Hey, betcha you don’t even know what “heteronormativity” is!

Well here’s what: It’s the belief that, just because 97 percent of human beings have strong attractions to the opposite sex and like to do heterosexual things such as get married, we have no right as a society to view those 97 percent as normal and the remaining 3 percent as a bit off the beaten path.

Or, as Blogs Against Heteronormativity puts it (and I’m so grateful to Darleen’s Place, via Mary Kay Ham, for supplying me with this delicious stuff):

“[H]eteronormativity is a term that can be used to describe institutions, policies and beliefs that reinforce the rigid categories of male and female. these categories, supposedly, determine our sex, sexuality, sexual desire, gender identity, and gender roles. therefore, there are expected behaviors for males (such as the patriarch of the nuclear family for example), as are there expected behaviors for females (the submissive wife to the patriarch, among other things).”

And here is the Anti-Heteronormativity Manifesto:

“[A]s bloggers, we can use our words to disrupt those pesky normative ideas that are based on the categories of male and female. we can use the internet to question the oppressive institution of heteronomativity because: not all of us identify as male/female–some of us identify as neither; not all of us are biological heterosexuals–we are homosexual, polyamorous, bisexual, transgendered, butchdykes, sadomasochists, leather queers, straight queers, and even asexual; not all of us are married, and not all of us want to be; not all of us believe that female/male coupling is the norm–some of us don’t even believe in the terms ‘male” and “female’; not all of us believe that what makes a man is his penis, and what makes a woman is her vagina.

“[those of us who are blogging today, believe that there are NO traditional roles that males and females should adopt. those of us who are blogging today understand that the gender roles that are assigned as ‘male’ and ‘female’ are social constructs that support ‘the patriarchy.’ those of us who are blogging today, understand the multiplicity of gender identities, of sexual identities, of sexual desires, and of sexual practices.”

Polyamorists and sadomasochists to the barricades!

And here’s Maia, a New Zealander, complaining about her country’s heteronormative paid-leave laws:

“Under the Holidays Act you get 3 days’ paid bereavement leave on the death of a set of named people, parents, children, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, spouse and spouses parents. For a friend you can get one day’s paid leave if your employer accepts a bereavement.

“Our society does not value, or even really recognise friendships, particularly friendships between women.”

Isn’t that awful? Imagine deciding that most people’s parents are more important to them than their friends! What’s next to complain about: no paid bereavement leave when your dog dies?