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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cynthia Nixon - Gay Was Her Choice

I thought this was a great piece that Salon's Tracy Clark-Flory wrote about.

I have long argued that the idea of sexuality being forced by biology is arguing from a position of weakness, ultimately a much weaker argument than that of natural human rights.

But Marta Meana, says it best:

"Marta Meana, a clinical psychologist at the University of Nevada Las Vegas who has researched sexual fluidity, believes “it is a devil’s bargain to argue for acceptance on the basis of biology,” she explains. “The ‘I can’t help it’ argument retains the idea that something is amiss. The truly progressive stance is that all people should be treated with respect, dignity and equality regardless of the mechanisms that led them to prefer having consensual sex with one group over another, at any point in time.”"

Think about it if someone who was black, plaintively made that argument to a racist.  It would sound ridiculous, moreover, it would cede the high ground to the racist who could then argue, "Well, so you admit it.  Then you truly must be a lower human being who is generally deserving of less."

So let me borrow from Ms. Meana and rephrase.  The strongest liberal argument has always been:  "The truly progressive stance is that all people should be treated with respect, dignity and equality, regardless, of race, religion, sexual preference, or socio-economic position."

1 comment:

JFB said...

The biology doesn't retain that "something must be amiss". It iterates the sexual behaviour of mammals across the world - that is, sex is not just for procreation. It's used by mammals to form allies, friendships, secure hierarchies, dominate and to tell someone else they are in charge. In fact, you could argue that it's primary function is not procreation but the formation of deep alliances. Having sex with a member of the same sex is completely biologically normal. As such, saying that preferring sex with a member of the same sex is based on biology and not on choice would not only be true but it wouldn't suggest that something is biologically amiss. I think that woman quoted here is ruling out 70 million years of biological normalcy to make a weak political argument.

I agree with your last statement. I think her premise of "amiss" is unnaturally hinged to your much more progressive summation.