Maurice: The Adult Lie

E.M. Forster’s Maurice deals with how homosexuality is dealt with in the early 20th century. Certain social roles are constructed and lied about in society.

Adults often tell lies, we even have a tradition of it by telling our children a man in a red suit delivers gifts if they are good. Sometimes they are noble lies but often they are lies told out of protection and fear.

We’ve been taught to fear discussing sex and understand our biology but not pleasure and consent.We discuss biology in school but not a clear understanding of consent and have fear embedded into us about the porn industry even though it is common and very accessible.

http://www.newstatesman.com/voices/2014/01/if-you-dont-want-say-no-porn-stars-guide-sexual-consent

Consent is something that needs to be continually given, in the early 20th century it was very hard to understand consent from someone if you were gay or questioning. Maurice and Clive have an understanding or think they do but they are both at risk from the law when Maurice goes to Clive’s room and kisses him awake and Clive says “Maurice, I love you.” Just as later seen with Risley who spends time in jail for an “immorality charge.”

There wasn’t a social space for homosexual men to speak freely together. Even though today you can are more readily able to find like-minded homosexual men there is a binary system of a family hetreosexual archetype to fit into in this powerful patriarchal world.

There are children being raised by two women and two men but system of marriage is not set up for a homosexual family structure. For example women are still paid less than men so there is a disadvantage to a lesbian relationship while trying to raise a child. Also sooner or later the child will need a father or mother figure in their lives.

An Ad campaign that embeds a traditional marriage arrangement that is ever-moving as stagnant water. That is not to say that there needs to be a disregard for same-sex marriage and families it is that the system needs to change to allow it.

For example, my sister works with a gay man who is helping raise his lesbian friends child because they live together. The mother has a girlfriend but my sisters co-worker acts as a male figure in this young girls life.

Heteronormativity has also constructs a stereotype of the homosexual social space with ‘Gay best friend’s’ in that because they like the same-sex they will get along.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2429074/

Along with the stereotype of gay men dressing well and having limp wrists of effeminacy. They are allowed freely in their social spheres but still have the judgement and rules of a heteronormative society

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The Well of Loneliness and Gender Identity

Radclyffe Hall’s “The Well of Loneliness ” follow the life of Stephen a woman who finds herself to be a lesbian at a very young age and rejects the normativity of a woman’s role and dresses like a man. Homosexuality and transgender is  discussed more today and is widely acknowledged, however acceptance and understanding is no where close to acceptable.

Recently, it was International women’s day. A day to celebrate women from all over the world, to celebrate men who identify as a woman, women who like other women, and to appreciate them.

As Laverne Cox is a Trans woman of colour which makes life a lot harder from not only experiencing hate on a Trans-phobic level but race and sexism too. Laverne Cox has helped by being on Netflix’s popular comedy show Orange is The New Black by being a public figure in the media and garnering attention for problems as a transgender woman and other youth unsure of their sexuality can look up to.

Stephen Gordon is white, upper-class trying to understand her sexuality in the late Victorian era. She still none the less had been exiled and lonely. A mother who looks down on Stephen as an ever reminding disgrace of her failure to have a boy.

Just as Stephen feels comfortable dressing like a man and wanting to be one, “She would say: ‘Do you think that I could be a man, supposing I thought very hard-or prayed, Father?'” being more effeminate can feel comfortable to men.

But even today being effeminate for a man is looked down on. It’s also not another’s right to comment on the sexuality or choosing to dress like the opposite  gender.

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Snoop Dogg doesn’t care about gender policing, and 50 Cent is too concerned about the sexuality of other male rappers.

Another male rapper, Frank Ocean who is openly gay has had his sexuality interfere with his work. http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/feb/11/frank-ocean-t-pain-rappers-homophobia

It’s heteronormative to assume that a person is cisgender and is weakened by adopting in some small way characteristics of the opposite stereotypical gender roles.

Just as “all generalizations are false” is a generalized statement in itself. heteronormativity is generalizing about what you think you know to be someones sexual orientation and gender. This assumption is unknown because it is just that, an assumption.

Just as Snoop Dogg shows an effeminate side, it is wrong to inspect Bruce Jenner’s gender or sexuality. Just like authorship, your sexuality is your own business unless you choose to make it public.

Work cited:

Hall, Radclyffe The Well Of Loneliness. New York: Anchor Books, 1990.

The perfect woman: Ulysses

The women in Bloom’s life aren’t regarded complexly. Bloom has the inability to place himself in a woman’s shoes. Because of the male gaze and the male centred world view he has, Bloom has no idea what it means to have to try to be an ‘ideal woman.’

Bloom’s relationship with his wife Molly is strained since the loss of a child. “He would be eleven now if he had lived.” (54) Similar to Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf,  children have put a strain on their relationship and it drives them into another lover’s arms.

Gerty MacDowell is a woman who reads magazines and cares about her looks. “A neat blouse of electric blue selftinted by dolly eyes (because it was expected in the Lady’s Pictorial that electric blue would be worn)…”(287)

She is influenced by her world and especially with her disability of a permanent limp, she objectives herself to empower herself, to make her more than a disability and to get a man’s attention that leads to a husband as it is engrained in her culture.

The media has a profound affect on everyone, but in a more harmful way towards women.

Being put in the role of a woman, even in the present day, can be boring with a ‘supporting role. Just as it’s not a good thing to be pitied in life, it’s not a good feeling to have a boring, passive role. Bloom has been put in a bit of a submissive role since his wife has no real use of him anymore because of  this strain on their relationship it has gone so far as they are both bored with each other. Bloom is bored with his mundane wife and life so he looks to a ‘beautiful young thing’ and takes interest especially when interest is taken in him.

