Via Amanda, I found the most…let’s say interesting take on the recent Prop 8 decision. Lots of people have been talking about Ross Douthat’s bizarro justification for why same sex partners should be discriminated against (Adam Serwer’s take down was perhaps my fave), but this was the first I heard of Sam Schulman’s piece in the CS Monitor.
Schulman argues that folks who want same sex marriage to be legal because it’s fair, right and promotes equality don’t understand what marriage is really all about: protecting women. For reals.
As a species, we need to protect female sexuality in order to assure ourselves of a future…Marriage is a necessary defense of a woman’s sexuality and her human liberty from determined assault by men who would turn her into a slave, a concubine – something less than fully human. Human communities need to give women some additional degree of protection – through law, custom, religious decree, or sacrament – generally some combination of all three, neatly summarized by the plaintiffs, who demanded the sacred and the eternal from the state of California.
…Marriage is not about couples or lovers – it’s about the physical and moral integrity of women. When a woman’s sexuality is involved, human communities must deal with a malign force that an individual woman and her family cannot control or protect.
So basically, as Amanda puts it, marriage is necessary because “it’s the kindest, gentlest form of male dominance over women.” If it weren’t for hetero marriage, women would be getting sexually attacked all the time. And we all know that marriage is like a magical shield against rape (and that husbands never, ever rape their wives).
But you do have to hand it to Schulman for completely drinking his own Kool-Aid. He just swears that people fighting against same sex marriage aren’t “concerned with homosexuality at all.”
We are merely voicing a sensible desire to preserve an institution that recognizes and protects the special status of women. If marriage becomes a legislative courtesy available to everyone, like a key to the city, it will be women who will lose.
(Well, excepting the lesbians I guess.) I’m sure all the women in America feel much safer knowing that Schulman is protecting their “special status.” Sigh.