The queer community have a plethora of sexualities and gender identities with which to ‘diagnose’ people who have completely normal feelings. The language used is reminiscent of the cold reading techniques by mediums and fortune tellers. It is easy to describe in great detail thoughts and feelings which the reader feels a unique description of herself but are in fact applicable to most people.
Sex drive varies from person to person and changes throughout people’s lives. According to the urbandictionary.com graysexual means ‘sometimes having sexual attraction and/or feelings, but usually not. generally asexual but perhaps capable of sexual desire under certain conditions, eg love or romance.’. It strikes me that having sexual feelings towards people only under circumstances such as love or romance is incredibly common.
There are upsides and downsides of the queering of normality. I would say that it is generally a positive thing if young people feel that they can acknowledge these feelings. The ability to self-define as graysexual or asexual is probably a really helpful tool for teenagers who want to avoid being coerced into sex. It clearly doesn’t have the stigma that ‘frigid’ did when I was growing up. My concern is that by labelling oneself in such a way by default labelling others as being outside that category. How many times do we read a blog or an article and feel that the writer knows us intimately, or listen to a song and think ‘this is basically about my life’? That is because of our shared humanity. Many of us have similar experiences, ups and downs, love and heartbreak, teenage angst etc.
A society in which sexual consent was normalised, and one would not have to make excuses for rejecting sexual advances would be highly preferable. The age at which children begin exploring sexually is getting younger. Equally concerning is the type of sexual activity due to children being exposed to pornography. It should be a given that a thirteen year old girl does not want to have sex. She should not have to claim to be asexual to reject a potential partner. People have the right to say ‘no’ at any age. No should mean no, whether it is regarding going on a date, a kiss, sexual activity or anything. We should not be questioned why, or feel the need to explain ourselves in terms of our sexuality. Many people will be familiar with long term relationships in which sex is expected. We do it either through coercion or guilt. However, sex should be a mutually consenting activity. Even the word consent is not quite strong enough, it should be a mutually desired activity. Let’s do away with the ‘I’ve got a headache’ or ‘I’m graysexual’ and just move towards a no means no – with no explanation needed.
Similarly the modern use of the word gender is about putting ourselves in boxes at the exclusion of other people. Genderfluid is ‘a gender identity best described as a dynamic mix of boy and girl. A person who is Gender Fluid may always feel like a mix of the two traditional genders, but may feel more boy some days, and more girl other days.
Being Gender Fluid has nothing to do with which set of genitalia one has, nor their sexual orientation.’ Again, I am quoting urban dictionary. Isn’t this how most of us feel. Some days we want to pamper ourselves and make an effort with our outwards appearance, other days we want to just get muddy or climb trees. I suspect I climb more trees than most people in their 30s but you get the drift. The notion that people who identify as genderfluid are in some way different to the rest of society is bizarre. Few of us fit fully into societies expectations of either ‘gender’. Does this not prove that gender is not innate? The realisation that one does not conform to either gender, and that one can actually switch these characteristics from day to day leads so perfectly to the feminist analysis of gender. Genderfluidity should really put an end to the idea of innate gender.
Aside from the logical flaws in the gender argument. There is a more sinister consequence. Medicalisation of normality. ‘Non-binary’ kids wanting mastectomies and hormones. It breaks my heart to think of these vulnerable people. I truly empathise, I know how it feels to be non-binary; I know how it feels because it is perfectly normal. Your body is fine, your mind is ok, you are normal, you have just been brainwashed.