Recent Posts

'Gay' Bullying and Suicides

Sera Goh

Sunday, Mar 04, 2018 - 08:12:48 pm

Daniel, 11

Tyrone, 13

These are two boys who committed suicide after bullied for ‘being gay’.

What exactly does it mean to be ‘gay’. Is a ‘gay’ person effeminate? Or does a ‘gay’ person have sexual desires towards another person of the same gender?

In the first article, it was never mentioned that the boy was attracted to males. In fact, he Read more →

Categories: i will survive
Interesting content on the controversial issues of labels that revolve around gay bullying and suicides. I have to agree that the act of labelling of minority groups is a highly sensitive issue, and also one that is challenging to deal with especially at a young age. Labels will likely lead to segregation of the community, and the fact that there is even a need to label these minority groups further exacerbates the situation by separating them from the community. Despite labels acting as a form of in-group identity if used within the minority groups themselves, we have to take into account the repercussions if used by heteronormative individuals that might lead to bullying and suicides as mentioned in the blog post. If only labels were used solely within the minority groups, and minority groups only, the world will be a better place.

Taking a step outside


Sunday, Mar 04, 2018 - 07:03:40 pm

At first glance, the song “Outside” by late singer, songwriter and prominent LGBT activist George Michael may seem as just a song about scandalous sex, but the song holds a lot more significance than it seems, not just to George Michael fans, but to the LGBT community and even the singer himself.

20 years ago in 1998, Michael was outed as Read more →

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When does the categorising stop?

Lim Qiu Li Cherie

Sunday, Mar 04, 2018 - 05:19:37 pm

For this post, I will be sharing my after-thoughts from watching these two videos, namely ‘Boy Or Girl?’ by BBC The Social and ‘Gender – The Space Between’ by CBS News.

As we have talked about it in class and in BBC’s video, when a baby is born, the doctor would announce whether it was Read more →

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You're sexually frustrated. It shows.


Sunday, Mar 04, 2018 - 04:46:35 pm

An article by Vice entitled “It’s Time for Men to Stop Letting Women Get Catcalled’ discusses how men should start being allies to women during incidents of catcalling. In the article, the author, Christine Estima, touches on how other males witnessing the uncomfortable situation should step up and try to stop these occurrences from happening. Read more →

Categories: i will survive
Hi Wani, I saw your title and was drawn to read it and I'm glad I did because street or sexual harassment such as catcalling, wolf-whistling, unwanted gestures or comments are very real. I have had my fair share of whistlings and unwanted comments and gestures that have made me uncomfortable. I guess it depends on the situation of how and what was said. Some may say the catcalling incident was them complimenting - which is fine, right? However, if the woman has shown disinterest or discomfort, then it should stop, even if the intention was good. Which is where I guess the controversial relationship between compliment and harassment should be addressed. A compliment is supposed to be something that makes you feel good. Not terrified, threatened or powerless. Catcalling then is a case of harassment because it not flattering at all, hence, not a compliment. It is a display of power. As mentioned in Estima's article, catcalling was a way of men exercising male power and street/sexual harassment makes women feel violated. I agree that it is unfortunate that stopping catcalling is not just a woman's job. Also, mustering up the courage to tell him off can be difficult because it can carry other consequences.
Hey Wani, This is a really cool article because personally as a woman myself, I hate it when guys start catcalling. Catcalling is really just a form of disrespecting women. Catcalling is a compliment? More often than not, catcalling just leave women in discomfort, self-conscious and threatened by all the unwanted attention. I am sure a real compliment would not make women feel that way. Men should know that first, women do not dress up and look cute for you. Women would dress up for themselves and look cute for themselves. Even when they do look cute, it does not give men the privilege to go around "complimenting"/ catcalling based on what they wear. Women does not need men to validate their beauty. Women do not equate their self-worth with men's input. In fact, I am pretty sure that catcalling are not out of sincerity to compliment women but, rather for the sake of men themselves so that they can get something out of these beautiful women. Most probably they want to have sex with these beautiful ladies which is the main and major reason for catcalling. Objectifying women still exist in this modern society as can be seen from the catcalling occurrence. Men still think that women are here for them, here to satisfy their needs, here as their objects to toy around. Therefore, catcalling is not a compliment but rather a form of disrespect. Catcalling is definitely not meant to brighten a woman's day. An additional article that i read on catcalling which may interest you as well:

"So are you lesbian, bisexual or straight?" "Yes"

Nur Namirah

Sunday, Mar 04, 2018 - 02:36:04 pm

“No, I’ve never felt the need to really (label my sexuality). No, I don’t feel like it’s something I have to explain about myself.”

