Patriarchy: The Next Generation

What’s the opposite of patriarchy? Hint: it’s not matriarchy. The answer is equality.

That’s the way it’s always been. Whenever some oppressed group manages to obtain a measure of equal justice under the law, the retrograde forces immediately go to work to limit the damage to entrenched privilege and, if possible, roll back the gains.

Consider the Fourteenth Amendment, passed after the Civil War to insure that black people would never be forced back into slavery.

The abolitionist and universal suffrage movements had worked hand in hand up to that point. But in a tactic that carries down to our own day, the amendment was interpreted as narrowly as possibly, extending (theoretical) voting rights to black males only and leaving black and white women to fight on into the next century.

Way back then, the Bible said the woman is subject to the man. The Bible’s still saying it, but in our day, thank god, it’s not also the law of the land.

It also says spare the rod and spoil the child. How far could a biblical patriarch go? Leviticus gives him authority to stone a kid who mouths off. Also illegal now, luckily for me.

These days the Bible says that lying with a man as with a woman is an abomination, a theme that is being taken up by some black preachers who declare that the Bible is the final word on the subject, case closed. Homosexuality is wrong, wrong, wrong. And yet we don’t hear anything from these preachers about all those passages, in both the Old and New Testaments — many more than those prohibiting gay sex — where slaves are ordered to obey their masters. No more slavery, but those passages are still in the unchanging, absolutely infallible, timeless Good Book.

The Bible is, among other things, a historical document that endorses slavery as an institution, just as it accepts the radical subjugation of women and children to men. Women and children were property, and biblical patriarchs could dispose of them any way they saw fit, up to and including putting them to death. But we only seem to notice those passages that have to do with preventing new groups from achieving equal status. Once the culture has assimilated the change, Bible passages arguing against equality become dormant for most people.

This selective biblical amnesia has prompted a gay man named Mitchell Gold to start a national campaign to educate people about the way the Bible has been used to support bigotry throughout history.

Although many churches are participating in Gold’s campaign, some black preachers see it as an unfair attempt to equalize the sufferings of blacks and gays. Consider this comment by the Reverend Keith Ratliff of the Maple Street Missionary Baptist Church in Ames, Iowa, where the campaign kicked off:

Even though there have been hate crimes against homosexuals, which is wrong, and discrimination against homosexuals, which is wrong, in my opinion the civil rights movement and the gay rights movement are not parallel.

Gays aren’t denied the right to vote. Gays were not considered to be three-fifths of a person. Gays did not suffer through Jim Crow, separate restrooms and water fountains, sitting in the back of the bus and segregated schools. Gays were not enslaved for more than 200 years in America, lynched and bombed by the thousands, like the black people were.

Reverend Ratliff apparently feels that the push for gay equality somehow takes away from the monumental struggle and achievements of the black civil rights movement, but nothing could be further from the truth — or further from the soul of the civil rights movement. It was Dr. King who said, “Injustice anywhere threatens the cause of justice everywhere.”

Rev. Ratliff would be better off if he stopped worrying about who’s suffered more — is that a contest anyone wants to win? — and concentrated instead on the fact that the same warped idea of equal protection is being used against both people of color and queers. This warping began almost as soon as the Fourteenth Amendment became law, when railroad robber barons were successful in using it to argue that corporations are legal persons, who therefore deserve all the constitutional rights belonging to living, breathing human beings, from free speech to equal protection — a ruling that’s helped make corporations first among equals for the past century and a half.

Because of that upside-down ruling, the amendment became a vehicle for protecting entrenched privilege rather than fulfilling its original intent of remedying injustice, and it’s still happening.

Conservatives on the Rehnquist Court used equal protection, of all things, to argue that counting votes in Florida in 2000 damaged George W. Bush’s interests. As for the interests of the thousands upon thousands of voters, many of them minorities, whose votes were tossed out like garbage, the Court said there is no constitutional mention of the individual vote. That’s just a custom.

In the same way, marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution is merely customary — it’s never needed to be written down. That’s why states are scrambling to amend their constitutions to explicitly confine marriage to one man and one woman. The difference is that arguing against voting rights, as the Court’s conservative majority did, benefits only the powerful few, while challenging the custom of exclusively heterosexual marriage legitimizes gay relationships that have always existed and are equally deserving of respect.

In fact, the institution of marriage has been evolving for hundreds and hundreds of years, away from the days when a father could sell his daughters and buy all the wives he could afford; when a husband could sign a recalcitrant wife over to an insane asylum just on his say-so; when a wife who left her husband for any reason lost all claim to her children; when married women could not own anything in their own right.

Within our own lifetimes, the birth control pill, legalized abortion, feminism, and no-fault divorce have moved the institution toward much greater equality. That’s a good thing, as far as I’m concerned, but it’s upsetting to some who have lived their lives according to the old rules of patriarchal marriage, where the father has more status and decision-making authority, if not intrinsic worth, than mother and children.

These traditionalists argue that same-sex marriages can never be equal to heterosexual marriage because only men and women can have children. Since people have children without marriage, and marriage without children, I would argue that what is and always has been of concern is establishing paternity.

Abortion and same-sex marriage present exactly the same threat to marriage understood as an institution for establishing paternity and passing on paternalistic values.

