Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Lesbian Continuum

Rich talks about two specific things in her article "Compulsory Heterosexuality".  They are "lesbian existence and compulsory heterosexuality. 

Lesbian existence is Rich's idea that  all women live as at least partial lesbians, and almost says that women should "try out" a lesbian relationship, because it is the ultimate form of feminism.  She does not necesarially mean a full out sexual relationship, though she implies it, but instead talks about how every relationship between two females is somewhere along a "scale" of lesbian-ness.  My apologies for making it sound so crude.  I think her first idea, the idea of trying out a "lesbian relationship", is actually a good idea.  Very few people ever truly explore their sexuality, simply because society tells them that it's wrong.  In reality, it can actually be a very telling experience.  Whether it is something you end up wanting to remember or not, I fully believe this is something everyone should experience.

Compulsory Heterosexuality is the idea that women have been raised to firstly identify as heterosexual, because media and lineage, both good and bad, tells them that the best idea is to be straight, submissive females.  Rich talks about heterosexuality as an institution, something imposed on us from birth, and this is extremely true.  There are no childrens shows or popular children's books that have to do with having two mommies, and only about 15 "mainstream" books for teenagers about bisexuality and lesbianism, and how to deal with it as teenagers.  I personally have read two, in one of them the girl decided she wasn't actually a lesbian, and in the other the girls cheat on each other with guys before pursuing a noncommittal sexual relationship in the woods during a summer camp.  What the hell.  Society needs to start putting in kid's heads that it's okay.  That other people have two mommies too, and other teenagers are trying to figure out how to accept being gay too. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Extended Comments on Being an Ally- Brooke's Blog

Can I just say that the first thing I noticd and loved about Brooke's blog was that she had Born This Way by Lady Gaga.  Lady Gaga is just fantastic and I love how inspirational she is.  She really is a symbol of acceptance and loving everyone for who they are.  Second of all, I thought the three quotes that Brooke picked were very good points, and captured the essence of the article.  My favorite one was "I believe it is difficult for young people to grow up and become something they have never heard of."  This was my favorite quote when I originally read this article, because it's exactly how I intend to raise my children.  People don't get into a certain state of mind without someone to be an example of it.

We talked a lot about this issue in class, and one of the most important things I think you can do in life is be  an ally.  If you can stick up for someone, you can hopefully convince someone around you to be an ally as well.  Enough allies in the world will destroy ignorance and bullying.  Consider Jamie Rodemeyer.  At the age of 14, he killed himself because he did not have an ally.  If he had had a friend to be there when those kids were bullying him, his love and bright personality might still be here on earth.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Women's Studies Event

Unfortunately, my main opinion on the Promising Practices Conference was that it wasn't what I expected.  I was hoping it would be something that would apply more to what we have been doing in class.  The workshop I attended had a little bit to do with it, it was It Gets Better.  What they didn't mention was that it was not the popular, country-wide organization meant to help people in the LGBT community, but instead it was It Gets Better with URI, which was helpful-ish but not at all what I expected.  Luckily, I did make a connection with a girl there from the religious group on campus who wants to talk to our group (HOPE) about the conflict between religions and the LGBT community.  So I was excited about that.  However, we then attended the Promising Partnerships thing, which I had hoped would include more organizations, but ended up having about 9 or 10 which almost all had to do with helping the poor and poverished, and had nothing having to do with what I was really interested in.  THEN we had to go to an hour an a half meeting thing in the auditorium, during which I felt like 90% of the things were simply marketing books and techniques to teachers, which was rather boring, even more so since we were all seriously hungry. I just felt like we all, or I at least, expected for it to pertain more to the issues we cover in Women's Studies.  Hopefully in the future, they can do a few different large seminars so that people can do things more tailored to their reason for being there.

I think one of the things that this conference could be connected to is what we discussed involving being an ally for someone.  During my workshop, we discussed many things about how to be an ally for people of the LGBT community, and how to best help the debates around marriage for same sex couples.

Another thing I noticed that the conference related to was the idea of privelege, power, and difference.  There were a few kids at the conference who were talking about how their teachers and friends helped them to realize they could make a better life for themselves, and who were inspired to get out of the conditions they were in, which included drug and gang activity.  It was really inspirational to hear their stories, and I hope that it inspired some students there who come from priveleged lives to consider how lucky they are and maybe put more effort in in life.

The last thing I noticed the conference related to was that in my workshop, we talked a lot about how crippling it can be to a person who "comes out" as being a member of the LGBT community.  It changes lives, and not always in a good way.  People talked about being thrown out of their houses, fired from their jobs, being bullied, and we talked about how that needs to be changed. We talked about advocating for people whose lives have been altered in a bad way for being a part of LGBT, and how we can make a difference by setting up shelters and getting the word out that just because someone doesn't label themselves as straight, it doesn't mean they should be shunned.   

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


going to do the blog based on someone else's blog, and no one else is posting so this may be a problem... i'm going to have it done in the morning :)