Sunday, 24 May 2015
A PIG IN A DRESS, WITH LIPSTICK ON (IS STILL JUST A PIG IN A DRESS)...
In light of Ireland recently 'legalizing' gay marriage and a certain American blogger crowing about it on his blog, here are my thoughts on the matter - for any of you who might be interested. If not, feel free to skip. (It's a long one.)
The concept of 'right' and 'wrong' is a strange one. Is it 'right' to put your pet pig in a dress and take it dancing? After all, what harm does it do? Probably none (though the pig may disagree) - but there are some things which just aren't 'appropriate' and that seems like one of them. Just why the hell would you want to? It would be hard to articulate exactly why you don't think it's a worthwhile pursuit, but that in itself doesn't mean that your reservations about such behaviour are wrong or misplaced.
When it comes to deciding what is seemly or fitting, we usually operate on an instinctive level, then decide on the intellectual justification after the fact. We feel what is right or wrong, and then try to articulate why we feel that way, which can often be difficult. I was once talking with a friend about teenage misbehaviour, like underage drinking and sex (between themselves, not with adults) and he wondered if there was any point in trying to prevent them.
He wasn't proposing that we shouldn't - just pondering, as a point of discussion, whether there was anything to be gained by trying. "After all," he said, "children are there to be corrupted." No, he didn't mean that in a sinister, paedophilic way; merely that, as society is going to allow children to participate in all the things we consider 'adult vices' when they reach a certain age, is it worth preventing them from indulging in habits they will one day embrace when they're 'old enough'? In short, is there a certain level of hypocrisy at work in society's outlook?
Wouldn't it be better (or at least more consistent) if our disapproval of certain kinds of behaviour applied to everyone and not just people of a certain age? After all, if certain practices are considered as not being 'good' for them, surely they're likely to be just as bad for adults as they are children or teenagers? Or do adults not matter so much? However, I'm in danger of drifting away from the main point, which I'll get to soon, I promise. I just thought I'd throw that in there for some extra mental stimulation.
Now, this is a blog mainly about comics - or at least it's supposed to be. However, other blogs often touch on wider subjects so I see no reason why this one shouldn't too, on occasion. And because it's been in the news recently (and even relates to what's been happening in the comics world), the subject I feel obliged to address is the vocal opposition to, and open derision of, opponents of gay marriage. In particular, a certain U.S. blogger's smug, contemptuous and dismissive disdain of any arguments against it.
Not that I'm obsessed with the subject, but other people seem to be. On that aforementioned otherwise excellent blog, the writer is always bleating on about the topic and crowing when yet another state across the pond gives up the ghost and caves in to vocal, militant minorities and votes to allow gay marriage. I feel that someone should step up to the plate and try and provide some balance on the subject. Looks like it's me.
The blogger I refer to claims that there is no logical, valid argument against gays being allowed to marry (or adopt), and that it's bound to be legalized in states all across America before too long. He's probably right on the latter part of that sentence, but I wouldn't assume that it's because cynical politicians necessarily approve of it, but because they're trying to cultivate the 'pink' vote. There does appear to be less resistance to the idea of homosexuals marrying, but I fear that's mainly because society has been worn down by relentless pressure from advocates of gay marriage, and because of a particular perception which has been nurtured over the years.
One of the most insidious insinuations ever to rear its ugly head is the one that seeks to suggest that anyone with a problem accepting homosexuality as a perfectly healthy, natural expression of human behaviour is actually a repressed homosexual. I'm sure you've heard it more than once. "It's a well-known fact that anyone who has a problem with homosexuals is usually one himself."
While I'm prepared to concede that it's probably true in a few isolated cases, it's mainly bunkum. It's simply impossible for everyone who objects to the practice on religious or cultural grounds (or simply a natural aversion to it) to be a great big screaming wooftah in denial of his or her own gayness. However, the idea took root because it silenced criticism from people who simply didn't want to go through the tedious process of having to deny what they're not.
Another effect of this myth was to suggest that, if you're 'cool' about homosexuality, it also means that you're secure in your heterosexuality, so many people overcompensated in their attempts to affirm their 'straightness' by embracing 'gay rights'. I suspect that quite a high proportion of the alleged 'support' for gay marriage and adoption springs from some people either trying to appear 'cool', enlightened, or attempting to deflect potential doubt over their own sexuality. Also, many people just don't give a sh*t one way or the other, and this apathy is interpreted as not being 'against' and therefore 'for'.
