Nov. 18th, 2013

rax: (Benten guitar case)
Remember, remember, the 7th December, [0]
    Catgirls, glowsitcks, and goth.
No justification why catgirl goth ravin'
    Should ever be forsought.

Short version: CATGIRL GOTH RAVE NINE / address in friends-locked post / doors at 9 / wear cat ears dress goth / volunteers wanted [1] / invite individuals / ask before passing on to groups / party theme: UNDOMESTICATION

Long version:

Returning Catgirl Goth Rave to its ancestral home in Boston offers us an opportunity to re-examine the founding principles of the occasion and our positionality with regard to them. Have these principles changed? Have we changed? While the history of such an event is important and there is value to keeping a line of continuity, we should also examine the possibility that bending or forking our collective line of flight may be the best way to proceed. In light of this possibility, I offer this digression on the concept of UNDOMESTICATION, particularly as applied to the cat/girl identification presented in the event's name.

The catgirl plays on tropes of femininity, vulnerability, and cuteness in order to establish agency and power --- balancing the double domestication of female and feline against the allure and intimidation of the feral unknown. I've found this position exceptionally useful in a number of contexts. It's allowed me to smooth the edges of my gender traditions, it's made it easier to enforce boundaries in social situations while feeling safe, it's made my sex life infinitely more interesting. Perhaps most importantly, in the context of this missive, it's allowed for a rockin' party entering its ninth year.

Domesticated animals behave in ways that are, for them, childlike and significantly more open to social hierarchy. Neither of these things is automatically bad, but it's worth considering the ways in which we, partially, domesticate ourselves, and whether those actions always serve our needs and desires. Domestication --- the taming of the Little Prince's fox, growing comfortable in a particular family structure, holding out a hand so that the neighbor's cat will let us pet them --- is about shifting boundaries from one state to another. When we are domesticated, consensually or otherwise, the boundaries between us and other entities are altered. Are they being altered in ways that we want them to be? How do we balance the possibilities and the dangers of mutual vulnerability?

For me personally, the challenge is in feeling empowered to sheathe or loose my claws, in learning the difference between my nervous and comforable purrs by taking the time to listen to myself, in understanding my own desires enough to own the domestication I want and reject the domestication that hinders me. I have some idea how this works for others, but everyone has their own metaphor-space, their own relationship to power structures, their own desires. What does undomestication offer to you?

Want to dance about it with me?

<3,

-r.

[0] The Fifth of November, Observed
[1] We'll need folks at the door, running the bar, and if you're interested in contributing music or art, please get in touch!

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