Does the moon have a gender? Some students at Ashoka University’s Young India Fellowship programme beg to differ. According to them, the moon is uncontainable in a tiny word like “gender”. Similarly, they believe the gender of human beings cannot be caged or contained within the limited labels or definitions society proscribes.
“If there is still a need to define and contain ‘gender’, then our gender is the gender of the moon,” Rabsimar Kaur and Vivekananda Soma told Scroll.in. It is from that belief that the pair got the name for their video Gender of the Moon (above), which illustrates and slams the idea of toxic masculinity and heteronormativity.
The provocative poem was driven by the difficulty of being caged by societal expectations and labels. The 22-year-old filmmakers said, “We can keep denying others what makes them happy and human under the cages of toxic masculinity, heteronormativity and other means, only because they are different from us, or because we are ‘told’ they are different from us...Or, we can choose to be human and listen.”
A manifesto is served up in one of the verses of their poem:
“I am a starry wonder of the sea and the moon,
A wonder with one, some, no or more gender.
I may or may not be a man, for I am constellation of flowers and fruit.
Rotting, in the cage of ideology and rule,
Rotting in the institution of marriage and school,
Rotting in the celebrated body of muscle and hair,
Rotting in this gala of a failed social system which is only unfair.
Rotting in the act of playing dead,
As I am only being fed and fed.
Rotting, rotting and rotting
For I may or may not be a man
But if I am, I am not the 21st century, broad chested blue eyed, tall, dark, and handsome man of a happy heteronormative mansion,
But then again, I am for I have to be.”
It is perhaps worth mentioning that Shashi “Tharooraurus” Tharoor said he learned a new word courtesy of this video (“heteronormativity”).