You’ve Been Pigeonholed
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Published in: November-December 2022 issue.


How the Internet Became Straight
by Alexander Monea
MIT Press, 280 pages, $29.95



DESPITE the generally held notion that the Internet is a “pornotopia” where any and all kinds of sexual activity can be found, author Alexander Monea argues in his informative and disturbing The Digital Closet:How the Internet Became Straight that the web suffers from a heteronormativity problem. The types of porn and the opportunities for online discussion about sexual matters have been limited by a bias in coding, over-blocking of content, and attacks by conservatives, which have led to restrictive legislation “routinely censoring art, literature, and lgbtq+ content across the world.” For Monea, “heteronormativity is not a glitch online but a feature of the internet writ large.”


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Reginald Harris, a writer and poet based in Brooklyn, is the author of Ten Tongues (2003) and Autogeography (2013).