Tag Archives: sexuality

Not everything needs a label

Sexuality is a social construct. It’s an idea or theory developed strictly on what society believes should define its citizens. It’s a way for society to put people in a box, to put a label on everyone in order to keep its people in line, to keep confusion and outliers out of the picture.

Why do people need labels in the first place? Why do we feel the need to fit into a certain category in order to make other people feel more comfortable? In a society that is based on individualism, don’t you think it’s a bit odd that we feel the need to group people, whether it be in sections of gender, race, sexuality, or any other way?

It doesn't matter what your gender identity or sexuality is. We're all the same in the end.  Photo from rachelwentzbook.blogspot.com
It doesn’t matter what your gender identity or sexuality is. We’re all the same in the end.
Photo from rachelwentzbook.blogspot.com

Not only is sexuality a social construct, but it’s also fluid. Sexuality is a spectrum, varying from one side to the other, with a giant space in between. That’s not to say that a person can’t identify with a specific sexuality, but it’s much more common for an individual to fit somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, or a least a little to the left or a little to the right from each extreme. More often than not, individuals feel the need to label themselves as a specific sexuality, whether it be gay, straight, or bisexual, when in reality, they don’t fit into one definite category. Society puts a certain pressure on people, to make them conform, even when it isn’t authentic to who a person is. It’s hard to be different in a society that doesn’t accept differences in itself.

There are many other sexualities other than gay, straight, and bisexual including pansexual, demisexual, asexual, and others, and even then, certain people wouldn’t feel that those labels accurately represent how they feel.

There should be no reason, in the first place, why a person would feel the need to put themselves in a box, to stick a label on their chest and say “this is who I like to date.” Sexuality isn’t the only thing that defines a person and there’s no point in trying to define oneself in the first place. People are complicated. Let’s leave it at that.

If only our ships would sail

Have you ever loved a couple from a TV show, a movie, a book, or any other media so much that it’s literally all you can think about? Have you ever thought “Oh my god, these two people would be so cute together! Why don’t they fall in love already?” because I definitely have. If you don’t know, this feeling you are having is called shipping. Shipping by definition is “A term used to describe fan fictions that take previously created characters and put them as a pair. It usually refers to romantic relationships, but it can refer platonic ones as well.”

This definition states that shipping is only related to fan fictions but nowadays it has expanded to real people as well.

Some very popular ships include Brangelina (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie), and Kimye (Kim Kardashian and Kanye West). People love to ship celebrities because it gives them a sense of hope when it comes to love. Celebrities are always under the microscope allowing fans to create their own love story, whether it has any truth to it or not, as to why and how two people became one couple.

Shipping allows a connection to be created between celebrities and their fans because it makes the fans think that they know what’s going on in the celebrity’s life and feel as though they’ve become friends.

Lauren Jauregui and Camilla Cabello make up the shipping nickname "Camren." Graphic from I Heart It
Lauren Jauregui and Camilla Cabello make up the shipping nickname “Camren.” Graphic from We Heart It

My favorite ship that has recently gotten way out of hand is a Camren. Camren is the combination of the names Camila and Lauren from the band Fifth Harmony.

Fifth Harmony is my all-time favorite band at the moment, meaning I know everything about them, what they like, what they don’t like, and who they are in relationships with. Because I have an obsessive personality, I have seen basically every interview, radio interview, and live performance they have ever done and each time Camren is alive and more obvious than they think.

I genuinely believe that they are in love or have been in love and are hiding it from the public. If you watch one of the most famous Camren videos, you can see for yourself the way that they look at each other and how one touch can make them happy.

However, because Camila and Lauren heard about the Camren ship, they have stopped interacting as much and don’t even have the strong friendship they use to have. This is where shipping can go too far. If you directly tell them that they are in love or tell them what their sexuality is, that is going too far.

Trying to force a label on somebody is wrong to begin with, making them uncomfortable within themselves as well as affecting their relationship with each other. I’m not sure why it has made them uncomfortable, unless there is some truth to it that they’re not allowed to talk about.

Bottom line, however, is if it makes someone uncomfortable, stop. Simple as that.

Shipping is something that I enjoy doing, no matter how painful and heart breaking it can be. Love is such a strong emotion and one of the only emotions that can’t be controlled. You can ship and be in love with two people all you want, just don’t cross that line.

