Gender Anarchy is the nature of defying society's ideas and constructs around gender, to challenge the cisgender white heteronormative world, both knowingly and not.

Do gender YOUR way

There is no set algorithm that you have to achieve to be deemed a perfect specimen of your gender. Fuck society's idea of what you should look like. Be that beautiful femme boi you wanna be, be that rad skirted masc person you wanna be, imagine all the glorious variations of femme and masc you can think of and embody it. You don't have to explain your gender and your gender expression to anyone. The idea of genderfuck has been explored by many in the queer community, both trans and cis people alike. But the idea of gender anarchy could also be extended to anyone that is not queer.

Believe that gender is fluid

Not just fluid but gender is as unique to someone as is their DNA. We all do gender differently. It can mean our gender expression (that is, the way we choose to present ourselves to society). It can mean gender self identification (that is, the gender we identify as personally).

You know when the Genderpolice say, ‘You're doing this for attention. You just want to be a special snowflake?’ FLASH FLASH FLASH, we are ALL special snowflakes so your argument is faulted.

FUN GIFT IDEA FOR A GENDER ANARCHIST BABE: no two snowflakes are alike. Quick intro on ‘How to preserve snowflakes to gift to that utter gender anarchist babe in your life’. You will need a glass slide, a cover slip, clear super glue and snow. Freeze the glass slide and cover slip overnight and freeze the super glue for about ten minutes before you head outside to catch some of the snow. Use a tweezer to catch and place a snowflake (or more) onto the frozen slide, drop some super glue on the centre of each flake and quickly cover it with the cover slide. Freeze for 48 hours and at the end of it, you will have a preserved snowflake that won’t melt EVER.

There is no compulsion to be out and proud

Being out and proud, making sure people know about your genderfluidity and genderfuckery is great activism for trans peoples and gender outlaws and a great feeling for many. But if you, for whatever reason, cannot express gender the way you want to sometimes or outside your bedroom walls, it doesn't make you any less of a gender anarchist. Remember that regardless of who knows of your gender identity and regardless of what people see, you will always still be you.

Gender anarchy DOESN’T always have to mean genderfuck

Genderfuck has been defined as deliberately sending mixed messages about one's gender, usually through one's clothing and appearance. Gender anarchy, is purely your way of rebelling against constructed notions of gender (and gender expression) in society. Gender anarchy doesn’t have to mean androgyny either. All the bodies we see on media that are portrayed as examples of gender anarchy are white, thin, androgynous, non-disabled, conventionally attractive people. You don’t have to fit that bill to play with gender expression. You can be a person of colour, fat, not toned, not muscular, not perfectly proportioned, disabled, not conventionally attractive (or otherwise known as anyone our shit society deems ‘less’ than for bigoted reasons) and still defy all laws of gender and still be a jaw dropping babe.

Gender anarchy’s #1 aim is to stop thinking of people and things in terms of gender

Since birth, we’re commanded to learn textbook material on ‘how to be a girl’ and ‘how to be a boy’ and we reproduce these orders on a daily basis. Example; if you see a bearded person walking down the street, you automatically assume that person is a man, only because you have been told men have beards but thinking of people not in terms of gender markers, or rather, not assuming certain things about people would help us all along. In a utopian world, no one would assume anyone’s gender, nor use gendered pronouns because of random indicators, unless told otherwise by the person themselves. In the current world we live in, the TFL makes announcements that start with ‘Ladies and gentlemen’, you go to queer nights and they start the evening with ‘kings and queens’, you go to school and they address crowds as ‘boys and girls’. Gender anarchy’s #1 aim is to stop this constant reinforcement of binaries. This isn’t saying ‘gender’ as a concept shouldn’t exist but that one should question the binaries imposed on them. We need to forget ideas of pink and blue, and create a world filled with shades of purple instead.

[I actually have a friend that drives the Piccadilly line and they refused to say ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’ during their announcements and use ‘Good morning all’ or variations of gender neutral greetings instead. Example of gender anarchy working in everyday life.]

Gender anarchy means not listening to society’s narrow idea of masculinity and femininity

Society’s idea of masculinity and femininity are very restricted. Dresses, bows, heels, make up, submissiveness, shyness, smiles, lipstick, pink would pretty much encompass society’s backward idea of femininity. Ties, trousers, man spreading, entitlement, beards, dominance are some ideas the world holds up as masculinity. So what happens when you don’t want to embody their idea of masculinity or femininity? What happens when you’re forced to tick boxes just so people see you as the gender you identify as?

I wear lipstick and own my masculinity when I do so. The lipstick becomes a part of my masculinity. But others don’t see it that way. The number of times I’ve had people question why I call myself butch because I wear lipstick, is a silly amount to even mention. So do and wear what makes you feel beautiful and/or handsome or spectacular each morning. Do what makes you happy when you look at yourself in the mirror. If all of us in the world broke down what our ideas of masculinity and femininity meant, we wouldn’t have homophobic, transphobic, sexist bigots out there.

Gender anarchy feels a lot like every day drag

When people think of drag, often the first that comes to their mind- are drag queens. Barely anyone outside the queer community even knows the existence of drag kings let alone different variations of drag queens. Due to that, people take drag for glitter, big headdresses and flamboyance, which is also a very legit form of drag. But the definition of drag merely states that it is the exaggeration and/or embodiment of masculinity and/or femininity. I feel like my gender expression on a daily basis, is a form of drag. I’m embodying different variations of masculinity and femininity depending on what I feel like each morning. Coming from that thought, regardless of what you embody (or don’t embody in terms of people that don’t necessarily see themselves as either masculine nor feminine), maybe we’re all in drag on a daily basis anyway?

By Krishna Istha
STRIKE! Issue 13
Printed in Issue 13

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