Hetero/Homonormativity

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Batou667:
And yeah, I think that places writers of gay characters in a catch-22 situation - they can make the character overtly gay, and risk accusations of stereotyping, or they can downplay that trait and effectively dodge having to portray a gay character, which is disingenuous and adds nothing to the story.

You could simply portray a character in a relationship, couldn't you? Make the sexuality of that relationship incidental. Then the relationship is the important part, not the sexuality of it.

There's plenty of value in depicting the unique elements, like coming out, etc. But at other times, the sexuality can be as incidental as it is with straight characters. It'll add just as much to the story as a straight romance would, and for the same reasons.

Silvanus:

You could simply portray a character in a relationship, couldn't you? Make the sexuality of that relationship incidental. Then the relationship is the important part, not the sexuality of it.

Yeah, this is something that I started thinking about and almost anticipating as I wrote my last post. You're absolutely right, in a logical sense. We depict heterosexual relationships all the time, even in contexts where there's no sexual content (consider all the children's stories with mothers and fathers, step-parents, marriages, and so on). In theory, broadening this to include homosexual relationships should be as simple as switching "One fine day, Johnny went to the park with his mum and dad" to "One fine day, Johnny went to the park with his two dads". I suppose the problem is that the first sentence is so commonplace as to be mundane - yes, they were at the park, what happened next? - whereas the second sentence is jarring. Even a child would likely do a double-take at the opposition to the established norm - whoa, hold up, never mind the park, did you say two dads? Sentence one requires no explanation, sentence two does.

This is the kind of thing we could throw into a story if we lived in a post-heteronormative society. For better or worse, we don't, at least not on a societal level. Whether that's fixable, or indeed ought to be fixed, are questions I don't know the answer to.

Batou667:

Yeah, this is something that I started thinking about and almost anticipating as I wrote my last post. You're absolutely right, in a logical sense. We depict heterosexual relationships all the time, even in contexts where there's no sexual content (consider all the children's stories with mothers and fathers, step-parents, marriages, and so on). In theory, broadening this to include homosexual relationships should be as simple as switching "One fine day, Johnny went to the park with his mum and dad" to "One fine day, Johnny went to the park with his two dads". I suppose the problem is that the first sentence is so commonplace as to be mundane - yes, they were at the park, what happened next? - whereas the second sentence is jarring. Even a child would likely do a double-take at the opposition to the established norm - whoa, hold up, never mind the park, did you say two dads? Sentence one requires no explanation, sentence two does.

This is the kind of thing we could throw into a story if we lived in a post-heteronormative society. For better or worse, we don't, at least not on a societal level. Whether that's fixable, or indeed ought to be fixed, are questions I don't know the answer to.

I don't think it would be jarring in adult fiction. In children's fiction, perhaps there should be stories addressing it directly and explaining it, but in adult's fiction, I don't think that's necessary. A reasonable adult wouldn't read that sentence and respond in this way.

Batou667:
In theory, broadening this to include homosexual relationships should be as simple as switching "One fine day, Johnny went to the park with his mum and dad" to "One fine day, Johnny went to the park with his two dads". I suppose the problem is that the first sentence is so commonplace as to be mundane - yes, they were at the park, what happened next? - whereas the second sentence is jarring. Even a child would likely do a double-take at the opposition to the established norm - whoa, hold up, never mind the park, did you say two dads? Sentence one requires no explanation, sentence two does.

Depending on the age of the children and their own family constellations, it shouldn't confuse them at all. Kindergarten teachers (at least in Sweden) are getting quite used to explaining different family constellations because of how dissolved the idea of a nuclear family is today. While some of the children have one mother and father living together it is becoming increasingly common to have two mothers and fathers (each parents in a new relationship), having a mother, a father and two surrogate parents, having just a mother or just a father, having two mothers, having two fathers, having "aunts" that aren't aunts etc. and that's even before going into what happens when grandparents are divorced and in new relationships.

If a book with the second sentence was read in a Swedish kindergarten today, it would most likely not trouble the kids at all. And if it did, the Kindergarten teachers would be well prepared for talking about how all families are different.

Batou667:

Silvanus:

You could simply portray a character in a relationship, couldn't you? Make the sexuality of that relationship incidental. Then the relationship is the important part, not the sexuality of it.

