Siris Gallinat is a London-based artist who never fit into boxes. The concept alienated her when growing up in a small town. She writes, acts and has her best ideas on the road. The goal: a life in a state of motion. The mission: to touch your humanity.
Words are dangerous, speaking out has an effect.
The effect is still dearly needed when it comes to non-conformity in sexuality (or any other non-conformist way of life) in our oh-so progressive times. A permanent re-thinking of the ‘other’ is still needed.
Yet, who is supposed to entice this change, ‘Us’ or ‘Them’?
We don’t need fake equality but curiosity and ease with continuous change. Open ears, instead of ‘angry feminist’ or ‘slut’ labels are needed. Dangerous women break the norm in risk of being shushed instead of listened to, of being laughed at again and again for caring so deeply about the ‘small’ issues in our progressive world.
A friend said that you have to come out twice as a bisexual. There’s different stigma attached to it, like being greedy and indecisive.
Dangerous women refuse boxes. We say, for example, ‘I like people no matter their gender’.
Another label has arisen for this: pansexuality. This poem highlights the pressure to decide whether you like men or women, but of course questioning the binary of gender is another important step to defy boxes.
This defiance scares people, because their identity is so tightly attached to their boxes. Listening is as dangerous an act as speaking out. Really listening means opening yourself to being changed.
My sexuality often comes up as a topic when I talk about dating. I mention that I had an amazing encounter at a club and we laughed all night together and it felt special, but now I’m worried because they don’t answer my text. ‘Was it a man or a woman?’ is often the first point of interest. It lies more in the shape of the matter, in the ‘otherness’ than in my actual experience.
A good friend was excited at how ‘cool’ it would be if I brought my potential girlfriend to a gathering of our friends – like a hip accessory. To her, both experiences are not equal in quality. It’s hip to have a girlfriend and a profoundly beautiful and romantic love story to settle somewhere with a man. This brings up the question why wouldn’t I ‘choose’ the latter… To me, they are equal experiences.
Really listening is as dangerous an act as speaking out.
The two dangerous women I am referencing in the poem:
Hannah Arendt, whose highly criticised theory of the Banality of Evil points out the evil in quietly complying, in not using our own minds to form judgement, but outsourcing it. She was criticised that as a German Jew she included ‘her own people’ in her criticism, but she refused to simplify the matter.
Sylvia Plath expressed her pain and struggle fearlessly in her autobiographical poems. She went to a raw depth beyond a polite façade, often writing about her wish for death.
And the ‘other’ disappears when we can perceive their experience in such detail that it touches our own, when we are reminded of a specific beauty and a specific pain by the experience they describe.
Eat Them All
So you like women
with that grin on your face.
But who are you more
That friend of yours,
would you sleep with her?
Any formal politeness
seems to vanish
once I open my
You still look at me.
used to it.
And you think I’m cool
The coolest woman in the world,
who cares about the rest?
Only hope was in my box,
evil flowing from your gaze.
Innocent evil of the unknown.
The banality of a person
inside their bubble.
I’m tired of explaining.
Even though words are the gates
to morph bubbles.
So I speak
I stand above it.
Shaking off the cool,
rising to warmth.
who didn’t choose their profession,
talking to a child on the same level
Some children listen
and some prefer
my cool picture
in their head.
I eat them all,