When I think of popular discussions in our culture focused on gender & sexuality, I think of random articles, talk shows, and political debates on gay marriage. I don’t think of a classroom, or a committee, or a non-profit that guarantees sexuality education for all (and has succeeded). Honestly, there’s no safe space to talk politics either…at least none that is provided by the people for the people.
Before automobiles and horse carriages, the streets belonged to the people. They could gather in numbers legally and actually talk politics. It was a space where issues related to the people, to our lives, was the focus (which certainly involves the topic of gender & sexuality). Capitalism has privatized that space with the automobile industry. Now we’re lucky if a sidewalk exists at all.
Discussions about sexuality & gender are treated with equal disdain. Sexual words are synonymous with insults (like dick & pussy) and childhood innocence (like penis & tits). Adults “know better” than to actually ask what the space between the vagina and the clitorus is called, or whatever it is they wonder about. Questions like that should only be vocalized during “the talk” with your parents.
What you should really be focusing on is how much profit you can create for your boss, for the system. You can fuck whomever you please, as long as you keep producing wealth by selling your labor.
I had “the talk” with my father. It went something like this:
Father: You know he’s 16, right?
Father: Okay, have you ever heard of statutory rape?
Father: It’s when you have sex with a minor. You’re not having sex with him, right?
Me: No, he’s straight.
Father: I just don’t want you to go to prison.
Me: Thanks dad.
That is the closest I came to actually talking about sex with either of my parents. Brilliant parenting skills, I know. If this is the only safe space the majority of Americans get to talk about sexuality or gender (esp. if it was anything like my experience), then I’m seriously scared for all of us.
A Frolicker of Fluidity