Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sex, Backwards: Conceptualizing Sexuality

Jessica Mason McFadden thinks sex has too many backward meanings
PKelsey Curious, can you say more? We were just discussing Sarah Baartman in my grad class last night, so this is definitely on my mind....

4 hours ago · SPayne Hmm... Like?

4 hours ago · Jessica Mason McFadden Funny you should mention Saartjie Baartman, since I recently put this link up on my Facebook page. I was thinking of her after thinking of the ethics of animal zoos in general.
4 hours ago · Jessica Mason McFadden I was thinking about something personal, which is - of course - also political. Ah, sexSex - personal, political, nonsensical, exoticized, used for, used against, made of nothing, made into something, constructed, deconstructed, created, defamated, confused with gender, exacerbated, made into art, made into argument, made into entertainment, made into "love" and "romance," used to separate, used to create hierarchies, used to oppress and subjugate, used for exploitation, used for work, used for empowerment, used to create a sense of "otherness" and fear/hate....

4 hours ago · Jessica Mason McFadden And then there is the whole construction or expansion of the meaning of sex in other other cultures, communities, worlds...the cyber dimmension, for instance - it certainly has transformed "sex."
Sex -ism, -uality
- constructed identity

3 hours ago · Jessica Mason McFadden Sex on a map. A map of sex.
"The Sexes" (the language of "the battle of the sexes")

3 hours ago · Jessica Mason McFadden Sex as creation, sex as manipulation, sex as/for profit, sexual abuses, sex and religion/sex as religion/spirituality

3 hours ago · Jessica Mason McFadden The language of rape...and how it relates to colonization and the oppressions of peoples/women.

3 hours ago · Jessica Mason McFadden The violent dimmension of "sex" - the propagandized transformation of it.

3 hours ago · Jessica Mason McFadden The sexualization of women, of groups of women and peoples as a method of disempowerment and colonization.

3 hours ago · Jessica Mason McFadden The criminalization of sex...also used to disempower women.

3 hours ago · Jessica Mason McFadden The institutionalization of sex.

3 hours ago · Jessica Mason McFadden The objectification.

3 hours ago · Jessica Mason McFadden The power abuses against land/location and women. The (symbolic and physical) relationships between bodies of land and women's bodies...and the violent treatment of those bodies.

3 hours ago · Jessica Mason McFadden Penetration...pillaging...of lands/bodies.

3 hours ago · Jessica Mason McFadden (okay, that's all for on my lap is in need of a diaper change)

3 hours ago · Jessica Mason McFadden Oh, and the oppressive sexualization of non-european women as a means of creating "otherness"

3 hours ago · Jessica Mason McFadden People often find difficult the fact that Dar and Elan were conceived via a form of "sex" (yes, the insertion of penis into vagina can be problematic for some who want to construct and define lesbianism and monogamy in "certain terms"/"in a box"). Even I found it difficult, in my own way at certain times. Our constructions of what it means to be a lesbian AND our constructions of what it means to engage in "sex" can create a lot of discomfort and misunderstanding. When we cannot lay it all out neatly into a category, fear often starts to trickle in...

3 hours ago · PKelsey Thanks, Jess, I always feel I learn from you and your intellectual process. It's no coincidence that to the left of this comment box I see bell hooks is your social theoretical identity. Love to you, P.

about an hour ago · Jessica Mason McFadden Love to you! (We typically don't say "Sex to you!") Wish I was in your grad class...

55 minutes ago · ACarr Jess, it sounds like you've a paper or book in the making here . . .

53 minutes ago · PKelsey I'd love to have you in the grad class, Jessica! And it's true, I think you have a book (or seven) in you at any given moment.


Anonymous said...

Not sure if I follow the whole idea. Check out my blog and look at the results of a homework assignment I gave to my college students. I teach Human Sexuality. You may find it interesting!

Cupaco, Cupaco (I am link on Sonya's and Kristin's blog)

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering why "sex" is in quotes here.

Is there some sense in which the sex to which you refer was not really sex?

Also, monogamy, by definition, means a sexual relationship with one person. To argue that there is some kind of monogamy that is somehow "outside the box" that is defined by that term is pretty nonsensical.

Mason McFadden said...

Well, I was thinking outside of the lines...creatively...abstractly. When I refer to sex, I put it in quotes because the sex to which I am referring most of the time is not a specific, dictionary entry for sex - I often refer to "sex" in cultural terms, perhaps even "distortions." I even put "distortions" in quotes, because even such a word is not necessarily real. I think it is actually impossible to talk about sex or anything else being real - because reality is subjective and limited by the confines of language and human perception. I get so caught up in the abstract layers of language and meaning that I often reach a point where everything seems absurd. Does that make "sense?" :)

Mason McFadden said...

Cultural perceptions of the meanings of sex are so much wider than any kind of "official" definition of sex. There is the personal experience, the prescriptive meaning, the universal meaning. All interconnected yet separate.