or she
must go mad like clockwork to pay for it. She will try to find the
nice way to exercise intelligence. But intelligence is not ladylike.
Intelligence is full of excesses. Rigorous intelligence abhors sentimentality,
and women must be sentimental to value the dreadful
silliness of the men around them. Morbid intelligence abhors the
cheery sunlight of positive thinking and eternal sweetness; and
women must be sunlight and cheery and sweet, or the woman
could not bribe her way with smiles through a day. Wild intelligence
abhors any narrow world; and the world of women must
stay narrow, or the woman is an outlaw. No woman could be
Nietzsche or Rimbaud without ending up in a whorehouse or lobotomized.
Any vital intelligence has passionate questions, aggressive
answers: but women cannot be explorers; there can be no
Lewis and Clark of the female mind. Even restrained intelligence is
restrained not because it is timid, as women must be, but because
it is cautiously weighing impressions and facts that come to it from
an outside that the timid dare not face. A woman must please, and
restrained intelligence does not seek to please; it seeks to know
through discernment. Intelligence is also ambitious: it always
wants more: not more being fucked, not more pregnancy; but more
of a bigger world. A woman cannot be ambitious in her own right
without also being damned.

We take girls and send them to schools. It is good of us, because
girls are not supposed to know anything much, and in many other
societies girls are not sent to school or taught to read and write. In
our society, such a generous one to women, girls are taught some
facts, but not inquiry or the passion of knowing. Girls are taught
in order to make them compliant: intellectual adventurousness is
drained, punished, ridiculed out of girls. We use schools first to
narrow the girl’s scope, her curiosity, then to teach her certain
skills, necessary to the abstract husband. Girls are taught to be
passive in relation to facts. Girls are not seen as the potential originators
of ideas or the potential searchers into the human condition.
Good behavior is the intellectual goal of a girl. A girl with intellectual
drive is a girl who has to be cut down to size. An intelligent
girl is supposed to use that intelligence to find a smarter husband.

—  Right-Wing Women, Andrea Dworkin

Men are constantly trying to divide women in to the categories of “good women” and “bad women”.

And what always remains the same, is that to qualify as a “good woman” you need to put up with misogyny and prioritize men.

Examples: the slut/prude dichotomy (which side is “good women” flip flops depending on what men want at the moment); the whole “cool girl” who hates on other women, loves sexist jokes, and always takes men’s side; or how men are constantly saying that “good feminists” perform femininity, act like men’s voices matter when it comes to women’s issues, speak sweetly and are never angry about injustice.

Ask yourself, who benefits? Why do men get to decide who the “good women” are? Why do they act like they are the ones who bestow women our value? Why do they act like our value is based on how much we center men?

The History of Drag Kings

When compared to the exquisitely expressive art of Drag Queens, the wonderful world of Drag Kings appears to exist with far less attention from popular culture. When I speak of Drag Queens amongst my friends, most of them seem familiar with the craft, so much so, they can even name and discuss examples. However, when I raise the term ‘Drag King’, I am often confronted with a response similar to, ‘Wow, I never even knew they existed’. Nonetheless, Drag King performers are storming stages all around the world, treating an array of audiences to bold shows which captivate and challenge creative minds.

The idea and practice of performers transforming themselves through male personas is by no means a new concept. For instance, English playwright, poet and actress Susanna Centlivre is notable for her work as an actress in ‘breeches roles’. Dubbed as “the most successful female playwright of the eighteenth century”, she performed regularly in traditional male attire. In other words, she became accustomed to fitted knee-length trousers and popular masculine garments; clothing worn mostly by men around the 1700s. Since this time, Drag Kings have progressed and developed; increasing in popularity whilst making use of sophisticated resources and techniques. Distinguished impersonators and cross-dressers across the 19th and 20th Centuries include theatrical performers such as Annie Hindle, Ella Shields, Vesta Tilly, Bessie Bellwood and Hetty King. Not to mention other provocative entertainers such as Blues singer Gladys Bentley and the more controversial LGBT civil rights icon; Stormé DeLarverie. Referencing the OED, during 1972, the term ‘Drag King’ was initially published in text to represent the description ‘woman masquerading as a man’. Referring to the updated version, we can see the definition as ‘A woman who dresses up as a man; a male impersonator’. Bringing Drag Kings into the 21st Century, the field of performing arts and creative industries offer a wide range of practitioners specialising in drag king performances, workshops and transformations. Some of my favourites include Phantom, Spikey Van Dykey, Adam All and Landon Cider.

