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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Heterosexist Comment - How should I react?

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Author Topic: Heterosexist Comment - How should I react?
alaska
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 1896

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Okay, people, I am sorry, but I need to vent and ask for your opinion at the same time.....

A girl I go to Uni with, Cutie, who is an acquaintance (not a close friend or something) of mine, made a pretty shocking & uninformed heterosexist comment today.

Let me explain first – I think Cutie has some general issues regarding sex; at 23, she seems to be pretty uninformed even though she is sexually active. A few weeks ago, for example, I had to explain to her how the pill works - she has been on it for a few years and has abstained from Sex on days 12 – 15 of her pill since then, because she thought she was still ovulating in the middle of her *cycle* and that therefore the risk of getting pregnant was higher in the middle of her pill pack.... She just doesn’t seem to know some of the basics. Cutie has been raised in a relatively strict catholic environment, which hasn’t kept her from having sexual relationships though, but from getting good Sex Ed and she doesn’t seem to have been in contact with people who lead their lives and their relationships in a way that is different from hers (and her relationship is heterosexual & monogamous).

Today, over lunch with Cutie, Sporty (a more open friend of mine) and me, we were discussing pornography (yeah, the things we discuss over lunch, I know) and somehow started talking about sexual orientation and whatnot, when Cutie said:

quote:
“I don’t think two women can have sex anyway, you know, after all something (she meant: a penis) is missing! Two women can only do “petting” and that isn’t real Sex. And they can’t do anything else in bed, can they?”

Sporty and I were a little dumbstruck. We stared at each other in disbelief, raised our eyebrows and were speechless.....and when we regained our composure, we both said something along the lines of “Cutie, there are a lot of other things two women can do in bed.”

I mean, what do you say to a comment like hers? Am I supposed to explain to her that Sex is definitely a lot more than just vaginal penetration? Ask her whether she and her partner do nothing but penetration in bed? Am I supposed to explain to her that two women in bed have oral sex? That some lesbian women do include penetration into their sex lifes by the means of dildos & strap-ons? Am I supposed to explain that there are simply a myriad of ways to make love to (or have sex with) another human being, no matter which gender that person is?

I was pretty shocked that she has obviously never spared a thought to what sex actually is, and obviously hasn’t realised that vaginal penetration is only a small part of it.

I am pretty unhappy with my reaction to Cutie’s comment - I should have stood up for my opinion - but at the same time I feel like I am lecturing her on sex and sexual health issues often enough anyway. I don’t want to shock her or force my views on her or whatever and to be honest, I simply find it terribly difficult to bring my point across to someone who hasn’t thought about an issue at all and is just generally uninformed. I feel like I have to stand up and tell her what I really think to challenge her, because no one apparently challenges her views, but I don’t want to give her the impression that my views are superior to hers.

Anyone an idea regarding how I can react next time the topic (or a similar topic) comes up and Cutie reacts with a similar heterosexist statement?


------------------
Just a regular lunatic.
Go inside Alaska's head...

[This message has been edited by Alaska (edited 12-14-2000).]


Posts: 4526 | From: germany | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Actually, it sounds to me like you handled it pretty well, Alaska.

Perhaps next time adding to your statement with: "...and if you want to know what some of those things are, and the different ways people define what sex is, I'm happy to answer as best I can."

More times than not, this sort of comment is really simple ignorance and not malice. It's only been very recently in history that people have begun (and heterosexual people in particular) to feel confident enough in their own sexual relationships to understand that sex is a broad spectrum. I think a lot of what we see in this sort of attitude that penis-in-vagina sex is superior, or is the only "real sex," rose out of a lot of insecurity and a lack of comprehensive sex education,as well as a genuine fear of holistic sex which is NOT expressly for the purposes of procreation.

------------------
Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

"If you're a bird, be an early early bird --
But if you're a worm, sleep late." - Shel Silverstein


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Dzuunmod
Scarleteen Volunteer
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I'd be very surprised if I overheard someone that I count among my friends saying something along those lines. But, frankly, comments like that coming from people I don't really know -- acquaintances -- don't surprise me.
At first, when I got to university, the ignorance among the general student population just blew me away. No longer -- it's just something I've learned to deal with.

Posts: 1515 | From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
alaska
Scarleteen Volunteer
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Dzuunmod...I agree with you regarding the general ignorance among many Uni students, quite scary, but in the past 4 years I've sort of gotten used to it. - However, not enough to not be shocked today.

The funky thing is that Cutie prolly sees me as a really close friend while I can't see her as more than an aquaintance because we're so fundamentally different...she is (otherwise) someone many would call "well educated". Not true.

------------------
Just a regular lunatic.
Go inside Alaska's head...

[This message has been edited by Alaska (edited 12-14-2000).]


Posts: 4526 | From: germany | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
alaska
Scarleteen Volunteer
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Oh, and thanks Miz S - I might just add something like what you suggested next time. Thanks.

------------------
Just a regular lunatic.
Go inside Alaska's head...


Posts: 4526 | From: germany | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Milke
Activist
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We just had this debate at another webboard, and it's shocking how many otherwise knowledgeable and tolerant people have hang-ups on this issue. Even someone very near and dear to me still doesn't seem to get that it's very possible to have sex with no men involved -- or even no one else at all. But I guess when it's not something you do it seems hard to believe.
Posts: 5122 | From: I *came* from the land of ice and snow | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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