Pages

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fidelity and Controversy

My two-hour class on gender and sexuality begins with a lecture, conducted by a woman professor I really admire, and then divides off into discussion groups for the second half. My original group was a pretty awesome experience for me, because for the first time in my life, I was a religious minority among my peers. The girl to my right was Buddhist, a couple of girls were Jewish, one was a practicing Catholic, some were atheists, some agnostic, some apathetic. I looked forward to meeting with them because we had in common our tolerance and interest in the subject. Well, we just finished the midterm, so the class was divided into new discussion groups this afternoon. Ugh.

While everyone else in my new group seems interesting and nice, it took about five minutes for me to realize that I'm probably just not going to see eye-to-eye with one of the boys. To begin, we went around the circle and introduced ourselves by our names and majors, and I heard a bit of a giggle-snort come from the boy's corner when I announced that I'm studying Creative Writing. I ignored the laugh, because I know that my major sounds unrealistic and frivolous, and I've gotten used to the fact. But it was hard for me to not shoot a "What the hell?" expression his way when the boy told our group that his major is Studio Art. But I let it go, figuring I'd probably imagined his response.

Once we got past the get-ta-know-ya phase, my group jumped right into a fascinating rapport about our views on marriage, most of us saying that we have at least substantial interest in someday having a nuclear family (or a secure family with committed same-sex parents), and that we strive, ideally, to not need divorces. That's when the boy stated that, while he does believe in marriage and wants to get married someday, he thinks we put too much emphasis on the impossible concept of monogamy, because it's against human nature to never "read the menu." The rest of us agreed that, yes, there's nothing wrong with looking at the "sexiest men alive" in magazines, and that eventually, everybody will have some kind of secret lust within themselves. The boy pushed his point further, though, to say that there's nothing wrong with scattered infidelity. Again, the majority of us said that should such a problem come up in our own marriages, we would probably be able to work through it sensibly according to our situations, and would not necessarily immediately leave, but that we don't believe it's okay. "A moment of weakness that shakes up our married life is an obstacle," said the girl next to me, "but if my husband cheats on me more than once, he can go off and deal with that problem somewhere far away from me." I laughed and agreed. The boy rolled his eyes.

"Everybody falls off the boat sometimes," he said. "Think of how many one-night stands you have. You can't expect people to just turn that off when they get married."

"I don't have one-night stands," I responded, "and I don't plan to marry someone who does. Or, at least, I'm not going to marry someone who hasn't grown out of that stage. I think some people can be happy having sex within relationships or for fun their whole lives, and more power to them, but they shouldn't be promising themselves to one person, forever, if they don't mean it."

That set him off. "Everyone makes mistakes in the heat of the moment. What if your husband goes out and gets drunk and accidentally hooks up with a stranger?"

"Actually," I said, doing a pretty good job at keeping my cool, but starting to get a little heated on the inside, "a lot of time goes into the act of cheating, and he has plenty of chances to stop himself. More importantly, I don't want to marry the kind of man who goes out and gets blackout drunk without me frequently enough that he can allow curiosity to turn into action without considering his wife."

"That's unrealistic," he said.

"Maybe it is for some people in some circumstances," I answered, "and I'm not judging them. I'm just saying that from where I stand, with no attachments to anybody, I want to pick someone who goes beyond society's low expectations!"

He simple rolled his eyes, exhausted, and class was dismissed.

Siiiiiigh. It's awfully fun to get into debates like that, and by "awfully fun," I mean both fun and awful. I had so much bottled-up energy after class that I walked around campus to cool off and relayed the discussion to my mom over the phone. My mom is super conservative, and therefore she gets a kick whenever her "artsy free-spirit" youngest daughter displays any hint of traditionalism. Truth be told, though, I don't subscribe to either mindset. I don't believe in ultimate black-and-white values for all people everywhere, but I also don't think some right-wing ideas are disgusting and wrong just because they're old. Either way, I love how college is an environment designed to help people like me figure life out, and as frustrating as my little debate was, I feel totally exhilarated. Yaaay, college!

Sexy: The fact that I've finagled the prompt for my Mass Media paper enough that I get to write it about blogging and YouTube. The first author listed in my bibliography is one Mr. Alan Lastufka. I know I shouldn't feel devious, as it's a perfectly justified topic and Alan's book is a perfectly credible source, but it still seems like I'm getting away with something!
Unsexy: The fact that I'm homesick for my parents. It became apparent to me during today's discussion that fathers like mine-- ones that play an equal part in raising their kids, and stick around for all time-- are really rare. I'm so lucky.

Chipotle burritos this year: 32
Bagel Street visits this school year: 4
Subscribers: 21,027

Bye, guys! Hopefully I'll see you tomorrow. <3

55 comments:

KimbraSaysRawr said...