It's a simple fact that sexual attraction between men and women has long been considered the norm, and that any other kind - whether it be sexual attraction to members of the same sex, trees, shoes, animals, children, etc. - is outside of the norm. To say that one thing isn't normal is not necessarily to claim that it's criminal, or immoral, or falls into the same category as other things not regarded as normal. Therefore, when one says that both homosexuality and paedophilia are not normal, that is not to automatically ascribe to the former the same degree of 'wrongness' as the latter; one is between consenting adults and the other isn't. However, just because a certain form of sexual expression is consensual, that in itself does not necessarily mean that it is normal - or 'right'.
The jury's still out on whether homosexuality is caused by nature or nurture, or a combination of both. People can develop sexual appetites for particular kinds of sex, whether they were born with an inclination in that direction or not. The amount of same-sex behaviour reputed to occur in many American jails demonstrates that otherwise 'straight' people can develop 'tastes' in that direction. It's therefore too much of a simplification to say that "You're either born gay or you're not!" - though some people do seem to lean more over that side of the fence than others.
But what's the objection to it? Where's the harm in it? That really depends on your concept of right and wrong, good or bad, appropriate or inappropriate. For example, some people think that there's no harm in swearing or using 'offensive' language. Cuss-words are just words and everybody uses them, so who cares if kids swear? They're going to swear when they're adults, so what's the point in stopping them now? Well, if you really see no harm in swearing, nothing I can say will ever convince you otherwise. It would be like trying to explain colour to someone who is 100% colour blind - it's simply beyond their ability to discern because they lack the necessary optical equipment.
However, if you wince when you hear bad language, if you think it debases those who use it as a matter of course, that it robs human beings of the nobility to which they should aspire, then you don't want your kids to be exposed to it - or use it themselves. Therefore, the more common it becomes, you can see the negative effect that it can have on society as a whole. After all, is society a better, nicer place because people can now freely use the 'c' word on telly? I think not.
But where's the harm you ask? If you really can't already see it, I could never explain it to you. You've either got that sense of 'propriety' or you haven't. Same goes for gay marriage and adoption. Resistance to such notions are felt at an instinctive level, and trying to articulate an objection is often difficult, and even pointless. Frankly, it doesn't matter if I hit you with the most logical, well-reasoned, pertinent explanation of why such changes in society are undesirable, if you don't want to accept that point of view, you never will, regardless of what I or anyone else says.
So how do you convince someone of what they refuse to be convinced by? Are unable to be convinced by, in fact. The simple answer is you can't, but that doesn't mean that you should allow yourself to be bullied into silence.
Once upon a time, gays wanted tolerance - and they got it. Not content with that however, they then started to demand that society bend the knee to their whims and not only indulge their wants, but enthusiastically embrace them. Nowadays, you're not able to express concerns about the creeping onslaught of homosexual propaganda that pervades all sections of society without being labelled a bigot or a homophobe, or regarded as an ignorant, unenlightened savage who is a blight on 'civilization'. There is no tolerance of any viewpoint that isn't in accord with the notion that being gay is perfectly natural, perfectly acceptable, perfectly normal and, seemingly, perfectly desirable. And don't be fooled by those who say that intolerance of intolerance isn't the same thing. It's exactly the same, especially in a case such as this.
Here's why. No sensible, decent person believes that gay people should be taken out and shot, beaten, whipped, imprisoned, or verbally abused in any way. If people of the same sex want to live together, then that's no one's business but their own. Society tolerates such lifestyles. However, that shouldn't mean that it's obliged to endorse them. Marriage is something that was invented for men and women. The concept of husbands and wives is a natural one. The idea that a husband can have a husband, or a wife a wife, is simply absurd. Men marrying men or women marrying women is nothing more than an act of mimicry - like kids dressing up in their parents' clothes and pretending to be adults. Letting them do it doesn't make it so. Gays insist on being allowed to 'marry' because they believe it 'validates' their relationships in some way. It doesn't.
However, that's not the only reason. Gays also insist on being allowed to marry because it's their way of imposing their views on the rest of us; it's their way of clubbing us into submission and rubbing our faces in the fact that they're determined to get their way and make us cry 'uncle'. After all, marriage has become less popular over the years amongst straight couples, who realised that they don't need society's endorsement to validate their relationships. So why do gays feel the need to have seeming 'approval' from mainstream society by hijacking a diminishing tradition? "Poor is the man whose pleasures depend on the permission of another" is the message of singer and gay rights supporter, MADONNA, at the beginning of her song, JUSTIFY MY LOVE. It's clumsily worded, because, between consenting adults, sexual pleasures do indeed depend on (mutual) permission, but you get the idea.
