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"No man can turn down this pussy!"


Friday, Mar 02, 2018 - 11:58:44 pm

Grace Jones is one of the most influential gay icons of all time. An actor, model and singer, she continually challenges societal gender norms. Her androgynous appearance is one of the most obvious indications of her gender deviance. In movies, she was usually typecasted to specific roles that portrayed her as someone who defied all Read more →

Categories: i will survive
This is so true! This is typical so in my culture, or specifically in my family too, where girls should be behaving a certain way and boys in another. And this follows us through where even in today's society, the men are societally the powerful ones and the women the weaker one. This is even reflected in the languages we used and the more so popular one by Lakoff labelling as women's language. I agree there was a clear distinction of gender roles being swapped. It is also interesting to see that when Murphy's masculinity was challenged, instead of being more firm and fierce with his reply (continue using 'neutral language'), he adopted women's speech style which eventually portrayed him to be 'weak'. The stereotypes of men's and women's language is as prevalent so. Not forgetting such stereotypes are passed over, especially for gays, when they are always expected to speak in a certain way- mainly the more feminine way. Just because we see their sexuality preference as weak and naturally associated it to the stereotypical weaker gender which is female and thus assuming they speak similarly so.
Hello Azzam! This video is certainly interesting and its fascinating to see how being deviant is portrayed in this short clip. Indeed, there are many societal expectations of how men and women should act, and those who are deviant are often seen as outcasts. I am really curious as to why just deviant behaviour is actually portrayed here as 'humorous'. Is it the intention of the director to make it satirical as a subversive message at how society reacts to the deviant? Or is it merely a reflection of how people who are deviant from heteronormativity might never be taken seriously?
I like how this video flips the gender roles of the two characters. As observed by Azzam, Jones was using neutral language and pursued sex, which is usually the norm for males. This makes the scene an especially interesting one as Murphy rejects Jones' demand for sex, which is something that is seen by Jones that shows that he is gay. I think that the heteronormative society that we live in today conditions us to think that all straight men desire sex with women, and turning down sex (like Murphy has done in this video) means that one does not desire women and instead desire men. Jones' constant challenging of Murphy's masculinity, while she employs masculine features in her speech, shows how she is deviating from the norms that are usually associated with females. This scene is able to illustrate how one's identity, or sexuality, can be performed.

I think Azzam has provided an interesting video clip that shows the swap in stereotypical gender roles. This clip shows how the character that Grace Jones was acting did not conform to the typical feminine way of speaking where it is subtle. Instead, she was straightforward and daring in expressing her thoughts and desires. On the other hand, the character that Eddie Murphy plays changed from a dominative speech to a subtle speech when facing a strong-headed lady. This shows how speeches can be adopted and changed in different situations. A male does not only have to speak to establish dominance, likewise a female should not speak to express compliance only. In fact, speeches should not even be categorized using genders. Instead, it is more related to who has more authority. However, in most cases, males would have more speaking authority. Thus, their speech would be more of the dominating kind.

It is also interesting to see how a word has very different meanings in this clip. Jones’ character has repeatedly said the word “pussy” to imply different things in the clip. Initially, she was referring to her own female private part, which is the vagina. Then, she used it to call Murphy a coward instead. This change in meaning is more significant since Jones considered her “pussy” to be amazing, that no one could ever turn down. Yet, Murphy turned it down and that makes him a coward.

Hiding behind the rainbow: Protection for gay in rape culture


Friday, Mar 02, 2018 - 10:00:08 pm

Review on The New Yorker

In light of the allegations of sexual harassment against Harvey Weinstein, recent #metoo movement came into play when Alyssa Milano used it in support of her friend’s Rose McGowan. Following the allegations about Weinstein, many others from both men and women, slowly unfolded. One interesting switch of event, was on Kevin Spacey. After Read more →

