Object Lessons: Romance, Violation, and Female Adolescent Sexual Desire
By: Deborah L. Tolman
In this reading Deborah interviews a 16 year old girl named Isabel who is considered "asexual" because she's white and middle class. Deborah picks Isabel from that background because females who are considered "asexual" are not in tuned with their sexuality.
While interviewing Isabel, Deborah decided to use a tool called: The Listening Guide which shows the difference between the researcher speaking and the researcher participant speaking. In the beginning of the interview, Isabel decides to compare herself to the character Celie from The Color Purple when she found herself. "And then all of a sudden one day, she sort of like broke the bonds just by, I mean broke um, this whole uh fear she had of herself, just by looking, she had like a mirror and she was just looking at her vagina, and just broke everything."
Throughout the reading it seemed as though whenever Isabel was asked a question she could not fully respond or give a truthful answer. For example when Deborah asked her if she felt sexy, she couldn't quite answer the question but answered by stating what she felt others thought of her. I feel like when she was asked what it feels like to be sexy that she was being kind of sarcastic a bit by her answer. "Oh, it's so wonderful. And sometimes, like once in awhile, on a really good day, when I'm in a very good mood, it happens in real life, where I just feel sexy and I know that everyone must be looking at me. "
I understood every point that Deborah was making in the reading but one thing that stood out to me tht I didn't quite understand was the point of being quiet. At the end of the reading in Deborah's conclusion she states that opening up when educating the girls about sexual health but not just teaching them the basic things but by also letting them know how our sexuality can make us more resilient and by helping them find their exotic voices so that they are "no longer dependable for bearing the responsibility to control boys' 'raging hormones' ".
I just feel as though not telling young females or teaching females more about sexuality and being more open is just going to continue to make society the same, by having males be more dominant in everything. For example, masturbation, how for females it is hardly seen because it isn't 'ladylike' or its 'dirty' but when it comes to males it is seen as a transition in puberty or even humorous. I feel like keeping certain information away from younger females does not help become in tune with their sexual side.