The Roberts Court’s recent upholding of a federal ban on late-term abortions without exceptions for the health of the mother — in contravention of settled precedent — confirms what many of us have long suspected: when it comes down to a choice between the actual life of the mother and the potential individuality of a fetus, the right wing chooses the proto-human fetus, hands down.

The reason is basic: the mother shares no genetic material with the father while the fetus shares half. In other words, the fetus is part of the father, but the mother is not.

So when social conservatives wail that gay marriage will destroy the institution, I guess I have to agree. Marriage equality really could go a long way toward dooming marriage as a patriarchal institution. The more images of legally-sanctioned equal relationships that we see in our society, the less attractive unequal relationships are likely to become.

42 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Fitz said on May 22nd, 2007 at 8:10am #

    “What’s the opposite of patriarchy? Hint: it’s not matriarchy. The answer is equality.”

    Oh no: as a pratical matter I’m afraid it is. Unless you believe that “equality” is represented by illigitamacy & unprecedeted levels of poverty amoung women & their children.

    March 1965 United States Department of Labor
    The Negro Family: The Case For National Action
    Summary- The Famous report by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan argues in his 1965 report that the roots of black families’ problems lie in family breakdown. …
    http://www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/history/webid-meynihan.htm

    Summer 2005 City Journal By Kay S. Hymowitz,
    The Black Family: 40 Years of Lies
    Summary- An excellent chronology of how family breakdown was ignored and apologized for by the countries leftist policy elites. {companion to the Moynihan Report (above)}
    http://www.city-journal.org/html/15_3_black_family.html

    Winter 2006, City Journal By Kay S. Hymowitz
    Marriage and Caste, America’s chief source of inequality? The Marriage Gap
    http://www.city-journal.org/html/16_1_marriage_gap.html

    March 12, 2007 the State News By Gary Glenn
    Black community doesn’t support same-sex unions
    http://www.statenews.com/op_article.phtml?pk=40115

  2. Patricia Goldsmith said on May 22nd, 2007 at 12:37pm #

    Thanks for the links. I haven’t read them all, but it seems to me you’re arguing two opposite things: that women earn less in society, which is why marriage breakups lead to poverty; and that increased divorce leads to matriarchy. Impoverished female-headed households do not create, even if they were the majority, would not create a society in which women rule. I’m arguing that true equality between men and women, including economic equality, is the opposite of our present system–and you seem to be agreeing.

  3. On Lawn said on May 22nd, 2007 at 2:39pm #

    As a friend of mine recently wrote, “If marriage was suppose to oppressive to women, wouldn’t they call it ‘patrimony’ and not ‘matrimony’?”

    A legitimate question to be sure. Patriarchy is too often one of those epithets, like “colonial” or anything with the suffix “phobia” or “ism” attached to it. In each case there is emnity and conflict. There are a lot of reasons for this, some are valid but many are petty. But to equate it with oppression is like saying that ice cream is bad because you hate chocolate-peanut-butter-fudge.

    I would offer that the fulfillment of patriarchy is equality. No one likes the position of being dependent, believe me I know. But in a marriage (matri-mony) it is clear that the person most dependent is the one who values their children the most. Equality is not freedom from dependency of the other gender or the “role” society expects them to play in the family. Equality comes when both dependents are able to fulfill their roles in service to the other, fulfilling a marriage of their ideals and goals.

    If patriarchy has a bad taste, it is from people who, as I see it, have not fulfilled their roles of service but have instead sought freedom by subjecting the other. The stay at home mom, neglected by her husband who seeks freedom through his career rather than subjecting himself to the needs of his family. The wife who finds out that her husband has sought freedom from their love commitment, having lost a figure and form to the children she’s born. Patriarchy has come to mean gender chauvinism to many because of actions just like these.

    But then, as I see it, how does neutering the definition of marriage actually equalize this situation? Consider the plight of the surrogate mother, the *purchased* or rented gender to satisfy the needs of an all-male headed household. How about the women who are left to band together as the fathers of their children run off, being told by society that they are no more a father to their child than anyone else who wants to take care of them. A message told every day when we read something like “homosexual couples raise children without any ill effects”.

    The travesty of the sex-segregative coupling is on the face of it. Its potential for gender chauvinism, inequality, subjection and oppression is far greater than the promise of gender integration from a marriage doctrine of — equal gender representation.

    Having learned the value of integration from the civil rights movement, why are we now told to move backwards, and “integrate” segregative arrangements with the honestly integrated ones?

  4. Julie said on May 23rd, 2007 at 9:20am #

    For a verse-by-verse inventory of Biblical cruelty, violence, intolerance, injustice, homosexuality and so forth you can reference:

    http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/

  5. Patricia Goldsmith said on May 23rd, 2007 at 1:04pm #

    Thanks for the link, Julie–very helpful.

  6. Patricia Goldsmith said on May 23rd, 2007 at 1:59pm #

    This is for On Lawn:
    I think they call it matrimony because it’s what women get instead of a patrimony, i.e., wealth, title, or position passed down from the father.

    It’s hard for me to understand how you can argue that equality is the fulfillment of a system predicated on male superiority. If we reach equality in marriage as an institution–and I’m sure there are many marriages that are equal–it won’t be patriarchal.

