Illustration by Primo Pitino; Interview by Mica Sigourney
I was raised by a single mom, who was raised by the first female bank manager on Long Island. Feminism wasn’t something we talked as much as lived. I attended a college that required that every class address issues of race, class and gender. Even the ceramics class. That’s when my knowledge of Feminism became more explicit and specific.
As a feminine man I experience my own internalized misogyny as well as blatant acts and comments from those around me. It’s time I came out, because this is what helps me to survive: I’m a Feminist. Or at least, I’m trying to be one. Because Feminism has been with me since the days I was a sissy boy being bullied on the playground. She held my hand when I first put on make-up. She was there when my lady friends told me how it was. I have a crush on Feminism. No wait, it’s not a crush. I have a burning hot passion for Feminism. She’s my heartthrob. I thought for this issue of ADHM4U, I would interview her and ask her some questions I’ve always wanted the answer to.
So I called her up.
Ring ring ring
Mica Sigourney: Hello. Hi … it’s Mica … Sigourney. Is this Feminism?
Feminism: Yes! Yes it is. Nice to hear you Mica, how are you? How have you been?
MS: Pretty good! How are you Feminism?
Feminism: It’s been an interesting few months, you know, Beyonce and stuff. What can I help you with today?
MS: Well I’m writing this article about for AHDM4U …
Feminism: OMG! I love that magazine! Would you please send Caitlin and Kelly my regards?
MS: Of course. They asked me to interview a concept or idea that I really like or have a crush on for their Heartthrob Issue. And I think you, Feminism, are a total babe.
Feminism: Well, thank you … I think.
MS: I mean that in a really Feminist way.
Feminism: I understand. I’m past my third wave, being a babe is okay with me. But I think you want to talk to my sister.
MS: Your sister?
Feminism: Yeah, American Feminism.
MS: Oh. I hadn’t realized…
Feminism: Yes, she’s probably the Feminism you were thinking of. After all, concepts like myself take on different forms in different cultures. I’m just trying to set you up with someone who will be able to speak your language.
MS: Do you have her number?
Feminism: Oh she’s here, we are having a girls’ night. Taking the Cosmo quiz for shits and giggles. Painting our nails, washing our hair, talking about boys, practicing kissing …
Feminism: No. But she is here, we were just consulting with Lena Dunham for her next season. Let me get her …
American Feminism: Hello?
MS: Hey American Feminism. It’s Mica Sigourney …
American Feminism: Oh yeah, I know, you were on speaker. So you are doing this article for AHDM4U?
MS: Yeah, it’s supposed to be part of their teenybopper issue for Valentine’s Day. I’m supposed to ask you like, teen pop star questions. But I’m nervous because you know, I’m a dude, and I didn’t want anyone to think I was making fun of you …
American Feminism: Sure, that makes sense.
MS: So can we talk seriously first?
American Feminism: Oh sure, I like some serious talk. Let’s do this.
MS: Ok, well I think I’m a Feminist but I’m not sure….
American Feminism: Do you mind if I interrupt you?
MS: Oh, not at all, thanks for asking!
American Feminism: Well Mica like many of the other, negative, “-isms” you, or an individual must create an action in alignment with that “ism” to become or remain or maintain your “ist” status. With the negative “isms” (racism, classism, sexism…etc) this is quite easy because many folks exist within structures that support or encourage racist, classist, sexist, etc. actions. (Also of note, the negative “isms” are about a power play by those in power or with privilege that negatively affects those with less or no power, while Feminism attempts to work in the opposite trajectory, moving form a disempowered position to a new position of power, while exposing the mechanisms of power). Feminism, as a positive “ism” takes a little more effort and consistency because it opposes the normalized oppressive status quo. So to be a feminist you would have to take an action that dismantles, betrays, subverts, explodes and/or exposes The Patriarchy and related oppressive systems. And The Patriarchy (capital T, capital P) is the system that empowers the male and masculine while simultaneously disempowering the female and feminine.
MS: That sounds a little more complex than I thought! I thought Feminism was … you know, as simple as having “Women are Great!!” on your T-shirt, or something.
American Feminism: Well Women are Great. Saying “Women are Great” is a feminist act. The fact that such a simple act can be viewed as a Feminist act exemplifies the implicit assumption that women are NOT great. By affirming that Women are Great as an oppositional strategy, we also expose negative patriarchal values.
MS: Oh okay, cool. I think I get it. American Feminism, can you tell me how to be a Feminist, like specifically?
American Feminism: One way to do that would be to speak up when you hear someone speaking negatively about women, especially when it’s a man.
MS: Wait, isn’t that like, not my job? Isn’t that me taking up space, and not letting a woman defend herself and Feminism?
American Feminism: It does depend on when and how you do it. The situation will have enough information in it to know how to behave. Pay attention. Also, you will not be speaking up on behalf of women, you will be speaking up on behalf of justice.
MS: Right but when am I taking up space and when am I being fair?
American Feminism: Mica I think it’s interesting that right now we are talking much more about you than about Feminism, addressing your needs instead of my needs. You said “I” twice in that last sentence. That’s a very classic sexist behavior.
MS: Oh ok … thank you?
American Feminism: You’re welcome. Also Sigourney, you have to know that it’s your own job to educate yourself about me, Feminism. Read some stuff, watch some films. Listen to your friends.
MS: Okay that sounds great. Most of my friends are dudes though.
American Feminism: Why?
MS: Because I wanna fuck them.
American Feminism: You should really look at that.
MS: I mean it seems kind of standard that most fags in SF, not all, but most, hang out with mostly other guys.
American Feminism: That’s a symptom of misogyny for sure.
MS: Why? I just thought it was because we had more stuff in common.
American Feminism: Like what?
MS: Like wanting to fuck dudes.
American Feminism: That’s ridiculous. Heterosexual and bi women want to fuck dudes.
MS: Yeah. That’s true.
American Feminism: Maybe we should get to the fluff piece part. I don’t know that we have enough time to really unpack all of what you are saying right now.
MS: Ok. So um …What’s your favorite color?
American Feminism: Pink
American Feminism: No. Not seriously. It depends on my mood. I’ve been really into green recently. Like mint green.
MS: Who’s the last person you had a crush on?
American Feminism: Communism, but he ended up being kind of sexist. Lesbianism and I have been seeing each other on and off for quite a while too.
MS: Do you own a pet?
American Feminism: Yes! I have an Iguana named Iggy (Azalea), a parrot named Gertrude (Stein). And a labradoodle named Gumball.
MS: What’s your favorite movie?
American Feminism: Sleepless in Seattle.
American Feminism: Just kidding. I’m not doing movies much these days. More into bingewatching series. I just finished Orange is the New Black.
MS: Did you like it?
American Feminism: I had some issues with it.
MS: What’s your favorite day of the week?
American Feminism: Are you sure Caitlin and Kelly want to know my favorite day of the week?
MS: I think our readers want to know.
American Feminism: My favorite day of the week is Wednesday.
American Feminism: It’s hump day. Who doesn’t love a good hump?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Mica Sigourney wants to make out with you. Specifically. He’s a named drag queen VivvyAnne ForverMORE! and gets on stage every Friday at the Stud (SF) for Club SOME THING.