Monday, January 25, 2010

In Circles

I took a class in college called Psychology of Women and Gender. I recently remembered that our class put together a book of our own personal writings called In Our Own Words, and realized that my 2003 contribution is incredibly relevant to my upcoming 2010 adventure! Of course it is. My 28 year-old self smiles upon my 21 year-old self:

Love is All You Need
Jennifer K. Luu (Version 2003)

Am I any less of a woman because I do not fall in love with men? I have never asked myself that question until just now. Am I any less of a woman because I do not wear dresses except for on special occasions? That seems like a silly thing to ask. But I think it brings up a good question: what does it mean to be a woman? What defines womanhood? People who consider themselves to be open-minded in our society strive to do certain things:
  • They strive to blur the connection between masculinity and manhood, and the connection between femininity and womanhood. (Some men can be feminine and some women can be masculine, after all.)
  • They strive to blur the lines between sexuality, gender, biological sex, femininity and masculinity. (Some men are straight; some men are gay. Some women are straight; some women are lesbians. Some men and women are neither gay nor straight. Some lesbians are feminine; some lesbians are masculine. Some straight men are feminine; some straight men are masculine. Some people feel like they are women, but they have penises. Some people feel like men, but they have vaginas. You get the point.)

So again, I return to my question: what does it mean to be a woman? In my life, I strive to acknowledge differences, embrace differences and celebrate differences. What makes me different from a man? Should that question be considered invalid? Are we all just one big pot of genderless, raceless individuals with no inherent differences among us? Are all the differences we consider as a society to be "inherent" really just conditioned by an elaborate, complex, huge societal system that has been in place too long for us to notice it? Bleh. These questions are big, and ones that I will make no attempt to address here. Because I'll tell you one thing that makes me, personally, different from a man: I can have babies. A man cannot.

I enjoy children very much and I have seven nephews and nieces who are the gems of my life. I love them more than they know. I am a romantic lady and I am a lesbian. I am a romantic lesbian. I want to fall in love with a lady and make a baby with her. The thought of falling in love with a lady, giving her me, and getting to experience her in all of her entirety and beauty, in our lovemaking, and creating life from our love, is pretty much the most beautiful thing I could ever imagine. I mean, creating life from love. Wow. The problem is, I cannot do that. It is physically and biologically impossible for me to make love to a woman and for either of us to become pregnant. Sigh. This fact has caused me a good deal of strife in my life.

When I was 15, my then-Mormon sister threw argument after argument at me as to why homosexuality is evil. One of them was simply, "the parts don't fit." "True," I thought, "...if you believe that the point of sex is to procreate." I do not. A lot of parts of Genesis in The Bible do. I do not. I believe that making love to someone should be the ultimate realization of your love for him or her. If a baby comes out of that-- beautiful. The thing is, babies do not always come into the world under those conditions. People abuse this gift they have been given-- the ability to procreate-- and it pains and frustrates me. Just because I cannot create life out of my love for a woman does not mean our love is wrong or evil. The ability to procreate does not validate our love. The ability to procreate does not validate a heterosexual encounter. There is rape and there is procreation as a result of pure lustful sex for pleasure. Are those acts not wrong? I think they are.

The underlying thing in any sexual encounter that makes it beautiful and, to use the overused Western word, "right," is love. I want to make a baby with my lady and I can't. I physically cannot. That is too bad. But that does not make us wrong. Heterosexual people can make babies with or without love. That does not make it right. A baby created from love has only good things in store for it because it will be loved for the rest of its beautifully wonderful life. My ladyfriend for life will not make me pregnant and I will not make her pregnant. Women worry about how they are going to balance careers and lives with motherhood, and so do I. But I also worry about how my lady and I will even bring a little one into our lives. It is a decision that is a long way off, seeing as how I first have to find a ladyfriend who can tolerate me for the rest of her life. But when I stress out about this, or people challenge my life and being with their views-- religious or otherwise-- I always come around and know that I will be OK. I know that I will be OK because I love. And in the end, for me, love is all that matters.

1 comment: