THE PINK PANTHERS AGENDA
A pseudo-declaration of principles, drafted in September 2002 during the creation of Montreal’s Pink Panthers, which takes things very seriously.
(Ah, the innocence of youth!)
Upsetting the New World Order
Capitalism, the State, and Patriarchy form among themselves a system bent on going global and turning totalitarian. All over, the architects of this system are waging war in the name of peace. All over, there are coups-d'état in the name of democracy. All over, nature is being pillaged for "development's" sake. We reject this New World Order. We stand up to this system by confronting it and by putting alternatives to it into daily practice: participatory and local democracy, responsible consumption, self-management, respect towards differences, a love of what's living, and so on.
The World Order is patriarchal. So how then does it manifest itself? Patriarchal culture confines women and men to very well defined roles whereby one is subordinate to the other. We reject this dominator-dominated relationship; we support in its place greater gender flexibility, a kind of flexibility that would more accurately portray diversity among individuals. Opposed to gender absolutes, we are also against cookie-cutter sexual orientation. By definition, patriarchy is anti-queer and imposes a heterosexual norm. Now, a sizeable portion of the population lives or would choose to live their sexuality outside this norm. And this "outside" need not be arranged like a spinster librarian's obsession with the Dewey Decimal System. No matter what they are like, categories hold no interest for us.
Facing up to the Gay-World Order
Attacking the World Order directly is not feasible given its pervasiveness and bodiless structures. Its local branches, however, are much more tangible and susceptible. We have chosen to set up our resistance within the local gay and lesbian community, a community in which protest against the system no longer exists, or is salvaged by the fashion industry. The famous diversity that gays and lesbians so often tout is confined to various dress codes. Everything revolves around consuming products: this designer label for hipsters, that logo for the so-called alternative or underground communities, etc. Not only do these people comply with industry guidelines, but they have also been emulating heterosexual institutions, i.e. marriage and other privileges for "normal" folk. What ever happened to the subversive attitude that until fairly recently used to typify gay culture and which gave it its raison d'être?
The struggle to secure equal rights is not an issue per se. In fact, the problem is that the gay (and lesbian?) community does not open itself up to external struggles, namely to the alter-globalist movement. If one rotten apple in the pile can rouse opposition to the World Order, then we are that apple. And if it takes just one drop of rain to spoil the parade for those on the bar-code bandwagon, then we're that drop. Let the monolithic Clone Age be history!
Shaking up the Activist Order
So, what we could really use is radical discourse within the gay and lesbian community. We also lack true, anti-homophobia discourse in activist circles in Quebec, and this discourse would have to have more to it than just a bunch buzzwords to jazz it up. Getting such discourse to break through is part of our aims, as is bolstering the radical movement by adding a more visible and less inhibited queer element. We've got to be just as multi-sexual as we are multilingual and multi-ethnic! (On that note, when are other generations going to join in?)
Since we enjoy living in a Technicolor world, it's only fitting that our forms of action and expression, as well, be colorful, creative, playful and all that. There are way too many activists who are tongue-tied to lip service and shudder upon hearing the word "love." And no, you are not at some board meeting.
So you're a free-willed queer or camp follower? And direct action appeals to you more than discussion does?
Then, here's our address: email@example.com