On the George Washington Bird Project: Out of the Mainstream and into the Revolution!

20Nov08

In which The Gay Recluse becomes increasingly obsessed with birds.

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So today we read a most excellent post on marriage at Emily Magazine, which we strongly recommend (and not just because we’re quoted at some length in it, lol!)

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We have to wonder, is it a coincidence that the only two bloggers to link into our post against marriage are both (straight) lady writers (Emily Magazine and the always eloquent Writer’s Block)? We think not! If there’s anyone who’s suffered more at the hands of this odious institution, we’d like to hear about it. But alas, why aren’t the gays more attuned to this? And why aren’t more straight ladies joining in the fight for their own sakes as much as their gay bffs?

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One obvs theory is that both groups have been too oppressed for too long to really think clearly. Let’s face it: the women’s movement has struggled with homophobia since the beginning; it’s not hard for us to remember how our own mother — co-president of her N.O.W. chapter in the late 1970s! — had to confront accusations from certain factions in her organization who did not want to be associated with “a bunch of lesbians,” lest this interfere with the quest for (mainstream) acceptance, which was deemed critical to the passage of the (sadly doomed, by just three states!) E.R.A. As for the gays, we too (or at least the men) have long tended to objectify women in a way that frankly does not help form potent political alliances with femiladyist orgs, and a quick scan through the leading “gay culture” blogs doesn’t exactly give us hope that this is changing. (Which is not to say our hands are exactly clean in this regard, either!)

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But as Emily points out, the fight against marriage extends well beyond the political and into the psychological (the crushing pressure to be “happy,” which for girls in particular is so cruelly tied to marriage) and philosophical (what it means to be alone, and how this both cripples and releases us).

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This makes us remember how, for most of high school and college, we spent all of our time ingratiating ourselves to the cool and artistic crowd — the MFAs who dyed their hair and shoplifted and took acid on school days — and then in our twenties, we could never understand how these same friends could so easily succumb to conventions like marriage and children: did they really want to become new versions of their parents so soon? We were so disappointed, and in turn they hated us (and in many cases, still do) for being so judgmental!

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But we understand why they did it. Life is exhausting enough without having to think about the implications of marriage, and — except under the most unusual and often dire circumstances — the majority of people are not interested in being revolutionaries. But for gays like us who do want to dispense with it entirely, we would be smart to pay close attention to our feminist allies; like so many revolutions, this one may be led not by outsiders but by those who have seen firsthand everything society has to offer and responded with a “no fucking thanks.”

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