    Finally, calling gay marriages “segregationist” is a completely false analogy. Are black/white marriages integrated, but a marriage with two black people segregated? Segregation has to do with social structures designed to keep a class of people down and as such has nothing whatsoever to do with marriage equality for gay people. As for gay relationships being unequal on their face because they are “segregated,” I’m speechless. All relationships have the potential for inequality, but the male-female relationship is historically more patently unequal than same-sex relationships, whether platonic or sexual, because males generally have more social and economic power than females.

  7. On Lawn said on May 23rd, 2007 at 3:06pm #

    It’s hard for me to understand how you can argue that equality is the fulfillment of a system predicated on male superiority.

    Simple. I’m not.

    Have I said anything to imply otherwise?

    As I mentioned before, I’m aware of the pejorative twist on that word. I accept that people use it that way, and can use it myself in that way. But accepting only that definition has a deleterious effect on equality, instead we should emphasize a truly equal understanding of that term.

    Finally, calling gay marriages “segregationist” is a completely false analogy.

    Its not an analogy, it is a direct indictment. No analog is assumed or implemented. A same-sex marriage is a segregationist (all male or all female) marriage by definition.

    Are black/white marriages integrated, but a marriage with two black people segregated?

    I believe along racial lines that statement is true. Are you arguing otherwise?

    You are right that if you were to apply an analog between race and gender it could only be applied so far before it would break down. If you were to break down a difference between race and gender it is in the diversity of the output. If you integrate race you get homogenization and cultural erosion. The end product is not diversity, but singularity. If you let people decide for themselves you will get a very diverse output. If you integrate genders, you still get each gender, a very diverse output.

    If you segregate genders, you get nothing. The dependancy on each gender is not the same as the dependency on each different color of skin. In fact, I doubt the latter even exists except in the humanitarian case of needing to respect and tolerate people different than yourself.

    But if a sex-segregated couple still wishes to procreate, then you might wind up purchasing a child from a parent whom you pay to leave the child as much as have them. That is oppressive in how you treat the other gender, and product of the union, as mere commercial commodities. That would be tolerance and respect the same way slavery is tolerance of blacks.

    The opposite of patriarchy may be equality, but only in a marriage with equal gender representation is real equality possible. Only in an institution which recognizes that key fact of equal gender representation can bring about the civilizing effect of tolerance and diversity that has been a humanitarian concern for ages.

    As for gay relationships being unequal on their face because they are “segregated,” I’m speechless.

    Technically you aren’t. But I understand your sentiment. This seems to be hitting you as a new concept. Are gays the new black, or are they the new Klan? But thats not the question I really care about.

    Because either way my grand point still remains. That freedom from dependency and sexual responsibility is not equality nor is that a path to equality.

    Homosexuality, in each individual relationship, I believe shows that. It is freedom, sexual freedom exercised in removing the other gender completely. Yet responsibility, tolerance, service to those that are “the other” and devotion to their dependency on you are the only real way to equality. And that was the understood meaning of the words “Patriarchy” or “Matriarchy”, then we wouldn’t have anything disagree with on this subject at all. And we would both agree marriage is equal, or at least designed that way. And then you might even agree that no change that tries to make segregation the new integration will do anything but take away from that design.

  8. Patricia Goldsmith said on May 23rd, 2007 at 5:07pm #

    Your use of the term segregation is an analogy–to the black civil rights movement. You are suggesting that there is something unequal and inhumane about same-sex relationships, based on a concept of integration derived from the civil rights movement.

    You explicitly ask if we haven’t learned the value of diversity from the civil rights movement. I don’t think you have. Diversity is adding something to the society that isn’t freely allowed at this point. That would be the case with same-sex marriage. Just because heterosexual marriage is between two different sexes doesn’t make it integrated in the sense of opening up civil rights to the down-trodden in society–just the opposite. Heterosexual marriage is still the norm.

    You need to show evidence that gay unions are unequal, not simply rely on a bogus definition of “integration.” I do see the attraction, though. By attaching your argument to black civil rights you hope to avoid charges of bigotry.

  9. On Lawn said on May 24th, 2007 at 9:33am #

    Your use of the term segregation is an analogy–to the black civil rights movement.

    Perhaps you do not question the segregative nature of homosexuality, and I am mistaking your words.

    Help me understand your question here. Are you insisting that all segregation is simply racial, or an analog of the racial segregation?

    Because while an analogy can be drawn, the segregative nature of the homosexual relationship is evident and direct. It relies on no analogy. Homo [all the same] sex [gender] ual [one devoted to the cause].

    You explicitly ask if we haven’t learned the value of diversity from the civil rights movement.

    And I hope I haven’t missed your answer. Could you underline or summarize what your answer is to that question? I have discussed the analog of the race and gender analogy directly, especially in the venue of segregation. There is an analogy there to consider, and one that I’ve agreed with you cannot be taken too far — but for specific reasons.

    Are you saying that you are throwing out the race-gender segregation analogy entirely? I suppose my hang-up is that it seems that you understand the use of the word “segregation” is itself an analogy when it is not. The analogy is between two different segregative practices.

    Diversity is adding something to the society that isn’t freely allowed at this point.

    If that is your definition of diversity, then it is definitely not an ends in and of itself. Murder, rape, white supremacy, and a number of crimes are not “freely allowed at this point”. Perhaps you have a more applicable razor to apply to present a more virtuous definition of diversity?

