New workshop offers tools for victims of hostile relationships

By Alma Lizarraga

ELAC’s Sociology Club held a workshop discussing the lesser known negative effects of heteronormative dating. The club held its meeting on Zoom Monday.
The meeting opened discussions about the common negative effects that come with having to conform to heterosexuality in a mostly heterosexual world.
Knowing more about relationships is an important part of having a relationship. One of the details of a relationships understanding “scripts” within them.
The discussion focused on heteronormative dating, which favors men. They hosts outlined common problems in communication and expectations.
The workshop discussed the pressures of heteronormativity, and how the masculine roles often brought on toxic communication.
Women expressed feeling unsatisfied with many of the expectations in their relationships. This includes feeling that their partners do not hear enough of what they say or that they have trouble expressing their needs.
The overall idea said men forgot to take into account what women are not receiving, both emotionally and physically.
Due to current standards men feel it is enough to be the more satisfied party.
The workshop discussed how in the past expectations about sex have had stigma attached to it. Women were seen as having to pleasure their husband as part of their wifely duties.
Attendees expressed how little heteronormativity was discussed in the past, as it was the norm.
There is a feeling of relief these discussions are now happening. The marriages of their parents and grandparents also affect people due to the heteronormativity of those unions.
Many felt that because of their age, either being too young or too old, they weren’t allowed to talk about how a relationship wasn’t pleasing them enough.
Men expressed knowing they have a certain privilege, and were open to hearing how heteronormative relationships were affecting their partners.
They admitted to not having grown up with this information, but have since acknowledged the distinction in the genders.
Now that people are having discussions, the issues with heteronormativity are coming out.
The common knowledge of heteronormative dating could also disrupt more fluid sexuality.
This would mean relationship structures with more gender fluid people in them.
Genderqueer or genderfluid people have grown up with heteronormative relationship ideals thrust upon them since birth.
The lack of education on genderfluidity has stunted their sexuality.
Traditional gender roles are also on the out. Women are now allowed to dress and act more masculine and men can be more feminine.
This subverts the expectations placed on women. Normally they are expected to act more submissive.
Now with gender being discussed and explored, there’s less and less need for heteronormativity.

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