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Sparkly has signed up for an adult ballet class this semester. Ey did ballet for many years when ey was younger, but the last time ey took classes was when ey was in middle school. Anyway, eir shoes and leotard and so forth arrived today, and ey asked me to take some pictures while ey tried them on. I’ve always thought that it was obvious ey had done ballet, just from the way ey holds eir hands and gestures and so forth, so while I don’t know anything about dance, I’m inclined to think that ey will do well.
Sparkly and Numbers Guy and I all snuggled in bed together– Sparkly in the middle– and ey was quite impressively excited about it. It was really cute. Plus we had a nice conversation about various things.
So yeah reading aloud is 100% easier than listening to other people talk. It’s actually very relaxing to my brain, as it turns out. Not that I really needed to test this, but I guess it’s always good to have data.
One of my favorite things about the Lieutenant Leary books is how concerned Daniel and Adele get for each other. Every time they’re not in the same room and one of them sends a radio message/etc., they get all
“Oh, Daniel’s voice sounds so strained! What’s wrong? Well, his ship is taking off, it’s probably just the acceleration.”
“Oh, was that a quaver in Adele’s voice? Or was it just interference? When Adele is in charge of my ship’s communications, she makes sure there’s never any interference…”
I mean, the tone of tender concern isn’t actually that obvious, but it’s there! Practically every time they talk to each other long-distance, they do this. They are so. fucking. cute.
The other thing I love is how– very explicitly– none of the characters are perfect, and in fact, most of their talents not only come with flaws but are also flaws. The particular worldview and attitude and thinking style that makes someone excellent at one job also means they’re at a disadvantage when it comes to other jobs that require different skills. A character can be avowedly The Best fill-in-the-blank In The Navy and also be mediocre at best at other equally important skills, and that’s totally normal and doesn’t in any way detract from their awesomeness at their particular area. It’s not a sad, fatal flaw to shake your head at, nobody expects them to be any different. The characters are lovingly accepting of each others’ flaws, even when they could be frustrating.
The first thing I’ve learned by watching videos about ASL is that, if I try to copy a one-handed sign, I will correctly flip it– so, if the other person is signing with their right hand, I’ll use my right hand, too.
If the sign involves both hands, I instinctively mirror them and thus do the sign the wrong way around. Every time. Argh.
aka the concept that romantic attraction and sexual attraction are completely separable and a person can e.g. be romantically attracted to people of one gender but only sexually attracted to a different gender.
So like, some people are going around acting like “lesbian” and “gay” only refer to sexual attraction and not romantic feelings, and that’s bullshit and very clearly disrespectful. It is 100% obvious that that’s not how people use those words, and it’s extra disrespectful because acting like same-sex relationships are only about hedonistic sex and not about love or commitment is a common homophobic trope.
But then I also see people saying that the split attraction model shouldn’t exist at all, and I’m just like ????
It describes an actual thing people experience. If you aren’t offering a better alternative way to describe that thing, then what you’re saying is that some people aren’t allowed to describe their experiences. Because of how their experiences fit into stereotypes or could otherwise be used against other people.
I don’t think that’s justifiable. There has to be an alternative beyond “you can’t describe romantic and sexual attraction as separate, period”.
And if a personal story is what’s needed, to counter the set of personal stories I saw about women who felt pressured to identify as anything other than lesbian, anything that included attraction to men (which you know perfectly well happens in lots of ways and would keep happening without the split attraction model, because sexism and homophobia!)
Well, here’s my story: not knowing about the split attraction model was what fucked me up when I was trying to figure out my sexuality.
I thought that the only difference between friendship-love and romantic love was sexual attraction, that romance and sex were necessarily connected. I thought that if I couldn’t look at the person I was in love with and feel sexual attraction, then that meant I wasn’t really in love. That what I felt wasn’t anything more than friendship. That my feelings weren’t worthy of notice, didn’t mean anything.
Thinking of romantic and sexual attraction as unsplittable pushed me away from realizing I was attracted to women. (And I am both romantically and sexually attracted to women, as it turns out.)
I don’t think my experience trumps the negative experiences other people have had with the split attraction model. But I also don’t think their experiences trump mine?
I think the split attraction model is not any more wrong or more misuseable than most ideas. And we can explain it with caveats (and we can definitely talk about sexist/homophobic/heterosexist pressure on women to be available to men, in general) without getting rid of it completely.
So next time I bring that cake to a party, I need to make two cakes. Good to know.