Sexual Orientation as possible Construct

One’s own sexual orientation, in today’s society, is something that greatly defines and changes the way in which they can be viewed.  We talked in class about the different types of sexual orientation as they could or could not relate to an origin found in heterosexuality.  We also spoke about how if one is homosexual then they are immediately introduced as such for example, “my gay friend James” versus, “my straight friend Becky”.

A huge thing that factors into thinking about gender as it differs from ones sexuality is the stereotypes in society which we went over in class.  These stereotypes being something like boy babies should be wrapped in blue blankets and girl babies in pink, but the question is posed as to whether or not our biological sex is something that that factors in as a sort of “origin” of our gender as it pertains to those social stereotypes.  I believe that your sex, in today’s society is something that simply directs what bathroom you use when you go to school; you can break all the stereotypes of today in any way shape or form you’d like, for example in the 1950’s you’d not likely see a young man wearing a rainbow colored t shirt in public, and now with the help of time, we have things like pride parades for what orientation you see yourself as.  I don’t believe however that this originates from your gender, especially in today’s society.  I do not think that homosexuality derives from heterosexuality, I believe that basically one day someone, a man or woman, decided that they wanted something different yet the same and found it in their personal gender, making heterosexuality simply the norm of society rather than an origin of homosexuality.

I do agree with Judith Butler who would say that there is no written “male” or “female” within a relationship especially in that of a gay relationship.  She says, “to claim that there is no performer prior to the performed, that the performance is performative, that the performance constitutes the appearance of a ‘subject’ as its effect is difficult to accept” when talking about an understanding with people who find things hard to wrap their head around the fact that it would be sexually possible to have an exact man or woman in the relationship where two people are of the same biological sex.

In swift’s poem which we read he supports the idea that stereotypes can define people you’d never come to know until they were essentially undressing like in the prose. He uses imagery to help you better understand his argument like, “to pluck her brows in arches round, or hairs that sing the forehead low, or on her chin like bristles grow.”  This alludes to an idea that no one is able to be themselves in society within the sexuality that comforts them unless they are alone.  This is where Butler’s essay helped me to better understand Swift’s piece, because she gives me an understanding of how different sexuality and acceptance of that was (shown in Swift’s piece) long ago versus now.

Judith Butler:



2 thoughts on “Sexual Orientation as possible Construct

  1. Thomas,
    The blog prompt had quite a few things. I need you to add in or clarify the following for a “satisfactory grade” Is our biological sex the original to our true gender? Is heterosexuality the original of homosexuality? How does Butler’s essay aid in your understanding of Swift? and Lastly do you agree with Butler?

    Grade: US

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