Heteronormativity, Binary and Hegemony

Heteronormativity is the assumption that everyone is straight until proven otherwise, and is the way our society works. Everything, almost, is centred around the idea that people are straight, that that is the default setting. When growing up, you ‘discover’ that you are gay, but not that you are straight, because that is the assumed standard. This stems from a lack of representation in media.

Binary, when not talking about binary code for computers, is the idea that there is only two ‘opposites’. For example male or female, straight or gay. This idea ignores the fact that there is something in the middle, and something outside, or other. I dislike this term because it’s so stifling, and restricting.

Hegemony is a word which describes the ‘leader’ role in society, or the dominant character type. Sometimes referred to as the ‘alpha male’. In the lecture, the lecturer discussed how the concept of a hegemonic male is slowly changing from a muscular, hyper-masculine character to a more intelligent nerdy type, and more feminine and slender appearances are more accepted. While I do agree that this is the case, she was explaining about how these character types used to be marginalised and bullied and while it may be possible that they were picked on by bigger kids, now they use their superiority complexes to look down on everyone else. So even though the image has changed, the way people in charge treat others hasn’t changed overly much- Sherlock, for example, is a genius, but he treats a lot of people like they are beneath him.


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