Highlanders Anonymous: Allergies, birthdays, and over-spending

Cat allergies can cause problems
Cat allergies can cause problems. Graphic from Mother Nature Network

“I have two cats, but my girlfriend is allergic. She says she won’t come over to my place unless I get rid of them. Should I give the cats up?”

Hopefully, your girlfriend isn’t seriously thinking that you’ll get rid of your pets. If your cats mean anything to you, don’t get rid of them. Relationships come and go, but a pet is a companion for their whole lifetime.

If you’re actually considering giving the cats up, maybe you should. Having a pet is a huge commitment. Deciding to keep the cats or get rid of them shouldn’t be taken lightly. You’re in charge of two lives here. Pets depend on their owners to do what’s best for them. If that means a new home, then give them up.

“How can I tell if I’m bisexual?”

Are you attracted to both sexes? If yes, then you’re considered bisexual by themost basic definition. That doesn’t mean you have to pursue– or stay away from–same-sex relationships. It’s up to you who you’ll pursue in the future. I advise you not to pressure yourself with a label. Love who you love!

“Everyone forgot it was my birthday last week. Are they bad friends?”

Friends get busy and forget things. Don’t take it personally. They’re sure to feel bad when they realize their slip-up. If you want to celebrate your birthday, make it happen. Throw a party and don’t dwell on these negative thoughts.

“When I go to the store, I always buy way too many things. Sometimes, I only go to buy bread, milk, and eggs, but I come out with ten other items. I really don’t have money to spend on things I don’t need. How can I stop getting so sidetracked?”

It sounds like you’re are trying out a method of stress relief called “retail therapy.” This can effectively distract you from the real problems at hand, but it doesn’t  solve them. In fact, it’s probably making things worse because now you’re also going broke. Instead of shopping, go talk to somebody about your problems, and make a stricter budget.

 

Some nice friggin’ advice

Is there a problem eating away at you? Well, step right up and get a hot slice of advice pie from beauty guru and vlogger jpmetz on her YouTube channel, “theadviceannex.” Justine (AKA: jpmetz) states: “The Advice Annex answers questions from teens and young adults all over the world, using my own life experience and humor.”

Through her wildly funny big sister persona, this YouTube star seats herself in her bedroom littered with laundry and casually listens to calls and reads emails from her fans asking for her counsel. The questions range from college roommate fights and bad breakups to coping with anxiety and depression to struggles with sexuality.

Even if you have trouble sharing, you can always tune in to her videos and just listen. They provide inspiring, humorous, relatable, and genuine advice. Justine also includes a disclaimer in many of her videos, letting others know that she is in no way a professional and, on occasion, direct individuals toward counseling for more serious problems relating to addiction, self-harm, etc.

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“The questions range from college roommate fights and bad breakups to coping with anxiety and depression to struggles with sexuality.”

Although, these videos are currently available on YouTube, the channel has been on a hiatus for about eleven months. Therefore, I don’t recommend sending her any questions right now, since some matters you’d like feedback on are time-sensitive. However, there are eighty-six episodes full of material to listen to and you can follow her vlogs on any one of her other three channels: kickinggeese, JPMETZhasMS, and jpmetz.

Justine is twenty or thirty-something and a native New Jersey living. Her unique YouTube personality and passion has lead her to have over 200,000 subscribers and 18 million video views. Not only does did she host the advice annex, but also makes a living off of her uploads. Her content ranges from tutorials, rants, and vlogs, which she is still constantly updating.

If you’d like some advice from your local RU students, follow this link to submit your questions and have them answered through Highlanders Anonymous.

The friend zone: You’re there for a reason

I am so tired of guys complaining about being put in the friend zone.

As a woman with … let’s call it ambiguous sexuality, it makes me mad to hear guys complain about how they’re “too nice” to find someone. It’s not true. The thing is, many women will tell a guy he’s “too nice” in order to avoid hurting his feelings when she’s not interested in him. Yes, it sucks, but it makes a lot of sense.

Continue reading The friend zone: You’re there for a reason

Let’s all be more empathetic

As we progress further into the semester, deadlines and ongoing projects play a pivotal role in shaping our schedules for the upcoming weeks. Heavy coursework and part-time jobs can leave us with very little free time.

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Campus life at Radford can be quite wild at times. Picture by Samantha Rorke.

Due to our busy and demanding lives, it’s easy to forget how important it is to stay connected with each other. Continue reading Let’s all be more empathetic