19
   

Avoiding Heteronormativity

 
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  2  
Reply Mon 23 Apr, 2012 03:17 am
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
Prepubescent children are often highly recruited into the idea that gayness is bad....
and they often enact that belief upon anyone who does not exactly fit upon the template of "normality."
As I remember it, that was from age peers -- just negative comments, usually with a touch of humor.




dlowan wrote:
The bullying such kids may perform can have the most serious and sometimes fatal effects upon their targets.
I can 't comment on that. I never saw any bullying,
tho I cannot deny that it has existed in some places.





David
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  2  
Reply Mon 23 Apr, 2012 03:31 am
@firefly,
firefly wrote:
I can't see where sexual orientation, as defined above, could apply to prepubescent children,
and the term really isn't ever used with regard to children in that age group.
Upon the basis of my experience during my pre-teenage years,
I must disagree, Firefly. During those years, in NY, Arizona and California,
I was occasionally approached by my age peers (class mates and naborhood friends) who wanted homosexual sex.

It is not at all likely that my experience was unique. (Note, incidentally, that I was never good looking.)





David
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  4  
Reply Mon 23 Apr, 2012 06:49 am
First, this all certainly teaches me not to post in a hurry. I was rushing past the set-up to get to the main question, but the set-up has become the focus of this thread.

There is a lot of context that was left out that I would have included (or emphasized differently) if my question had been "should I have said this?"

That's not really what I was asking. The discussion has been interesting, though.

So, it honestly never occurred to me that, for example, the eye contact thing would be read as me presenting evidence that Ryan is gay. Not at all. I see why you could think that, but that's not the case.

He's also not effeminate at all -- big athletic guy, gets along well with his peers, no "signs" of any stereotypical type.

So why did it cross my mind? I've been thinking about that. Still not sure, but if I had to guess I'd say a certain watchfulness.

Several kids I grew up with turned out to be gay/ were gay. (Again the awkward phrase, but while one of them was out since 4th grade, another one of them knew she was gay from early on but tried to fit in and pass. Went through a suicidal period, etc., finally came out in college, I spent a lot of time listening to her after her roommate had a virulently negative reaction. Then others were straight without question until they met a specific person. Etc.) I've also known a lot of not-out gay people (either before and after they came out, or people who were mostly closeted but were out to a small group that included me).

I have that watchfulness because I'm deaf and need to scan for information all of the time. It's default mode for me. So there are things that I notice that aren't necessarily obvious at all.

Ryan has that watchfulness. The slightest air of a tourist in a foreign country, trying to follow the local customs. He DOES follow the local customs -- he does very well socially. But there's this extra level of awareness, very subtle, that I've noticed. I know he's very smart, so it may just be curiosity. He may have some hidden disability I don't know about, and he's keeping his antennae up to see if it has been noticed/ how people are reacting to him. There's no obvious reason for that watchfulness, though, so that's, I think, part of what made me think of it.

Again, I have not come to any conclusions -- he might turn out to be gay, he might not. If I were to bet, I'd say it's more likely he'll turn out to be straight. Again, as dlowan explains well, this really is more general than Ryan.

But the combination of watchfulness -- really noticing how people are reacting to him, in a way that's unusual for kids his age -- and actually doing extremely well socially made the thought cross my mind.

Now, on to "plant a seed." I mentioned some other seeds I planted -- that when someone is being uncharacteristically mean, for example, maybe take the time to think about what's going on in her life and why it might be happening. Or that while the Amazonian Indian lip plate might seem odd to us, there are probably things we think are normal, like high heels, that would seem odd to them.

This is a seed that I purposely planted. The issue is the nature of the seed. Remember, sozlet does not think being gay is a bad thing. And she really doesn't -- this has come up in any number of ways. She understands that there is a lot of homophobia out there, and so that while people shouldn't have problems because they're gay, they often do, and it's something to be careful about. So she absolutely would not say anything that would indicate Ryan is gay, for that reason. (And I understand that all of you have to take that on faith -- I do get the discomfort around that. I'm 100% confident that it won't be an issue, but that's two levels of say-so that all of you have to accept -- hers and mine that I believe her).

This incident, such as it was (took 30 seconds initially and one minute in follow-up, and was never a Big Deal), happened several weeks ago. Sozlet and Ryan remain friends, same as ever.

Another casualty of my rushing through the set-up was "taken aback." That was stronger than warranted, and I think helped along some misconceptions. "Blinked" would have been better. It was the same moment I saw when she started thinking of what Amazonian Indians would think of high heels. It was "oh wait -- I know there are gay grown-ups, but they were kids at some point too weren't they? huh."

