Trolls Attack the Berlin Femme Show

Sometimes I get so angry at the sexism I see in the world that it makes me just want to scream. This is the feeling I got when I read the sexist comments on Berlin queer mag Siegessäule‘s review of The Berlin Femme Show. The night was such a success with over 600 guests and 25 amazing performers. It really made me hope, just a little bit, that things might be looking up for femmes here in Berlin. The review was very appreciative and I was so proud of the amazing range of feminist statements our performers made: from body image, to trans identities, queer homogeneity to sex work. But no, apparently when you get a bunch of mostly feminine women performing burlesque, all we are doing is taking our tits out and being pornographic. Of course.

I mean, there is nothing political about a woman desperately breaking her diet by eating her cosmetics and then celebrating her fatness by dancing to Fat Bottomed Girls. There is nothing political about seeing fat burlesque at all, in a world which tells us we only have sexual power as women when we starve ourselves into thinness. There is nothing political about taking the stereotype of the housewife and using it to bake dreams of a different queer world and to celebrate all the feminists who have gone before us. There is nothing political about showing the thoughts of a sex worker as she strips and comes for a client, or standing up on stage as a transsexual woman and talking about the exclusion of transfemininities in the queer community. There is nothing political about standing on stage in front of a community who has done everything in its power to ignore you, discount you and keep you out and demand to be seen as sexual and queer.

Of course, all we girls are doing is taking our tits out and disappointing our queer feminist sisters, who obviously know a lot more about what it means to be queer and feminist than we do. Boo hoo fucking hoo.

So, I encourage all of you to read my zine which is now fully translated and consists of 80 pages of art about why, exactly, these kinds of attitudes are bullshit.

Berlin Femme Show 2012: the Line-Up!

I’m back in town and overwhelmed to see how well party preparation has been going along without me! We now have OVER 15 amazing femme performers joining us to celebrate femmes in Berlin on Thursday 15th March. This is a fundraiser for my zine project about sexism within the queer community. Check out the deets below folks! And catch the updates via Facebook. Thanks so much to Trent for designing and Robekkah for contributing the artwork for the beautiful poster:

**ENGLISH VERSION BELOW**

Fem(me)inista productions präsentieren zusammen mit der Berlin Femme Mafia: The Berlin Femme Show 2012

Es dauerte zwar etwas, aber jetzt können wir zu unser großen Freude die zweite Berlin Femme Show präsentieren!
Wir laden dich_euch herzlich ins Lido ein, auf einen fabulösen Abend voll der Crème de la Crème der queeren femme Kreativtalente. Der Abend fängt entspannt und elegant an mit einem spoken word salon und deliziösen femme Catering von Ohlàlà Tartes-shop, dicht gefolgt von atemberaubendem und sexy Cabaret! Danach werden DJ_anes euch bis in die Nacht am tanzen halten.

Dieses Event ist auch eine Soli und launch Party für Dressed Like That zine: femme_inine Stimmen über Sexismus in der queeren Szene.
http://dressedlikethatzine.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/dressed.like.that.zine

performers: Alexander Alvina Chamberland, Annie Good, Margaret Steenblock, Lady Gaby, Marsmaedchen, Mimi Monstroe, Rosebutt, Sarah Martinus, Hedi Mohr, Liad Hussein Kantorowicz, Goldie Dartmouth, Laura Lipstick, Mademoiselle Kla, Yvette Bathory, Kay P. Rinha, Glittertrash, Lyndsey Cockwell, Femme Fraktionen und mehr!

dj_anes:
Marsmaedchen http://www.myspace.com/marsmddchen
Too Serious
Lisalotta P

Wo? Lido, Cuvrystraße 7, Ubahn: Schlesisches Tor
Spoken Word Show: 7pm
Cabaret Show: 10pm
DJ_anes: 00.30
Eintritt: 4€ bis 8€ nach eigenem ermessen, bitte gibt was ihr könnt!

http://sarahmartinus.com/
http://margretsteenblock.com/en/who.html
http://www.myspace.com/liadland
https://lipstickterrorist.wordpress.com/

**ENGLISH VERSION**

Fem(me)inista productions, in association with the Berlin Femme Mafia present: The Berlin Femme Show 2012

At long last, it is our great pleasure to present the second Berlin Femme Show!

You are invited to Lido for a fabulous evening showcasing the very best of queer femme creative talent! The evening begins in a relaxed and elegant way with a spoken word salon complete with delicious femme catering by Ohlàlà Tartes-shop, followed by a breathtaking & sexy cabaret! After the cabaret will be DJs and dancing late into the night.

This event is also a fundraiser & launch party for Dressed Like That zine: feminine voices on sexism in the queer community.
http://dressedlikethatzine.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/dressed.like.that.zine

Performances by: Alexander Alvina Chamberland, Annie Good, Margaret Steenblock, Lady Gaby, Marsmaedchen, Mimi Monstroe, Rosebutt, Hedi Mohr, Liad Hussein Kantorowicz, Sarah Martinus, Goldie Dartmouth, Ms Laura Lipstick, Mademoiselle Kla, Yvette Bathory, Kay P. Rinha, Glittertrash, Lyndsey Cockwell, Femme Fraktionen and more!

Plus djs:
Marsmaedchen http://www.myspace.com/marsmddchen
Too Serious
Lisalotta P

Where: Lido, Cuvrystraße 7, Ubahn: Schlesisches Tor
Spoken word show: 7pm
Cabaret Show: 10pm
DJs & Dancing: 00.30
Cost: Sliding scale €4-€8 (Please give what you can!)

http://sarahmartinus.com/
http://margretsteenblock.com/en/who.html
http://www.myspace.com/liadland
https://lipstickterrorist.wordpress.com/


Goldie Dartmouth, Lipstick Terrorist, Svetlana MC…and you?