Yeah, this is something that I started thinking about and almost anticipating as I wrote my last post. You're absolutely right, in a logical sense. We depict heterosexual relationships all the time, even in contexts where there's no sexual content (consider all the children's stories with mothers and fathers, step-parents, marriages, and so on). In theory, broadening this to include homosexual relationships should be as simple as switching "One fine day, Johnny went to the park with his mum and dad" to "One fine day, Johnny went to the park with his two dads". I suppose the problem is that the first sentence is so commonplace as to be mundane - yes, they were at the park, what happened next? - whereas the second sentence is jarring. Even a child would likely do a double-take at the opposition to the established norm - whoa, hold up, never mind the park, did you say two dads? Sentence one requires no explanation, sentence two does.

This is the kind of thing we could throw into a story if we lived in a post-heteronormative society. For better or worse, we don't, at least not on a societal level. Whether that's fixable, or indeed ought to be fixed, are questions I don't know the answer to.

Maybe people just need to talk to their kids then?
My mother's best friend when I was growing up was a lesbian. It never once confused me.

I actually don't think that really requires much explanation. People underestimate children. If it's presented normally, a child will not be confused.

Batou667:

DANGER- MUST SILENCE:

I guess I need to say that I'm not really all that concerned about whether or not Dumbledore is a "good gay character", because I've only read as far as the Order of the Phoenix and don't really care to read further. I don't know much about him, I was just accepting your assertion at face value that he is a "good gay character".

He's a good character. I'd be hesitant in calling him a good gay character, for the reasons I already mentioned.

I think he has to be a good gay character, if he actually is gay. Being gay doesn't have to be central to your character to be a good gay character- it's only a sign of our times that we wring our hands so much about homosexuality that it has to be a huge big deal. Remember, back in Greek times, Achilles would have been a good gay (bi?) character.

This is the first time I've ever heard anyone propose that characters have a limited number of "trait slots". I'm just not going to believe that without some evidence.

That was my own, speculative, hand-wavey way of trying to explain myself. I do feel that there's a limited number of traits a character can have before they start feeling overloaded or extraneous to the story (because as I keep banging on about, characters exist to serve the narrative as a whole, and not vice versa - let's not make the mistake of confusing them for real people, as much as they might resemble them). However, that's my appraisal as somebody who has a mostly amateur interest in English Lit (at least past Primary School level), so if you feel it's unreasonable please feel free to disregard it. It's not key to my main argument anyway.

To recap my main point, since sexuality is a non-surface characteristic, I think it is more difficult to write a good gay character - moreso than even good female or nonwhite characters. Sex and race are physical traits and are immediately visible - so, the fact that character X is a black, female fighter pilot can be established instantly - whereas sexuality only becomes evident in contexts that might never arise in many types of narrative.

I don't agree. Any time your narrative involves a gay character interacting with or even thinking about another character, there is the opportunity for homosexuality to be revealed.

You ever see the Frasier episode "The Matchmaker" (1994)? It has a gay character in the episode, homosexuality is central to the plot, but throughout the whole episode the character who is actually gay acts the most normal and ordinary of the cast, all the while never denying his homosexuality. Because of the farce that is central to the episode's gags, some of the other characters pretend to be gay, and it is they who adopt absurd stereotypical mannerisms and behavior. The gay character, played by Eric Lutes, ends up being a good gay character by being open, honest, affable, successful, handsome, being part of some of the greatest gags in the episode, and still never acting in a humiliating or stereotypical way. I doubt this was especially hard to write. All it takes is the authors having a little respect for homosexuals as genuine people.

Phasmal:
Maybe people just need to talk to their kids then?
My mother's best friend when I was growing up was a lesbian. It never once confused me.

I actually don't think that really requires much explanation. People underestimate children. If it's presented normally, a child will not be confused.

Heh, when I was in elementary school my best friend's uncle and "his friend" came to stay with his family for a week and I met them when I came over to his house to play. They uncle and friend slept in a single bed together, but in my area in those days homosexuality wasn't the sort of thing anyone talked about except to make a playground slur at another kid, so it didn't really even occur to me that they might be anything but friends. It didn't occur to me that there was anything else to be.

Anyway, the only reason it dawned on me at a later date that they must have been gay was because despite the two of them seeming to be friendly and nice people, every adult who knew about the situation was really weird about it and tried very hard to keep me from ever being alone with them.

