Society, according to Wikipedia is ‘a group of people involved in persistent social interaction….. typically subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations.’
Society spends alot of time with their friend culture and together through interactions, they gather data on us and decide what the masses are doing. The masses are living the way they are due to a number of factors. Family history, beliefs (religion), education, politics, their peers, the friends down the pub. Book group. Zumba. Everyone.
Society dictates the norm, builds stereotypes and shapes our behaviour. We are fed straight into this belief system from birth. Normal is established and sits in the background as an unconscious bias. Normal means what the masses are doing. The masses wear clothes in public places, queue up at the post office, pay their taxes, go on one decent holiday a year, recycle, vote and try not to be addicted to their mobile phones. The masses are right-handed, straight, get married, have children, have grand-children, lead a normal life. Right?
If you aren’t these things you are not normal. I am left-handed. This was my first little glimpse into being a minority. At school I’d be the last to sit down at the beginning of our music class at school as I had to find one of the only two left handed detachable book rests, in a sea of right-handed ones.
Next there is choosing not to have children and how society dictates we aren’t complete without them. People tilt their head when they discover we don’t have them, assume we wanted them, feel sorry for us, while they try and survive on 2 hours sleep a night and food/vomit/unmentionables stuck in their hair/car/everywhere. And please don’t get me started on the phase ’empty-nester’. Really?
Ever since I realised I was gay, joining 2.5% of the population in the UK (10% of the population of Brighton), I have kept thinking about when I was younger, growing up. If society had told me I could end up with a boyfriend OR a girlfriend, a husband OR a wife, would I have found my true self sooner? It makes for interesting food for thought.
The great thing though is normal is changing. I am hearing more and more that kids at school now really do discuss both options. Going out with a girl or a boy is on the cards. Either one is ok and that is 100% ok by me.