Tag Archives: social expectation

“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 As for concern (2), instead of changing our outdated, backward social values and perceptions, we should just make everyone assimilate and adhere to them, because that’s the best thing we can possibly do for the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?

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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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“You’re too young to be married”

Image: http://www.quickmeme.com/Futurama-Fry/page/409/

This one time, my Bestie and I were sitting in a café preparing for an upcoming exam. A lady on the next table overheard our law-speak and asked us what we studied and what our exam was about. She then turned to me and said: “I can’t help but notice that gorgeous ring on your hand. Are you actually engaged?” I replied with- “No I’m not engaged I’m actually married.” Taken aback, she then asked, “How old are you?” I was 22 at the time, and I answered accordingly. “But you’re too young to be married!”- She remarked. Alrightey lady, please excuse me while I go and get divorced then. Do you have any other moulds you’d like me to squeeze into?

In my previous post (“Equality in difference, not indifference to equality”) I talked about a young man who said that women are going down the drain if they’re unmarried by 30. Thus, I was under the impression that I had satisfied some warped social expectation by getting married at 22. Allow me a moment to ponder…Wait, I think I get it now. Ladies, don’t make my mistake. Don’t marry when you’re in love or you think it’s right for you and your partner to do so or any of that nonsense. Get married before 30, but after 22 or whenever else you’re not considered to be ‘too young’. Actually, don’t hedge your bets that way-get married at 29 that way you’re technically not ‘too young’ and you’re still under 30. Phew, so glad I figured that out without having to write a mathematical equation.

While I’m well aware that I went off on a tangent there, hopefully I succeeded in painting a pretty absurd picture that highlights how useless it is to try to live up to society’s deranged expectations.

Coming back to theme of ageism, like Mr. Abraham Lincoln I’ve always thought “…it’s not the years in your life that count. But the life in your years”. Apparently, some people disagree with these wise words. Upon telling one of my relatives that I was spiritual but not religious, she said “Don’t worry, that will come with age”. Well, I’m not worried… about myself, anyway. Nor do I want to become religious with age. I have chosen to be spiritual, but my relative not only dismissed my choice, she attributed it to a lack of experience…experience that can only be acquired with age.

What sort of an environment are we creating for ourselves? If we stifle young people’s ability to have strong opinions and be sure of their own decisions while they’re young, by the time they’re apparently ‘old enough’ to formulate opinions, they might be ‘too old’ to hold such views, or they simply might not know how to have opinions of their own. I guess it’s easier to control the masses, when the masses don’t have opinions.

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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…”.