A couple of gender-neutral marriage related links

  • I’m thinking that “gender-neutral marriage” may be the best term to use, better than either “marriage equality” or “same-sex marriage.” By “best,” I mean “most accurately describing what it is I advocate.” No matter what, the media is going to continue to call it “gay marriage,” of course.
  • I’ve wasted far too much time in the last few days debating in the comments section of Family Scholars, particularly in this thread. There is absolutely no chance that I’ll change the mind of folks like Jose, On Lawn, and the other homophobes who hang out in the Family Scholar comment section. But I still get drawn into these arguments. I tell myself that I’m doing it in case any fence-sitting lurkers read the thread, or to help develop good arguments that can be used by me or other gender-neutral marriage advocates at a later date. But really, I’m probably just addicted to argumentation.

    Anyhow, the thread is interesting for showing how many GNM (gender neutral marriage) opponents are opposed to the very concept of “homophobia”; peel their rationalizations away, and it’s clear that they’re real agenda is to erase the concept of “prejudice against homosexuals” from the language. It’s loathesome.

    (There’s also one interesting post about the origins of the word “sexism” buried in there – it’s post number 83. If I do say so myself).

  • Good article in The New Republic about the struggle for GNM in California. The writer, E. J. Graff, feels very confident about the future, and I somewhat-mostly agree.
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13 Responses to A couple of gender-neutral marriage related links

  1. 1
    QrazyQat says:

    So they’re essentially wanting to make the concept “prejudice against homosexuals” an integral part of being? Just redefine it as “normal” so that under the definition of “normal” the entry includes “prejudice against homosexuals”?

  2. 2
    marsha says:

    http://lompyville.blogspot.com/2005/09/why-straight-men-are-full-of.html

    I wrote a little personal AHA! about the whole homophobia thing. Interested in what others think.

  3. 3
    Fielder's Choice says:

    That comment from Marsha is strong medicine. However, the state of women being in danger from unwanted male attention, and somewhat rarely vice versa, is frightening enough. What does same-sex violence do to same-sex friendships in a society where everyone might fear unwanted attention from everyone — not just persons of another gender? And what is its effect on opposite-sex relationships, whether married or unmarried, when both members are left without much trust in their same-sex confidants and confidantes?

  4. 4
    Jesurgislac says:

    Fielder’s Green asked: enough. What does same-sex violence do to same-sex friendships in a society where everyone might fear unwanted attention from everyone

    “Same-sex violence”? You mean violent assaults on men, by men? Yes, as you are surely aware, this happens. There’s a summary here of a survey done in the UK that shows that in the period 1991-1996,

    18% of male respondents, and 10% of female respondents, had been “hit, punched or kicked”. 10% of male respondents, and 4% of female respondents, had been “beaten up”. 5% of men, and 2% of women, had been “assaulted with a weapon”.

    And what is its effect on opposite-sex relationships, whether married or unmarried, when both members are left without much trust in their same-sex confidants and confidantes?

    I don’t see how on earth you get from one to the other. Most violent assaults are committed by men, on men. That’s the culture we live in: that of men who commit (in your phrase) “same-sex violence”. (And mixed-sex violence, too, of course, but if we’re discussing same-sex violence only, that would be mostly men on men.) So, what is the effect of all this male-on-male violence on “opposite sex relationships”? When a man knows that other men may beat him up, does this mean he’s “left without much trust in his same-sex confidants”?

    Well, no. For the very simple reason: most of us pick our friends because we trust and we like them. Someone may turn out to be undeserving of that trust/liking – I know men who have had men they thought were friends turn on them and commit “same-sex violence” when they came out as gay – but at that point, the person ceases to be your friend. And no one goes around just assuming their male friends are going to beat them up just because they’re male and that’s what men do. (At least, I don’t. Perhaps Fielder’s Green does.)

  5. 5
    Kyra says:

    I’m thinking maybe male/male sexual interactions (by which I mean all aspects of sexuality, courtship, relationships, interactions, etc. within that context) and female/female sexual interactions, are less likely to be affected by the power imbalance between males and females. The combination of male/female interactions with patriarchy is a problematic one, and, well, basically what I’m trying to say is that homosexual relationships would generally lack one of the biggest factors in that unwanted attention that Fielder’s Choice brings up—specifically sexism.

    Same-sex friendships already have an advantage in the trust issue because it’s accepted that same-sex relationships can be, and often (usually) are, platonic. If you want to be friends, not lovers, with someone of the opposite gender, you worry about them getting the wrong idea, because a romantic relationship is the default between people of opposing sexes; if you want to be friends, not lovers, with a person of the same sex, they are not so likely to assume the other, because a platonic relationship is the default, and probably will continue to be accepted, even if homosexuality becomes well-accepted as well. And it seems to be easier to go from being friends to being lovers, than it is to go from being lovers to being friends, although I can’t say that with any certainty.

