Summer 2009 Retreat

Summer 2009 Retreat

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Journal 15 - Norms

I believe that there many norms in American society. For instance, the typical “American” person should be someone English speaking, white, at least middle class, a citizen, able bodied, heterosexual, and male. Also, this person typically aspires to become well-off one day, have two kids, and a dog and does all of this based on merit. This means that they also prescribe to the American Dream, where this person believes and is proof of how we can all achieve what we want based on our hard work. However, I believe these norms need to be re-examined. To me, these norms are not only false but also extremely hurtful to those that do not fit the norm in America. There is little room for anything that deviates from the norm.

In my own life, I feel like I can sometimes fit the norm but many times, I do not as well. For instance, my queer low-income Asian female identity already sets me outside the norm. And this manifests through daily experiences in which I recognize that I am not the norm. It can range from watching television shows where Asian Americans are completely absent or to watching commercials about dating services only catered to heterosexual couples. At the same time, I contain many attributes that allow me to fit the “norm” in other ways. For example, I am an abled bodied person, a citizen, and I can articulate my thoughts clearly in English without a problem. As an Asian American, people can also see me as a person who fits the American Dream, despite my struggles as well. Thus, if I tried really hard to “blend in”, I think I can fit aspects of the “mythical norm”. Therefore, I believe that every single person can fit certain characteristics of the “mythical norm” and at the same time, not fit in as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment