Guest post: I Don’t Understand Straight People

trinity-pixie-icon
Trinity Pixie is an advisory council member at Secular Woman.

I’m sure you all have seen those electoral maps that have been floating around. You know the ones. The “If only men voted” and “If only women voted” maps that show landslides. These ones:

electoral-maps

The thing about these maps? I’m not surprised. They reflect everything I’ve been taught about white cishet culture. Nor am I surprised about the #repealthe19th hashtag or whatever nonsense that’s evolved into. I mean really, should any of us be surprised by this?

I sometimes joke and say I knew I was a lesbian before I knew I was a woman, and this is something I’ve heard from a lot of trans people I’ve spoken to. And a large part of it is the same reasons I’m not surprised by those maps. I’ve never once identified with either half of a cishet couple in pop culture. They’re portrayed as inherently adversarial, as working against each other at least as often as with, as enemies who have managed to forge a peace treaty out of necessity rather than two people who actually want to be around each other. Hell, the only straight couple I’ve ever come close to identifying with is Gomez and Morticia Addams, and their whole schtick is being as weird and abnormal as possible. That’s what we write as horrifying and unnatural: a loving straight couple.

Terrifying
Terrifying

Contrast this with a lot of what you get from queer relationships in pop culture, which is usually subtext and fanfiction… And you get people who actually want to be around one another. People who have to work against those same cultural norms that force the cishet people together seemingly against their will half the time. That’s just always seemed more right to me, why would I ever date someone who worked against me any percent of the time?

And so I really have to ask this question of cishet white America: are you really surprised? You’ve built this culture, been taught this since you were young and started teaching it yourself. Men, are you surprised at how horrified the women around you are? Are you okay with that? With voting for someone who considers half the population disposable sex objects? I mean, the fact that they’re human beings makes it terrible enough but let’s go with that fox news caster logic that finally got some of them to admit this is horrific, the majority of you either plan to or are already going to spend the rest of your life with a woman, so why treat them like your enemies and not your partners? I don’t understand.

(If you’re going to #notallmen me you can fuck right off)

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Guest post: I Don’t Understand Straight People

3 thoughts on “Guest post: I Don’t Understand Straight People

  1. 1

    “I knew I was a lesbian before I knew I was a woman” Yup, that feels very much true. Romance was always: these people fight with and complain about each other constantly… but they always show they actually love one another somehow when something external happens. Also there’s always the undercurrent of oppositional sexism ruining through it all with the men are from Mars and women are from Venus bullshit that’s also so pervasive in our society and it’s policed gender roles.

    /hugs

  2. 2

    As a straight man, I don’t get it either. Everyone I know, including two conservatives in my gaming group, is horrified by Trump. I have to wonder if the men in those polls are voting FOR Trump or voting AGAINST Clinton. Maybe they’re not ready for a female President and have a double standard when it comes to the BS scandals she’s had to deal with. Heck, for all I know maybe they believe his bluster about kicking out immigrants and muslims. We know men are more likely to be conservative so would probably vote for whoever has “-R” in their name.

    If someone else’s actions don’t affect them personally then many people don’t care as much (especially when they are in a dominant position and the target of that action is seen as a challenger to that position). For example look at the people who chant “Blue Lives Matter”. They feel they’re not at risk of being the victim of police brutality so are more willing to overlook it. A man doesn’t have to worry about Trump groping them so all those revelations about his abuse of power are shrugged off.

    In any case I am ashamed of how many of my gender and race would vote for Trump.

    “Men, are you surprised at how horrified the women around you are?”
    No. I’m horrified too and know it has to be worse for women.

    “Are you okay with that?”
    Fuck no!

  3. 3

    “And so I really have to ask this question of cishet white America: are you really surprised?”

    No.

    I’m bisexual/pansexual and not sure how I feel about gender, so I’m not exactly cishet white America. But I do identify with relationships between cishet men and women in popular media, like Wash and Zoe in Firefly.

    But, I also feel like, as a woman or someone who definitely has a political affiliation as a woman, I never had a choice in this familiar formulation. You direct your later questions to men:

    “Men, are you surprised at how horrified the women around you are? Are you okay with that? With voting for someone who considers half the population disposable sex objects? I mean, the fact that they’re human beings makes it terrible enough but let’s go with that fox news caster logic that finally got some of them to admit this is horrific, the majority of you either plan to or are already going to spend the rest of your life with a woman, so why treat them like your enemies and not your partners? I don’t understand.”

    I don’t either.

    But I’m not sure what to do about it, as a woman or woman-adjacent or whatever person.

    I apologize if I’ve misread you at all.

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