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I had never encountered this term until today. I found it on one of the forum boards on campus. They put these big papers up where people can write what they think about certain topics. I’ve written on the ones about self-image and eating disorders, other things like that, and today’s was on heterosexism. Apparently it is all about the fact that in this system, heterosexuality is the assumed norm and it makes no room for the option that someone might have another preference. I hadn’t really given this whole thing a lot of thought. On the whole I tend not to assume anything about a person until I have some actions or words to judge them by. Perhaps judge is too harsh a word, but at least form an impression of someone. It never occurred to me before to include sexual orientation in that initial “suspension of impression” if you know what I mean. I have a hard time with this. I mean, it’s much like faith. You never ask someone what church they go to or what faith they adhere to because it’s considered a bit rude. (At least it is in my book. Do unto others I say.) When it comes down to actually having to ask whether someone is straight or not in a conversation is a bit much for me. People are people, and everyone is different. I don’t want people to assume I’m anything, but they will, no matter what. I think it’s a bit of a stretch to believe that this society is going to end up in a place where freedom of expression and sexuality is the norm. For a while yet anyway, there is far too much fear present in the human heart. I wrote something like that on that board today. If sexism in it’s “traditional” form still exists after so long, what makes this new kind of prejudice any different? I think I will just have to struggle with this concept a bit more. It’s the ‘ism’ not the actual ‘orientation’ that give me pause. I mean, we all bleed red in the end do we not?

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