To me, sexual subjectivity is one of the most important concepts we covered all semester. Society, in these times, can be such an oppressive and burdening weight but there is something everyone can do. As an oppressed people, they can keep their head held high and let society know that they will not be held down. Nothing will make an attacker madder than pretending like you are too high to be brought down. Sexual Subjectivity changed my way of thinking. Every time I feel just downright shitty about myself I think, “This is what society wants you to think. This is what they need to survive.” I am very privileged to be a cisgender, mainly white female from a middle class family. I am happy to say I live a pretty comfortable life, and whenever I am just down on myself I remember all the women who died for feminism, who have gone through Hell and back just to make sure that I am treated like a human being. Whenever I feel like life isn’t fair I think about the girls who were stolen from their mothers and sold into the sex trade, the women who came to America for an opportunity and instead received harassment from their employers. I did not asked to be born into this chaotic world, but I was so I will do the best with it. I will walk of fame down the street still wearing last night’s outfit , lipstick smudged and eyeliner running down my face. And I will smile in the face of everyone who raises their eyebrows at me. They will lash out, they will call you names but this is only because they are losing you. They can feel their insults bounce off and they will see the cloud of self confidence surrounding you, and then society will know that it is too late, they have lost. Kill them with yeses, smile in their face and let them know that you will not be brought down. I will be proud of who I am, and every action I make because there were women who gave their entire life to make sure that I am able to do this. I will be proud of who I decide to be, and I will be proud of who everyone else decides to be. Because your gender (biological or spiritual), sexual orientation, or identity doesn’t dictate how you should be treated. You should be treated based on the values you have and how you treat other people. So be confident in who you are, because if a man can do it and not be ridiculed then you can too. But please remember men are not the enemy, society is. And I dream of the day I can walk down the street and see happiness and subjectivity on every corner. I wish when I have a daughter she will know that she is safe to do whatever her dreams desire.
Throughout this semester, we have looked at several concepts that shape and help us to understand what is going on in our world regarding sex and how we view it. However, I believe the most important concept that we have studied to be intersectionality.
Throughout the semester I learned what sex and society really have to do with each other. Before entering this course I had no idea what I was going to learn about, and at the end I wanted to learn more about sex and society. One concept that really struck my mind was sexual intercourse. Prior to class I thought sexual intercourse involved a woman and a man having penetrative vaginal penile sex. Well I found out that sexual intercourse has way more to it than just two heterosexuals having sex. Prior to this course, I believed the common misconception that sex was between men and women. Majority of people would define sexual intercourse similar to my definition in my opinion. It’s interesting to me that identities and terms that deal with sex aren’t presented to most kids until they reach college. Meanwhile, before this class I would have not seen this issue as a problem in society. Why do you think people in our society lack knowledge about sex, and stroll around like its acceptable?
While throughout the semester we were assigned different reading I made a connection with the article called “Sexual Intercourse” by Kerwin Kaye. In this article Kerwin Kaye goes on to define intercourse as socially determined. Kerwin Kaye states that, Coitus implies that a woman and a man have intercourse until the man achieves orgasm. Furthermore, before entering the class I would agree with coitus that intercourse compacts with a man and a female having sex, but Kerwin Kaye included interesting points. What about more recent terms such as anal intercourse, strap on sex, and oral sex? Anal sex is an act that most likely occurs between men. Strap on sex is defined as a woman penetrating another woman with a toy or dildo, which could be done either anally or vaginally. Lastly, Kerwin Kaye talks about oral sex and I still am undecided on rather not oral sex should be considered intercourse. I still try and answer this question. It seems as Kerwin Kaye information believes that intercourse can involve same sexes or different sexes, but there has to be some form of penetration happening.
Kerwin Kaye concludes by saying that “The point is not to find the single correct definition, but rather see the meaning associated with these terms shift over time and are inherently susceptible to social conflict” (2011). It’s really important to note that sex should only be defined by the people engaging the act. Sex can include a wide variety of intimate acts and definitely transcends gender differences. A few questions that I have for my audience could be, how do we change the narrative around sex in our nation? I think this is an important question because our nation was built upon Christian values. These Christian values have led us to really have a limited view of the world. If we expand that view to include traditionally excluded groups, we can embrace a more diverse population and enhance the experiences of ourselves and others.
Deborah Tolman’s Adolescent Girls’ Sexuality brings to light the idea of sexual subjectivity, or a young woman’s sense of self as a sexual person who is entitled to have sexual feelings and make active decisions about sexual behavior. Being sexual subjects requires young ladies to have more agency with their sexuality–to be active agents in the choices they are making. It also requires that these young women have sexual well-being, including sexual and reproductive health, comfort with one’s body, feelings and desires, and awareness of and having the freedom to act upon sexual desires.
Naked pictures, Snapchat, Tinder. Maybe the shift from dating to hooking up is the cause. Or maybe teenagers are getting bolder. But the fact is, sexting is becoming as popular as ever, and it’s not limited to teens.
For me, the most important topic that we covered in class this year was sexual objectification. I had no idea that so many different aspects and parts of society played such roles in how boys define girls, and vice versa. Sexual objectification’s meaning is different for everyone, especially men.
In the text, we learned that some men are afraid of looking homosexual, and therefore objectify woman. Certainly, most men would not agree with this statement. However, the way that society has been over the past few decades has certainly shaped this mentality without men realizing its impact. We red many interviews of men and learned that there is wide variety of sexual preferences, especially during intercourse that men prefer. Although not homosexual, men can have some strange preferences based on their desires.
In learning about sexual objectification, we also learned about sexual assault and rape. I think that sexual assault (in particular rape), and sexual objectification have a lot in common. To me, women who are raped are not viewed as wholesome to the offender, as he/she views him or herself.. They degrade the victim, and dehumanize them in the act of seeking sexual or mental pleasure. The pleasure involved in rape cases is something that is an ongoing, very serious problem. Rapists are all trying to fill some sort of void, and fill it by pushing their problems to someone else in one of the worst ways possible.
Learning about people living wholesome lives after experiencing sexual assault was very interesting to me. It brought joy to me knowing that some people experience such sadness, and though the darkness, they can see light at the end of the tunnel. I really enjoyed visiting the museum and photo collection held here at Vanderbilt. All of the pictures were very eye opening. Although no one in the class has undergone exactly what the woman photographed went through, I think that it all brought a deeper understanding to the long-term effects of domestic violence, sexual assault, and sexual objectification.
When we talked more about sexual objectification and rape, more windows opened when we learned about programs on campus, and were required to do an on campus group project. This way, all of the students were able to learn about different ways to stay safe on campus, and learn about the resources that we are offered. I think that this was helpful, but it also made me realize which programs seemed effective meanwhile others seemed to be put in place but didn’t make an impact.
Overall, I feel this class was extremely helpful in making conversations about sex and the many impacts it has on society today. I think that the class made this topic a lot easier to talk about. It made talking about very important and sensitive topics such as sexual assault something that I could talk about comfortably with my friends, in a way that made us all learn. Being able to learn about the sensitive and dark sides of being apart of the LGBTQIA community was incredibly eye opening, and made it easier to look at things with more background and understanding.