Posts tagged ‘sexuality’

December 18, 2010

TSA’s Outrageous Insensitivity

by V

If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, you know that there’s even more backlash against the TSA’s tactics in keeping our airports safe. “Keeping us safe” sounds like a great thing to be doing. So, how could it be bad? Well, unfortunately, the TSA is taking things too far.

As of yet, many people haven’t had to contend with what many others have already had to endure. That is its outrageous insensitivity to people as human beings. The TSA is forcing people to decide between allowing an anonymous agent to see them naked on camera via their new scanners, or being molested by an “enhanced” pat-down. Many times in full view of the rest of the passengers waiting in line. And, even if you do opt to have the scanner take your naked picture, you are not necessarily exempt from the enhanced pat-downs. Many have gone through these things, then have been pulled aside anyway. Usually, because the scanner picked up something “odd.”

You might think that’s a good thing. After all, that’s what the scanners are for! Well, yes and no. They are used to find anything strange. And the pat-downs are used for the same purpose. However, the way that the TSA does this is increasingly insensitive to people with special needs and circumstances, and agents pretend to be oblivious to the problems they cause.

Such as the example of the man who was a bladder cancer survivor and had to wear a urostomy bag.

Something that the TSA likes to tout is that everyone has the option to take the pat-downs rather than the scanner, and everyone who opts for the pat-downs has the right to ask for a private room to have it done in. However, this man had to ask for that more than once. In fact, when he asked the first time the agents were rude enough to roll their eyes at each other and then had the gall to lie and tell him that they had nowhere to do a private pat-down.

Due to his medical condition, Sawyer asked to be screened in private. “One officer looked at another, rolled his eyes and said that they really didn’t have any place to take me,” said Sawyer.

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November 3, 2010

Class Reflection: Sex in the Victorian Era

by feyruhan
Cover of "Tipping the Velvet: A Novel"

Cover of Tipping the Velvet: A Novel

Psychological Aspects of Human Sexuality

Class reflection: Sex in the Victorian Era.

There was *sex* in the *Victorian Era*?  Gasp!

I had heard of John Ruskin before, in a literature class at my previous college.  We were assigned an essay of his, I believe it was Lilies and Sesame Seeds, and I had a hard time getting through it because I found Ruskin’s message so infuriating.  Later, when we discussed the essay (and the essayist) in class, the professor (or maybe it was one of the students? Hm…) shared with us that poor old John had run away from his wife on their wedding night when he found, to his horror, that she had pubic hair.  It was bad enough that his wife had pubic hair, but the concept it implied was even worse: women, in general, had pubic hair.  Pubic hair was notably absent from all images of women he had ever seen, and the absence of it somehow epitomized to Ruskin the un-sexed nature of the “fairer sex.”  What could possibly be more mortifying to a man who so deeply perceived women as nonsexual, child-like in their simplicity, purity, and power of reasoning, than to discover—on his wedding night—that women, his simple play-thing, are in fact whole and sexual beings?

There was a lot of noise made, in the Victorian Era, about homosexuality: its wrongness, its rightness, its illness and its naturalness.  That is, the wrongness or rightness of male homosexuality.  Has anyone read or heard of Tipping the Velvet?  It’s a novel, a historical romance novel of some four-hundred and eighty pages, written and published in the last ten years—which should mean it has no relevance to this discussion, since it’s a work of fiction, right?  Wrong-o!  The book takes its title (Tipping the Velvet) from a term of the era in which it is set, the 1880’s—late Victorian times—a term referring to cunnilingus (oral sex performed on a woman); the term itself, which deceptively sounds like a boring aspect of millinery, was used by women of a sapphist persuasion.  That is to say, lesbians.  Victorian Era lesbians.  Yes, the Victorian Era had its lesbians, and they had their own hidden, under-the-radar, legally reprehensible but not legally recognized (that is to say, there were sodomy laws for homosexual men but no laws set out for homosexual women; Queen Victoria is supposed to have dismissed the possibility of female homosexuality when it was brought to her in legal concerns; “female homo-what?” was more or less her attitude), sub-culture.