So yeah, I agree. Kids can deal with a lot more than they get credit for. From my experience, it's the adults who tie themselves in knots when they have to figure out gay relationships.

Phasmal:

Batou667:

Silvanus:

You could simply portray a character in a relationship, couldn't you? Make the sexuality of that relationship incidental. Then the relationship is the important part, not the sexuality of it.

Yeah, this is something that I started thinking about and almost anticipating as I wrote my last post. You're absolutely right, in a logical sense. We depict heterosexual relationships all the time, even in contexts where there's no sexual content (consider all the children's stories with mothers and fathers, step-parents, marriages, and so on). In theory, broadening this to include homosexual relationships should be as simple as switching "One fine day, Johnny went to the park with his mum and dad" to "One fine day, Johnny went to the park with his two dads". I suppose the problem is that the first sentence is so commonplace as to be mundane - yes, they were at the park, what happened next? - whereas the second sentence is jarring. Even a child would likely do a double-take at the opposition to the established norm - whoa, hold up, never mind the park, did you say two dads? Sentence one requires no explanation, sentence two does.

This is the kind of thing we could throw into a story if we lived in a post-heteronormative society. For better or worse, we don't, at least not on a societal level. Whether that's fixable, or indeed ought to be fixed, are questions I don't know the answer to.

Maybe people just need to talk to their kids then?
My mother's best friend when I was growing up was a lesbian. It never once confused me.

I actually don't think that really requires much explanation. People underestimate children. If it's presented normally, a child will not be confused.

Pretty much. Parents would have a harder time understanding than children anyway, becase parents are the ones with decades of ingrained ideas about sexuality. It's not that children are smarter than we give them credit for, its that they are still young enough to accept "new" ideas. I think this comic explains it perfectly.

evilthecat:

maxben:
I think the majority of people have a basic urge to create basic family groupings.

What's a "basic" family grouping?

maxben:
But beyond that, let's consider what you are saying. Is there anything admirable about non-normative lifestlye? No, and there is nothing admirable about normative lifestyles either. They just are.

If there's nothing admirable in them, why does anyone try and live them?

We're not talking about some magical transcendental value here, but the value which people themselves place on things.

maxben:
The problem is the people who put moral worth to those lifestyles. Notice that if no one does anything and we live in acceptance, the majority will naturally choose to live in normative households and the minority will choose the non normative, so what is the point about moralistically defending the normative lifestyle? Not only is it meaningless because there is no morality there, its counter intuitive as that kind of oppression drives people to the non-normative and causes them to mistakingly give it moral worth.

Sorry. Where did this whole question of moral worth come from?

I can make choices which are valuable to me without imbuing them with some kind of abstract moral worth.

maxben:
However, do not expect the rest of us to join you, do not tell us that your lifestyle is more valuable or more authentically "gay", and don't be surprised that the majority of the community is moving forward into this brave new world.

Fine.

Just don't be surprised if, when all is said and done, your "brave new world" isn't as hetero as you currently want it to be.

Inherent or contextual value is a moral argument. Saying that you like a peanut butter sandwich does not give it value, but if you were starving and could die if you do not eat it, all of a sudden the sandwich is incredibly valuable (contextual value in this case, as opposed for example the inherent value of a human being) and it would be immoral to keep it from you (well, depending on your moral theory). To argue that something has value because it is "against the norm" is childish, most of us outgrow that in our late teen years. A person CAN be and often IS wrong about their attribution of value when that attribution is illegitimate.

And again, your use of "hetero" as a slur for a normative lifestyle merely because a large amount of heteros live in that lifestyle is silly. Its like relegating rap to "black music", a disgusting and inaccurate representation of what it is based around the need to create clear dividing lines between "our group" and "their group". The normative versus non-normative divide is in itself brilliant because it NEVER ascribes values or characteristics on either group. Gay man and a straight man can both be non-normative, and it changes nothing.

maxben:

Inherent or contextual value is a moral argument. Saying that you like a peanut butter sandwich does not give it value, but if you were starving and could die if you do not eat it, all of a sudden the sandwich is incredibly valuable (contextual value in this case, as opposed for example the inherent value of a human being) and it would be immoral to keep it from you (well, depending on your moral theory). To argue that something has value because it is "against the norm" is childish, most of us outgrow that in our late teen years. A person CAN be and often IS wrong about their attribution of value when that attribution is illegitimate.

