Saturday, April 22, 2006

Hey Hey! Ho Ho! {Insert Name Here} Just Must Go!

Today is Blog Against Heteronormativity day.

I don't even know where to start, so I'll just shake my head ruefully and laugh. Ugly made-up words! Raging against something undescribed and possibly indescribable! Failing to even have a manifesto! Assuming the entire world agrees with the voices in your head!

It reminds me of the kind of utterly sincere but completely humorless lunatics I spent four years trying to avoid at Vassar. Is there a word for anti-nostalgia? Because that's what I'm feeling right now; I'm glad I've spent fifteen years without seeing daily impassioned pleas for something vaguely leftist that none of my politically-engaged trust-fund classmates could articulate in words that made any sense.

I will say that every time I start getting completely fed up with my end of the political spectrum, and wonder if it's finally time to drift leftward, something of this caliber comes along and reminds me, once again, why I became a Republican in the first place: our lunatics get that way from alcohol and cocaine (well, that plus Jesus and guns, of course), not Ph.D.s and deconstructionism. And I'm old-school enough for that to be important to me. It might not be a good reason, but it's my reason.

(Damn, I think I'm wandering into politics, and I said I wouldn't do that. Bad blogger: now you must do a list of Essential Fantasy to wash out the curse.)


Patrick Nielsen Hayden said...

And here I thought it was just about saying "maybe it would be thoughtful to not act as if gay people are freaks."

No doubt this is due to my deep involvement with deconstructionism and my several Ph.D degrees.

Andrew Wheeler said...

Patrick: that may well be the point, but the call for action doesn't say anything about what "heteronormativity" is, why it's a bad thing, why anyone should be against it, or why such a horribly ugly word was invented in the first place.

If someone is going to take a stand, it's helpful if that person says clearly what is being stood for (or against), in words that those not already in on the movement can comprehend.

-dsr- said...

"Heteronormativity" doesn't seem to be particular hard to pull apart: it's the adjectivized form of a portmanteau from "heterosexual" and "normative". You're an SF reader -- aren't you used to deciphering words in their glarkish context?

Andrew Wheeler said...

I could guess, but why should I have to? If you're trying to start a movement, the first thing is to tell everyone what direction to go.

Perhaps "blog against heteronormativity" means something like "celebrate alternate sexualities, and promote equality." If so, I'd be in favor of that; it would be nice for my sister-in-law to be able to get really married.

But perhaps "blog against heteronormativity" means something more like "smash the heterosexist system, raise all children in common, and proclaim the rebirth of the Goddess on Earth." I would not be in favor of that...

-dsr- said...

While I agree that it would be nice for whomever started this meme to have defined it more narrowly,
I think you're still being disingenuous. To blog implies a subjective discussion of the topic. If, for you, heteronormativity means unhappiness for your sister-in-law (and, presumably, her girlfriend) then that's what you should talk about. If the spirit so moves you, of course.

Tomorrow the Green Goddess-worshipping kibbutzniki may declare you a member of the oppressive white patriarchy. Those are the chances you take when you speak out in public.

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