I’ve read through Suzanne Moore’s ‘It's good to be genderqueer but don't forget the sexual radicals who paved the way’ about ten times now and I can safely say, don’t bother.
Moore gets off to an absolutely fantastic start by repeating the age-old biphobic adage ‘everyone now is bisexual’. Wow, well, like we haven’t heard that one before, almost always hypocritically uttered by monosexuals. Funny, isn’t it, how everyone is bisexual these days and yet bisexual men don’t exist. What Moore’s playing at here, whether she realises it or not, is an old game invented by the heteropatriarchy. The goal is to subdue and control women’s sexuality and it’s a big part of rape culture. One can see this in how she goes on to mention, as evidence for everyone being bisexual, “Miley, Cara and various models”. It’s a very deliberate and telling move on Moore’s part and it comes out hand-in-hand with another one of Dr. Gerulf Rieger’s studies, the assertion that all women are bisexual.* Putting two and two together we can infer that Moore believes all women “these days” are bisexual. She is uncritically repeating biphobic myths that support rape culture. Honestly, with an opener like that, anyone would assume this was a Katie Hopkins article.
Moore goes on to address “young people” in a tone so polished and pompous it would make any Gamergater proud. “Welcome to the world, friends, for who does not feel like that?” My favourite thing about this quote here is that it’s a very condescending and confident way of calling young bisexuals and non-binary people special snowflakes. In fact, I think one of the reasons it took so long for me to write this response was because of all the parallels between Moore and anti-sjws, which was incredibly and counterproductively hilarious. If I had to sum up Moore’s article for someone with enough common sense to avoid it completely I’d say this: “Shut up, millennials, you’re not special or different and stop making up genders/sexualities.”
Then, probably after being reeled in by her editor, Moore tries to clarify her real problem with special snowflake tumblrinas by arguing that we’re in danger of forgetting or moving past the qu**r heroes and politics of the sixties and seventies. If, like me, you have no idea what could have caused Moore to grow concerned about that then don’t worry, because she gives a nice example for us all to illustrate her anxieties; Laura Penny. Penny is a genderqueer feminist that, like Shiri Eisner, identifies politically as a woman despite it actually being more complex than that, personally. What the fuck, Laura? Suzanne probably said upon discovering her treachery. Just for the record, although there’s practically little difference, here’s what Moore actually said: “Try being a ‘butch dyke’ or is that not quite radical enough?”
Try reading that quote allowed. Can’t you just hear the ‘sweety uwu’ attached at the end? It’s this patronising, Moore-knows-best, tone that actually makes the article pretty funny to read. Moore is so barely able to hide her sheer rage over our audacity that she invokes the classic image of a bitter old man, grinding his teeth at kids on their phones. Transphobia aside, this is also the point in the article that Moore confirms that she actually has no idea what she’s talking about and the rest is history. Blah, blah blah, we died for your sins blah, blah, millennials are entitled. There’s a few paragraphs which Moore has devoted entirely to complaining that bi and trans youths don’t take The Movement seriously enough, that we’re not queer or oppressed, just trying to look cool. Just, seemingly, to cover all her bases, she slips in a reference to Rachel Dolezal, equating her deception and appropriation with a non-binary gender identity. This was, for me, the most offensive part of the article and again it plays into what we’ve heard hundreds of times before not, however, from the cishets, but from, what should be, our own community. Bi and non-binary people have long been erased, belittled and rejected by monosexual gay people and, as some people know all too well, this wound gets so little attention and is rarely discussed decently that is has festered and left inter-community relations tense. Anyone can tell, halfway through the article; Moore hates us. Anyway.
Blah blah blah, she complains about modern feminism favourites such as trigger warnings, cisphobia (lol) and intersectionality… After reaching this point, I had my big realisation about Suzanne Moore. She’s done.
So long, Moore, and thanks for all the freedom. Here’s the result of the matter, we don’t need Suzanne, or her brand of feminism, anymore. Food for thought though: should we thank Moore and her friends for their contribution? She is partially right, after all, her and her friends paved the way for the LGBT-community. Sort of. Well, they paved the way for themselves, at least.
If Moore and Co. had spent their time, thirty/forty years ago, campaigning for LGBT-rights then I would say yes, of course, unequivocally we should never forget them, honour them always, look to them for guidance with the utmost respect. But, to be honest, I don’t believe they did. Moore didn’t fight for me to find a gender identity that made me comfortable. She didn’t fight for me to feel safe as a bisexual person. She didn’t fight for you to choose your pronouns and change them whenever you needed to. They didn’t fight so that we didn’t have to. Because we still have to. Bisexual people, as you probably all know, are the most at risk of domestic violence, rape, mental illness and poverty. No, they fought for themselves. And while that’s all well and good, and congratulations to them for pushing back against the heteropatriarchy, they didn’t do it for us.
That’s the only thing worth knowing about Moore’s article: she doesn’t care about us. But here’s the good news, we don’t need her kind. Moore will fade into oblivion while we progress far past her and eventually, one day, we’ll read about her kind in history books whilst we shake our heads.
Alexander Winter is a starry-eyed and unemployed post-grad, based in Wales and trying to make it as a writer. Twitter: AJWinter_1