One of the topics that we discussed in class that I was able to connect with the most was the concept of heteronormativity. It is something that we don’t really realize is so prevalent in every culture, regardless of whether your culture discriminates against homosexual relationships. When you turn to the internet, heterosexuality and heterosexual relationships are at the forefront of almost all posts on popular websites within our age group and in the background of websites for all age groups.
For example, the website 9gag. I enjoy this website as many of the posts are funny. Most of what makes the posts funny is that they resemble real life situations that most have encountered. Heteronormativity can be found in most of the posts. Specifically, the posts where it features two stick-figure people and it says “le me and le girlfriend” ( http://9gag.com/gag/4312394, http://9gag.com/gag/4309765, http://9gag.com/gag/4309868). The site never features a post where it is a male stick figure with a boyfriend or a female stick figure with a girlfriend. While this isn’t discriminatory towards homosexual relationships, it does but heterosexual ones in the spotlight.
Another example of where heteronormativity is seen on the internet in a more subtle way is on free gaming websites. For example on addictinggames.com, in their girl games section most of the games feature a girl trying to get a boy. In StylishGirl2, you go through many rounds of dressing your character to impress. In the first 3 rounds, she is trying to win over a boys heart, only in the last round do you have to impress a boss in different work situations. There is also a game titled Boyfriend Trainer, where you complete various tasks of “keeping your boyfriend in line” which includes making sure he doesn’t drive too fast and keeping him from looking at other girls. If younger generations are playing these games as they are easy games to play, they are slowly being rooted in the idea that girls need to find boyfriends, not girlfriends. Without even realizing it, we are exposing the idea heteronormativity to our younger generations which may possibly lead to the continuation of homophobia or an inability to understand homosexuals and their relationships.