It’s society, just not as you know it

I was searching for inspiration for what to write today and came across two pieces of journalism that gave me that spark.

One was positive, the other not so much.

So let’s start with the negative.  I was pointed to this article by Melanie Phillips.  In it Melanie argues against the decision to allow gay couples to marry deeming it to be the crumbling of society.

Personally I think she makes many mistakes in this piece.  The gravest being not truly understanding the institution of marriage.   Marriage (to me anyway) is the public display and acceptance of the union of two people with a view to a long term relationship.  It is irrelevant and inconsequential whether that couple is heterosexual or homosexual.  Marriage is based on feelings, not physical attributes.  Melanie is misrepresenting the spirit of marriage.

Saying things like “They seem to think it’s just another contractual arrangement involving a binding (or not so binding) commitment — like buying a house or a car.” is plain stupid.  The sense I get (and this is based on no research whatsoever) is that gay relationships tend to be just as strong if not stronger that heterosexual ones. It is essentially saying that just because people are gay they cannot understand (and therefore belittle) what a marriage is or what it means.

Melanie also points out that “marriage is a unique institution because it involves the process by which humanity reproduces itself”.  Guess what Melanie?  It’s not.  Marriage is not unique because of that. Marriages do not necessarily involve reproduction, plus I do believe people had babies before marriage came along.

She goes on to say “This is because children need to be brought up by the two people who created them.” I would love for that to be the case but that’s not always true, nor necessarily what is best for the children.

Melanie comes up with some pretty outlandish arguments about where will it all end.  The question she should be also asking is, if we want an equal society should we all not have the same rights for everyone.

This argument is reminiscent of people who tried to deny women the vote. Imagine if they had won…

The second article was an interview in the Guardian with Tinie Tempah.

Tinie has had a year of huge success with his latest album. Besides being biased in that I like his music, what I particularly liked about the interview was how he saw himself and his role.

He sees himself as a ‘voice of his generation’, someone who ‘represents people in a positive light’.  But more importantly, and I’ve seen this in a couple of interviews, he doesn’t want to bring race into the equation.  To him it is about the music and that is it.

That to me is the most salient point and also the one that has the most reflection of the strides we have made as a society. Nowadays there is a greater acceptance that people are people and their skin colour does not come into it.  It is also a relief to see Tinie’s approach because I feel the more you talk about it, the more you give credence and importance to the discussion and we should be doing all we can to make the race discussion redundant.

Both of these articles were about where we are as a society.  Unfortunately for Melanie it is just not the society she knows.

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2 thoughts on “It’s society, just not as you know it

  1. Yeah that article by Melanie is a little disturbing, it reminds me of the fact that not so long ago interracial marriages were not legal either. Today we would not think twice of an interracial marriage, and we are better for it. My wife is half Mexican, and I am White. It is sad to know that if we would have been born in a different era we would have been breaking the law by getting married.
    I think that people should be able to do what they want when it comes to marriages to do regardless of what other people believe is right or wrong. Thanks for sharing those articles!

    The Green Guerilla

  2. I know… when my mum was growing up (and to a lesser extend when I was) people were described by their race/skin colour – Bob, the black guy, Chee the Chinese guy… now they are just Bob and Chee and that is great, a much greater integration between all of us.
    It doesn’t mean that we lose any of our own heritage/history, but enhances our understanding of the world.
    Thanks for reading, appreciate it

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