So...have I ever mentioned I'm alumna of the same college as Margaret Atwood? We weren't there at the same time, of course, (she's considerably younger than I) but it's still pretty much my only claim to fame.
When I was a kid, the one item that consistently appeared on my Christmas list was "a university education." Hahaha, yes, better than a pony, etc, but my mother would take one look at that and say, "It's all well and good to want a higher education, but I'll not be paying for it." And, true to her word, she didn't. And that probably comes across as bitter, but looking back I'm actually very happy to have been spurred to work hard and pay my own way. I think I probably value and respect my degree more than a lot of people whose parents paid their way.
(By the way, that bit about Margaret Atwood being younger than me was a joke. I'm actually not in my seventies. Thought I should probably clear that up.)
Why am I thinking of education? Well, an industry "professional" recently reminded me that readers of erotica are “uneducated” so I should stay away from big words they’re unlikely to understand. I was kind of like… ‘scuse me? Should I even start deconstructing that statement? Because, seriously, we’ll be here all night. Suffice to say…well, two things:
- Education is not a barometer for intelligence. One of the most well-read people I know is my grandmother, who quit school at age 16, when she got knocked up and married her handsome soldier. Even now, well into her 80's and with seriously impaired vision, she reads voraciously and can carry on an intellectually stimulating conversation on any topic. Seriously--we've discussed everything from indie rock to trans issues to world politics, and she always knows far more than I do about everything. Reading gets you everywhere, kids. It does.
- The proletariat does not have a monopoly on sexual desire. I actually took a course (don't laugh) called Sex and Sexuality in the Premodern West, and one of the many ideas I took away from it was that we've always sort of "assigned" sex, as one of our "base" instincts, to those "base" people in society. Sex is like anger or sorrow, or any intense emotion: it belongs with the stupid and the poor, people of the lower classes who don't know any better. To me, the concept that only the unwashed masses enjoy and explore sex and all its trappings is really insulting and just...inaccurate.