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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Sara Robinson vs. Jane Austen: On Sex, Again

A lady futurist named Sara Robinson posted a remarkably hysterical bit of social commentary cum prophesy in February, which "went viral" (if it didn't start that way), entitled

Why Patriarchal Men Are Utterly Petrified of Birth Control -- And Why We'll Still Be Fighting About it 100 Years From Now

Let me provide the "terror-stricken patriarchal commentary" as we go. 



Conservative bishops and Congressmen are fighting a rear-guard action against one of the most revolutionary changes in human history.

What's happening in Congress this week, as Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) bars any women from testifying at his so-called "religious freedom" hearings

No such ban existed, except in Robinson's fever-stricken mind.  The subject was, in fact, whether religious institutions were to be forced to provide contraception against their values.  This is none of my business -- being neither a Catholic, nor in need of free contraception from strangers -- except that I do have a problem with forcing people to defy their beliefs so 30 year old students can save a few bucks on pills.  But banish such thoughts!  Next thing you know, I'll no doubt be burning women at the stake.

. . . is so familiar and expected that it hardly counts as news. The only thing surprising about it is the year: didn't we all honestly think that by 2012, contraception would be a non-issue, and Congress wouldn't make the mistake of leaving women out of conversations like this one?

There seem to be plenty of male Congressmen who are more than eager to make sure the minor women in their lives have access to free contraception.  A small price, most seem to think, to pay.  And there also seem to be some women who manage to buy whatever contraceptive devices they want, or ask the men in their lives to buy them, without government oversight.  So I'm not so sure this should be portrayed as a strictly gender issue! 
When people look back on the 20th century from the vantage point of 500 years on, they will remember the 1900s for three big things.

If, of course, we somewhat optimistically assume there will be people to look back.

One was the integrated circuit, and (more importantly) the Internet and the information revolution . . .

Or, the "misinformation revolution," as I prefer to think of it

The second was the moon landing . . .

But the third one is the silent one, the one that I've never seen come up on anybody’s list of Innovations That Changed The World, but matters perhaps more deeply than any of the more obvious things that usually come to mind. And that’s the mass availability of nearly 100% effective contraception. Far from being a mere 500-year event, we may have to go back to the invention of the wheel or the discovery of fire to find something that’s so completely disruptive to the way humans have lived for the entire duration of our remembered history.

Until the condom, the diaphragm, the Pill, the IUD, and all the subsequent variants of hormonal fertility control came along, anatomy really was destiny — and all of the world’s societies were organized around that central fact. Women were born to bear children; they had no other life options.

Sorry, Jane Austen -- your existence as a productive human being has just been refuted.  And Wu Zetian, Catherine the Great, Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria -- you accomplished nothing, aside from baring a litter or two.  The wealthy women who supported Jesus must have been fictional constructs, because we've just been informed that their only function in life was childbirth. 

True, come to think of it, Jane Austen seemed to think marrying and having children was a feat devoutly to be desired -- and come to think of it, that's still a major topic in chick flicks.  No doubt this is a delusion, fostered by the Republican Patriarchy of Archbishops. 

With a few rebellious or well-born exceptions (and a few outlier cultures that somehow found their way to a more equal footing), the vast majority of women who’ve ever lived on this planet were tied to home, dependent on men, and subject to all kinds of religious and cultural restrictions designed to guarantee that they bore the right kids to the right man at the right time — even if that meant effectively jailing them at home.

Sara is not entirely wrong, here.  In some cultures, women were, indeed, pretty much "effectively jailed at home."  That was the point of footbinding.  That is why one pretty young Saudi girl told me,
"I'll only go back to Saudi in a body bag." 



But "few exceptions" is going a bit far.  The worst such cases were, perhaps, Hindu, Confucian, and Islam civilizations, and some African tribes, with traditional Japan perhaps just a tad better.  But read Chaucer: women were going on pilgrimages in Medieval Europe. They seem to have gotten around pretty well, also, in Shang China, Burma, and some parts of the New World.   

