Gay Girl’s Guide to College

Heternormativity Hard At Work On Campus

Posted in Heternormativity At Work by Leslie on March 23, 2009

Last quarter, I had a typography professor who tended to liken type faces to women’s bodies.

Now, this would generally excite me if not for a little switcharoo he pulled during class time at his studio, MATTER, about four weeks ago.

While critiquing a poster project I’d completed for the course, said professor likened my use of certain style elements to my “male suitor’s” clothing choices.  Let me explain.

Mr. Professor told me that the non-text design elements in my poster were doing little for its layout.  He compared this to a possible male suitor, implicating a curly-haired boy in class wearing tropical surf shorts, asking:

If you had a male suitor who brought you flowers and wore a tux, wouldn’t you choose him over a self-styled suitor in cutoffs and a t-shirt?

This, apparently, related directly to my use of lines as style elements in the poster.  According to Mr. Professor, those lines were the cutoffs-clad suitor.

Given that Mr. Professor generally compared type to women’s bodies, isn’t it strange he didn’t just stick with the original metaphor when dealing with my poster’s sadly-placed lines?  Or would it have violated the heteronormativity clause apparently inherent on college campuses everywhere?

Needless to say, I wanted to set him “straight” but thought it ill-advised in the middle of a college class session.

Now I ask you, loyal readers: should I have bucked the system?  Should I have asked Mr. Professor to reinstate his use of the female anatomy metaphor, even when referring to my own sexual interests?  Should I have told him, point-blank, in front of my 9 student peers, that I’m dating a chick?  (Just fyi, her curves are more Gotham Bold than Bodoni Book, and I like it that way.)

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