Monday, November 24, 2008

And How Are Your Sinful Cavortings?

A Marriage Manifesto ... Of Sorts:
I no longer recognize marriage. It's a new thing I'm trying.

Turns out it's fun.

Yesterday I called a woman's spouse her boyfriend.

She says, correcting me, "He's my husband,"
"Oh," I say, "I no longer recognize marriage."

The impact is obvious. I tried it on a man who has been in a relationship for years,

"How's your longtime companion, Jill?"
"She's my wife!"
"Yeah, well, my beliefs don't recognize marriage."

Fun. And instant, eyebrow-raising recognition. Suddenly the majority gets to feel what the minority feels. In a moment they feel what it's like to have their relationship downgraded, and to have a much taken-for-granted right called into question because of another's beliefs.

Via kath.A.rine. Unfortunately, I don't think I know any straight couples who oppose gay marriage. But as guerrilla warfare, it kind of rocks.

6 comments:

The Gaucho Politico said...

Its an interesting mind game to play but i am not sure how effective it will be on the people who voted against 8. I really doubt they will "get it" and engage in the self examination required. Most likely they simply decide your weird or that the difference between unrecognizing their marriage and a homosexual marriage is "just different" in some inarticulatable way.

Katharine said...

Oh yay, I'm glad you liked it! Another quotation from it that I particularly like (that I didn't excerpt in my blog either) is

"There is a reason we needed stronger words for more serious relationships. We know it; now they can see it."

That struck me - as someone who is already and ally in all of this, it sort of refined my understanding, perhaps even emotionally.

Labels and societal recognition are so important, and that is a lot of what the act of marriage is, and that's okay - it's part of the societal construct.

I remember the excruciating pain (along with other emotions... rejection, confusion, loneliness, etc) I felt when my parents disapproved of a boy I was dating who I thought was the sun the moon and the stars... I can't imagine the pain (and unnecessary strain it would most likely put on the relationship) to have a society that rejects and in action disapproves of my marriage.

Katharine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katharine said...

Since you liked that, I just came across this (Should Adopted Children be Allowed to Say "Mommy" and "Daddy?") and thought I'd pass it along. It doesn't have the same guerrilla warfare pizazz, but the sort of emotional argument, if you will, is very similar.

(P.S. Sorry for the deleted comment. I messed this one up on my first try, so I had to delete and repost it. That's what I get for neglecting to proofread...)

Maggie said...

Love it. Gaucho Politico: I agree, those against gay marriage may not "get it." But, those (straights) on the fence, or those (straights) who support it in theory but don't care enough to vote, or those (straights) who think they're gay-friendly but haven't really deeply considered the implications of what it means to be gay... it could jar some people into a new level of understanding.

Nebula said...

whoa, that's a fantastic idea! I think I'm going to start doing that. I hung out with a bunch of the conservatives here at the law school yesterday evening for Thanksgiving and told them about freegans. They were quite polite about it all. I don't hang out with enough married people who are against gay marriage (then again, what would "enough" mean?) but I'll try and whip this out sometime.