Building an Authentic Community of Practice


Deconstructing the Domination Ethic

The dominant perspectives in our culture on gender and sexuality are frequently used to sustain a hierarchy that places more importance on some identities and expressions than others. This hierarchy dehumanizes those who don’t match the strict norms of “acceptable” gender roles or sexual orientations by justifying and validating unfair treatment. These beliefs and actions support a dominance cycle in which people who fit into a category are given more authority and respect and the outsiders are shunned. This is apparent in a number of social settings, media representations, and day-to-day encounters. From my socialized understanding of gender and sexuality it’s really unfortunate to see that even in today’s society, where LGBTQ+ identities are becoming more normalized as they should be, there are still instances of outcasting, bullying, and differential treatment. These experiences can definitely align with hierarchy and justification of inequality. By marginalizing or treating some groups as “lesser”, oppressive institutions are maintained and power disparities are reinforced. I want to start by asking why injustice, dehumanization, and unfair treatment still exists in today’s society? Why should someone who prefers the same sex feel inferior to the rest of society? Why do some wish to include religion in this, believing that doing so will force someone to alter their gender and/ or sexual orientation in order to conform the “norm”?