Hold onto yer knickers (or boxers), the Berlin Femme Show 2012 is now confirmed! The amazing Emma Corbett-Ashby and I are organising this party in the spirit of the Berlin Femme Mafia Show in 2010. While we owe big big kudos and love to the femme mafia for all they have done over the past 2 years, this is an independent event. We prefer to think of ourselves as the Berlin Femme Mafia’s naughty little sister who has stolen big sis’ favourite Barbie and is currently giving her a ‘punk’ haircut in the bathroom with Mum’s nail scissors. All proceeds will go towards the second edition of Dressed Like That zine.

Clockwise from top left: Katinka Kraft, Paula Varjack, Goldie Dartmouth, Svetlana and Lipstick Terrorist

WHAT?

This year’s Berlin Femme Show is causing a commotion from the stage of Kreuzberg’s Lido on Thursday 15th March. The evening will debut with a spoken word section, followed by a late-night show; a collection of burlesque and fem(me)inist performances. The evening will finish with some dazzling DJs and the whole extravaganza will be hosted by the lovely Svetlana MC.

To give you a naughty taster, 2010’s performers included Paula Varjack, Katinka Kraft and Poe Liberado. We expect just as many wonderful acts this year!

WHY?

Emma and I want to showcase the amount of amazing Fem/me talent we know is hiding in the boudoirs of Berlin. The idea of combining another Berlin Femme Show with the chance to raise funds for our awesome queer feminist publication seemed just perfect.

Following the massive success of Dressed Like That zine, the editor (me again!) is keen to make the wise words of the writers available to everyone within the German queer scenes and internationally. For that reason, a team of wonderful translators are translating the whole thing into English and German. Cue the extra awesome bilingual edition of Dressed Like That! Given that this is going to be a 80-page publication, we understandably need to raise funds to print it. We are also currently looking for small donations from foundations. If any of you lovely readers know an organisation who can contribute to copying costs, please contact me at pinklab@hotmail.com

YOU?

We are looking for spoken word, burlesque, visual art performers, DJs and helpers. The Femme Show 2012 will showcase a variety of femme presentation and we particularly want to encourage new performers while celebrating our experienced fem/me performers. We particularly want non-cisgendered fem/mes, fem/mes of colour, fat fems and disabled femmes on stage. Non-fem/me identified people are also welcome to perform as part of collaborative pieces. We welcome performances in both German and English.

This year’s Mistress of Ceremonies is the lovely Svetlana, and confirmed performers are the alter ego of Emma Corbett-Ashby and Lipstick Terrorist (that’s me, dontcha know). With some other wonderful acts of the cusp of being confirmed, we fully expect this to be a decadent, entrancing and unique evening.

If you want to suggest a performance, DJ or help us with promotion we would love to hear from you! Email Laura at pinklab@hotmail.com

complicated

James had long curly brown hair and a beard – he looked like a musketeer. His curls were carefully brushed out and fluffy, longer than most people’s hair; well onto his chest. Once he flicked it in an affected way back over his shoulder. I had consciously avoided doing this with my hair when it was long. The girls at school and on American teen shows, with their long dyed blonde hair, used to flick it to prove how light-hearted and playful they were. I hated it. To me it was a sign of conformity, of being forced to be something that I wasn’t. A sign for boys to watch them.

James had 2 piercings, one in his ear and one in his nose, which made him look more beautiful. I assume that a man who is comfortable enough to wear a nose ring is comfortable enough in his masculinity to play with femininity a little. I like that.

Meeting James tied in with a lot of questions I have been having recently, about whether or not I am attracted to straight, cis-gendered (non-trans) men. He was certainly beautiful, and his beard made him masculine in an old-fashioned dandy way that made me expect to find an Épée in his belt. I appreciated his caustic sense of humour, which was a match for my own. He responded to my intellectual challenges with word games until we were fencing, flirting around the ideas of gender and sexuality. James had been strongly criticised, my friend Claire told me, by some of her lesbian feminist friends, for producing a dance which was orientated, as far as I understood, around BDSM and straight sexuality. James and I talked about whether a ‘mostly straight, mostly cis-gendered’ man could understand the feminism that comes from living, or having presented, as a woman. That maybe he was also overcriticised because he was a straight man – that these women wanted to attack him for making any kind of sexual performance that involved both a man and a woman.

Such conversations as these remind me of the complicated nature of things. Of everything. I am standing here, talking to a man I have just met, flirting as a lesbian with a man who has a girlfriend. Flirting as a feminist with a man who has been called misogynist and who I think is really lovely. The world turns on such delicate axes.

An older man walks into our conversation, pushing past James to the bar, suddenly coming into my field of view. He is dressed in normal, scruffy clothes and looks completely out of place, like he has wandered off the street into this party which is trying to convey an atmosphere of sexual decadence. James makes a face. Both of us are annoyed by this typical intrusion by a seemingly-straight, white guy into our personal space. The intervention of the sexist, again, in our safe haven. The man takes up so much space at the bar, it’s as though he is asking us to challenge him. He stares at us. I step backwards to let James come forwards and move out of the other man’s aura. James flicks his hair back in a diva move that says, eurgh, thank God we got rid of him! And I think, does he really get it, this straight German guy? Does he really feel what I am feeling? Acknowledging the different dynamic, the intrusion of the sexist into this party. And do I, a lesbian, really want to fence, flirt, fuck this man or is it only a game to me? A game of intellect and power? It’s so hard to tell. It’s complicated.