Monthly Archives: October 2013


Michelina de Cesare, born in 1841, died (killed by piemontesian soldiers) in 1868, woman from South Italy who joined a group of warriors for freedom of south italy (brigantessa). Before 1868.

Raising a boy and a girl in 2013 is challenging in many regards. What do I wish for my daughter and my son? How do I want them to grow up? What images of themselves as a girl and as a boy do they have or will they have in the future? And is there a way for me to support them in their right of self-determination in our gender biased society?

Thus, I want to think about and disclose presentation and representation of gender today. How is gender depicted in our everyday life? How is gender performed nowadays? How is gender abused and for what aims?

– This blog attempts to disclose gender biased representation in text and image –

A few words on the blog’s title and why I chose this neologism:

As a noun, genderfail discloses when one’s gender is being failed in the sense of misrepresentation (e.g. girls = pink; boys = blue). As a verb, genderfail identifies incidents of consciously “failing” (in) one’s gender as a (performative) means of reinterpretation (i.e. to fail “doing” one’s gender. Cf. Judith Butler Gender Trouble, 1990, and Undoing Gender, 2004, et al.). As an imperative, genderfail is a call to appropriate texts and images “foreign” to one’s gender as an act of self-determination and a manifesto of diversity.

Fail (in doing) your gender to perform gender autonomy.

Sonja Longolius
October 2013