Straight-flight

by f

from flickr user jakemohan

Every time I read Mrs. Wood over at The Thinking Housewife, I tell myself I won’t respond no matter how outrageous her posts are. I don’t want to give this woman hits. I don’t want to give her pingbacks, and I don’t want to give her publicity.

Then I read this, and my resolution vanishes.

James M, a reader, asks the Thinking Housewife whether or not he should accept a gift stroller from his neighbors.

They recently made a quite neighborly and friendly gesture towards us, offering to give us their stroller (they have an adopted little boy who is now in kindergarten). They said their boy had outgrown it and they did not have any friends with children […]. My wife was not around when they made this offer so I told them I appreciated their offer very much (I did) and that I would talk to her about it and get back with them.

So what is the problem with this gift? The neighbors are lesbians. What follows is some of the most poisonous thinking I’ve ever read on the Internet. The Thinking Housewife tells him not to take the stroller. Then, in the most careful language possible, she counsels James against allowing his family — and child — to associate with the kind neighbors.

The bigger question is how to handle the matter of your daughter playing with the children of lesbians if you do continue to live in this neighborhood. This is a serious and delicate matter. I think you should let her play with their children while obviously not encouraging the relationships and arranging things so they play at your house not the neighbors’ house. […]

I’m not really satisfied with this answer to you but I don’t know what else to say. This is a very abnormal situation for you and your family. It seems there’s no completely healthy way to raise children in the company of pseudo-families and homosexuals.

By delegitimizing the family unit, she tells him that religious courtesies do not apply. Why bother loving thy gay neighbor? They cannot possibly form real family units.  That love is a waste. Love and acceptance make things real.

This flies in the face of evidence that children of lesbian couples are better adjusted than those of their straight contemporaries.

Mrs Wood then leaves the post open to comments. Kathleen, a commenter, asks the following:

I’m confused by your response to the man in Kentucky who has several neighbors who are lesbians. Where are the same-sex couples supposed to live? I live next-door to a lesbian couple, and although I don’t socialize with them, they are good and quiet neighbors. Aren’t we supposed to “love our neighbors as ourselves”?

(She’s careful to note that she doesn’t associate or socialize with the gay couple. This question is simply in the abstract.)

My jaw dropped when I read Laura’s response.

Well, first of all, I never said they should be excluded from the neighborhood. I never said they should be excluded as openly practicing homosexuals have been excluded from family residential areas in most societies since the beginning of human history. I didn’t say that. I said James should consider moving.

Secondly, same-sex couples don’t need to be same-sex couples; they especially don’t need to be same-sex couples raising children. These women could have married men and were perfectly free to do so. If they did not have an active aversion to men, they presumably would have married men. So it is not they who had their liberty restricted, it is James. James is not free to buy a house in any nice middle-class neighborhood in Kentucky and be assured that his children will not be exposed to sexual perversion.

She would prefer that they be excluded from polite society, but she won’t say it. Instead, she’ll snidely refer to a historical precedent. Because historical precedent has never been used to justify treatment of oppressed social and racial peoples.

Wait.

Instead, she advises James to move. Straight-flight, right? Man doesn’t like the gays, he just moves out of the neighborhood. Easy-peasy.

What comes next is an even smellier piece of garbage. “Secondly, same-sex couples don’t need to be same-sex couples; they especially don’t need to be same-sex couples raising children,” she says. Conservatives like to marginalize homosexuality by calling it a depraved lifestyle, stripping it of its biological truths. If sexuality is a casual choice, homosexuality can be dismissed as a human error and a lack of (good) judgment.

This strips the very powerful emblem of “civil rights” from the gay struggle. Yet the very existence of pieces like this proves that this is such a struggle. Just as importantly, this post displays the clean hate of this issue couched in beautiful English.

The first response to this post is by a commenter named Clem.

“The presupposition is that we traditional whites must always make considerations and we are the ones whose feelings, traditions and principals are to be compromised or disregarded out of hand.”

Those feelings, traditions and “principals” — though I’m not sure why school authority is involved   — include some of the same ideas that have given rise to slavery, racial segregation, gender inequity, among other injustices. We still have to deal with its disastrous philosophical ramifications.

