Wednesday, July 14, 2010

More on marriage: Josh Rosenau

Science blogger -- and fellow former Lawrencian -- Josh Rosenau takes note of my marriage post, and adds his own two cents:

Let's talk about my grandmother. Her husband died in his fifties, before I was born. Quite some time later, well after menopause, she remarried, and the man she married was the only grandfather on that side of the family that I ever knew. Both had adult children from previous marriages, and some of their grandchildren attended the wedding. They knew they wouldn't have children of their own, but that didn't change their desire to marry. Again, if conservatives cannot understand why senior citizens choose to marry and stay married past menopause… well, I'm still glad I'm not marrying a conservative.

When people make this argument that marriage is about procreation, it insults the memory of my grandmother and grandfather, people who could not have legally married if this standard were applied consistently. It insults people who are infertile for any reason, including voluntary sterilization, congenital conditions, or side effects of other medical treatments. And it insults anyone who takes marriage seriously – as an institution focused on bringing together loving couples and recognizing the special ties that they've formed.


Anonymous said...

Lawrence, Kansas - representing rational thought. Thanks, dudes.

Wry Mouth said...

Dopey. There is no insult necessarily tied into what is, prima facie, obvious. Marriage *is* about rearing genetically-related children. Just not solely about it.

There are exceptions to almost any general concept, but those exceptions do not disqualify the principle of making general concepts. Sheesh. I got 2 brothers who are technically outside the norm on this, and we get along fine.

People who "take insult" because they are outside the norm need to have a little more self-esteem. ANd those within the norm need to open their minds a little, and not subject those "outside the norm" -- on matters of little or no sociological negative impact -- to ridicule, solely on the basis of being non-normative.

Otherwise, we end up developing a nation so sensitive to being outside norms that we have to redefine the bounds of every general concept to the point of uselessness.