September 18, 2013

Vive la difference

One of the things the anti-same-sex marriage wing whinges on about is the lack of "difference" that they think essentially constitutive of marriage. The problem is that, as with race, the differences between members of the same sex is often greater than the difference between idealized abstractions of the sexes. A man might be mistaken for a woman at a distance, but no one would mistake Joel Grey for Orson Welles.

Each person is different from every other person. That's what "other" means.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG


Brother David said...

In the end why do they even give a flying (expletive deleted)? They aren't the one married to the other person. What business is it of their's that I love this particular person, would like to spend the rest of my life with him and, by the way, since there are distinct advantages when that bond is recognized by the state, give me a large helping of that please!

Sorry to be so blunt. I am just so over them. Waiting for them to mostly die out.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

Naturally, Bro David, I agree with both the sentiment and the content!

I really do wonder what further excesses the anti crowd will be drawn to. They seem almost desperate at this point. One of the reasons I'm most assured of the rightness of developments is that the arguments against are becoming more and more irrational. All this "nouvelle theologie" is like "nouvelle cuisine" -- delicately arranged scraps of assertion floating in pools of decorative sauce. No more nutritious than the junk food of fundamentalism, its polar opposite.

Murdoch Matthew said...

C. A. Tripp in The Homosexual Matrix postulated that difference is indeed important in relationships. For straight couples, the male/female difference is obvious, but gay couples often include different ethnicities, social classes, nationalities. When we see two men on the street -- Asian & Anglo, Black and Latino, or other combinations -- our gaydar goes off. And my former wife and I used to look around the married couples in our academic community and muse, There are a hundred different relationships, all called marriage.

But humankind loves to connect dots. Some things, and some couples, simply ARE.

Lionel Deimel said...

Tobias, you make a good point that we seldom hear. The complementarity argument, of course, relies on sexual stereotypes and body morphology. Moreover, it isn’t clear to me—are there research results here?—that the quality of a marriage is correlated with partner dissimilarity. I have seen strong heterosexual marriages of partners of very different and very similar temperament.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

Murdoch and Lionel, I don't think "difference" along the lines of ethnicity, temperament, and so on, are in any way necessary to a relationship. My point here is that every person is to some extent different to any other person. Even identical twins are still different people, and development and upbringing will even introduce some difference in morphology.

I've known couples that are as different as Jack Sprat and his Mrs., but I've also known couples who are like two peas in a pod -- and this goes for same- and mixed- sex couples. What seems most important is how the couple treat each other, as there will always be a dynamic relational difference simply because they are two people.

Even in the Trinity, the difference between the Persons is relational, not essential or substantial. (They are one in being but different in relationship.) And God is the most dynamic creative entity there is!

JCF said...

How often has one seen a young couple that look like they could be brother and sister? (And everyone beams just how "compatible" they are?)

But hey, she's got an Innie, and he an Outie, so the Precious Heterosexual "Complementarity" is being preserved!

Any relationship that's truly intimate (emotionally, etc) can help one grow. It's not about plumbing.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

Just so, JCF. I think I actually know more "compatible" and long-married couples who are like each other than those that are very different in temperament.

G said...

But hey, she's got an Innie, and he an Outie, so the Precious Heterosexual "Complementarity" is being preserved! [JCF]

... as far as we know. Of course, most of us (outside the medical professions) probably don't actually see what the majority of people we come across have under the bonnet, and as we know well not every mixed-gender couple is phenotypically "heterosexual."

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

Excellent point, Geoff. This is also part of the "idealized" world that is so far from the real one.