Final Concept Analysis: Heteronormative Culture

 

The most important concept that I learned this year is the theories of our heteronormative culture. According to Webster’s dictionary, heteronormativity is defined as, “The belief that people fall into distinct and complementary genders (man and woman) with natural roles in life. It asserts that heterosexuality is the only orientation or only norm, and states that sexual and marital relations are most (or only) fitting between people of opposite sexes.” From all that I have learned this semester (so much I never knew before), it may seem somewhat lame that I picked heternormativity but I believe that it is imperative to understanding all the other theories we learned. Additionally, it is this heteronormative mindset that leads to the LGBTQI? community having to fight for inherent rights that they should already have, because sexuality should not define ones identity.

During the first half of this class, we read Introducing the New Sexuality Studies, and discussed many terms and theories within it such as BDSM, adolescent girls sexuality, gay and lesbian sexuality, anal sex, lives of immigrants and migrant workers, porn, fag discourse, femininity, domestic violence, medicalization of desire, sexual socialization, gender roles, and much, much more. However, as our knowledge of these concepts and identities exponentially increased, I kept facing the fact that in our heteronormative culture today, any forms of sexual relationships that is not between a man and a woman are considered wrong. This should not be the case because last time I checked it was 2014. Putting things in perspective, we have smart phones that can talk and are merely years away from self-driving cars, yet society cannot handle the fact that some men like men and some women like women.

Though I found all of this to be interesting, the second half of the semester so far is my favorite. We read Katherine Bogle’s Hooking up: Sex, Dating, and Relationships on Campus, and are focusing on applying these concepts to the hook-up culture seen on college campuses. Though we shifted to the hook-up scene, the heteronormative culture that we have here is still applicable. Though students often think that since there are no parents on campus, they can do whatever they want strings free, this is not true. There is a shift to hooking up instead of dating, but through interviews conducted in Bogle’s book show, there is a double standard between males and females that is also part of our heteronormative culture. For a male to have slept with a triple digit number of girls is extreme but okay, but for girls to even hit the low double digits, there is a stigma and they are considered “whores” and “sluts”. How does this seem fair? Our heteronormative culture is accepted widely, but shouldn’t be. This is not the 1800s, men and women should be equal in all facets.

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Before this course, I would have accepted the heteronormative culture that our society holds us to without a doubt, but now that I am enlightened to its discrimination, say we should all take a stance and be equal as human beings where sexual stance has no say in ones identity.

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What’s Sex Got to do with… Awkward

 

MTV’s relatively new TV show, Awkward, aims at educating and talking to teens about sex in a realistic and relatable way. Awkward producer, Lauren Lungerich created this show based on her drama filled hometown of Palos Verdes, California, which, coincidentally, is where I am from. To get ideas for this show, the cast and producers came to my high school once a year and talked to students about what goes on in a typical day, so the daily struggles of my school are reflected on the show, making it more believable in terms of sexual education to teenagers.

In this TV show, the producers go beyond the heteronormative culture of straight couples, and have characters that are gay, lesbian, and confused as well. I believe this is beneficial because teenagers that live in a very uniform area, consisting prominently of white heterosexual individuals, need to be exposed to other types of people as well. The idea that ‘different is not bad’ is one that I think a lot of people need to get used to in our ever-changing society; what is the “norm” today will not necessarily be the same in a couple of years. Also, because the plot is based on a real high school, a lot of the story line is easily relatable to teenagers everywhere, and therefore ironically makes it not awkward to talk about sex.

In today’s world, a lot of teenage education about sex comes from TV or the Internet, so it is crucial that we fill the two with good information that helps teenagers feel more knowledgeable and keeps them safe. Similarly, we need to expose teenagers to the real world by not only including information and media about straight couples, but expanding it to all couples and not promoting a right or wrong way to love.

We have come a long way from hating all gays, to “ask don’t tell,” to now where gay marriage is allowed in some states. Because of this progression, I don’t understand why some people are scared to become accepting of gays and lesbians and the LGBQT community in general? Just because they are accepting and open of other’s sexualities does not mean it is contagious.

Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers: business woman, fashion icon, comedy legend. Aside from being the poster child for plastic surgery, Joan was probably most notable for her crude and hilarious comedy. As we’ve discovered throughout the semester, there are certain aspects of society that get little to no notoriety. Some acts, such as anal sex, gay marriage, and other sexual and/or moral discourses are often swept under the rug or kept out of the spotlight. Not for Joan. In her standup comedy, she left nothing on the table. Anything and everything was fair game, often times even discussing her own (Jewish) people in jokes regarding the Holocaust. Joan, always being criticized, banned, or boycotted, showed how important comedy and laughing can be. “Life is tough. If you don’t laugh, it’s tough,” she once said. Throughout her legendary comedy, however, Joan not only proved to be funny, but along with her jokes, she often uncovered more real, social aspects of the culture.

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Does It even Help {{Gay Marriage}}

We all know, at one point in our lives-or for some, currently- how fun it is to be a “rebel”. Teenagers seem to be professional rebels. During this stage of ones life, it seems like everything you want to do, suddenly becomes what your parents are against.
Does this change? Maybe not.
Today, commercial advertisements are targeting gay people of all ages. Anti-gay advertisements are being publicly broadcasted in hope of stopping homosexuality.
The big question is, Does this even Work?

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Adam and Steve

Over the last few years as the LGBTQIA community has become stronger and gay marriage more prominent, I have heard many sayings varying from, “It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” to “Jesus had two dads and he turned out fine.” The controversy of gay marriage has erupted in numerous debates and the answer is still not clear to what the US plans to do. As of right now, it is legal in some states and illegal in others, which creates this sense of confusion and a loss of identity for those that are gay and want to get married.

 

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What’s Sex Got to do with…OITNB?

Just recently, Laura Morelli, a female writer for the popular Netflix hit, Orange is the New Black came out as gay after filing for divorce from her husband of 2 years. Despite her identifying as heterosexual most of her life, it wasn’t until she was on set with multiple, intimate lesbian scenes and relationships when she questioned her sexuality.

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