In society a person’s appearance and label help us categorize and give us a general understanding of who that person is. Of course there are stereotypes that play a part in all of this. However, it is almost impossible to escape seeing as how people are identified by others is usually based on stereotypes. This week’s reading ties in with this exactly. A point was brought up that I found to be quite simple which most people (myself included) would agree with, but is not always the first explanation that would come to a person’s mind.
The way in which we understand and view what a lesbian is, is influenced by race, class privilege, ethnicity, age, the wanting to conform, and various other factors that weigh in (Crow & Gotell, 316). We are influenced by everything that surrounds us, including race, class, privilige, etc. We may not be conscious or aware of it all the time, but it is always there.
It is how we understand most of the world, make decisions, and how you and society behaves/interacts with one another.
As this argument was mentioned a few paragraphs later once again it got me to think that the way I, a born and raised Canadian understand and view the notion of a lesbian is probably different from a perosn born and raised in another country. Take the Philippines for example. The Phillipines (in the past and currently) almost always portray lesbians as stereotypically masculine and butch lesbians in films, and other media. Whereas Canada, comaparatively does not have so much of that stereotype in the media. But what if we did not have lesbians that fit into the “norms” of lesbianism?
What and who would this affect? The reading brought up another good point that I agree with on one hand, but am quite perplexed with on the other as it not simple as black and white. The lesbian uniform that are put on by the lesbians who want to, (or sometimes unknowingly) identify, conform, and express themselves are not just that uniform. But yet they are. By wearing that uniform they might take away other parts of their identity because they are focusing on on aspect of themselves. A lesbian is not just a lesbian, they, like women are more than just that.
A person’s identity is composed of thier gender, sexuality, status, ethnicity, the list goes on. And so, when reading this I thought that on top of probably having a harder time coming out and living as a lesbian, there is an identity issue within the identity of being a lesbian, and an issue with being a woman as well. Everything is connected and affect one another in different way. This is what gives everyone lesbian a different experience and identity. Even though two lesbians label themselves as such, what they go through and see other lesbians as is totally dependent on the factors.