Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Radical Hott Off Notes: while sitting in the ice storm on the four and half ...


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via on 12/26/10

Radical Hott Off Notes: while sitting in the ice storm on the four and half hour ride home...:


while sitting in the ice storm on the four and half hour ride home that should've only been an hour—W* and I were talking about yes means yes and no means no. and we both sorta came to the same conclusion—that both answers, while beneficial to a certain extent, are incomplete answers.

in my family/community history, people were *taught* how to have sex. you also see this in ancient cultures and cultures that suffered colonization and cultures that are not christian based—(and many other cultures that I know nothing about). you were *taught*. graphics were provided. examples were provided. from what I understand, sometimes even live action situations were provided. you were taught what to look for, taught when pleasure could look like, taught what responses=pleasure, etc. sex was something the entire community was invested in.

you are taught in US culture by porn and pop culture. sex is everywhere—but none of it is created with the intention of *teaching*. in reaction to this, you get the responses of no means no and yes means yes— no means no teaches boundaries, yes means yes teaches exploration through mutual enjoyment…both valuable responses to sex being taught by porn and pop culture—but no means no also teaches little else outside of boundaries and yes means yes (among other things) does not deal much with those who *think* they want something because they were brought up thinking that's what they were supposed to be/do (for example, in my early sex experiences, I *def* had the "hot fire cracker saucy latina" stereotype on my mind—and agreed enthusiastically to that kind of sex—even tho I secretly didn't like it and felt sorta violated by it—but nobody had shown me how to do anything *else* and nobody had made it ok to say no or even imagine a different way). 

so anyway—W* and i started talking about what would a popular education led discussion look like in terms of sex. if we started teaching kids how to teach themselves how to do sex.

for example—I saw somewhere (I think it was on tumblr) somebody calling the christmas song "baby it's cold outside" a rape song. where "no" was said, but the other person keeps pushing anyway.

I thought it was an interesting critique—but i wonder what would happen if instead of having answers already laid out—we used that song to hold discussions about sex in communities that included all people. 

if we asked questions like:

can the "chase" be an enjoyable part of sex/a relationship?

how? what does it look like to have a consensual relaxed "chase"?

do you think the girl may feel like she *has* to leave for certain reasons?

what are some of those reasons? 

do you think those reasons are fair?

do you think the girl may feel like she has *to stay* for certain reason? 

what are some of those reasons?

do you think those reason are fair?

do you think the boy may feel like he *has* to tell the girl to stay? 

what are some of those reasons?

do you think those reasons are fair?

is there anything a community can do/change so that girls can make decisions based on their own wants/desires?

Is there anything a community can do/change so that boys can make decisions based on their own wants/desires?

have you ever been confused by what the other person you were 'messing around with' did?

what could you do when you are confused by the signals your partner sends?

what would you want your partner to do if your partner was confused?

what could a community do to help those who are confused by sex, their partners, etc?


I can think of a whole bunch more questions—and questions that could spring out of answers from questions. 

but i think that the most important thing is that the "rules of discourse" include regular check ins to understand how "power" (i.e. sexism, silencing, homophobia, transphobia, etc) are playing out in the discussion itself (and connect that to how those same things can play out in "sex" and how it can play out in discussions about sex between partners), and an understanding that a healthy sexuality is something that can not be created by individuals alone—that communities must be aware of their role in *supporting*, *reimaging*, and *creating* healthy sexualities.

I think the job of those interested in gender liberation should not be to have the answers, but to show the road to take to *get* the answers….that's why I love popular education over public service announcements—which I feel both no means no and yes means yes are. public service announcements assume a certain level of inability to think for oneself. complicated ideas are melted down into catchy phrases like yes means yes—under the assumption that those with few resources don't have the resources to 1. understand more complicaed issues, and/or 2. have the time to figure out more complicated issues (if they did, they'd be in school, where they'd learn this stuff, right?). 

popular education, on the other hand—assumes that resources to learn can be harnessed from popular culture. that is: if people are already listening to eminem/rihanna—how can those who are organizing with very few resources *harness* that song in such a way as to teach complicated, transformative, community wide controlled and led lessons? how can those who have the resource of "An Education" utilize their education in a way that compliments community created lessons?

as a person interested in gender liberation—and as a mami of two—Im not interested in creating a world that *tells* my kids what to do and think—i'm interested in being an active partner with them in finding solutions to violence. and I think that generational violence (which is what rape, sexual assault, abuse, etc is) is only going to end by having generational solutions—thus eventually they will be elders within the community teaching the next generation themselves—so the knowledge they get better be thick enough, flexible enough, challenging enough, tough enough, to last.


Things you can do from here:


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