Sunday 2 August 2015

CULTURETAS: A Physical Policy

Photo: The Procrastinator Times.

By  Yamily Habib.

A lot has been said in contemporary philosophy about politics as a gesture and as an approach to decision-making and the responsibility of its consequences. Knowing what we like, why we like it and how to behave accordingly to those preferences turns out to be an identification process that involves most of our productive years and it wears down the totality of our placid ones, even when the suggestions made towards it prove to be premonitory and requires to have a clear idea of what we want and how we’ll manage to achieve it since day one of our College life.

Nobody explains to us that, facing the wide range of possibilities, what we choose conscious or unconsciously will identify us not only as “useful” social individuals but against those who share the subway, the halls, the benches, even our bed. Lacan used to define this as “mirror phase”, a mirror that Borges avoided all his life. A mirror that insists to condemn what we are, how we show it and the (few) benefits that could bring us along the way.

Inside the hetero-normative, the pair male-female is the “normal” standard, miss-conceiving the adjective as a proportional to “common”, thus not all normal is common and not all common is normal, leaving aside the options kept in the margins of what produces immediate reproduction and collaboration to the working mass and the cluster of automatons that over-populate the globe. And it seems reiterative such chatter about the homosexual, lesbian, queer, trans, bi, inter (…) vindication, but to what extent has it really been understood the process to which we are subjected by the system in order to identify the positive and negative poles that coordinate the human behavior? How many of your girl friends sleep with guys but watch lesbian porn at home because it turns them on? Where is the line? Should it really exist?

Wandering in Instagram I found a post from a Colombian writer who I admire where she shows what we dykes have lived and some have overcome with the firm conviction of assuming their bodies as a political gesture that represent and reinforces everything they believe in and everything that they’re willing to reorganize their lives around to. It seems paradoxical having jumped the barrier of heterosexual and patriarchal, binomial and neoliberal subjugation to end up in the promised land with adjectives like lipstick, butch, soft-butch, fancy, girlie, tomboy, trucker, feminine, masculine. It wasn’t until this evening’s tea that I realized that the internal fight of every lesbian is a shared and obvious one, thus it is when we reach the “freedom” status inside our right to choose and living our choices wide openly that I identified the painful process of delineating our identity: that moment when you don’t know what to wear frightened of seeming too masculine and being called upon as a lesbian, because as Amalia Andrade says: “…it is O.K. to be a lesbian as long as you don’t look like one”. Why? If I have been and will always be a lesbian, why should I be submitted to the hetero-dependent paradigms of the west and why should I let them determine what I must wear?

I remember laughing with a friend when we saw a butch girl walking in front of us, he asked me if I liked those kind of girls to what I firmly answered “no, I like girls”. But I remember as well last Saturday when my crush from Instagram was having a drink in the bar across the street. After I showed up she nervously asked her friends if I was hot, to which they answered “she’s kinda butchy”. It’s not karma, its politics. Its not a moral, is the lack of practical sense and an introspective analysis of what identifies me and what I identify. 27 years had to pass so I could understand that what I choose to communicate myself with its not a part (at least not implicitly) of other people’s code, and that in the end what really matters is what it means to me and what I use it for. After all, even though I identify myself as a woman in the heterosexual canon, in front of my mirror I’m a butch… But a flowery one.    


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