Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

The “Mythical Norm”

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In Woman Studies 1020 class we discussed the different “isms” such as: racism, sexism, classism, ageism, heterosexism, etc. While discussing this topic, one question kept coming up; how do each of these relate to each other and why are they judged against the “mythical norm”. In today’s society the “mythical norm” is based off of what is considered to be normal, typical or common. But what is the classification in order to be part of the norm? What qualifications does it entail and who gets to decide if one is or is not part of the norm? That is just it. We do not know what the norm is or who gets decide who is or is not. We tend to see and observe the population and their behaviors and make assumptions of what is acceptable behavior and what is not. The Isms are habitually pin pointed for not being like the rest of the population. They are typically discriminated against for not acting, looking, talking, dressing, or having the same sexual preferences that most people in the modern society have. This type of discrimination has become problematic and makes the lives of the individuals that do not fall under the norm category very grueling.

People who believe that they fall under the norm have a tendency to look down upon the others of whom suffer from differentiation. They believe as if they have the right to judge people who are affected by the isms and do not really respect them. This creates a sense of power for the people who qualify as the norm. They believe they have the upper hand on people who are different and they act as of they are better than them, and are entitled to more than people who are different. Discrimination is never right. No matter the racial background, social class, or ethics no one deserves to be treated differently just because they do not fall under a certain criteria. Everyone puts their pants on the same way every day and I think we, as Americans, tend to forget that and look down on people who do not appear to be of the “mythical norm”.

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