Not Lost in Translation

The following performance piece is called “Gender Game.” It was written by Alix Olsen and Amy Neevel, translated into Hebrew by Ophir, Friedman and Gur, and performed here by Gurnisht Nice-Ass. The words are phenomenal, and they’re posted below. But watch this video even if you can’t understand the language. Because the message is clear.

Gender Game
©2001 Alix Olson.
co-written by amy neevel

You wanna give me a shiner
Cause I look like this
And I got a vagina?
See, I’m familiar with this Gender Game,
I’ve played this war many times before
On this playground called my identity
When puberty hit like dodge balls
And freeze-tagged as sissy-fagged
My best friend dissed me- common interests,
Different anatomy.

See, vagina meant quieter, caretaker, peacemaker.
Vagina meant keeping lips closed, keeping bodies posed.
Vagina was silent dolls and no action toys,
Vagina was punches when I played with the boys.
So I learned to take it in the stomach, I learned to Fight to make friends.

And as I learned to make that bullshit end,
Vagina became a slippery slide for my little finger
Vagina became a quiver that lingered,
Vagina became what I looked for, worked for, stood for,
I “Viva La Vagina’d all over the place!”
I revitalized Vagina’s grace, I discovered vagina’s taste.
I became a fine diner. Put my face in vagina after vagina.

And then I was faced with some other lipservice
Putting me in my place
That Vagina should not be liberator.
But dictator.
Of the shoes we wear. The hair we crop.
The palms we clasp. The way we walk.
The space we use. The threads we choose.
Well, I refuse to follow suit.
Cause I gotta confess, my straight jacket is a dress.
You know it used to be a crime
To wear clothes that didn’t scream
“Vagin-A!”
I wear these shoes so I can move with my own easy spirit.
I don’t shave my legs cause
It gets cold. Besides, my legs rebel
Against the bloody hell of
Shaved and sliced
And since when is my body hair something to judge?
Is furry a male privilege-
Or a patriarchal plot by gillette?
I don’t cut my nails cause I’ve got hammering to do.
I’m pounding out my path as I cruise this gender landscape,
As I peruse the choice between silence and
Violence.

Matthew Shepard was bent, so you hang him to a fence,
Brandon Teena was murdered as a liar for hiding his
Vagina. And I can’t even sit
In a restaurant without causing a stir:
“Whaddya have sir? Whaddya have sir? Whaddya have sir?”
I have a Vagina!

Yes, I’ve got a vagina and you can still call me sir,
Cause I can’t cure
This visual disease of yours.
But I don’t give a damn about “Sir” or “Ma’am”.
So, in the “F” or “M” boxes they give,
I forgive myself for not fitting in
And blame the world for lack of clarity.
I deliberate.
Penis? I got one y’know. I write down “d” for dildo,
I write down “D” for
“Don’t know,” I fill in “F” for
fi-fie-foe male!
Yes, I’m a giant Vagina!
And I am too big for these boxes they give,
Too real for this Gender Toyland
Built over soiled contradictions
With Barbie bricks and Ken cornerstones
Built over the skulls and bones of our Transgendered Ancestors.
Danger:
She-men working above. And beyond. You.

Yes, we are Deconstruction Workers.
We are exposing unfounded bedrocks
That bed us to one sex, that wed us to one gender.
We are overturning those stones,
We are throwing them back.
We are making revolution
A gender evolution.
We are invoking strategy, we are revoking shame.
And we are calling it. We are calling it
Refusal to be Named.


Posted by on September 29th, 2007 at 03:00 pm

Category: faces, video 3 comments »

3 Responses to “Not Lost in Translation”

  1. June

    Wow.

    [Reply]

  2. Anonymous

    it says the video was removed because of terms of use violations

    [Reply]

  3. leslie

    Love this.

    [Reply]


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