Having been recently accused of harboring commenters "little different" from Al Qaeda members, particularly on the topic of homosexuality, I thought I'd offer a preliminary brief comment on something I found via AR15.com today. (I fully intend to crank out an Überpost on the subject, hopefully this weekend.)
It would seem that two University of Michigan sociologists, Karin A. Martin and Emily Kazyak, have authored a paper, published in Gender & Society, entitled "Hetero-Romantic Love and Heterosexiness in Children's G-Rated Films" (available as a PDF file.) Ms. Martin is an associate professor of sociology, and Ms. Kazyak is a doctoral candidate whose "research interests include gender, sexuality, social theory, and social psychology."
The link that brought me to the paper came from the decidedly right-wing site LifeSiteNews.com in a piece entitled "Team of Researchers Blames Children's Films for Perpetuating 'Heteronormativity'". I'll admit, my initial response to the piece was that I thought it had to be satire.
I Googled "Sociologists for Women in Society," which is a real organization, and from there it was a pretty simple couple of steps to find and download the source document. Now, I haven't finished reading it yet, but in the first couple of pages I found some eminently quotable stuff that I just had to share. In fact, the paper opens with a quote from another sociologist, Henry A. Giroux:
The role that Disney plays in shaping individual identities and controlling fields of social meaning through which children negotiate the world is far too complex to be simply set aside as a form of reactionary politics. If educators and other cultural workers are to include the culture of children as an important site of contestation and struggle, then it becomes imperative to analyze how Disney’s animated films powerfully influence the way America’s cultural landscape is imagined.(Emphasis mine.)
I thought educators were supposed to educate. Here we have a sociologist telling us explicitly (with the implicit approval of the authors of the paper in question, since they chose the quote) that the job of "educators and other cultural workers" is to use the "culture of children as an important site of contestation and struggle." How Marxist that sounds, doesn't it? The pertinent question would be "contestation and struggle" against what? This reminds me very much of the daycare teachers that inspired my essay The George Orwell Daycare Center who wanted to use their position as educators to teach children that "a class-based capitalistic society" is "unjust and oppressive."
But this isn't a paper about economics, it's about sociology and sexuality. The next quote illustrates the authors' position:
Heteronormativity includes the multiple, often mundane ways through which heterosexuality overwhelmingly structures and “pervasively and insidiously” orders “everyday existence”.(Reference omitted.)
Checking my dictionary for the word "insidious," I find this definition:
So "heteronormativity" is "insidious."
1. intended to entrap or beguile: an insidious plan.
2. stealthily treacherous or deceitful: an insidious enemy.
3. operating or proceeding in an inconspicuous or seemingly harmless way but actually with grave effect: an insidious disease.
Here's where I go all Al Qaeda on you. Now, one of my absolute favorite quotes comes from Teresa Nielson Hayden, wherein she says:
Basically, I figure guns are like gays: They seem a lot more sinister and threatening until you get to know a few; and once you have one in the house, you can get downright defensive about them.(Hey, this is a gun blog.) But one thing homosexuals are not is normal, in the original definition of the term as "approximately average." They are outside the norm. They've even adopted for themselves the word "queer," which is defined as "strange or odd from a conventional viewpoint; unusually different." But here we have a paper that seems to open with the statement that "heteronormativity" is "insidious," (when, in fact, it's "normal" - by definition) and it's the job of "educators and other cultural workers" to "contest and struggle" with this insidiousness, starting with our CHILDREN.
(*Ahem*) Excuse me, but fuck THAT noise.
More (much more) to follow, hopefully this weekend, but we'll see how long it takes for THIS Überpost to spring forth fully formed from my sweat-beaded forehead. Oh, and I'd very much like to hear from the GLBT audience on this. I know for sure that at least two gunbloggers are open and read this blog at least occasionally, Jeff at Alphecca and Zendo Deb of TFS Magnum. Comments?