    Besides, marriage is a commitment entered in by free will and choice. It is not an enforcement against homosexuality. Homosexuality exists today, and is even given privileged protected status. Garrison Keillor recently noted that gays in his business are as frequent as brown eyes. CEO’s politicians, and other respected members of society are gay, openly, and on average more well to do. That marriage and this privileged status for homosexuals co-exist shows that marriage does not, “freely allow” homosexuality to exist in society.

    But to alter marriage, which already is built on the premise of equal gender representation, because you feel it is unequal is simply astounding. That is saying that gender equality is not equality, and that is simply a contradiction. It is saying that gender integration does not bring about equality means that diversity and integration does not bring about equality (something again emphasized in the civil rights movement). If anything I submit an analogy between the all-male marriage and the all-female marriage is an example of separate-but-equal doctrine that was discredited in the civil rights era.

    You need to show evidence that gay unions are unequal,

    I only need to show that marriage is already equal, or at least designed to be that way.

    On the contrary, it is you who I feel are grasping desperately at showing that gender-integration — equal gender representation — is unequal. And that is contrary to basic tenants of humanity. We are all one race, and our race of humans have two sexes. Homosexuals are either male or female, not some new gender or hybridization, or species within those designations. The doctrine of tolerance of all-the-same-sex has merits. I do not wish to make it illegal. But to ask for public support for these arrangement is, to me, like asking for an all-white school to be properly funded and protected as a public school.

    By attaching your argument to black civil rights you hope to avoid charges of bigotry.

    Would you say that all the social efforts against white supremacy in the past 300 years amounts to simply bigotry against their homo-racism? No, I doubt you would. I’m only calling a spade a spade, and what is segregationist is segregationist. An all-white school can be equal, at least amongst its students. An all-male marriage can be equal, at least amongst its participants. The woman who is payed to leave her children as much as have children with them is definitely not equal. And the child who is left without a mother, commissioned and purchased for the sake of their sexual segregative demands, is the one paying the greatest price.

    Yes, I have grave 14th amendment concerns about this practice or purchasing children. That is true for the heterosexual marriage that purchases children from someone else as much as the homosexual arrangement. I’m fully happy to have everything I’ve said apply equally to both heterosexual and homosexual couplings — as much as they apply in reality. In the end my crime, I fear, is not being bigoted against homosexuality. I’m homosexual-agnostic, I really don’t care if they themselves are homosexual or not. I look at actions, not people. And even then I’m as tolerant as I feel I can be. My crime seems to me, from words such as your own, that I’m not bigoted enough in their favor to overlook these transgressions for the sake of their homosexuality.

    The “attraction” is not political gaming, it is the reality of the world around us. The homosexual arrangement is segregative, and not by some rhetorically overused analogy.

  10. F. Rottles said on May 24th, 2007 at 9:44am #

    The human fetus is an individual human being. You offerred a philosophical assertion that supersedes a biological fact.

    When you used the phrase “potential individuality” did you mean to assert that the child’s dependancy on her mother makes the child subject to the mother?

    Does the mother have more status and decision-making authority, if not intrinsic worth, than her child — and more than the child’s father? On what basis?

    Is there no conflict of rights, a need for balancing rights, between mother, father, and the child?

    You brought up slavery and I wonder if you have given any thought to the assumption, strongly implied in your post, that the child’s life is owned by the mother? Does the child’s father have any portion of ownership of her child? At what point does a young human being possess her own life and has some claim to equal status with older human beings?

    When it comes to the individualized power to choose to end the life of another human being, how is it oppressive for the old patriarchal rules you brought up but not oppressive for the new rules about abortion?

    As for marriage, what is the nature of the social institution?

    Apparently, for you, sexual embodiment (male and female) is a problem that needs a solution. How does selective sex segregation, within a unversal social institution that integrates the sexes, a solution to that problem?

    Marriage combines the integration of the sexes and the contingency for responsible procreation. That is true in matriarchal and patriarchal systems.

    Abortion is not procreation, obviously, and according to you abortion is also sex segregative.

    Since marriage is the most pro-child social institution we have, it does look like you are correct to say that both abortion and SSM are affronts to marriage. Both are also affronts to fatherhood — and to the integration of fatherhood and motherhood.

    What is the problem that you think abortion solves?

    What is the problem that you think SSM solves?

    How is either a means by which to add more equality to the social institutin of marriage when your stated view would promote inequality in the context of both abortion and marriage?

    The analogy with interracial marriage is profoundly flawed. There is one human and the nature of humankind is two-sexed; the nature of human generativity is both-sexed; and the nature of human community is also both-sexed. You would press identity politics into marriage, just as white supremicsts pressed racism into marriage.

  11. F. Rottles said on May 24th, 2007 at 9:47am #

    Sorry for the typo above.

    Correction: There is one human race ….

  12. On Lawn said on May 24th, 2007 at 10:04am #

    Correction: “That marriage and this privileged status for homosexuals co-exist shows that marriage does *indeed* ‘freely allow’ homosexuality to exist in society.”

    That typo was due to a bad edit. There are other errors but they are for the most part still decipherable. That one was bad because it meant something entirely different than what I meant to say. My apologies for any confusion.

