Thursday, December 29, 2011
Ranking (from Worst to Best) Every Movie Released in 2011 That I Personally Saw, With One Comment Each
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Thursday, December 1, 2011
*** Everyone has the right to his or her own opinions. Mine may differ from yours and I accept that, and if you would like to discuss your own, feel free to sound off in the comments! But please, be respectful. I am not here to offend anyone or try to sway you to see things my way. I am just expressing my beliefs and am open to having a conversation regarding any others that may be presented to me.
[I know I use a lot of examples from fictional sources (film, television, etc), but that is because I do not want to use real life examples. I do not directly know a lot of people that deal with these subjects daily, and would therefore only have access to real life stories through word of mouth. I would rather not make assumptions about someone else’s life when I can't possibly know anything about it…]
When talking about a person’s sexuality, one usually has to define themselves in one of the following terms: Straight, Gay, or Bisexual. What do I call this? A label of course, much like the stereotypical labels put on children and adolescents in school, which can sometimes then come to define them. It’s a common human idea to want to classify someone, whether that be based on nationality, gender, race, or (nowadays especially), sexuality. I, however, see a few problems in this whole idea of “labeling” sexuality, the first being that these classifications are very strict and leave no room for fluidity of definition. Are we to assume that all people fit perfectly into these categories or is there more to it than being one of three (or however many)?
Just like any other means of classifying people, there will always be exceptions, and this widespread belief that there are only three means in which people can identify their sexuality makes me believe that some people will be left feeling alienated. What if these definitions of hetero-geny and homogeny are not enough? What if people don’t feel like they belong to any such grouping definitively? Also, can a person belong to one group and then change later? It almost seems as though once society has established your one label, you can never break free from that, even though it’s a know fact that people grow, change, and don’t always fit into a perfect ideological prototype.
In its past season (5), the British television series “Skins” skimmed the surface of examining an issue such as this through the character of Frankie. Frankie is a female, and yet purposefully makes herself to be androgynous, and doesn’t necessarily want to associate with either gender. When asked by her friends if is she is a lesbian, she says no. A bisexual? Same response. Frankie just says that she is “into people”, because to her, that is an acceptable explanation. Why should such a young person have to tie down to one label? She doesn’t feel as though she fits into any of these categories, and so chooses not to associate with any of them.
In modern day, however, one might say that this “into people” attitude is related to the idea of pan sexuality. Did anyone even know that that was a defined sexuality as well? Although this is yet another classification for people, it is maybe more appropriate for many, as it allows for a lot more deviance from the usual classifications of sexuality.
These deviations may also stem from a greater acceptance of “alternate” sexualities as time goes on and societies progress. Yet, there is still a large belief of many people that bisexualism and pan sexuality does not in fact exist; this idea is somewhere along the lines of “you are either gay, or straight, and bisexualism is just a way for gay men who don’t want to outright come-out to bridge themselves into their homosexual identity.”
I think that that kind of ideology is dealing with far too many assumptions about a person to be really valid. In fact, studies have been conducted to show that it is in fact possible for people –men, at least—to be sexually attracted to members of both sexes. Why then, is the idea that a person can be interested in both sexes still considered to be an unrealistic sexual orientation, as well as taboo when compared to both heterosexuality and homosexuality? Is it because that implies a higher level of promiscuity (they want to have sex with everyone!)?
[I know I shouldn’t make assumptions as I’ve already said, but do you think there is also more of an acceptance for men to think women are bisexual, but not other men? I know the homoeroticism of females is popular to men, but if these women performing homoerotic acts are also interested in men, there is a greater chance the men can still score them, right? Maybe I’m a little off base here. I’ll talk more about genders and homoeroticism another time…]
But where does this need to label people come from in the first place? I simply believe that it is a societal construction used by certain groups, or “types,” of people to make them feel more comfortable. What I mean by that is, some people want to know exactly what the orientation of a person is, so they know how to act around them, treat them, or even so they know what their chances are when it comes to a romantic relationship with them. Also, it may also be a way for those who have homophobic tendencies to categorize people, in order to know who they do and do not want to be around, out of fear or ideology.
In essence, it seems as though the purpose of labeling is not for the sake of the people being labeled, but for the outsider. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? I think people should be able to identify themselves with whatever they are comfortable with, not with what others want to see them as. For example, on the series “Glee”, the character Santana recently came out as a lesbian, however she has only really showed interest in one girl. Maybe besides her best friend Brittany, she doesn’t love girls, but also is interested in guys after being so sexually active with them in the past. One might be tempted to refer to Santana as a bisexual because of these factors, when really, she wants to be identified as a lesbian, because this is who she believes she is, and this is the title that she is comfortable in having. It should be the person in question deciding what they want to be identified with, if anything.
When it comes down to it, labeling a person based on their sexuality is not necessary in the first place. Sure it might be a comfort for some, but for others is can become a source of torment, or something that causes them more confusion than self-realization. People can change, and people can weave in between categories on any type of classification system. What you consider yourself one day may not be the same the next, yet the stigma of a certain classification may stick with you beyond your personal growth.
In the end, identity should be a personal choice, not imposed upon someone. Society in general also needs to open its eyes wider to see that there are always exceptions, because rigidity doesn’t always cut it.
P.S: I will always include the image of Jack Harkness wherever I can when talking about sexuality. He has become my symbol for pan sexuality, an idea that I think encompasses more people than we realize.