When I was younger and playing at ‘pretend’ with my friends, I always chose to be Luke Skywalker. It didn’t matter if we were pretending to be part of a space war or were mermaids under the sea I always chose to be Lukes because as far as female role models went, my options were limited to Leia or a few sexy dancing aliens. But finally young girls are getting the heroes they deserve.
One thing we all love to do, and insist on doing, is rigidly labelling everyone’s sexuality. Everyone is assumed straight, and we work from there. Unfortunately. Generally people will label someone gay or straight, ignoring that they may be bisexual, pansexual, asexual, transgender or queer. I have always been labelled as straight, and I’ve never contested it. I’ve never really discussed it at all to be honest. No one has. Why would anyone need to?
Ever been called a slut? Ever been made fun of for being a virgin? These days we face either being judged for having too much sex, or not having enough of it. We are all part of the problem. We are expected to either be chaste or to be sexual heroes, and while we are all victims of these expectations we are also enforcing them. Not to mention, each of us at one time or another has altered our behaviour, publicly, to suit what we think people want to see and hear.
Since I hit puberty I have been overcome with pain about once or twice a week. I’ll lose my eyesight, all comprehension of space and time, and I’ll throw up for hours at a time, sometimes throwing up blood. Simply closing my eyes will be too difficult a task for me because moving the muscles is too painful. Sometimes I’ll suffer like this for days at a time, with no way of knowing when it will end.
I was brought up Catholic. I went through the Catholic school system, was taken to mass most Sundays and was taken to confession. Growing up I spent all my time at school or at church and in those two institutions I was taught one important thing - God is always watching.
I was always going to see Fifty Shades of Grey. I read all three books. It isn’t difficult reading. It isn’t really even enjoyable reading. But having read the books and now having seen the movie I'm finally ready to weigh in on whether or not it's as horrible as everyone says it is.
We don’t talk enough about sex. I don’t mean the giggle fuelled conversations we have with our girlfriends about our latest escapades or the high fives guys share the morning after with their mates (I can only assume this is how they celebrate, I doubt they giggle anyway). I mean the raw stuff, the messy, awkward, realistic stuff we all sweep under a metaphoric rug.
I was recently forced to admit that I have political views, despite my complete disinterest in world affairs up until this point in my life. I’ve always been more interested in the future of Harry Potter and what happened to the Baudelaire orphans than I have been in politics. But then I dated a dude who, it transpired, was exceptionally right-wing.