Sunday, March 18, 2007

On Humour

Laughter is the best medecine, indeed. For when we can laugh at ourselves we can truly be assured a healing experience. It is humbling, yet gives us the confidence that others are experiencing exactly the same thing. Stand-up comedians are the mirror of society. Giving us a reflection of ourselves that we prefer to hide in closets and brush under rugs. And boy, are we a funny lot! Thank you to all those that make us laugh until we cry. There is enough in the world to despair about, sometimes we need the comic relief.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Mind your Sexuality

Gender roles and sexuality differ across cultures and societies. The way in which we speak of sex and our sexual behaviour is determined by societal codes of conduct. For the most part, discussing sex is taboo. It is generally an issue we do not like to discuss, but if we do, it must be according to society's conventions and in private spheres, and the topics that seem acceptable must be within society's norms if they are discussed at all. Even now I am writing in the abstract form out of fear of being labelled with any kind of 'abnormal' or controversial view. Although I do believe no one actually adheres to 'normality' in practice. However, I do want to transcend boundaries, to allow people to question conventions and ask themselves if that's what they truly want for themselves, ie. if it's realistic. So at the risk of losing your respect, dear reader, I will say that apparently, the ideal of the monogamous relationship between man and woman and the nuclear family is the norm for the West. This model stems from a Christian, socialist ideal of (re)productive value. However, I believe it remains an ideal, a strategic goal to be achieved, and not actually realistic to life. I have not yet met anyone who has actually achieved this goal without great strain or effort. Forcing yourself to fit this model and denying all other possibilities does not allow you to accept other lines of thought. If my goal is to ultimately open my mind, I will let go of this ideal. For it is but a thought, a social construct, and not actually real.

It is rare when people live up to the monogamous heterosexual nuclear family ideal - it is the exception, and not the rule - yet we all go around pretending it is the norm, and therefore anything that deviates from this ideal is some form of sexual deviance, perversion, or other shameful act, one that is hushed: a taboo. However, in this day and age it is not uncommon for the youth to have multiple partners before they "settle down" and marry, and this is somehow an accepted exception to the monogamy rule. And this in itself comes with all kinds of rules: the partners must follow one another chronologically and may not overlap or occur at the same time, the sex of the partners must follow a pattern: either you are a heterosexual or a homosexual, you may not alternate and furthermore, the partners must fit into your age, ethnic, educational and/or professional group. How boring! Isn't it ridiculous? Isn't it time that our generation break these taboos and break the boundaries of these norms for good?