Friday, April 24, 2009
posted by paledamiana, a.k.a. boo scarry
(The use of queer in this post refers to all gender identities outside of the heterosexual context whether gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, gender fluid, polysexual, pansexual and other relationships covered under the LGBTQ alphabet soup)
What was bothersome to me about this article starts at the beginning. First, it presents a "new sisterly love in the air". After introducing "formerly straight" celebrities turned lesbian as a frame of reference, the writer focuses on "women having sex with other women". A frequent erroneous perspective towards the queer community is the focus on sex. Queer relationships are more than what happens in the bedroom (or kitchen or living room). It shows a fundamental lack of acceptance when there is diversion from the commonalities between hetero & queer relationships. They both have sexual relations that may happen in the context of a fling, but that is different from relationships - sex being a fraction of the overall interaction between people in relationships. The writer points out that it is hard to obtain statistics since the U.S. Census bureau only tracks single, married, or divorced households. They do not (as the writer presents) keep track of same-sex households. This becomes another aspect of the perspective that queerness belongs in second class status because of the lack of federal recognition. (For more exposure in how that affects the queer community, ask a queer person how the lack of federal recognition affects their lives). Scientific perspectives brought a sense of legitimacy to the article; feminist and gender scholars offer their statements on scientific evidence towards "sexual fluidity" or genetic evidence of queerness. What is missing from the presentation of scientific evidence are the biases and skews that occur in studies. Why is the statement "fluidity represents a capacity to respond erotically in unexpected ways due to particular situations or relationships. It doesn't appear to be something a woman can control" more prevalent in women than in men - according to Bonnie Zylbergold, assistant editor of American Sexuality, an online magazine. There is a skew in sexuality studies when there isn't acknowledgment that the social construct of men is rigid in heterosexual identification. From touching each other in a friendly manner to any mention of anal; heterosexual men are schooled to defend their masculinity if any of the aforementioned topics are breeched. Perhaps that is the reason the studies show women are more fluid in their sexual responses. Lesbian imagery is widely accepted as erotic while gay male imagery is not. The statement "it doesn't appear to be something a woman can control" reiterates the common notion that the female gender is a slave to her emotions (irrational, bitchy, hysterical..all the fantastic adjectives associated with women). Is this just "another thing" that is out of the control of women, hence they should not be equal to men? The closing of the article recognizes the traits often admired in a relationship does surpass gender. The writer chooses to, once again, contradict statements by ending with "the thrill may override whatever heterosexual orientation they had". The thrill must be out of the control of women which can explain why one would go out of the "norm" of heterosexuality (insert sarcasm). Embracing all sexual identities begins by changing the origin that heterosexuality is the norm in which to base all other ideologies and identities from. This parallels the notion that male is the norm in which to base all gender behavior. Male = good, righteous, strong, protector....Female = emotional, soft, in need of protection. When will we get beyond these rigid thought patterns and open our lens to the reality that humanity in its differences does not have to be presented in a good/bad binary? I truly appreciate Cynthia Nixon's statement that the person she fell in love with happens to be a female. Megan Mullally also made this statement when she got married in 2003. With all the strife, bad news, and general negativity in modern day society, can't love just be a good emotion regardless of gender?
Posted by De Sube at 4/24/2009 12:45:00 PM