Ladies and Gentlemen... I give you Sam Schulman and his delightful thesis on why gay marriage should not be legal. It is a fact that no one sounds more ridiculous than when trying to explain why they are against gay marriage, but this dude just takes the cake. According to his logic, marriage has very little to do with love, and very much to do with keeping women in line and expanding ones farmland. No, really. Let's take a look at his points here:
The first is the most important: It is that marriage is concerned above all with female sexuality. The very existence of kinship depends on the protection of females from rape, degradation, and concubinage.
Really? Married women don't get raped or degraded, and all single women are hookers? Go know. Apparently, I should be charging.
This most profound aspect of marriage--protecting and controlling the sexuality of the child-bearing sex--is its only true reason for being, and it has no equivalent in same-sex marriage. Virginity until marriage, arranged marriages, the special status of the sexuality of one partner but not the other (and her protection from the other sex)--these motivating forces for marriage do not apply to same-sex lovers.
I don't know what century or country this guy is living in, but we're not so much arranging marriages around here these days. I don't think that "controlling a woman's sexuality" is too much of a motivating factor either, except maybe among some wacky ass Fundamentalists.
Second, kinship modifies marriage by imposing a set of rules that determines not only whom one may marry (someone from the right clan or family, of the right age, with proper abilities, wealth, or an adjoining vineyard), but, more important, whom one may not marry. Incest prohibition and other kinship rules that dictate one's few permissible and many impermissible sweethearts are part of traditional marriage. Gay marriage is blissfully free of these constraints.
There is no particular reason to ban sexual intercourse between brothers, a father and a son of consenting age, or mother and daughter. There are no questions of ritual pollution: Will a hip Rabbi refuse to marry a Jewish man--even a Cohen--to a Gentile man? Do Irish women avoid Italian women? A same-sex marriage fails utterly to create forbidden relationships.
Excuse me? I hate to rock your world, Mr. Schulman, but my dad is Italian and my mom is Irish. They're quite married and have been for some time now. When was the last time that was an issue? Forbidden? I can count at least 50 people I know who are Irish-Italian or whose parents are Jewish and Gentile, but I do not know one single person who has ever married in pursuit of an adjoining vineyard. Do you? Please, I beg you. Find me one.
As far as the incest goes? It's so ridiculous that I shouldn't even bother addressing it- but as far as that point goes, what is preventing a heterosexual from having a relationship with an adopted child/ step-child who happens to be of age. Woody Allen, anyone? I mean, I love him deeply, but there you go. Also, please see that one episode of "Secret Lives of Women" about incestuous couples, all of whom are heterosexual. Also, that Australian guy and his daughter.
Few men would ever bother to enter into a romantic heterosexual marriage--much less three, as I have done--were it not for the iron grip of
necessity that falls upon us when we are unwise enough to fall in love with a woman other than our mom. There would be very few flowerings of domestic ecstasy were it not for the granite underpinnings of marriage. Gay couples who marry are bound to be disappointed in marriage's impotence without these ghosts of past authority. Marriage has a lineage more ancient than any divine revelation, and before any system of law existed, kinship crushed our ancestors with complex and pitiless rules about incest, family, tribe, and totem. Gay marriage, which can
be created by any passel of state supreme court justices with degrees from middling law schools, lacking the authority and majesty of the kinship system, will be a letdown.
Dude has had three marriages? If you ask me, they probably failed, not because of gay people having rights, but because he was clinging on to the idea that he ought to be able to buy himself a woman with a vineyard. Also, if you think it is "unwise" to love any woman but your mother, than I think you're the one who shouldn't be getting married.
He closes with this.
WOW. WOW. WOW. Portnoy's Complaint AHOY. See, this is why I'm forever single. This is the sum and summary of all my worst fears about commitment. I can't handle the idea that a man might think he's doing me some kind of favor by hanging out with me (when it is so clearly the other way around). It actually make me hyperventilate a little. I fear that all men are secretly Sam Schulman.
Can gay men and women be as generous as we straight men are? Will you consider us as men who love, just as you do, and not merely as homophobes or Baptists? Every day thousands of ordinary heterosexual men surrender the dream of gratifying our immediate erotic desires. Instead, heroically, resignedly, we march up the aisle with our new brides, starting out upon what that cad poet Shelley called the longest journey, attired in the chains of the kinship system--a system from which you have been spared. Imitate our self-surrender. If gay men and women could see the price that humanity--particularly the women and
children among us--will pay, simply in order that a gay person can say of someone she already loves with perfect competence, "Hey, meet the missus!"--no doubt they will think again. If not, we're about to see how well humanity will do without something as basic to our existence as gravity.
I die. I cannot believe that this man even exists. Contemplating it is breaking my brain into pieces.