Observed at Pridefest

As a straight ally, I am uncomfortable offering critique of my city’s gay and lesbian celebration. However, I will provide some observations:

• At the electronic music tent, very young looking girls danced seductively on stage wearing tutus, pigtails, and holding lollipops. Several had dollar bills tucked into their waist bands. Other dancing girls had on leather, chains, and other bondage attire, also with dollar bills in their waist bands. There were some young looking dancing boys as well. My brother stated that they all looked about 9 years old, but they were probably much older.

• It was a lovely day in the park, with many happy people sitting under trees and sipping beer and water. An incredibly drunk man vomited in the grass next to them.

• A shirtless man walked by with the words “Girls kissing make me hard” written on his body.

• Enthusiastic people smiled and danced to old, well known tunes.

• Local businesses and corporations alike passed out rainbow stickers with their company brand, stating their support of gay rights (Walgreen’s stickers abounded).

• Straight allies were also in attendance, but were the minority. There were many couples of all kinds holding hands or relaxing on each other in the grass.  It was hard to tell who is a straight ally and who was gay.  We’re all human.

• Dogs with rainbow leashes received a lot of human love from all.

• Kids dressed up in rainbow barrettes and socks for the day.

• A pregnant woman grooved to the music.

• A Human Rights Campaign worker on the sidewalk asked passing folks to sign a petition.

• Outside the park, scores of individuals could be seen walking down the streets through town back to their cars in their celebratory attire.

About smash
Women's liberationist.

5 Responses to Observed at Pridefest

  1. Noanodyne says:

    Thank you for calling this out:

    At the electronic music tent, very young looking girls danced seductively on stage wearing tutus, pigtails, and holding lollipops. Several had dollar bills tucked into their waist bands. Other dancing girls had on leather, chains, and other bondage attire, also with dollar bills in their waist bands. There were some young looking dancing boys as well. My brother stated that they all looked about 9 years old, but they were probably much older.

    That this is at a pride fest now relates perfectly to your previous post about 3rd wavers and choosy choice and “sex pos” and “queer.” Those elements have all come together in a toxic stew that you can see any night of the week in gay and lesbian bars in every large city in the U.S. and other countries. Any attempt to question these kinds of displays of what amounts to a call to pedophilia or abuse is met with disdain and dismissal. Gay/Lesbian community centers (they’re the ones that sponsor these events) were once hotbeds of political activism where we could at least have a discussion about such issues. Now, it’s a much steeper uphill battle. But I’m REALLY glad you posted this, because it’s high time radical lesbian feminists spoke out about this stuff in our larger “community,” which, correctly or not, is seen to represent ALL lesbians. We should at least speak out on behalf of the younger women who are being used in this way and the ones who think that porn and SM culture are what being a lesbian is all about.

  2. smash says:

    Yes, we need to speak out. One good aspect was that folks seemed uncomfortable with the display, which tells me that we may find others with similar critiques. However, people like my friend K (PhD sociology) may just tell us that these dancers are just “queering the patriarchy” (WTF!), and are actually being subversive in their display. Sounds like “queering” the patriarchy is actually just code for “complying with and increasing the power of” the patriarchy.

    Perhaps non-academics are more in touch with their visceral discomfort at that sexualization of youth and the objectification of humans at a supposedly “progressive” political event. I hope someone is, anyway.

  3. Noanodyne says:

    Just to survive a PhD program all the way to graduation takes drinking all the academic kool-aid possible — they won’t pass you through unless you’re in lockstep with the current pomo mindset. And it’s very sad for that to happen to otherwise smart people who would certainly figure things out if left to their own critical thinking.

    Maybe you can turn her on to SocImages (created by two sociology profs) — it’s not radical, but it’s way more feminist than the notion of “queering the patriarchy” (ya, right, why does that look so much like a patriarchy designed by men???).

    Looking forward to reading more of your posts.

  4. Pingback: escape from pr0nland « smashesthep

  5. Confused says:

    I have a question that is completely off topic. How can a Rad Feminist be heterosexual? I don’t get it. Not even bi? How can a “straight” woman who is disgusted by the patriarchy-who has probably been sexually harrassed-probably raped-who is disgusted with men as a whole and their love for murder-rape-watching porno-hurting women and girls and being their good old misogynistic selves claim to still like/love these guys? I am not trying to start an argument or disrespect anyone-I am genuinely confused and I always have been. Me-I was called a “feminazi” at age 19-have always been bi, but have lost all respect for men and only have relationships with women. I now came out as a lesbian and couldn’t be happier! Doesn’t having hetero sex disturb a Rad Fem? Please, someone, shed some light on my question. Thanks!

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