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Friday, July 10, 2015

Obergefell v. Hodges; Supreme Court Redefines Marriage; A Big Mistake

Norman Rockwell, who was possibly gay. I'm pro-gay and anti-redefining marriage 
I believe that the recent Supreme Court ruling redefining marriage was a huge mistake, and I think the day will come when people celebrating it today will look back in mourning.

In the same way that the Sexual Revolution was supposed to be so good for women and it ended up being a misogynist dystopia, this decision will be bad for women.

Because I am a Christian, "tolerant," "liberal," "educated" people often (not always / some not all) people talk to me as if I had a single-digit IQ.

"Don't you know," they say to me, "That various societies have defined marriage in a variety of ways?"

Well, let's see. I've lived on four continents and spoken ten languages as part of my professional life; I worked in the largest anthropological museum west of the Mississippi and I have a PhD. Ya really think that I don't know that marriage has been defined in various ways? Which one of us is, as Sam Elliot says in the meme, a special kind of stupid?

I know that in Palestinian Muslim Arab culture a woman's breast milk has been, traditionally, *her husband's property.* (Don't know if this is true today. See "Speak Bird Speak Again.")

I know that devout Muslims can't affix an age of consent because Mohammed is the perfect example and he married a six year old when he was fifty plus. So, yes, you can see plenty of videos on youtube of imams arguing that marriage to an infant is just fine, and little, prepubescent girls are married to old men every day, and, you can find Ayatollah Khomeini's text on how to sexually pleasure yourself with an infant. Oh, yes, and "Women are for babies; boys are for pleasure."

I know that women in Afghanistan asked the saddest day of their life replied, "The day I had to get married." Forced to marry, often to a stranger, often much older, often with a wife already.

I know that Hindu women, in the village I lived in, could not say their husband's name, could not sleep inside their own homes when they were menstruating, could not look at the hearth fire when they were menstruating, and were supposed to wash their husband's feet first thing in the morning and consume some of the wash water.

Clitoredectomy? Saw that in Africa. Saw it done. Teenage girls, naked except for ceremonial paint.

I know that in the soviet empire at its height, children were encouraged to inform on their parents to the state.

I know that Himmler wanted good Nazis to have multiple wives to produce more offspring.

I know that in ancient Athens, that perfect, pre-Christian world that Neo Pagans wax nostalgic about, women had virtually no rights. Prostitutes were so oppressed that when they were not entertaining clients, they had to weave cloth for their pimps. Upper class women were not supposed to walk the streets.

I know that in ancient Rome, ditto about idiotic neo Pagan nostalgia, the pater familias had absolute power to marry off his daughter to whomever he wanted whenever he wanted, and Thecla, an early Christian woman, defied that and became a saint and the star of her own book, "The Acts of Paul and Thecla."

I know that Christianity succeeded at least partly because it treated women and slaves so much better than the pre-existing Pagan systems. Let a man be the husband of only one wife. These two shall join together and become one flesh. In Christ there is no male there is no female. Let a man love his wife like Christ loved the church. That means a man had to be ready to *die* for his wife.

So, yeah, to me, marriage = one adult male and one adult female choosing to be in a union is a pretty wonderful thing.

It's also a pretty wonderful thing that Social Security, through survivor benefits, recognized the unique sacrifice that biology offers to women, not men, to get pregnant, have babies, and breast feed them.

Women leave the paid workforce and often stay home to take care of kids and many structures are in place to *honor* mothers for their *unique* contribution and *protect* them for their unique vulnerability.

Among the many things the court said this week, they said, "It ain't special having a womb and using it to produce human life and using breasts to feed and nurture."

I came from a less than perfect family and I have not been blessed with love / marriage / kids and I have always felt little-match-girl about that. You notice that I pretty much never post anything on mother's day. That's because my keyboard is too slick, and my screen too bleary, from my tears. I'm a very not-feminine feminist and an iconoclast and I never thought I'd have to be the one to say to other people, "Don't you realize what a treasure / what a blessing / what a precious heritage the nuclear family is?"

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Ooops. Too late.


  1. Wow! "Don't you realize what a treasure / what a blessing / what a precious heritage the nuclear family is?" Captures exactly how I feel about it, but didn't know how to say. Thank you.

  2. Insightful and emotional, as always. Not for the first time, I wish I could give you a hug after I read this post.