The 28ème Pride Marseille will take place from June 24 to July 3, 2021. This dossier tells the story of how the associations in the area and the Pride team decided to denounce the norms and how they arrived at the slogan "ALWAYS TOO MUCH".
Make the standards move!
The years go by and the statistics fall. Assaults, kids being kicked out, name calling, and sometimes murder are still part of our daily landscape. Every year, we wonder if we will be able to get rid of these ignominies. Certainly, the law is advancing: decriminalization, de-psychiatry, marriage, the right to family... but there is still work to be done on PMA, on transparency and on the family. Certainly the daily life of many members of our community is better and some of us feel good in the Society. However, many young people in the community are still committing suicide, transgender people are struggling to make their transition and explain, coming out is still difficult, many feel suffering in this heteronormative world that leaves little room for difference. Insults are still hurled at those who do not fit in.
If the law is our best shield, it is not enough. It is the norms that we must change because they are the ones that shape the Other's view. And it is in this gaze, in this Other that our construction and our identity are forged. That's what Pride is all about: To make the norms move by questioning the Society. It is necessary to reflect, to question the standards which dictate our glance and our actions and thus to go beyond the conventions. In addition to its role of advocacy, its role of making the action of associations visible, its role of promoting the LGBTI+ culture, the team of the Pride Marseille wished to move the lines, to question these standards by denouncing the labels they produce.
Still too much
"Too masculine", "too effeminate", "too crazy", "too dyke" but also "too whorey", "too big-se", "too black-e". This "too much." refers to a frame of reference that the members of our community do not wish to see imposed on them. That of heterosexuality, that of masculinity, femininity, gender binarity and the gender roles that accompany it. These codes are the ones that lead to the labels that we are stuck with and inevitably to the insults and prejudices that still too often lead to discrimination and aggressions. These are the labels that prevent us from living freely in the public space, from building ourselves in our families, from being visible in the world of work and in society in general. This is what our motto "Still too much"denounces this year: This heavy framework that only makes sense for the majority. This same majority that forgets the less visible, the minorities.
In a changing society, who else but our LGBTI+ community can come and question the norms related to sexuality, family models, bodies or gender? Those who describe the Pride marchesas simple festive (or vulgar, depending on who is speaking) events, miss out on all the work that goes into a rich militant program, for which the Pride Marseille is recognized. The purpose of this reflection and the resulting programming is to propose an activist reflection in the hope that it will feed the societal debates. The LGBTI+ Pride events are the main tool of our community to challenge the public beyond the demands for equal rights. They are the political spearhead of our community to question what seems to be established and set in stone.
Feminism and masculinity
Homosexual struggles, which later became LGBTI+, only really began to have an impact on history in the second half of the 20th century, while important traces of feminism appeared as early as the Enlightenment. These movements have been advancing ever since by breaking down the social hierarchy of the sexes. They have led to a situation that has clearly improved in our Western societies for women. However, feminicides, harassment, the place of women in the world of work, in the domestic space, in our own associations show us that these fights are far from being completed and need to exist in order to break down the still numerous barriers. It is a question of rebalancing the Rights and of establishing equality in reality and not only in the laws. It is indeed a question of societal norms. However, the feminist movements, whose struggles are nevertheless marked by macabre figures, are still struggling to make these last lines move.
The solution would not come then from men themselves, because it is well on the education of our small boys that rests the hope of a society whose circle of considerations would be wider and especially more appeased. If the women have for a long time reflected on their condition, the condition of the men, it, under cover of the obviousness, is not often called into question. Men, by their dominant position, have indeed no reason to question it or even simply to reflect on it. However, as Elisabeth Badinter has pointed out, to be a man is said more readily in the imperative than in the indicative. "Be a man, a real man" does not have a female equivalent. The imperative, in fact, implies that this is not self-evident. The man in our cultures as in many civilizations is exhorted to prove his masculinity in particular in his youth. These proofs, such as rites of passage in certain cultures, or sports for example in our contemporary and Western lifestyles, are omnipresent. It also appears that masculinity is constructed through negation. To be "a real man"Not to be a baby, not to be a woman or a homosexual, boys must often go through a form of struggle against femininity. We know from Erick Erickson, since 1950, that the acquisition of a social identity passes by the difference as much as by the resemblance but is this relation by the exclusion and the negation not more differential in the boys than in the girls?
