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 Outside heteronormative assumptions 
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Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:27 pm
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I think an issue in our schools that can be just as dangerous in the long-term as outright harassment is heteronormative assumptions. Most of us grow up assuming there are men and women, that there are singles and couples. Everything else is just "weird" or worse.
The queer community is essentially invisible in education--avoided in discussing literature, history, and our own student populations. And that perpetuates a) young queers feeling out of place and alone; and b) homophobia, harassment, and inequality.
Here are some questions a queer person might ask a straight person--I can't remember where I initially found these, but they should get you thinking about the way heteronormative assumptions pervade our society.

* Most child molesters, felons, and rapists are heterosexual. Do you worry about committing violent crimes? Are you comfortable having your children raised by heterosexual teachers?
* When and why did you decide to be heterosexual? Is your heterosexuality the result of a bad experience with someone of your own gender?
* Have you considered therapy to change your orientation to homosexual?
* Please describe what the heterosexual lifestyle is like.
* When you get together with someone of the opposite sex, what exactly do you do with them in bed?
* I see portrayals of straight sex in the media all the time. It's disgusting! Why are straight people obsessed with sex?
* I also see straight people in public holding hands, kissing and flirting. Plus they talk about their significant others constantly. Why do so many straight people feel a need to flaunt their sexuality?
* A high percentage of straight marriages end in divorce, and adultery is a common problem within straight marriages. Why do you think straights are so untrustworthy in their relationships?
* You never read in the news about gay people attacking and killing someone just because they're straight. Why are heterosexual people so intolerant and cruel towards anyone different from them?

Any thoughts?

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Rachel Watson
watsonre@appstate.edu


Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:37 pm
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Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:51 pm
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Wow Rachel, these questions are definitely thought provoking. I had never thought to completely reverse the thinking, but it's great. I wonder if this would be great to use possibly in a high school classroom when talking about the topic? It kind of embodies what I was trying to say in class about not assuming that heing heterosexual is "normal" and the homosexuality is "not normal". Thanks for finding this!

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Kayla Danielle Keidel


Sat Apr 25, 2009 12:26 pm
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