Posted by: hellonhairylegs | September 28, 2008

The Heterosexual Questionnaire

This questionnaire is for self-avowed heterosexuals only.  If you are not openly heterosexual, pass it on to a friend who is.  Please try to answer the questions as candidly as possible.  Your responses will be held in strict confidence and your anonymity fully protected.

1.  What do you think caused your heterosexuality?

2.  When and how did you first decide you were a heterosexual?

3.  Is it possible your heterosexuality is just a phase you may grow out of?

4.  Could it be that your heterosexuality stems from a neurotic fear of others of the same sex?

5.  If you’ve never slept with a person of the same sex, how can you be sure you wouldn’t prefer that? 

6.  To whom have you disclosed your heterosexual tendencies? How did they react?

7.  Why do heterosexuals feel compelled to seduce others into their lifestyle?

8.  Why do you insist on flaunting your heterosexuality?  Can’t you just be what you are and keep it quiet?

9.  Would you want your children to be heterosexual, knowing the problems they’d face?

10. A disproportionate majority of child molesters are heterosexual men.  Do you consider it safe to expose children to heterosexual male teachers, pediatricians, priests, or scoutmasters?
11. With all the societal support for marriage, the divorce rate is spiraling.  Why are there so few stable relationships among heterosexuals?

12.  Why do heterosexuals place so much emphasis on sex?

13. Considering the menace of overpopulation, how could the human race survive if everyone were heterosexual?

14. Could you trust a heterosexual therapist to be objective?  Don’t you fear s/he might be inclined to influence you in the direction of her/his own leanings?

15. Heterosexuals are notorious for assigning themselves and one another rigid, stereotyped sex roles.  Why must you cling to such unhealthy role-playing?

16. With the sexually segregated living conditions of military life, isn’t heterosexuality incompatible with military service?  
  
17. How can you enjoy an emotionally fulfilling experience with a person of the other sex when there are such vast differences between you?  How can a man know what pleases a woman sexually or vice-versa?
 
18. Shouldn’t you ask your far-out straight cohorts, like skinheads and born-agains, to keep quiet?  Wouldn’t that improve your image?

19. Why are heterosexuals so promiscuous?

20. Why do you attribute heterosexuality to so many famous lesbian and gay people?  Is it to justify your own heterosexuality?

21. How can you hope to actualize your God-given homosexual potential if you limit yourself to exclusive, compulsive heterosexuality? 
      
22. There seem to be very few happy heterosexuals.  Techniques have been developed that might enable you to change if you really want to.  After all, you never deliberately chose to be a heterosexual, did you?  Have you considered aversion therapy or Heterosexuals Anonymous?

– Martin Rochlin, Ph.D.

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Responses

  1. Fantastic.

  2. I reiterate: fantastic.

  3. Descending to the levels of inanity espoused by your critics does little to actual elevate your own position. This comes back, very much, to Lakoff’s ideas about framing. As he points out, when you say “don’t think of an elephant,” people think about elephants. A statement like this which makes people think about whether heterosexuality is the ‘right’ sexuality only reinforces the idea that there are right and wrong sexualities, which for the most part reinforces the idea that homosexuality is wrong.

    The argument needs to be reframed as a personal and private choice, not as a battle of right vs. wrong Gays will always lose right vs. wrong because they are the minority outsider. You have the change the frame to win the fight. Documents like this just play into the existing, winless frame.

  4. hahahaha bloody BRILLIANT!!!

  5. I thought it was fantastic too.

    Pload, I think the point is to make heterosexual people see their privilege, not to single-handedly demolish the way we view sexuality. 😛

  6. pload, your point is well-taken, but I still disagree 100%. LGBTQ rights aren’t about privacy; they are about whether or not you get to be respected as a human being if you aren’t sexually drawn to the “proper” gender. Right vs. wrong works just fine for that debate, because human decency is RIGHT and the bigots are WRONG.

    Obviously, sexuality isn’t private at all if you’re het (or presumed to be het). I kiss my boyfriend in public all the time and no one says that it’s a personal, private choice. Wedding rings, pregnancies, hand-holding — all are interpreted as indications of flaming heterosexuality, yes? But no one phrases it that way, or claims it’s a private matter, because it’s “normal.” We need not remark upon the statistically prevalent, but egads, hide the statistically deviant in the smokey veils of “privacy.”

  7. It depends on how you define fantastic. It is certainly amusing, but it also completely reinforces a framing that is counterproductive for the ends trying to be achieved. Something like this isn’t going to make heterosexuals realize their privilege. Those who get it, already get it. Those who don’t are not going to have their opinion changed by something like this.

    To borrow an example from American politics, when Obama made the ad that claimed McCain wasn’t a Maverick, all it did was reinforce the idea (for people who preferred McCain) that he was a Maverick. You do not beat a frame by using the same frame. You make an ad about how he voted with Bush 90% of the time, calling him a lapdog, but you don’t mention that he’s know as a Maverick, because mentioning that just makes people thing, “maybe he is a maverick after all.”

    Amy, LGBTQ rights are totally about privacy, especially in the American legal sense. You can frame the fight as decency is RIGHT and bigots are WRONG. But those ‘bigots’ will frame is as The Bible/Tradition/HetNormal are RIGHT and gays are WRONG. And there are more people who agree with their framing than with ours. So you lose that fight. And that isn’t what the post above is about anyway. It is attempting to reframe hetro = good/homo = bad as homo = good/hetro = bad. Which will fall even more disastrously.

