Interlude: Actually sometimes choice does not matter

(Content: homophobia.  Fun content: non sequiturs and vests.)

Let’s do a quick comparison.

Person A: I hate gay people!

Person B: You shouldn’t.  It’s raining in Shanghai.

Person A: I hate gay people!

Person B: You shouldn’t.  Vests don’t have sleeves.

Person A: I hate gay people!

Person B: You shouldn’t.  They’re born that way.

What makes the third one different from the first two?  Well, it’s something people actually say.  And… that’s about it.

The simpler intro here would just be to say: I do not care for the ‘they’re born that way’ defence of queerness.  Because the only implication I can read into this is that if queer folk weren’t born that way, hating them for it would be totally fine.  If that’s not the case, then why are we bothering to make the distinction?

Man W: Because of biological predispositions, I will now spend the next four decades in a loving and supportive romantic partnership with another man.

Person X: And I celebrate your love!

Man Y: Because I have made a conscious choice to do so, I will now spend the next four decades in a loving and supportive romantic partnership with another man.

Person Z: I WILL HOUND YOU TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH TO SEE YOU DESTROYED.

Is this dissonant for other people?  Am I missing something important here?  Why should we care whether a particular thing is inborn or chosen more than we care about its impact on the world?  Is it about ‘natural’ versus ‘unnatural’?  Because I was raised by scientists who had spent way too much time hearing from random people that ‘chemicals’ are bad because they’re ‘unnatural’.  C’mon, folks.  Scurvy is natural.

Same-sex coupling isn’t made okay by being natural.  It’s okay because it is a good thing that makes the people involved happy and harms no one.  Any argument that doesn’t focus on that fact is a derail.*

*I can see why ‘born that way’ would still be a relevant fight for trans people, because there are plenty of bigots continuing to insist that ‘trans’ is all some kind of nefarious scheme and not an actual identity.  This is also stupid for all sorts of reasons that could be worked out in about ten seconds of clear thinking, but I will leave an exploration thereof for some other day.

Advertisements

3 comments on “Interlude: Actually sometimes choice does not matter

  1. redsixwing says:

    Yeah, I think it’s about “natural.”

    I think that’s a red herring for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the correlation between people who would say “that’s not natural and therefore not OK*” and people who would say “I have died to natural man and been reborn…”

    I found it in a flamewar on Old Slacktivist, but my favorite response ever to “That’s Not Natural!!1!!” goes something like, “oh, are we drawing our morality from nature now? ‘Scuse me, gotta go eat my young.”

    And, you know, “not natural” also completely ignores all the animals (the usual bastion of NATURE!!!) that apparently get it on in all sorts of deviant scary ways for lulz. Shrug?

    But no, it isn’t OK to hound someone to the ends of the earth for who they love, regardless of if they chose to love that person (or those persons) or not.

    *which I do not believe for a second, in case the rest of this comment did not make it abundantly clear

  2. Will Wildman says:

    As near I can tell, people keep saying ‘natural’ when they mean ‘normative’. Nature itself is scary, dangerous, and incomprehensibly free-willed and bloody-minded. ‘Normal’ is an artificial construct that makes things simple and (sometimes) comfortable, or at least comfortable to think about.

  3. Is this dissonant for other people?

    Yes. But I think part of it is, push-back against, “Lifestyle choice.” There are two problems with the framing used. One is, not a choice, the other is, wouldn’t matter if it were a choice, fuck off.

    Sort of like when Obama is accused to being Muslim. No, he’s not. But, also, since when is that an accusation? What’s wrong with being Muslim? Nothing. It’s simply factually untrue to say that Obama is a Muslim.

There is a nonzero probability that your comment will bring about global utopia. Don't miss this chance!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s