Our biology reduced us to a kind of chattel, subject to strictures that owed more to property law than the more rights-based laws that applied to men.

Given the variation, biology" was NOT responsible for enslaving women (or many men, in different ways.)  Women had the same biology in all these societies.  What varied was the ideology.  Ideology, or certain forms of religion, is what enslaves, in most cases. 

Men, in return, thrived. The ego candy they feasted on by virtue of automatically outranking half the world’s population was only the start of it. They got full economic and social control over our bodies, our labor, our affections, and our futures. They got to make the rules, name the gods we would worship, and dictate the terms we would live under.

This, again, is over-the-top.  In fact, half the men in some Greek city-states were slaves -- they "got" none of this stuff.  A well-born Roman woman retained much more control over her money, labor, and future than the male slaves she owned.  Men belonging to lower castes in India, or farm labors (the majority) in most cultures around the world, received much less "ego candy" as, say, an average female academic, or law student for that matter, in 21st Century America.  Indeed, poor men in China were routinely castrated and sent to serve as eunuchs in court, or (in much larger numbers, and all around the world) sent to fight their master's wars -- regardless of whether the master was male or female. 

Sara is like one of those thousands of New Agers who thinks she was Cleopatra in a past life.  Sorry, most people weren't royalty, then or ever. 

In most cultures, they had the right to sex on demand within the marriage, and also to break their marriage vows with impunity — a luxury that would get women banished or killed. As long as pregnancy remained the defining fact of our lives, they got to run the whole show. The world was their party, and they had a fabulous time.

More fantasy.  Most men then, as now, worked for a living, to provide for their families -- hunting whales on the polar ice, catching fish on the stormy waters of the South China Sea, digging ditches Medieval London-- working long hours, and dying young. 

For the first time in human history, new technologies made fertility a conscious choice for an ever-growing number of the planet’s females. And that, in turn, changed everything else.

The far vaster change, for those capable of thinking with the organ of thought, rather than some other organ, is of course improvement in medical service.  We no longer need to bare six children, in hopes that one will live. 

Yet in fact, in China, it is government that demands birth control, and parents -- male and female -- who are forced to submit.  Birth control is even a weapon of control, when women are forced to have abortions against their will.  In India, technology allows pre-natal birth selection, which means many females are simply never born.  This is also part of the Brave New World that birth control has wrought. 

Contraception was the single necessary key that opened the door to the whole new universe of activities that had always been zealously monopolized by the men — education, the trades, the arts, government, travel, spiritual and cultural leadership, and even (eventually) war making.

Poppycock. Fu Hao, the emperor Wu Ding's consort in Shang China, led armies into battle.  Her descendents were locked within walls because the culture changed.  On the other hand, when Fu Hao died, dozens of retainers were killed to accompany her to the other world.  That also changed -- some changes for the better, others for the worse.  

What has improved life for women around the world, more than anything, has been the life, example, and teaching of Jesus Christ
And, frankly, while some men have embraced this new order— perhaps seeing in it the potential to open up some interesting new choices for them, too — a global majority is increasingly confused, enraged, and terrified by it. They never wanted to be at this table in the first place, and they’re furious to even find themselves being forced to have this conversation at all.

If Sara means l prefer intact, loving families to sex without consequences or commitment, I have to admit that in this case, she's right.  I read Aldous Huxley's vision of the future in O Brave New World, and though by nature would find free and easy women on the prowl far from "terrifying" ("Go ahead! Make my day!"), morally and aesthetically, I find those thrills ultimately a bit vapid, and the Christian world a far more human one.   

