i don’t want to be a boy or a girl i want to be a small cluster of stars
colorful gradient 4983
- Song: Slow Motion (Sylvan Esso Remix)
- Artist: PHOX
- Plays: 142
Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews the debut album by punk rock trio Ex Hex. The album is called Rips and it’s at once a throwback to bands like the Ramones and something new:
"Even if the band doesn’t sell many copies of Rips, I’ll bet there are TV and movie music producers all over LA and New York who’ll want to use its artful irony in their productions. This sort of guitar-based rock music isn’t part of the hit-making machinery just now—you’re not, thank heaven, going to hear contestants on TV shows like The Voice doing Ex Hex covers. But that only means it’s exactly the right time for a reminder of how durable and endlessly elastic this kind of music can be.”
Photo: Mary Timony
This kinda sounds like a poem
For a while now I’ve been slightly puzzled by the convergence of discourse about gender and aesthetic on tumblr. I see a lot of people trying out new vocabularies to describe one or the other or both (and it’s not always clear which), blending gender descriptors with typically aesthetic terms to create new combinations (pastel queer, genderpunk, soft masc/grunge, space tomboy). Some appear to be tongue-in-cheek (seapunk? vaporwave?); some extend the concept of “gender” beyond its typical boundaries (see also: Gender of the Day); some (particularly the memetic phrase “my aesthetic: _____”) explode the concepts in ways that throw their meaning into question.
I don’t exactly have the theoretical background to consider these concepts as ontological/epistemological categories (in what ways is gender separable from aesthetic? how do we think about gender roles as inherently visible/performed?) But it occurs to me that this commingling of gender/aesthetic vocabularies is probably, at least in part, by design. And it hints at a space opening up for new and creative forms of expression.
An alternative to “post-gender” or “gender abolition” — which seem to me potentially harmful philosophies that risk imposing new tyrannies / reinscribing existing binaries / pathologizing transness — these ways of talking suggest a rethinking and recoding of forms of identity expression/performance, of rejecting heteronormativity without violently erasing gender identities or embodied experiences of self. Rigid binary categories instead dissolve into a multiplicity of possibilities: nonstatic, frequently idiosyncratic, based on an embrace of hybridity and playful experimentation. Particularly on tumblr, which has become a space for curating and articulating one’s own personal aesthetic, people are more or less constantly inventing new ways to talk about themselves.
Again, I don’t yet know enough to make claims about what discourses are or are not “emancipatory.” But this seems to point toward a widespread reconceptualization of what gender identity means, into something more individual and fluid.
i want to achieve “she’s adorable and i will protect her at all costs but also i am slightly frightened by her power”
*does something incredibly stupid or embarrassing* well, one day we’ll all be fucking dead. Everybody dead. We’ll all die. Fucking dead. Everyone. Fucking everyone gone. No more bad times.
THIS IS SO IMPORTANT TO KNOW!
i can’t hear anyone say “do you think women are equal to men? congratulations you’re a feminist!” without gritting my teeth like god please stop reducing a political movement to one pithy, hugely oversimplifying little sentence
We never say that all men deserve to feel beautiful. We never say that each man is beautiful in his own way. We don’t have huge campaigns aimed at young boys trying to convince them that they’re attractive, probably because we very rarely correlate a man’s worth with his appearance. The problem is that a woman’s value in this world is still very much attached to her appearance, and telling her that she should or deserves to feel beautiful does more to promote that than negate it. Telling women that they “deserve” to feel pretty plays right in to the idea that prettiness should be important to them. And having books and movies aimed at young women where every female protagonist turns out to be beautiful (whereas many of the antagonists are described in much less flattering terms) reinforces the message that beauty has some kind of morality attached to it, and that all heroines are somehow pretty.