A professor at the University of California, Riverside who teaches sexuality and gender asserts that the coronavirus pandemic revealed the “tragedy of heterosexuality.”
Professor Jane Ward, who wrote a book titled, “The Tragedy of Heterosexuality” and is a lesbian, told Insider, “I think in some ways the pandemic is revealing the tragedy of heterosexuality to people who might not have otherwise paid attention to it,” Ward told Insider, adding, “It really looks like straight men and women don’t like each other very much, that women spend so much time complaining about men, and we still have so much evidence of misogyny. From an LGBT perspective, [being straight] looks actually very tragic.”
Insider reported, “She feels sorry for straight people, especially straight women, who typically report some of the lowest sexual satisfaction in society, Ward told Insider. But she also feels sorry for straight men, who are pigeon-holed into toxic-masculine culture that teaches them they both need, and yet should also demean, women.”
Ward posited of the concept that there are simply two genders, “It’s that straight culture is based in a presumption that men and women are really different kinds of people, that they want different things, that they have different interests, and that they are sort of opposite. And they come together sexually and romantically because opposites attract,”
Ward quoted a queer white female from Europe who insisted, “I find it depressing to see what my straight female friends put up with regarding treatment from men. I really sympathize with these women, but at the same time it makes me feel alienated from them. Our lives become so different when theirs revolves around attachment to a cruel, insensitive, self-centered, or simply boring man.”
Insider wrote, “Even joyous lexicons of straight culture have been shown to cause harm. Just this year a gender-reveal party caused a California wildfire and firefighter death, and large weddings in Washington, Maine and elsewhere led to coronavirus outbreaks and deaths.”
UC Riverside notes: “The Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies is home to more than 170 students, faculty, and staff dedicated to analyzing feminist theory, global cultures, and politics through a combination of academics and action. We offer courses on gender and sexuality in relationship to race, ethnicity, class, history, research, the environment, pop culture, and more. Our degree programs and internships prepare students to go forth and transform their world.”
Ward’s website states:
Ward’s published work focuses on a broad range of topics, including: the marriage self-help industry, the rise and fall of pickup artists, how early lesbian feminist ideas shaped contemporary gender politics, the meaning of sex between straight-identified men, queer childhood and parenting, the evolution of straight culture, the corporatization of gay pride festivals, the race politics of same-sex marriage, the social construction of whiteness, feminist pornography, and trans relationships.
The website adds that Ward is “also a baker, an urban gardener, and a parent to one potbelly pig, nine chickens, and one cat.”
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