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Open Relationships & Heteronormative Hate?

June 16, 2011 2 comments

Being the delightful young homosexual that I am, I have a particular taste for topics that are relevant to the gay community. The male gay community, if I am to be precise. Amongst my more ‘pro queer’ friends, (keeping in mind that queer is used to describe a cacophony of divergent sexual orientations) there is a particular contempt held for the heteronormative. This is naturally understandable, as the nuclear family with approximately 2.3 children does not seem particular appealing. There is also the view of the detrimental impact of the heterosexual influence within the lives of those that consider themselves to be queer. As a response to this notion it has be theorised that queer people should celebrate their divergent sexual practices and not to allow the heteronormative to influence our sex lives and even our relationships. The rejection of monogamy and the acceptance of open relationships being the pervading result in a good chunk of male homosexual interaction. In this quasi-intellectual article, I cherish the opportunity to deal with these notions and perhaps relate them to secular and logical morality.

It was once said in my social circles, that to have an open relationship, one is just asking for trouble, and in all honesty I simply must agree. Inviting other parties into a relationship, whilst an honour for the outside party, is calling for division within the original bond. Humanity is a jealous species; this is reflected in the pervading social taboo against cheating on partners.

Open relationships remove the idea of jealousy, and is most commonly justified with the ideology that sex and love, or perhaps not even love, sex and emotion are separated for the purposes of ensuring the longevity of this particular kind of relationship. To put it in colloquial terms, you can fuck whoever you want, so long as it remains, sex and only sex, and you remain emotionally ‘loyal,’ to your partner. Does this or not raise a few eyebrows, or is it justified?

Those in favour of open relationships might suggest that in committed monogamous situations there is a subconscious or conscious objectification of humanity. That is, a mentality of one partner to the other that they are indeed their property and in sexual terms no one else is allowed to ‘play’ with them. But this is simply not apt. Commitment being a two way street implies a form of equality, or perhaps mutual objectification that is agreed upon with the consent (albeit subconscious) of both parties. This would naturally mean that partners in committed relationships are afforded the same freedoms and responsibilities as the other. Naturally my own sense of devil advocacy says that this would mean that people in committed relationships are lesser people than their single counterparts. Why? – As they are not provided the same freedoms, surely there must be some price for an emotionally stable, healthy relationship…and let’s not forget the guarantee of sex.

Power is also a massive element of each relationship, it even has made its way into the social vernacular with the ‘reacher,’ and ‘settler’ complex. The power play evident within any relationship, keeps the bond interesting, constantly evolving. Allowing the freedom, of both partners to sleep with whoever they wish, immediately brings this power relationship into disrepute. Whilst this might seem positive, to ‘break the bonds’ of some ridiculous power struggle, it merely allows it to move into the wider community. Power then becomes about the amount of men or perhaps the sexual appeal of those that a partner will sleep with. I would ask, does this appear beneficial in the long run? In my opinion it speaks as a lack of respect for our partners as individuals not to mention the additional sexual partners who are merely being used as some form of leverage in order to gain the respect of, or to spark interest by a partner.

Moving to a matter of personal development, I wanted to speak briefly of the role of sex in a relationship. Every heterosexual relationship evident on television some-how manages to always display the long running joke of one partner (usually the female) withholding sex from the other in order to achieve what they desire. In reality, there is a distinct lack, except for perhaps the usual jibe at the idea of withholding sex for a particular purpose. The usual reason behind a lack of sexual activity is a combination of lifestyle factors and emotional issues between the partners. To place the ability to achieve sexual gratification outside a relationship is to advocate for laziness in a relationship. It is to allow sexual pleasure to be provided to a partner that may require a certain period of introspection in order to better themselves as a person. Additionally this also means that a partner has no beneficial action of working on developing (or perhaps repairing) their relationship as sexual gratification can be found elsewhere.

As a way of attacking the heteronormative, I find open relationships the most trivial and ridiculous manner in which to do so. A scattered, unorganised, string of private relationships hardly creates any notoriety against the dominant heteronormative.