“It’s weird for me. Everyone should just be who they want to be. It’s tough to justify somebody having to answer to someone else about stuff like that.”

Those are the answers given by Harry Styles, one of Read more →

Categories: i will survive
Hi Nami, Interesting topic on sexual fluidity. Yes, having labels has its pros and cons. On one hand, labelling oneself can be a form of liberation or a mean to identify themselves as part of a community. While on the other hand, it could be confining and limiting. So when does the categorising stop? There are so many updated terms nowadays, from pansexual to questioning, and yet, not everyone is accepting of these unfamiliar terms that they end up associating these words with negativity. With sexual fluidity though, the pressure can be put to rest. There is significant debate over whether sexuality is stable throughout life or fluid. But there have already been some people who said they don't have a fixed sexual orientation. And that's fine. I guess this term is a more current and inclusive one that makes one's sexual orientation open and changing. No matter who you're attracted to, the term covers the entirety of your orientation. I agree. Whatever the label, you do you. (Just don't harm others.)
I agree with the points you've made in this post, especially the one that states that sexual fluidity is a good step towards the acceptance of non-heteronormative relationships that is present in society today. I think, at the end of the day, as long as you are confident, secure and 'safe' in your own sense of sexual identity, I personally think, to hell with what others may think of you and your sexuality. As Eleanor Roosevelt has said, nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent. I guess the same applies to your sexual identity too.
This is a very interesting write on sexual fluidity. I agree that there are pros and cons when it comes to the labelling of one's sexuality. As the twitter post image attached in your post says, if everybody understood gender fluidity, there would be less pressure to fit into gender labels. However so, I must say that this is something that will not be easy to be done, because then that would mean to change heterosexuality to just another one of the sexualities, away from its current status as the 'norm'. And this would be difficult because for most things, there is one that is dominant and the rest would just be seen as 'others'. In addition, because of how heterosexuality is seen as the norm in most parts of the world, and people who identify as LGBTQ are bullied and discriminated in schools, many kids growing up deny any possibilities of being LGBTQ in order to fit in. This means that it would be even harder for gender fluidity to be a common thing as most people reject it to protect themselves from discrimination.

Bon Appétit! - Female Sexuality as a Four-Course Meal

Jaslyne Loh

Sunday, Mar 04, 2018 - 07:15:15 am

Have you ever wondered how humans taste like? Before you call the cops on me for cannibalism, let us explore a variety of food metaphors that structure our concept of sexual identity first, shall we? According to Lakoff (1987), the theme ‘(sexual) desire is appetite’ within which the object of the appetite is a person, portrays that human Read more →

Categories: i will survive

I love how the interrelation of food and sex is still very current up until today, as you have proved- through media. While Katy Perry played around with loads of food expressions charged with sexual intentions, she established the centuries-long stereotypical mindset that women exist to please or to satisfy the hunger of men. Through the video, I got reminded of Nyotaimori whereby people would eat sushi off a naked lady’s body. Personally, it is once again reflective of women viewed as passive and powerless as they lay there motionless, not worthy of interaction. Some know Katy as a feminist icon, and towards the end, she induced the (growing) modern perception of women having as much control and power as men. It feels like a sexual liberation for women; to quit being docile and take on the aggressor role. I could not agree more with this, make way for the ladies, please!  

Hey Jas, this was such an interesting read!!! The idea that there is an overlap between food and sex and we can understand the innuendos is still so fascinating to me. I agree with Dwi that the video did remind me of the Nyotaimori. The concept of eating off of someone's body is disgusting to me. However, the perception of female bodies as a replacement for cutleries is even more revolting. Not only does she look stunning in her video but the fact that Katy turns on her oppressors is really empowering. Much love to her for being the feminist icon that she is!

"I'm a Footballer. And I am gay."


Sunday, Mar 04, 2018 - 03:01:01 am

Many associate sports with males; a gender stereotype that has been placed for the longest time ever in a heteronormative society.

