Sexuality and Minding Our Own Business

At its most basic level, homosexuality is the kind of thing that, unless you are somehow involved in it, doesn’t have to touch you. Perhaps seeing same-sex couples in public bothers you to no end. It might even affect your health if it causes you to lose sleep. Ultimately, sexuality boils down to bedroom preference. While biology has shown that bedroom preference is not really a matter of choice, letting someone else’s bedroom preferences cause you to lose sleep is. It would be easy to say that it’s a matter of people being less judgmental or perhaps just keeping their opinions to themselves.

But while reading these articles I was struck by how something so individual (for both participants and bothered spectators) makes its way into the domain of public debate. What is MOST striking is the way that individual sentiments and prejudices find their way into macro-level institutions like government and religion. Because these sentiments, coupled with the power of institutions, become dangerous once unchecked. And the presence of this danger is especially apparent when these sentiments are consistent. Avoiding a rant about the hypocrisy of institutions like the Catholic Church, with their numerous allegations of sodomy and maltreatment of boys, what is ALSO worth highlighting is the conflict within institutions that results from the variance within instsitutional bodies. When an entity wields as much power as an institution like the Catholic Church, it cannot afford to be shaky or flexible in its moral compass, neither can it afford to be careless in its distribution of justice.

At the heart of the matter is fear, misunderstanding and perhaps even ignorance. How this fear misunderstanding and ignorance goes from being individual sentiment to institutional law is no mystery. The same individuals who hold the sentiments make up our institutions. And as long as our institutions make laws, these sentiments go from being feelings held by a disgruntled few, to being a mandated law that impacts many. Because lawmaking bodies inherently are up gist doing the most god fret most people, they also cannot afford for their policy-making to be tainted by fear, misunderstanding and especially ignorance. Aside from the fact that these laws often bring about conditions that serve to perpetuate the very problems they are drawn up to solve, they also serve to reinforce the same skewed and harmful sentiments that birthed them to begin with.

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6 thoughts on “Sexuality and Minding Our Own Business

  1. Cosmic: I think there might be a typo here when you say “Because lawmaking bodies inherently are up gist doing the most god fret most people, they also cannot afford for their policy-making to be tainted by fear, misunderstanding and especially ignorance.” Can you clarify this? How do you see the argument you posted connecting more specifically to the readings we did on marriage and desire?

  2. In society in general, anything that impacts a large number of people will be viewed as publicly driven. Even though sexuality is determined by the individual, it still plays a large role in our superficial society and therefore, many may believe it is their business to be concerned with the decisions of others. Not that this is right, because I feel as though everybody can use a little more business of their own these days, yet its the way the public has been trained.

  3. Cosmicclay-I can relate to your observations in this post. However, I cannot imagine the day that people will magically stop judging one another. I myself, find that there are so many things that I don’t necessary agree with-as with the younger generations and the lifestyle that they live. I find that I catch myself acting like an old grumpy lady when I come to learn and see how so much has changed since I was a teen. One example would be how glued the younger generations are to video games and things like YouTube. As I kid, I lived outdoors and I feel that because of that I leaned how to communicate and socialize with those in my community. I will agree that YouTube is great, however, I’m sure all of us have seen videos that leave us impressed with the lack of intelligence there is out there, so I don’t necessary see the positive impact when youngins spend their entire day watching useless videos. There will always be judgment but whether we learn to keep out mouths shut is another subject

  4. I think a lot of people can relate to your quote, “I was struck by how something so individual …makes its way into the domain of public debate”. It is important to make the distinction between homosexual couples and the debate on legalizing marriage of homosexual couples. You focus on peoples’ perspective of homosexual couples, but then you mention how government and religion wield a power. These institutions have sentiments on the legality of marriage and how the definition of marriage will change if same sex marriage is allowed. They can have opinions on homosexual couples, but can’t say anything if that same couple decides to walk hand in hand in a park for example.

    Ok that was a little confusing on my part, I just think it’s important to discern between peoples emotions on homosexuality and marriage (I use that as an umbrella term).

    • Sumo: maybe what you are talking about is the distinction between emotions/opinions on an issue and policies/laws tha govern an issue. What do you think?

  5. One last comment. This is, without a doubt, a thoughtful post, but remember these posts are supposed to comment/focus on either our class readings or our findings in the archives (or, in a perfect world, both!). To get full credit, you will need to begin doing this.

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