by Renee Miller
According to Meriam Webster, deviant is defined as, “Different from what is considered to be normal or morally correct.” So, the opposite of deviance, in my opinion, is conformity. In art, I think conformity is the enemy. Don’t you?
You there. Yes, the one who disagreed. You’re outta here. Go on. Take your shit with you.
Norms, as most of you probably know (I hope), are rules and expectations, which members of society use to determine right and wrong. Deviance is the failure to conform to these norms. Social norms are different from culture to culture, so what’s deviant for you might not be deviant for someone else. It’s all so subjective. Sigh. In most societies, fighting is considered deviant, because we shouldn’t physically harm one another just because we can, and yet, boxing and ultimate fighting exist, and we LOVE them. So in that context, physical violence isn’t deviant. It’s a sport. Killing each other is also deviant in most cultures, except of course when the law dictates it’s okay (during war or as a punishment, for example, not that I’m taking sides on either, so just calm the fuck down). See what I mean? It’s all so confusing.
Deviant behavior is generally given a negative light, but we still embrace it. Why? I think it’s because many of us realize there are many positive things that can occur as a direct result of deviant thoughts or behavior.
Yes, extreme deviance, such as murder, are not good at all. Bad deviance. Don’t do it. Deviant behavior or ideas that lead chaos and/or violence is not a great thing either. Don’t be deviant in a way that creates a cluster-fuck of awful. Do it in a way that helps us evolve and become better humans.
Be the type of deviant that forces social change, for example. How does being weird or “not normal” change anything? If an act deemed as “deviant” occurs often enough, it can eventually become accepted. Once upon a time, women weren’t allowed to read. If we could read, we might think, and if we thought—gasp—we might question or neglect our womanly duties. The horror! Our bold lady ancestors were having none of that, though, and women secretly learned to read and write anyway. Soon, there were so many women reading, the menfolk were all “Fuck it, boys. They’re doing it anyway.” Sure, it wasn’t as simple as that, but you get my point.
Deviance also helps us adjust to change. It’s terrifying when something new comes along. Alternate lifestyles, new technology, and the like are scary for many people. But those brave few who embrace these initially deviant and unpopular things help the rest of us find the balls to check them out for ourselves.
Using the oppression of the female gender as an example again, remember when women weren’t allowed to vote or how it was frowned upon for a gal to wear pants? Remember when it wasn’t okay for a girl to love another girl (or a guy to notice his team mate’s sweet ass)? (I realize we’re still struggling with same-sex relationships, but stay with me. We’ve come a long way.) A few so-called deviants did things differently anyway and over time, the deviant kids made these new things less scary, and now we all have pants and (in some cultures) we can love whoever we want to love and women can vote.
The downside, I suppose, is that deviant behavior can also be used for evil. Religion, for example. Back in the day, many folks used religion as a reason for murdering countless women (and some men). They were burned, drowned, and whatever else the judge in question deemed appropriate. These behaviors are definitely deviant. I mean, in polite society, we do not kill people for doing naughty things like magic. However, with enough time and enough preaching, the church’s murderous ways were accepted as the norm.
That’s bad deviance. Don’t do it.
We chose to embrace deviants here at Deviant Dolls, because the dolls believe in pushing boundaries. We believe in change and individual expression. We love the outcasts, because the outcasts are the ones who typically break new ground and burn the old, useless institutions that do nothing but stop or slow down progress. Besides, we’re all deviants in some way. There is no single person in today’s world who follows every single law/norm/moral society dictates we should follow. Whether you smoke, drink, gamble, masturbate, hate your asshole neighbor, drive above the speed limit, make an illegal u-turn, cheat on your taxes, pick a scab, or whatever, we’ve all deviated from what we’re told is right. Sometimes we even have good reasons for it.
The only way to change what is normal is to do what is not normal. You must question the preconceived notions of what is morally right. You must challenge people to look outside their box and view the world from another perspective. This can’t be done if you don’t deviate a little bit. In writing, the willingness to do what isn’t “accepted” is extremely important. It frees us creatively in a way that is terrifying and awesome.
That is why we are deviant and it’s why we encourage you to be the same.
NOT the bad deviance. No murders, rapes, burglaries or whatever’s going to hurt someone else or get your ass thrown in jail. Do the deviance that has a purpose in the grand scheme of things.
There. Now you’ve been disclaimed and informed. Go be an innovator and a shit disturber. We’ve got your back.