Saturday, November 20, 2010

Gender, Sexuality, and Real Talk

I wish I dealt more explicitly with issues of gender and sexuality in my writing. It is such an important issue that seems to matter so much in my daily life. One issue that always confounds me is that men can't really talk openly about the attractiveness of other men without people thinking you are gay. But women can talk about the attractiveness of other women fairly easily. Seems crazy.

I guess I just feel the reality of gender studies in my life quite a lot. Learning about those things, thinking about why men and women treat each other the way they do, thinking about double standards. It all feels so real. It informs my life in so many ways. But sometimes it feels like it frustrates me. It frustrates me because it restricts the things that I can and cannot say because it will supposedly make people think certain things about me. And supposedly that matters.

I suppose with my writing about 'the economy of the imagination' on the 10th I am more aware of this stuff than before. I am aware that what people are dealing with is limited evidence of how I think about things. And based on what I say or do they imagine me in certain ways. So if I were to admit that I think it is easy to tell if I find another man attractive or not people will wonder 'oh is he gay?' And frankly the answer is no. I'm not. But it is quite easy to know whether I think another man is attractive or not.

So why do some guys pretend like they are immune to this? Why pretend that every guy looks the same to me? That all I see is a blank slate? 'All guys look like the same gray unattractiveness to me'. I don't know.

I'm not sure what I'm doing in this brief post.

I think what I'm doing is planting a seed that will hopefully turn into a more careful and deliberate analysis of these issues. How do the issues of gender and sexuality fit into my larger writing?

Seeing as how my writing typically revolves around self-control, emotions, the imagination, intellect, art, and various other things, how am I to integrate the issues of gender and sexuality?

I suppose that it seems like my other reading and writing is building a sort of analytical tool kit that would certainly be applicable to the issues of gender and sexuality. I just need to think more about them, read more about them, think more about them.

Because they structure my life more than I like. Other people act according to them more than I like.

I don't like hearing people talk about womanizing. Especially when they do it with a smile on their face and no ounce of remorse of concern for their behavior. How to address this. How to live differently.

Do I have to find a group of people who thing similarly? Certainly. Do I have to give up on people who think differently about these things than I do? Men and women. Whatever.

I tell a coworker that I don't care about being masculine and it gets a laugh. Not a disapproving laugh. But a surprised laugh. We need to be masculine, do we? No. I don't.

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