1. Who or what is "frans de waal"?
Frans de Waal's biography on his book jacket says: "Frans de Waal, one of the world's leading primate behavior experts, is the C.H. Candler Professor of Primate Behavior at Emory University and Director of the Living Links Center, a center for the advanced study of ape and human evolution. The Dutch-born zoologist and ethologist is the author of Chimpanzee Politics, Peacemaking Among Primates, Good Natured: The Origins of Right and Wrong in Humans and Other Animals, and Bonobo: The Forgotten Ape. He lives in Atlanta, GA." Incidentally, he's also the author of the book whose book jacket I just copied the author blurb from, which is titled The Ape and the Sushi Master: Cultural Reflections of a Primatologist. I am exceedingly pleased with the way Frans de Waal debunks the silly myth that humans are the only species with cultures and that the mere fact of any member of a non-human species committing any act whatsoever somehow proves this act is instinctive rather than culturally learned.
2. What is your favorite thing about being bisexual? Your least favorite?
Favorite: I get to feel all pleased with myself for not caring about shallow physical attributes. Least favorite: The sense that if I fail to consistently maintain precisely equal levels of sexual experience with males and females, some people are going to try to use that to insist that I can't really be bisexual. Yeah, well, flipping a coin doesn't cause it to alternate in precisely equal levels of heads and tails at all times either.
3. What was the most interesting class you've taken, in high school or college?
All the creative ones . . . drama, art, creative writing. Also, a course called "Lesbian Writing: Theory and Practice" in my last year of college.
4. What was the last TV show/movie that you watched?
5. What's your favorite outfit that you own?
I have quite a number of outfits I extremely adore, actually. I have a bright red full skirt - and I mean the brightest red imaginable - with intricate little fluorescent hot pink and fuschia paisley patterns all over it, that I love, and various red shirts I wear with it. I have a long narrow skirt the color of turquoise gems, with large roses in a slightly more sky-blue shade of turquoise and an oceanic background in a slightly more sea-green shade of turquoise, and various turquoise shirts I wear with it. I have a deep purple shirt with roses somehow texturally imprinted on it - I don't at all understand how the effect was achieved, but the fabric is imprinted in exactly the same way as those greeting cards where the front of the card has raised bumps for the letters and the reverse side has indentations - my shirt has bumps on one side and indentations on the other, in the shape of a single line of three-inch roses down the left side of my chest. And I have a deep purple pleated skirt I wear with that. Also, I have a lavender circle skirt that I made for myself a year ago from a circular tablecloth (I just cut a hole in the center and put in a waistband), and a lavender shirt I wear with that. (I adore clothes. I could go on salivating over my current and lifelong past wardrobes all day, but I'd bore everyone absolutely to death.) Oh, and in each case I have socks of the matching color, and hair ties of the matching color as well. People laugh at me for being so big on complete color coordination.
Second, axolotl_eyes interviews me:
1. What is your most potent memory of being ashamed??
One day when I was in third grade, I was too ashamed to acknowledge my bodily functions by asking for a bathroom pass, and then eventually lost control of my bladder under my desk. People noticed, and my attempts to deny I had any idea how that puddle got under my desk were an abysmal failure. For years afterward, school creative writing prompts would always ask us to "write about your most embarrassing moment," and I would always shudder and be absolutely certain my embarrassing moment was far too embarrassing for me to ever tell to anyone ever. And I didn't tell it to anyone ever until at least ten or fifteen years later. Thankfully the people in my class all seemed to forget about it by the next day; miraculously I was not teased on the following days.
2. Martha Stewart is in the process of going down in flames. Do you think she deserves it??
I've been paying no attention whatsoever to her situation, so I'm not really in any position to form any well-argued opinion of her specific case. I'm not really inclined to sympathize much with rich people who get accused of using unfair methods of trying to get even richer, though, because as far as I'm concerned, no one should have that much money to begin with.
3. The internet is becoming more and more an inextricable part of many people's daily lives. Do you see this as a step for the better or for the worse??
Vastly for the better. The internet is the only thing that allows most of us extreme social misfits to locate others like us and organize to defend our rights. The internet is what made it possible for me to create a queer by choice movement. Back before I had access to it, I wished I could create one but the task of finding enough others to create one was quite simply impossible.
4. Why is the concept of your (and others') sexuality of such defining importance in your life??
Because it's of such defining importance to so many other people that they do their very best to terrorize children (including me, when I was one) into being heterosexual, and they withhold queer information and publicize ridiculously false homophobic information to try to fool those who do become queer into thinking of it as a "biological mistake" or a horrible evil sin, and they have been so successful at this that I as a fifteen year old who had just chosen to turn queer the previous evening could not even manage to simply recite what I had just done without people wanting to interrupt me and insist that I couldn't possibly have done what I perfectly clearly remembered just having done - and if the entire world suddenly somehow conspired to try to convince you that the clothes you put on today were not your choice at all but rather clothes programmed into your genes, whereas on all the other days before and after when you put on different clothes everyone accepted perfectly clearly that those were chosen even though you had gone through exactly the same decision-making process with all of them, you'd probably become fairly frantically determined to assert your sanity and the accuracy of your own memories of making a choice as well.