Tuesday, November 29, 2011

the institution of marriage & the fight for equality...

marriage is a hot topic at the moment… marriage equality has been long sought after by many gay & lesbian people, and now perhaps their battle may soon be over, well, at least one more hurdle may be surmounted… “the ALP’s left faction is claiming the numbers to remove from the party’s policy platform a reference to the Marriage Act which defines the union as that between a man and a woman” ... read more from "left believes it has numbers to change policy on same-sex marriage" - this issue will be debated at the alp national conference this week so there’s definitely an interesting time ahead…

now i actually don’t believe in the institution itself - it has its roots firmly planted in patriarchal, judeo-christian history and has been a major ‘tool’ in the subjugation of womyn…

consequently i can’t get excited over an institution i find oppressive – obviously with that goes a lack of enthusiasm for the trappings of a wedding ceremony... oh, i declined my last wedding invitation for those reasons and my friends totally understood where i was 'coming from'...  

there are a number of weddings being planned at work at the moment so i try my hardest to avoid the discussions, especially the ones about 'the gown' - 'fashion' in general is of no interest to me - but after an 'interaction' i was involuntarily drawn into and which i really didn't want to be part of today, i so needed to talk to a friend this evening - he has similar views to me so his empathy and understanding of the situation and how i was feeling was invaluable - and his comments were far more full-on 'ra-ra-ra' political than my pathetic 'i'm not into that crap' response, rather than getting into a 'heavy' conversation when i felt 'backed into a corner' after already declining to participate in 'the gown' conversation - the choice is yours to marry, but equally the choice is mine not to be involved... i guess the assumption that because you're female you must be into all the - as my nan would have called it - 'frippery' - is a tad irksome too...  

back to the point here... while the institution of marriage exists, equality is a fundamental right and same sex partners should be accorded the same entitlements and choices as heterosexual partners… i'll stand up for marriage equality, but i'll maintain my view on the oppressive nature of the institution...



i read an interesting article by nori j. rost, minister of all souls unitarian universalist church in colorado springs, “a lesbian pastor with a predominantly gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered congregation in the center of Conservative Christianity”, entitled ‘marriage and patriarchy’ –  “In this paper I will address the Judeo-Christian historical contours of marriage and how those foundational patriarchal beliefs about marriage still shape public and social policy regarding marriage entitlements, explore the unconscious reasons that conservative politicians and religious leaders oppose same sex marriage, and finally, seek to answer the unasked question with a different ethic that, in the words of Dr. Mary Hunt, respected Catholic lesbian, feminist theologian spoken to a summer school class in July, 2004, seeks relational equality for all rather than legal privilege for a few.”...  it’s quite thought-provoking…

4 comments:

parlance said...

Just left a comment but somehow lost it, so I'll try again, at the risk of repeating myself if the comment mysteriously reappears.

Yes, it's an interesting article and I see what she means about climbing the ladder that is propped against the wrong wall, but I agree with her that this is a fight that has to happen.

I do wonder what will happen to the institution of marriage if, as seems likely, the human race achieves long life spans. In that case there will be less need to have children just to replace ourselves, and people will be less likely to stay endlessly in long committed relationships.

Proud Womon said...

hi parlance... no, your comment didn't come through twice...

with the power balance being distinctly unequal in many relationships i believe lack of the institution would make it easier for people to extricate themselves from an unhealthy environment...

strong, equal, respectful, empowering and loving relationships will survive... they do now... indeed there are many committed people presently in very long-term relationships that haven't, by choice, been sanctioned by the church or state...

i don't believe a piece of paper makes for a happy partnership, just a legally binding - and much more expensive - one to get out of, hence the viscious cycle for those imprisoned in unhealthy, loveless, or physically and emotionally violent circumstances...

i do love nori rost's turn of phrase "climbing the ladder that is propped against the wrong wall"...

thanks for stopping by...

Sailor Lily said...

I'm pretty confused- didn't you marry Bran? Cause that's what you told me ten years ago.
if you're using tis blog to 'resolve' work conversations to some extent then count me out.
and don't make assumptions about why people chose or don't chose to mother/procreate. its offensive.
lily-feeling-pissed.

Proud Womon said...

i'm baffled as to where i've written anything that attacks motherhood and procreation... the institution of marriage has nothing to do with the ability to parent - people procreate regardless of marital status... neither the institution nor the certificate ensure a happy union - whether married or not the commitment and love of the people involved are the important factors in long term relationships...

and yes, brann & i were married for 4 years of our 33 years together, having divorced on political grounds 25 years before we separated... we were young and developing our political and moral beliefs - and my experience included lack of access to superannuation, discrimination where credit was concerned - as a married womon i couldn't get a loan or credit card of my own, my 'husband' had to be the primary credit holder, the same went for a loan... attitudes also shifted slightly and i became a little bit more invisible than i had been when not married... there were more instances of discrimination and they're the things that helped develop my political beliefs...

as for resolving work issues, i wasn't aware there was anything to resolve - we all have our different views and beliefs on issues - there are bound to be differences of opinion...

when i need to get my head together and get all of my thoughts into perspective, my blog is my therapy...