As a Women and Gender Studies minor, I have taken my fair share of around topics of inequality, privilege, discrimination, and intersectionality of race, class, gender, age, etc. The biggest problem that I have seen through my current class, Queer Studies, is the normative social structures we have institutionalized. A norm is “a principle of right action binding upon the members of a group and serving to guide, control, or regulate proper and acceptable behavior.” Many people are not even aware of these assumed norms; it takes a queer perspective, that is, taking a position that distances itself from the accepted norm, to realize the implications of this normative behavior. As we move towards a more progressive and accepting society, we need to educate our nation from a young age how to think about people and break down the existence of these norms:
1. Sex (male/female) should not be assumed by presentation of gender (feminine/masculine qualities).
2. Sex, gender, and sexuality are not binary categories, but each exist on a spectrum.
3. Heterosexuality should not be assumed until otherwise disclosed.
4. Discrimination based on sex, gender, or sexuality is ALWAYS wrong and should not be tolerated whatsoever in the workplace, schools, public use areas, or ANYWHERE.
5. Public bathrooms need to be private spaces that everyone and anyone should be comfortable using without conforming a binary category/label.
6. Displays of love, affection, and romantic interests do not fall within governmental or religious regulation. I call for a separation of state and church from love.