Doesn't the denigration of women and so-called feminine values simply come from education and the social construction that we make of gender? Thus, wouldn't the reflection around masculinity be the main key to solve the problems of sexism? Our theme aims to bring you further...
How not to talk about gender?
Our detractors will still incriminate us by denouncing our obsession with the question of gender and our rejection of biological determinism. We could reply, as Elisabeth de Fontenay did, that it is the singularity of the human being to refuse to be bound by biological fatality! One could also answer them that gender is everywhere and especially that it is institutionalized by the State itself, from birth. Isn't this assignment itself an obsession aiming at locking individuals into a binary conception? Worse, doesn't this gender assignment assign us to a different destiny depending on whether we are a man or a woman? Statistically, the answer is implacable.
LGBTI+ movements do not deny male or female genders, nor anatomical realities. They defend a more nuanced vision of the concept of gender, built on an identity construction that relegates anatomy to the background: gender is a social and cultural construction, and therefore evolves according to time and place. As for anatomy, so much argued by the conservatives, we know since 150 AD, by Galen of Pergamon that the two sexes belong to a common anatomy. Even our anatomy is not so clear-cut! We are convinced that gender is only a social construction. We are the ones who make our little girls and boys.
The issue of trans-identity challenges the relevance of birth assignment and our peremptory and binary conception of gender. We want to question what seems immutable as our community has always done. We want to shed light on the darkest places of our unconscious that perpetuate the most devastating stereotypes for our children. This reflection inevitably raises the fragility of the binary model of our cultures. Even psychoanalysts, in their time, introduced that femininity and masculinity were only a question of proportion and that they were subject to considerable variations from one individual to another.
...or rather its stereotypes
It is not so much the gender that is questioned as the stereotypes and gender roles. It is thus well the conditioning related to education and the hierarchy which it implies which is called into question. The debate is about innate versus acquired, each giving one more importance than the other. Does a little boy like to fight, does he like blue because he is a little boy or because we have been passing on to him for so many generations that he will only be a little boy because he will follow these exhortations. To begin to answer this, we could recall that at the beginning of the century blue was the color of girls and pink was the color of boys... It's all a question of norms!
Beyond gender, it is the inegalitarian norms that are linked to it and that concern us. The defense of the irreducibility of the masculine and the feminine is acceptable if it is not linked to inequality, in rights, in visibility and in daily reality.
Our community itself encourages stereotypes by sometimes valuing hyper-virilization, denigrating and censoring the feminization of some men and vice versa for women. The reluctance of some people to share cruising spots, dating apps or bathrooms with transgender people is an example that is still too often encountered. Let's never forget that this discomfort, this hatred is also intra-community. Concerning hatred, the words of Otto Weininger call out to us: "we love in others what we would like to be, we hate what we would not like to be". Thus, we only hate what we are close to (and that we want to avoid) and the other is in this case only a revealer. This is true in our community as it is in countless other matters.
What if we talked about bodies?
How finally, after having evoked all these subjects, not to speak about the bodies. These bodies which by nature offer to the other what we are and give to the other this illegitimate right to judge it. The body of the woman first, in the public space, often judged, commented, insulted. Transgender bodies, queer bodies, all those who do not clearly respond to the norm, to the appearance that society assigns to us are constantly insulted.
The bodies are the pretext for insults, permanently subjected to the judgment of the other, to his gaze. The body is the receptacle of all the violence that it is suggested, verbal or too frequently physical. While the body is the most personal thing we have, it is the object of incessant assaults which, when they reach us, are often the most painful and inflict the deepest scars. For our transgender, non-binary and intersex brothers and sisters, the first assault is that of birth assignment, which is the mother of all future violence. Violence that can only be reduced if society, the legislator and the medical world accept, collectively, that this assignment "initial" is not an absolute truth and is not set in stone.
The norms of femininity, masculinity, bodies and gender are the source of discrimination. Our community by definition is often outside these models. Our will is not to deny these norms in which, moreover, many people find themselves. Our will is to question them and to open these norms to other possibilities. We have shown that we can achieve other models of love and family. Our will is that each and everyone can be free. That's why we wanted to create a series of podcasts this year that questioned some of these norms. Our communication campaign focuses on the consequences of these norms and on the labels that we put up with and that we find so difficult to remove. As for the associations, they propose exhibitions, screenings and conferences that question the standards. It is now up to you to question yourself and your own view, your stereotypes and the norms you impose on the Other.