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Archive for the ‘sociology’ Category

Why is it so wrong for a body to be alone during a meal time? Why does a body have to be around other people during meals? It might seem strange but I have always enjoyed the occasional “out to eat with myself” for breakfast lunch or dinner.

One time I went to Waffle House for breakfast, since my boyfriend isn’t a morning person I decided to go alone. When I got there the perky little seventeen something hostess asked how many. I said one. Her demeanor changed from chipper to confused, to sympathetic as she led me to my corner table. As I was ordering she asked if anyone else will be eating breakfast with me for the second time I said no, just me. She asked me why go out when you are not meeting anyone. I replied “I enjoy eating by myself from time to time. Then I don’t have to worry about meaningless small talk or comfortable silences. It is some time for myself” after my  little chat with her she left me to get my pancakes I pulled out a book and started to do homework. I got my food, she refilled me coffee more times that I needed, I left her a nice tip and I left.

I don’t understand why a person needs to eat around other people all the time. It may be a pack mentality, where we need to strive for a sense of belonging as we down greasy burgers and french fries.  I have no idea why eating solo was a big deal for my waitress that day but it just got me thinking why we view someone as lonely, sad, standoffish, bitchy,or depressed when they choose to have some time for themselves.

Whew, well that felt good to vent.

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the issue of women’s bodies being viewed as public property. From cat calls to groping, it seems that many men have a clear sense of entitlement to women’s bodies in public spaces. This way of thinking and acting is incredibly prevalent in our society, and the cultural encouragement of this behavior is especially disturbing. I recently watched several videos by Stuart Edge and Andrew Hales that completely condone this type of behavior by harassing women and then playing it off as a fun joke.

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Why does what I’m wearing define my sexual orientation? I’m a 22-year old female, and I often change the way I dress, even on a day-to-day basis. I may feel like wearing a tight skirt, heels, make-up, and jewelry and shaving my legs on Monday. On Tuesday I might wear sweatpants and a T-shirt and throw my hair in a messy bun, and on Wednesday I may wear a baggy pair of guy’s jeans with paint stains on them, a tank top, and skater shoes but do my hair in a cute way. I enjoy dressing in any way that makes me feel comfortable, and I usually do.

But recently, I got a girlfriend, and even though I dress the same way I’ve always dressed, with my same unique style I’ve always had, I’ve heard some interesting comments, even from people that I know care about me and aren’t trying to be offensive. But if I’m dressed up (and meet society’s beauty standards) I’ll hear people say things like “Are you really a lesbian?” or “I don’t understand how you’re gay” and when I dress down, or “more like a guy” I hear “You’re such a lesbian.”

And I’m not even a lesbian! I’m bisexual!

I feel as though society often judges people as being gay or straight based on what they’re wearing. A recent conversation with my (straight, male) roommates went like this:

Roommate 1: “What are you wearing?”
Me: “Jeans.”
Roommate 2: “She has a girlfriend, she can wear what she wants.”
Roommate 1: “She’s only half-gay.”
Me: “What does that have to do with it?”
Roommate 1: “Well sometimes you dress like the straight half.”

First off, I consider myself a hundred percent gay and a hundred percent straight, and I hate it when people call me “half gay.” It’s not like I find women attractive half the time; I find attractive PEOPLE attractive ALL the time. Second, how come I can only wear “whatever I want” because I have a girlfriend? It’s not like my girlfriend dresses me. Could I wear girls’ jeans if I was a lesbian? Could I wear guys’ jeans if I was straight? Why are my roommates only saying things now? Don’t the same rules apply now as when I was single? Or am I “more gay” when I have a girlfriend?

It’s also weird to me that clothes can make you look gay (“He’s totally gay, look at his pants.”  “I can’t tell if he’s gay or if he just dresses really well…”  “She looks like a dyke in those pants.”) or even make you look straight (“Can you believe he’s gay? He dresses so straight!”) but I have never heard of clothes making you look bisexual. If bisexuality, homosexuality, and heterosexuality are all valid sexual orientations, why don’t our clothes make us look bisexual? Where can I buy pants that make me look like I date boys and girls?

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