Outlooks


Men have sex with men. Women have sex with women. They have done so for thousands of years. It’s nothing new. Some are exclusively sexually and romantically attracted to people of the same sex. Some are attracted primarily, but not exclusively to people of the opposite sex. Some are somewhat equally attracted to both.

Throughout history some societies have made room for these queer folks.
Queer–Deviating from the expected or normal; strange. (and often taboo)

The sexual part of us is more than just sex-it is an opening to ourselves.

Many groups and individuals have been stripped of their wholesome sexuality by the people in power over them. Women, people of color, people with disabilities, transsexuals, the elderly, and young adults have been treated as sexual deviants by those who have oppressed them. Either they portrayed them as sexless beings or painted them as wildly out of control sexual freaks.

But the people who have exercised power over us do not get the final say, and in fact, their slander mostly reveals their own insecurities and poverty. For those of us who face the conflict of our sexual desires with the worlds around us, we force ourselves to peer through a forbidden window that opens us up to whole new worlds of ourselves.

Audre Lorde writes:

The principal horror of any system which defines the good in terms of profit rather than in terms of human need, or which defines human need to exclusion of the psychic and emotional components of that need–the principal horror of such a system is that it robs our work of its erotic value, its erotic power and life appeal and fulfillment. Such a system reduces work to a travesty of necessities, a duty by which we earn bread or oblivion for ourselves and those we love. But this is tantamount to blinding a painter and then telling her to improve her work, and to enjoy the act of painting. It is not only next to impossible, it is also profoundly cruel.

. . . [O]nce we begin to feel deeply all the aspects of our lives, we begin to demand from ourselves and from our life-pursuits that they feel in accordance with that joy which we know ourselves to be capable of. Our erotic knowledge empowers us, becomes a lens through which we scrutinize all aspects of our existence, forcing us to evaluate those aspects honestly in terms of their relative meaning within our lives.

This post has 7 Comments

  1. Elliot on February 18, 2007 at 4:03 pm Reply

    That Audre Lorde — very smart woman. Thank you for introducing me to her works, Peterson. I’d never heard of her before meeting you. 🙂

  2. Daniel C on February 18, 2007 at 9:16 pm Reply

    I might be very conventionall, and slam in open door. But if one haven’t read it yet, one should definetly read “the history of sexuality” by Foucault!

  3. dave294 on February 18, 2007 at 9:36 pm Reply

    The concept that those of the Judeo-Christian and Islamic fundamental beliefs support is that sex equals procreation with a minimum of eroticism.

    It is, oddly, also a belief that modern corporate capitalism fosters and is probably the primary reason I’m no longer a Republican.

    Is it any wonder that the stronger Republicanism, corporate capitalism and basic religion becomes, the more our lives become like the dronelike existence of a beehive. Viva la Queer!

  4. Allyson on February 18, 2007 at 9:41 pm Reply

    . . . [O]nce we begin to feel deeply all the aspects of our lives, we begin to demand from ourselves and from our life-pursuits that they feel in accordance with that joy which we know ourselves to be capable of.
    Wow. Yes. Yes yes yes.

    This explains a lot…like, for example, why I’m becoming less and less satisfied with my work since coming out as trans.

    Ally (the commenter formerly known as Alyssia 🙂 )

  5. nonsequitur on February 19, 2007 at 5:13 am Reply

    Spot on as usual Peterson“…people with disabilities, transsexuals, the elderly, and young adults have been treated as sexual deviants by those who have oppressed them. Either they portrayed them as sexless beings or painted them as wildly out of control sexual freaks.”

    This part of the passage was especially potent for me because I have a close, dear friend who has a physical disability and has had to deal with society’s desexualization of him because of his genetic condition… psychologically damaging to say the least. It is a front which is not often explored… the fact that the handicapped, elderly, etc. are sexual beings as well… yet one may often prefer to think of them as some sort of eunuch or limited-aspect entity… and in a way that denies them of the full acceptance and comprehension as human beings. No, sex is not the be-all and end-all of human existence, but sexuality, in it’s various forms, is still an integral part of us as a species and should be simply acknowledged as part of our being.

  6. alex resare on February 21, 2007 at 7:51 pm Reply

    Great post!

    I have a big understanding towards people that exercise any power they got over us. Non-normality is scary. I am happy that I myself no longer am the person that is exercising the most power to oppress me.

    Truth is empowering

  7. Craig Hickman on February 23, 2007 at 7:17 pm Reply

    The truth shall set you free.

    Thanks for this post, Peterson.

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