It’s this rage that’s driving the Catholic bishops into a frenzied donnybrook fight against contraception — despite the very real possibility that this fight could, in the end, damage their church even more fatally than the molestation scandal did. As the keepers of a 2000-year-old enterprise — one of the oldest continuously-operating organizations on the planet, in fact — they take the very long view. And they understand, better than most of us, just how unprecedented this development is in the grand sweep of history, and the serious threat it poses to everything their church has stood for going back to antiquity. (Including, very much, the more recent doctrine of papal infallability.)

Again, not being Catholic, I care neither for papal infallibility, nor for the alleged sinfulness of contraception.  But as an American, a lover of freedom, who grew up to dislike bullies, yeah, I am disgusted and alarmed by the attempt secularists are making to force the Catholic church to provide pills for students at colleges they run. 

But again, what Christianity has stood for, going "back to antiquity," has been, among other things -- true human freedom.   And hereAnd here

That same frantic panic over the loss of the ancient bargain also lies that the core of the worldwide rash of fundamentalist religions.

See?  We're a "rash!"  Bet you didn't see that one coming!

Drill down to the very deepest center of any of these movements, and you'll find men who are experiencing this change as a kind of personal annihilation, a loss of masculine identity so deep that they are literally interpreting it as the end of the world. (The first rule of understanding apocalyptic movements is this: If someone tells you the world is ending, believe them. Because for them, it probably is.)

Never mind the fact that cults are often started by women, and that "free sex" is often one of their big selling points -- especially for the men. 

They are, above everything else, desperate to get their women back under firm control. And in their minds, things will not be right again until they’re assured that the girls are locked up even more tightly, so they will never, ever get away like that again.

Yeah, that's what it's all about.  Funny, cult leaders like Mohammed, Joseph Smith, and John Edwards locked women up so they could have more sex.   

If you're a heterosexual man of almost any age, odds are good that you also enjoy a lifetime of opportunities for sexual openness and variety that your grandfathers probably couldn't have imagined -- also thanks entirely to good contraception.

Now, for the first time, when she literally goes for the gonads, Sara remembers that not all ancient men were kings. 

The hard fact is this: We’re only 50 years into a revolution that may ultimately take two or three centuries to completely work its way through the world’s many cultures and religions. (To put this in perspective: it was 300 years from Gutenberg’s printing press to the scientific and intellectual re-alignments of the Enlightenment,

Yet another fan of the Enlightenment myth who thinks it preceded the scientific revolution.  Tsk.  What do they teach them in history class, these days?
   
What I do want is for those of us, male and female, whose lives have been transformed for the better in this new post-Pill order to think in longer terms. Male privilege has been with us for — how long? Ten thousand years? A hundred thousand? Contraception, in the mere blink of an eye in historical terms, toppled the core rationale that justified that entire system. And now, every aspect of human society is frantically racing to catch up with that stunning fact. Everything will have to change in response to this — families, business, religion, politics, economics…everything.

How naive.  As the Chinese and Indians are proving, and the Egyptians soon will learn (after the Russians and Iranians), every revolution in the sense Sara is using the word, is used by the powerful to oppress the weak.  (Burke understood this well, recognizing where the French Revolution would lead.)  What is needed is a spiritual revolution that begins in the heart.  Otherwise, what do we get?  Left-wing candidates for president who hide their mistresses in their flunky's houses, and pretend the flunkies were having the affair, not them.  Liberal congress critters who swim away from a car with a drowing girl in it.  Millions of girls who want husbands and children, forced to raise children by themselves, because marriage has been smirked at in a million sit-coms.  Childen who don't know what the word "Daddy" means.  Loveless loneliness.  Oh Brave New World! 

What we’ve learned these past few weeks is: the fight for contraception is not only not over — it hasn’t even really started yet.

What a sad little mind.  All this seems to show a touch of what Jane Austen called "sensibility," but practically no "sense" at all.  May Sara Robinson lose her war on life -- and find happiness. 

(End, petrified patriarchal commentary.)

19 comments:

Brian Barrington said...

I'd recommend that Republican men learn to do what Democrat men do - pretend to be feminists. It's amazing how easy it is to get beautiful women to want to have sex with you if you just pretend to be a feminist.