  13. arturo fernandez said on May 27th, 2007 at 10:30pm #

    It is false that gay relationships are “gender-segregationist” in any way. To say that you need to show that gays in relationships, not wedded to a member of the opposite sex, end up living “segregated” lives away from the opposite sex. That is not the case, as On Lawn himself admits:

    “Garrison Keillor recently noted that gays in his business are as frequent as brown eyes. CEO’s politicians, and other respected members of society are gay, openly, and on average more well to do.”

    These are good examples of gays intergrating very well into the two-sexed world they live in. In their relationships, being gay allows them less concern for traditional gender roles, so one individual unites with the other, not one “male” with one “female”. It is false that gay relationships are “segregationist” in any way. In fact, because gays are less gender-conscious, they are less “gender-segregationist”.

  14. F. Rottles said on May 28th, 2007 at 12:44pm #

    The one-sexed relationship type excludes the other sex. It is sex-segregative.

    Also, same-sex parenting (no matter how children might be attained) segregates motherhood and fatherhood. That is not sex-integrative.

    The prospect of same-sex procreation entails tricking an ovum into treating another ovum as sperm; the technical intervention creates only female offspring. This is sex-segregative.

    In each instance above, the choice to make such an arrangement is not an unconcious decision. The participants are clearly very “gender-conscious” in making their choice and in relegating the other sex to an inferior — if not sidelined, trivialized, and even expendable — position.

    The homosexual movement affirms that gender is a deeply important human category. Sexual orientation as a concept presumes that gender exists and is an important category for human relationships. It would be odd to presume that gender is all important to adult romantic relationships, yet retains no significance beyond that.

    Advocates of same sex parenting claim the gender is irrelevant for the purposes of parenting. Yet at the same time that gender is supposed to be irrelevant to children, gender is considered crucial for adults. The same adults who insist on a partner of a specific gender claim that the children regard the gender of his parents as irrelevant.

    Put another way, adults are entitled to have what they want. Children have to take what we give them.

  15. arturo fernandez said on May 28th, 2007 at 5:04pm #

    What you want to call the “choice” to make an arrangement with someone of the same sex is not a “conscious” decision, it’s the work of nature. Because they are by nature meant for someone of the same sex, they are naturally less concerned with emphasizing their difference from the opposite sex, as they have no need to attract them. Being less different, they are therefore less inclined to segregate from the opposite sex. It is commn knowledge that gay men and straight women get along real well. It is the segregationist straight male the one with the problem. You characterize same-sex marriage as neuter marriage because you are obsessed with gender, because you want to define individuals by gender. That, my friend Rottles, is what ends up segregating the sexes everywhere but in bed.

  16. F. Rottles said on May 28th, 2007 at 5:53pm #

    Which of the arrangements I mentioned is NOT chosen?

    Sexual embodiment is in the nature of humankind. Integration of the sexes goes far beyond the pursuit of orgasms. The nature of human community is both-sexed; the first community is founded by the union of man and woman; without sex integration there would be no human generativity, no human community, no men who might choose only men; no women who might choose only women; and no men and women who might choose arrangements that are both-sexed rather than one-sexed.

    But I see that you have confused sex integration for merely acting on lust. Human beings are social animals and it is through marriage that society integrates men and women at the most intimate level and at the societal level. The integration of the sexes does not stand apart from responsible procreation; and unless you are prepared to declare sex-integration a triviality for civlization, then, your cliched friendship between a “gay” men and a “straight” woman doesn’t come near to disproving any one of the points made above.

  17. arturo fernandez said on May 28th, 2007 at 7:08pm #

    It is you confusing sex integration with lust. Gay men do not lust after women, yet they intergrate with the community that includes women, as made clear by the example I gave and the examples your fellow gender-segretationist On Lawn gives, and countless other examples we all live every day (if we’re not bigots we’ll notice them). You are denying that it is possible to intergrate with the opposite sex without wanted to bed her. That in fact is disrespectful of women and it’s what causes the genders to segregate. You’re a gender-segregationist. Congratulations.

  18. On Lawn said on May 29th, 2007 at 10:57am #

    Gay men do not lust after women

    Lust, Arturo? Its simple appreciation for who they are. To play on a Tina Turner song, What’s lust have to do with it?

    the example I gave and the examples your fellow gender-segretationist On Lawn gives

    Its funny you are calling others gender-segregationist. Especially after you give this requirement to say so…

    To say that [gay relationships are “gender-segregationist” in any way] you need to show that gays in relationships, not wedded to a member of the opposite sex, end up living “segregated” lives away from the opposite sex.

    Yet that requirement is entirely uneducated. Either that or you’ve misspoke. Fulfilling that requirement would show they are gender-segregationist in every way, not in just any way. And by that requirement not even the slavery run south was race-segregationist. They integrated on the field, in the houses (both slave houses and master houses) and in the commerce of the community.

    They are looked down on because they didn’t integrate with them in a particularly sinister way. A way that is derided and frowned upon in many different instances. What they didn’t share was the power, the governing authority as small as the household or as large as the state juristiction. The blacks were always subservient. A patriarch in the pejorative sense doesn’t share the household authority with women. A gay relationship doesn’t share household authority and governance with women.

    Even with women sharing representation in a civic or state government, it is still wrong to deny them the representation in the household governance. Whether by excluding them and making their womanhood and motherhood of your child into subservient wombs and egg factories, or by making them subservient as wives, or by making them subservient as sex objects (i.e. lust).

