Call me rah-rah riot boi.
6/8/11 12:40pm PST edited to include this link
I wish I could tell you how my 7-year-old self learned to spit male chauvinist pig! most vitriolic of all the epithets learned up to that point, but I can only imagine the source.
My 3rd-grade analysis and solution were simple: boys are the source of the patriarchy, so let’s form a separatist society, and subjugate them for a change!
I mean, like most things, it seemed like a good idea at the time, and somehow I convinced a few friends to form a feminist collective, tho gratefully not everyone shared my extreme separatism (which didn’t allow for ‘nice’/feminist boys). We spent most of recess digging holes, climbing trees, talking about books and trying to ward off future violent kissings from boundary-crossing boys by responding with a little violent resistance of our own.
Despite all my righteous womyn-power & herstory antics, I remember telling adults when asked about my future occupational plans that I planned to grow up to be a man. Growing up with a gender-variant parent who was often ma’amed, I didn’t think much of gender normativity, and my own lack thereof was already starting to attract attention and a hailing as dyke or fag, depending upon who you asked.
My case for separatism then was as my hunger now, a yearning for safe space and solidarity without the minefield of other-ness inherent to the gender binary. But separatism can create its own dichotomies, too, as the boundaries of Us and Them become policeable. And. And what of folks who live in the hinterlands, like myself? Girls vs. Boys is too simplistic a call now, and perhaps it always was.