As it is, this Republican "war on women" seems to be emerging as a theme in US society - I read somewhere that Obama is an astonishing 20% ahead of Romney in polls of women. You Republicans had better start learning how to communicate with women or things will only get worse for you. If things go on like this, Republican gatherings will quickly become one of the worst places in America to try and get laid. Meanwhile, over at the Democrat gatherings, those Elite Liberal men will be in great demand and have their pick, surrounded and outnumbered by all the women. It will be even better than the liberal arts department at a high-end university.

Anyway, patriarchal men are just wasting their time trying to reverse women's liberation. The unprecedented  liberation of women in advanced parts of the world  over the last 100 years or so has been one of the great progressive achievements in the history of humanity. Sure, the whole thing terrifies a lot of insecure men, but trust me, there is nothing you can do about it. In fact, it's only going to get worse for you. 

David B Marshall said...

Brian: Yeah, thinking with the gonads, indeed. This may be biological heresy and all -- I know we men are supposed to want to broadcast genetic material as widely as possible to increase our evolutionary chances . . . But I'm trying to think under what circumstances I would WANT to make a pass at a Robinson or a Fluke . . . Terminator scenarios come to mind, but I still can't make it real . . .

Obama is master of taking trivial sideline issues and demagoguing them into "wedge" issues for a given demographic, while making no serious attempt at governing or solving problems. Maybe liberal women just don't understand math enough, to realize what a train wreck he is causing. The conservative women I know are all pretty good at math -- they're also plenty attractive.

But sure, Democratic congress critters do seem good at "getting laid" -- vainly, when the kids are aborted, or there are no kids because it's Barney Frank, and then those that survive have $15 trillion in debt piled on their frail little shoulders at the moment of birth.

Responsibility! Demagoguery! Could that be what the (R) and (D) are for? But I see Sara has us both ranting. Must be catchy.

Doc Johnny said...

You have omitted the conservative congressmen and senators who have gay affairs in bathrooms, the right-wing presidential candidates who are serial adulterers who divorce their wives while they have cancer surgery. You omit the church that systematically covered up child-rape and blamed the children while protecting the priests.

You state that millions of sitcoms smirk at marriage despite the fact that television and other media gush about marriage to the point that minorities that have been denied that right now clamor for it.

Regarding single parent families, the reality is far more complex. Perhaps religious upbringing is not an immunization against this phenomenon. The facts speak for themselves. Conservative Christians have higher rates of divorce than other Christians, Jews, and secularists.

While there is some data regarding women who start cults, the vast majority appear to be men. I cannot find actual statistics however.

The issues are complex. While the young lady does engage in hyperbole, your response to her does as well.

David B Marshall said...

Doc: Sure, lots of people with power do lots of rotten things. But not all rotten things all people do helps explain why the Democratic Party has made such a whoop-te-do over trying to force the Catholics into givinv students in their schools free pills.

I haven't noticed all the "gushing" about marriage. Studies show, I believe -- as seems obvious -- that most sex on TV and in movies is between people who are not married. (Aside from the Simpsons.) And most marriages seem pretty bad. (Including the Simpsons, in which the husband or son seem to have no virtues whatsoever -- the women have them all.)

What "minorities" "clamour" for the right to get married? Seems like another silly left-wing wedge issue, in lieu of trying to solve real problems. Marriage, by definition, in every culture on Earth, has been between men and women -- thus the secondary meaning of the word, "to join unlike parts." Lost in their glory years of the 60s (when Democrats often actually opposed Civil Rights), "progressives" need to invent new "fundamental rights" and new "minorities," since trying to actually solve real problems, like the Debt, or the need for more energy, or the breakup of families across the spectrum (especially black families, but the rest of us are following) would divide their own base.