Gerty is told to be an ideal perfect woman, a woman without flaws. The media in the magazines she reads are harmful in perpetuating this. The media perpetuates this ideal of a woman even when targeting people in commercials today. Even when there are  gender neutral product’s such as yogurt.

It categorizes woman to be happy and beautiful, listen to happy music and wear frilly stuff all reminding yourself and everyone around you that you’re a woman. There is this code embedded in society that all a woman can be is just a woman.

Bloom, like any hetero-man has a gaze that wanders towards woman, which is because of this code which has been placed in Bloom’s life, that  all a woman is is a woman. He could help himself from the male gaze and from not masturbating on a public beach to a woman. But it’s not only his fault for objectifying Gerty, Gerty objectives herself. Like Olivia Wilde said it’s “how woman are objectified and how woman objectify themselves.” Woman objectify themselves because of this code. Gerty caters to the male gaze because she wants to, because she feels the need to and believe that’s the only power she has, being able to turn a man on.

Because a woman objectifying herself gives her some sort of power it would perhaps be thought of as a good thing an empowering stance, but as comedian Nadia Kamil say “it’s because of the male gaze” that it is not a powerful move.

Bloom’s male gaze makes him unable to relate and understand the women in his life.

Works Cited:

Joyce, James. Ulysses. New York: Vintage Books, 1986.

Nadia Kamil Does Burlesque. Nadia Kamil. Feb 13, 2014.

Scandal: Icarus. Dir. Julie Anne Robinson. ABC, Nov 7, 2013.

Infomania: Target Women. Sarah Haskins. Current, 2009.

Olivia Wilde: State of Female Justice. Olivia Wilde. Laura Flanders’ show, Feb 12, 2014.

Albee, Edward. Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf? 1962.

Obscenity and sex in Lady Chatterley’s Lover

In many ways not much has changed since Lady Chatterley’s Lover was published. Today sex is more discussed openly. However, there are still topics of proper healthy relationships that are still being talked about today that are the same as Connie’s relationship problems.

Lady Chatterley has the habit of just lying there during sex and passively thinking nothing of it. Connie is not being a part and concious of the sex she has with Mellors.

“She lay still, in a kind of sleep, always in a kind of sleep. The activity, the orgasm was his, all his; she could strive for herself no more. Even the tightness of his arms  round her, even the intense movement of his body, and the springing seed in her, was a kind of sleep, from which she did not begin to rouse till he had finished and lay softly panting against her breast.”(94)

Just like in Don Jon, today, there is a disconnect with being present in a relationship. With some women fantasizing about this unattainable love story of an ideal relationship and some men growing up to believe that porn is better than sex, or vice versa.

I’m not sure is  Lady Chatterley and Clifford’s relationship would work despite his war wound. They seem to have problems that are not only from having Clifford wounded from the war. Just because their intellect is equal doesn’t make equal in other ways.

When Connie has an orgasm with Mellors and is satisfied at the same time as him they are equal. Lady Chatterley wants something equal and having an equal sex life with Mellors an equal understand of their bodies and nature does not denounce their lack of equal intellect. This way they are one and they work together rather than being completely equal. They have this true sense of self like Adam and Eve after they have sinned.

“And they lay and knew nothing, not even of each other, both lost. Till at last he began to rouse and become aware of his defenseless nakedness, and she was aware that his body was loosening its clasp on her. He was coming apart; but in her breast she felt she could not bear him to leave her uncovered. He must cover her now for ever.”(109)

This is what the protagonist Jon Don failed to learn having only been focused on the objectification of his porn.

This topic is persistent from Modernist times, but,  it is unusually different since Lady Chatterley’s Lover was published because we have these film works accessible from the internet.

Though time has passed and this book is not as scandalous as it once was this discussion is very much still continuing and not closed or considered a decent and modest topic.

Work cited:

Lawrence, D.H. Lady Chatterley’s Lover. New York: Dover Publications, 2006.

 

The End.

In the novel Orlando by Virginia Woolf the novel ends the day it was published with a lack of closure on Orlando’s story. In a world that’s built on the “Once upon a time” beginnings and “Happily ever after” endings, it’s a truly revolutionary modernist work. Today, we still struggle with what we are satisfied by in a narrative.

With the cliff hanger endings like the Sopranos finale, and an unsatisfying wrap up when a story is cut by a network- Pushing Daisies, Fire-Fly, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Veronica Mars- it is hard to understand how the writer wanted us to interpret a piece. For people there is a need for an ending. However, an ambiguous ending can hold potential for interpretation of a work and that’s what makes it stand on it’s own once it’s out of the writer’s hands. This is talked about in the Nerdist Writer’s Panel Podcast.

A reader can  take away some grand meaning from a piece of work that the writer in no way intended and one can be disappointed to hear their interpretation is wrong. That is why it can be best to have an ambiguous ending and not know what the writers intent was because it’s no longer theirs. Once it finished they could never do an ending justice by bringing it up and trying to satisfy the masses.

Format is everything. Just as Woolf’s writing style changes between each century it also is able to summarize time on a page or draw it out for a chapter. With television writers, they can also skip over time between episodes or winter and summer breaks but they need to connect all the episodes in an arch, or at least attempt to.

For a character like Orlando that can live forever, the novel’s ending is very thought provoking. With the stroke of midnight we are left wondering if Orlando changed sex again or simply died and disappeared or just went on into the New Year.

With new format of Social Media and the internet it changes the form of television and creates a new medium to tell stories through web series and transmedia. This dialogue with the format challenges the interpretation of a story.

The novel Orlando is a strong example of a form of work taking on a life of it’s own with the perception an individual reader has from the work.

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Word count: 406

Woolf, Virgina. Orlando: A biography 1928