This was a minor, minor moment. Part of what I've learned from being a mom -- maybe this is just my kid -- is that I need to layer on the concepts. Not just one lecture where everything's covered and that's that. I mention something here, something there. Then a more in-depth discussion at some point. Then another minor mention. Then another in-depth discussion. And on and on, starting from when she was a teeny little thing. (But again this is probably about 2% of our total interactions -- it's not like I'm in constant teaching mode.)

So if Ryan asks her out in high school, there is no "seed" that would prevent her from saying yes, even if she carries any memory of our brief, long-ago conversation. Because the seed is NOT "be careful, he might be gay." The seed is "it's likely that not all of your peers will turn out to be straight."

firefly wrote:
I can't see where sexual orientation, as defined above, could apply to prepubescent children, and the term really isn't ever used with regard to children in that age group.


A quote from the definition:

Quote:
Sexual orientation describes an enduring pattern of attraction—emotional, romantic, sexual, or some combination of these—to the opposite sex, the same sex, both, or neither, and the genders that accompany them.


That certainly applies to crushes, while the "some combination" at this age is mostly emotional and romantic attraction.
DrewDad
 
  4  
Reply Mon 23 Apr, 2012 09:22 am
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
For so long , the assumption of at least English language was that the "norm" was male.

The man in the street.
the reasonable man.
Citizen (always male until amazingly recently in the west)
Voter(ditto)
Fireman.
Chairman
Lady Doctor
He subsuming he and she
woman police officer


When women challenged this, it was seen as crazy...often still is....but language forms consciousness and what is possible to think about. I have read good research that strongly suggests that gendered language has a profound effect upon humans.

We've been very careful about this with our girls.... "Police officer," "firefighter," snowperson, etc.

My favorite with when Yaya went to the bakery and asked for a "gingerbread person." The guy behind the counter started reciting, "Run, run, as fast as you can/you can't catch me I'm the gingerbread" (long pause and a baffled look) "...person."
0 Replies
 
HesDeltanCaptain
 
  -2  
Reply Sat 22 Aug, 2015 07:13 pm
@sozobe,
My personal hypothesis is sexual orientations are utter nonsense. They were afterall invented in 1882 by a crazy German convinced any non-procreative sex was pathological so consider the source. Smile

I think instead people are just situationally sexual. Get drunk and you might allow a same-sex encounter, or if in prison and that's your only option, or 'gay-for-pay' porn work, etc. But seeing as how the vast majority of the world is somewhere between 0's and 6's (Kinsey scale) that that more accurately describes our potentials for sex makes more sense than anyone's born a 0 or 6. Genetics undoubtedly play a part, but a "heterosexual" person can opt to have homosexual sex and orgasm or climax if it suits them to do so. Doesn't that then make them homosexual though? How many same-sex encounters before someone whose only prior experiences were heterosexual becomes homosexual? This sort of gray area is where most people fall. And just because someone answers on a questionaire they're 0 or 6 (exclusively gay or straight) doesn't mean they don't fantasize, look at same-sexp orn, or other typically gay activities.

And the recent focus on transgendered people only further confounds the binary verison of human sexuality. Many 'ladyboys' (transsexual women) look for all the world like extremely attractive women. And since most consumers of 'shemale' porn id as heterosexual men, what's that say about heterosexuality? Recall a review of one such porn video where some guy wrote "everything was fine until another man joined in and the gay **** began." My jaw hit the floor. The first man sucking the shemale's penis wasn't gay? Smile Ookay.

People just have sex. If some need the nonsensical labels more power to them, but ultimately a straight man can become attracted, arroused, and have sex with another man if he doesn't realize it's another man (M Butterfly and other CD/TG) and a gay man can opt to have sex with a woman too. This doesn't mean either has changed orientations though so much as sex is always the result of making a choice to have tha sexual encounter. But one encounter doesn't bind the pariticpants to a course of action forever after. Can change on the spot. Then change again. It's always maing the choice to have sex with someone agreeable. But that's all it ever is.

Close your eyes and stick your ifngers in your ears, and everyone's mouth and tushy feels exactly the same. Smile
jcboy
 
  9  
Reply Sat 22 Aug, 2015 07:28 pm
@HesDeltanCaptain,
HesDeltanCaptain wrote:


Close your eyes and stick your ifngers in your ears, and everyone's mouth and tushy feels exactly the same. Smile


Personally I think you’re a sick son of a bitch that gets off on bring up old threads that have anything to do with sex. Which probably means you're not getting any Cool
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  2  
Reply Thu 27 Aug, 2015 06:02 pm
I will never avoid "heteronormativity" or whatever other silly term is used.

