What’s Sex Got to do with… Following Your Arrow?

People are going to judge you. In our heteronormative culture, people who don’t identify within the acceptable categories of heterosexuality, gender binaries, and female inexperience, receive less social privilege than those who do. The condemnation from others, their opinions, their judgments, the insults, name calling, and alienation, are all forms of social control to try to keep people conforming to what society construsts as “good” and “normal” behavior. Sometimes though, especially for women, it can be hard to win. On the subject of sex, you may be termed a prude, a virgin, or a goody-goody if you don’t have sex. People will judge you as having too high of morals and standards. On the other hand, if word gets out that you have had sex, sometimes even if people just suspect it, you may be classified a slut with low morals, a person who will sleep with anyone; people may lower their opinions of you and judge you as being morally corrupt. These forms of judgment are pretty prevalent; however, it seems the younger population is increasingly exhibiting a trend towards acceptance. Phrases like “do you,” are widely used and understood, especially among friends. This phrase means to do the things that make you you, the things that you want to do.

For example,

Friend one: *goes to the concert of a really obscure band”

Friend two: “I don’t really get why you like them, but you do you. Have fun at the concert!”

The phrase is used to let the person know that the speaker won’t judge the person for doing what they want to do and being an individual.

 

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Kasey Musgraves’ song “Follow Your Arrow” expresses this same sentiment in a very positive way.

She comments on the contradictory standards of society, and how sometimes you just can’t win. People will judge you no matter what you do, so you shouldn’t let them rule your life. She advocates doing what you want to do. The soft and happy song says it is okay to kiss lots of boys, and girls, if that’s what you’re into. Many people, especially girls, are hesitant to do this, for fear of social condemnation. Kacey is saying it is okay to express your sexuality and your feelings however you want to. I also find her way of phrasing this idea interesting. She says to kiss lots of boys, or girls, if that’s what you’re into. Assuming she is addressing the song to a girl, this connects something typically regarded as homosexual/bisexual with behavior and preference, not necessarily with identity. She doesn’t say to kiss lots of girls if you’re a lesbian, just if it is something you want to do. It’s okay to experiment and try new things and find what you like. This also plays into the concept of heteroflexibility. A girl can kiss other girls and still identify as heterosexual. She can engage in sexual behavior with whomever she likes, but her identity is still up to her to determine. In the bridge, Kasey urges listeners to remember that we as humans only have so long to live. We shouldn’t limit ourselves; we should love who we want to and live our lives without fear of what others will say. What a wonderful way to live.

So what do you think, is this “do you” trend catching on? Or could it possibly be for only friends and people who already have good opinion? Can we as a culture learn to be okay with the things people do and not feel the need to judge them?

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