Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Note On Gay Marriage And Incest

I started writing this as a Facebook post and realized that Facebook sucks for this kind of short-but-not-that-short kind of writing.

From Hot Air
S/He Won The Battle
Gay Marriage and Adult Incest
If you don't like Same-Sex-Marriage (SSM) it's tempting to tell SSM proponents that they should also support polygamy and adult incestuous relationships! This is because:
  • A lot of people think polygamy is a bad idea and a lot of people are grossed out by incest--even between consenting adults.
  • We are told to believe that logical inconsistency and hypocrisy are the worst things possible and if we can catch a target in the act of hypocrisy they will have to cede the argument and the crowd will cheer us. Largely we get that impression from the media.
  • Getting the pro-SSM target into debates about "How Incest is biologically-objectively bad!" or how polygamy subjugates women(!) or "doesn't look AT ALL like 'marraige' is good ground to fight on. These are your terms and your framing. You will win*.
By sticking to adult relationships the 'savvy' anti-SSM debater takes the issue of consent off the table and avoids man-dog "Oh, crap! He went there!" style mistakes. So it's great.

It's also stupidly missing the point--unless the point is to score points in debates while further alienating potential voters.

Which, at this point, I'm willing to concede for some portion of the GOP base might even be the point.

Why Is This!? What's Going On?
The reason this is a self-defeating strategy is that it makes the implicit assumption that logical equalities are the same thing as emotional equalities. I'll illustrate that, if it didn't make sense in that reading:

Experiment For Anti-SSM People: Ask yourself how you feel about this (that's the experiment): From now until the Supreme Court issues it's ruling on DOMA and Proposition 8, when trying to convince people that same-sex-marriage is bad, limit your discussion, with explicit words and images to hot lesbian couples. With every Facebook post show Ellen and Portia or some other totally hot set of girls who love each other.
Use This One
Not Hot Enough? Go With This One.
When talking, no more 'Adam and Steve'--now it has to be Amanda and Linda or something. Choose names that you think sound attractive or, at least, reasonably feminine. Promise to do this--explicitly--at all times. You won't use the word "gay" anymore--but rather "lesbian." The pronouns will all be "her" or otherwise explicitly feminine. 

Are you up for it? Or would that undermine your message?

If it's the latter (and you know it is) are you now a logically inconsistent hypocrite? That's okay: I forgive you.

What IS Going On Here?
It's possible you are telling yourself that the above made zero sense and you don't understand why I said it or what I was hoping to accomplish. If so, the odds are very high you are a conservative woman. If you talk to a man, if he is under the age of 45 and being honest he will tell you lesbians are hot. If you think I am bullshitting you ask someone you ought to trust: Adam Smith's invisible hand which has been fingering lesbians in the massively profitable (well, until the 'Tube' age) porn industry since it existed.

What's going on here is that "gay sex" freaks a lot of dudes out. Hot Lesbian Action packs 'em in the red-light district. If you still don't believe me, you're deeper in the "anti-reality bubble" than people who listen to Glenn Beck (while trying to deny the fact that, uh, he's a Mormon--no, don't think about it too closely).

The problem is that, today at least, the social taboos against incest and polygamy are simply not as strong as those against gay marriage. That, and hot lesbian action is now just a mouse-click away for everyone so that social taboo has fallen too.

Don't get me wrong: real-life lesbians get discriminated against all the time. There are still social taboos in the flesh--but on the Internet?

What Was It That Really Got The Printing Press Going After The Bible? Yeah--Exactly.
The social taboos--especially for the under-30 crowd around polygamy haven't been removed. No one, so far as I know, is blazing a path towards saying Adult Incest is okay. Sister Wives exists--but I'm not sure that's an endorsement in the same way I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry was. It doesn't have to be: if you think scheming movie company execs (Jews, no doubt) made Chuck and Larry to win the culture war you need to get yourself over to Prison Planet (your Alex Jones all paranoia conspiracy theories all the time site) post-haste.

I'll break the reality to you: They made it because they think Adam Sandler prints money and people would be tempted to pay to see this. They made it because the culture had shifted--not the other way around.

They made Guess Who's Coming To Dinner (the first one) to shift the culture: if you had been alive back then, you would not have liked that one either. No--you wouldn't--be honest with yourself.

The Net Result
The net result of using the Polygamy / Incest argument against gay marriage is that you, the speaker, look like an asshole. It isn't because you are being illogical--I can find no logical argument that excludes polygamy but includes gay marriage--but because you are arguing about the wrong thing.

You are comparing gays to polygamist and incestual partners and, to the larger audience? They're not the same, emotionally speaking--that ship sailed. You might as well compare them to pedophiles and bestiality performers which will just make the listeners even more convinced you're a bully and an jerk. Oh, wait, both those things are already happening!

* BUT ... BUT ... BIOLOGY!! RECESSIVE GENES! AND What do I tell Little Suzy When She Thinks Her Older Brother Might Grow Up To Marry Her? No one cares, hot-shot: we don't like incest for emotional reasons that have very little to do with the facts. Should normal marriage *require* an invasive genetic screen to make sure children don't have three eyes? Yeah, I thought not. And familial relations can get degenerate in all kinds of ways that don't deal directly with marriage.


  1. "These deck chairs will just make the Titanic look fabulous if they were over there instead of all over here!"

    1. Queer Eye for the sinking guy?

    2. Instead of bread and circuses, we get EBT and show tunes.