I always have found it ridiculous those who always desire to attack the heterosexual dominance of society, or perhaps view its pervading nature as an attack on our right to be different. Honestly, honestly? How absurd a statement! At last glance majority of these people were created from the heteronormative, I cannot understand rationally why so many people desire to bite the hand that feeds them! Like it or not, the heteronormative has numerous institutions that will assure its longevity long into the future and if some queer people lack the capacity to understand this, then they, by all means deserve to be screaming and constantly frustrated for the rest of their lives. The fact of the matter is that heterosexual dominance in society is sound, but this does not mean that there necessary need be homophobic hate speech flung around on the streets.

The notion of transvaluation provides us with a solid resolution to the issue at hand. In order to gain what we desire, what the long speculated ‘gay agenda,’ states, i.e. equality, then a process of putting a new slant on old ideas and traditions is necessary. Furthermore it is simply not possible for this to occur if all the queer community does is shout at the top of its lungs at the woeful inequality still evident in our society. It is not necessary to distance ourselves from our heterosexual brothers and sisters, stooping our souls in bitter brine over the taunts received in high school. The value of this lesson lies in human connection. People lack the capacity to fear something they are informed of; perhaps the best way to achieve equality is to spread ourselves amongst the ‘straight,’ community. To move away from the gossiping cliques and inconsequential drama of the ‘queer,’ community and stand amongst every member of our society allowing them to view us, exactly for what we are, human.

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Morality from Immorality?

October 11, 2010 Leave a comment

What is the relevance of tradition and ritual in a modern context? How has this morality changed, and what purity can be gained from a history of impurity?  In this time of joy or polite indifference for Australia’s five million Catholics, Mary MacKillop becomes canonised as Australia’s patron saint. But should this even matter? MacKillop, an incredible woman to be sure, now to be inducted into the holy order of saints, compromised of approximately three thousand men and women. Surely this diminishes some of the power behind an elevation to sainthood itself. Nevertheless we press on to examine the numerous rituals of the Catholic faith and their relevance in a modern spectrum.

Catholicism at its core, whilst meant to celebrate the life of Christ and his teachings, is a complex melding of belief, politics, power, monetary value and morality. Funnily enough, Biblical texts have not been updated or reformed to an enormous degree for a good chunk of time… five hundred years at the very least. Surely this cannot suffice with the mass production of new technology, which thereby create new moral problems. In the past 100 years modern issues have plagued the Church, including contraception, abortion, being same-sex attracted. As this particular faith system refuses to modify its current benchmark of morality, people are leaving the Church and with good reason. Some informed readers may cast their minds back to the Second Vatican Council which attempted to modernise some Church practices, yet despite widespread belief this council did not, alter any Church doctrine, as…wait for it, Church doctrine cannot change. Impervious to change. New faiths and off-shoots of the same basic belief have been created in an attempt to remedy the situation, but this does not change the fact that immovable doctrine from one of the largest religion’s on the planet is a slightly disconcerting idea. Especially considering some of the barbaric law evident within the Bible.

When speaking to Christians, I often hear the phrase, “But that’s in the Old Testament, so we don’t pay as much attention to that.” To this I reply, “You actually consider yourself a Christian?” I hate to offend but Jewish tradition and Scripture remains just as valid to Christians as it is to the Jewish. Followers of Christ believe in his teachings, therefore it is necessary to look at the finer aspects of the faith.

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Matthew 5:17

Therefore, the Law, of the prophets, the Law of a barbaric ancient world must be adhered to. The eternal subjugation of women must be respected, execution of homosexuals, adulterers, and those that do not adhere to strict fashion codes [“Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together.” Deuteronomy 22:11]. Then again, there is the issue of slavery, wherein one of the most cloudy and contradictory elements of holy doctrine is presented. Biblical texts clearly accept and sanction slavery [“Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour.” Leviticus 25:44-46]. Yet the Catholic Church condemns the practice, this is evidenced by the numerous holy father’s over the decades:

In 1462, Pope Pius II declared slavery to be “a great crime.”

Urban VIII forbade it in 1639.

Gregory XVI condemned it in 1839.

Pius IX branded the “supreme villainy” (summum nefas) of the slave traders. [Just to name a few].