Categories: i will survive
This post brought up some pertinent issues with regards to homosexuality that I think deserves a lot more attention in the public sphere. Kevin Spacey's abuse of the homosexual agenda to try and downplay his sexual assault undermines what the LGBTQ movement is trying to achieve and just goes to show how easily the rhetoric around homosexuality can be diluted. On the other hand, homosexuality can dilute the rhetoric around many other aspects of language and desire. As the post points out, toxic masculinity and legal consent are issues that have not quite received public attention when it comes to homosexuals. So this was an overall illuminating read and reminder that homosexuality shouldn't be glossed over and treated as a separate construct from the issues surrounding heterosexuality.
Honestly, even though I know of the #metoo movement, I admit that I did not give special notice to it. This is actually the first time that I have heard of Kevin Spacey, and I am severely appalled at his actions. As Simin has mentioned in her post, Kevin Spacey seems to be using homosexuality as a defense mechanism. It was as if he thought that by coming out as gay, he would not be faulted and all would forgive him. Obviously, this is not the case. Rape is rape, despite the sexual orientations and gender of the assaulter, or the victim. It should not be used as a defense, or a weapon. No means no, and one should never ever force themselves on others without consent. Just because you are gay, it does not automatically mean that your actions are logical and forgivable. It is still a crime. As mentioned in the post, gays seems to be on the shorter end of the stick here when it comes to consent. Much has to be done in the future in order to protect their rights.

Do I fit?

Min Jun

Friday, Mar 02, 2018 - 01:00:04 pm

Have you ever walked past someone and wondered just what in the world was he thinking when he bought that hideous jacket? Or have you ever saw two girls holding hands, and wondered to yourself whether they’re lesbians or just good friends?

As humans, we tend to judge and label everybody that we meet in our daily lives – no matter Read more →

Categories: i will survive
I agree with you as the judgemental world we are in today, labelling of one's sexuality (especially opposing to to hetereosexuliaty) is required as it gives the hetereosexuals a peace of mind of what these sexualities really mean and are. However, i do see why some were upset with the judgements made on them. Maybe because, the discourse in which these labels meant differently for everyone. Like the one you mentioned, Sharanya who is technically a lesbian but do not identified so. Even within the community, there seems to be a disputes of agreeing on the label terms, what's to say the ones not belonging to the community has a better label for them? I feel even she mentioned this so, many will eventually still label her as a 'lesbian' at the back of their minds because that is what many would agree with so. This reminds us of how struggling it could be for the ones who do not identify with the LGBT labels and how often they are mistaken as one community you mentioned. I do hope one day these different communities will find their belongings. :)
Hi Min Jun! I think this is a really interesting video that sheds light on how much stereotypes and preconceived notions plays a part in labelling others, though this might be very unconscious. As seen in the video, many people had their own preconceived notions of what a person of a certain sexual orientation should not only act like, but also enjoy in his past time or listen to. However, in contrast, I feel like people are more accepting of the fact that people who are heterosexual can be unique in their hobbies, music taste and personality, so it is strange how because of stereotypes, we do not grant the same 'privilege' and 'autonomy' to those whom we perceive as different from us. Like you mentioned, I hope that we can all have more progressive and open mindsets and embrace every individual as they are, without the pejoratives and stereotypes behind our unconscious or conscious labelling.
Hello Min Jun! I really really like your post. It really does portray the situation in the world today. WE ARE SO OBSESSED WITH LABELS! Most of these labels are overly simplistic. Like our race in Singapore where everyone is supposed to be placed in the Malay, Chinese, Indian and Others model, this is also happening in the LGBT community where not everyone will fully fit into the specific role that is in place. I also agree that when one is placed into a specific label, they are associated with stereotypes of that particular label. Hence, people will question why that individual does not act like his or her peers of the same label (which is annoying). Let us hope that the world will progress to a place where labels are more inclusive and there are no negative associations to any one of them:)
I think this video shows how people today judge people's sexuality based on stereotypes. The fact that nobody guessed all the sexualities of the panel correctly also shows that it is impossible for one to guess another's sexuality just based on stereotypes alone. This video also shows how these stereotypes are prevalent in today's society as it was mentioned that the 'judging' and labelling by strangers is not unusual to them. An interesting point brought up by the video is how some people find that certain labels are not accurate descriptions of their identity. As Min Jun rightly points out, some people are forced to identify themselves with LGBT labels such as 'gay' or 'lesbian' even though these terms are not representative of their identities. I agree how these labels are basic and unable to fully capture the identities of these individuals, and that it is impossible to group everyone together using a specific label. Each individual is unique and labels are unfair to them as people have stereotypes about how people who are labelled as such should act.

I think Min Jun has showed interesting examples of how people are judgmental and quick into labelling through these two video clips. Humans usually learn through visuals and audios. Hence, using what we observe and what we listen, we construct an idea. This is like how we judge people. As seen from the videos, we do so based on how they look, dress, sound and behave. I agree with one of the queers from the video, Xandrie, that it is an unfortunate nature of humans to judge quickly based on these external factors. It is unfair to a person to be immediately labelled, without seeing internally who they really are. Yet, this is a practice that is hard to change since animals, not just humans, would always discriminate “others” who are different from “us”.