Where we attribute value is entirely subjective, so to say he's "wrong" or that his "attribution is illegitimate" is... well, quite bizarre.

maxben:
To argue that something has value because it is "against the norm" is childish, most of us outgrow that in our late teen years.

Which would be super-pertinent if that was what I was saying, but it's not.

We can say that something has value because it has value to people. We can say this even if what is being valued is "against the norm".

By contrast, what you seem to be saying is that people have some kind of innate urge to create 20th century style nuclear families (a formation which, sociologically, is actually kind of a myth) and therefore this is the only form of life that can be valuable and that any alternative is childish.

Which, if it is what you mean, is pretty damn homonormative.

maxben:
And again, your use of "hetero" as a slur for a normative lifestyle merely because a large amount of heteros live in that lifestyle is silly.

No. I use it to mark the historical role of heterosexuality in forming a definition of what a normative lifestyle was, because that was a thing which happened and which still happens today.

I'm not going to lie about stuff which exists for fear of drawing attention to it.

Silvanus:
I don't think it would be jarring in adult fiction. In children's fiction, perhaps there should be stories addressing it directly and explaining it

Gethsemani:
If a book with the second sentence was read in a Swedish kindergarten today, it would most likely not trouble the kids at all.

Phasmal:
Maybe people just need to talk to their kids then?

Perhaps, guys, perhaps. Maybe I'm too cynical. But, from my own experience of working with children and talking to other adults who work with children, this notion that children are pure blank slates, blissfully unfettered by the prejudices and expectations of the adult world, is overstated. Sure, perhaps children do start this way, but they rapidly observe and form their own framework about the world. As a male with long hair, I used to get asked "Why do you have long hair? Are you a girl? Tee hee" several times a week. I'd bet my bottom dollar the same kids would have done backflips of hysterical disbelief if I'd ever turned up with a man on my arm. A few years back I was talking to a nursery teacher, and explaining to her that I had decided to work with Primary age kids (5-11) rather than Secondary (11-16) because I felt that the younger the children, the more opportunity I had to shape their attitudes and ideas. She stifled a laugh and told me that 5 and up was much too late, and that she and her colleagues were fighting a losing battle with their three-year olds, who were already displaying the same attitudes, biases and phobias as their parents - especially in the case of young girls, who quickly became little copies of their mothers. The slate sure as hell doesn't stay blank for long.

Possibly the situation is radically different in Sweden, I gather it's one of the most progressively liberal countries in the world. I'd be interested in seeing, in a decade or two's time, what impact this kind of teaching has had. (Also, as an aside, I wonder how the gender-free, sexuality-neutral ethos is being received by the large Muslim population in Sweden? I assume Islamic faith schools are probably on the rise?)

The nuclear family is not a 'myth'. It was a system pushed by the catholic church in the I want to say 800's/900's in northern Europe in order to break apart the old tribal and clan systems based around the extended family.

The name is new (first printed in 1927), but the concept is very old. ( http://www.aeaweb.org/annual_mtg_papers/2006/0106_0800_1104.pdf ).

It has to do with generational groups living in one place.
Two gay guys and their adopted son is a nuclear family.
A man and a woman and their child/adopted child is a nuclear family.

Two gay guys, their adopted son, and one of their mothers is an extended family.

Why is it not OK for gay people to live 'normal' lives? Oh tragic author, we must PUSH the boundaries in all things we do, lest the crowds hiss at us for daring not to. How dare we portray a gay couple in a loving monogamous relationship with simple sexual congress! We betray the very concept of art by not having them be poly-amorous BDSM participants. (I apologize for the sarcasm but jesus H tap dancing christ I hate the concept of 'different for its own sake rather then because of a natural conclusion"/edgy for its own sake rather then because it's an interesting story you want to write).

And also, isn't the idea that you have to treat gay people differently then 'normal' people really kind of I dunno, weird? People are people. Gay or not they tend to share motivations and faults. They lie, cheat, and steal, they plot and stab and act irrationally. This is the problem. We need to point out that ALL human beings are inherently disgusting, greedy, and selfish, not just the white/black/gay/straight ones.

Batou667:
SNIP

Well, I'd imagine kids might need an explanation, particularly at school-going age, but I'll stick with what I said about adults not finding it jarring one bit (if they're reasonable people). Gay characters can fit into adult fiction as easily as others, and sexuality can be incidental to the relationship.

