Tag Archives: culture

Is homosexuality equivalent to femininity?

Is Homosexuality equivalent to femininity?

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*The following is a letter received from a SkoolHaze reader. Names were changed to protect privacy*

HI,
Well I know this is completely random.. I don’t know if I am intruding into your personal space. I am Tanvi, I am pursuing bachelors in computer science here in India.

Lately I have been concerned about the LGBT status in our country. I am currently working on a project towards bringing awareness that LGBT individuals are not “unnatural” as many conservative heads proclaim. As a part of this I have been trying to understand gay love, about which I know nothing at all.

I would like to interact with you, really looking forward to make a new friend… hoping to hear from you.

With lots of love,
Tanvi

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Hey Tanvi,

Sorry to hear about the injustices going on in your home country. I’ll do my best to help you with your project. What parts of gay love do you want to know about?

Skool

kanye smerk

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Hi Skool,
I am happy to hear from you. Well I want to know few things:

1. Is being gay in any way associated with being more feminine? I suppose it’s just the sexual orientation.

2. I would love to hear any gay love proposals and what kind of love he looks forward to. Like for example a girl dreams that her guy should be someone that is really caring, understanding and there is this iconic going on knees proposal and all that. What would the dream boy for a gay person be like and the dream proposal?

Having said that anything that you can share I would be happy to hear 🙂

Yours lovingly,
Tanvi

Cool here we go Tanvi,

  1. Is being gay in any way associated with being more feminine? I suppose its just the sexual orientation.

Sure. Some people associated gayness with femininity. Some people, as soon as they learn you’re gay, want to know if you’re self-described as masculine or feminine. I would characterize these people as simple to say the least. Immediately, I know what type of person I’m dealing with, in America, when I hear this question. Especially because this question mostly comes from other men that are also within the gay spectrum. When men on the spectrum ask this question they are almost always probing for sex. And they are almost always simple-minded. Not because they’re probing for sex, but because they equate sufficient sex down to a handful of descriptors, one of them being one’s self proclaimed masculinity/femininity, which we can agree has no play on a person’s ability to provide sexual gratification. 

maneyebrow

What does feminine mean? Its my understanding that feminine means a lot of things. In its essence it is a neutral term. Meaning something prescribed or most frequently connected to females/women. There in its essence is not positive or negative value ascribed to the previous sentence. Or at least there shouldn’t be. Here in America many of my peers very recently even have taken the time to talk about how strong women are in 2015. They are leading families, they are leading companies, they are leading their communities, they are doing it all. Think Serena Williams. There’s nothing inherently weak about her. However, for some reason, we’ve allowed ourselves to create a society across the globe that trembles and infuses shame whenever men are connected with anything culturally-prescribed as inherently feminine. At the same time, we do the opposite whenever a woman demonstrates a behavior culturally-prescribed as inherently masculine. Here, we infuse pride, success, and achievement into the women and scenarios attached. 

womanshave

I got a little off topic there. In short, yes, there are indeed some connections between gay men and culturally-prescribed female traits. However, keep in mind that these are only some of the many things that are connected or indicative of homosexual men as an active subset of humanity. I think it is imperative to note that these culturally-prescribed feminine traits do not serve to pump up or dismantle anything within the gay culture, or humanity, as femininity, itself, is not a singularly positive or negative trait(s) to express. At different levels of my maturity, I have struggled to continuously develop my understanding of “normal” behavior.

While we’re working to open up our communities to be more inclusive of our gay populations, and marginalized populations in general, we have to be sure not to continue to instill negatively-framed language or vocabulary against any of the members of our communities. 

  1. I would love to hear any gay love proposals and what kind of love he looks forward to. Like for example a girl dreams that his guy should be someone that is really caring, understanding and there is this iconic going on knees proposal and all that. What would the dream boy of a gay be like and the dream proposal.

I think love is love. We are entering an era now where men and women all over are taking advantage of this opportunity to marry and enter life-long commitments with the ones they love regardless of what they look like. That opportunity wasn’t available a generation ago. I’m interested to see how the gay community here in America works to develop marriage and love in its own image, shaping larger American culture.

With that being said, I can say that personally I’ve never really thought about an engagement story. To be honest, I would really just prefer to have someone to love me unconditionally. Someone that was fully interested in building and leaving marks on this world long after we ourselves stop moving about it. That’s the kind of dream guy I’m interested in… He doesn’t really need to do much else but love me and we’re good. Hopefully I’ll work on getting more creative here in future. I will say, that one of my gay associates, seems to be engaged to his lover. And its humbling, annoying, and inspiring to see all of his engagement-to-wedding pictures on Instagram. His image alone is helping me, frame what love in the future may be for me one day.

Hope this helped,
Skool

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What do you think? Share with someone you think will have an opinion on this idea. Come back and share your comments below.

Also, if you have a question, feel free to shoot it to me. I will do my best to answer.

Understanding the importance of language diversity in classrooms

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Understanding the importance of language diversity in classrooms

One of the classes I’m taking this semester is called Literacy and Language. My class is full of 2nd and 3rd year teaching fellows and from the gate we’ve been having interesting conversations about misconceptions and perhaps even missed opportunities to support our students in developing both the language(s) of their home (generally referred to as a dialect of “standard” English) and the language of school and the workforce (generally referred to as “standard” English). One of the early conversations in the class focused on the desire to teach Black and Latino students what has unfortunately become referred to as “Standard” English. I refuse to call it standard, and have relied on calling it “Professional” English, although even that is a bit misleading in it’s title. Basically the argument is – Are we setting these minority students up for failure if we don’t teach and heavily influence them to use the “standard” English that most of us in the working world have come to understand.

SkoolHaze rhetoric

As a Black man I’m a bit conflicted on where I stand with this. On one had there is very distinct way that I communicate when I’m in a professional setting. It’s a guise that I don’t think I have ever really let fall anytime I’m ever with anyone who I consider a work-related acquaintance. Some call it code-switching, at the end of the day I call it my professionalism. However, I’m also fully aware that the moment I’m with a member of my old communities whether it be family, friends, old teammates, frat brothers, I immediately fall into a more relaxed communication style.

I don’t want to get too stuck in the details because in a way they’re unimportant. However what is important is the impromptu conversation I had with a former linguistics student. Part of the way I publicize SkoolHaze is through an ever-growing network of Facebook groups – many of which are education focused. After our first Literacy class session I was really curious what Black Educators/Scholars had to say about… cultural differences in language and how to best use what is known to our students benefit.

Screen Shot 2014-02-08 at 8.49.39 PM

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I got a lot of great feedback on potential resources which I’ll include in a future post once I’m sure I’ve compiled them all. However the best nugget was a conversation I had with Mario:

skoolhaze-language-diversity-image_1Thoughts?