This provokes another idea, if Church doctrine has not changed, why has this been the case for slavery? Especially considering majority of basic morality and governing systems still seem alive and kicking. Even if numerous contradictions do exist within the faith, let us go back to the notion of the divine being made flesh, the Christ. If he did indeed believe in such Old Testament law, then this makes the saviour, the divine flesh a misogynist, racist, homophobic, man preaching about how one must love thy neighbour? Personally I simply cannot consider it viable to worship such a being, as I find racism, misogyny, homophobia and the death penalty inherently immoral.

It is at this point I ask, what is the use of ritual, especially within a Christian context when we either do no provide a full view of the faith as a whole, are hypocritical or simply downright secularly immoral. In any case it is a detrimental cycle, as religious moderates are theologically misled, and fundamentalists, those true to their faith, if given their way would surely be arrested for crimes against humanity.

At this point in time it is necessary to ask the question, why then, should the notion of sainthood even be given the light of day given the barbaric nature of the ancient church? To be fair, the corruption of one institution does not necessarily discredit the good work of one individual. But venerating the individual with miracles thereby proving their holiness is not the way to decide whether one is holy or not fit for veneration.

In any case the issues of paedophilia within the ranks of the clergy, in addition to the sexist nature of Church doctrine hamper the faith. The rejection of homosexuals, the deionisation of those that have undertaken abortion [This is absolutely insane, as there are instances where physically, psychologically emotionally a mother simply cannot handle a child, should these people be made to feel guilty for the fact that they rid the body of cells and chromosomes that would ultimately kill both them and the child?] in addition to the rejection of contraception especially with the still raging HIV/AIDS virus evident within third world countries all mean that the Church is losing, and has lost touch with fundamental elements of our society.

“I am secular,

  I am human.” – Braiden Dunn

The Heart of Discrimination

September 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Self Fulfilling Prophecy – A prediction wherein, by direct or indirect means, comes to fruition.
Now one might ask, why is this even relevant to such a vibrant and colourful discussion of thought? Personally I wanted to take a brief look at the use of stereotypes and their impact upon society [rather anti-discrimination essay, I know]. However I simply could not discuss the progression of stereotype throughout history without giving weight to the notion of a self fulfilling prophecy. More on this later.

 To begin, I will state, these over generalisations of the individual to exist for a reason. That’s correct, either by chance, or development, behaviour patterns of certain individuals are particularly predictable. I will use one exemplar groups [one with my most understanding of] within this discussion. The homosexual, male community, a group that is strikingly diverse, with vibrant and introverted characters existing within, a true amalgamation of humanity.

The male homosexual population, having been labelled with femininity, slanderous and salacious behaviour and indeed overly sensitive and emotional qualities means that these rather precise descriptions cannot have risen from the air. This is where the idea of a prophecy fits into the argument. Honestly, what is the value of a stereotype if it holds no truth?

Cast ones mind back into human history, during the ancient periods of human existence, such sexual behaviour was deemed the norm, and perhaps even superior to heterosexual relations. Evident within ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, anywhere sex was practiced… sounds like an advertisement doesn’t it? Anyway, this is where the often misquoted, “Not in the way of the ancient Greeks,” phrase was developed. But with the rise of Christianity and Islam so to came the downfall or perhaps closeting of homosexuality – In particular male homosexuality. This is interesting to note, as lesbianism was not even considered to be practiced, thus the lack of legal systems regulating such an act. This is also evident today, as the classification of female-female sex if often blurred and is subjective to the parties involved. With the closeting of the gays, and through the discriminatory stance the Church held for practically everything except middle-upper class predominately white males so too came the shame often associated with what is now a widely accepted [yet still unfortunately, controversial] lifestyle. Therefore the unearthing of homosexuality is a fairly modern [1850 – Present] phenomenon.

This period of history is also synonymous with the study of the mind, psychology and numerous attempts to understand the psyche of the individual. With the delightful inclusion of Freud into the mix, and his somewhat fanatical focus on the sexuality and gender roles of humanity means for a volatile environment for the formation of beliefs. Discrimination as a generation detriment is such a powerful tool to ensure that hate remains embedded within an individual, for almost any notion or reasoning.