The vast majority of almost every kind of social movement is started by men. But only a few female founders of cults undermines Sara's silly claim that "fundamentalist religions" are all started by men afraid of losing hierarchical male privilege.

Brian Barrington said...

“Maybe liberal women just don't understand math enough”. Yes, women are emotional, irrational creatures. Perhaps if you clearly explain to them their lack of understanding of maths and logic, they will be more inclined to vote Republican?

The countries were same-sex marriage has been legalised have not collapsed – in fact, it doesn’t appear to have caused problems at all. Overall, it’s a good thing.

Most organised religions are started and then largely controlled by men, since one of their primary purposes is to control women.

No employer should have any say in the details of what is contained in their employees’ health plan. Who wants their boss deciding what’s in their health cover? It’s a recipe for allowing the employer to foist their religious beliefs, or some other whim, on to their employees - an outrageous violation of the civil and religious liberties of the employee. If the health system involves employer contributions then the employers cough up the money, and that’s it.

David B Marshall said...

Brian: Well, Sara Robinson certainly is an emotional, irrational creature, I'll grant you that. But I would have to say, quite a few liberal men seem to fit into that category, too. :- )

Most large social organizations in general are "organized and started by men" -- the United States, Ireland persumably, Apple Computer, Microsoft -- so is the purpose of all these organizations, beneath all disquises, just to control women? Wow! The breadth of the plot!

Brian Barrington said...

It is difficult to come up with rational, evidence-based arguments and reasons why women should be oppressed, sub-ordinated and controlled, so religion usually needs to be brought into it e.g. “An invisible, imaginary being says in this book that women should be sub-ordinate to men”. Also, most organised religions have specific rules preventing women becoming the head or getting into positions of authority and power – not so now in the US, Apple or Ireland.

The same goes with homosexuality – it’s difficult to come up with with rational, evidence-based arguments and reasons why homosexuals should be oppressed, sub-ordinated and discriminated against, so ultimately people bring in an invisible, imaginary being who is rumoured to have said somewhere that homosexuality is wrong.

David B Marshall said...

Brian: I'm trying to figure out the secular humanist theory. Religions are founded by men to oppress women, I gather. But you still haven't explained whether companies and nations are also founded by men for the same purposes?

Also, how about religions founded by women? (4 Square Church, I believe, Christian Science, etc.) Are they founded to oppress men? Or are we to believe that men love to oppress women, at least when they're founding churches, but not when they're founding nations or countries, but that women don't like to boss men around? (You did say you were married, right?)

The theory seems wonderfully complex and unencumbered from reality, which I expect is what recommended it to secularists in the first place.

Brian Barrington said...

Many insitutions ARE found to benefit powerful men – but as I said, nations and companies do not now tend to have specific rules preventing women becoming the head or getting into positions of authority and power, unlike most organised religions. Often, the established organised religions are used to justify the right-wing marginalisation of women and minorities.

You may have come across the recent research showing that right-wingers have larger amygdalas than liberals? The amygdala is a primitive part of the brain that experiences visceral fear – the fear of disease, impurity, of your territory been taken from you, and so on. Because right-wingers have a larger amydagla, they feel more fear of people who are foreign or different. They see threats everywhere. Because liberals have smaller amygdalas, they don’t get so worried about all that stuff – they also have thicker anterior cingulates - which is an area associated with rational anticipation and decision-making.

These findings have been confirmed by other research which shows that right-wingers are less intelligent than left-wingers. The study concludes that “individuals with lower cognitive abilities may gravitate towards more socially conservative right-wing ideologies that maintain the status quo” because it “provides a sense of order” for them in a confusing, complex world that they struggle to understand. The certainties provided by right-wing religious organisations and ideologies provide these type of people with some comfort – a bit of certainty in an uncertain world.

David B Marshall said...

ROFL! Please do hang around, Brian, we need the comic relief.

Now I'm being asked to believe that the party of The World is Going to End Tomorrow in Floods, Famine, Desertification, Acidification of the Oceans, and Drowning of polar bears and Coastal Cities is the calm, cool, rational bunch?

