Sunday, July 28, 2013

Heteronormativity and the Royal Baby

A few days ago, I posted the suggestion that maybe the Royal Parents should have named the Royal Baby Mohammed, since that is the most popular name for baby boys in England these days.

I was joking, but it’s difficult to joke these days, since reality is often much, much sillier. What could anyone say about American politics that would be funnier than Anthony Weiner?

Or, as another example, there are these people, who also dislike the kid’s name. Their objection, about which I will presume they are 100% serious, is that the parents should not make the assumption that their baby is a boy, and tag him with a boy’s name, just because he was born with a penis. A few choice selections:

  • Money$ha K @ManKan510: Ummm so about that royal baby, they shouldn't declare its gender so quickly! I kinda want them to raise it in such a way that it can choose.
  • Ian Duhig @ianduhig: What if the royal baby got to choose its own name and how to express it's gender when it's older?

What, I wonder, is the alternative to giving a penis-included full-term embryo a male name? Should all children be named something like Ashton or Taylor until they reach gender decisions?

  • Sophy QX @SophyQX: STOP CALLING THE #ROYALBABY A BOY. ZIR BIOLOGICAL SEX IS NOT RELEVANT. This is how the patriarchy indoctrinated its future leader.
  • Little Dove. @TommyTopHat: The royal baby is not a boy, because ze is not yet old enough to choose zir own gender.

Using ‘ze’ and ‘zir’ seems to be the latest attempt at gender-neutral pronouns.

I actually have a bit of sympathy for the idea, since it is often difficult to write without making gender assumptions. I usually can recast a sentence using plurals, but sometimes I can’t, and I end up demonstrating that I have been indoctrinated by the patriarchy by using he/him/his.

I guess the first two examples haven’t caught on to ze and zir, since they chose ‘it’ instead.

Myles uses my plural solution, simply by applying ‘they’ to the singular:

  • Myles C♨♨per @MylesUSA: It may be a boy - depends on how they choose to express their gender if at all

In a world full of BS words and phrases, I think ‘heteronormative’ has to rank among my favorites:

  • Dave Arnold @DaveArnold91: media being so heteronormative around the royal birth that it actually sickens me #LGBT#RoyalBaby

Anyway, apparently I am as guilty as the baby’s parents of heteronormative thinking, since my suggestion of Mohammed is also a boy’s name. Mea culpa.

I wonder if these people are aware of what parodies they are. Probably not – I’ve noticed that such people, of whatever obsession, are distinguished by their lack of two characteristics – a sense of humor and self-awareness.

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