When Western society was formulating its beliefs regarding homosexuality, one also must keep in mind the influence that the gross amount of religious conservatism had upon the populace, be they religious or not. Additionally the simple dream to find a wife then create a family also has an impact on the development of this stereotype. With the social climate in such a fashion, gays could have chosen a more suited time to unearth their true self, in fact it is commendable that anything did occur during this time, due to the ultra conservative nature of the time. But the culmination of sexuality and gender focus, in addition to the previous 1600 years or so, of discrimination through the church means not only for a totally biased formation of opinion but a totally belligerent and ignorant view. Perhaps the notion of same-sex relationships was totally and utterly incomprehensible, meaning that it needed to be categorised into heterosexual terms, with one partner becoming the feminine and one, masculine. This notion is still evident today, as I find numerous members of the homosexual community catering to an outdated belief, that is a punch in the face for true equality. The feminine partners, ironically and usually being the louder, more provocative of the two perhaps meant for the creation of such a stereotype.

Interesting side note, the etymological meaning of the word faggot [Recognised 1914, American and English Dictionary], is not due to the burning of some homosexuals during the days of Westernised capital punishment, rather it is taken from a previous contemptuous and particularly insulting word for woman, thus another subconscious element of the feminine nature of homosexual men.

Whatever the reason for its creation, it has eventually progressed and flourished within society today, which in turn has created a few issues as a generational and societal prophecy. It is a sad fact of reality that a mere expectation may indeed result in confirmation of a preconceived idea. But this is what is occurring, numerous, especially younger homosexual males are finding a basic element of human experience [acceptance] through catering to these stereotypes. The prophecy that gay men are nothing more than a bunch of over emotional, peroxide blonde, feminine, queens is coming to fruition for the mere fact that this idea exists. Personally I am saddened by the rather real impact I see it has upon society, as I too have at times become victim to this prophecy. Yet that is not who we are. It is not our true character, and if ‘coming out,’ only provides us another manner through which we must dress, act, speak and associate, then is there really any point in revealing anything at all?

I suppose this argument is rather circular, it is like asking, what came first, the chicken or then egg? But the question we must really ask ourselves and each other – How much do we actually pander to the stereotypes and expectations placed upon our character?

Adieu.

Evolution

May 20, 2010 6 comments

Limitations – everyone has a degree of social, intellectual or physical impairment, some more severe than others. But does this give adequate justification for majority of the Western world to metaphorically lay down and die? What happened to passion, morality and motivation? And is society reinforcing these types of complacent attitudes upon its members? Perhaps it is because we are more aware of our own bodies, or even that we do not exist in the first place [more on this later]. Culture, peer pressure popularity are also key factors in this degradation of humanity. The problem with this issue is that whilst people acknowledge that it is indeed effecting society, they lack the motivation to attempt to do anything about.

Yes, it is human to become passionate about one aspect of existence only then to become bored or disillusioned with the idea. But is this actually a human characteristic? When three definitions of the term ‘human,’ state that it is merely:
-A member of the genus Homo and especially of the species H. sapiens.
-A person
-Having the form of a human.

Now last time I checked this had absolutely no relationship to complacency. Thus it can be considered the aforementioned statement to be not an exclusively or even human quality. This and many other underestimations of the power of humanity stem from this notion that people are intrinsically immoral, flawed or even evil. But this notion, really came the idea of worship -The elements, gods, goddess’ then eventually God, Yahweh or Allah. In worshiping these higher power eventually developed the notion that humanity is not divine. Now this is not to say that humanity is divine, however if society gave more credit to the capacities of our species then perhaps more would be achieved in this lifetime.

