The Bing Bang Bong is going around this Women’s History Month. Have you caught it yet?
Jezebel menace Emily Alford and I first caught the Bing Bang Bong via RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, where the current season is so much better than the U.S. version it almost feels criminal, or imperialist. In episode five, the queens were tasked to perform an original song, styled like past winners of Eurovision glory and called “UK, Hun?” It has now debuted at #27 on the UK singles charts.
Here’s how the lyrics go:
Bing Bang Bong
Sing Sang Song!
Ding Dang Dong... UK, Hun?
It was a near-instantaneous feminist achievement.
Now, on this day, the first of Women’s History Month, Emily and I would like to honor the Bing Bang Bong and all it has done for women across the world. That, or its sinister catchiness has replaced our personalities entirely, and we don’t have anything else to talk about.
Joan: Emily, what did you first feel when you heard the Bing Bang Bong? For me, it was a mixture of revulsion and curiosity—sort of like society’s own view of dolls, I suppose. Did I mention this song is a transsexual feminist masterpiece?
Emily: Joan, as a white cis woman who enjoys drag, I assumed, on first listen, that this song was written and performed with me, specifically, in mind, just like nearly the entirety of feminism. And as such was prepared to be absolutely fucking furious were it not geared specifically toward me, my life experiences, and my understanding of feminism as a tool to benefit me and me alone.
Yet the question of the song “But what does it do? I don’t have a clue” opened before me like a gateway. What is all this feminism for? Who benefits? What does it do? Do I have a clue?
Joan: The dolls all sing together that they “don’t have a clue” how gender works, and that’s the beauty of the Bing Bang Bong. It’s everything, it’s nothing. It’s me, it can maybe be you if you ask really nicely, but mostly, it’s women with dicks. If my trans agenda isn’t yet militant enough: When Tayce sings, “inches to the floor, I ain’t talking about my weave,” she’s conjuring up a dick. My dick, specifically, and the dicks of women everywhere.
Bimini says it best: “Gender bender, cis-tem offender! I like it rough but my lentils tender!” (Lentils are balls, which are also best when tender.) She later continues: “Don’t be scared to embrace the femme, whether you’re he, she, or them!” Can I make the feminist achievements of the Bing Bang Bong any clearer?
Emily: As the lyrics assert “It’s something to say, and it’s going around,” but what is it? And I think A’Whora touches on the open-ended nature of that question when she explains “You read books and I’m on the cover,” addressing, obviously, the tidal wave of trans-misogyny in the UK and America, most visible this summer in the misguided tweets and subsequent shitstorm surrounding JK Rowling’s very public meltdown over who gets to use which locker room.
With just a scant few syllables, A’Whora is informing Rowling and those like her that it is time for those espousing outdated and quite frankly regressionist ideas to re-educate themselves, letting others author the narrative from their own experience. Likewise, in her verse, Tayce directly confronts the idea of a moralistic public policing her self-expression, lamenting the fact that her strut has, quite literally been historically criminalized, before triumphantly acknowledging that those who would continue to do so “should be scared.” In this context, “UK hun?” becomes not a check-in with feminists who might be threatened by what Bimini correctly identifies as “cis-tem offenders,” but a command. Get okay because Bing Bang Bong, along with ding, dang, and dong are going around without regard to regard to your personal comfort. It goes without saying that I am deeply hurt at this exclusion and will likely publish an open letter in a major media outlet decrying my implied cancellation by this subversive, anti-second wave anthem.
Joan: While you scrawl your reactionary radfem screed about the exclusionary nature of the newly formed Bing Bang Bong Alliance of Hot Transsexuals, I have put together what I see as a Grand Unified Theory of the Ding Dang Dong, which I want to sing sang like a song that goes something like, “Bing Bang Bong!”
As I see it, we are all of us somewhere inside the Bing Bang Bong. But unlike the Sex and the City stratification of women, which you cis lot have clung to for nigh 30 years, this new categorization aims to scoop up the forgotten zoomer women of the 22nd century and beyond. Personally, I’m right at the cross-section of bing and bong, while on my worst days, I find my Bong replacing itself with a Bang.
Emily: Wow Joan, when you lay it out visually like this, I can see myself, right there at the intersection of Bang and Bong, not because I am a fashion girl but because I am a perpetually high slut. Does “it” mean there is room for both of us in feminism? And was this journey to the heart of what it means actually centered on my experience all along? If it wasn’t, then it sure is now.
I think I am ok, hun.
Joan: To quote Bimini, “Love yourself, say that again!” But just so we don’t sing sang song this point for too long, I have an excellent hormone hook-up for anyone in the taste for some of this Bing Bang Bong. There’s more than enough to go around... and around... and around.