Bentusi16:

Why is it not OK for gay people to live 'normal' lives? Oh tragic author, we must PUSH the boundaries in all things we do, lest the crowds hiss at us for daring not to. How dare we portray a gay couple in a loving monogamous relationship with simple sexual congress! We betray the very concept of art by not having them be poly-amorous BDSM participants.

Larger crowds hiss when boundaries are pushed than when they're not. Let's not exaggerate.

Silvanus:

Well, I'd imagine kids might need an explanation, particularly at school-going age, but I'll stick with what I said about adults not finding it jarring one bit (if they're reasonable people). Gay characters can fit into adult fiction as easily as others, and sexuality can be incidental to the relationship.

A reasonable adult would happily accept a gay or other minority character (as long as it didn't break the setting, like a black SS officer, or a white samurai... err, crap), but to say they wouldn't - or shouldn't - pause for thought is a bit preachy. We all have our preconceptions based on what we encounter in our everyday lives and what we've come to think of as "normal", and that's more a function of society than our own prejudices. If somebody says "wedding" and you instantly picture a bride and groom, that doesn't make you a bigot or a homophobe.

Silvanus:

Batou667:
SNIP

Well, I'd imagine kids might need an explanation, particularly at school-going age, but I'll stick with what I said about adults not finding it jarring one bit (if they're reasonable people). Gay characters can fit into adult fiction as easily as others, and sexuality can be incidental to the relationship.

Bentusi16:

Why is it not OK for gay people to live 'normal' lives? Oh tragic author, we must PUSH the boundaries in all things we do, lest the crowds hiss at us for daring not to. How dare we portray a gay couple in a loving monogamous relationship with simple sexual congress! We betray the very concept of art by not having them be poly-amorous BDSM participants.

Larger crowds hiss when boundaries are pushed than when they're not. Let's not exaggerate.

Yeah that's fair, and it is, obviously I was being hyperbolic for the sake of humor even though I do roll my eyes a bit at the idea that portraying someone who is gay living a 'normal' life style as being 'uncle tomming'. And I also never pass up a chance to poke at the beatnik remnants that is the hipster 'edgy for its own sake' crowd.

I think what it is to be 'uncle tomming' is completely out of whack with what the original meaning of uncle tomming actually was. You might as well be shouting 'race traitor', which is exactly what the attitude is supposed to be.

Batou667:

A reasonable adult would happily accept a gay or other minority character (as long as it didn't break the setting, like a black SS officer, or a white samurai... err, crap), but to say they wouldn't - or shouldn't - pause for thought is a bit preachy. We all have our preconceptions based on what we encounter in our everyday lives and what we've come to think of as "normal", and that's more a function of society than our own prejudices. If somebody says "wedding" and you instantly picture a bride and groom, that doesn't make you a bigot or a homophobe.

Never did I say it did. Readers will have preconceptions, and they might pause for thought. But it would hardly cause much trouble. A reasonable adult could just go on reading that story. It would not be "jarring". If somebody did have such a reaction to something ever-so-slightly out of their comfort zone, I'd wonder why they were even reading fiction in the first place.

Bentusi16:

Yeah that's fair, and it is, obviously I was being hyperbolic for the sake of humor even though I do roll my eyes a bit at the idea that portraying someone who is gay living a 'normal' life style as being 'uncle tomming'.

Oh, I agree there. I should have been clearer.

DANGER- MUST SILENCE:

Phasmal:
Maybe people just need to talk to their kids then?
My mother's best friend when I was growing up was a lesbian. It never once confused me.

I actually don't think that really requires much explanation. People underestimate children. If it's presented normally, a child will not be confused.

Heh, when I was in elementary school my best friend's uncle and "his friend" came to stay with his family for a week and I met them when I came over to his house to play. They uncle and friend slept in a single bed together, but in my area in those days homosexuality wasn't the sort of thing anyone talked about except to make a playground slur at another kid, so it didn't really even occur to me that they might be anything but friends. It didn't occur to me that there was anything else to be.

Anyway, the only reason it dawned on me at a later date that they must have been gay was because despite the two of them seeming to be friendly and nice people, every adult who knew about the situation was really weird about it and tried very hard to keep me from ever being alone with them.

So yeah, I agree. Kids can deal with a lot more than they get credit for. From my experience, it's the adults who tie themselves in knots when they have to figure out gay relationships.