It always used to amaze myself the amount of work, struggle and tribulation past generations have experienced whilst still creating and furthering every aspect of existence. I always used to wonder the manner in which people would motivate themselves for twelve-hour days on the farm, before coming home to the wife to procreate for the good of ‘God.’ Looking at it from the perspective of a woman, having to raise, and at point school the entirety of children in the household, whilst keeping the province clean, providing majority of meals. For the feminist’s reading this, know that I more than support your cause, however I cannot change the course of history, perhaps more aptly named ‘her-story.’ Moving back to the matter at hand, I was enlightened to an idea by my lovely partner, who theorised that the reason we perhaps are more ‘soft,’ than previous generations is not new age parenting or nanny-state Governmental policies. Perhaps it is something as simple as being more fully aware of oneself. That is, as modern people have more time upon their hands to reflect and become pensive we become more attuned to knowing our own bodies and namely our problems, wants, dislikes, fears, pains. That being said it evokes, a sense of rationalisation (especially amongst the youth) to believe that they are actually ‘passionate,’ or searching for meaning within their life when in reality, it is mere complacency.

Another notion often used within numerous arguments – usually as a trump card – is the validity of existence. That is- ‘How do we know that we are not severely psychologically damaged and have created this entire reality as a response to the harsh disorder?’
Using this question tends to null all manner of argument, as if we cannot prove that we exist then is it worth debating the idiosyncrasies of this reality? Conversely to this ideology however, if this reality was created then it would be a mere manner of perception. Using this logic it would also be indicative of a personal aversion to sacrifice for passion or lack of passion itself.

Western culture is projecting onto the majority of our society that it is not essential to question their beliefs, their reality so as to remain ignorant and continuing to partake in consumerism. But this is evident in any nation wherein Capitalism runs rampant amongst business. It is one of the many tools used to maximise profit at the expense of the minority, that is, anyone who does not conform to the ‘nuclear family,’ husband, wife, 2.3 children. But in order to continue producing astronomical profit consumers cannot remain intelligible in regards to their product, otherwise adequately knowing the risks involved no one would buy it. This is ingrained within Australian culture with slight moderation from the Government. Media is also guilty of this (dare I say) sin. It is the assumption that majority of audiences are not well read, thereby creating an oversimplification of complex global, political and environmental issues. This has negative implications for those that are not well informed as it means that a new belief is based on ignorance, thus it is indeed falsely held.

Additionally this notion is also ingrained into the social culture of Australia. ‘Tall poppy syndrome,’ is defined as the abuse or defamation of successful people within the culture, due to their success. Usually this is motivated by jealousy, but regardless of its motivation it is seriously detrimental the populace. As it reinforces the idea that if one being is besting you, there is no need to rise to the challenge, one merely has to defame the character of that person so as to make oneself feel less insecure. This stance is holding the entirety of humanity back from achieving what we have the capacity achieve. Look at any man made monument across history, (or ‘herstory’) the significance is that humanity created these displays of skill. The significance here is that, man made these objects, not a god, nor goddess nor any ethereal creature. These monuments were created using, blood, sweat and human bone (not literarily, but in some cases possible). The revolutionary ideas in human thought (chemistry, literature, psychology) were not placed into the mind of humanity by God they were the product of years of determined passionate work, based upon the knowledge of previous sources. This is the paradigm shift that society requires so as to project itself into a more effective, efficient, economical future.

“One day I long to see a world filled with tolerance based on information,
Where no man shall be executed regardless of the convicting nation.
To see the world filled with positive energy, joy and intellect,
Without the need for insecurities, evoking all forms of respect.
To reject hypocrisy,
Reject genocide,
Reject autocracy,
Reject bigotry,
Reject fascism,
Reject racism
Reject conservatism

To see a world where humans are treated as humans.”
Braiden Dunn.

Corrective Rape – South Africa:

March 25, 2010 Leave a comment
 “Society exists only as a mental concept; in the real world there are only individuals.”  -Oscar Wilde
 
Murder. Rape. Assault. Violence. Sexism. Racism. Homophobia.  
 Which of these elicits the most powerful emotional response? Perhaps a culmination of two or three. These are agreeably a few of the most disgusting aspects of existence. The notion that one man, or woman (in this case) might be subjugated to such torture due to their perhaps individual stance, or not even for any particular reason at all.
 
The horrifying trait evident in South Africa of which I speak is named Corrective Rape. The name in itself evokes an introspective convulsion, a sheer feeling disgust and moral disagreement. What is corrected, through of raping a fellow human being? What form of twisted morality do these rapists conceal themselves behind? What delusional paranoia compels a human to rape another, for the victims benefit?
  
