Reader input needed: brainstorming session for Freaks and Weirdos Manifesto

The commenter arainandagale had the excellent idea of writing a Freaks and Weirdos Manifesto after I wrote my Freaks and Weirdos post. In fact, she did write a first draft on her blog, and since it’s short, I will reproduce it here:

“We, The Freaks and Weirdos of this planet, Earth, do hereby decree our unwavering commitment to nonconformity. We establish, herein, that we will henceforth march to the beat of our own drummer, never to be deterred. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that people are people, so why should it be, you and I should get along so awfully? We don’t need NO education to tell us what to wear or who to love!

I have a dream, that one day little short-haired girls will play with little boys in dresses and they will not be ‘confused’ because they know they are loved, not for how they express their gender norms but for all of who they are.

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary to Fuck The patriarchy and question all the bullshit on which it stands, one nation, under no god(s), undefinable, with respect and dignity for all!”

I like where she is going with this! However, I believe we can make it quite a big longer. It is my hope that anyone who is interested in this will provide their input, and here are my suggestions for how to get started.

I propose that the first thing this manifesto should do is define what we mean by “Freaks and Weirdos.” Here are my ideas on that subject so far: These words could really include a whole lot of people and if we include too many then it would get too broad. I propose that we stick to the gender-non-conforming, which includes feminists, gays, lesbians, bisexuals and also straight people who challenge what it means to be male or female. Obviously people who are trans-identified fall into this category, but I hesitate to use the word transgender because that word implies that a person naturally has to transition. We are writing from a gender critical perspective and so I prefer to say “gender non-conforming” rather than “transgender.” The point here, ultimately, is that transition is conformity and we are promoting living a life in the gray area, without conforming.

In the next section, I suggest we air our grievances. For example, we are subject to punishments for being ourselves, we are shown a limited way to be, we are told we are supposed to be just like everybody else even though we’re not, we are told we are wrong for being ourselves, we are brought to doctors and medicalized because our families regard our personalities as unacceptable, and we are hidden and erased instead of celebrated.

Finally, I suggest we set a course for the future. We will resolve to be ourselves, to not change, not fit in, not hide, celebrate ourselves and each other, and let the world know how great Freaks and Weirdos are.

If you are interested in this, feel free to leave your suggestions, tips, or entire paragraphs in the comments. No suggestions too big or too small!

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14 thoughts on “Reader input needed: brainstorming session for Freaks and Weirdos Manifesto

  1. WOOOOHOOO! YES!
    Let’s expand this thing!
    DEF: I like gender non-conforming, rebels, unpopular, definitely not trying to please anybody but ourselves! We dress for comfort not for “HIS PLEASURE.”
    GRIEVANCES: We are marginalized, stigmatized and demonized! Gender non-conformists are pushed to the side, ignored or worse, painted as “vicious, man-hating lesbians” or “prissy, sissy, pretty boys.”
    FUTURE: I went to a women’s conference in which got to meet some of the original Rosie Riveters and they told me something I think is important. Any time you open a door, you leave a ladder for the next woman. We not only commit to non-conforming, we liberate others and we pave the way for future generations so they don’t have to go through the same crap.

    Also, there’s gotta be something in there about taking up space. Women and anything else deemed “feminine” have been relegated to cramped spaces, unwritten books, tight skirts and heels for too long. We are taught to be small, not just in our looks but in our demeanor and in the way we occupy space (cross your legs, be quiet, listen, give up what you have for others). So yeah, something about that.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. This is so fuckin cool–i’ve been thinking lately about trying to get a bunch of women together and publishing an anthology/manifesto.

    I really like the bit about commitment to being gender-non-conforming, or rather the commitment to gender resistance. Gender must be defined, definitely, and perhaps something about what it means to resist gender. Not just our own, but in the example of transgender…how are you resisting gender by donning the costume of degradation women have too long been subject to? Fuck-me-heels and corsets are highly gendered clothing, designed to reinforce gender roles for women, things that have no place in a “post-modern” genderfree utopia.

    And I second the bit about gender resistance for women including something about taking up space. I’m so tired of being silent, and I feel a glitch in my programming every time I speak up about fucked up patriarchal bullshit. Like, shh, they might hear you. Which I think, and I’ve been attempting to write about, might be a defense mechanism instilled in me from my experiences with an abusive husband. Shhh, he’s gonna hurt you if you keep talking like that.

    It’s to the point, I don’t care if you come after me! I’ve got a duty to speak up and fight. By demanding my acquiescence, you have lit the fires of rebellion inside of me, and I intend to dedicate my life to demolishing the boundaries you set to keep me ten steps behind you throughout the gauntlet of power you have constructed and made mandatory participation as a matter of life and death.

    I’m looking forward to the developments!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This is why I love women, y’all are so damn inspiring. Every time I’m like…pfft, fuck it all, I’m done, I see other women keeping up the fight, and it brings me right back, it gives me hope and reminds me that mine is not a futile journey. This, this illustrates perfectly the importance of women’s community.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. We intend to offend you with our blatant and deliberate disregard for your expectations and regulations. We are not fooled by your concern, your concerns are with yourself and to the systems of power designed to reassure you that you are not on the bottom, that there is someone beneath you for you to crush and enslave. You are fragile, the shoddy construction of your empire is evidenced by your discomfiture at the site of a sneering woman who shaved her own head and with boots bigger than yours, holding the hand of another rebellious woman in love and unity–and that’s what you get when your foundation is a mass of living beings–your superior existence, your right to domination, delusions of godhood, predicated on the belief that we would never escape from our bondage.

    I’m just so excited.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. This! THIS! HELL YES! THIS! I’ve been waiting fucking DECADES for this to happen! I will stand in the streets, locked-arm with you, I will march with you as we push back against our subjugation by a Patriarchal world! I have nothing to lose and everything to gain, so Hell yes, to all of it! Count me in!

    Liked by 2 people

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