Dr. Fulden Ibrahimhakkioglu, Middle East Technical University, will deliver a guest lecture as part of the Louise M. Olmsted Ethics Lecture Series  on Wednesday, September 13th, @ 4:10 pm in the Gendebien Room, Skillman Library.  

While still by and large cishet male dominated, the local punk scene in Istanbul has seen some critical queer subversions of hegemonic masculinity in recent years. This paper focuses on how Istanbul-based gender-bending punk musicians understand and situate their own gender identity and collectively organize against the subjugating mechanisms of hegemonic masculinity, performing what José Esteban Muñoz (1999) calls “disidentifications.” In so doing, I approach punk masculinity as a heterogenous, multifaceted set of practices that involve some critical performative resignifications (Butler 1990, 1993), which serve to create safe spaces for women and non-normative genders within a cishet male dominated subculture. While the punk scene sometimes involves the reinstatement of hegemonic masculinity (namely, through aggression, competition, territorialism, and protectionism), punks who were assigned male at birth also organize to problematize these detrimental historical associations with punk culture and actively seek to recreate what masculinity means within the punk scene by way of performing critical disidentifications. The interviews we conducted demonstrate how various men within the Istanbul punk scene situate themselves (albeit ambiguously) as pro-feminist queer allies. The collective combat against sexual harassment serves as a prime example wherein they make recourse to feminist goals but often by way of invoking a traditionalist/patriarchal sense of male protectionism. It is this ambiguity that punk masculinity involves: while these resignifications can sometimes take the form of queer subversions, other times they may reproduce oppressive norms. Nonetheless, I argue that the scene continues to offer important spaces for various queer performances that subvert hegemonic masculinity. Building a politics around bystander intervention with regards to harassment and violence, these punks rethink and reshape what it means to be a man within punk culture.

Event Contact: Professor Amy Marvin, Louise M. Olmsted Fellow, Philosophy Department (marvina@lafayette.edu)