Fuck yer normal

So, I’m not science-minded, but one thing I gather is that the aim of life, in biological terms, is making more life. Cell division. We evolve, we get stronger, we finesse shit down to make sure the cells we’re perpetuating are as like our own cells as possible, or help us do stuff that facilitates this while not too imminently threatening us. We’re not going to try to make bananas go extinct, because we can eat individual bananas to give ourselves the energy to make more humans. At the same time, bananas are unlikely to overtake humans as the winner of evolution. We would like to make viruses go extinct because they are not like bananas and their perpetuation is a threat to our species.

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I am not science minded. But I am social science minded.

We want to assist our cell division, so we do shit that helps it along, like monogamous heterosexual partnerships.

Normal is anything that facilitates cell division – which for humans means reproduction… you know, ‘cause we’re not amoebas anymore.

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So we stigmatise and ostracise anything outside this ‘normal’. Normal is superior for reproduction, so the first instinct is to morally relate everything to this normal, sometimes subconsciously.

Sidenote – racial and gendered discrimination come from different places in this. Racial because the genes are ever so slightly different to your own, which form a different “normal” depending on geographic shiz; gendered because for humans, one sex does shit like carry the fetus and produce milk, faculties which lend themselves to being near the resultant fucking kid for prolonged periods.

So there’s your normal. It underlies every form of discrimination.

Fuck your normal.

99% of humans could stop dividing their cells right now, and the species would continue. There is nothing superior about the feat of reproduction at this point. Normal no longer correlates with “right” because there is no objective need for it.

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I am privileged because of how many aspects of my up-front personage are considered normal. I’m white, cisgendered, able-bodied, and of a fairly average weight. I’m also female, queer, working class and not in the greatest state of mental health. I don’t feel oppression on a daily basis. On one end, because of how few of my less privileged aspects present themselves, but on another level because I have no desire to be normal.

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It’s not normal to be same-sex attracted, transgendered or depressed. It’s not normal to weigh 200 kilograms or be polyamorous. If it impacts at all upon the proven formula of the easiest route to cell division, it is not normal.

Doesn’t matter. Nowadays, that’s not a decent reason to discriminate against someone.

Normal may not even relate to majority/minority – at this point I’m surprised by the statistic that half of Australia’s adults are overweight – not because there are so many of us, but so few. I loved the Hannah Gadsby quip about a dude saying she would only be liked by “women and other gays,” and her response that that constitutes a majority.

There are some people who seem properly equipped on every axis to divide their cells. There are very few. There’s no guarantee they’ll be empathetic, intelligent or funny, but they’ll probably be powerful, because we see normal as correct, and the people who are most of the correct things are the ones most likely to have power. It’s their reward for being correct. And if you’re encouraged to believe you are correct, you are more likely to be blinded to the fallibility of that reasoning.

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But now there is no reason for normal and correct to be synonymous. It’s worth fighting against discrimination, for any aspect of what society has deemed “not normal” and treats as incorrect. With the exception of race there’s no point in trying to say it is “normal”, which only enforces the correlation of normal with correctness.

Same sex marriage is increasingly accepted because it can be so easily paralleled with heterosexual marriage. With IVF and adoption considered valid options for reproduction, these unions are touted as normal. But this doesn’t fix the problem of normal being seen as correct, it only takes one of your non-normal axes out of the discrimination equation.

UNPACK

Cis = Opposite of trans. I was assigned female when born, and I agree with that.

IDK, does anything else seem jargony?

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About ducksandsunshine

Some say blogs are paradigms of self-indulgence and narcissism. I'm plenty of those things, but I mostly prefer to spend my not-actually-free hours playing Words With Friends. I like comedy, films, music, long reads and refined sugars.
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