The Camp Vamp: Katrina Fox

Commentary on GLBTIQ issues, social justice and some of life's quirks.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Gender Schmender

So, another young man vents his rage against the world with guns and kills 30 people. The press coverage of the shoot-out at Virginia Tech University in the US last week unsurprisingly focused on trying to allot blame. The Daily Telegraph, with its usual dearth of integrity, offered up a story which began "This is the face of the girl who may have sparked the worst school shooting in US." Yeah, like it was really 18-year-old Emily Hilscher's fault that the shooter, Seung-Hui Cho, may have been infatuated with her and unable to process his overwhelming emotions in a constructive manner. Just like it's always the fault of the mother, wife, girlfriend, sister or any random female whenever men turn violent, eh?

Obsessed as they appear to be with physical appearance (especially faces), the Tele also ran a front page story whose headlines screamed 'Face of Evil'. But was Cho, a 23-year-old guy really 'evil'? Or was he, himself, a victim of a society that has spiralled so far downwards into a pit of self-destruction in which consumerism, money and outward appearances are revered while compassion and any sense of deep communication is deemed taboo or unworthy? His alleged diatribe against "Christianity and rich kids" is pertinent. But rather than examining the societal factors that may have led to this tragic course of events, we look for skeletons in Cho's cupboard to try to explain his actions and comfort ourselves in the knowledge that he was just a "nutter", or as Lynne Eccleston, a forensic psychologist at Melbourne University, put it in The Sydney Morning Herald suffering from a "schitzotypal personality disorder", which is apparently a person "characterised by social isolation, 'bizarre' behaviour, paranoias and unusual thinking and speech." Hmm, sounds like me and most of the people I enjoy hanging out with.

Still, it's enough to make me want to embrace the all-female Utopia that lesbian separatist feminists (known nowadays as Autonomous Lesbian Feminists or ALFs for short, the irony of the acronym being a male name not withstanding) are no doubt clapping their hands with glee over as it's finally set to be a possibility. Last week SX reported that researchers in the UK have found a way to create babies from bone marrow, which could mean that two women can have a daughter of their own without any input from a man. I predict that this is the start of the lesbian revolution. Men will be phased out in these Sapphic communities that will form across the globe; underground cells will draw up manifestos outlining the takedown of the patriarchy; militant dykes clad in combat gear and stilettos (who said saving the world can't be glamorous) will roam the streets, hyped on feminist anthems like 'I'm Every Woman' or 'Sisters Are Doing it For Themselves', and surrender themselves to their hormonal impulses, unleashing centuries of repressed rage toward men in suits. At this point, disgruntled college students will be the least of the government's worries. Every cloud has a silver lining.

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