“The Last Legs of Traditional…Patriarchy”

Rally for Prop 8 in Fresno, California

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Figleaf offers us a good post about the recent decision in California; Prop 8. Judge Walker wrote a blisteringly good analysis of the decision and why he decided that confining marriage to a man and a woman is unconstitutional. Figleaf points to research on the subject which I had not thought of before; that marriage is a contract between families in traditional patriarchy. This is not what most modern people consider marriage to be, except of course, in highly patriarchal countries. Today, marriage is a free choice among equals, not bartered goods in a capitalist market. Gay couples should marry if they wish, not only for hereditary benefits, health insurance, or other material reasons, but because there is simply no credible argument against it. Procreation is not an issue in this scientific day and age. And really, I’ve done more to undermine “traditional patriarchal marriage” than any of the monogamous, loving, and child-rearing gay couples I know.


4 thoughts on ““The Last Legs of Traditional…Patriarchy”

  1. Well said. Feel free to request to contribute to my blog at http://strugglesforjustice.com/ It is not a for profit site despite the .com tag.

    I think people need to be free to express themselves and be who they are and not become entangled with the expectations of what society tells them they have to be.
    Well done.

  2. “And really, I’ve done more to undermine
    “traditional patriarchal marriage” than any of the monogamous, loving, and child-rearing
    gay couples I know.”
    Mystery, I’m sure you’d be glad to see the more patriarchal aspects of marriage in our society put behind us. As to “undermining” marriage in general, I suspect you’re being somewhat hard on yourself there. But the comparison of homosexual and heterosexual marriage prompted me to think about the comparison in relation to parenting, since this is so often used by those who see themselves as the gate keepers of moral probity against the invading hordes of the depraved and the unrighteous. Their arguments have a certain cozy appeal, calling on the “natural order” – mom and dad and the “traditional” nuclear family. Of course there is nothing traditional about this at all, and your comparison between homosexual and heterosexual couples prompts a question. What’s so wonderful about heterosexual parenting as we see it in our own society, or even in our own lives? Many of the pityable, aggressive and rootless children who infest our city centres here in the UK have clearly not been served very well by heterosexual parents. Homosexuals are fallible human beings too of course, but they will necessarily have given much more thought to whether or not to embark on the perillous business of rearing children. My own child has grown up to be the fine person he is hopefully partly because of his parents, but certainly partly in spite of their mistakes.

    I’m very glad the judge ruled as he did. I am, in general, a fan of the American constitution, and wish we had something like it in this country.

    Finally, it is hardly surprising to find that one symptom of aging in the legs of mail patriarchy is knee jerk syndrome. Poor old boys.

  3. You make great points there! (smiling) It’s true that the “traditional” family and patriarchs seem to define it has never been. In the Victorian upper crust the traditional family would have consisted of an absent father and mother and a nanny who probably spent more time with the children than the parents did. Each society has a different version of “traditional” marriage and to claim one that is “correct” and wholesome for society is sadly mistaken.

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