“Won’t somebody please think of the children?”

Think-of-the-children

Image: http://memegenerator.net/instance/31914460

Marital rights have finally been granted to same-sex couples in America. It’s about time. While this is awesome news, there are some people out there who try to masquerade their intolerance towards the issue. They masquerade it by saying things like- “I’m all for gay marriage…but I just don’t think that gay couples should have children”. For me this kind of sentence is the same as saying: “ I support gay marriage, but actually not really…I just said that so you don’t think I’m homophobic”. It’s kind of like those people who say “I am not racist, but… [insert something racist here]” It also reminds me of one of my relatives who said “I personally have nothing against homosexuals, I just don’t want them around my children” (Refer to my post titled “Russian homophobia”)

The sorts of things I have been hearing from these “kind-of” supporters of marriage equality, is that we shouldn’t allow same-sex couples to have children, because (1) its not natural or physically possible for them to do so, and (2) their children would have a difficult time being accepted by society. Firstly, lets close down all the IVF clinics…if you can’t have a child naturally, you don’t deserve to have a child at all. Need I say more about point (1)? As for concern (2), instead of changing our outdated, backward social values and perceptions, we should just make everyone assimilate and adhere to them, because that’s the best thing we can possibly do for the children.

Perhaps children of divorced parents are in some way disadvantaged, should we make divorce illegal? Perhaps children of single mums or single dads are disadvantaged, should we make it illegal for single women or single men to raise children? Perhaps children of deceased parents are disadvantaged, should we make it illegal for people to die? The list of rhetorical questions is endless.

Clearly, the underlying issue is the intolerance and xenophobia in our society towards many things that are outside the perceived norm. But, instead of dismantling that intolerance and xenophobia we just come up with some Band-Aid solution. Instead of addressing the issue of WHY children of same-sex couples would be disadvantaged and how we can prevent that from happening, we just won’t let same-sex couples have children and avoid that kind of issue all together. We’ll just cover up our xenophobia and intolerance by “thinking of the children”.

It would be like my husband and I choosing not to have children because our kids might be bullied and disadvantaged for having parents with differing cultures, nationalities and religions. Yeah, our kids might fall outside the scope of what is considered “normal” by society, but we shouldn’t have to forfeit our parenting rights, we should instead challenge the social concept of what “normal” means.

I remember reading a Facebook post about a little boy who wanted to wear pink shoes to preschool. His mum was warned that he would be teased and bullied by other kids. The easy solution is to prevent the child from wearing the pink shoes, but the right solution is to challenge social norms. Instead of adhering to social norms to prevent our children from being bullied, we could just teach our kids not to be bullies. Instead of making everyone “fit in”, we could just dismantle the negative and destructive moulds that society has set up for us to squeeze into.

The real issues at play here here are xenophobia and intolerance. These are the issue that we should be addressing directly. We need to stop creating solutions that pussyfoot around the core of the matter. Precluding same-sex couples from having children will only exacerbate the very xenophobic and intolerant views that need to be eradicated from our society.

So what would it actually mean to “think of the children”? Make the children adhere to social xenophobia and intolerance, or create a society in which xenophobia and intolerance do not exist?

~

Although I am new to the blogging world and am completely incompetent at using technology (I only recently learned how to make hyperlinks), I believe that my message of peace and tolerance needs to be heard. To learn a little bit more about my background please read my post titled “A little bit about myself…”. To learn more about why I started this blog, please read my post titled“Introduction…”.

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2 thoughts on ““Won’t somebody please think of the children?””

  1. You’re pretty spot on!
    On a nit-picking level though, (sorry to be annoying in advance!) xenophobia doesn’t seem like the right word to use when talking about homophobia. Xenophobia relates to fears of foreign concepts but a little boy wanting to wear pink shoes is as domestic as it gets. (It’s far more about misogyny than anything else!)
    I know with the topic of “othering” and alienating that it sounds appropriate but that’s the punishment you’re referring to there, not the motivations behind it. Xenophobia relates to homophobia in some ways but they’re not interchangeable words.

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    1. Totally agree. I guess I was just trying to use the term “xenophobia” because I was using this specific issue of homophobia to illuminate the xenophobia I believe shouldn’t exist. I do have to say that when I saw your name come up on the screen I was anxious haha so it was relief to see that your criticism related to terminology phew.. hahah ❤

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