Renee Woolley- Blog post 1- 8/25/16
I am really interested by the fact that there was no dramatic reason given for Helen Furr leaving her husband apart from simply finding another person. In pop fiction regarding this subject I have seen a lot of authors blame abuse or an attack or some external reason for a woman to “become a lesbian”. In fact, Stein states that she, “had quite a pleasant home,” and that “Mr. Furr was quite a pleasant man.” She wasn’t unhappy or in a bad place, but she went to find other people like her and found Skeene. I also appreciated the idea that Furr could be interpreted as more than just gay or straight. Her sexuality was presented as fluid to me. Furr and Skeene being “gay together” did not specifically come across as her being homosexual, but her definitely not being heterosexual. At the end of this narrative Furr was “gay exactly the same way”, which implies that she was the same person as she was at the beginning. If she wasn’t sexually fluid, then it means that she truly wasn’t attracted to her husband at any point. In either case I’m really grateful for literature in which sexuality has the possibility to be more than one thing. We try to categorize people who are not ourselves so much these days and assign attributes to them without actually knowing them. In popular media that does portray LGBT characters it is very rare to find ones that are not rigidly defined as one thing. The problem with this is that not everyone can be defined or labeled. Personally I know that finding a word to define myself was incredibly beneficial, as it made me feel validated and like a real person. Yet, openly labeling characters and people can really narrow the group of people that are able to identify with them. Does this mean I think we should stop assigning people as one thing or another? I think no, but we should probably loosen our definitions a little to make it more accessible to those who don’t fit perfectly.
Do you agree with me about definitions? Should we lose them entirely? Do you think they’re perfect the way they are?
What about Furr’s sexuality? Did you interpret it as fluid or rigid? Why?
—I was going to include a RHPS gif but it won’t upload 😦 —