Thursday, August 30, 2012

8/30 - One Letter Only

As the Prudecutor finally addressed the main point of Homocentric August directly (while both revealingly and badly), it seems fitting to close off the month by looking exclusive at L3, in her response to which the Prudecutor cannot make herself more clear. The opening sentence shimmers with unPrudecutorlike brevity and lack of equivocation - "Invite him." Now, perhaps this may surprise some readers, but my response is not going to be an instantaneous, "Don't invite him." A kneejerk call in either direction is automatically wrong in approach, even if it turns out to be the stopped clock in this particular direction.

I shall begin by parsing the Prudecutor's reply. I don't know where she gets the idea that she is agreeing with LW3 about the world changing, as LW3 never said any such thing. Conflating living openly and entering marriages suggests a simultaneity that does not exist, probably for some nefarious purpose. The article to which she linked was quite weak. At the very least, President Obama ended up, deliberately or otherwise, hiding behind the most politically palatable reason for his change of heart, his daughters. Actual gay people entering actual social institutions had nothing to do with it; his daughters have friends with same-sex-couple parents. It is possible to view his support as indirectly insulting. I do not share such a view, but can see how some people conclude much similar support to be based on the idea that, because Queers Are Raising Kids (clutch pearls!), they had better be made as assimilated and normal-looking as possible - a sort of twist on Miss Barrett in Up the Down Staircase summing up her student Linda Rosen for the school psychologist with, "Marry her off quick."

Saving the Prudecutor's speculation on motive for another paragraph, and her assumption about the meaning of BU3's accepting such an invitation for another, I shall jump ahead. There is something missing from the Prudecutor's response. If I were in true Conspiracy Theorist Mode, I might speculate both that this was indicative of something sinister in the Prudecutor's mentality and something that (almost) none of the straight commenters would catch. But I am not in such mode. I shall even go so far as to pay my readers the compliment that doubtless they all caught the glaring omission of the Standard Meaningless Prudecutorial Congratulations And Best Wishes bestowed upon any couple on the point of marrying or family-expanding.

Moving on to motive, the Prudecutor is quite right to point out that there could have been various reasons for BU3's vote. True, some votes against marriage equality are based on genuine opposition, while others are based on political expediency. The Prudecutor appears to feel that a vote based on political expediency means that said voter should get a free pardon in such matters as social invitations, but is a bit too much of a weasel to state such a thing explicitly. Here she lines up squarely in the same camp as Karl Rove (according to Andrew Sullivan). Circa late 2004, Mr Rove patronized a barbershop with a predominantly gay clientele. Apparently, relations were at least reasonably civil all round. Then Mr Bush was re-elected, largely due to Mr Rove's pushing for much of the re-election campaign to be tied to the backs of anti-gay ballot measures. When Mr Rove next appeared to have his hair cut, he was reportedly stunned by the unfriendly treatment he encountered. Why should anyone have taken offence when there was nothing personal about anything he'd done?

I take similar interest in the Prudecutor's presumption about the meaning of BU3's possible acceptance of the putative invitation. It would show that he's open to admitting he was wrong? That might coincide, but A would not necessarily imply B. And this leads me to an interesting view of Who Really Benefits from the system the Prudecutor recommends. I do think, by the way, that BU3 could have voted for the ban in a way that made his personal dissent clear, although in such a case think it highly unlikely that LW3 would at present be experiencing such angst.

LW3 mentions a fear of offending other family members if BU3 is not invited. Presumably, then, EF3 have brought pressure to bear on LW3 not to make waves or not to have any visceral reaction to BU3's objectionable vote in company. Flipping the coin, one deduces similar pressure on BU3 not to make too great a display of prejudice in public. And the same familial forces that would be offended if LW3 were to withhold the invitation would presumably be equally offended if BU3 were to decline it. What, then, becomes the picture? LW3 grits teeth and invites; BU3 grits teeth and accepts. Neither wants to be in company with the other and it spoils the day, but both capitulate to keep the Tyrannous Middle happy. It's quite reminiscent of Tom's account in Daria of how the Sloanes always handle problems by pretending they don't exist, which is inconvenient when there are odours involved.

Now for some points about which L3 is unclear. BU3 served as an elected official. Presumably he is out of office at present. When, oh, when, did the vote occur? What were the political consequences and follow-up? How has BU3 addressed the matter within the family, if at all? I suspect that he has not had to address the issue within the family, and that perhaps there has been considerable pressure exerted on him to avoid doing so. Or perhaps he has been able to skate along in the presumption that of course his entire family agrees with him. Oh, dear. Has LW3 had any contact with BU3 about the nauseating vote? Has BU3 met LW3 and F3 as a couple? Perhaps most importantly, has BU3 apologized in any way, shape or form?

I shall now jump ahead a bit and propose a solution. I suggest that LW3 contact BU3 privately - assuming, of course, that the date retains some wiggle room. LW3's tone should be one of presuming and completely accepting that BU3 doesn't want to attend the wedding any more than LW3 wants to invite him. The contact should be an offer to conspire to hold the wedding on a date on which BU3 could not possibly attend. Then nobody has to confront the Tyrannous Middle.

In one respect, the Tyrannous Middle subconsciously play into the hands of the Bigots. It is not often stated, but I am convinced that the TM, as does the Prudecutor herself, is quite attached to the Gay Doormat, who will always Be the Bigger Person, Turn the Other Cheek, and Accept Hateful Behaviour in exchange for the few Crumbs of Approval the TM deign to provide. If BU3 has not apologized, then one of the main signals sent by Just Inviting Him thoughtlessly because it's the Thing to Do is that Bigots Can Mistreat Queers as badly as they like and still be invited to their weddings. For a prime example of this, Mr Savage was recently so foolish as to invite one of the main bigots, Mr Brown, into his own home for dinner and a Biblical debate that 95 people out of a hundred could have predicted would come to no gain for either side. Mr Savage was sufficiently deluded to think that such a gesture would force Mr Brown to acknowledge his humanity. Mr Brown has not done so. Huge net loss for us across the board, as now our homophobic relatives will feel entitled to similar treatment. After all, if the Head F***** can do it...

I can almost feel wave after wave of commentator glaring at me for daring to think that issuing the invitation might not necessarily automatically be Best. Let me guess. Almost all of the Just Invite Him crowd are straight, straight, straightstraightSTRAIGHT. Well, isn't that special, as Church Lady would say, without a question mark. The Prudecutor did, to her credit, manage to avoid the common pitfall of making a comparison between BU3 and that irritating relative that opposite-sex couples only invite out of obligation. While there is much that L3 did not include, we do know in part from such a system of omission that LW3 feels deeply wounded by BU3's vote. And I sincerely doubt anyone in the Just Invite Him crowd has experienced anything like what LW3 has experienced in the form of a potential guest actually casting a vote on record in opposition to the very possibility of the marriage. Even if the invitations to the wedding took on a remarkable similarity to everybody in the class giving a Valentine to everyone else except Charlie Brown, LW3 would be entirely justified in taking that vote as a complete dealbreaker.

I shall close with disappointment that certain family members will be offended if the invitation is not issued. Offended? Offended is what LW3 has every right to be by that disgusting Amendment, in addition to the conduct of BU3 in voting for it. If that's the dealbreaker, so be it; there shall be no reproach from me. If not, and LW3 can invite BU3 with peace and joy at heart, then fine, though I still hope something prevents BU3's actual attendance.

The Prudecutor should be ashamed of herself.

No comments:

Post a Comment