Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Heteronormativity and Oral Care


Being in a same-sex relationship has it challenges. I know that was the understatement of the century. We all know that living in a hetero-centric society, when you’re not the norm is ripe with issues. Yet, is seems that most of the time being part of the GLBTQ rainbow is down-right amazing. This different view on life, makes us happy to be unique.  When asked about her struggles in life, Carrie Fisher stated "Find your tribe. Don’t wander around feeling different than everyone else.”  This speaks to beginning a relationship with someone. The romantic path seems to be the same for everyone. Yet, in a society that sometimes unknowingly gives easier steps to male-female stereotyped relationships feeling different is sometimes hard to avoid.

I thought about all this as I stood in the oral care isle of my local grocery store.  I was getting to the step of buying a toothbrush for my Sweet Baboo. If you have never been in love before, this is a critical step in mating. You wake up at the other person’s house and discover that they have gone out and purchased a new toothbrush for you. It means that they think you’ll be sticking around. It symbolizes a bond; a next step in the dating world. I was ready to make this plunge and declare my deep “like” by presenting him is his very own toothbrush. It was a huge step, and I was nervous.

This is when I noticed how toothbrush manufactures were a bunch of heteronormative jerks. Jerks I say. Every two pack of toothbrushes had a perceived masculine color and perceived feminine color. Oral-B- Purple and green, Colgate- blue and pink, even Reach had only blue and pink. It was a straight couple toothbrush conspiracy. From standard to electric brushes, if you wanted to save money and by a two pack, you were forced into hetero-centric roles. Sure, it’s easy to buy to separate blue toothbrushes, but it’s the point of having to buy two separate toothbrushes. To cram them together, like your just like everyone else.  Straight couples don’t have to buy separate packaging. They don’t have to decide who gets the blue brush. What? One of use should be forced to decide to take the pink brush role?!?! Outrageous.  

Being in a same-sex relationship truly does have challenges. But, I refuse to wander through the grocery store feeling different than everyone else. Carrie Fisher wouldn’t want me to do that.  For now, my same-sex partner and I have separate packaged toothbrushes.

4 comments:

Blobby said...

NOW who's being heteronormative?

Everyone has preferences in colour and yes, some men might like pink or purple. Some women, or even womyn might prefer green.

My bigger issue is: ewwww....someone picking out a toothbrush for me?? You better know I like 40 medium or this relationship will be doomed. DOOMED, I tellz ya!

Pac said...

Being colorblind, a good day begins with being pretty sure I used the right toothbrush.

I know guys (Gilbert) who keep dozens of individually wrapped, disposable toothbrushes under their sink. I could see though how the Costco pack might not send the precise message you're attempting to convey here.

Will J said...

You could always claim that the purple one was for Lent.

Fearsome Beard said...

I just remember years past when he took me to a CVS after dinner to pick up some things he "needed" and walked me down the toothbrush isle then stopped, turned to me and asked what color toothbrush would I prefer he buy me for tonight and the future nights I would stay over. I swooned and of corse fell hard for such a thoughtful and romantic gesture. It was the beginning of a commitment, well I so thought. The next few nights were glorious, I flew back home and upon my return six weeks later as we lay afterward from our first evening together he dropped the bomb that this was too much and he wanted to pull back. I was crushed. I will buy and bring my own toothbrush from now on.