The party of China Syndrome and shutting down two generations of nuclear power plants?

The party of hysteria and national hand-wringing and reading pervasive racism into the national temper every time some white idiot shoots as some black kid? (Even though the black kids are killing one another at a vastly higher rate?)

The party that embraces the likes of Sara 'the fundies are going to fight us for 100 years to keep us women down!' Robinson?

The party of "Taliban-like Christian Reconstructionist are about to march on Washington and stage a coup?"

Dang! That was good. Please tell me another one!

Brian Barrington said...

Well, it’s not my research David : - )

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1342239/Brain-study-reveals-right-wing-conservatives-larger-primitive-amygdala.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2095549/Right-wingers-intelligent-left-wingers-says-controversial-study--conservative-politics-lead-people-racist.html

Perhaps the reason liberals are more concerned about the environment is because they have thicker anterior cingulates - which is an area associated with rational anticipation and decision-making. This means they can rationally anticipate problems that may not be manifest immediately – ones that there is good reason to think may be likely to happen in the future. Rightwingers, on the other hand, do not have the same ability to rationally assess future risks. Their fears are governed by the amygdala, a primitive part of the brain that is terrified by difference, otherness and threats of people taking their territory.

Liberals also know that right-wingers tend on the whole to be more racist and mysogynistic. As the report says, “individuals with lower cognitive abilities may gravitate towards more socially conservative right-wing ideologies that maintain the status quo” because it “provides a sense of order” for them in a confusing, frightening world.

Liberals, being on the whole less racist and mysogynistic, naturally resist the right-wing campaigns to support existing power structures that keep minorities and women in sub-ordinate positions.

David B Marshall said...

Stop it! You're making my stomach hurt!

Doc Johnny said...

I think it would also seem obvious that engagement and marriage are the pinnacle of romance plots on tv and in movies. There have been wedding episodes on just about every long running tv show featuring romance of any sort. Premarital sex does not invalidate marriage. The very word in fact implicitly endorses marriage.

Also marriage has traditionally been many things. Marriage between 1 man and 1000 women, marriage between 1 man and 1 child,1 man 1 woman only of the same race, and other variations. There is no ethical reason to deny others what boils down to the right to enter into a legal partnership.

Just 45 years ago my marriage would have been prohibited by law in at least 15 states and the staunchest opponents of my marriage would have been people of faith using biblical reasons why races should not mix.

I only hope that our children will be able to live in a world that allows all our children to marry who they choose and look back on this the same way my wife and I can ponder the anti-miscegenation laws.

David B Marshall said...

DJ: Gay lovers can enter into a wide variety of legal partnerships -- why pretend one of them is marriage? Why not pretend, then, you can "marry" a rock or a chimpanzee? I realize gays are both human beings, but suppose you really love the chimp?

If the state is going to recognize a certain kind of relationship for the good of society, there is nothing immoral or stupid about chosing to so identify marriage. In one sense homosexuals have it better than polygamists, in that their relationship now has more official sanction.

There is some warrant in Christian ethics for restricting marriage to one man and one woman -- though one might also justify polygamy. It was the Church that ended polygamy, for the most part. It was also Christianity that ended most child marriages (Stark, The Rise of Christianity.) Christian missionaries also helped end the burning of widows in India, and a bunch of cruel family practices in Africa, China, and forced prostitution in Japan.

Racism has no genuine warrant in the Bible, especially not the NT. "In Christ there is neither Greek nor Jew." Of course racists can read warrant into the Bible, or into anything else. Distinguishing between male and female does, of course, have warrant in the Bible, in most other sane books, and in biology generally. Just because the racist distinction between black and white was unwarranted, does not mean the "sexist" distinction between male and female is irrational. Apples and oranges, Doc. Bees and flowers.

David B Marshall said...