Heterosexuality is a concept based on common sense assumptions (Cameron & Kulick, 2003) and its ‘compulsory’ status limits individuals the freedom to express their sexual preferences. More than that, gender stereotypes also behave as a set of guidelines on how Read more →

Categories: i will survive
I think it's apparent in the film that Bradley was being forced to make a decision between 2 very important aspects central to his identity: a footballer and his homosexual orientation, which is sadly perceived to encompass very contrasting traits - gays are feminine and not built to be athletes. This film also reminds us that such internal turmoil can so agonising for gay individuals, and that what they need is simply recognition and acceptance from the people around them, for support and for them to not be viewed any differently from the normative community, that one's sexual orientation is not central to their athletic abilities.
Likewise, I agree with the fact that there is a fine line between homosexuality as well as homosocial bonding, and indeed, this is an issue faced by most athletes. In the film, Bradley was conflicted and could not choose which identity he should stay true to - a heterosexual footballer as his fans wished, or his hidden homosexuality. Not only that, this film also brought up another issue that is unavoidable in a heteronormative society. Homosexuals tend to think that they are different from the norm and that they are deviants. Also, heterosexuals grew up thinking that heterosexuality is the norm and the natural. Also, this post reminds me of how certain sports tend to exhibit more 'masculinity' than other sports. Sports like rugby, baseball and football are thought to be more 'cool' than that of other sports. Jock is a slang used to refer to athletes in high school and college. These people are often thought to be the 'cool guy in school'. Jocks in films are often portrayed as basketball, baseball, and football players. I wonder why sports like squash or archery are not featured.

*Heavy breathing* *Gasping* *YES!*

Sharon Ng

Sunday, Mar 04, 2018 - 01:31:03 am

In the article Call of the Wild, Language of Love – Sex Noises That Will Drive You (and Him) Wild, author Andrea Boltz draws on how language can serve as a powerful tool for improving sex lives. More specifically, housed under Women’s Health Magazine, the article provides advice for females, on how they can utilise certain aspects of Read more →

Categories: i will survive

"Butch, Please"


Sunday, Mar 04, 2018 - 01:29:37 am

The LGBTQ community consists of so many diverse, unique individuals. In contrast to gay men who usually receive the most coverage, butch lesbians are another group of individuals who fall under the lesbian umbrella, that are perhaps less known/people are less familiar with.

Butch lesbians or butches, are masculine-presenting lesbians- meaning that they are women who are sexually attracted to Read more →

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Am I Sexually Harassing You?

Joel Low

Saturday, Mar 03, 2018 - 11:35:48 pm

In wake of a slew of workplace sexual harassment incidents coming to light, a lot of public discourse has been swirling around this thorny issue. Unsurprisingly, society has swiftly and collectively remonstrated predators like Harvey Weinstein and Al Franken. Consequently, this seems to have created a pressing new topic of discussion for the average, innocent male specimen: How do I Read more →

Categories: i will survive
I think another point to consider within this debate is also the voice of the females. Much has been debated on sexual harassment on women, but we are leaving out the another end of the binary - women can sexually harass men too. In fact, it happens within heterosexual female banter talk, nearly as often as it does between men. As humans we are all programmed with an innate desire to desire for another being, and that is ok. What is not ok is sexually objectifying another being and allowing thoughts to manifest into actions that disrespect and dehumanise another being. My point is, gender equality is about treating men and women equally. If women can do it, so can men, and vice versa. But keep it respectful and reserve advances only to willing parties.
Interesting content on the analysis of the highly controversial relationship between compliment and harassment, where men appear to hold more interactional and social power than women. Based on a study conducted by McMillan (2003) on gender, status and perceived compliments in a workplace, he proved his hypothesis that women perceived compliments from men superiors to be most harassing and especially so when the complimenter is a man. Due to the high position that men often hold, they have some sort of power over the target which in this case is the women. Superiors giving more compliments to subordinates rather vice versa would also mean that women receive more compliments than men because women are often in the subordinate roles. Therefore, these cross-sex interactions will be viewed as more harassing if coming from a man to a woman when there is a status differential because it is less common for men to compliment in these situations. The best solution for this problem is for men superiors to avoid giving appearance compliments to anyone. Instead, give only performance-based compliments to avoid any psychological discomfort or negative consequences to both the employee and the company. Based on these results, it is clear that there is a double standard between men and women in the workplace regarding appearance compliments. It is 'unfair' for men as they have limits on their say in the working environment, in comparison to women. However, we have to bear in mind that harassment might have more negative consequences on women's lives than men's, which is also unfair to women.