 Rape is particularly evident in South Africa. Since the end of apartheid, sexual violence is rapidly increasing, approximately 500, 000 rapes occur in the nation annually. A quarter (25%) of all women present within the nation are raped by the age of 16. Corrective rape is particularly malicious practice and has gained social normality due to a violently conservative morality evident within the society. Corrective rape is a practice, where lesbian women are targeted due to their sexuality. The rape is used as a lesson to the women to convert to heterosexuality. Obviously this is totally illogical and must be considered as a mere hate crime. In particular the increase in this specialised criminal activity is aided by a macho misogynist attitude toward women. Perhaps the philosophy regarding homosexuality and in particular lesbianism is thought of in a gender specific terms. Women being lesser to that of man (according to the misogynist stance evident in the society) must openly seek the affection of males, so as to level their place in society. Women that seek the affection of other females are inherently disgusting as the union of two women is one where two lesser beings join to become lesser within themselves. This stance is a disgusting violation of the equality and love preached (for the most part) across the Western world. This is a national trend, and the particular stance taken on this type of violence is atrocious. The legal batter for rape victims, is, in effect up hill. Courts are postponed for this kind of crime, due to a “loss,” of evidence. The prejudice evident within this type of legal system is rather ironic considering the international image of the rainbow nation of South Africa. The image that they are attempting to portray so as to evoke tourism, and the hosting of international sporting events. 
 
One case study in particular was widely publicised due to her national standing as a South African Footballer. Eudy Simelane, an open lesbian and LGBTI rights activist was raped, before being murdered in her home-town of KwaThema, Springs, Gauteng. She was gang raped, beaten before subsequently being stabbed twenty five times, in the face, chest and legs. If this were not course enough for emotional anguish, the mere reason behind her rape, was indeed, her sexuality. For further information on Eudy Simelane and Corrective Rape, see:

In the Western world there is this often-misguided notion that once a person dies, they instantly are in an ethereal plain, devoid of pain. Heaven, for lack of a better term. Now as not one being knows the exact experience after death§ , I shan’t postulate this further. However using this assumption, that a being does not experience pain after death, this makes rape a more notorious notion. As not only does the victim experience the pain of the rape, the subsequent trauma experienced is life-long. In essence the rapist is murdering the woman/man’s psyche in one act. Murder in the sense that, it changes the individual in a manner so detrimental that it eliminates an aspect of personally formed sexuality. This is the other reason in which it is an act considered to be intrinsically wrong. It exposes the individual, it strips an individual and projects their mind into a spiralling cycle of pain. Imagine, a lifetime of constant fear, trauma, and superficial joy. Strange considering rape, correlate closely to the notion of power, as though one feels so insignificant so as to feel the need to assert dominance over another being. Then I would ask of the Corrective Rapists, where this intention of Correction was derived. Perhaps the rape is an attempt to isolate the victim, so as to deny any future possibility of intimacy and relationships.

Whether these be, simple men (I understand exclusively male implications) recruited by some higher power of social moralist, or a religious fanatic it is still in every sense of the word hateful. What right does man have to degrade their fellow human, to destroy the capacity to live a life not plagued with fear and guilt. The power of society dwells within social acceptance and indeed the widespread form of subjective morality evident within the individual. This is the benefit of living in a nation with diverse cultural aspects and belief systems. Thus I must stress the importance of taking a stand for equality. To destroy the notion of objectification evident within societies across the globe, where women (and some men) are viewed as objects through which to achieve sexual, socially based or personal satisfaction (more on this topic at a later date). However as educated, citizens of a primarily well off, household I would ask you all to take action. Now I do not ask for torches and pitchforks regarding the international ignorance of such atrocities. But I call for a personal level introspection, to ask the question: What can I do to stamp out inequality in mine own social groups? It might be as simple as defending a person when they are being attacked regarding their morality, race or sexuality. It might merely be, changing one’s own mannerisms so as to not autonomously attack that which is different, but to weigh up the argument logically, before deciding what is intrinsically wrong. One thing can be said, before those evident in our society decide it is imperative to fix the issues of other nations, one must alter the issues within their own. I bring this case of a violation of human rights so as to raise awareness, perhaps place into perspective the issues evident in our own nation. However, in order to help others, we must take moment of introspection so as to not overlook the problems rooted within the very heart of ones own society. Carpe Diem.

