There are a few who have used the phrase, the Cult of Mediocrity – Michael W. Hirschorn in the Harvard Crimson, and Dr. G.A. Fava in Italy. Societies see what is normal, i.e. most closely resembling the center of the average, and pretend that it is normative, i.e. a conformist manner of being most desirable within the society.

I hope to slowly steal back the word “heteronormative” from its current use to its deeper philological meaning which would be – DIFFERENCE is the essential characteristic of people. Hetero means difference, and variability; it is only recently that through the word “heterosexual” that is has anything to say about gender preference. Normative is, of course, the social message of belongingness.

Our society measures people only by virtue of their labels. Entrance to medical school pretends that it is done by individual scrutiny of the candidates, but actually it is nothing of the sort. What we hold as spectacular is how tightly a candidate can conform to the Rules. Usually, a Spectacular Candidate has an unthreatening incidental, e.g. “Did you know she placed eighth in the world in the Women’s High Jump in the 2012 Olympics?

Those sort of things are cocktail-party desirables for a new physician. “Did you know that she sued her undergraduate institution for gender discrimination and won in court?” is hardly so charming over an evening’s sherry with the alumni.

People burrowing into conformity do not look around for things that might be unjust. The great American formula is Conformity + Patience = Success, and freethinkers who doubt the justice of such beliefs are treated like the Albigensians (i.e. burned at the stake).

Advertisements