  19. arturo fernandez said on May 29th, 2007 at 6:10pm #

    I understand that a heterosexual male needs the help of a woman in “household governance”. It is rare to see one who can manage without a woman. Together, they can make a good home, as good as a gay couple can. But sometimes, when the heterosexual project fails, threatening the lives of children, gay couples brings these children into their good home.

  20. On Lawn said on May 30th, 2007 at 8:40am #

    I understand that a heterosexual male needs the help of a woman

    Please re-read what I wrote. As you write it, it comes off like saying the “cotton growing plantation farmer needs the help of the slave”. And that is not at all what I am saying.

    Together, they can make a good home, as good as a gay couple can.

    Your point of view seems so enamored with the male that you feel a male couple is the model of completeness, what heterosexual couples hope to achieve. Now, I need to add a bit of commentary here. Arturo and I have spoken before. He’s said things that has me convinced (as this continues to affirm) that his brand of homosexuality is really male chauvanism — gay male chauvanism. That isn’t true of all gays. So when I note his particular views, it should be read in that respect.

    But back to the point. While you, Arturo, feel the gay male is complete with another gay male and make a model of completeness for the “heterosexual malw” to ascribe to, yet the homosexual couple needs the help of a woman to make as good a home as a truely integrated couple, and that is where the “woman” is treated like the “slave” their identity and uniqueness purchased and taken without authority or sharing of governance of their creation and labor.

    To say they are simply scavenging the lost souls from broken homes is rather silly. Look at McGreevey, who is petitioning the court to have their children removed from their mother because of his homosexuality. A vast majority of children in homosexual homes come from breaking up real marriages, from people who are trying to tell us that they could not have any meaningful marital relations with the opposite sex.

    What is so egregious that the claim reminds me so much of the white supremacist? It is the claim that they are made to not be integrated, they are different, they aren’t like the people who need to be integrated. The all-white school petitions the court for public funding and recognition, becuase their children cannot integrate with non-white children in any meaningfully academic way. The Rosie O’Donnels’ of the world answer their childs desires for a father with a rebuke that they are the type of person who cannot be with a male, and wants to be with another mommy. The Arturo’s of the world feel that someday the integrated home will be as good as his all-male headed household, and that is somehow the opposite of patriarchy?

  21. arturo fernandez said on May 30th, 2007 at 6:23pm #

    I don’t feel like writing now. I’ll get back to you.

  22. arturo fernandez said on May 31st, 2007 at 8:42pm #

    I’ll say it again. Heterosexual men and women need each other and they can make good homes. That’s a good thing. It’s a beautiful thing.

    A heterosexual man needs a woman to check on boorish and aggressive behaviors comfortably on display in the company of his straight buddies, but offensive to women’s sensibilities and (guess what) to gay men’s sensibilities. But, says On Lawn, “Homosexuals are either male or female, not some new gender or hybridization, or species within those designations”. A man that is different?—unthinkable!

    My take is the opposite of chauvinistic. Homosexuals need the people around them, almost all are heterosexual and half are women. With more respect and acceptance from heterosexuals, we are seeing homosexuals rapidly accepting a more domestic life. That’s good for them, like it’s good for heterosexuals. I emphasize: this has happened in an incredibly short time. It took thousands of years for heterosexual men to learn to respect their partners in their relationships. Gay couples making good homes should be an inspiration to heterosexuals, especially when faced with adversity.

    On Lawn is obsessed with defining people by their gender: a man that is different?—unthinkable! This obsession ends up separating the sexes everywhere but in bed. On Lawn opposes homosexuals integrating in society because it will put an end to his dream of male chauvinism and gender segregation.

  23. On Lawn said on June 1st, 2007 at 9:23am #

    On Lawn is obsessed with defining people by their gender: a man that is different?—unthinkable!

    I liked F. Rottles take on this…

    The homosexual movement affirms that gender is a deeply important human category. Sexual orientation as a concept presumes that gender exists and is an important category for human relationships. It would be odd to presume that gender is all important to adult romantic relationships, yet retains no significance beyond that.

    Yes, I think it is most dishonest for you to accuse others of noting the identity that comes with gender — as if it were a bad thing. It seems like a convenient stance to take when gender means something to people you wish it didn’t mean, but in the end when you wish to marginalize that gender identity it winds up marginalizing all humanity (especially homosexuality).

    I’m not sure what you mean by “different” or even unthinkable. Perhaps I’m sensitive but that reads like a sarcastic attempt, something to avoid telling people the truth about your position. You are asking for an exception? Exception to what — exactly? What difference are you talking about and what exception do you wish to be given because of it?

  24. On Lawn said on June 1st, 2007 at 9:56am #

    By the way, I should note that this venture in asking Arturo to explain his position better should be seen as a tangent. The rug of “difference” not enough to sweep my concerns under, as noted above…

    What is so egregious that the claim reminds me so much of the white supremacist? It is the claim that they are made to not be integrated, they are different, they aren’t like the people who need to be integrated. The all-white school petitions the court for public funding and recognition, becuase their children cannot integrate with non-white children in any meaningfully academic way. The Rosie O’Donnels’ of the world answer their childs desires for a father with a rebuke that they are the type of person who cannot be with a male, and wants to be with another mommy. The Arturo’s of the world feel that someday the integrated home will be as good as his all-male headed household, and that is somehow the opposite of patriarchy?

