Why can’t she just marry a man? And other dumb questions.

by special correspondent

[this special correspondent post is brought to you by the letters F and V.]

V says this about the Thinking Housewife’s latest diatribe on same-sex marriage:

Lesbians aren’t lesbians just because they don’t think men are worth the air that they breathe. They’re lesbians because they simply aren’t attracted to men. Just like Laura probably isn’t attracted to women. It’s that simple. And, just because you are smiling in the face of an achievement doesn’t mean that you go around smiling ALL the time, that you never suffer when society decides to treat you like a second-class citizen.

The denial of shared medical insurance doesn’t make a person suffer? I think it most certainly can and often does cause people to suffer, financially at the very least.

I beg to differ that a person who is rejected has worse pain than someone who is prevented by law from getting married. In that case, yes, it hurts. But, in the case of two loving people who want to get married, mutually want to get married, and are prevented by law what the Constitution says should be their right in the first place (whether it mentions same-sex marriages by name or not makes no difference), then that is definitely worse suffering. If you ask me.

Rejection is one thing, being treated as a second-class citizen and denied the rights that should be yours at the whims of other people is quite another.

And what nonsense is this about “what sacrifice”? Anyone who gets married makes sacrifices, because you aren’t just yourself anymore, you are two that must function as a unit. Sometimes people give up or postpone dreams, in order to marry the person they love, sometimes it’s more or less than that. Who really cares? It should be self-explanatory. Laura is just being disingenuous by asking this nonsensical question.

In the case of rights, Amanda hasn’t sacrificed anything, she’s had them stolen out from under her. And that is a travesty. Amanda has not refused to love a man anymore than Laura has refused to love a jabberwock. Laura is working on the notion that Amanda is straight, but she chooses to spend her life with a woman instead of a man, because she has an inner and/or deep-seated hatred of men or she feels superior to men. This is highly unlikely as being the case, unless you’re talking about a fictional movie or book.

Amanda is with a woman because she loves this woman as Laura would love a husband. It doesn’t mean she refuses to love a man, it just means that the person she fell in love with happened to be female. Actually, no, her parents do not have the right to a son-in-law or to grandchildren. She can still have children, just not the conventional way.

She can adopt, she could get a surrogate, she could do so by artificial insemination
Sara Gilbert, for example, has two children with her partner. She had one child through artificial insemination, and her partner had the other through artificial insemination. Her partner chose to go first, then Sara did the same later.

It’s not rocket science. I get increasingly tired of hearing this nonsense that gays haven’t been denied the right to marry because they can just marry someone of the opposite sex. They’re saying that love doesn’t matter, you have to marry someone of the opposite sex or just don’t get married. How would these people feel if they had their spouses chosen for them, and were forced to marry someone they did not love just to get their equal rights, which should be extended to them no matter whom they chose to marry?

Slaves were allowed to get married, but it wasn’t anything that was recognized under the law. They were the civil unions of that time period. Even if you extend this nonsense that Laura is espousing the benefit of the doubt and say for argument’s sake that she is right, who cares? What’s it to Laura who this Amanda (whom she doesn’t even know) gets married to or doesn’t get married to? It doesn’t effect her, it doesn’t matter, it’s not her business. No more than it’s her business whether her neighbor grows roses or petunias in her yard.

How does she know that nobody has denied Amanda a job? People are denied jobs, or fired from their jobs, all the time just for being gay. If she doesn’t know Amanda personally, how does she know if this woman has or has not been denied a job? What a stupid assumption to make about someone.

It is unlikely that she’s been denied a spot at a lunch counter for being gay, but that’s only because most people serving you at a lunch counter do not ask you if you are gay. And, you can’t just look at someone and decide without a doubt that they are gay or not, like you can look at a black person and decide that they are black.
And I use the reference to blacks because that’s what she was referencing with the lunch counter scenario.

Laura obviously doesn’t believe homosexuality even exists. She thinks that everyone is straight and that they just choose to be with someone of the same sex out of either prejudice of those who are of opposite sex, or just to be rebellious.

F concurred with this, adding:

1) I resent that these idiots — these backward thinking people — seem to think that homosexuality is a choice. My heterosexuality doesn’t have consequences. (Well, not legally, anyway.) This woman would like marriage to be reduced to a union solely consecrated with the intention of producing children. So does this mean childless (heterosexual) couples are breaching a religious contract? Of course not.

The piece that she writes is in response to Mr. Douthat’s piece on marriage as an institution.

