Tuesday, August 16, 2011

In which I put my rant pants on

I feel bad that the blog has been faltering a little lately in terms of content and while I have a couple of book reviews almost ready for posting today's post is not book related at all.

Yesterday in my Monday Links post I posted a link to a ridiculous article by an Australian opinion writer as well as a couple of comical rebuttals to her bizarre beliefs. For anyone who didn't read my post or the articles it linked basically the article was about Australian Finance Minister Penny Wong's announcement that she and her partner are expecting a baby in December. The article basically slams "leftists" for creating a society where people are forced to feign exaggerated happiness for alternative life decisions and if they express their real opinions, i.e. that homosexual marriage and adoption = the death of society, the traditional family and the end of the world, then they are branded bigots, homophobes and "right-wing".

She then went on to say, after slyly suggesting that the birth of this baby coincides rather closely with the coming election (is she freaking kidding me!), that the London Riots were largely a result of fatherless children and therefore if we allow, and especially if we celebrate, gay parents (or single parents for that matter) then it's only a matter of time before the same happens in Australia. Now let's overlook the glaring oversight she's made in suggesting the London Riots had only one cause and ignores that there has been a building of social and economic insecurity in England, and Europe in general, for months now. Let's even overlook the fact that she suggests that mother can't possibly raise anything other than a thug or a hoodlum if she doesn't have a strong man to discipline the children (hello, 1950s calling) and that she's drawing parallels between single parenting in low socio-economic or troubled neighbourhoods (for the most part) and a rich, upper class family that has two loving (though gay which apparently is important) parents and a support system in place.  Let's even overlook that she says, and I quote,"Sure, there are aberrations, and you can always find evils within traditional families, domestic violence and child abuse. But even this imperfect institution is better than the Hobbesian social chaos the children of the underclasses have been born into for the last 50 years."

I'm willing to overlook all of that today because I am shocked and amazed at one thing in particular, namely, that gay couples are somehow different to "normal" couples. Seriously, why is this even a conversation? Why are we still at a point where we talk about homosexuality as though it's some new "lifestyle choice" that is currently the latest fad. Since the dawn of time there have been gay men and women. This isn't news people. They've been lurking through history since before some of your countries were discovered. They're responsible for some of our best art, literature and music, they've lead men to war, governed countries and educated students. Sure for a great part of our history they were stigmitised or kept in the shadows or even executed but that doesn't mean that guys haven't been falling in love with other guys for centuries.

However reading Miranda Devine's article, or any article/blog post from like minded people, you would think that homosexuals were a new form of life that need to be studied before we can truly allow them into our society. In the comments of several articles I've read that have rebutted Devine's idea I've seen people say "I've got nothing against gay people but until there are peer-reviewed studies done to prove that two parents of the same sex won't harm a child's development I'm a little uneasy about the idea".

Seriously world. You want peer-reviewed studies to tell you that, surprise surprise, being gay will have absolutely no effect on your kids, except perhaps they won't be disgusting homophobes and close-minded twits like you? Being gay does not transform you from being human into some alien life form that needs to be studied. The only difference between you and a gay person is that when they go home at night they bang someone with the same bits as them. Seriously. That's as complicated as it gets. This idea that someone they're going to instill harmful or dangerous "whatevers" onto a child is simply ludicrous. Of course there will be bad gay parents, but I can think of a dozen bad straight parents while I sit here and type this up. Being heterosexual does not make you infallible when it comes to being parents, you have just as much chance of cocking up and destroying little Jimmy's life as Jack and James down the road does.

One argument that crops up over and over is that little boys and girls need female and male role models in order to grow up balanced and good and smart enough to know that looting is for dicks. You know what, I don't disagree with that. But two men (or two women) who choose to raise a kid are not going to live in a bubble secluded from everyone. Have you ever heard the phrase "it takes a village to raise a child"? It's well-known for a reason. In the past it was expected that an entire village or group would raise a child. The grandparents, aunts, uncles, sisters, cousins, brothers, neighbours all played a hand in imparting their knowledge, love and ways on a child. In parts of the world this is still the status quo.

The idea of the traditional family being mum, dad and children is bunk. Even in modern western countries you (usually) grow up knowing your grandparents, uncles, cousins, aunts and in some cases, god-parents. Your parents have friends who spend time with you, come round for barbecues or you go on trips together. You have coaches and tutors and teachers and your friends have parents who mingle with your parents. The village might have changed but no parent, single, gay or in a traditional marriage, does it completely alone. Sure there are studies that say that a boy needs a male role model, but that doesn't mean that a boy growing up with two mums is going to grow up without one. It might not be his dad but it might be his grandfather, his English teacher or his soccer coach. Bonds happen regardless of whether you are related to someone by blood. One of my biggest role models is a teacher who I never had for a single class. When I graduated primary school he took me aside and told me that I was destined for great things and that all I had to do was work hard and the world was mine.That single sentence is worth more than everything any other teacher or blood-related male has said or done for me and has stuck with my in the 10 years that have passed.

I feel I might have shambled over a few points here rather haphazardly but basically what I want to say is this. Being gay does not make you different. It does not make you unpredicable as a parent. The idea that people think we need to study homosexual parents as though we're studying the nesting habits of the penguin appals me. wake up people, we are all the same. Who you want to have sex with doesn't change how you'd be as a parent.  I'll say it again, the only difference between a gay parent and a straight parent is that when the kids are finally asleep the gay parent bang someone with the same bits as them. Those same bits do not mean they are going to raise pedophiles or murderers or thugs. They are human beings, their sexuality does not change that. I guess the crux of my point is that I should not be writing a blog post saying that there is nothing different between a straight or a homosexual parent. I hate that I've had to write this and that I've had to use the words "they" and "them" because I feel like I'm drawing a line in the sand and backing up ideas suggesting an "us and them" mentality. I'm only 23 but I'm tired, physically tired, of speaking out against bigoted ideas and breeches of basic human rights. I shouldn't have to speak about the lack of differences in this situation and the fact I am doing that right now makes me extremely sad and weary.

Ok. Rant over. It feels good to get that out of my system. I promise next time I'm back it'll be with a book review.


  1. Wow, that columnist is completely nutso. I can't believe she gets paid to write this rubbish! Bravo Kayleigh, you pretty much summed up my reaction to the whole debacle. This statement made my day: "I'll say it again, the only difference between a gay parent and a straight parent is that when the kids are finally asleep the gay parent bang someone with the same bits as them." Preach on sista!

  2. Thanks guys! This fiasco has really made my blood boil and I literally couldn't see straght so I thought I should try and get it all out in a blog post!



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