Before I start this article on gender prejudice within the punk and left wing movements people need to understand what gender prejudice is.
My take on gender prejudice is that it is based on the expectation that people will conform to social norms commonly associated with their biological sex. Examples being a male or female taking on roles opposite to the ones that are assigned to them by the patriarchal society we live in.
When men and women drop out their assigned gender roles becomes an issue for many people. More often than not a man’s masculinity and a women’s femininity are questioned with it bringing out homophobia in people. ‘Oh he must be gay or she must be lesbian’ all because they reject patriarchal roles.
Most just think there are just two gender binaries but reality is there are many more ranging from gender neutral to transgender. Between those two there are many gender binaries which should be accepted into every day society but again patriarchy keeps people thinking that there are only two roles – Man and Woman.
Despite the original punk movement ignoring gender roles things have gotten very lost along the decades. The same has happened with the left wing movements. In fact when equality seemed to be a norm across these movements there was to be real change on the horizon. Sadly it wasn’t too last and patriarchal roles were soon resumed with it bringing misogyny, domestic violence, rape etc
.Having seen lots happening over the past year I can clearly see that gender prejudice and all the pit falls are there for people to see but for many they turn a blind eye. That’s certainly obvious! I can understand with those who have suffered gender prejudice and why they’re pissed off and why they walked away.
My own experience of gender prejudice isn’t on par what many have suffered. Mines more of an annoyance but still valid. Only last night I was questioned for wearing what I am in the above photo at a punk gig! People with dyed hair, piercings, political badges etc asking me why I’m dressed the way I am. I even asked if I was wearing what is considered female underwear!
Laughable really. In the spirit of things I did answer when asked and explained my reasons about doing the blog etc. I even returned the question about why they were dressed the way they are. The reply was ‘I like it’. My response to that was like ‘Well I like to dress the way I do’. Then come the blank expressions on their faces.
Even in left wing political circles I’ve been asked why I dress the way I do! On one hand they’ll rightfully have a go at racists yet these people have their own prejudices to bare regards gender binaries.
For me movements that saw patriarchy being destroyed need to get back to their roots if they really believe in change. Patriarchy and that comes with it is outdated and needs to go!
Bottom line – It’s time for change!