Look at the statistics:

Gay Rights websites place the percentage of Gay and Lesbians in America at under 10%

Transgenders come in at less than 1%

This is not to say that these people should be treated badly in any way. Once I know they are gay or transgender I can act accordingly, but I think it is absurd that I should approach everyone I meet with the possibility that they are gay or transgender, when the likelihood is that, overwhelmingly, they are not.

Recently there was a petition in Canada to prohibit doctors from indicating a baby's gender on their birth certificate. Why? "Because the simple sight of a baby's genitalia is not enough to determine their gender"

Look at the statistics and you will find that more than 99% of the time Canadian doctors are right when they look for a penis or a vagina. That's damned accurate in my book.

We are, as a society, beset by the peculiar desires of fringe elements that insist on us changing our ways to accomodate them. I'm not in favor of shunting these elements off into gray spaces, but it's absurd to give them influence beyond what they can represent.

Inevitably, it has resulted in liberals who, by any definition, can be defined as normative to feel guilty about that fact. Why?

There is absolutely no reason to feel guilty about being straight or confidently male or female.





0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  3  
Reply Sun 24 Apr, 2016 06:14 pm
@sozobe,
So, guess who just told Sozlet that he's gay? Smile

(And guess who handled that news in typically supportive/ nbd fashion… he's maybe the eighth peer who's currently out, and many of them came out to her before anyone else.)

All of that said, VERY interesting to re-read this stuff now with (15-year-old) Sozlet.
ossobuco
 
  3  
Reply Sun 24 Apr, 2016 06:56 pm
@sozobe,
Hi, Soz.

Now I'll get to go back and start at the beginning; I know I'll enjoy the read.
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 24 Apr, 2016 07:12 pm
@ossobuco,
Hello!

How are you doing?

Appreciated your responses here, in our re-read.
ossobuco
 
  3  
Reply Sun 24 Apr, 2016 07:19 pm
@sozobe,
I'm fine-ish. Getting old and getting used to it.
Harried about the election, tired of all of it, worried about it, as are many people on various sides.

I'll report after the reread (making dinner in between posts).
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Apr, 2016 07:22 pm
It's good to see Soz, and i hope that she and hers are doing well.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  3  
Reply Sun 24 Apr, 2016 07:28 pm
@sozobe,
Is Sozlet reading? Then tell her she is still cared about (if that isn't too corny).
sozobe
 
  3  
Reply Sun 24 Apr, 2016 07:54 pm
@ossobuco,
Yes, it's an exhausting election for sure.

Setanta, hello! I don't think I've done my periodic "thank you so much for leading me to this lovely little town" shout-out in too long. Still love it, still so grateful that I was able to go right to it and just stay here. (We're still in the same house and everything.)

She and hers are doing pretty well. These dragon babies (born in 2000) are fierce -- so many great kids. Random example -- a group of them make pretty involved videos for YouTube (scripts, costumes, makeup, lights, etc.) and at the premiere party for one of them (cast, crew and their parents too) the guy in charge of the movie captioned it; "I didn't want to leave anyone out." That was a lot of work! (And he did a great job. Ambient sounds, everything.)

And Osso again, she's not reading anymore but I'll tell her. Aw.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  3  
Reply Sun 24 Apr, 2016 09:56 pm
Finished reading it; remarkably temperately discussed.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Apr, 2016 02:15 am
That sounds wonderful, Boss. I'll bet you're very proud of the Sozlet.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  4  
Reply Mon 25 Apr, 2016 06:02 am
@ossobuco,
I told her and she was touched. Not corny at all. She joked that she should do a Q&A here, and I raised a "well actually" eyebrow. Ha. So she's up for that if anyone else is.

Setanta, I realize I misread the "she and hers" part (thought the "she" was Sozlet) -- Soz is doing well, too. Working at a pretty cool organization, generally busy but not too awful, starting to prepare for the fact that Sozlet is off to college in three years. Oy.
boomerang
 
  3  
Reply Mon 25 Apr, 2016 07:45 am
Soz! Good to see you!

I'm so glad to hear that you are all doing great.
DrewDad
 
  3  
Reply Mon 25 Apr, 2016 07:50 am
@sozobe,
Sozobe sighting!

Hope you're going well.
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Mon 25 Apr, 2016 08:59 am
@DrewDad,
Hello hello! How are all of you? It's occurring to me that your teeny children are maybe not so teeny anymore.
 

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