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How Amatonormativity has negatively impacted language.


Ikarus
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Ok, whats the first thing you think of when someone says this, Im in love with you... Immediate impression, the love is romantic. Ok, how about a more tricky example, but still a very simple example. Someone says, I love you. In this case the word can be used in a familial context, but what about a context with friends. What if you go out of your way to tell your friend you love them.

It would be naive to say there is no romantic baggage to the word I love you in this context, especially between members of the opposite sex. Obviously its case by case how this phrase makes you feel. My view, saying I love you to a friend, smelly, it reeks of romance. I am apothi though, easily repulsed by little things which can be seen as romantic, or relating to romance. 

Before I start getting into the meat of these mini word walls, let me say this. How do you think Amatonormativity negatively impacts language. This is important because language informs how we communicate what we mean to others, and language is connected to the way you see the world, and classify the way you feel towards people. If you say I love you as a friend, well friend, what has that word been reduced to from the influence of monogamy?

One more thing, let me sum up what Amatonormativity means for those who don’t know. Before I knew this long term Amatonorm.... I used a term that is very similar, the romantic love, or love monopoly. Basically, it's the assumption that the traditional view of getting married, having kids, and of course being romantic should be / is desired by everyone. This is bad for polyamorous people, aro people, and others who don’t fit this cookie cutter box. This naturally leads to traditional relationships seen as superior and above other relations. 

 

It's incredible that a simple phrase I love you carries so much baggage, and seems off in the friend context. This is a sign of amatonormativity for sure, because with friends your suppose to say I like him/her/they, but I love (priority/romantic interest) that person. 

Ok how about the word friend. A word which once was respected, but now, it’s societally seen as the lowest form of human relations. Romance top, family, dog is mans best friends lol, and friend. Essentially friend is on the same level as dog, I mean everyone loves their animals, but a wife/husband is on a whole other level from your dog. I say this because I see equating dog friendship with human human friendship as an insult to non monogamous relations. This equation sends human relations even lower societally.

You have words like fiancé, and boyfriend which are highly respected, and celebrated. You have a boyfriend, good for you. You have a friend, uh... good for you man, wake me up when you start mingling--> (cultural attitude).

This bleeds into, so your just friends? Oh yeah, this irks me. I think people have already touched on this phrase, but I just want to add something. I think this phrase right here is the epitome of amatonormativity. It reveals that romance should be and is everyones sole objective, why are you going on this side quest with that clown? that’s just friendship? that’s not the big pot of gold? It also reveals disappointment, oh I was expecting your relation with that person was special sunshine and rainbow romance. 

So there’s the word love which has been saturated by romance, the word friend which has lost its value in the public eye, and been equated with friendships between man and animal. Friendship occupies the lowest space in human relations. Friendships are never celebrated by families, that just sounds weird to even think of a family doing it. Why, well you know... Amatonorm....

I almost feel the need to use a different word than friend because it means so little societally and I feel so much more for people than this friend word that could be used for some guy you met briefly at a baseball game in the hot dog line. You know the expression, that guy makes friends everywhere he goes. Friends meaning eventful and interesting interactions between strangers... 

Ok, that about it.... What are your thoughts?

 

 

 

 

Edited by Ikarus
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I think just the word ‘friend’ without any specification definitely doesn’t have that same societal weight as boyfriend or fiancé, but I think ‘best friend’ does.

I’m only a senior in high school right now, but having a BEST FRIEND seems like it’s more of a long-term relationship than a friendly acquaintance.

While ‘really good friend’ doesn’t have the same effect, that specification from the broad umbrella term to a relationship title is an interesting distinction. 

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10 minutes ago, ScarfOfSexualPreference said:

a BEST FRIEND seems like it’s more of a long-term relationship than a friendly acquaintance.

While ‘really good friend’ doesn’t have the same effect, that specification from the broad umbrella term to a relationship title is an interesting distinction. 

Very well put Scarf fellow. 

Aro’s could use best friend instead of simply friend or really good friend, because it is closer to the intimate relationship target than just some friendly acquaintance. There is also the term besties which is used more by teenage girls which basically conveys the same meaning as best friend. 

On the other hand though Amatonormativity has also tainted the term best friend. Example: I married my best friend, or my wife/husband is my best friend. It may be too late to recover this term from the love monopoly now bum bum buummmmmm!! 

I fear the term best friend will be used primarily for romance, or if you mean it in a non romantic way, people will see it the same way the word friend is seen societally. Thats not to say the second meaning still relates to friendship but people using it for romance is a bad sign, and BF is becoming an alternative romantic term.

 

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3 hours ago, Ikarus said:

Very well put Scarf fellow. 

Aro’s could use best friend instead of simply friend or really good friend, because it is closer to the intimate relationship target than just some friendly acquaintance. There is also the term besties which is used more by teenage girls which basically conveys the same meaning as best friend. 

On the other hand though Amatonormativity has also tainted the term best friend. Example: I married my best friend, or my wife/husband is my best friend. It may be too late to recover this term from the love monopoly now bum bum buummmmmm!! 

I fear the term best friend will be used primarily for romance, or if you mean it in a non romantic way, people will see it the same way the word friend is seen societally. Thats not to say the second meaning still relates to friendship but people using it for romance is a bad sign, and BF is becoming an alternative romantic term.

 

Yeah, i'm pretty annoyed when people say that their SO is their best friend.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 10/17/2021 at 11:37 AM, ScarfOfSexualPreference said:

I think just the word ‘friend’ without any specification definitely doesn’t have that same societal weight as boyfriend or fiancé, but I think ‘best friend’ does.

I’m only a senior in high school right now, but having a BEST FRIEND seems like it’s more of a long-term relationship than a friendly acquaintance.

While ‘really good friend’ doesn’t have the same effect, that specification from the broad umbrella term to a relationship title is an interesting distinction. 

I think that's because you're still a kid. In adulthood, saying you have a best friend can come across as childish, or else they assume it's someone you've known since childhood and continue to use the same term even though you're not still actively seeing each other every day.

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  • 4 weeks later...

On one hand culture can shape language.

On the other hand language can shape culture. I don't think that words like I love you  enforce an expectation thats healthy. Even boyfriend and girlfriend kinda almost have a ring of ownership a certain dynamic is created, and the word relationship itself comes with baggage.

I think friendships are seen important in our culture tho to a fair extent. Cuz ppl without friendships are seen as weird. If you have no friends ur a loser, or something is wrong with u unless u jus moved or somethin or quite old or have a deep relationship with someone. Not saying that is tru jus saying thats how its framed. Might be less important but still are.

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That's a good point @mewix
about friendships. Although I would argue that if someone has spouse and kids there's not really that much expectation of them to have friends. Some couple friends they hang out with a few times a year perhaps.

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