Coming back to San Francisco and finally seeing Le Butcherettes after spending a month in the hometown of Le Butcherettes (Guadalajara, Jalisco) was perfect timing, because Le Butcherettes are everything I love about being Mexican. They’re what it feels like to let go of all oppression, the machismo, and the Catholic guilt I am buried under due to being Mexican and seen as a woman. They’re loud, unafraid, and proud of their nativx history.
On May 15, 2018, I caught that fearlessness at the newly opened August Hall. A fearlessness that is not exempt from fear, but one that acknowledges pain and does not shy away from what’s natural for human kind. Teri Gender Bender jumped on stage, she commanded a full house of mostly men to listen. She ripped apart the idea that women should be shy and silent. The idea that Mexican women are meant to make men happy. She gave up the idea that bravery means not talking about your problems. Teri Gender Bender takes the stage in a purposely tribal way, bringing power to her ancestors. Bringing her ancestors back to life. Allowing her screams to be heard without a mic.
Teri Gender Bender’s performance makes art of the struggles of Mexican women without making light of it. She makes it easy to follow and feel the pain of millions of people. At times it’s hard to keep your eyes on her, because she does not attempt to be cute and sweet — she performs in a way that if she was a man, she’d be worshipped. But because she’s not, she continues to be thought of as too much. She’s more than too much, she so much that when you avoid her, you regret it. She’s so talented and so passionate, but yet she’s still undermined.
Stop avoiding Le Butcherettes. Pay attention to this icon, because she deserves to be your feminist icon.