    Thats not unthinkable, people have thought it through the ages. I just don’t see it as an enlightened and humane position, let alone egalitarian.

  25. arturo fernandez said on June 1st, 2007 at 5:58pm #

    I care little what “the homosexual movement affirms,” and less what Rottles says of it.

    The identity of the person forms in his relations with other human beings. Not so focused on procreation, homosexuals have tended toward a more cosmopolitan identity, rather than a gender-centric identity. Gay people tend to be travelers and when they go to movies they’re not afraid or subtitles. As society has allowed them to not feel shame in their sexual attraction, they have found intimacy with someone of the same sex very rewarding, and now that has become part of their identity. It is silly to deny that a homosexual’s identity is not different, if their experience in the world is different. The gender-obsessed want to deny it, because they want to keep “male” and “female” more strictly defined, because they want to keep the genders segregated, and the male dominant.

  26. arturo fernandez said on June 1st, 2007 at 7:50pm #

    the last sentence I should say “…to keep the genders segregated enough to keep the male dominant.”

  27. arturo fernandez said on June 1st, 2007 at 8:08pm #

    or “…to keep the genders as segregated as possible, to keep the male dominant.”…you know what I mean.

  28. arturo fernandez said on June 2nd, 2007 at 7:47pm #

    so I make mistakes. it should be “It is silly to deny that a homosexual’s identity is different…”, not “not different.

  29. Chairm said on June 3rd, 2007 at 9:06pm #

    Arturo you have not shown how the various arrangements, if any, that F. Rottles mentioned were NOT sex segregative.

    Your mention of the stereoptyical gay-male and straight-female acquaintanceship (typically not a deep friendship) does not counter-balance the high prevalence of abuse in same-sex sexualized relationships (male or female).

    The so-called egalitarianism of a male-only arrangement does not shine so brightly when one takes into account the high prevalence of very large age differences, educational differences, and economic differences within gay relationships. Nothing about “gayness” equalizes the discrepancies. And it sure does not provide an egalitarian model for the integration of men with women.

    In your comments (here and elsewhere) Arturo, you over-idealize. Maybe you do so to over-compensate for the shortcomings of the gay identitly politics.

    Marriage is far more egalitarian precisely because men and women are integrated at the most basic level of community. Segregating women from men is not an egalitarian solution for men or for women — not even for the men in the typical men-only arrangement which are far from egalitarian. Sameness does not equal integration. What’s there to integrate in a man-only arrangement? The two men, sure, but that does not integrate the sexes.

  30. arturo fernandez said on June 3rd, 2007 at 10:27pm #

    Regarding the “high prevalence of abuse” among gay couples here’s a recent discussion I had about that.

    http://dustinthelight.timshelarts.com/rays/mt-comments.cgi?entry_id=4002

    I also remember On Lawn in a debate with “michael” at familyscholars.org. It appears they don’t allow comments any longer and past comments have been erased. Too bad. On Lawn was relying on the bigots over at NARTH. Michael easily proved them liars. I imagine that your “very large age differences, educational differences, and economic differences within gay relationships” are not very large at all. To someone out to malign, yes, it would appear I “over-idealizing.”

    Why don’t you guys get it? There is no danger of segregation, because gay men, naturally, do not segregate from the opposite sex. Straight men do, which is why your own obsession with defining people by their gender leads to segregation…everywhere but in bed.

  31. arturo fernandez said on June 3rd, 2007 at 10:43pm #

    And by the way, your devalueing women’s friendships speaks of your low regard for women. It’s sexism, which…leads to gender segregation…everywhere but in bed.

  32. arturo fernandez said on June 4th, 2007 at 2:19am #

    Greater differences in background does speak of greater egalitarianism. I don’t know if anyone’s studied this, but gay relationships tend to be more racially mixed. I know so many gay couples who are, much more than heterosexuals. I’ll quote something I wrote on your website a while back:

    “Just this past weekend I was at the 30 year anniversary of a gay couple. There were about 30 people of at least 20 different faces/nationalities. Homosexuals are less racist than heterosexuals. It’s one of the really exciting things about being gay.”

    I’m quoting by memory, since you delete my comments at your website.

  33. arturo fernandez said on June 4th, 2007 at 2:33am #

    Of course, I’m here taking “egalitarianism” to mean giving equal respect to everyone’s human dignity, something you may be opposed to.

  34. arturo fernandez said on June 4th, 2007 at 4:39am #

    I know I could have written one real good entry with all that. Good night, folks.

  35. On Lawn said on June 4th, 2007 at 11:00am #

    On Lawn was relying on the bigots over at NARTH.

    I believe I remember that discussion, if it is the one about homosexual abuse. But no doubt you have a different recollection than I do :)

    I do recall building a rather wide scientific swath of information on the subject. And the best Michael could show was that gays (but not lesbians) are only slightly higher rate of abuse than unmarried heterosexual households. If I remember right, he claimed that it was the unsanctioned nature of both relationships that brought about the abuse, arguing that sanctioning the gay relationships in a marriage would help the case. And that is plausible. I think it is naive to assume that homosexuality or heterosexuality in and of itself prevents abuse. I see nothing about homosexuality, (in the actual data as opposed to Arturo’s wide eyed polyanna-ism) that makes it less prone to abuse than heterosexuality.