Focus On Becoming Better Human Beings


Saturday, Mar 03, 2018 - 10:49:21 pm

The topic on masculinity has always been a huge topic of discussion as many young men struggle to define ‘manhood’ and the image which they want to portray of oneself. Children at a very young age associate James Bond’s movies, such as making out in the back of cars as an illustration of what defines heterosexual masculinity. (Cameron Read more →

Categories: i will survive

That’s what she said (TWSS)

Dwi Idayuny

Saturday, Mar 03, 2018 - 10:05:44 am

Double Entendre: TWSS          

*imagine 2 guys trying something on at a store*

Guy A: MAN, IT WON’T FIT Guy B: That’s what she said

I am sure all or many us reading have heard of this exchange. According to Kiddon, C., & Brun, Y. (2011), a double entendre is when a person says something in Read more →

Categories: i will survive
Hi Dwi! I find it interesting that the history of TWSS goes all the way back to the 1900s when it was actually taken to mean literally when actresses confess their sexual sins. Also, I agree that we should have a male equivalent to TWSS. I mean, don't men have sexual desires, or frustrations, and talk about them too? Why can't we popularise those instead? Anyway, what a good read and I LOVE THE OFFICE!!!
Interesting content on double entendre especially on the analysis of the three general themes revolving around it: climax, penises and sexual positions. We witness the use of double entendre almost everywhere but in the celebrity chef's latest series, 'Simply Nigella', the undisputed queen of the food-based double entendre is back with some of her best innuendos! For the record, here are some of Nigella's best innuendos that are in line with the above-mentioned general themes of double entendre: on filling potato skins, 'my empty vessels are ready to be loaded', on mince pies, 'these are my guiltless pleasures, they really are bulging'. Often exchanging knowing glances with the camera coupled with slow-motion kneading and whisking for added effect, we see why viewers love sharing Nigella Lawson's best innuendos on Twitter paired with the phrase none other than: 'that's what she said'.
Hi Dwi, Interesting post, it was really insightful and I like the question that you raised about why women remain to be the subject of the double entredre despite our society evolving. I guess it just shows how deeply rooted gender inequality is in the society that we live in today. Popular culture, I think, could be one way to change the mindsets and perceptions of gender inequality because media still remains a powerful force in influencing the way we think.

Representation of Bisexuality on Mass Media

Chloe Gan

Saturday, Mar 03, 2018 - 03:18:01 am

Of the LGBTQ community, the community least represented is that of the bisexual community (B). The LGTQ representation may not be flattering , but this representation means that this community is normal and accepted in society. This is as people are in contact with the media every day; the more they are exposed to certain representations, the more they begin Read more →

Categories: i will survive

It Takes Two to Tango


Saturday, Mar 03, 2018 - 12:36:22 am

There are many ways to push for social justice, but perhaps one of the subtler and more unexpected ways to do so are through children’s literature, especially since many children’s books aim to inculcate some form of moral value at the end of the story. In this post, I will be discussing the popular children’s book And Tango Makes Three by Peter Read more →

Categories: i will survive
I agree with Clara that this is a very powerful book, and the authors have obviously went through a very vigorous thought process when writing it. I thought it was very clever how the authors did not use labels in the book, but rather let the audience assume that the penguins are homosexuals. As Clara mentioned, labels need not be used to portray markedness, the absence can also perform the same function. Additionally, upon googling the book, I found out that this book is actually based on a real story. Roy and Silo are real, and they attempted to hatch a rock as if it was an egg before the zookeeper gave them one. This chick was Tango, who formed a homosexual relationship with another female penguin. This makes me wonder about the backlash the book got - why are some people so opposed to homosexuality, when it is simply something natural? Why not focus on the love that they share instead, and just let the couple be happy? Hetronormitivity is not the law, one should be allowed to deviate from it - be it whether he is human or a penguin.
Clara did a good in-depth analysis as to the possible reason with regards to author's choices. I agree that the author did deliberately choose not to use the label gay as it is possible that the author does not want to reinforce heteronormativity as using the label gay deliberately shows that the characters are deviants. It is nice to have books like this that shed a positive light on this issue. Most of the media today portrays gay characters as evil or bad or will at the end of the day die. With this book, I love how it does not subliminally condition our young children to heteronormativity but help our children be open to accepting deviant sexualities
I think it is indeed interesting that the label 'gay' wasn't introduced in the book at all. As mentioned, it would not have been surprising to see  the word 'gay' in the book because of how two male penguins are attracted to each other. I think that this actually makes this book a great read for children, as they are exposed at a young age to how there can be different kinds of families – even those with two male 'dads' with a child and that these kinds of families are similar to what the society considers as 'normal' with a female and a male adult. This book shows that even in such families, the child is still being cared for and receives the love that children in 'normal' families receive, and the parents are also as loving as any couple around. This is also why I do not really understand the banning of the book in libraries around the world. As mentioned in the post, the book does not send out any homonormative messages and I feel that children will be able to enjoy this book as they do not have any concepts of heteronormativity yet. However, the banning of this book in libraries around the world seems to send out a message that homosexuality is frowned upon and I hope that this can be re-evaluated as there is nothing wrong with homosexuality.

