What makes gay marriage okay? Lots of times, the media argues that public opinion dictates the acceptability of same-sex marriages.
But in this fantastic column, Leonard Pitts reminds us that natural human rights are the reason gay marriage should be universally accepted. The number of people who approve is not really important.
His message is simple: popular opinion doesn’t make something right. Inalienable human rights make something right. Civil rights and interracial marriages were unpopular at first, but they were the right thing to do.
It’s great that the majority of people, 51% now, support gay marriages, but that number shouldn’t justify the fight for marriage equality. The nature of the fight does that itself.
Here’s my favorite part:
Try to imagine for a moment the consternation upon some woman’s face if a story in the paper announced that “X” percentage of Americans now favors allowing women to work outside the home. Try to picture the brisk dialogue that would ensue if you informed some Jewish man that you now supported his right to practice his religion.
If you can appreciate why the woman or the Jew might feel insulted by this putative magnanimity, maybe you can understand the impulse to look this gift horse in the mouth. The news seems to mandate a two-tier response. On the one hand, you are grateful to see the majority’s attitudes moderating and hopeful that this will lead to the repeal of laws restricting marriage equality. On the other hand, there is that shadow of annoyance at the notion that human rights are something to be granted at the sufferance of the majority.
Please read this column. Pitts is a brilliant writer and I’d be hard-pressed to find someone who can effectively argue against this point. Well done, sir.
Rape Culture 101:
After I was date-raped, I had to explain to the authorities:
-what outfit I wore
-what I drank
-what I ate
-what I said
-if I crossed my legs
-how I laughed
-if I laughed
-the makeup I wore
-what underwear I wore
-who I talked to
-what bar I went to
-who my friends are
-what type of car I drive
-what type of shoes I wore
-if I wore tights
-how many sexual partners I have had
-my sexual orientation
-the age I lost my virginity
-if I was wearing perfume
-the color of my hair
-if I said “no”
-when I said “no”
-how I said “no”
-how many times I said “no”
-why it was in my bed
-why I had no bruises
-why his number was programmed in my phone
-why we were friends on facebook
-why I said yes to a date
-why I let him pay
-why I went to class the next day
-if I showered
-why I didn’t stop him
After he raped me, he had to explain:
nothing. because they never asked him.
“Rape culture” is living a society where rape is defined by the circumstances rather than the action.
it’s 2011. this shouldn’t be happening.
^^ Agreed. It’s so upsetting and frustrating and sickening.