Thursday, June 9, 2011

Heterosexism

Heterosexism:  '"...the mistaken assumption that all people are heterosexual and that heterosexuality is superior and the norm by which all other sexual orientations and gender identities are measured.  Heterosexism perpetrates negative stereotypes and is dangerous to individuals and communities."'

(From "Burnaby board revises policy on harassment of gay students," by Janet Steffenhagen, The Vancouver Sun, Thursday, June 9, 2011, p. A15)

2 comments:

  1. I like this term much better than "homophobia," because clearly being afraid of gays in our society is not like being afraid of heights (or spiders or other such phobias).

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  2. Good point, Doug. I hadn't looked at it that way. Plus, there's nothing derogatory about being gay. In fact, the words gay and homosexual don't even appear, and are given a positive spin by this definition.

    A phobia refers to something people fear, and, as you and I both know, some people fear homosexuality and homosexuals. According to "The Dictionary of Homophobia," homophobia is "an extreme and irrational aversion" to both.

    The way people have sometimes reacted toward me and to other gay people, I don't think we can say people's fear of homosexuality is much different from any other phobia, because all generate the same fear, hatred, and unfortunate reactions.

    Remarkable, huh, when you think about it.

    Great to hear from you again.

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