Final Concept Analysis Post

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.

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Spotlight On… Drag Brunch

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Let us introduce you to Drag Brunch. Drag Brunch is located within Suzy Wong’s House of Yum, right next to Play Nashville. For those of you who don’t know, Play Nashville is a local gay club and bar that is well-known for its entertaining drag performances. The two businesses are located on Church Street, one of the more “lively” areas near our very own campus. House of Yum is a restaurant that serves delicious Asian cuisine during most days of the week, but on Sunday, the restaurant is only for brunch… Drag Brunch.

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What’s Sex Got To Do With… Angel Haze?

Some people were frustrated when Macklemore and Ryan Lewis came out with “Same Love,” a song that was designed to promote the passage of R-74 in Washington State. Macklemore gained respect and popularity for the song, but those who were against it were irritated by his reference to his uncle being gay as an explanation for his understanding of peoples’ struggle with identity. Later on, a small NYC artist, Angel Haze, came out with a freestyle over the music to “Same Love,” which both explains her struggle with identity and coming to terms with how other people see her.

“No, I’m not gay/ No, I’m not straight/ And I sure as hell am not bisexual/ Damn it, I am whoever I am when I am it/ Loving whoever you are when the stars shine/ And whoever you’ll be when the sun rises”

The number of non-heterosexual music artists, especially in the hip-hop industry, is very small. Angel Haze not only breaks this barrier, but her music is raw and honest and her lyrics don’t follow anybody else’s agenda. She is open about her history of abuse, growing up in a cult-like religion, and understanding her sexuality (today she identifies as pansexual). Beginning at the age of five, Angel Haze was repeatedly raped by an extended family member. Angel Haze grew up in a house where people knew she was being sexually abused, and she never felt safe in her own skin. In her song, “Cleaning out my Closet” she discusses her experience growing up and coming to terms the psychological effects of her abuse.

“I was extremely scared of men so I started liking girls/ I started starving myself, fucked up my bodily health/ I didn’t want to be attractive to nobody else/ I didn’t want the appeal, wanted to stop my own growth/ but there’s a fucking reason behind every scar that I show/ I never got be a kid so that’s as far as I grow” (Angel Haze, Cleaning Out My Closet)

 

According to the theory that identities are constructed socially, Krista McQueeney says that sociologists believe that “identity is not idiosyncratic: it is shaped by the cultural and social conditions of our lives” (NSS, 293). Although I don’t necessarily believe that sexual identity are completely socially constructed, I do believe that they can change. “Identities are fluid: they can change over time and across situations. Who I am or who you perceive me to be, may not be who I say I am (or who you perceive me to be) five minutes, five months, or five years from now” (McQueeney, 293). Angel Haze’s bravery in expressing both her story and allowing people to understand her sexuality gives us a window to learning about changing sexual expression and identity and how someone doesn’t have to stay in the same place—or even participate in—the LGBTQIA alphabet.

 

It’s not easy to discuss Angel Haze through her sexuality, because she is clear and confident that she doesn’t desire to be labeled by how she does or does not identify, and that we should choose to understand her through her music. I hope you all will listen to the three songs/music video that I added to this post before commenting. As we study sexuality and different kinds of identities, do you think we should be more cautious to label? I believe that the alphabet allows us to expand and learn about the different kinds of recognized identities, but what about those identities that aren’t recognized by the alphabet? How do you thing Angel Haze and her music could influence the way we see sexual socialization and the danger of labeling identity?