Toxic Heteronormativity

Toxic Heteronormativity

It hurts everyone more than you realize
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What is 'heteronormativity? According to the Meriam-Webster dictionary its "of, relating to, or based on the attitude that heterosexuality is the only normal and natural expression of sexuality" But we live in a complex world where this assumption that someone must be heterosexual can be wrong, demeaning or harmful. The reinforcement of heteronormativity and heteronormativity virtually erases the entire LGBT+ community. Here are just a few reasons why heteronormativity is so harmful, and if you reinforce these ideas SPOILER ALERT: You're a bad ally.

1. It reinforces Gender Binary.

With heteronormative ideas comes the belief (whether you believe it is implied, subtle or blatantly stated), that only two genders exist. It paints the issue as very black and white-that someone is either male or female. But this is not the case. Reinforcing the gender binary is incredibly transphobic to say the least. It completely denies the fact that gender (like sexuality!) is a fluid and dynamic spectrum. If you want to learn more about the massive spectrum of gender check out a great resource here. It has various non-binary terms and identities with their definitions.

2. In sex Ed its DANGEROUS

LGBT+ populations are virtually excluded from all forms of sex education in schools. This doesn't even account for sex ed programs where information is outdated, wrong or programs that are abstinence only


3. It tells entire groups they don't exist.

In a heteronormative society this is all people think exists: male attracted to female. female attracted to male. There is so much more to the world that heterosexuality. For a really cool and informative graphic on explaining the spectrum of sexuality, check out this great info-graphic here.



4. If you aren't heterosexual, it makes people assume you "became" something else.

Which obviously you didn't. You were always what you were. Maybe you became more open to sharing with people or decided to be who you want to be not what others do, but it was never a conscious decision to be something else.

5.Heternormativity assumes that only one sexuality actually exists (heterosexuality).

Anything different is lumped together, and this "other" category leaves out so much because it is "everything else." This otherness explicitly excludes people from feeling loved and accepted by society, when in actuality the only thing wrong with this scenario is the assumption that there is something "wrong" with being different.


6. It assume anyone who identifies as something besides heterosexual had to "come out"--and that everyone reacts badly.

I know so many people, who the first question they get after telling someone their sexuality is "how did your parents take it?" While its obviously great when parents accept their children no matter how they identify, the concern should not be placed on them. It assumes that people expect parents to disown or abandon their children because they aren't heterosexual.


7. LGBT+ representation in pop culture is virtually non-existent.

And if it does, TV shows and movies often play to stereotypes. Yet they will say "not all heterosexual people are the same." Then why assume all LGBT+ people are the same?


8. It justifies and reinforces dangerous ideologies and practices.

Up until 1961, homosexuality was a criminal offense on a national level in the United States. Following this, Illinois became the first state to decriminalize homosexuality. It took until 2003 for homosexuality to be decriminalized at the federal level. Up until 1973, homosexuality was even considered a "mental disorder" by the American Psychiatric Association. Unfortunately, practices like "Straight conversion therapy" still exist, although many states are working to pass laws outlawing it. Hopefully it takes less than 42 years for it to become illegal on a national level.



We do not live in a black and white society, why should we be governed like we are?



Cover Image Credit: https://www.buzzfeed.com/jonmichaelpoff/pride-signs-that-will-make-you-laugh?utm_term=.pjqX30pPA#.fyWGmrXD9

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I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

Dad, it's all your fault.
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I always tell my dad that no matter who I date, he's always my number one guy. Sometimes I say it as more of a routine thing. However, the meaning behind it is all too real. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my one true love, and it's going to be hard to find someone who can top him.

My dad loves me when I am difficult. He knows how to keep the perfect distance on the days when I'm in a mood, how to hold me on the days that are tough, and how to stand by me on the days that are good.

He listens to me rant for hours over people, my days at school, or the episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' I watched that night and never once loses interest.

He picks on me about my hair, outfit, shoes, and everything else after spending hours to get ready only to end by telling me, “You look good." And I know he means it.

He holds the door for me, carries my bags for me, and always buys my food. He goes out of his way to make me smile when he sees that I'm upset. He calls me randomly during the day to see how I'm doing and how my day is going and drops everything to answer the phone when I call.

When it comes to other people, my dad has a heart of gold. He will do anything for anyone, even his worst enemy. He will smile at strangers and compliment people he barely knows. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, even if it means going way out of his way, and he will always put himself last.

My dad also knows when to give tough love. He knows how to make me respect him without having to ask for it or enforce it. He knows how to make me want to be a better person just to make him proud. He has molded me into who I am today without ever pushing me too hard. He knew the exact times I needed to be reminded who I was.

Dad, you have my respect, trust, but most of all my heart. You have impacted my life most of all, and for that, I can never repay you. Without you, I wouldn't know what I to look for when I finally begin to search for who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but it might take some time to find someone who measures up to you.

To my future husband, I'm sorry. You have some huge shoes to fill, and most of all, I hope you can cook.

Cover Image Credit: Logan Photography

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Being A Lesbian Sucks

To women who say they wish they were a lesbian; you don't.

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My girlfriend is not a man, obviously so because she is my girlfriend, emphasis on girl. Society has been conditioned with men holding the power. In a world dominated by men being a lesbian has more problems than just homophobia.

There is an automatic assumption that because we are not with a man we are single. Without the dominating presence of a man other men feel safe to come on to women in lesbian relationships, whether they know we are together or not. We aren't always in a safe situation to say we are together so if he doesn't pick up on the social cues it only gives us two options: politely laugh and attempt to remove ourselves from the situation or say we aren't interested. Both options are equal in undesirability and saying we are uninterested can lead to them just pushing harder. The boyfriend card usually works, but lying about our relationship makes us feel terrible.

The fetishizing of lesbian couples and threesomes are a problem because of media and porn. They hyper-sexualize lesbian relationships until they are nothing but sex. From this the winning question, "Do you want to have a threesome?" With the assumption both or one woman in the relationship is a lesbian and not bisexual, pansexual, or etc. A threesome with a man is completely out of the question. The thing about lesbians is that we like women not men, a threesome with a man goes against our identity as a lesbian and makes no sense. And even if both women are bisexual a normal man wouldn't walk up to a straight couple and pop the question of a threesome. So don't do it to us.

We also find ourselves being disrespected as a customer in a professional setting. Men in job positions belittle women who are at the mechanic, the lawyer, the doctors offices, and the bank, for just a few examples. They assume we don't know anything and are ignorant, so they treat us with no respect. They attempt to manipulate us for this and that to achieve their own personal gain. Without a man lesbian couples are even more subject to this because we don't get any respect. A man will be immediately respected and in a healthy relationship he can establish a power balance with his woman partner to the person in charge. Lesbians, (and other single women) don't have these short cuts. We have to establish ourselves then and there for having worth and show we deserve to be treated like full grown adults. Hopefully we also have the knowledge to not suffer from manipulation.

The difference in skill sets is something that can be a problem for everyone in this sexist society. We associate pink with girls and boys with blue. Girls with cooking and guys with tools. Most of us were taught different things and learned different skill sets. Most women I know, including me, don't know how to change a tire. How many young men go off to college having never done laundry in their life? With lesbians we usually don't know an important skill that was specifically taught to men. We might not know cars, or tools, or how to tile a floor. We are set back in our development as fully functional people in a unit. We lack key skill sets that were predetermined for men, unlike straight couples where there is usually a balance of skill sets.

The problems that arise from lesbian relationships are problems associated with a male dominating society and the gender division we face along with it. To abolish these we have to achieve equality and work on teaching the generations to follow that women are just as good as men. It's tough being a woman and a lesbian even harder.

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