Thursday, August 21, 2008

Word of the Gay: "Heterosexism"

"Heterosexism" is when the automatic assumption is made that everyone is heterosexual and that male-female coupling is the norm. Common instances of heterosexism occur when people pre-suppose that one is married, has an opposite sex partner, and/or are interested in the opposite sex.


CrackerLilo said...

The fact that I wear a wedding and engagement ring on my left hand attracts so much of this. This is a frequent conversation in my life:
"Looks like you're making something special," a cashier remarks.
"Yeah, eggplant rollatini." (Or a gourmet chicken salad, or my special "Fig Pig Figs," or what have you.)
"Wow, your husband's lucky."
"Um, wife, actually."

You think, once the laws are changed for good in more states, there will be fewer conversations like that? I doubt it. But I ain't taking my rings off.

Ellis said...

I always find it amusing how long this one can be kept up for, especially when there's much evidence and not-so-subtle-hints to the contrary.

I've only known one person who hasn't assumed off the bat that I'm straight. It doesn't bother me all that much when people do, but I was still touched by how open-minded this guy was.

Anonymous said...

yeah...I get the "what does your husband do?" routine...if a telemarketer calls and asks if the man of the house is home, I just ask if it's an odd or even day because my wife and I swap roles.

Lauren said...

It's true that this happens a lot, but I think it's so incredibly important that gays are tolerant of it. In a perfect world, heterosexuality wouldn't be assumed, but we live in a not-so-perfect world, and it does no good to make a person feel bad when they didn't have negative intentions in the first place.

I deal with it all the time, and--yeah, I hate it--but you have to be tolerant and compassionate at the same time.

Queers United said...

You all make great comments, and it just shows how heterosexism plagues all of our lives on a daily basis.

Personally I am so sick of people assuming I have a girlfriend or saying "what do you think of her?" They don't do it out of malice but it is just irritating.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, seen a lot of that. Not fun at all. ("When ya get married and have kids, make sure your husband...")

It's a shame there isn't a cissexism (assumption that everyone is cisgendered). If cissexism became a word, I could rant and rant about it...

Queers United said...

Anonymous - I think cissexism should be a word. Shall we declare it a word on the blog lol? I don't know how much traction it will get. You may also like this recent post

Joie Mayfield said...

Where I'm from, people always assume I have a girlfriend, since I don't fit the "gay stereotype," then when I tell them I'm gay, they always respond with, "well, I had a feeling." Whatever, you thought I was heterosexist.

Laurie said...

I wonder now if there is a word for
thinking that everybody is HOMOsexual? Now
that would throw the perverbial wrench in
the system wouldn't it.


Queers United said...

so it turns out cissexism is a real word, i guess ill make it tomorrow's WOG.

Laurie - Homosexist? lol, it's true homosexism is a word.

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