July 6th, 2005

Cyclops

Presumptions of Heterosexuality

So, penknife was talking about canonical heterosexuality, with a much-too-congenial-to-be-a-rant-even-though-she-calls-it-one post found here . She says, and I agree, that some things about characters (e.g. having had heterosexual relationships or canon not discussing homosexual ones) lead some readers or viewers to assume that the character is canonically heterosexual, and that the assumption is erroneous. This got me thinking a little more about the presumption of heterosexuality - in canon, in fanfic and in society in general.

penknife focussed on presumption of canonical heterosexuality in the reader or viewer. She pointed out that many readers will see certain behaviors exhibited in characters or see other behaviors not exhibited and see those as determinative of heterosexuality of orientation, when they aren't necessarily. I agree with her on that, but I'm a little more interested in the presumption that occurs in other places. I'd like to focus on three of those places here:

* the presumption of heterosexuality within the universe of the fandom, specifically within fandoms set in current North American society or in a society much like current North American society

* the presumption of heterosexuality within the character himself

* the presumption of heterosexuality (or the fear of exhibiting openly homosexual behavior or desire) in the producers of canon.
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