Lift-Me-Ups by Diya Sabharwal
Playlist · 28 Songs · Available with an Apple Music subscription. Try it free.
On Music and Emasculation
I sent my friend a song and he replied saying ‘it’s okay, I guess, but it’s too girly.’ Which made me wonder what, exactly, about a sound, makes it girly? Because this is a boy who listens primarily to indie music, not rap/ rock that’s traditionally seen as ‘Masculine.’ And here I was, sending him an indie song that I really liked, and here he was, saying this particular indie song was too girly for him.
So was the song too girly? Or was he just meaninglessly emasculated by the song’s trills? The artist of the song themselves were gender-nonconforming, which brings me to my next point: why are womxn and queer people so intimately tied, while the men make up their own category all together? (Feminist and Sexuality Studies majors. Female artists like Kali Uchis and Lana del Rey being seen as ‘girly’ but also as gay icons in their own right. The fact that womxn are statistically less likely to be homophobes than our male counterparts. I could go on and on.)
The patriarchy is really tricky to deal with, but I think the more we look into it, we see the flawed ideals behind it, and also the extraneous factors at play here. In the process of being subjugated, being seen as inferior to their hereto-cis-male counterparts, womxn and the queer community have been able to understand each other well – because the subjugation of each is, of course, just a product of the same societal flaw. The same people who say womxn are inferior will be the first to groan in disgust at men wearing nail – polish. Because saying womxn are inferior to men entails drawing distinctions between the two genders, which goes against the very premise of queer studies.
I was on the Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy earlier, and I found these great quotes to further illustrate my point.
not the best picture, but it says that: nature is not divided into two subcategories of ‘male’ and ‘female’. Much the same way that it isn’t divided into ‘fat’ vs ‘this’ or into ‘tall’ vs ‘short.’ It’s not a dichotomy, it’s a continuum consisting of many different levels. We accept that there’s a whole range of heights between six feet and five feet, so why can we not just accept the whole range of genders between ‘male’ and ‘female’ in much the same way? (Thinking of anything as inherently ‘male’ or ‘female’ goes against this train of thought, as such a classification involves a discrete breaking down of the two genders, which is not, at its core, an idea which can be substantiated by nature.)
In other words, ‘nature’ throws up all this diversity and we have to accept it, it’s all we can do.
Anyway, in honour of my friend thinking Tami T is too girly for him – here’s a playlist of inspiring, girly music that inspires me to always shoot higher. Toodles!