I think it is interesting for Clara to use a book as a material for this post. I do agree with the points raised by her as well.

Children of the past generations have been taught to judge or see LGBT as a taboo topic. The typical love stories or fairytales that we used to read would be of princesses being damsels in distress, having their Prince Charming to come rescue the day. This is a typical heteronormative story structure that builds the impression of man-woman relationship for children.

However, with the approval of gay marriages in recent years, I think that government should focus on changing the education that children of this generation receive. The modern education should educate children how to have an open mind. This is not only useful in teaching them how to embrace all types of love, it helps in their problem-solving skills. Only with an open mind of believing that anything is possible can great ideas or ambitious dreams come about.

This book serves as a good example of how modern love stories should be like. To slowly transit and make people accept such story structure, it was a smart move to use penguins instead of humans. Penguins are cute generally, hence this not only attracts attention but allows easier development of empathy. It is also a good initiative to not use any labels in this book since the focus is on love itself. Labels would only encourage people to be judgmental.

In conclusion, I hope the ban on this book would be lifted. More of such books should be published as well, so that the open concept of love could be spread and educated to humans from young.

Gay? Or Just Has a Lisp?

Boon Yong

Saturday, Mar 03, 2018 - 12:34:25 am

Lisping in men has long been considered a trait that indirectly indexes homosexuality.  The writer of this post is gay and claims he speaks with a lisp (he cannot produce a clear “s” sound), and he used to think that people whom he met are able to tell that he is gay because of his lisp.

Read more →

Categories: i will survive
What was interesting is that the author is conforming to the stereotypical view of 'gay men lisp'. He conveniently believed everyone would conform to such stereotypes as well, and from that knowing that he is gay. I feel that it is sad that because he thoroughly believed in such stereotypes that he had unconsciously be too self aware of his speech and that believing that he actually lisp when in fact he does not. It is sad and terrifying to see what stereotypes do to our minds and affect the way we live. While I agree with you that we should not be judged on one bad point of ours, but maybe we should try to revisit the bad point of ours to determine if it's really a bad point of just based on stereotype that we think it is a 'bad point'? Likewise the LGBT community are viewed in such a stereotypical way that humans feel that it is a must to sexually categorised one, because it helps us to understand and grasp the idea of homosexuality. Also, because it deviates away from heteronormativity that the stereotypical characteristics of them are often viewed as bad. And as such this can affect the way of life of the LGBT, of constantly having to change their behaviours so that they'll not be recognized through the stereotypical salient characteristics that have been picked out for them. Or perhaps maybe we can not judged them at all, for once? (though it is impossible for humans to do so...)
Hello Boon Yong! I think it really interesting how such stereotypes can also infiltrate the domain of phonetics, such that there is a certain way that gay men are expected to speak. It is a pity that such preconceived notions and stereotypes perpetuated by what people deem to be 'societal norms' as well as how gay people are often portrayed by the mainstream media may lead such individuals to have linguistic insecurity due to self-consciousness that people may 'find out' about their closeted identity. However, I think times are progressing! In the upcoming rom-com that is going to be in cinemas, Love Simon, the main character is gay but does not have the stereotypical 'gay voice' that is often used to portray gay people. Hopefully, the success of this movie will show more people that stereotypes are often not reflective of who people truly are.
Even though we cannot deny that stereotypes are prevalent in all aspects of life, we must know that stereotypes do not define we are. It also does not confirm how people view us. Just because we have a certain trait prevalent in a certain stereotype, it does not mean that everyone sees us in that light. Therefore, I am really glad that the author of the post Boon Yong mentioned has realised that his lisp does not define who he is, nor is it representative of him. It might not even be as obvious as he thinks, since most people do not notice it. This actually shows us that how we think of ourselves might be different from the general public, and we might just be amplifying this trait for no reason at all.
It is sad that society has a simplistic view of sexuality. I agree that with Boon Yong that having a lisp has been a worldwide indication of gayness. A study was done by Mack and Munson (2012) prove the still standing notion of the “gay lisp” and the “association between the quality of /s/ and the judgement of sexual orientation”. However, up to date, there is no evidence of lisping as an indication of gayness. If the society continues to have this mindset, they will definitely face linguistic insecurity where people affected will always feel they sound gay and be insecure as they feel they do not sound masculine enough. All in all, this was an insightful post as it portrays the simplistic mindset of people in the world with regards to having a lisp.