In the mid-nineteenth century, European legislators invented a taxonomy of gender to identify various sexual disorders (Blank 2012: 15–21). In this way, legal scholars created the idea of orientation, and new words like heterosexual and homosexual came into use.
As Michael Hannon explains, “Heterosexuals, like typewriters and urinals (also, obviously, for gentlemen), were an invention of the 1860s.” And according to Hanne Blank, “It has, in point of actual fact, only been possible to be a heterosexual since 1869” (2012: xiv). It would take about 60 years until these theories made their way into North America.
The straight truth is: heterosexuality is an invention of European legal philosophy. It is neither good nor bad for this reason. And yet we seriously need to question the validity of such gendered-identities. Especially now, since gendered categories have made their way into popular social paradigms.[Read more…] about Does My Gender Define Me?