Growing up I was the same way. It turned out that I had a gay couple living right across the way from my home and didn't know it. They seemed a little odd but ok. One day they invited myself and some of my friends in the neighborhood to play some Super Mario Bros 3 at their place. We all eagerly agreed since we were all around 13 and pretty much lived for video games. We were playing the game and having a good time when suddenly all of our parents came to their door and demanded that we leave. They then proceeded to threaten and yell at these 2 guys. All of us kids had no idea what was going on or why our parents were being so hostile to them and then yelling at us. It would be years before I learned why.

Fast forward a few years and I'm a 17 yr old. My only knowledge of gay people, is as a slur used to insult others. Up to this point I had still never encountered a gay/bi person as far as I knew. I had just gotten my first GF. I met her through a couple mutual female friends, some of which I had known for a couple years. I used to walk her home. One day after school she tells me about something stupid that one of our mutual friends had said to her that was mean-spirited. I reply with "Screw her". She replies with "I already did, she wasn't that good". The response stunned me and I was pretty sure I misheard her as it didn't initially make sense to me, so I asked her to repeat what she had just said. When she confirmed that I had heard her correctly, my jaw hit the floor. In an instant so many things were running through my head that I never imagined.

My entire worldview just crumbled with just her 1 sentence. Suddenly I lived in a world where gay/bi people actually exist. And not just that, but that my own first GF was one. And on top of that, that her friend whom I had known for years was one as well. And then it came out that her entire circle of friends who I had met and liked were also gay/bi who had at various points all been intimate with each other. It was all too much to take in at once so I had to take some time to actually rethink and evaluate all of this.

I had so many things in my mind to puzzle out. I suddenly found myself being paranoid about her cheating on me if she spent the night at her friends, which she did a lot. Or even if I had a right to consider it cheating. The idea that I could be replaced by possibly anyone and I maybe couldn't trust her around anyone. I was making myself paranoid.

We went to different high schools. Her high school everyone was very liberal. My high school was very ghetto. No one in my high school was publically gay or bi. It was unheard of. Word got out that I was "with a lesbian". Suddenly everyone is asking me the same questions I was already driving myself into paranoia with.

Eventually I simply decided to calm down and try to talk it out with her and understand. As long as it was a monogamous relationship, I decided I could deal with the rest. I decided to take the outlook that it would be hypocritical of me to condemn her for liking the same things I liked and that made it much easier.

Funny thing happened as a result. Shortly after me and the GF had our talk. Guys at my own high school were approaching me because they had just found out that their GF's had admitted being into other women and they were filled with the same anxieties about it I was and didn't know how to deal with it. It all seem's silly in this day and age, but this was all in the early to mid 90's when these issues were just starting to show up in the media.

In my experience, lesbians are way more noticeable in ghetto schools in comparison to gays. I think it has something to do with the accepted norms of aggression. Pretty chicks being called pussies made no sense to me because machismo was in the air and..well...they did have pussies.

I don't even know anymore. Sure, heterosexuality is still the norm because there are still people who pride procreational sex over recreational sex, even if they probably do more of the latter when the cameras aren't around. But...I mean, as someone else said, it's a case of "damned if you do, damned if you don't". If you're a stereotypical "sissy boy" with a tendency to limp-wrist and read fashion magazines, or a "butch" who's into sports and wears Doc Martens, then people claim that you're "putting it on". If you appear, for all intents and purposes, as a "straight person" because you look and act the same as your peers except for your romantic and/or sexual preferences, and you're married and you have a kid (adopted or not) and a nice garden for your Boston terrier to play in or whatever, then some members of the LGBT community accuse you of "straight-acting".

No matter what you do, you will always be different. No-one's fucking normal; it just happens to be more about majorities and minorities. Black, white, Asian, gay, straight, bi, trans, working-class, middle-class, upper-class...we always wear masks in public, and it's just about trying to get through life with as little pain and trouble as possible.

Captcha: "too many cooks". Genuinely misread that as "too many cocks" due to the subject matter, LOL.

Relish in Chaos:
No matter what you do, you will always be different. No-one's fucking normal; it just happens to be more about majorities and minorities.

Not quite, what puts someone in a majority or minority is rather arbitrary.

For example, people used to have, for example, the Irish. They were a despised minority in many places. Nowdays, they are just another type of white, which is the majority in the West. They went from minority to being in the majority because people stopped caring about the distinction.

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