Interview: Ana Badea on The Growing Revolian Movement
Youth for Positive Change spoke to Ana Badea, co-founder of the Instagram account @revolian_activist, on the growing Revolian movement and where its future lies.
First off, would you mind explaining who you are and why you started your Instagram account, @revolian_activist?
My name is Ana Badea and recently a couple of friends and I decided to start the @revolian_activist account on Instagram as an easy way to voice our thoughts, ideas and opinions to a wider audience. I’ve seen plenty of activist accounts before and I couldn’t help but notice some of the issues that I am passionate about were never or very rarely mentioned. I figured that, if I didn’t speak up for what I believed in, nobody else would!
Revolianism is a pretty unfamiliar concept to a lot of people. For those who don’t know, could you explain what the Revolian movement is and why it was established?
The Revolian movement aims to change the way people perceive heterosexuality. There is a common assumption that not conforming to gender stereotypes means you’re on the LGBTQ spectrum. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t understand that the way you feel on the inside (your sexuality) cannot simply be guessed by the way you express yourself on the outside.
For many folks, “heterosexuality” is only valid on two conditions: the first is liking the opposite sex exclusively, which makes sense, but the second requires conforming to and actively embracing traditional gender roles.
This is, at its core, a flawed idea, and one that needs to be dismantled. There are an infinite amount of ways to be gay, straight and bi. And anyone who thinks otherwise should call into question why they think that way. Is it because we are taught that short hair is reserved specifically for lesbians? Or that men wearing colorful clothing is a sign of being gay? The Revolian movement, at its core, seeks to broaden views of sexuality and gender expression.
The idea that conforming to traditional gender roles is an indicator of heterosexuality, and that those who fall outside of those roles are indeed not straight is a flawed concept, and one with no scientific or neurological backing. Why do you believe that people subscribe to these beliefs despite having nothing concrete to back up their claims?
I firmly believe that the reason for this is that people have very strict ideas and notions about what it means to signal your sexual orientation. These ideas are – at least in some part – backed up by the TV and film industries.
One reason why I think some men in particular want to assert the idea of “conventional heterosexuality” is to maintain the power hierarchy in straight relationships. It’s a sad fact that some men simply loathe women who are not conventionally feminine. They want a submissive, reassuringly pretty woman and the idea that women can exist beyond that image seems unreasonable.
Revolianism is a concept rooted in gender justice and autonomy. Do you believe that the movement has a place in modern feminist discourse?
The movement should absolutely be integrated in feminist discourse. If as a society we wish to normalize gender non-conformity, we need to make it clear that cisgender heterosexuals are also affected by attempts to limit and control gender expression. The idea that straight people have to be conforming to gender stereotypes and gay people are not conforming to them is the antithesis to what Revolianism – and, indeed, feminism - is about: free expression.
Finally, where do you think the future for the Revolian movement lies?
I believe that this question is entirely dependent on how fast the movement gains traction and the extent to which people end up agreeing with it. Those aligned with feminist causes, the body positive movement and LGBT liberation are natural allies for our cause. A common misconception that many people hold is that you have to be a gender non-conforming straight person in order to be revolian; this is absolutely untrue. Anyone and everyone can and should show solidarity and help challenge the way that society views heterosexuality by supporting Revolianism, and in doing that, we will normalize the multitude of ways in which femininity and masculinity can be experienced!