Wednesday, March 22, 2006

What's Your Sign, um, Orientation?

Certain of us have noticed that some members of the Czech and Slovak Fulbright groups can get a little carried away with their heterosexual or gay identities and the thrill of trying to figure out who around them fits into which category. They seem to forget that there might be a contingent here that refuses to define itself in that way and doesn’t believe in using gender as a criterion for attraction or partnership.
Of course, I shouldn’t single out Fulbrighters here, as this could be said of most people in Western society. This is just the group I can observe most closely at the moment. But gender and gender roles can be fun, or can be oppressive. Overall, I prefer just being a person.
Is it time for a manifesto?

And hey... look what I just got on this internet quiz. There you go.

You Are 60% Boyish and 40% Girlish

You are pretty evenly split down the middle - a total eunuch.
Okay, kidding about the eunuch part. But you do get along with both sexes.
You reject traditional gender roles. However, you don't actively fight them.
You're just you. You don't try to be what people expect you to be.

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Blogger Alex said...

What brought this tangent on?

March 22, 2006 11:36 PM  
Blogger Karla said...

Nothing in particular, it's been a topic of conversation for months. Not just at Velké Bílovice or (I'm told) in Berlin. I just thought I'd state the minority view.

What makes it a tangent? I write about gender issues all the time. (Admittedly, more often in relation to dead people.)

March 23, 2006 8:46 AM  
Blogger Alex said...

Just took the test. I'm 50/50. Kinda disappointing.

March 23, 2006 9:13 AM  
Blogger Karla said...

What's so disappointing about that? Which way did you want to go?

March 23, 2006 9:58 AM  
Blogger Kristen said...

Interestingly, I got the same score as you. Though my sexuality is much more defined--I like boys, period. At times I have thought that my life would be easier on some levels if I were sexually attracted to women (obviously this is in the pre-Brian era), but I'm just not. (With the exception of k.d. lang, and like that's gonna happen!) Also, I do have my "girlie" streaks in spite of my general tendency to ignore the gender "rules." I'm not sure if I'm hindering or helping the conversation here...

March 23, 2006 8:39 PM  
Blogger Karla said...

I don't see the quiz as addressing one's sexual preferences, per se, but rather to what degree we go in for behavior or ways of thinking that are associated more with one gender than the other.

Since people who are too into socially defined masculine or feminine roles tend to get on my nerves, it's not surprising that Alex and Kristen are also scoring in the middle. I think this is a matter of being a balanced person, not a matter of who you're attracted to.

And, as I was saying to Alex today, there are theorists who look at the sexual aspect as being more complex than it's often presented. There's which gender(s) a person is attracted to, which may not be the same as which gender(s) a person actually has sex with, and then does a person make either or both of these part of his/her identity? So while some people choose to adopt a gay or straight identity based on their attractions and actions, for many people it's not so simple, or not what they want, or not of interest.

March 23, 2006 9:26 PM  
Blogger Kristen said...

Sorry, I made a clutzy transition. I was not thinking of the quiz in terms of sexuality, but referring to your comments about attraction in the blog.

March 24, 2006 9:20 PM  
Blogger Karla said...

Well, I was trying to speak for more people than just myself personally, but to speak entirely for myself, I don't believe in limiting my options, and while I strongly support gay and lesbian rights, that's not how I define myself. But you already knew that, I think.

Meanwhile, a satisfying day was had reading about the 1930s Czechoslovak homosexual liberation movement. (Such as it was.)

March 25, 2006 10:54 PM  

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