I’m going to have a bit of a grumpy old git rant…. becuase i can.
when i were young… student politics was much as it is today…impassioned yet interminably dull. Oh okay..when you’re pissed in the union bar its great. When holding forth at debating soc…less so… i’m sure it forms the basis of much grass roots political action. Its good stuff…. some of them even grow up and go on to ‘proper’ politics.
but let’s be honest…. the sort of radical, edgey, left wing politics that ruined many a cup of frothy coffee is what ‘youth’ do… we tend to mellow as we get older. i don’t think our politics drasically shift over the years… but it certainly moderates…and evolves. This is why when we have a Conservativey sort of government in power the kids take to the street…opposition suits them and gives them something to kick hard against.
But anyway…I digress (I have many grumpy old git rants in my digressionary repertoire).
One of THE most tedious student political types was the political lesbian… they just bored me silly…. it was all about erm…politics and not much about sex… it was intensity, badges, poetry and bloody feminism …. and after college most of them gave up the political lesbianism and settled down to taking off their dungarees, and had jobs and kids…yanno… the sort of thing lesbians do anyway but without the straight relationship.
Its interesting now looking at student politics… the cutting edge is gender politics. Being openly gay is so last decade…or the one before that even. But gender politics is very now.
You just need to grow your hair and wear girls clothes…. or vice versa… insist on being called something different from what you were given at birth by your parents and off you go. All the reasons you like to rail against the world like generations of angry young people have done before.
I’m not saying there aren’t any real queer students out there…. but lets be honest… for many of them its a phase.
For many its not.
But it does make me smile to see yet another generation of angry young people getting intellectually cross and thinking they are the first ones to be so… (god… did i really just say that – i remember my parents saying the same… my hobby horse was nuclear war…. I blamed my parents generation often enough that i actually managed to give my mum a guilt complex).
I never politicised my gender or sexuality… I just got on and did what I did.. I slept with who I fancied and mosty wore old mens pyjamas and cardigans through college…. it was okay..it was an art college i could do that without having to be political and intellectual.
I think what brought this blog on (apart from i’ve been on my first spring bike ride and this is a good excuse to sit down and rest my weary bones) is what i’m noticing in gender politics are an awful lot of people who are on the autistic spectrum…or studying computer related subjects (same thing i guess)… someone else mentioned this to me the other day too…so i googled and theres actually a growing amount of research out there about the corrolation between ASD and gender dysphoria. Now I find that fascinating.
I don’t think it explains away dysphoria… but i do think dysphorics come in various flavours… and one of them is certainly the sort of low social ability geek (now known more kindly as ‘on the autistic spectrum’) who wouldn’t have been part of that spirited political debate back in the 80s.
But now! with the internet… they’re out there…well…. not exactly OUT there but certainly sat at a keyboard being a gender activist.