Statement of Intent
Is dyke the way she swaggers, the way she ties her laces, shapes her mouth around your name, wear’s her Nikes and Adidas, her J-crew and vineyard vines, takes you into her body, or touches your hips, builds her shoulders, the tone of her voice. Is it in the risks she takes? The space she occupies? The way she presses you against the wall? The way she slams her body against your body? The sports she plays?
The designation ‘dyke’ functions as a singular category that troubles the butch-femme entity that has dichotomized types of lesbianism. Yet, dyke as a gender has facilitated the undoing of gender norms, structured lesbian desire, and facilitated lesbian sex– and beyond this, the way that the larger society views lesbians views lesbian relationships views what it means to cross over from an idea of femininity into something different. Dyke is a way bodies speak its desires while also being a way to inhibiting that desire.
“Doing Dyke” is the name of our project which combines traditional academic pieces with poetry, autobiography/memoir, fiction, history, analysis, and other creative works. “Doing Dyke” is a creative examination of the discrete specificities and corporeality of lesbian and queer desires.
What do I want? I want to be recognized as a dyke in dyke spaces, in straight spaces, with the girl I’m fucking. I want to dyke with another dyke; I want to dyke on dyke. I want to verb dyke. I want to do dykes in the basement laundry room, on the rugby pitch at night, in my bed. I want to adjective dyke into the clothes I wear, the way I walk, the way I grip the weights at the gym. I want to noun dyke, to say: I am dyke. (And know what I mean). I want to figure out my own associations with the term: why how does my athleticism transcribe my dyke identity? How does my dyke identity inform my athleticism? How is dyke written on and through my body/ the body? I want to explore dyke as a gender identity, as a sexuality, as a way of being in the world- as being a word that speaks an identity that gets consensual or un-consensually melted into queer and lesbian categories. I want to use dyke to not only understand myself, but to understand the political and social movements, spaces, and configurations of the now.
About The Author
Gabrielle Kassel is an explorer, lover (of words), thinker, reader, listener, (of music), feeler, observer, driver, anti-sheep, kisser, who plays rugby and runs (away from/to/for exercise). She is a white, atheist-leaning Jewish, cis-gender, upper class, college-educated, non-disabled, poet/writer, queer dyke who spends her time studying, weight-lifting, fucking, eating, and sleeping. She spent her childhood in Connecticut, but is currently a senior at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts and plans to venture to Portland, Oregon in May upon graduation. She is double majoring in English and Studies of Women & Gender, and is concentrating in poetry writing. Since her arrival in Northampton, she has been passionate about writing energetically, daringly, and provocatively as a way to better understand herself and her own experiences with the world.