Monday, April 24, 2006

Where They Go Wrong

Interesting post at Feministe about "Blog Against Heteronormativity Day". I sort of like this quote explaining what heteronormativity means:

Nubian defined heteronormativity* in her precis post. It is not the individual condition of being heterosexual. It is the general condition of enforced heterosexuality, favored heterosexuality, heterosexuality as a necessary qualification for being fully human. That is heteronormativity: when heterosexuals such as yourself are normal, and everyone else is not. There’s [plain old] marriage and gay marriage, to pick just one example from so many.

Oh, so "heteronormativity" means reality.

This demonstrates the problem with large portions of the feminist and gay-rights crowd. Their goals, ultimately, are not merely to achieve acceptance of their group, or of other similar groups, by the larger society. Their goal is to change the entire larger society to fit into their peculiarities. Because there are a small number of people who do not feel comfortable with the sex that nature assigned them, or feel comfortable with their anatomical sex but not with the gender identification that goes along with it, we are supposed to pretend that gender and sex are unrelated. Because some males feel like they are really women but do not want to lose their penes, we are supposed to pretend that having a penis does not, in general, make one masculine.

The fact of the matter is, heterosexuality is normal. That is to say, it is the sexual behavior mode that the vast, vast majority of people fit into the most comfortably. Society does, and should, reflect that. This is not to say that gay people need to be made pariahs, and it does not touch at all on the question of the moral or ethical standing of homosexuality.

Ultimately, what this type of philosophy would do if followed would not be to normalize homosexuality; it would marginalize heterosexuality. There is a reason why people who belong to the vast majority group do not think of themselves as having a group identity the same way that people belonging to minorities do. Homosexuals are currently, and are likely to always be, in the extreme minority. This may be uncomfrotable, but is no reason to make heterosexuals have to feel uncomfortable in their identity by creating a norm-less society.

Is this unfair? Maybe. But it is reality. For people in margianl group to expect societal norms to be arranged around their predilections is, in the end, unreasonable.

That is all.

*The original posting said "homonormativity," but that was a typo, so I fixed it here.

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