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.
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?
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:
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.
This statement would be one of the more sound arguments in this debate had it statistical evidence to support the particular notion of minority. Regardless of sexual orientation a Galaxy Poll, which was performed in June 2009 found that 60% of Australian’s support the idea of homosexual marriage (see: http://www.australianmarriageequality.com/news/20090616.htm). Therefore it would simply illogical to state that only a minority desire the expansion of marriage to include diverse sexualities.
If that were too much for the Government to handle, then it would be wise to provide the same protection with a different name. However this was tried in the introduction of civil unions, and these partnerships did not achieve what they were theoretically designed to do. In this sense, the only manner through which equality may be achieved is through the expansion of marriage. Surely a homosexual couple that ties the knot in Tasmania has no detrimental impact upon a heterosexual couple residing in Western Australia. In much the same way as relationships between people in Queensland have no adverse effect upon myself, who is evidently single.
But without bringing into question the accuracy of these polls, would it matter if less than 60% of the populace support single-sex unions? In this instance, people are being denied the right to express their love in a manner which lawfully protects them. These same people are law abiding tax payers, that provide revenue for the country. One might argue that heterosexual singles also pay tax, but the fact is there is a choice. True, not all couples apt for marriage, yet the choice is still evident. Regarding the GLBTI community, the choice has been made for them and the same people that claim the right to marry, also deny this same right to other human beings – it sounds rather hypocritical.
As for this redefinition of marriage it would stimulate the economy, in that homosexual couples would purchase and use all manner of services for their ceremonies. This means more money being placed back into retail, and indeed public function venues and catering services. This ‘minority,’ provides a positive impact upon the economy as whole and the Government has spent enormous amounts in preparation for Global Financial Crisis – Why not allow for this redefinition for a positive impact on the economy? – Not to mention the joy and happiness it brings to couples and communities across the nation.