Why Femme Feral Are Holding A Queer Feminist TheresaMaySmackdown
“We felt a burning desire to fight, to unlock ourselves and let it all out.”
Every day of our lives we suppress huge swathes of the emotional currents that run through our veins, especially the ‘bad’ stuff - the frustration, the anger, the aggression. We stop ourselves short of exploding and lashing out, internalising our pain, hiding our confusion and blaming ourselves... always blaming ourselves.
Somewhere between the cataclysmic EU referendum result in June and the shock of Trump’s election in November last year we began to feel a burning desire to fight, to physically fight, to unlock ourselves and let it all out. To feel the pain of our world and kick back against it, to express all that we have and do it with joy - unapologetically and without holding back.
At this time a friend handed us two booklets of soft porn from the late 1970s titled Aggressive Women. Inside were strong, powerful, sexy femme figures and we instantly recognised the force and intensity of these images, both sexually and politically. We were trapped in a moment of personal and political desperation and there was something in those images that offered us a space, a space for our anger and our love and our femininity to lash out.
We realised that we could also be permitted to perform the anger we felt through violent action, a way of reconnecting with our emotions and reclaiming the images of our own bodies. We wanted to show we are strong, we are in control of our own sexuality and that we are capable of making really loud noise.
As we stripped off to re-enact some of these images in our studio, our unelected Prime Minister spoke as leader for the first time at the Conservative Party Conference stating that, “We don't need - as I sometimes hear people say - to 'punch above our weight'. Because our weight is substantial enough already." We looked at each other and said, “Fuck Theresa May”.
Theresa May’s appointment as Prime Minister, only the second woman to hold that position, felt like a point where we needed to make a stand against her to say “this is not what feminism looks like”. We feel that due to her position on refugees and migrants, her desire to abolish the Human Rights act, her plans for Brexit, her economic stance (to name but a few) we can not support her or her government and that she deserves to be the target of Femme Feral’s first SMACKDOWN.
Theresa May’s words are often violent, aggressive and authoritarian and in the performance we scream her phrases, we fight each other, and we create a huge wall of noise. These repeated actions produce a demonstration of queer female tenacity, the body under assault constantly returns, there is a display of extreme resilience that makes us believe we can continue to go on.
The TheresaMaySmackdown is at 9pm on Monday 27 March in London’s Hackney Showroom. Tickets are £6 and you can get them here.