I commend you on not getting angry at the stupid boy.
I honestly would have most likely called him out on his commitment issues, or left. : D

I'm sorry you miss your parents...
I missed my momma when I lived away from home for the time that I did (even though she was ten minutes away!).
I share the sentiment that you're extremely lucky to have an awesome dad... cherish him (though it seems you do already : D).

alimarie_11 said...

GO HAYLEYYYYY

whew i totally admire you for being so calm, in situations like that.. i get so flustered and think of amillion better things half a day later that i should have said. bravo!

Anonymous said...

It's cool that you miss your parents and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Even though you're older and don't need them all the time, you will always need them in some capacity. Even when you're an adult. There's something comforting about knowing that they're there for you no matter what. At least, that's my experience. As for the dude? At least he was the minority in your group. There's always at least one of his type roaming around. Grrrrr....

KimbraSaysRawr said...

Also! I have the italktosnakes throwdown stuck in my head.
It pops up every now and again.

Kayley said...

Uhm, KimbraSaysRawr basically stole my comment from my head...So, uh, awkward, I'm left with nothing to say except that you're preeeetty.




<3

loveacrosstheocean said...

This was such a feel good entry, Hayley. I'm so so so happy for you, happy that college is living up to its generic promise that it exposes you to people of all sorts and helps you see different points of view different than yours. Not everyone is that lucky. I'm glad you got your point across in a chill manner, I've learned from experience (mostly inebriated) that people tend to not really take you seriously if you start yelling and using your hands too much. Props.
Also, it just made me smile reading your sentiments towards your parents, I've been feeling the same way recently. I'm over in Europe for school, and the time difference usually results in me calling my mom at 5 am my time to cry before an exam or just hear her voice because our schedules never match and that's the only time I can get ahold of her. Sigh. I like my parents, too. I'm rambly and this is a long comment, but I'm happy for you.
<3

shaylaluna said...

As I always do before leaing a commnet I looked at the time it was posted. It said 11:27, I freaked out for 30 seconds wondering how that was possible, because my clock says 10:00. Sigh......I'm sooo intelligent.

Today, some idiot in my English class was making crude jokes and references to girls. I, well, as my friend put it, went "Alaska" on him.

Something aong the lines of, "Don't objecify the female body....." I went on for a while.

Great times!

traderbob11 said...

yep, marriage vows are pretty much sacred.

I think Kayley is flirting with you.
Dang, that means more competition.

See ya
Hayley

JoshV said...

Rawr...This blog made me angry and unsettled. I guess for you that should be a positive though, right? Your words inspire feelings? Damnit...im just a jealous boy that wants to be in your group to defend and protect your honor (not that you need it).

By the by, people still use the word "bibliography"? That was blasphemy when I went to college. :shrug:

flitwicks_choirgirl said...

I agree go dads!!! mine pretty much single-handedly got me through high school and all the good times that brings.

Congrats on keeping your cool. In that situation you can't just through a 'and that's why no one likes you' when the boys get a bit, well, boyish. ahhh... friendship.

Wyatthaplo said...

Interesting debate. I agree with him to a certain extent. But like you say you have enough chances to walk away that if you do truly love someone you won't let The inevitable lust for someone else go any further then looking.

Love and Lust are two different things and love should always win out. If it doesn't it isn't true love.

papertowns said...

Ugh, that guy sounds like a jerk, but it was good you stood up to him.

Also, it's nice to see that someone else doesn't have such black and white views on the subject of sex. It's up to the individual, and people on both sides of the arguement judge the other far too harshly.

Holly said...

I know what you mean about exhilarating debates! I often take part in atheism/religion debates even though I know that it's fairly impossible to alter somebody's beliefs in one discussion. But it gets my blood beating double time, and while I dislike attempting to force my opinions it's still probably one of my favourite things to do with strangers (breaks the awkwardness, y'know?).

Scott said...

People who have ideas like yours restore my faith in the world. Which might be a little vain, considering we have the exact same opinion on the subject. Go team politically-unidentified-christian teenagers!

Kristen said...

I'm just wondering if that boy just got out of a relationship after having too many one night stands and is trying to defend his actions to your group. Good job on keeping your cool. I cannot get in a heated discussion to save my life and not get extremely bothered by it. I pretty much agree with you on the whole values front. I have my own set of values and hopefully someday I'll find a guy who has a similar set of values but I'm not going to expect everyone in the whole world is going to agree with me and what I believe is right and wrong.

Margaret said...

I hate debates like that. I mean, the actual debate itself is okay, because I usually win, because I'm right of course, but it's just so incredibly awkward afterward, you know? I usually foresee the awkward that will emerge if I continue talking, decide it's not worth it, bite my tongue, and then journal angrily about it that night.

A.J. James said...