The videos also highlighted the fact that labels are technically limiting. Common words used in our various languages are official and have a standard definition in dictionaries. However, labels are not official terms and people do not get educated on them in general together. Thus, it is unavoidable that different people would have different understanding of how these labels are defined. Yet, sometimes I wonder if creating so many labels for various communities to identify with would be helpful. Or would it be better to just use a uniform and neutral word such as “humans” to label all of us?

"The garden's looking very homosexual this morning"

Tan Jun Yi

Thursday, Feb 15, 2018 - 02:41:53 am

Fry – When was the last time you could say homosexual in the proper context?

Laurie – And it’s such a lovely word!

Fry – Oh, it’s one of the great words – 

Laurie – “My word, Jane,” I used to say to my wife, “the garden is looking very homosexual this morning”

– Pilot, A bit of Fry and Laurie

Opening Read more →
Categories: i will survive
Thanks for all the videos Jun Yi!! With regard to the Talking Point video, I actually don't think it's wrong for the sex ed curriculum to educate students on the criminalization of homosexuality in Singapore because it's an issue with legal consequences. However, the manner in which it's taught is really important (but tbh I don't really have faith that it's being taught appropriately, given that Singapore's sex ed curriculum can be summed up in one word - "Abstinence"). PM Lee's response to questions on Section 377A are...unsurprising. No one is suggesting that repealing 377A will be a silver bullet to the problem, and the legalization of gay marriage hasn't been the answer either (as PM Lee rightly mentions). However, there's no single solution to homophobia. Repealing 377A, although highly contentious, could be a step in the right direction though.
I think it is very interesting to note the Singapore media's stance on LGBTQ, such as homosexuals, transvestites and bisexuals. It is very true that the Singapore media portrays these LGBTQs very negatively, often making them the villains in local TV dramas like those you have shown in your post. However, I feel that it is odd that while they show such an extreme stand against LGBTQs, cross-dressing male to female characters like Liang Po Po and Auntie Lucy are highly celebrated. Homosexuals and transsexuals are frowned upon and do not appear much on TV, yet Liang Po Po and Auntie Lucy are featured in almost every major national event. Why such a stark contrast in their treatments of these LGBTQ characters? Could it be that it is okay for LGBTQ characters appear as comedic characters?

your body. your life. your choices.

Azida Mohamed

Monday, Feb 05, 2018 - 06:17:00 am

“If you haven’t, you’re a prude. If you have, you’re a slut. It’s a trap.”

The Breakfast Club came out in 1985 and surprise, what Allison Reynolds said then is still alive and well 30 years later.

Slut-shaming or prude-shaming is both a phenomenon that polices how women choose or don’t choose, to express themselves sexually. And they are both problematic as Read more →

Categories: i will survive
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In my opinion, I could not agree more about how unfair it is that there are different terms or labels only on women based on their sexual activities. There is also a label on women if they dislike doing anything sexual which in this case is ‘prude’. Whether they have sex with many people or not, they still bear the consequences of having derogatory labelled on them. Again, here, it shows that people are treating sex as not only a form of behaviour but also treating it as a guide to define someone’s identity. In the society viewpoint, there is no in between. A girl would either be a slut or prude. Meanwhile, there are not even single derogatory labels on men who love to sleep around and what more disliking doing anything sexual. In fact, for men, the more people they have sex with, the more powerful or dominant they are. Hence, this may the reason why they do not have derogatory labels based on their sexual activities. Nonetheless, it is still a form of discrimination towards women by labelling them derogatorily based on their sexual preference and activities.  
Society, as we know it today, relies on these traits and labels to navigate and define people and their personalities and behaviours, which is, in my opinion, a sad reality. I wholeheartedly agree that it is a trap, to define your sexual tendencies because the world's going to have an opinion of you, no matter what. So, just don't. Perhaps, as a woman, if we stop putting so much importance on these labels, it would no longer hold such influence or power over us as well.
I agree with you that it is very unfair that women get BOTH slut-shamed and prude-shamed, while men get away with having sex with many people. However so, I feel that it is also true that men are also pressured into having to have sex with many people. Prudent men are viewed even more negatively than prudent women - while women who have never had sex can still be viewed as pure, men who have never had sex are viewed as 'losers'. So while I agree that there is discrimination against women due to slut-shaming, there is also a more extreme discrimination towards virgin men than virgin women.