Thursday, May 22, 2008

Queer Assimilation

Sex and the City Star Cynthia Nixon, who plays Miranda on the show, was recently interviewed in the New York Times. Not only was the title of the interview unnerving ("Chick Crit"), the questions surrounding Nixon's relationship with a woman were equally offensive; I mean how many f'd up perpetuations about same-sex couples having to assimulate to heteronormative standards can they fit in to one article?

A few years ago, you moved in with a woman, after leaving the father of your children. Do you find it easier living with a woman than a man because you have more in common?I think you do have more in common.

You can use the same bathroom in movie theaters, for instance.That’s absolutely true!

Can you share clothes?No. Christine doesn’t wear women’s clothes; she only wears men’s clothes. She won’t even wear any kind of women’s shoes. I bought her a pair of cowboy boots that were from the women’s department, and she was like, “Don’t do this again.”

Does she watch sports on TV?She does. We don’t have a TV. But when there was a World Cup, we went to the local Ruby Foo’s and watched it. And we actually did watch the Super Bowl as well. She tried to explain it to me.

Do you think of her as the male figure in the relationship?No, I don’t at all. Look at what’s happening now. She’s at home with the kids, and I’m the one out pounding the pavement. . . . She’s for Hillary, and I’m for Obama.

Outraged I composed a letter (in the confines of their 150-word limit) to the editor at the New York Times:

To Whom It May Concern:
It was with awe that I read Deborah Solomon’s “Chick Crit,” as it not only began with such a gross label (women are not baby birds), but it encouraged stereotypes of same-sex relationships.

The author asks a series of questions that diminish the reality of queer couplehood; I mean really, does the writer believe that two women occupy one another’s space and hearts only because they can share a bathroom or shoes? And upon mentioning Ms. Nixon’s partner’s affinity for less-demure clothing, Solomon makes further assumptions about watching sports and being the male in the relationship. This is not only unfair journalism, it is also a glimpse into the world of homophobia, one in which includes the consistent need to force people to assimilate to the heteronormative standards of society.

Contrary to such belief, straight and queer individuals fall on the continuum of identities. The NYT should be challenging the gender binary, not perpetuating it.