Re: Why Heterosexism?

Subject: Re: Why Heterosexism?
Date: Sat 11 Oct 1997 - 15:53:22 BST

In a message dated 97-10-10 21:35:53 EDT, writes:

>Why is heterosexism supported now?

Good question.

How about we make a list of the percieved benefits of tying birth sex and
gender roles firmly together?

Here are some possibilities to start with:

-- "If I'm the woman and he's the man, then we both know where we fit in the
relationship, and can form a full circle without stepping on each other's

-- "I know how to compete with other women for my man, but I don't know how
to compete with men to keep my man."

-- "I want my son to grow up to be a real man, just like his dad."

-- "It's good when my supporters have families, because I usually get more

-- "Having children is what keeps a marriage together."

-- "I like the idea of having private space with just people like me.
 Homosocial is fun and safe!"

-- "When she gets all girlied up, with heels and big hair and makeup and a
dress, I get hot!"

-- "Because the Bible says that men and women are separate. God has spoken."

-- "Girls learn better, blossom more, in segregated schools."

-- "Men are violent and dangerous, can be abusers and rapists, and women need
to have a place to be protiected from them."

-- "My dad taught me this job, and I will teach my son, and having women on
the job makes less room for those traditions."

-- "Women are physically less strong, so they need separate but equal sports,
leagues and divisions."

-- "Women need a place to deal with their emotions that men don't have."

-- "The rituals of manhood, becoming a warrior and a promise keeper, are no
place for women."

-- "If women don't have separate space, they will be erased by the dominant
culture of men. Women are powerless without solidarity."

-- "It gives me a pride when I hear about the first woman to do something,
even if many men have already done it."

-- "Men don't have the hormonal challenges of women, so they have more
stability to lead."

-- "Men's masculinity is being eroded by the growth of feminism, and we need
to be able to get together to reclaim it."

-- "It just ain't natural for men to be wearin' dresses. I sure don't want
to be fooled by one of those fruitcakes!"

-- "Children learn what they see, and if they see only good role models of
men and women, they will grow up to be good men and women who can raise good
families. Our children deserve good moral education, not seeing freaks."

-- "Somebody has to care for the children, the poor abused children, and that
take a loving family with a mother and a father."

-- "No male will ever be able to leave behind the damaging patriarchal
masculine energy that he has been trained in."

-- "I didn't go though all of these changes to be queer or transgressive, I
did it because I am a woman! I am an ex-transsexual."

-- "Only women can be mothers, only men can be fathers. Like Norm MacDonald
said last week on SNL, the problem with Ellen Degeneres and Anne Heche having
a baby is that they are BOTH WOMEN!"

-- "Opposites attract!"

-- "Boys clean up real nice and act proper when they want to look good for a

-- "If we have women and men in the same foxhole, that will lead down the
path to pronmiscuity."

-- "No woman should ever be put at risk in combat. We have an obligation to
protect women, the mothers of our children."

-- "Men sure as heck don't need to have women talking about mensuration and
all those other female things in front of them."

-- "Only somebody born female can ever understand what it is like to grow up
as female, with the body changes and the way people respond to you."

-- "Well, I like women just fine, but not around a gay bar. That should be a
manly place, don't you think?"

-- "We can't support deception. People need to tell the truth about who they
are, and not lie, pretending that they are a man or a woman."

-- "Men are only interested in one thing, and women need to be protected from
their out-of-control preditory sexuality."

-- "I just should have the option of never having to see a penis, or someone
who has one."

-- "I would be disgusted to think that I am even 1% feminine."

-- "God created Adam & Eve, not Adam & Steve!"

-- "If I can't be a man anymore, what will I be?"

I am sure that we can think of many more benefit statements. I am also sure
that we can think of good arguments for many of these, that the benefits they
presume do not actually accrue, but they are not logical assumptions -- they
are emotionaly comfortable expressions of separation. They were not built by
logic, but by feeling, and it will be hard, if not impossible to dissasemble
them with only logic. The emotional charge is high.

There are emotional rewards to separations, along with mental limits. These
form the basis of much of our identity, knowing what we are NOT in a way that
is much more comforting than actually doing the hard work of knowing what we

(who clearly does NOT believe in these statements.)


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