Time’s up by stellA Andrada Kasdovasili
Short Story

It all started with Weinstein. He had that kind of face that makes you hate him.

Embodying male privilege. One of those figures you look at and instantly say,

“It comes as no surprise, right?”

Wrong.

Women started to speak.

At first few of them, then more. And more.

Hashtags. Me too.

Metoo.

As if by bringing these two words together under a hashtag, we could finally claim a unified subject position. One, that is not split. Freud giggled.

Then, the Time’s up movement.

Women spoke and men pretended to listen. We spoke, over and over and over.

We made a fuss out of it. We shared names. We shared horrible stories. We shared our pain.

We became angry. Some more than others. They said feminists.

We said everyone. We named them.

After that, I remember the first incident happened.

Weinstein’s name was replaced by Kevin Spacey’s name.

People started to feel peculiar. “But he was one of the good ones.” “He is gay.” “He is such

A

Great

Actor.”

Confusion. Yes.

The early days were very confusing for many people. For many of us.

Arendt says something about the banality of evil, yet nobody ever references her anymore.

After that…not long after, another name made headlines. Aziz Ansari.

But… But how? He seemed so precious. So aware. Such/A/Nice/Guy.

People started reacting.

Blamed feminism. As always, we were exaggerating.

“Aren’t we allowed to talk to you anymore?”

Then came Morgan Freeman.

“But he is the voice of god, how can he be sexist?” “How can he be so horrible to so many women?”

To us.

God’s voice!

God’s

Voice!

No question marks. Just exclamation marks. Wondering, not questioning. How instead of why.

I think that was the first time I had a severe episode of seizure.

My friends told me I was screaming,

“Your god is a schemer and so is his male voice.”

They told me I passed out and they had to take me to the hospital.

I was in a coma for a long time.

I would occasionally wake up, scream FUCK PATRIARCHY and then pass out again.

My mum did not know what to do. She blamed herself.

As many other mothers before her.

She never thought patriarchy would screw me over to such an extent. She apologized.

Many times.

In many forms.

She brought me flowers and dressed me in nice dresses. I did not look threatening. Nor ill. I just looked kind of dead. The type of “dead” that you feel sorry for.

[There are other types of “dead” that have a different economy of emotions and effect but that is a story for another time.]

I remember the day I woke up. It was a sweet spring afternoon.

Birds and all. Whatever fits the story better.

I woke up and looked at my mum. I think she was expecting me to have another seizure.

I didn’t.

Until this day I am still not sure whether she was relieved or not.

She was happy.

But happy is different from relieved.

I asked what happened.

“You have been in a coma for such a long time, you need rest,”

She said.

I probably replied by yelling at her.

She talked for an hour or so. Told me everything. How everyone got divided. Everything got very complicated. Identities clashed. First came the men, then gay men, then trans men, then trans women, then women, then lesbian women, bisexuals (they really had it ugly, nobody ever believed they were even a thing), asexuals, metrosexuals, non-binary, queer. Even metasexuals, people other people didn’t even know they existed, were brutally attacked. Riots, protests, violence in all possible ways and forms. Families were broken apart. The state stopped working properly. We couldn’t get our postal services anymore, my mum said. Banks lost their shit. The market shrunk. It was impossible to sell anything in that economy. How could you promote it? Public transport got dismantled cause everyone was walking in groups of ten. Martial arts had it well for some time, but couldn’t obviously avoid being linked to the masculine. My mum said it was chaos. She said she managed to get me out of the country just before they attacked the hospitals for their brutality towards intersex children. She was scared. She sold some property she had to sustain me. She said she had hope.

I think she was afraid. Everything was changing.

She needed something to hold onto.

Thankfully.

For me.

The madness went on for a couple of years. Nobody knows exactly how long because as I said, nothing was working anymore. Clocks stopped working cause nobody needed to know what time it was.

Time was up.

Time was actually up.

Only confrontations.

No need for dates anymore. I mean, as in a calendar date. As in, a day in a calendar. That reference.

But also dates. Nobody practiced that anymore.

Nobody had nobody. Everyone was someone.

Butler says something about vulnerability, but nobody ever quotes her anymore.

The thing is…it was awful.

At least so I ‘ve been told.

It was horrible.

And it was everywhere.

In everyone.

But then.

Something very interesting happened.

After everyone was accused, we realized that the disease was everywhere.

Nobody could claim not to be infected.

Nobody was finally everyone.

And then?

Well that’s a whole other story.

You see, nothing is ever over.

Everything is constantly becoming.

It is not because every ending is a beginning and every beginning is an ending.

There is no linearity.

Nothing is.

Nothing=is.

No past, no present, no future.

Just simultaneous beings.

It is, after all, that simple.

You might say, this story is nonsensical.

I want the post-apocalyptic future your title promised.

So entitled.

So privileged.

So obliviously ignorant.

I bet it’s fascinating living in a peaceful bliss.

 

Well, the truth is I can’t deliver what you think I promised you.

Maybe it’s the coma.

Maybe it’s because I don’t really want to do it.

Maybe I don’t care to provide you with the answers.

Maybe I am just tired. And sad.

But I told you.

Time is up.

And if time is up,

What is left?

 

by Ranafarba

Stella Andrada Kasdovasili holds a M.A. (Hons) in Gender Studies from Central European University, Budapest, a M.Sc. in Political Science and History, with specialization in Social Theory and Political Philosophy from Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, Athens and a B.A. in Political Science and History, from the same university. She is currently working on Artificial Intelligence and humanoids, examining their interconncectivity to the technologies of race and sexuality, understood through a Foucauldian biopolitical framework. Her previous projects involved theories of subjectivation in the work of Judith Butler, Michel Foucault and Luis Althusser, as well as scientific discourse(s) on death in late capitalism. She has a dog named Hector and a soft spot for French fries.

Ranafarba is a genderqueer and highlysensitive artist based in France.
They define themself as an alien in this strange world and is inspired
by feelings, freakness, poetry, oppressions, mental health, self-care, struggles, marginality, magic and tears amongst other things. This is their instagram and website. They also made this amazing Card Again (Sexual) Harassment.

2 Responses

  1. Verena says:

    Thank you both! Love the story and the illustration!

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