    The information was so readily available that I can leave it as an exercise for the reader to inform themselves on that topic.

    But it remains that Arturo didn’t answer Chairm’s point, is it not abuse if it happens between two males? Is it not abuse if it happens between a man and a woman? It is still abuse, and abuse is always abuse. It should be treated as abuse.

    Arturo is claiming that integration is just a form of segregation and subjection, which is a rather churlish take. Patricia was more pragmatic, noting that there are many equal marriages. My opening comments above, I believe, have already addressed equality and integration.

    More directly here, I will point out that lack of integration can itself be abuse. Consider the father who takes off and leaves the wife with the burden of raising their child, and working too. I am glad we live in a day with such opportunity for women to work and provide for such a circumstance, I hope we do more to equalize their status in society so they can. Yet it remains that the child will always be a second obligation and compete with the career opportunity.

    A man can leave a pregnant woman, but what can a pregnant woman leave? The child itself. Hence dumpster babies for the most unfortunate, or orphanage. The freedom, the equality, only comes by neglecting their responsibility for the child — either one. Which is why I point out that equality only comes through serving out our responsibilities to the other gender, not by freedom from the same.

    So we see that the nature of our humanity provides that lack of integration, the lack of fulfillment of commitment and obligation to the other sex, can be in and of itself abuse. It is negligence. The child is the product of their heterosexuality and integration, and so it commands that both take the responsibility or be accused of neglect.

    I’ll leave it up to Arturo to show us the homosexual altruism, the reason that homosexuality somehow overcomes this basic tenent of our humanity. If the father stays, is that automatically abuse? If the father leaves isn’t that neglect? If the father leaves because he discovers he is homosexual, does that make it something less than neglect?

  36. arturo fernandez said on June 4th, 2007 at 5:07pm #

    On Lawn, don’t begrudge that heterosexuals are fated to “comit and obligate” to the other sex to achieve “the nature of their humanity” (I’m not quoting you, I’m just borrowing phrases). You should celebrate that, like gay men are specially predisposed to do. Worshiping the latest lout of the WWF the NFL or the NBA is what probably makes the prospect of women’s company a chore. Hanging out at gay venues will help, I promise.

  37. arturo fernandez said on June 4th, 2007 at 8:21pm #

    Oh, and McGeevey is an example of the heterosexual project failing. If a straight guy tries it at gay marriage, but leaves it for a woman, that would be an example of the homosexual project failing.

  38. On Lawn said on June 4th, 2007 at 9:18pm #

    Well there you have it, Patricia. Arturo’s words are there for you to read and wonder if this really is the opposite of patriarchy, like you say it is.

  39. arturo fernandez said on June 5th, 2007 at 12:14am #

    On Lawn, it’s been a pleasure. Regards to Patriach Rottles.

  40. Chairm said on June 5th, 2007 at 12:25am #

    Arturo, contyrary to your bizarre reading, in my previous comment I did not devalue friendship.

    You still haven’t explained how one-sexed arrangments, as per F. Rottles’s examples, are NOT sex segregative. Instead you have continued to point outside of those arrangements.

    Pointing to racial or cultural integration does not provide the answer to the question asked.

    You are mistaken to assume that mere disagreement with you means a lack of high regard for human dignity. The actual disagreement has not been addressed by you. See the second paragraph in this comment.

    The arrangements at issue are unjust when both sexes are not integrated. Where a both-sexed combo falls short of integrating well, or segregates instead, two men or two women do not even begin to integrate the sexes.

    Arturo, you may feel that rejecting integration of the sexes is necessary for the well-being of two self-identified gay men, but whatever else it may be, their arrangements would not be sex-integrative. This is so obvious that I think you must be talking about some other topic altogether.

  41. arturo fernandez said on June 5th, 2007 at 7:00am #

    “I did not devalue friendship.” Yes you did. You devalued women’s friendships. That’s sexist.

    “Pointing to racial or cultural integration does not provide the answer to the question asked.” You must believe that “the nature of our humanity” allows one to be a racist or an oucast.

    “You are mistaken to assume that mere disagreement with you means a lack of high regard for human dignity.” I didn’t say that.

    “Arturo, you may feel that rejecting integration of the sexes…” What does intergration mean but that men and women need to learn respect/understanding/appreciatation of each other. I keep pointing out that a gay man doesn’t need to bed a woman to learn those things. You believe that a man can’t do so, without lusting for women. To a woman, a man’s friendship without feeling threatened by the type of men you feel all men should be, is a very rewarding thing.

    “Arturo you have not shown how the various arrangements, if any, that F. Rottles mentioned were NOT sex segregative.” “You still haven’t explained how one-sexed arrangments, as per F. Rottles’s examples, are NOT sex segregative.”

    What are you talking about? What did Rottles/God say that I need to answer to. But be warned, I don’t like your dishonest the way of argumentazion, and I’m loosing patience with this thread.

  42. Doug Wright said on September 21st, 2008 at 2:47pm #

    So called egalitarianism is nessecarily government enforced and thus panders to women at the expense of men’s rights. Government, lacking the capacity to care for it’s subjects, will only grow and consume the inheritance of families(whatever that be). Patriarchy is only suspect for it’s excesses, but is the only safegaurd of liberty. Government is by nature excessive; yet, is rarely suspected of abuse!?