Monday, October 25, 2010

Recognizing Our Prison Guards

By Kelly Jean Cogswell

I am a little depressed almost all the time. It's a result of keeping my temper when I should be barricading buildings, storming Bastilles, or taking a big crap on your "progressive" doorstep. The tea party fury over furinners trying to steal their godgiven rights is nothing compared to what I feel at the daily betrayals of people pretending to have my big dyke back.

You can start with all those New York State politicians that took gay dollars and voted against same-sex marriage. There there's Obama whose hideous Justice Department is fighting as hard to keep the anti-gay military policy, Don't Ask, Don't Tell, as it does to keep Guantanamo detainees behind bars without fair trials, and wiretappers on the job at all the major and minor Telecoms.

Far worse are professional queers like Rick Garcia of Equality Illinois smarmily congratulating himself for his patience in a New York Times article about anti-Democrat anger among queers. "But change takes time; sometimes it takes a lot of time. A lot of folks just don't understand that." And thank god we don't. Not as long as fags are getting tortured and raped in the Bronx and suicided across the country. Not when the transgendered are getting murdered, dykes raped and harassed. Or just dragged down, and marginalized to death.

Supposedly homo-friendly feminism is still riddled with homophobia. Bloggers often write the innocuous "gay woman" instead of lesbian. And the other day, there were those lesbian, feminist playwrights who declared that they hadn't written about dykes or dyke issues because they were so limiting and they didn't want to be pigeonholed, but were still very much lesbians every minute they were writing and performing. I'll believe that when I see photos of their girlfriends eating fur pie under their typewriters as they wrote.

What they liked was that feminist strain of matriarchal rigmarole and mother daughter crap that in my humble opinion stuffed us into one more biologically determined fantasy as suffocating as any myth they were trying to reclaim. The real Greek gods at least subversively screwed their siblings, drank buckets too much, and gave a girl the option of springing full grown from the head of Zeus.

I wouldn't mind coming from there, or even under a rotting cabbage plant where you stand a chance to reinvent yourself as a genetically modified species with enormous capacities to resist parasites, mold, and other inconveniences. Yes, let me spring like water from a struck rock. Let me emerge like Godzilla from your nuclear waste.

Anything not human. Look around at our circumstances. I'm not sure humans actually deserve any kind of rights. We're so eager to be prison guards of our own kind, our own kin, though we call it something else when queers keep other queers in line, and females enforce nice womanly behavior, and mothers raise pig sons as princes or vice versa, and terrorize their daughters for trying to break free. Who needs colonizers when homegrown tyrants do just fine?

Can we make any progress until we line them up against the wall? At least acknowledge them? There are so many. How can we separate the dancer from the dance, the baby from the bath(water) before it gets tossed out?

Next month, I'm going home for the first time in a decade. My own mother could be dismissed as one more nutcase Southern Baptist tea partier. She was amazingly destructive. Tortured me as a dyke (and writer) and daughter while she prayed for me to turn straight and be the girl god wanted me to. She's old now. When I called, her voice wavered on the phone. She sounded a little confused, though not necessarily nicer.

Should I reject her as if she were a Sarah Palin? Allow age to absolve the old matriarch? Should I give her a break when she's surrounded by so many enemies, including plenty of old, new, and post- feminists that never consider that the same right-wing fundamentalists, and anti-choice women they alienate may have children that turn out to be dykes like me. And we remember how our mothers were treated. Even if they seem like a different species.

If you sneer at her, you'll dismiss me too, especially if your benchmark issue is abortion. I've never had one and never will unless I'm raped in the next twenty minutes before menopause hits. Lesbophobia, on the other hand, concerns us all. What do straight women get called when they refuse a date? What do they get called when they're the ball-breaking boss? "Fucking dykes." C'mon. Take up lesbophobia, dear feminists. I'm holding my breath.

Even the queers won't touch it, now that we're into equality, not dissecting hate, or changing society. Our smug professional queers do their best to tamp down our urgency, anger and despair. What do we do with these prison guards? They look like us when a riot's on.

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