Archive | July, 2016

Heterosexuality as a weapon

20 Jul

In simplistic terms heterosexuality is the attraction between genders. It can also refer to a person’s sense of identity based on that attraction, related behaviours, and membership in a community of others who share those attractions. All of which is logical and benign. However, our present culture has manipulated the concept of heterosexuality and many people (particularly men) use it as a divisive and offensive weapon.

Donald Trump has based his campaign on the belief he represents the membership of the heterosexual community. He has a simple model for society which excludes those who don’t fit his template of ‘normality’. His popularity to both men and women depends on a very familiar warped view of the world in which men marry women, they have 2.4 children, they don’t question anything, and happily inhabit a world close to the late 1940’s and 50’s.

He is opposed by the less individuated forces of ISIS who are competing with him for the heterosexual moral high ground. Their fundamentalist Wahhabi doctrine of Sunni Islam is based on a warped view of Islam, the oppression of women and all those who don’t conform to an outdated and repressive view of the world which is almost medieval.

We have recent examples of football related violence, something we thought died out a while ago. It didn’t, we just ignored it. The organised business of tribal violence remained dormant, and was back on the streets of France. The hooligans are seeking confrontation and adrenaline filled experiences, and they too believe they represent a heterosexual dominant culture, the last thing they would admit to would be homosexuality or non-conformity.

Linked to this manipulated view of heterosexuality is an equally out of date concept that we as a species are monogamous. Three per cent of great apes are monogamous, most Cetacea are promiscuous. To be intelligent is to be promiscuous. Monogamy doesn’t course through our veins, and yet heterosexuality and monogamy are held up by so many people as ‘the norm’. The truth is heterosexuality and monogamy are aberrations and have been used to keep us in a fearful and conformist state, because the ‘opposites’ – homosexuality and promiscuity – have been demonised, suppressed and confined to our shadow.

Monogamous heterosexuality has been claimed by the small minded bigots to represent the conservative, establishment, view of the way we should behave. It is seen as an exclusive club which will not allow in those who have deviated.

I’ve worked with men for over 30 years and the vast majority of those men would call themselves heterosexual. However, a large percentage admit to having homosexual sexual experiences, especially when in the sexual exploratory ages. In the Trump/ISIS axis this revelation would exclude these men from the heterosexual cabal, because they might be ‘turned’ again. Beyond that is the number of men who have experienced sexualised attractions, friendships, bromances, and deep emotional bonds with men. Again this behaviour would be frowned upon in the anti-gay world.

I question whether there actually are that many monogamous heterosexuals out there! I do not seek to demonise monogamy or heterosexuality, they are valid and admirable attributes. However, I believe the great majority of us are sexually inquisitive, likely to experiment, may change orientation through the course of our life. The acceptance and awareness of this flexibility enables us to tolerate diversity in ourselves and others. We all have a bit of heterosexuality in us, we all have a bit of homosexuality, we all find monogamy interesting as well as finding promiscuity of interest. We are diverse individuals leading complex and inspiring lives.

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