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Heterosexual privilege

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
The white privilege thread made me think of how being a heterosexual married woman also comes with several benefits most people take for granted. Here are things I noticed, in my own words:

- I know that any neighborhood I choose to live in will be full of people who have no problem with my chosen lifestyle. I will not come home to nasty graffiti, or have people come by to tell me that my child is being harmed by growing up in that lifestyle.

- I can always find a greeting card for my significant other that is specially designed for people who live my lifestyle.

- My significant other can visit me in the ICU; no one will tell us that we are "not recognized as a couple."

- My lifestyle is likely to be accepted by any religious group.

- If my child should develop a behavioral problem, I know it won't be blamed on the gender with whom I have sexual relations.

- I can engage in public displays of affection and not have people ask, "Why is it that heterosexuals are always flaunting their sexuality for everyone to see?"

Anyone else?
post #2 of 34
I too have been keenly aware of how privileged heterosexual couples are - esp. when I compare my experiences with those of my gay friends.

Privilege is so often invisible to those to have it...

post #3 of 34
and what about undocumented homosexual immigrants (to tie in with the DL thread)?
they have it really bad. even if they do meet someone here, fall in love, and form a family, they can never ever become "legal" simply because they are gay.

thanks for posting this, i think it's good to remind people.
post #4 of 34
People don't inherently assume that what I do in privacy with my husband (privledged title! ) is nasty or sinful.

People don't speculate in disgusted tones about which sexual practices we prefer or who takes "which" position. (Well, maybe they do... but probably not as a matter of course!)

Oh! And when we told people we planned to have children they didn't give us a gape jawed stare and ask "Why?!"
post #5 of 34
Nobody tries to convert me or convince me I can become an "ex-hetero" if I try hard enough.

Nobody tries to match me up to stereotypes like "butch" or "lipstick lesbian."

I never had a painful moment where I had to tell finally my family that I like men.

I was never harassed at school for my sexual preference.
post #6 of 34
I love you guys!! Great posts all!!

I don't think I can add anything new.
post #7 of 34
Oh wow, these are all great! Great topic!
post #8 of 34
post #9 of 34
"We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, among these Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness." -- The Declaration of Independence

Why, then, is gay marriage an issue at all? Obviously it is covered in the above statement. What is marriage if not the "Pursuit of Happiness"?
post #10 of 34
Thread Starter 
Oh yeah, another one - not only do I not have to explain my sexual orientation to anyone (it's implied), if I were to tell someone I'm pretty sure they would not say "Oh really? I know this guy in Nebraska who's a heterosexual; do you two know each other?"
post #11 of 34
No one pickets at heterosexual funerals with evil signs

No heterosexual relationships in comic strips get censored from newspapers.

Madonna kissing a man doesn't make the news.
post #12 of 34
Originally posted by abimommy
No one pickets at heterosexual funerals with evil signs
I know this is a little OT, but sadly, this is not true. Phelps pickets your funeral if you had AIDS, no matter how it was transmitted.

This is a great thread.
post #13 of 34
Thread Starter 
People don't assume I am a child molester, even though I have the same sexual orientation that the majority of molesters have!
post #14 of 34
bumping since I reffered some folks in spirituality to this thread.
post #15 of 34
Originally posted by burritomama

Privilege is so often invisible to those to have it...

Not to play my own sad violin. But even a heterosexual single mother gets treated like shit in this day and age. I know I may word that harshly, but it's totally appropriate.

When I got pregnant - I had no idea people would exclude me from their groups, disown me as family and friend, stop inviting me to dinner, pretend they don't know me anymore, pretend my daughter doesn't exist, assume I am an uneducated ghetto welfare mama, refuse me housing, refuse me work, and decide not to date me because I am a single mom. There is no doubt taht married hetereos have it all - and you should savor it kids.

It's been a real eye opener.
post #16 of 34
Thread Starter 
Yes, unfortunately the main privileges are for the married women.

Although, any woman of any privileged group is likely to be hated and looked down upon by the men in that group. (Rich woman=gold digger, educated woman=know-it-all, heterosexual woman=whore, etc.)
post #17 of 34
Oddly, this thread reminds me of the movie, As Good As It Gets, in 2 different ways. It deals with predjudice against single moms and gays.
post #18 of 34
Thread Starter 
Oh yeah, another one - people don't sit around debating how I might have gotten to be this way! "Maybe she was abused! Did she have an absent mother who made her distrust women, thus seeking comfort from men? As a child, did she perhaps see something that encouraged that sort of behavior? Maybe she was just born that way!"
post #19 of 34
Great thread!!! How about not having to agonize over how people would perceive my encouraging my dd to play with trucks, or having fun with dress-up with my (hypothetical) ds.

Soooo many of these issues came up for me in my previous relationship (with a woman). Now that I am safely and comfortably married to a man, it amazes me how easy it is to slip into complacency, and forget how privileged we are.
post #20 of 34
This is a great thread and it is important to remind ourselves of our priviledged "status" in society.

As a middle class white heterosexual woman I know that I am very fortunate in that I don't have to suffer societal prejudice in the way that so many others do.

I am always shocked when my gay friends or friends of colour tell me what they have had to face especially when it comes to "casual" hateful comments from strangers. I often assume that people are on the whole much nicer to their fellows than they are simply because it is not something I experience personally.

I was fairly shocked at my booking-in appointmnet with my midwife. When asked if I was married and if the baby was planned she said "very good" or "well done" as if I was passing some kind of test. I can only hope that she doesn't give negative responses if those questions are answered differently.

That really brought me up sharply as to my priviledged status.
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