Dana Sitar is a 28-year-old writer who works as a barista in a bookstore coffee shop to pay her bills. Divorced and childless, she is perhaps not the role model of happiness and success to whom America’s mothers usually turn when they need parenting advice, but being a feminist entitles her to tell you what you’re doing wrong. Quite frankly, she’s decided that your parenting is too heteronormative:
Your Toddler Might Be Gay
. . . In a world where we’re finally making some progress on understanding non-straight identities as deserving of recognition, respect, and equal rights, forcing heteronormative assumptions on yet another generation is a huge step away from an inclusive and tolerant society. . . .
If we keep talking to that little girl for the next 10 years as if it’s her destiny to fall in love with a man (put a pin in the implied sexism and other layers of bigotry for another conversation), how will she react to herself and others if she finds herself attracted to the girls around her, not the boys? Or to both? . . .
How will she treat herself when she realizes she wants to kiss the girl down the street, not the boy next door? . . .
Not being a bigot is a huge first step, and I thank you for it.
But it’s not enough to quietly believe in equality. We have to actively practice tolerance and become aware of the presumptions we project. We have to let our kids see a world where their identities are all treated as normal and acceptable, regardless of the odds.
Perhaps you didn’t notice that she used the phrase “our kids,” although Dana Sitar has no children herself, so that her use of the first-person plural implies that this feminist coffee-shop waitress is asserting her proprietary interest in your kids. Yes, mothers of America: Your expectation that your daughter will grow up to be normal — even in 2014, about 98% of U.S. women are heterosexual — is a sort of prejudice, just one step removed from “being a bigot.”
Feminists condemn you for “forcing heteronormative assumptions” on your girls, thus impeding “progress” toward “an inclusive and tolerant society.” You’re a homophobic hater, mom. Your little lesbian toddler is already being oppressed — by you! (You’re probably showing her heteronormative Disney cartoons, aren’t you?)
How is America supposed to make progress toward an inclusive and tolerant society, if mothers keep brainwashing little girls into thinking it’s quote-unquote “normal” for them to like boys? If we are ever going to achieve the kind of equality feminist theory demands, mothers must put an end to this intolerant oppressive heteronormativity. Only then can your daughters be free to grow up as completely confused as Rollins College sophomore Bekki Charbonneau:
I am a queer woman. I flip-flop between identities. I have been “straight,” then “bisexual,” then “pansexual,” then a weeping puddle in the middle of the floor (which has occurred frequently enough to be considered an identity, in my opinion).
I often feel “not gay enough” to hang out in queer spaces; I feel like an intruder or a wannabe. I have had friends “jokingly” tell me that I should just “pick a side already.” And sometimes I actually contemplate it: I would just be happier being straight, and I wouldn’t have to deal with homophobia as frequently! Besides, some men are hot. I could deal with being straight.
But then I see a really pretty girl, so I think, “I’ll just be a lesbian. Many men don’t bother learning about social justice because of their privilege, and I don’t want to date someone I have to educate. It’s too much work. And some girls are just lovely.” . . .
I often get concerned about how many of the qualities I’m attracted to in a person are a result of growing up in a heteronormative, patriarchal society. I am often attracted to masculinity (either in cisgender men or in male-identifying persons, and occasionally in women with masculine characteristics). Am I attracted to masculinity simply because I have been raised in a society that places on a pedestal and reveres all things male?
Feminists must celebrate Bekki Charbonneau’s self-described “queer” sexuality, ignoring concerns about the schizophrenic tendencies manifest in such confusion. The difference between feminism and insanity is simply a matter of perspective.
By the way, mom: Seen any good cable TV shows lately?
First published at TheOtherMcCain.com
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.