For the last four weeks of summer quarter, I'm taking an upper-divsion anthropology class called Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective. It's pretty interesting, on the whole, though due to the short session we have to move really quickly and not cover some things as deeply.
Today's session was largely a discussion of sexualities -- the social construction thereof, the different ways they're constructed in different cultures, the ideas of homophobia, compulsory heterosexuality, and heterosexism in U.S culture. From there, we also talked about some general LGBT issues before moving on to watching part of an interesting documentary on FTM transexuals who've gone through transition.
Here is the thing: I have talked about these issues all before, some more in depth than others. However, the places I've had these discussions before are, basically, the internet (a small section of slash fandom in particular), SRC (a tiny liberal arts college) and Evergreen (another small liberal arts college). So all these discussions have been held in extremely queer-friendly, queer-visible
So the context of this discussion was ... different, and in some ways really uncomfortable to me. Because on the one hand: yeah, education is really important. But on the other, even though the discussion went to some really interesting places, it's hard to shake off this weird feeling that "we" -- assumed to be the straight, educated class -- need to be taught and learn and respect this totally exotic other.
This feeling was possibly increased by the fact that apparently during the 10-week (rather than 4-week) sessions, there's a day when the professor brings in a panel of lesbian, gay, bi, trans, etc., people to sit in front of the class and answer questions. Um.
I suppose the lesson here may just be that I have been lucky to have been in a lot of environments up to now where the heterocentricism wasn't quite as obvious.
Anyway, like I said, upper level anthro class, so it wasn't so much an issue of so much sexism or homophobia (though there were one or two remarks that made me wince) as more of an underlying feeling of creepiness. Meh.
On to fandom stuff -- last night I played the game called "Let's open up photoshop and fool around aimlessly!" Fun times.( The results involved 2 Vecchio screencaps from Heaven & Earth )