Today’s poem is about the weird way that society has managed to gender ‘boss energy’ and charisma…aka Big Dick Energy.
It is totally ridiculous and redundant…but reflects how easily the ‘otherness’ of people who don’t fit the arbitrary heteronormative, male-centric standards is created. It is applied to almost every aspect of life and results in a number of perverse outcomes. For example, increased injury rates for women in car accidents (car set belts were designed for the average male, not the average person). For more on how designers have failed women, this is a good place to start: https://www.evoke.org/articles/july-2019/data-driven/deep_dives/the-dangers-of-gender-bias-in-design
We send women so many mixed messages – be strong and empowered, but don’t rock the boat or come over too bossy. Care about how you present (your clothing, hair, makeup) but also don’t look like you are “trying to hard”.
This poem is a bit of silliness, but the underlying issue is serious.
An eulogy to big dick energy
We find ourselves here my friends
To say our farewells and end
Of big dick energy.
It started out innocently enough
So flippant and off the cuff
But the very notion of BDE
Is patriarchal misogyny.
Let’s step back in time
And it’s easy to find
A moment when it was declared
“Don’t throw like a girl, you need to grow a pair”.
Big boys don’t cry
Little soldiers do or die
Pink is for girls
With ribbons and pearls
Ladies, women, chicks
Don’t come with dicks.
What a bullshit cornucopia
Of rampant transphobia.
The messages are clear – there's no need to swagger
If you carry a sword, not a dagger.
Which brings us to the modern day
Which is 2022, I have to say.
How disappointing that after
Steinman, RBG, bell hooks and Dale Spender
We’ve still managed to gender charisma!
But as we wave it goodbye
Know that the patriarchy will try
other ways to say the male is still the apex
But regardless, we will persist.