Posted: 28 January 2013 at 4:27pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by Beyond_the_Veil
"because the whole idea of a gay lifestyle can challenge heteronormativity and monogamy in so many interesting and productive ways, but the mainstream gay rights movement is all about having the right to get married just like straight people do."
I think I lost you there. Care to elaborate?
On a similar note, I also find it interesting how people who say marriage is an outdated institution and needs to be done away with are the same ones who would fight teeth-and-nail for social acceptance for gay marriage. To me marriage is not a necessity but it's not outdated either.
In the end it's important to have a good relationship over legal formalities and cultural rituals. But doing the latter are by no means outdated; and much, in the same way, living together is by no means following an uncultured lifestyle. Whatever floats your boat. Just be honest, truthful and don't harm others. One should have the right to marry or not marry.
By heteronormativity, I mean a set of social standards or norms that dictate gender roles and as an extension
of these perceptions of gender roles, marriage and family structure (including who performs the "free" labour of child-bearing, house-keeping, etc.). I think heteronormativity is problematic, because gender roles are an effect of social training and not necessarily purely dictated by biology the way we are led to believe. I'm using heteronormativity as a concept here, not stating that all straight people are stereotypes or that straight couples live rigid lives and wholly accept regressive social norms.
So my point in my original post was that "queerness" -- let's say queerness and not homosexuality, because there are queer people who identify as bisexual, there are transgendered people, and other categories as well -- can produce an interesting challenge to monogamous heteronormativity. Because queer relationships do not necessarily
follow from the same stereotypical hetero concept of men/women having specific, fixed roles in a relationship. It's a myth that all queer relationships follow a hetero mould. Some might, but I think the truth is that people want to believe that because they are so committed to believing that heterosexuality is more acceptable. I also think queer relationships can challenge monogamy, because I believe that monogamy is a product of heteronormativity, and is moreso a form of social control over women and their bodies, their reproductive capacity, etc.
But, the reality is that marriage is a concept that carries so much weight in our society and so much legitimacy, that the "gay rights movement," -- let's say "gay rights movement" instead of lumping all queer activism, queer feminist activism, into one category -- advocates for gay marriage rights as the number one political issue. My point was that marriage is so important socially, and confers so much legitimacy upon not just a relationship, but also upon those who can enter into such a contract, that we have to conclude that it is a social "necessity," despite our individual preferences or choices.
Edited by --arti-- - 28 January 2013 at 4:29pm