Its very interesting that this topic came up in your class, I fall in the middle as far as my beliefs but I have a strong hope and even stronger desire to prove that I can accomplish something my parents have still not grasped...
I don't know If you saw Toddly00's recent anti-marriage rant this week, but it was an interesting point of view... I also made a response if you want to check it out

my sn is aslanenlisted on youtube its the featured current video....

Eddy said...

That boy will feel different once a partner he really cares about cheats on him. I bet he has always been the cheater in his relationships and is just tryng to justify his behavior. Plus a mistake is taking the wrong freeway exit or grabbing the wrong item off the shelf in the store. Cheating is a decision. You just don't end up in bed with a different person. It's not like, "oh, I just jumped in bed and someeone else was there too!"

Katie said...

You are my hero for standing up for what you did because I agree with you on all counts. Go Hayley, college, and committed monogamy!

Stefan said...

every gender class has at least one duchebag.

Elizabeth... said...

Your side of the debate is my side too. There are still people in society that wont have commitment issues and that should be known!

I feel I could write a whole lot more but this is just a comment and I have to go back to the art studios to put in some more work! :p

I adore reading your blog.

babyporridge. said...

I always, always, always love reading what you say. You are, by far, one of my most favourite people to read / admire / fangirl over. Not only have you got insane amounts of brainz / wisdom, you've got the balls to stand by what you believe in. & for that, I love you.

xxxx

I owe you a pm very very very soon, in which I gush about you/your previous relationship well-being, & where I divulge some updates. Not in the most ideal situation atm, bahaahaha. I love you!
x

Anonymous said...

Go Hayley.

Emily said...

I really admire the way you handle confrontations like this. =] It's hard to find people who can present dissenting opinions without feeling insulted or like they are insulting someone.

And congrats on your Mass Media paper, that's pretty sweet!

lindsey said...

Oh, as for the father's thing... Not to jump on a soapbox or anything, but I thought I was lucky too until my father turned into an adulterous drunk.

You really are lucky, Hayley. I used to be resented for having the 'perfect' parents. Don't take it for granted. Love you. Mean it.

notaclareintheworld said...

When people give me sass about thinking about my real life I just tell them I want to be a poet and watch the horror spread over their faces. "Does she actually think that's a legitimate profession?"

:-P

Also, I have a friend who agrees with this boy's theory. My friend, at least, has a lot of interesting things to say about it, and I can see how it could work for some people (probably not me, though). The guy in your group doesn't seem to have presented his case very well at all, though -- he seems like he's just trying to alienate as many people as is humanly possible...

Ravenclaw2313 said...

I think you held your cool very well. College gives us the chance to meet all sorts of people and that's wonderful, but there will always be people you clash with. Can't wait to hear about how the rest of this class goes. Also did you have midterm tests? You didn't blog about them and I wondered if they stressed you out.

eibbore said...

Pfft stupid boy. I totally agree with you except I never want to get married. My reasons are pretty similar to Min's in the newest vloglovers. I'm guessing you've seen it, you youtube freak. :P

I would have probably gone apes*/t on his ass if it were me. Way to keep your cool.

VTBurninator said...

I'm sure my commenting absence went unnoticed but I'm happy to be back!

Anywho, just reading your debate made me a ball of energy and thankful for your shout out to us gays ("secure family with committed same-sex parents") with dreams of family-dom.

In college and in life I have often times been extremely thankful for my parents, their ability to support each other and our family as a team as well as staying together going on 27 years (and grandparents going on 60). Make sure you remind your parents, they'll appreciate it!

Avidly awaiting a HGH story similar to this weeks Heroes-Claire Bennett storyline, but I won't hold my breath ;)

Kat said...

"having a nuclear family (or a secure family with committed same-sex parents)" <-- is there a difference?

But, oh man, kids like that are fun. /frustrating. It sounds like you articulated your point of view and its contingencies admirably, though.

allysonkate said...

I feel sorry for his wife. Someone should warn her he doesn't understand what the promise of marriage means. I feel sorry for him, I really do.

.....jerk.

Gavin said...

I realise there were important and interesting topics raised in this blog entry, and it was beautifully written etc. But today I’m going to commend you for using the word ‘finagled’ in your blog. That’s one word that isn’t used enough these days.
Top marks Hayley

rennie.cotner said...

Gold star for you for being chill! I personally love those kinds of debates. I'm a very competitive person who often gets into political debates with strangers. It gets annoying sometimes. I should cool it.
But seriously, how funny would it be if you and that guy ended up being really good friends? Keep us posted on that. haha.

KaraDawlish said...

You are lucky.
Glad you realize that.

Hope said...

Some people, I think, just can't take commitment. Seriously. You are awesome just because you didn't lose your temper on that boy. I think I would have. :)

seurat2 said...

