What Is Really Going On Here?
I’m going to start this blog with the questions I normally end a posting with. Of you readers out there who read the last posting: “Ways of Seeing Sensuality” how many of you had any conversation about the posting? What were the conversations about? Were you surprised that something somewhat sensual was presented for public discourse? Is there anyone out there who believes that universities have a moral responsibility to teach/not teach so-called real world topics? How about regional newspapers? Is the Press Republican serving its constituency well by enabling conversations like those I attempt to create?
Okay, so I have posted about 20 + blogs up to this point with various reactions from the community. Some of you love me, some are intrigued by me, some can’t believe that the Press Republican would actually give me a blog on their website (neither can I), and some probably wish people like me (did someone say “you people” or “those people”) would just go away. I can respect all of those thoughts. I can understand the love because I create conversations from which we can all potentially grow. I can understand the intrigue people have with me because we live in a world where people are fixated on their realities and unfortunately all too often, their realities alone. So when I advocate social justice in a conversation with a fraternity brother of mine or students in my classes about their use of the term “fag” they are intrigued, often convincing themselves that I must be gay, bisexual, or on “the down low” because why else would I speak so passionately on behalf of gay rights. The answer to that question is not an altruistic one. I won’t pretend that is the case. I am an advocate for social justice because I have truly figured out that I can’t logically or intelligently complain about any type of oppression visited upon me or my family if I continue to be complicit in the oppression of others. Do You Feel Me? I also am intelligent enough to know general rights from wrongs. Lastly, I understand the disdain or down right hate towards me. I represent change to many, a threat to individual and/or group privileges. Who wants to lose what they have (earned or not)?
Interestingly enough, when our conversations are centered on race, people weigh-in because racial discussions have been taking place for a long time. While everyone isn’t comfortable joining the conversation, more are than were a decade or two ago. We seldom if ever talk about socio-economic class at any length in America’s public discourses, and when we do it has about as much depth as an infant’s bathwater. Conversations about ability are awkward for most of us, but only because we don’t know the language. Since the disabled community is one that we could join at any moment, most of us lean forward when the conversation begins, the exception being individuals who are clueless about the fragility of their ability, as evidenced by people who cavalierly use the word “retard.”
Conversations about gender are intriguingly similar to those about ability. Most of us have a healthy respect for someone of the other gender (mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, girlfriends, wives) that has us at least receptive to the fact that we may be sexist and could benefit from changing some of our ways. But the conversations that I have posted about sexual orientation, belief systems, and sensuality appear to have possibly rocked some of you to your foundation while making others uncomfortable with such overt dialogue. If you ever want to revisit the topics, look through the archives and focus on the number of comments made on certain topics. Men seldom weigh in, even less if the topic is sexual orientation (Running for Attention). No one wants to talk politics or religion on any grand scale (Politics and Religion: The Luck of the Draw).
When I post a thought or two about romance, sex, love, and marriage, something that most humans experience and enjoy, people are surprised and concerned that they are even privy to such a conversation. WHY WOULD THAT BE? As I said earlier, people’s reactions are quite unique. While the responses were actually high in number, many people commented privately to me, or on the street, that they wanted to join the conversation, but it was so hot, or profound, that they chose to sit this one out. One woman said I should be concerned that people might see me as a pervert or over sexualized. One woman thought I shouldn’t have said I enjoyed my students paper’s with a Smirnoff and Coltrane playing because it might give some people the impression I was using the papers as an aphrodisiac for taking matters into my own hands. [The papers, along with the Smirnoff and Coltrane were aphrodisiacs the same way any of the films I mentioned could/would be, or a sexy romance novel. Also, why the assumption I had to be enjoying this stimuli alone?] Someone please tell me, what is the real problem here?
There is even an adequately witty fellow from Holmby Hills, California that continues to project the way he handles his business onto me, and isn’t smart enough to realize that until he specifically addresses the subject at hand, his ad hominem statements toward me will leave him in perpetual anonymity, even beyond his inability to put forward an authentic identity in his signature instead of a trite reference to a card character, without the preposition. My bottom line is this: if someone in my reading audience is not mature enough to situate one posting of mine within the context of all the postings I have put out there, then they have the problem, not I. One solitary posting I have submitted should not define me. As well, no one comment will unsettle me. So, stay tuned for the next 20 + postings. I’m just warming up!!!