    I tend to be more comfortable with females than males in any form of relationship, simply because the potential gender imbalance is not there (that, and they are more likely to wholeheartedly support feminism).

    I am wondering if perhaps much male homophobia, such as the unreasonable fear some men have of being in, say, a locker room, with a potentially gay man, is due to an assumption that said gay man would see them the way they themselves see women—they see him having their misogyny/sexism/objectification, and they see it directed at them, and are uncomfortable with this in the same way women tend to be uncomfortable with men of that temperment. Of course, I doubt very many of them are led to question the rightness of how *they* feel about women, because in true misogynist fashion, they only have problems with injustice if it inconveniences them.

  6. 6
    Andy says:

    I don’t know how much I agree with the “gender-neutral” qualifier. It seems like it would be auto-discriminating. Like you’re creating marriage subsections and putting gay marriage somehow on a different plane, which is what anti gay marriage people want to do, to an extreme of course. Anyway, I think the goal should be to marriage without distinction. That might be a little ambitious, but you would think the law would be so blind.

  7. 7
    Rock says:

    As any who have read my posts know I am not very educated and lean on personal experience to understand things. I read Amp’s thoughts on the other blog and I see my feelings verbalized, and I catch myself saying, “Yeah, what he said.” I feel angst at the need for Amp to repeat himself and continue to have to point out the diversions. But mostly I hurt for the folks that are fearful of our brothers and sisters having the same choices in their lives as the rest of us.

    Jose` Solano says,
    “We oppose special rights to affirm unwholesome behaviors. Our liberal view allows you to practice what you wish in your privacy but we don’t have to affirm or condone such practices through any form of legislation. These practices are not only bad for America but bad for you. We’re concerned with your well-being as well as society’s. See my article on Opine Editorials on the Meaning and Function of Marriage.

    “unwholesome behaviors”, like bigotry? “Our liberal view allow”, why does he think folks need their permission? ” we don’t have to affirm or condone”, that’s right, just get out of the way. “but bad for you”, how kind of them to care. “Meaning and Function of Marriage”, as if there is only one, theirs.

    It is depressing that common fallacies are used over and over to diffuse the clearly stated arguments by Amp. It is depressing because each point is about real people that are dehumanized by each attack to personhood as opposed to topic.

    Keep up the fight, at the end of the day integrity does matter, at least to us. That truly was a very good argument you put forward. Blessings

  8. 8
    Robert says:

    “Ungendered marriage”, not “gender-neutral marriage”. Gender-neutral implies that you think gender is important/valid in the context of coupling; you don’t. (Or so I am given to understand.)

  9. 9
    Rock says:

    I find the term, “gender-neutral marriage” a bit pedantic. Equal rights in voting was simply “voting rights,” not “Race Neutral Voting.” Robert’s, “Ungendered Marriage” gives one the impression that the folks getting hitched are genderless. I have yet to meet a person that was not gendered, yet alone two. Whatever one calls it, marriage will always be gendered. How about Marriage Rights? Or, Civil Unions, or whatever it is, allow folks to not have any reference to gender? To place the term gender in the terms insures it will always be noticed, as opposed to just being two folks committed for life in a very special relationship where gender is no ones business but the couples.

    I do not believe it is only the GLB folks that share in the freedoms that are achieved when these freedoms are recognized; it is an opportunity for everyone to find a way to share in a larger world. Blessings.

  10. 10
    Jake Squid says:

    I like Rock’s idea. Marriage Rights it is for me.

  11. 11
    mousehounde says:

    How about Marriage Rights? Or, Civil Unions, or whatever it is, allow folks to not have any reference to gender? To place the term gender in the terms insures it will always be noticed, as opposed to just being two folks committed for life in a very special relationship where gender is no ones business but the couples.

    Excellent! Nicely stated, Rock.

  12. 12
    Simon says:

    Amp, I think you’d be wise to stop beating your head against the wall at Family Scholars. I read that thread, and my god, what a bunch of trolls you’re arguing with. I love the way they use picayune theoretical quibbles about terminology to side-track the argument, and whine petulantly about your sane, reasonable posts as if it were you who were the one whining petulantly.

  13. 13
    Jake Squid says:

    Ah. My favorite bit on that thread was when you were quoted (by OnLawn?) with:
    …whinging [sic]…

    That was fucking hilarious.