Heteronormativity isn’t just about the presumption that everyone is heterosexual. The expectation that boys woo girls feeds into your mind the expectation that relationships are necessary for fulfilment, and you are less than if you are not having particular kinds of sex with a particular, and a particular kind of, person at particular intervals. It’s about what Lauren Berlant calls the love plot, in which love is produced as a generic text enabling society to interpret your life as following certain conventions. It’s not about what you want, it’s about what you’re supposed to want. You’re not encouraged to think about what you want in relationships, if anything, so much as you are encouraged to fit a script. Heteronormativity messes things up for everyone, straight people included.
On the previous posts, we’ve talked about things like slut-shaming and sexual choices, cat calling, flirt and rape culture. In this last installment, I want to go back to ‘the basics’ and talk about all the small things we get wrong and lead to the downfall of a relationship. And in contrast to the other posts that were focused on heterosexuals, I’ll try including our queer friends here. Love and relationships aren’t solely for cis het people after all; it’s the dynamics that might be more or less problematic. Continue reading