I've been thinking more about sexuality versus sexual orientation. I've found that sexual orientation appears to be a social construction in the way that our sex is. Orientation suggests a single direction--a rigidity that I believe is found less often than expected when talking about human attraction. These are the vocabulary words handed down to us. In the way that our bodies are sometimes forced to commit to male or female, the same occurs with our sexualities because for some, it can be hard to imagine a world where words cannot define. These terms do not provide the prope scope to explain and define the sexual, emotional, or romantic experiences of humans. And for me, that is frustrating. It's frustrating to see eyes roll when I mention being queer. Once, somebody asked me if I wanted to be "special"--if I was "above just being bisexual"? I choose to use some different words because I try to find the most specific language possible to describe my experience and my feelings at this point in my life. It would do little justice to pick one over the other, as they provide little space for reflection and even self-doubt, which I find is the best prompt for internal reflection.
At my high school, similar to perhaps many other high schools, making gay jokes was always a popular thing to do. I feel ashamed to have participated in this crude and horrible form of "humor" and teasing when I first entered high school. I loved my high school and I had a great high school experience but I did think my school needed to revise it's policy on tolerance. Not just on anti-gay rhetoric issue but on an overall issue of tolerance and respect. It wasn't until the end of high school that one of my very good friends who had been constantly made fun of for "acting gay" that I realized this was not right and that this had to stop. I couldn't articulate why I felt it was wrong. I don't think I was the only one who thought this was a problem but I do think it was an easy pitfall to trap yourself into when you were with a group of people and you just wanted to tease someone. And I saw no way of changing it. I just knew it was unfair but I didn't know for what reason and I couldn't understand why this kind of homophobic subculture was so deeply ingrained in the way my high school interacted with each other.
I have mentioned and explained once in class and in one of my web events that I am asexual aromantic, which is one reason why I have mixed feelings about My Gender Workbook. The author in many instances assumes that the audience identifies as a sexual being, and her wording often gives the impression that sexuality and gender while not the same thing, are deeply dependent on each other. And while society's impression of your gender is often connected to their impression of your sexuality, as is the language they use, self-identification of gender does not always hinge on sexuality. I still identify overall as cisfemale, even though because of societal expectations and connotations I do not feel I have access to many of the words describing cisfemales. The word woman is deeply connected to being a sexual and/or reproductive being; menstruation and the construct of losing one's virginity and engaging in sexual or romantic relations is a sign of growing up, of a girl becoming a woman. And while I have the reproductive capacities of a woman, I have no intention of using them, and the idea of being sexually or romantically involved with others bothers me to my very core. As such I will retain my "virginity" (I have no time to explain how upsetting I find that word to be), my innocence, my chastity, which keeps me in the position of a girl, which I still cannot belong to because I am an adult (also because girls are expected to grow up into women). Does that make me an adult girl? I'd rather not be.
Feminism of SlutWalk
SlutWalk is a protest event that began in April of 2011 in Toronto to express freedom of expression and anger at double standards. It has since expanded to other cities including New York and Chicago. SlutWalk Toronto was originally spurred by a Toronto police officer who suggested that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.” This made a lot of people angry.
SlutWalk Toronto’s website explains that this statement is wrong and hurtful for many reasons. Sexual assault is a serious crime and has nothing to do with the clothing a woman wears. No woman is “asking for it” when she wears a blouse that shows cleavage or when she wears sky-high platform pumps. By placing blame on the victim, it makes her less likely to report it to authorities or seek professional help.