The Socialized Circle of Life.

Finish school, find a serious relationship, get married, have kids, live as close to suburbia as you can get with a white picket fence.  This is a heteronormative and hegemonic timeline of what is seen as how to start a family. Reproductive time is engrained in everything because gender is engrained in everything.  I would argue that anything that could be seen as full of gender is also highly stigmatic in representing reproductive time.  In gender 101 we are taught about the difference between sex and gender and to keep our critical eye open for non-normative or overly genderized things.

On of the first things we looked at and continue to bring up on a simple gender argument is children’s toys and pink and blue representing girls and boy respectively.  Girls play with dolls and play house, while boys play with dinosaurs and play tag.  We code these gender roles and feminine and masculine and talk about their ability to inform kids of their relationships with each other, and reproduction.  Little girls are supposed to want to marry Ken and be just like Barbie.  Reproductive time is just as prevalent in gender binary as gender norms themselves.

“Most people believe that the scheduling of repo-time is natural and desirable” (Halberstam, 5).  As do “most people” believe that girls should have long hair and boys short.  All of these beliefs that “most people” have are on the assumption of heteronormativity and also hegemonic discourse that says what is accepted as the norm.  The binarisms that are masculine vs feminine, hetero vs homo, normative vs non, hegemonic vs non, all of these only exist in the arena of its opposite, thus repo-time is natural only in opposition that to not want kids or not being thinking about it is non-normative.

Reproduction time is thought of as biologically essential because it is tied to a woman’s reproductive system and it’s “clock” which although there can be a time limit does not give it essentialist proof.  But it is socialize in our culture that reproductive time is necessary for the circle of life, if you will.

 

-Megan Bittner

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