DJ: Gay lovers can enter into a wide variety of legal partnerships -- why pretend one of them is marriage? Why not pretend, then, you can "marry" a rock or a chimpanzee? I realize gays are both human beings, but suppose you really love the chimp?

If the state is going to recognize a certain kind of relationship for the good of society, there is nothing immoral or stupid about chosing to so identify marriage. In one sense homosexuals have it better than polygamists, in that their relationship now has more official sanction.

There is some warrant in Christian ethics for restricting marriage to one man and one woman -- though one might also justify polygamy. It was the Church that ended polygamy, for the most part. It was also Christianity that ended most child marriages (Stark, The Rise of Christianity.) Christian missionaries also helped end the burning of widows in India, and a bunch of cruel family practices in Africa, China, and forced prostitution in Japan.

Racism has no genuine warrant in the Bible, especially not the NT. "In Christ there is neither Greek nor Jew." Of course racists can read warrant into the Bible, or into anything else. Distinguishing between male and female does, of course, have warrant in the Bible, in most other sane books, and in biology generally. Just because the racist distinction between black and white was unwarranted, does not mean the "sexist" distinction between male and female is irrational. Apples and oranges, Doc. Bees and flowers.

Brian Barrington said...

The countries where same-sex marriage has been legalised have not collapsed – in fact, it doesn’t appear to have caused problems at all. Overall, it’s a good thing. What’s wrong with homosexuals marrying? Nothing.

So why not legalise it? Well, there are rumours that an invisible, imaginary being once said that it would be wrong to do so …

David B Marshall said...

Gents: If your standard is instant and total societal collapse, I'll grant you both that gay marriage has not yet had that effect. Neither, of course, did human sacrifice for the Aztecs: even if one regards the Spanish as God's instrument of judgement, they took a while to show up. I don't recall predicting that the Martians would invade as soon as Adam first put the ring on Steve's outstretched and eager finger, either. But admittedly, I often forget things.

What strikes me about this phenomena is how instant, sudden, and lock-step the "progressive" consensus seems to be. Ten minutes ago, marriage meant the joining of male and female, as it had for tens of thousands of years, on six continents, in thousands of cultures. Five minutes ago, Simon said, "The new progressive doctrine is that the 'mating' of men with men, and women with women, should be blessed by society and called marriage -- though also, the baring of children outside of marriage will also be blessed, also the killing of babies unborn."

Having been told "Jump!' far-sighted and free-thinking progressives around the world immmediately responded meakly, "How high?"

And now that is the new "humans rights" issue, and anyone who differs is a Neanderthal, morally inferior, and priest-ridden.

Which, of course, is nice for the conscience, troubled (perhaps) by all those millions of babies, some very close to term, also being killed to place the Great God Progress, the millions more who grow up not knowing what "Daddy" means, and the millions more who are saddled with trillions of dollars in debt at the moment of birth. When the conscience accuses, one can always point to the estimable progressive position one takes on "gay marriage," and point the finger (pick which one) at someone else.

A rather brilliant maneuver, I do have to say.

David B Marshall said...

But maybe I'd better give this topic its own little forum -- as boring as the issue of gay marriage is to me.

Brian Barrington said...

Legalising same-sex marriage has increased the liberty and well-being of many homosexuals without decreasing the liberty and well-being of anyone else.

So it is not just that it hasn’t led to the collapse of civilisation – it hasn’t had any discernable bad consequences at all, and it has had some good consequences.

The plain fact is that homosexuals marrying is no big deal at all. It's one of those things that in the future people will look back and say “How can this have ever actually been an issue? Were there really people who used to be against this?”.

So why should progressives be against it? Why should anyone reasonable, who isn’t a bigot and a homophobe, be against it?

Btw, it might all seem “instant” and “sudden” to you but we progressives are playing a long game – the winning of the propaganda war on this one seems to have been particularly easy, sudden and instant. You right-wingers are a hopeless bunch :-)