The International Drag King Community Extravaganza is the largest event of its kind and is entirely run by volunteers. Hosted in a different city each year, the IDKE is known for its extraordinary performances, workshops and events which push the boundaries of gender. In order to achieve different levels of gender illusion, drag kings combine methods of breast binding, application of facial/body hair, masculine haircuts, styles or wigs, performance props, staging, illusive male genitalia, manly clothing, as well as altered posture and movement. Despite being relatively unheard of to the masses, Drag King shows are becoming more and more accessible, with both troupe and solo performers making a name for themselves amongst artistic and LGBT communities. For example, ‘Boi Box’ is a monthly Drag King show held at ‘She Soho’, a lesbian venue situated on Old Compton Street in London. There are also many opportunities for Drag Kings to compete and network, with The San Francisco Drag King Contest being significant as supposedly the oldest and biggest Drag King competition in the world.

The drag scene plays host to a magnificent mixture of gender bending cabaret, comedy, burlesque, circus, theatre and performance art. The art of drag has been saturated with fascinating historical events, and continues amaze through the footprints of modern day practitioners. Drag Kings take their place in the spotlight, giving us a glimpse into a remarkable and inspiring world which deserves to be adored and celebrated.

Seventeen react to their s/o being feminist (Hiphop unit)

[Performance Unit] [Vocal Unit] [Hiphop Unit]


S.Coups

Originally posted by shupahmin

*His face when you voice your opinion about the topic*

Wonwoo

Originally posted by satanteen17

*Loves having a s/o who’s passionate about something like this*

Mingyu

Originally posted by waejin

“Why do people say women belong in the kitchen…? I make better food…” 

Vernon

Originally posted by sneezes

*Applauds you for believing in equality!*


Requests are open!

LOOK AT THOSE VICTORIA SECRET SHOWS

LOOK AT THOSE PERFORMANCES

LOOK AT HOW ALL THOSE WOMEN ARE SO SUPPORTIVE OF EACH OTHER

LOOK AT RIHANNA’S AND TAYLOR’S INTERACTIONS WITH ALL OF THEM

LOOK AT ALL THAT POSITIVITY 

IT JUST MAKES IT SEEM LIKE SUCH A HAPPY EVENT

THATS HOW YOU SELL LINGERIE WITHOUT OBJECTIFYING WOMEN AND WITHOUT TURNING WOMEN AGAINST EACH OTHER

the argument over sex work is fucking ridiculous. paying women to rape them is not feminist. performing sexual acts for men for money is not feminist. sex trafficking, coercion through violence, rape, and money is not empowering. women seldom enter sexploitation voluntarily. porn is not feminist. why is this so difficult.

Seventeen react to their s/o being feminist (Vocal Unit)

[Performance Unit] [Vocal Unit] [Hiphop Unit]


Jeonghan

Originally posted by emojchic

*Agrees with you 100%*

Joshua

Originally posted by junhuipie

*Him when he heard you roast some asshole*

Woozi

Originally posted by hanwooz

*Woozi approves*

DK

Originally posted by dokkyum

*Happy virus happily supports you*

Seungkwan

Originally posted by pledisseventeen

“Yes, we’re feminists. We’re awesome. We know.”


Requests are open!

tbh i hate that “#girlboss” trend or whatever it is, which is basically the CEO of nasty gal cashing in on the commodification of feminis m like. how does creating the term “girl boss” help female business owners at all? part of the problem is that women in the business world are already seen as “other” and more specifically as immature “girls” rather than competent women, so pushing the term “girl boss” to sell your quirky little merchandise is so useless to everyone except you, the person making a profit off of this branded Feminism™.

it’s always white women (usually with significant influence) that i see buying into it too, promoting it as some sort of “feminis t” decision like ??? how does buying a mug with “girl boss” written on it help women? stop patting yourself on the back for doing nothing lmao

Janine Antoni
Gnaw, 1992
600 lbs. of lard on marble pedestal gnawed on by the artist, also displayed in the Whitney Biennial with 130 artist-made lipsticks with pigment, beeswax, and chewed lard removed from lard cube
24 x 24 x 24 inches