The Argonauts By Maggie Nelson Essay example

885 Words Nov 21st, 2016 4 Pages
Identity within Western society is influentially determined by the binary categorization of heterosexuality. Beginning at birth, institutions and cultural practices establish a gender identity for individuals to form their behaviors around. This construction negatively manipulates the concept of discourse – the way society acts, talks, feels, and thinks about one another – within non-heterosexual communities. The heterosexual language excludes all other forms of expression through the biological views of a male and female-only culture. In the novel, The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson, the concept of discourse is interpreted as a foundation for individuals to construct and perceive gender identities and stereotypes. Nelson mentions how heterosexual discourse creates a complex environment where transgender men and women must decide between a clear heterosexual category. Through the limitations and assumptions of heterosexual language, transgender individuals experience rejection from heteronormative practices.
Within Western society, identity is revealed through the language one uses as a way of categorizing individuals into heterosexual groups. However, these classifications often exclude members of the gay, lesbian, and transgender communities through restrictive titles and pronouns. Nelson writes of her partner Harry Dodge’s experience explaining how Western language forced Harry to adjust to a specific heterosexual label. “When the New York Times ran a piece on your [Dodge’s]…

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