Being Normal

What is normal, and why is it still a buzzword in a culture that understands the necessity and reality of a diversity of opinions, desires and personalities?

Normal refers to the ‘standard or the common type’, but in a world of seven billion people, at one point are uncommon types common enough that normal should no longer be the standard, but a standard among many standards, if we can even define it at that point? If we do mean the most common type by the word normal, should normal be defined as Chinese, poor, straight, able-bodied people who feel their sex and gender match? If so (and I know this may sound silly, but I’m trying to get across the difference in the connotations of the word) is every person outside of China abnormal? Well, most people aren’t Chinese, but most people under one nation are Chinese. Even if we take just the heterosexual, cisgendered, able-bodied Chinese, that group isn’t as homogeneous as its government would probably like to think. Even the people who seem most similar at first glance may not have enough in common to produce a ‘common type’ as an absolute.

And as we know, only a sith deals in absolutes.

If we’re using the word to mean the ability to live without major difficulty in modern society, then surely it’s partly the job of our society to be malleable enough to accommodate those it otherwise isolates, therefore taking that definition off of the table?

Perhaps I’m thinking about this too much and coming to strange conclusions about the abnormality of not being Chinese because of the connotations the word has for people who want to complain about something they don’t understand. ‘It’s not normal’ is about as meaningful as ‘it’s not natural’ when it comes to judging other people, and usually says more about the speaker than it does about the subject of the comment.


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