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Heterosexism and Its Explanation Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: Jan 23rd, 2021

Introduction

“Heterosexism” describes an ideological system that names heterosexuality as the social norm and enforces that norm through practices and attitudes of institutions and individuals. Heterosexism is like the air we breathe. It is usually invisible to us because we are immersed in it.

Event

When the female reporters arrived at a meeting in Brazil, on May 23rd, 2004, they were only a handful. They were viewed with suspicion, if not outright hostility. However, their biggest problem was not the Bubbas, who called them all “little lady” and sometimes literally patted them on their heads. Their biggest problem was the few white male reporters and editors who prided themselves on their liberalism. These “friends” would jump to answer editors’ questions addressed to one of the female delegates. They would come out of a professional meeting to which no women had been invited and brag about speaking up for us. When the bosses talked about “the girls,” they would cover a public event in a male-only club. Finally, they would boast of how they “let” their wives work (Aronson and Kimmel 221).

Explanation

When we tried to explain that their behavior was sexist, every one of them was astonished, hurt, and defensive. After all, they were liberals, men who even fancied themselves, feminists. It never seemed to occur to them that we were capable of defending ourselves and our work to editors. We were to be included in any meeting in which we were being discussed. They were to avoid participating in any organization’s attempt to dictate which reporter would be assigned to cover a public event. They could still brag that their wives did not need their permission to work (Hooks 126).

Conclusion

With few exceptions, these well-meaning men never understood they were complicit in perpetuating a sexist system. In the same way, the Primates of the Anglican Communion are complicit in perpetuating a heterosexual system. It is especially troubling to note that our own Presiding Bishop, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was apparently so oblivious to this reality.

Works Cited

Aronson, Amy and Michael, Kimmel. The Gendered Society Reader. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2010. Print.

Hooks, Bell. Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics. Brooklyn, New York: South End Press, 2000. Print.

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IvyPanda. "Heterosexism and Its Explanation." January 23, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/heterosexism-and-its-explanation/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Heterosexism and Its Explanation." January 23, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/heterosexism-and-its-explanation/.

References

IvyPanda. (2021) 'Heterosexism and Its Explanation'. 23 January.

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