Everyday Heterosexism

While those weekly pregnancy updates from such sites as Everyday Family and BabyCenter clearly do not apply to K and I in most cases, I truly get excited when I receive them because they help me to understand where K and Falco are in their developmental stages. While reading their emails, I manage my expectations and edit pronouns and gender identities to better apply in my head. Today’s 30 week Everyday Family email is too much for me to bear, though. It contains a completely heterosexist, assumption-laden survey:

everyday heterosexism

I just needed to note my outrage by this ridiculous, exclusionary language.

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12 thoughts on “Everyday Heterosexism

  1. I see your point, send them an email, I would think they are not being offensive on purpose (?) and I would think they would be willing to correct their error, why don’t you send them an email? It would be a 1st stop to make a wrong right 🙂

  2. It seems like the world of pregnancy is the last bastion of smug assumptions about what it means to be a man, a woman, and expecting a baby. In no other mainstream social space do people get away with as much essentialism. It’s not a surprise–baby making is one of those really power-laden moments in our culture, where the force of heteronormativity comes to bear full force. Not only are you supposed to be properly gendered, you are supposed to be properly heterosexual, and properly traditionally married. All three are wrapped up in this poll. It makes me wanna gag.

    So, no, they didn’t mean to be offensive, but I doubt they will understand what was offensive about it. They were just being normal–and you were just being abnormal, nobodysperfick. So what’s your problem? It’s a bit like K’s aunt not getting it. The blind spot is so big, they have no idea there is this huge 18 wheeler in it, you know, that’s the lives of millions and millions of people.

      • Yes, but in order to make them .. and everybody … understand the narrowness of what is consider “standard”, we need to speak up.
        I am heterosexual, so I get that I am biased here and I am not fully aware of every event unfairness and prejudice the LGBT community has to endure every day and and in every single aspect of their lives, but I don’t think every heterosexual is “at you to offend you”.
        People are lazy and usually take short cuts, we actually don’t like change because it requires an effort to adapt, but we do adapt, we do learn if given the chance.
        Just like K’s aunt, she is trying to correct what is wrong, that she is not doing it 100% right, ok, but she is trying and i would think K feels a little better because of this.
        It can’t continue being about “you guys and us guys”, “normal and abnormal” … blah blah.

        At some point this has to stop and we all have to just help the transition go through to the “new normal” that will eventually be known as just “normal”.

        My point is, I don’t think that site was trying to on purposely exclude anybody who was not a WASP heterosexual married couple trying to get blond twins. I think they were lazy and narrow minded and did not stop to think who their users were, but I choose to believe that if their mistakes are pointed out, they would rectify.

      • Morasmum, it seems like you are unaware of all of the work LGBT people have ALREADY done. The women’s health movement started in the 1970s. The gay health movement started in the 1980s, with mental health activism starting far earlier (and resulting in the removal of “homosexuality” from the DSM as a category of mental illness in 1974). People have been working to educate health care providers for a very, very long time.

        Some of this work actually has resulted in “best practices” for inclusion that are available and frequently distributed to the medical community.

        I too have sent my letters and emails and issued my gentle corrections to be met with obstinate refusals of the kind I parodied above. You think this comes from my imagination about how this might go down IF I did my part to educate? Please, I invite you to learn a bit of history and come up to speed.

        It is 2013. Anyone who cannot see that the poll is circa 1950 (okay, let’s say 1970, since that’s when liberated women might ask for a foot rub) is living with some pretty serious blind spots. As I said, I don’t think the offense is intentional. This isn’t some programmer with an anti-gay agenda. But it is deeply privileged to get to ignore everything that has happened in US culture since the 1970s and pretend that LGBT people are only on TV or in New York doing gay things. And that privilege has consequences–it means lots of perfectly nice people can vote to maintain deadly inequity in marriage law, exclude my partner from decision making at the hospital, shame my child at school (on accident) etc. It is just neatly symbolized by this stupid poll.

      • Butchenuf,

        What are you talking about? What is it with the aggressive tone?

        Do you think that because i am not gay means that i am living in a pink bubble and i am completely unaware of what is going on? Can you be so narrow minded and blind to think that my only connection to LGBT people is gay parade and broadway?

        Seriously?

        Haven’t it even crossed your mind that maybe, MAYBE, I want to do everything possible so my kids face a “fairer” world that will not shun them off for being who they are?

        As you correctly said, the LGBT community has fought hard for fairness, but now it needs to include EVERYBODY. Antagonizing and assuming you are the only one who really understand because you are gay is making the blind spot problem WORSE.

        People care, people in GENERAL care, that most heterosexuals don’t jump up to protest every time doesn’t mean they don’t care. I have nothing to say about US politics, there are many forces playing a game and there is nothing the outside world can do, that one you can have, that is solely your problem.

        Here in Europe, same sex marriage bills have been approved in the past few days; in the UK large majority of the conservative party backed the bill. These are great steps, but the work needs to continue.

        Websites like baby centre, were not corporate or government lead, they were not made by a medical community or any type of organization or charity; these sites popped up to fill a need on information and support, the whole “created for mums by mums” underlying, hence I don’t think that the proper care was taken in their definitions for family, parents, or who can get pregnant or choice of pics.

        That the poll represents last century line of thoughts?, yes thhat is true, that your complaint and my complaint have not been answered yet? ok, then WE will keep complaining.

        That you have fought since 1970 ! great, luckily for you you got me now, and people like me who CARE so let’s share the load then.

        You feel it is unfair? I get it
        You and your family face a discrimination that my family doesn’t? I get it .

        Now, you get this: my family and your family are in this together

        My point on my previous post was that the more we complain, then the less they’ll be able to dismiss the emails and be forced to make the change.

        I am going to say it again: your LGBT family and my heterosexual family are in this together

  3. I am not a fan of those sites but they are informational. The books are pretty infuriating too. I am however, a HUGE fan of offbeatfamilies.com-it’s not necessarily an informational site in the medical sense but fabulous in that it honors families of all shapes and sizes and they offer sincere advice from parents that are more relatable. I’m B btw, and I’ve been silently enjoying you and the hub’s blog! Stop over at lezbmommies.blogspot.com anytime 🙂

  4. Pingback: Everyday Heterosexism, an update | The Falco Project

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