Attraction dating

I don’t know how to fully remove oppression from the process of attraction – for me, personally, or for the world at large.I do know that it will be a different process for me than it is for you, but a process all the same – and one that, as people concerned with social justice, we need to start.If love is love, it shouldn’t matter which social beauty standards my partner meets, but it probably does. I sit with that question as I scroll through Instagram, liking pictures of people I find attractive, knowing that I have a long road ahead.Oppressive systems interact in so many ways, always evolving, and meeting us so differently depending on where we are.It’s the fault of a culture that gives a detailed education on how to look sexy or even act in specific sexy ways (talk like this, say that), but fails to teach us how to be a sexual person.

The voluptuous female bodies idealized in ancient Greece, for example, are far different from the thin bodies idealized in most of the modern Western world.

Beauty standards tell us that there’s only one way to be attractive.

They are why my friend could say “I think you could find someone more attractive” without considering the other ways attraction can present outside of the physical.

However, the fact that sexuality and attraction are able to be influenced doesn’t mean that any particular result is necessarily wrong in every case, or that there is a problem with finding a comfortable stability in the type of people we are attracted to.

But considering how our current society operates under many systems of oppression, it is worth it to at least consider how desirability politics influence whom and what we love in a way that can perpetuate oppression. I have also found femme men and women undesirable even while being physically attracted in the past based on ideas about the weakness and submission of femininity I now know are false and femmephobic.

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They are also an assistant editor for Vinyl Poetry & Prose.

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