Thoughts on politics of flirting 

19 Apr

I’ve been thinking about the ideas, concepts and norms of flirting/hooking-up a lot lately. I realized that not I only I never learned the social behavior behind these concepts, nor did I really learn about them in a way that is not r*p*-cultural, hetero- and mononormative and also very Western! That mostly comes from a hegemonial perspective where desirability is taken for granted. That does not ask for drama, playing-hard-to-get-games, assuming consent rather than asking. That is not built upon masculine and invasive behavior. Where communication is key and respect and honesty rather than insecurity or inferiority. Where vulnerability is appreciated and cherished rather than abused. Where you can actually be open about your intentions rather than manipulating people into thinking you are on the same page without knowing what this page is.
Dichotomies like strength/weakness, active/passive, rational/emotional, knowing the game/being a loser, hardness/softness, dominant/submissive, 200% committed/very superficial will never include our realities. Why can’t casual be soft? Why can’t emotional be fierce? Why does devotion have to be weak? Why can’t awkwardness stand next to knowing the game and commitment? Why does commitment have to be exclusive? Why is there so little space for open communication about anxieties, fierce and trauma? Why do relationships crave labels or definitions rather than real talk or deals? Why can’t flirting/hooking-up be as different as people and relationships are?

(And why do people never call out their friends‘ abusive behavior towards others?)

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4 Antworten to “Thoughts on politics of flirting ”

  1. Melody 23. April 2016 um 12:25 #

    Thanks for this Hengameh. Been also thinking a lot about the politics of flirting, hooking-up and telling someone you are in love with them. I’m so tired of the loudness of white cis male desire and the structures that violently clear space for it. I want to answer all those questions you close with and talk about creating vulnerable, awkward, emotional, caring spaces/ways to flirt, hook-up, and make declarations of love.

    • henghdf 23. April 2016 um 14:10 #

      Thank you for your comment. I hear you and I really hope the conversations around this topic will get more attention!

  2. Carmilla DeWinter 23. April 2016 um 16:04 #

    Interesting thoughts, thanks. While I’m looking at this mostly from an outsider perspective (being asexual myself), I am sometimes being flirted with/chatted up, and I mostly find it annoying for exactly those reasons you mention. Stuff is expected (or maybe not, because it’s a game where you play it close to the chest …). Anyhow, the stuff which I assume to be expected I can’t deliver, but the atmosphere created by these games doesn’t do much for honest communication.

  3. d 29. Mai 2016 um 11:12 #

    I think this expresses somehow how I feel about those issues myself, although I don’t get the list in the first paragraph in a logical sense – I think there’s a grammatical problem. As it’s written it sounds like the prevailing concepts are „built upon masculine and invasive behavior“, while „communication is key and respect and honesty“ and „vulnerability is appreciated“…
    If you feel like, could you explain what the first „that“ aims at?
    Just because I think it’s an important topic that needs to be discussed.

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