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Diversity in Modern Society


#3776

I’ll come back to this later when I have more time, but a “setting parameters” question for you:

How common does something need to be for it to be normal?


#3777

Eh normal is boring. People shouldn’t strive to be normal in the first place.


#3778

Do you find that to be the case? I’d say on average real life for me has more than fiction. It is a minority, Kinsey went with his 10% and that still seems to be not far off but even on a show like Doctor Who that has taken flack for being overly PC there have been like 3 major gay characters or couplings over 14 years, everyone else assumed straight.


#3779

I’ll put it this way, do you think that calling a month’s vacation on a beach in Hawaii “normal” would be a good way to sell it?

For people living in Hawaii, it is normal. There’s not a lot special about going to the beach if you live on a tropical island. But it is special - and not normal - for people from Indiana.

So one person standing on the beach on the first day of his vacation could be terrifically excited about it while a person next to him who lives just a half mile away could say it’s actually not as nice as it was a week ago.

Now, should they get into an argument about who’s right? The whole point is that normal is too relative but depends on the experience of the person. When most people have similar everyday experiences, they call it normal and then try to conform to it and make others conform to it. Claiming something unusual is really “normal” feeds into the same force trying to make the unusual conform.

At heart, I don’t know what normal really means to people when they use it because what is “normal” for them? It might not mean the same to me or anyone else. So be specific. If you mean “harmless and inoffensive” then say that, because calling a month on a beach in Hawaii “normal” isn’t necessarily true for most people.

I’m talking about actually knowing people who are gay and transgender in the sense of being friends or acquainted with them or working with them. Not casual social encounters. I live in Los Angeles and encounter plenty of homosexuals and transgender people but I know only a few gay people well, one same-sex married couple and no transgender people. However, in media, there are plenty of gay characters and even transgender characters, I “know” well from watching those shows.


#3780

I don’t watch a lot of tv but there are plenty of Dutch gay celebs, so I know more LGBT persons from the media than in real life. I don’t know a lot of gay people, but my best friend is bisexual. I have only ever come across a transgendered person once in my life. (That I know of, anyway.)


#3781

About 20 years ago when I was more active in theater, I knew more gay people when I worked for the Queer Theater of Pittsburgh, BUT I wouldn’t have called that experience normal. It was exceptional which is part of why I enjoyed that job so much.


#3782

So am I


#3783

There you go. What is normal for you is completely different for me, so what does “normal” mean? You can honestly say it is normal and I can honestly say it isn’t. Both are equally “correct.”

And why would it be so important?


#3784

You could make the point sex is better when it isn’t normal.


#3785

I don’t quite get your point. Homosexuality and transgender are a minority in life, they also are in fiction. I know two trans people in real life but not that many more in TV and in TV there are hundreds and hundreds of characters. I’m not going out of my way to know gay people, it just happens and will happen at different levels for all of us.

My wife’s cousin is Down’s Syndrome, that’s also a minority, is it not ‘normal’ that he’s there? I don’t know what you mean by that word. Are you suggesting ‘normal’ needs to be a majority? That’s not something that makes sense to me.


#3786

I’m saying that “normal” doesn’t mean anything specific, but the norms of society are what are most common for the most people and those become oppressive when people equate “normal” with correct or good.

I don’t know what you mean by normal and you don’t know what I mean by it, so why are we using it? What is the intent when using it?

I find it to be an attempt to coerce conformity with a particular opinion. And I find the use of normal with positive connotations to imply negative connotations to whatever a person or group finds to be abnormal, the unusual and exceptional.


#3787

#3788

I thought the most recent estimate was that 4-5% of the population was gay, and even that feels quite high. The US population is African American is only 12%.


#3789

And how does that relate to “normal”?


#3790

5% not ‘normal’, has to be 11.96.76%

That’s all fine and dandy.


#3791

nor·mal

Dictionary result for normal

/ˈnôrməl/

adjective

adjective: normal

conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.

“it’s quite normal for puppies to bolt their food”

synonyms: usual, standard, typical, stock, common, ordinary, customary, conventional, habitual, accustomed, expected, wonted, everyday, regular, routine, day-to-day, daily, established, settled, set, fixed, traditional, quotidian, prevailing More

antonyms: unusual, abnormal

  • (of a person) free from physical or mental disorders.

synonyms: sane, in one’s right mind, right in the head, of sound mind, in possession of all one’s faculties, able to think/reason clearly, lucid, rational, coherent, balanced, well balanced; More

antonyms: insane, irrational

TECHNICAL

(of a line, ray, or other linear feature) intersecting a given line or surface at right angles.

MEDICINE

(of a salt solution) containing the same salt concentration as the blood.

  • DATED•CHEMISTRY

(of a solution) containing one gram-equivalent of solute per liter.

GEOLOGY

denoting a fault or faulting in which a relative downward movement occurred in the strata situated on the upper side of the fault plane.

noun

noun: normal ; plural noun: normals

the usual, average, or typical state or condition.

"her temperature was above normal "

  • INFORMAL

a person who is conventional or healthy.

TECHNICAL

a line at right angles to a given line or surface.

Phrases

the new normal — a previously unfamiliar or atypical situation that has become standard, usual, or expected.

“32% of Americans say spending less is the new normal, according to a recent poll”

Origin

mid 17th century (in the sense ‘right-angled’): from Latin normalis , from norma ‘carpenter’s square’ (see norm). Current senses date from the early 19th century.

Use over time for: normal


#3792

“Normal” is a really vague and loaded term.

If something does fall into the “normal” parameters, is it then “abnormal?”

I mean, yes, by the dictionary standard, homosexuals, being a small percentage of the overall population, are not usual, expected, or typicalor. But then neither are redheads, Buddhists (at least in the West), or people in wheelchairs. Is it then proper to consider those people as, if not “abnormal,” then “not normal?”


#3793

Completely coincidentally, my daughter asked me tonight as she was going to bed what “normal” meant, and whether other people would think of her as “normal”.

We had a little chat about it and ultimately reached the conclusion that being “normal” was overrated; that most of the people we admire in this world - great artists, sportsmen, writers, leaders, explorers, scientists and musicians - would not be considered “normal”; that in fact, it was very difficult to think of anyone who was completely “normal”; and that this should be celebrated.

She seemed pleased by that.


#3794

What is normal? In mankind?

I believe the best response, but keep in mind, the most provocative gave Richard Matheson in the end chapter of I Am Legend. Anybody familiar should know what I refer to. It’s not fair society, to others, but when you think about, all that remains is how majority behaves. And can’t be right or wrong; it’s pure philosophy thing. Because that’s how people treat each other.


#3795