Gender Nihilism: An Anti-Manifesto - Alyson Escalante - Deepstash

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Current Perceptions of Gender

Current Perceptions of Gender

The current perception of gender is that it is an apparent truth whether that be through self affirmation or diagnostic.

Gender is seemingly infinite with a myriad of labels, pronouns, and identities all individualized to one's personal experience

The current path sees us continuing to broaden and expanding upon itself.

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JUDITH BUTLER

(Gender is)...he apparatus by which the production and normalization of masculine and feminine take place along with the interstitial forms of hormonal, chromosomal, psychic, and performative that gender assumes.”

JUDITH BUTLER

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Gender Nihilism

Gender Nihilism

If one is to free themselves from the violence of gender (such as misogyny and surgeries forced upon intesex bodies) they must destroy the apparatus of gender entirely.

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Antihumanism

Antihumanism

Antihumanism is the rejection of the essential. This belief sees that there is nothing inherent to being a human.

The concept of "Man and Woman" dont exist as labels for essential categories of being rather they are discursive, social, and linguistic symbols which are evolve and change.

Their existence is contingent on power and subjugation.

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Liberal Feminism Vs Gender Nihilism

Liberal Feminism Vs Gender Nihilism

Liberal Feminism

  • when saying “I am a woman” they mean they are spiritually, ontologically, metaphysically, genetically, or any other modes of “essentially” a woman.
  • there is an unawareness or dismissive attitude towards the relationship of power and gender.
  • Views gender as a way of legitimizing themselves and performing it proves they can operate within it

Gender Nihilism:

  • when saying “I am a woman” that means that they are located within a certain position in a matrix of power which constitutes them as such.

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Liberal Feminism Vs Gender Nihilism Continued

Liberal Feminism Vs Gender Nihilism Continued

Gender nihilist Continued:

  • they consider themselves gender abolitionist due to gender as a system being inherently violent
  • appealing to power is a trap and one must refuse to legitimize themselves.

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Clarification of Antihumanism

Clarification of Antihumanism

Antihumanism does not deny the lived experience of those who have a deep connection to gender, rather it acknowledges that such an experience of gender was always already determined through the terms of power.

The idea of “woman and man” do not exist within us as a stable truth, but references the discourses by which we are constituted.

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JUDITH BUTLER

My agency does not consist in denying this condition of my constitution. If I have any agency, it is opened up by the fact that I am constituted by a social world I never chose. That my agency is riven with paradox does not mean it is impossible. It means only that paradox is the condition of its possibility

JUDITH BUTLER

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Gender Abolition

Gender Abolition

"Gender is a frame, a subset of language, and set of symbols and signs, communicated between us, constructing us and being reconstructed by us constantly."

The apparatus of gender operates cyclically; through our behaviors and norms thus this realization allows for movement against the cycle.

Although, as time progresses normalization may occur so that, nefariously the counter gender action is then naturalized, accounted for, and subsides the resistance.

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Nonbinary isn't Abolition

Nonbinary isn't Abolition

One may think that assuming a nonbinary identity would be praxis in the abolition of the binary, but that isn't the case. By taking on an identity that uses binary as a point of reference it reinforces and replicates the same issues.

The identity itself normalizes and neutralizes revolutionary friction while still not agitating the system.

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Identity Politics

Identity Politics

Trans and Nonbinary people are not a fault for reinforcing gender and are often those who are most hurt by gender.

This is why subjectivity reliant on labeling is problematic. There's a greater pressure to perform the nuance of each part of your personhood that you forget that struggle of power you're fighting against.

It works as a domesticating agent

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Sex Based Gender Theory

Sex Based Gender Theory

One might read this cry for the gender abolition as an attempt to recategorize people based on sex as a lesser form of violence. This is not true at all! Sex is just as discursive as gender and is the perpetrator of just as much violence against non-compliant bodies.

A return to a simpler and smaller understanding of gender will not help in achievingliberation. It is the very normative grouping of bodies in the first place which is to be pushed back against. Neither contraction nor expansion will fix the problem, only destruction of the apparatus

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Radical Negativity

Radical Negativity

Complete negation is a terrifying concept. There is no "true self" to return to. What comes next is unknown but that calls for a new found eagerness and excitement.

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ALYSON ESCALANTE

For if we are to criticize their own normative underpinnings in favor of an alternative, we only fall prey once again to the neutralizing power of normalization. Thus we answer the demand for a clearly stated alternative and for a program of actions to be taken with a resolute “no.” The days of manifestos and platforms are over. The negation of all things, ourselves included, is the only means through which we will ever be able to gain anything.

ALYSON ESCALANTE

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Addendum

Addendum

The piece at time of publishing neglected a few key things such as:

  • context
  • an explicit address of race
  • an articulation of gender as a colonial product
  • a clarification as to the nature of the piece itself.

A further exploration on this is available in the text:

Beyond Negativity: What Comes After Gender Nihilism?

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CURATED BY

sydcada

queer who wants to make art and ideas accessible for all. Posting about an idea is not an endorsement of it, nor does it necessarily align with my beliefs. Simply posting to generate ideas and start conversations. he/him

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