Saturday, April 11, 2009

Heterosexual Hegemony

The backlash against positive and much needed change brought about by the Legislature of Vermont, the Supreme Court of Iowa and the City Council of Washington, DC, particularly by fringe groups such as the National Organization for (Straight) Marriage, made me think: heterosexual hegemony.

Heterosexual hegemony is the dominance and control of one group over another, namely, the LGBT community. The norms and values of straight people are institutionalized and imposed upon gay and transgendered women and men. It is the assumption that there is only one way of being. Case in point, marriage, which is nothing more than a consensual and contractual relationship between two adults. It is limited to heterosexuals by heterosexuals.

This subjugation if you will, permeates the daily lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people. People can lose their jobs for being true to themselves. Loving and committed parents can not adopt kids that desperately need families. Patriotic women and men are not allowed to serve the country they love. Girls and boys are bullied, leading some to commit suicide. People have been beaten, raped, sodomized, tortured and killed because they do not conform to the heterosexual norm.

Certain segments of society are up in arms against fairness and justice - the American way - because they know that heterosexual hegemony is eroding, slowly but surely. While I do not agree with their reasoning which is flawed and tenuous, I can imagine the fear they choose to embrace and spread. They feel overwhelmed by what in their minds is a tsunami of change and are terrified by the thought of losing control.

As it is, they are still trying to deal with a new administration that does not bend over to placate them.

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