“The point of this ideal is not that other relationships have no value, or that only nuclear families can rear children successfully. Rather, it’s that lifelong heterosexual monogamy at its best can offer something distinctive and remarkable — a microcosm of civilization, and an organic connection between human generations — that makes it worthy of distinctive recognition and support.”

His argument is reminiscent of other “exceptionalism” arguments: such-and-such is unique and wonderful, therefore it must be the only. Even our American exceptionalists use the same argument: America is “exceptional” and therefore must be the best.

(Sorry — totally random — my favorite quote EVER: “God has special providence for fools, drunks and the United States.” [Otto Van Bismarck])

What is really the “best” is what we know the “best”. As creatures who live to orient ourselves, what we know is instinctively what’s best, and using our collective knowledge (based on personal experience and our cultural “orientation”). And “exceptionalism” is just another term for the worst kind of condescension: someone who claims to dismiss from a special — divine — understanding.

There is a lot that Mr. Douthat doesn’t understand. And there is a lot — more than I could possibly write about — that Mrs. Wood won’t understand.

2) Amanda’s comments on heterosexual marriage was not that the institution was ugly. If the institution of marriage was an ugly one, why is it one she hopes to aspire to? No, she makes the case that the exclusionary aspect of it is ugly. That it applies to such a narrow subset of people, that it is an ideal that she can never herself aspire to makes her cripplingly sad, sad enough for her to write this letter to Ross Douthat and for idiots like Laura to mock her deepest distress.

Laura’s very flawed defense of heterosexual-exclusive marriage rights betrays a deep and insidious kind of bigotry. She knows that others will believe she is heartless, so she says:

“By the mere mention of the word “love” Amanda perhaps assumes she will command the sympathies of all but the heartless. But all love is exclusive. By loving a woman, Amanda has refused love to a man. Isn’t it ugly to believe all men unworthy of love?”

This is an utter misunderstanding of love. We don’t love someone because we wish to exclude others. Only an idiot thinks that way. Love is a series of chemical processes and partly a biological compulsion. Love is not something we feel so that we can /exclude/ others on purpose. If she did not love this woman, she would have loved no one at all. Is there a man out there who feels deprived by her lack of love? By having a preference for women, she does not feel that men are unworthy of love! She just loves them more. I doubt Laura Wood feels that she feels women are unworthy of love because she has married a man.

3) Laura Wood’s casual dismissal of rights that come with the married state are appalling. Lack of health insurance can bankrupt families. Does she have no compassion for homosexual couples who might have been saved from abject poverty had they had the right to share benefits? My good friend M from North Carolina was killed by a crane and her girlfriend (they were to marry in Canada once M shifted jobs) and now her girlfriend has access to NOTHING of M’s. She poor beyond belief, with no friends to speak of and a family that chose to disown her. It’s very easy Mrs. Wood to speak this way. I’m sure she has health insurance because of her husband’s job.

4) When she says this:

“The truth is, Amanda is not denied any rights but only the possibility to be free of wounded pride. The purpose of legalizing same-sex marriage is not to grant something positive, a right to marry, but to salve the wounded pride of millions of Amandas, who smile through their tears.”

She really means:

“The truth is, I can’t support Amanda’s right to marriage because that would be wounding my own pride. My pride allows me to hold on to cherished, antiquated beliefs that make up my universe. My prerogative allows me to willfully misunderstand my fellow human beings because I have a divinely sanctioned reason to do so.”

2 Comments to “Why can’t she just marry a man? And other dumb questions.”

  1. Excellent summations from both of you.

    “By the mere mention of the word “love” Amanda perhaps assumes she will command the sympathies of all but the heartless. But all love is exclusive. By loving a woman, Amanda has refused love to a man. Isn’t it ugly to believe all men unworthy of love?”

    Her very phrasing betrays her. Has refused love to A man, singular. How does Wood make the illogical leap from A man to ALL men?

    Since when does showing love toward something mean you despise and condemn all the things you don’t love? I have news for people like Wood, who live in a binary world. There’s a GREAT deal of items, people, and places that I am downright neutral over.

    I love my phone. Clearly I think all other phones should be destroyed. I love my mother. Clearly all other mothers are terrible, and everyone who is not my mother should go jump off a cliff.

    When Wood makes these statements, she is saying far more about herself than about the people she criticizes.

    • What?? You love your phone?! That must mean you want to marry your phone! BLASPHEMY! Now people will want rights to marry their phones legally!

      Just kidding. Great reply, D, I think it sums everything up just perfectly. 🙂

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