Monthly Archives: May 2011

Sexual Awakenings

I came of age when the internet was bright and shiny and people said things like ASL(age sex location) in IRC chatrooms and you could ‘meet’ strange and interesting people by using the random button on ICQ.

Fear of girls and young women meeting up with aged men who they found on the internet pretending to be young and turning out to  be sexual predators was starting to run high. At the same time as all of this I was discovering both the power of the internet and my own sexuality.

Parents often fear the things adolescents might find on the internet, pornography, creeps, and all the other stuff conspiring to sexualise children before their time.  I agree that media objectification and sexualisation of children particularly girls is deeply problematic, however at the same time the free availability of information and titillation on the internet can be really helpful in the exploration of sexuality in a physically safe manner.

My first sexual experiences consisted of chatting with people on the internet, sometimes strangers sometimes friends. It allowed me to discover what turned me on and what didn’t, how to relate to people sexually and also discover what people actually DID when they were having sex.

I have no doubt that if my parents had known about this my one avenue for risk free sexual discovery would have been taken away from me, and it was risk free for me, there were no webcams or pictures involved, I didn’t give away my contact details or even my real name to strangers. It was simply a way of dealing with the feelings and thoughts I was having.

I would love to know your thoughts on this!


Looking Backward to Look Forward

One of my pet peeves is how often people with privilege say things like: “well that happened in the past it has nothing to do with me ” or “we need to stop looking at the past and move forward” or even, “how long can I be blamed for something my great great great great great grandfather did? ”

The thing is when we are talking about historical events such as colonisation or slavery they have far reaching social consequences that are still felt today. Just because you personally did not steal land from an indigenous person or profit off the backbreaking labour done by a slave does not mean you did not and are still not benefiting from the system that allowed these things to happen. Claiming that we can just move forward from these deeply traumatic parts of our history without actually addressing the wrongs that went on is just ludicrous.

Do people really think that entire communities who had their lands and livelihoods taken away and were treated as second class citizens suffer no ill affects? That these ill effects do not reverberate for generations?

I think of every small injustice I have suffered and how these small acts have shaped me irrevocably and cannot help but think of the destruction injustice on a large scale causes.  You cannot pretend that evil has not happened. You cannot act as though those who are rightfully choked with rage because of everything that happened to their mothers and grandmothers are in the wrong and should ‘just let it go’ and stop living in the past. You cannot claim that your wealth has nothing to do with their poverty. It doesn’t work like that.

There is perhaps not enough money in the world that could ever redress the wrongs of slavery, colonisation, genocide, apartheid  and the myriad other deeply wrong events, policies and projects that have occurred. That shouldn’t matter. What there should be is a surfeit of compassion and empathy for peoples and communities who have suffered like this and yet there is not. There is anger, discrimination and hate, which perpetuate further victimisation. Life isn’t a zero sum gain and reparations and admitting wrong does not take away from what you have.

How can society ever move forward if we do not openly and honestly address the foundation of what it is built on?

Womanly things

Sometimes I get so frustrated with how anything associated with women is deemed frivolous and unimportant. Women’s fiction, women’s  cinema, women’s interests, women’s issues.

Being girly in common parlance means being into fashion and make up and skin care and interior decorating and having things match. Basically making all things including yourself pretty. There is nothing innately wrong with this it is just simply the assumption that this should be all a woman should want and could ever be interested in that is deeply problematic.It is just as problematic that ANYONE who is interested in these things is frivolous and stupid and womanish because that is what they are womanly.

I feel like that the way things operate right now is that it is awesome for women to like things that are traditionally associated with masculinity and that these things are ‘gender neutral’ and that this neutrality has freed us from having to be interested in silly traditionally womanly things, as no one would REALLY be interested in these things given the choice.

This is obviously not true and makes many women feel at odds with the mainstream feminist movement and also does nothing in terms of making socially constructed gender boundaries more fluid as it is OK for women to be interested in and to do more masculine things because they are ‘better’ but not for men to do the opposite because traditionally female things are ‘worse’.

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