The Victorians, thanks to England’s Queen Victoria and others, were known for a reserved attitude towards sex, sexuality, and all things involving the (female) body.  It’s interesting to notice that a (modern/contemporary) leading lingerie company—the opposite to a reserved attitude on sex, sexuality, and all things involving the female body—is named Victoria’s Secret.

September 20, 2010

Psychological Aspects of Human Sexuality, Class Reflection

by feyruhan
Sexuality confusion

Image via Wikipedia

I expected a woman.  As a professor, that is, for my Psychological Aspects of Human Sexuality class.  My friend, who had taken the class at another college, a large university in fact, had told me exciting tales of learning and enlightenment and surprise, in which the professor was a grandmother who brought the text’s author’s twelve-year-old daughter to class once as part of an oral presentation.

I expected a proud, upfront, female professor who would tell us that we were about to embark on a wonderful journey that some of us may not be interested in, because we were studying the psychological aspects of human sexuality–not anatomy, nor the Kama Sutra.  A few students would leave, and we’d get going.

To be excessively blunt, I expected a white woman—a white woman would have had the socially-granted lee-way to explore and express a curiosity and openness about human sexuality that, I thought, a non-Caucasian woman, or moreover, a non-Caucasian man, would (unfortunately) not be so easily granted.  As it turns out, socially-granted permission be damned.  This professor may actually feel strongly enough about his beliefs about the importance of understanding the psychological aspects of human sexuality to openly explore, express, and teach about it—regardless of or in deliberate opposition to rules and guidelines that (I assume, possibly incorrectly, based on his skin tone and accent) he was raised to follow.  I think I’m going to like this professor.

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August 19, 2010

Let me let go of this feeling / August ’10

by feyruhan

via Flickr

Werewolves.

Reading about werewolves–Pack, mutt, Change–I slowly start to feel about S.  He’s my Pack.  We cuddle, we’re frank with each other, about all the important things.  We’re safe.  We have a safeword.  S is safe: he’s comfy and I’m not attracted to him and he knows I’m beautiful.

Then I start feeling about J.  Sadness.  Mourning.  Not once, not even once since that Sunday did he try calling me.  He doesn’t care.  I don’t matter to him. Did I ever?  It’s like we never were.

Tell me something.  Tell me something about what I meant to you.  Did I–mean anything to you?

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August 9, 2010

A Penchant for Pirates/ March ’06

by feyruhan

from cinecultist.com

I’m walking out of the building, out of class, and I spot him walking up the street, away, in the direction of fifth ave.  I’ve been debating whether I should go to Fogelman Lib on fifth ave or back to the dorm on Union Square; I catch sight of him and I’m decided.

My feet follow his, casually, and I think, in a daze, of all the names I’ve given him.  First he was Jack, or Captain Sparrow.  He wears a brown bandanna and long dark brown hair spills out of it.  He has something of a beard and a mustache.  He wears a full-length billowy brown leather coat and boots the style of Doc Martens.  He has a smile that makes me anxious-nervous in a good way.  Sometimes his eyes hide behind sunglasses, like now.  I’ve seen him several times around campus, I’ve wondered about his name, I’ve wondered who he is, I’ve wondered what he does.  He is a pirate, I think; he is rough but not quite raggedy, he is tall but not too-thin, he has long hair and short facial hair, but he isn’t carefully trimmed.  He is the fruit of my imagination, because no one, no one, could be that way and still be approachable; I would have nothing to say to him.  What does he do?  What is he like?  Is he a flirt?  Is he a tease?  I stood in a circle with my peer advising group and he walked between us, I saw him smile, bemused; he walked into the circle and out between two people, in again and out the other side.  I asked them later if they’d seen him.  They looked at me with bewilderment, and said no.  I had seen him smile.

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