    Yes, it is obvious that expressions of sexuality aren’t private. Never said they were. But the choice of who you express those things with IS a private and personal decision. Just like the fight for abortion rights, when successful, has hinged on the right to privacy for women. It an abortion is a private decision for a woman to make, then the morality (the right vs. wrong) of abortion isn’t the issue of the fight. The same thing has to be true if you’re going to win fights on LGBTQ issues. The framing has to be–the choice of who someone dates/marries/fucks should be private, it is not a sphere for government/societal intervention. If you frame it with something like “You can’t legislate love” you have much higher chance of convincing people than if you frame it as “There is nothing wrong with being gay”.

    The framing of “Women are People too” is terrible for feminism, because for a lot of people it just makes them think about how they don’t consider women to be equal. But framing like “Equal Pay for Equal Work” is great, because it taps into a more universal, less combative frame. There is no A vs. B invocation in it.

    Conservatives love combative frames because they always favor the dominate ideology, and the traditional patriarchal frames are the clear dominate ideologies. So, again, if you frame it as the forces of right vs. the force of wickedness, you reinforce the idea that it IS a fight between those two forces. It is just that most people think you’re on the side of wickedness.

    The quality of arguments (their rightness) often has nothing at all to do with their success (if they did we wouldn’t have had 8 years of commander fuckwad here in the states). But how those arguments are presented can mean everything. If you aggressively challenge peoples’ beliefs (which is what combative framing does) it is much more likely to just harden their preexisting notions. Telling someone they’re wrong just makes them less likely to listen to you.

    There is a reason that MLK is considered to be one of the greatest leaders of the last century and many of the militant black leaders are given short-shrift or are vilified out-right. On reason is that MLK rhetorically changed the framing (being a martyr also helps). He made it about all people, not about black vs. white. And by taping into something more universal, he was able to convince a lot more people.

  8. @ Pload:

    “Descending to the levels of inanity espoused by your critics does little to actual elevate your own position” — it’s bloody funny though!

    And actually, humour *does* have an impact on the way people think. Wouldn’t you think twice about asking LGBTQ people these questions, after reading them set out in this way?

  9. Pload. What you say may be true, I’m really too tired to think much at the moment. I do think that you need to step back and re-evaluate how you’re acting.

    This is a funny questionnaire even if it only functions as an in-oke. I appreciate your concern about framings and whatnot, but in my opinion this isn’t so much a combatitive frame as a funny way to poke at peoples assumptions.

    A lot of conservatives wouldn’t pay change their mind if we cartwheeled and then balanced food items on our head. This is a good way to help people in the middle, types who don’t want to be homophobic but don’t care much abot same-sex rights, this is good way to help them understand.

    I’m going to go collaspse in fluffy pile of cushions now. Hope that made sense.

  10. Amy, LGBTQ rights are totally about privacy, especially in the American legal sense.

    Which is, of course, the central sense we should all be focussing on. *headdesk*

    pload, dude, since you’re so au fait with notions of social groups and dominance, how’s about you take a look at what’s happening here: a rich white het or bi man is scolding a lesbian teenager that she’s thinking about gayness all wrong.

    Yup, there’s nothing creepy about that.

  11. Humour is definitely the best way to handle these things; screaming loudly doesn’t seem to be working, nor does logic, or common sense, or human decency.

  12. I just got triple bingo off of pload’s concern troll schtick.

  13. lauredhel:

    My comments on the American legal system version of privacy was in clarification to Amy, who thought I meant privacy as in ‘secret’.
    Also, nothing in what I said was about gayness. As a white, straight, American male I don’t think I have anything of particular value to say about how to live life as lesbian, Australian teenager. On the other hand, as someone who has spent a lot of time studying communication, framing, and debating, I do think I have something to say about conversing with ‘the enemy.’ I tried to make it clear that what I was saying had nothing in particular to do with being gay by pulling examples from American politics and from feminism. Trying to separate the medium from the message, since my points were only about the medium.

    If this was Twisty’s blog, where she has made clear that is for her amusement only, then I wouldn’t offer up such advice. But as HoHL has indicated in both previous posts and in some of the comments on this post that her goal is communication with us ‘normal’ people, then I don’t think it is particularly out-of-line. If she doesn’t agree, she can ask me to leave and I’m more than willing to go.

    Helen:

    I’m not sure where you get ‘concern troll’ from. That would imply I have some sort of agenda that I’m trying to surreptitiously push. There is nothing in HoHL’s post that I disagree with. Het people benefit greatly from a society which views them as ‘normal’, and like most privileged groups completely take it for granted. I find it ridiculous that anyone really cares about whom other people marry, but such is the world we live in. My point was solely to do with communication.

    If your goal is converting undecided people to your side (because as HoHL pointed out there is a committed conservative base who will never be reached come hell or high water), then mocking their lifestyle is not necessarily the best way to go about it. If the goal is just to have a bit of a laugh, then its fine. But with the understanding that such behavior is more likely to alienate people who you might be seeking to convert to your point of view.

  14. Pload/ Jesse. Just stop. You are giving off concern troll vibes.


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