Defining My Terms

I believe it’s important to define your terms, so I thought I’d post some of the definitions I work from on here.  You’ll see a lot of bell hooks and M. Scott Peck and Erich Fromm, among other thinkers’ work reflected if not reiterated here.  I try to give credit where credit is due, but with some writers, I just can’t sort it anymore without annotating my whole life.

The Basics:

Love is the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of one’s own or another spiritual growth.

Consensual sex is sex in which you are not being coerced, manipulated, or abused.

Feminism is the movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression.  Feminism opposes the existing normative practices of patriarchy.

Patriarchy is the way in which sexist assumptions are systematized. Patriarchy is a political-social system that presents two options: to dominate or to be dominated. Patriarchy views males as inherently dominating and endows them with the right to dominate and rule over those deemed weak, including females, children, and “weaker” males, and to maintain that dominance through various forms of psychological terrorism and violence.

Rape culture is a term used within women’s studies and feminism, describing a culture in which rape and other sexual violence (usually against women) are common and considered normal, expected, excusable, or encouraged by prevalent attitudes, norms, practices, and media. Within the paradigm, acts of sexism are commonly employed to validate and rationalize normative misogynistic practices; for instance, sexist jokes may be told to foster disrespect for women and an accompanying disregard for their well-being, which ultimately make their rape and abuse seem “acceptable”. Examples of behaviors said to typify rape culture include victim blaming, trivializing prison rape, and sexual objectification.

Privilege is a status that is conferred by society to certain groups, not seized by individuals, which is why it can be difficult sometimes to see one’s own privilege. Privilege is not about you, nor is it your fault, nor is it inherently bad. Privilege is about how society accommodates you. It’s about advantages you have that you think are normal. It’s about you being normal, and others being the deviation from normal. It becomes problematic when it goes unrecognized. Nearly everyone enjoys some form of privilege, and mindfulness of its existence is essential for addressing injustice and creating change.

My Speech Quirks:

Partner ~ I use partner as in the phrases “conversation partner” “sexual partner” or “partner sex.”  It’s not to suggest something akin to “life partner” or to signify a monogamous romantic relationship with a primary figure in one’s life.  Just a partner.  Like a chess partner.  Or a pool partner.  You know, someone you’re collaborating with in a given experience, and for the purposes of this blog, usually sexual.


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