Monday, February 6, 2012
I was perusing news articles for inspiration because, ya know, that's what I often have to do to get inspired for you Naughty Author Chick followers, and came across a NYT's article on heterosexuality. Well, at least a commentary on a recent book about the subject--Straight by Hanne Blank.
So much discussion and recent scientific effort has been put into thinking about what makes someone homosexual or some other less mainstream flavor of sexuality, that we haven't paused to ask about what is considered "normal." (I hate the word normal, by the way.) Yet it seems from this article (and granted I have not yet read the book) that "normal" wasn't so important in our past. That folks were not mired down in definitions of heterosexuality and it was simply a process of continuing the species and organizing possessions via marriage. People were not judged as different based on their responses to varieties of sexual temptation. Many self-defined heterosexuals have behaved in ways that are contradictory to that classic definition. But it is only when the world became fascinated with classifications that the judgments became so pronounced.
But science and culture are pushing at the labels with which we're familiar. This book suggests that our world is moving onto a more fluid understanding of the sexes, and of masculinity, femininity and sexuality.
I for one see this as a good thing. Traditional romance literature may have perpetuated the binary stereotypes of rigid sexual definitions, but it's grown in leaps and bounds. Every type of romance story between every type of individual is out there for you to find on real or virtual bookshelves. And I like to think that this literary access to outside of the box relationships is helping our world move toward fluidity in thinking in real day to day opinions, actions and responses toward and about one another.
So let's throw out the definitions and enjoy those romantic stories.