_______________________________  

§ Those that use the notion of NDE’s or near death experiences are mistaken, as humanity does not require the presence of death to experience such a phenomenon. The human is a marvel of evolution, and through apt electrical stimulation a person may experience the exact same traits of an NDE (minus the death aspect). For further information please see: 

 

Same-Sex Marriage – The Debate

November 29, 2009 Leave a comment
In the attempt at quashing the discrimination evident in even the most modern of societies, it is an inevitable discussion – Same-sex marriage. As I am writing from Australia, I feel it is only applicable to write about this issue in the context of our Australian political spectrum. That being said, recently (November 2009) legislation was passed within the Australian Capital Territory allowing civil partnerships, with the inclusion of the choice of an additional ceremony. Across Australia civil unions are legally recognised within three states and territories. These changes offer a glimmer of hope to the GLBTI community. However this is technically not an institution that can be defined as marriage. The Rudd Government supports the notion that marriage is an institution that exclusively exists between a man and a woman. This ideology has won the support of numerous religious groups across the nation and indeed peace of mind in the confidence of the status quo.The entire notion of same-sex marriage has been opposed by the Australian Government since its creation, yet with the emergence of civil unions society has been lead to believe that these partnerships are the most apt solution to the unrest present in the community. Yet the question still remains – Why cannot two consenting, taxpaying adults marry, regardless of their gender? Political groups respond with the finesse in rhetoric, stating that there should not be a redefinition of marriage for the mere minority. But the issue has far more depth than the generalisation stated above. The entire notion of separate but equal, equal yet blatantly not, is one that makes no logical sense whatsoever. If this is the case, then why implement an institution (an institution for a major event in the lives of humanity) that embodies this notion? Discrimination is the element that provokes this lack of equality across the board for single sex relationships, not to mention the ordeal undergone by inter-sex or transgender peoples in the recognition of their relationships.

 

Youthful Discrimination

November 29, 2009 Leave a comment
According to statistics founded by Latrobe University, figures suggest that school is one of the most dangerous places to be same-sex attracted. Due to the amount of verbal and indeed physical abuse evident in this spectrum. This also provokes thought regarding the nature of Australian relationships and their portrayal within the wider society. Regardless of the inclusion of civil partnerships, Australian society and in particular family life is used to great effect in shaping these homophobic attitudes amongst the youth. The elements of bullying that occur to students that follow the majority is ridiculous, add the topic of sexuality to the cauldron and there are serious ramifications for homosexual or transgender youth.

This is where issue of marriage is particularly crucial. In effect, whilst civil partnerships, unions are a step in the right direction (to borrow form the phrase pool of Rudd) they are not equal to marriage. Civil unions are legally recognised for residents within the three states and territories present within Australia. In addition these unions also vary from state to state in the level of protection offered by the Government, some may receive adoption rights, whilst in another state couples may only receive property rights. Civil union may not even be portable, two may be considered ‘life partners’ in one state, and nothing legally binding in another. Marriage offers an entirety of protection, it establishes a spouse as the next-of-kin, substitute blood relatives in the eyes of the law. This title is essential for loving couples, as it provides peace of mind, knowing that your partner may have an official say in medical, property or funeral matters. Marriage is also legally recognised by all Governments across the globe (currently between a man and a woman, but this stresses the importance of the global community to expand the notion of marriage), and it can be performed anywhere and still be recognised, which is more than what can be said for civil – unions. Theoretically these unions were designed to provide protection and equality for single sex relationships, whilst remaining separate from marriage. Why? To keep the sanctity of marriage in tact, to not redefine the notion of marriage, to keep the status quo. On those points I feel it is essential to meticulously dissect each argument for the purpose of revealing the sheer paradoxical and illogical beliefs behind this lack of equality.

 

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