Friday, 2 March 2012

I'm Not Normal

I broach the subject of "normality" with some reticence as I'm aware my stance on it tends to make some of my friends bristle. However, I feel the concept of "normality" is such a dangerous one that I feel compelled to tackle it again.
So let me now outline why I am prejudiced against the concept of "normality"...
I am a shortsighted trans female with deformed legs and feet. As such, I can never remember a time when I wasn't being punished for not fitting in with someone's idea of "normality". Whether it was being called "four eyes" or having my peers pretend to throw bread at my "pigeon toes" or being shoulder barged in Debenhams because someone took exception to my gender expression, I have regularly and repeatedly been judged and punished according to someone's idea of "normality".
So one can quite possibly see why I am predisposed against "normality".
However, being sensitive to the concept of "normality", has also made me painfully aware that it is not just me that it affects but, rather, that it affects everyone.
At any given moment, someone somewhere will be judging someone else according to their concept of "normality" and then modifying their behaviour accordingly. So, in reality then, the concept of "normality" is actually prejudice by a different name.
So you might expect members of any given minority to fight the concept of "normality" tooth and nail. For it is, after all, more than likely the concept of "normality" that has been used against them to deny them any number of rights and privileges.
However, I have found that is not the case.
I find time and time again minority groups defining their own ideals of "normality" and then using them against others.
I also have vast experience of minority groups using the concept of "normality" against themselves (as if experiencing prejudice from others wasn't enough for them!). And such is their apparent thirst for this prejudice that they actively seek it out as an ideal to live by!
And when I tackle them on this they even go so far as to defend the ideology that has subjected them to a life as a second class citizen! They truly can not see what is so wrong with being "normal"!
However, to my mind, they have confused the concept of "normality" with the concept of living a life free of prejudice. They have confused the disease with the cure! So instead of ridding themselves of prejudice they are in fact strengthening it.
Thus, at the risk of being tedious, I will state the case once again - we must rid ourselves of the concept of "normality" if we wish never to be subjected to it again.
It is that concept that has lead us to dehumanise our race time and time again and surely it is in our own interests to stop now.