Why can't they just do whatever they want to do, without demanding that everyone else must think as they do in order to validate their opinion of themselves? It doesn't matter how many times a husband is placed in the position of having to say "No, dear, your bum doesn't look big in that dress!", the fact remains that a fat arse is a fat arse. It's an emperor's new clothes situation: In a pathetic desire to appear cool, sophisticated, enlightened, liberal, tolerant, progressive, anti-oppressive, people clap and applaud when a man takes a husband or a woman a wife, and think "How wonderful, how brilliant, how lovely!" and feel very pleased about how 'accepting' they are.
Meanwhile, truly sensible people, whose 'bullsh*t detectors are still operational, whose ability to discern what is normal and what is just plain silly, look on, scratching their heads and wondering why others just can't see what a ridiculous situation is being allowed - nay, encouraged - to develop. But how can we explain that the 'emperor is naked' when others are determined to see only the finest, slim-inducing, figure-enhancing garments draped over a corpulent carcass?
No, I'm not a homophobe - nor are you if you share my viewpoint. As I said, if two people of the same sex want to set up house together, then let 'em. We can tolerate that. We don't hate them, nor do we wish them any ill-will. If they want the tax breaks and other benefits that straight people enjoy, then they should be able to trot along to the council offices and declare their partner as heir and next of kin. That way, in the event of death, the surviving partner is protected from the assault of grasping relatives who want him or her to receive nothing from the deceased's estate. Problem sorted.
But marriage? Adoption? Marriage is for men and women, children are the 'product' of men and women, and no amount of social engineering and manipulation, no amount of shifting the goalposts, of gays mimicking centuries-old traditions and ceremonies of heterosexual couples is going to make same-sex 'marriage' truly normal. Any more than kids smoking or drinking, or dressing up in their parents' clothes, makes them truly adult. Like gays who 'marry', they remain grotesque caricatures of the real thing. (To return to my earlier analogy, a pig in a dress with lipstick on is still only a pig, not a woman.)
Note that just because I believe that gays shouldn't be allowed to adopt doesn't mean I'm saying they should be denied access to children. One of the objections that gay people have with an anti-adoption stance is that they suspect it suggests they should be kept away from kids, therefore equating homosexuality with paedophilia. That's not what I'm saying in the slightest. Gay people have brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces, and I'm sure most of them are great older siblings, aunts and uncles, and, of course, babysitters. I just believe that kids have the right to be brought up by a mother and a father, that's all. It's nature's way.
So where's the harm? If homosexuality ever comes to be fully regarded as normal, it's extremely likely that more people will 'experiment' with it when they're growing up. With no social stigma, a drunk youth, having a gay pass made at him or her at a party, may well succumb to such an advance. Even if, afterwards, they decide it's not for them, their heterosexuality has been compromised, whether they even regard it as such or not. Of course, if you see nothing wrong with homosexuality, you won't regard that as a problem, but if you have reservations about such behaviour and don't want your kids exposed to such situations, then you're of a different view. (Sadly though, it seems that you're not allowed to even hold that view, never mind express it, without being labelled a 'bigot'.)
In the end, it comes down to a difference of opinion. Yours may be different from mine, but mine has the weight of tradition behind it and therefore shouldn't be dismissed so lightly, nor should I or anyone else who shares that opinion be dismissed as ignorant or unenlightened, bigoted or homophobic. I don't hate gays, though I do have an acute aversion to LOUIS SPENCE. (Doesn't everyone?) I don't think that's because he's gay though - it's more to do with him being an immensely irritating, overly-camp prat.
I'll leave you with this: Comedian BOB HOPE once joked that he didn't mind homosexuality being legal, just so long as it didn't become compulsory. It may never be that, but make no mistake - society is being reshaped to accommodate gay sensibilities. One day, in the not too distant future, it may well be considered as normal for your offspring to choose the sex of their partners as it is for them to decide whether they prefer blondes or brunettes. It's a toss-up as to whether they'll ever be permitted to engage in sex at thirteen and be allowed to drink and take drugs before or after that happens, but place your bets - it's the world that's coming!
Agree? Disagree! Offended? Delighted? Want to argue with me, congratulate me, insult me - or question my parentage? Or how about a punch-up in the pub car park? I'm game for a laugh. Fire away!
Posted by Kid at Sunday, May 24, 2015