Well, maybe the guy will eventually see the superiority of your argument. Probably after his fourth or fifth failed marriage but still...

mmuller18603.10 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MaryM said...

hayley! you're so fantastic, i admire you so much and standing up for what you believe in just gives me another reason to look up to you!
*stars in eyes*
anywhoooo, i really love getting to read about what you're going through right now in college, i'm a senior this year and i'm anxious about what happens when i get out...

Maria said...

I think in future blogs you should refer to this guy as InvoluntarilySingleForLife.

Miss you.

David said...

Ok, so yes this kid has some weird views on life but what really struck me as weird was that he laughed at your major?!? I mean thank GOD there are people like you studying creative writing. Can you imagine how boring a world with out creative writing would be?!? And what's he studying? I don't even remember... Well at least a bunch of people around the world now dislike this person. And aren't we in college now?! Can't you be a little more mature???!!! Sorry, your story hit home if you know what I mean. Well, thanks for the good read.

-Dave
XOXO

booksandquills said...

About your sexy thing of the day: I couldn't agree more! I'm writing an essay about how the word Nerdfighter should be accepted to the OED. I've been trying to figure out how to cite YouTube videos in MLA, mr. Lastufka is definitely in my works cited and I have to watch Vlogbrothers videos over and over to find the right quotes.
Best essay EVAH!

Anonymous said...

I don´t understand the fact that if you are artsy and creative you can´t have a great relationship, monogamy and all. Not all hippie non-traditional people believe in free love. I´ve always believed that there´s something wrong in the relationship if you have to go out looking for something/someone else. And I don´t believe in cheting "by accident". I don´t think anyone should get married if they think they might accidentally get so hammered that they´re going to wake up next to someone other than their significant others.

Anonymous said...

Boy just got PWNED!

Hayley, you're my idol.

RebeccaInTheTARDIS said...

I totally agree with what you said about marriage, and that guy was a twit. Just sayin'. <3

shakethedust said...

I have a feeling that that boy has probably cheated and probably been caught and therefore he's a little defensive about it. He clearly has commitment issues and is misguided in thinking that every guy is just like him. I know more loyal men than disloyal men, so he can chew on that for a while. I pity his future wife. He's never going to get a quality woman or a quality life with that attitude.

I'm 24, living six hours from my hometown, and I still miss my parents. I don't think that ever stops and you should count yourself lucky. :)

Vuraaa said...

ahhhhh, i feel like that all the time. Grateful for my parents, I mean. Sometimes I wish I could not feel awkward about randomly telling them that, but I actually get embarrassed...somehow.

I used to agree with the boy you argued with in your story...about monogamy. But I've grown up a bit and have learned to appreciate the stability with which I was raised, like I said before, and it gives me a new confidence in, one day, being able to have a successful marriage too.

We're really different in a lot of ways, but somehow you strike something close to home every time you write a new entry.

allison said...

My friend was talking about making bufriedos for her church group.
It's unrelevant to the post, but it GMH.

How can you be so poised under debates like that? I would've been like "DUDE, maybe you'll be single for the rest of your life but I won't."

Lucy said...

It's come to my attention that I've grown attached to you, and your blog...I've really noticed your absence. Just leaving a little comment to say hello :)
<3

but the name is Tarah. said...

Hayley, you are so cool.

If I were in that predicament I would've gotten all flustered and red and spit out a grammatically incorrect sentence before just giving up and claiming I had to go to the bathroom.

You totally smoked him.

:]

Nokorola said...

Hayley, why do you have all the cool classes at OU?
Yay for fidelity!

Hayley, do you have a s'more maker? If not, you should definitely get one for your dorm.

Anonymous said...

That kid sounds like maybe needs to hang around other people besides alcoholic cheaters who seem to be giving him a pessimistic view on marriage.

Holly said...

Like someone said before me, I've noticed that I've become addicted to your blog and this lack of posts is worrying. Are you all right?
Whatever it may be, I hope things clear up.
And I hope this doesn't seem creepy or weird xD

kira902k said...

Well-argued!
I'm currently on vacation in Finland, and I missed reading your blogs so much that i had to find a way to get internet (which I succeeded in, obviously.)
Your classes seem so interesting. I'm jealous.:)

-alex

EmilyAtCoe said...

I'm a freshman in college and I'm in a media class this semester. I'm writing my research paper about how Internet has changed how we think about "communities". Can I interview you? - Emily

Erin said...

Hey Hayley! It's been a week since you've posted and I think I speak for everyone when I say I want you to come back and blog again!

Unless, of course, you have too much work to focus on... or trouble with friends... or you're feeling homesick...

Well, anyways, I just wanted to tell you that whenever I see a new YouTube video or blog post from you it makes my day.

DFTBA!