So yes. We will disregard your “feelings”. Because your “feelings” come at the expense of others’ livelihoods. They always have. The “traditional” existence has always been dependent on the denial of others’ social and economic rights.

The post concludes with James’ resolution to leave his Kentucky neighborhood and go deeper into the country. I wonder what he will find there in the wilderness. How will he manage his young family and raise his daughter? I feel for that little girl, who will be raised without grace and the knowledge of diversity.

3 Comments to “Straight-flight”

  1. The only point in TTH’s favor is that she didn’t tell this man to segregate this children from those of the lesbians. (But what if all these kids see that very different families can all manage to be safe, loving homes? SHOCK!GASP)

    This is the line that really kills me, by TTH herself:

    “Furthermore these women (who may be perfectly /nice/) have not considered your feelings at all by bringing their unusual lifestyle into your neighborhood. Remember that. They are not so worried about your feelings; their apparent consideration for others and their outward niceness have serious limitations.”

    Remember, these women don’t care about YOUR feelings. That’s why they’re being so nice and neighborly, they don’t care what YOU think.

    The next time someone moves into my neighborhood, I expect to get a written notification, and possibly a questionnaire. Something along the lines of, “We are practicing Christians, and will be displaying our faith on holy days, such as Easter and Christmas. Would this bother you? Are you comfortable with a nativity scene, or would you only permit non-denominational light string? We will not be participating in Halloween. If you feel very strongly that you do not want us in your neighborhood, we will look for housing elsewhere. We understand that you may not want your children being expose to our Christ-loving lifestyle.”

    It wouldn’t occur to most American Christians that their faith could possibly cause the slightest discomfort to anyone else, they’re normal. It’s all those Jews and Black and Hispanics and Teh Gays who should be considerate of THEIR feelings.

    When you move to a place with other people, you all agree to a social contract of neighborliness. Depending on the location, you may be agreeing to enforceable rules, like not painting your house a certain color. When someone breaks these rules, everyone gets miffed because we all know the rules and we all agreed to follow them.

    In America, religion is not one of those rules. The makeup of your family is not one of those rules. Much as I might want to impose MY will on what I find offensive, I don’t. I do my best to be polite and neighborly, if I can’t bring myself to be friendly.

    If they’re uncomfortable getting friendly with such people, the man above certainly doesn’t have to. But this thread is making him feel good about belittling these lesbians as Other, and Unclean. Sure, they act nice, but really they’re victimizing HIM.

    I dream of a day when little fundamentalist Christian children can play with the children of homosexuals–oh, wait. They probably are. At PUBLIC SCHOOL. *thunder clap*

  2. She’ll still end up having to be told about homosexuality, eventually. I’m sure she’ll venture out into the real world sometime at some point. And, if not, well…animals often have homosexual sex so when she sees two male squirrels having sex, she’ll have to ask daddy what they’re doing and he’ll have to come up with something to tell her. “They’re just playing, honey…” only works for so long. :p

    Seriously, though, this woman is an idiot. And so are her readers. You’ll never get sense out of anything she writes. There is no sense in it, unless you count nonsense.

  3. Wow, I didn’t know strollers could have orientations. Mine is Jewish! It keeps kosher, and will devour Christian babies. I’ll be sure not to offer it to my Gentile friends!

    It used to be that keeping Jewish friends was considered a bad influence, and when I was still in Germany, this belief held strong. Christian parents would not associate with my parents, and growing up, my mom experienced the same exclusion. After all, we don’t need to be Jews, we can convert! Having Jewish friends was considered bad behavior, and indulging the “Jesus Killers.” So much for historical precedent.

    Seems like “Thinking Housewife” should change its name to “Thoughtless Housewife.” Like anti-Semitism, homophobia hurts children— and not just GLBTQI ones. It hurts any child who goes into the world deprived of the ability to relate to these members of their community, and who are instead taught to be hateful at such a tender age. It hurts those who become the victims and perpetrators of homophobia, and whose behavior results in tragedies like 11-year-old Jaheem Herrera’s suicide. Intolerance hurts all of us, no matter what our sexual orientation is.

    If anything, homophobia is sexual perversion.

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