Button Ideas

I happen to own a buttonmaker, which is a dangerous prospect considering that I collect buttons (known to some as pins or badges or "those usually-circular things with pithy sayings that you can attach to your clothing or bags") and enjoy owning large quantities of them.

At NEFFA, I finally put it to good use, and created a handful of buttons for me to wear or give to others. All had to do with dancing and/or gender, most were snarky. Here is what I created:

  • "Gender is for Girls" and "Gender is for Boys" --I actually thought of this line about a year ago, and am very pleased with how petulant it is, as well as the absurd factor. Most people either get confused, or giggle madly.
  • "Yes, I'm in the right spot. Are you?" --I was advised that the last two words make it a bit confrontational, but then again, I'm tired of demurring politely when concerned people try to steer me back to the woman's side of the dance. None of that please!
  • "Damn Dirty Mischief Maker"
  • "It's called a REEL!" --okay, maybe this Scottish dancer gets just a *little* bit pretentious about the fact that everyone else calls them hays.
  • "This is what a FOLLOW looks like" and "This is what a LEAD looks like" --people just get so confused, otherwise!
  • "Gender =/= role"
  • "Ambidancetrous" (with the words "Lead. Follow. Dance." repeated around the outside edge)
  • "Why yes, I am corrupting your precious pure dance form, thanks for asking!" --Oh well, I am not always nice.
  • "Since when does lead mean the same as boy?" --this is my most important and favourite of all of them. Because seriously, as genderqueer and strange as I am, I don't automatically become male every time I lead. Lead and boy are not equivalent, nor are follow and girl. Stop conflating them.
  • "Lady is one of my top ten favourite genders...probably." --Came out of a conversation I was having about some other button. I was really pleased by it, and aim to wear this button to lots of genderfucky dance things.

Additionally, though I did not come up with it, bunches of people at Tech Squares have been sporting buttons with the sweet little bird from the children's book, and the line "Are you my [Corner/Opposite/Partner]?" So I have two of those in my collection, waiting to be deployed.

And the ones I haven't made yet, that I think I probably should:

  • "Your discomfort does not dictate my gender presentation." --or possibly just gender. This is another one of those confrontational buttons, that I probably shouldn't actually make.
  • "Fuck the old guard" and "Fuck the newbies" --Okay, these ones I definitely shouldn't make, not just because I try to minimize the amount of swearing on my person, but I admit a certain amount of malicious glee towards them as an idea.
  • "Dance what's coming at you!" --Apparently there is a contra caller in Philly(?) for whom this is the motto. I like. I like very much. The idea of trusting that everyone else on the dance floor is in the right place is an idea that I support. If the person coming towards you isn't the gender you expected, cope with it, swing them anyways.
  • "Ask me about my role preference" --Based on the traditional "ask me about my pronoun preference" which is a button I need to make for general use. I do my best to ask people what role they prefer on the dance floor.
  • "Country Bumpkin" --this is subtle, but I have a favourite dance, and it's this one. All other dances are less exhausting, impressive, and enjoyable.

What other snarky buttons should I create, to get myself in even more trouble on the dance floor?


Pi-Nerd said...

"Since when does lead mean the same as girl?"
"Since when does follow mean the same as boy?"

Rachel said...

I like to say "I thought dance had no gender". And often I get stunned looks when I lead.