The Volatile Soul

One day I will find the right words,
and they will be perfect.

Romantic love as an institution of heterosexuality has a powerful influence on how young women attribute meaning to their experiences in dating relationships. The dominance of romantic love within western society makes it inescapable for young women. Romantic love typifies gender differences in many respects, it is heterosexual, it emphasises desire for the ‘other’ and positions the woman as emotional and the man as rational (Jackson, 1999; Seuffert, 1999). Romantic love assumes heterosexuality with its end point of reproduction (Kirkman et al., 1998; Langford, 1996; Rose, 2000; Segal, 1997).

The idea that romantic love is characterised by individualism and freedom (Burns, 2000; Giddens, 1992) to choose a partner ignores the compulsoriness of heterosexuality (Rich, 1996) in which women’s social identity is constructed through being in a heterosexual relationship. It also ignores the gendered scripts within romantic love, which privilege male power. Langford (1996) argues that a reason why power is not considered in romantic love is that power and love are understood as opposites. Romantic love invokes ideas of freedom which are in contrast to power.

The young people’s interviews show how various aspects of romantic love are used to divert attention away from behaviours being interpreted as male control of women and instead being interpreted as signs of love and commitment. For example there was a focus on sacrifice for one’s partner, for young men this meant waiting to have sex and being monogamous. For young women it often meant agreeing to sex or at least finding polite ways to decline the ‘offer’. Some young women described their boyfriend’s policing of their behaviour or clothes as a sign of his love with jealousy as the signifier. This was not considered male behaviour which was aimed at controlling young women.

In some young men’s and women’s interviews men were considered ‘protectors’ of women against predatory men. This knight in shining armour role included boyfriends accompanying young women to all social events to protect her from other men’s unwanted attentions. Young men’s use of the term ‘ownership’ in
relation to their girlfriends was presented as a sign of their true love and not that she was considered property of the male.

In these examples, romantic love enables young women to interpret young men’s behaviours in ways that are not signs of power and control, instead representing intimacy and love. Some young men spoke of how they used romantic love to coerce young women into sex, suggesting that if she genuinely loved him she would agree to sex as it would signify her love.

—'Violence, control, romance and gender equality: Young women and heterosexual relationships', Donna Chung, Women’s Studies International Forum, no. 28, 2005, pp. 445-455. (via insufficientmind)

(via yoursocialconstructsareshowing)

humansofnewyork:

I normally go into my conversations with a set of proven questions to ask, that I find will elicit a wide variety of anecdotes from people’s lives: happiest moment, saddest moment, things like that. But with people fleeing war, it is absolutely impossible to discuss anything beyond the present moment. Their circumstances are so overpowering, there is absolutely zero room in their minds for any other thoughts. The conversation immediately stalls, because any topic of conversation beyond their present despair seems grossly inappropriate. You realize that without physical security, no other layers of the human experience can exist. “All day they do is cry for home,” she told me. (Dohuk, Iraq)

humansofnewyork:

I normally go into my conversations with a set of proven questions to ask, that I find will elicit a wide variety of anecdotes from people’s lives: happiest moment, saddest moment, things like that. But with people fleeing war, it is absolutely impossible to discuss anything beyond the present moment. Their circumstances are so overpowering, there is absolutely zero room in their minds for any other thoughts. The conversation immediately stalls, because any topic of conversation beyond their present despair seems grossly inappropriate. You realize that without physical security, no other layers of the human experience can exist. “All day they do is cry for home,” she told me. (Dohuk, Iraq)

I’m lost. And it’s my own fault. It’s about time I figured out that I can’t ask people to keep me found.

— Anne Sexton, A Self-Portrait in Letters (via rosettes)

(via a-thousand-words)

To hell with tomorrow. To hell with all problems and barriers. Nothing matters but the Spectacular Now.

—Tim Tharp, The Spectacular Now (via wordsnquotes)

(via wordsnquotes)

Many women, I think, resist feminism because it is an agony to be fully conscious of the brutal misogyny which permeates culture, society, and all personal relationships. It is as if our oppression were cast in lava eons ago and now it is granite, and each individual woman is buried inside the stone. Women try to survive inside the stone, buried in it. Women say, I like this stone, its weight is not too heavy for me. Women defend the stone by saying that it protects them from rain and wind and fire. Women say, all I have ever known is this stone, what is there without it?

Medical science cannot turn a biological male into a biological female — it can only alter the appearance of body parts. A trans-sexual “woman” will always be a biological male. A male-to-female transsexual serving a prison sentence for manslaughter and rape won the right to be relocated to a women’s jail. Her lawyers argued that her rights were being violated by being unable to live in her role as a woman in a men’s jail. Large numbers of female prisoners have experienced childhood abuse and rape and will fail to appreciate the reasons behind a biological man living among them, particularly one who still has the penis with which he raped a woman.

My life is a struggle between my need for acceptance, my fear of rejection, and a desire to not care at all.

—Anonymous (via wnq-writers)

(via wordsnquotes)

Anonymous asked: Black is beautiful. White is beautiful and every other color in between is also beautiful. :)

odinsblog:

afrogrrrlxvx:

jayjsupremacy:

lookatthewords:

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I dunnoooo I think you already know that “White is beautiful” don’t you?

Or will it shatter your beauty if I recognize mine?

WELL DAMN

Perfect.

Straight up dedicating this post to allergictofeeling who so exemplifies this post by reblogging a post about Nicki Minaj  image then tagged it “no need to play the race card

please keep your self centered ignorance, micro-agressions and derailing all to yourself

dajo42:

"tea is just leaf water!" "yeah well coffee is just bean water!" wow, it’s. it’s like everything is made of things. this door is just wood rectangle. this poster is just ink paper. this lemonade is just lemon water. wow, it’s like you can combine ingredients to make things that are more enjoyable than the initial parts of the equation. sure is a magical world we live in

(via yoursocialconstructsareshowing)