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What’s So Great About “Normal” Anyway?

“’Normal’ is just the name we give to the cleaned-up versions of sex that we wish to endorse on behalf of social stability and moral order” –J. Jack Halberstam

If you ask me if I am normal, I will gladly respond with a no and a smile. I read the above quote in the book “Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender and the End of Normal” and it really resonated with me. I find that “normal” is basically the name we give to what society (aka the media) finds favorable. While Halberstam is discussing gender identities and sexual orientations, this conceptualization of “normal” as “the cleaned-up versions” can be applied almost everywhere.

I thought about all the situations I’ve experienced in my life (mostly in high school) where I felt so un-normal and I realized that I should have embraced these moments. “Normal” really just means socially acceptable, and to be honest with you….I can’t tell you one memorable moment in my life that was “socially acceptable.” We must embrace life and all of its imperfections and craziness with no regards for attaining “normalness.”

Halberstam’s book is extremely eye opening and got me very excited for the future. This whole idea of “normal” is really going out the window these days. With all of the new types of families, genders and sexualities that are emerging we truly cannot say there is a “normal” way of doing things. How great would it be if one day all people could express themselves freely without worrying that they will be seen as weird? I think that day is coming soon and I hope that my children (if I decide to have any) will be able to grow up in that world. A world that accepts everyone, rather than tries to change them.

Halberstam also goes on to say that:

“In reality, sex is both much more wild than our norms allow for and, at times, much more bland and banal than our concerns for moral order indicate.”

I also really agree with this statement too. We cannot have any idea of what “normal” means because we as humans are unique in our own ways. The word “normal” is actually extremely hazardous to our vocabulary because it stifles our creativity and desires. I know who I am and I’m thankful for that, but I would have figured it out much sooner had I not been so hung up on being “normal.”

If I do decide to have children, I will teach them to be un-normal. To be themselves regardless of what anyone thinks of them because when it comes down to it, “normal” is a word that carries no weight. What do you guys think? Will the word “normal” ever be phased out of our vocabulary?

4 Responses to “What’s So Great About “Normal” Anyway?”

  1. Dennis

    When mom’s begin buying their young sons toy babies and instruct them about nurturing and instruct their daughters about war and politics instead of Barbies wardrobe then the newNORMAL will begin. I hope I live to see it.


  2. SpongebobBloggerpants

    ChelleBelle: This was a really cool piece. I find it interesting that your feelings about the concept of “normal” connects to the idea of social conditioning that I wrote about in my post this week. Thanks for sharing, I will have to read this book!


    • ChelleBelle

      Yes! It’s very very connected to social conditioning. Definitely read the book haha I didn’t even scratch the surface of it in this post! Glad you enjoyed it 🙂 love the feedback.



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