Mouse rant blog vent mouse.

Friday, April 30, 2004

Children or not is the real dividing line

Salon has a pretty good article about the first gated community aimed directly at gays and lesbians. There's a surprising amount of harassment the developers have received over this and that the residents can probably expect, at least for a little while from those who thought Jesus was just kidding when he talked about splinters and logs in eyes or when he talked about stone-throwing. (The Lord would never deprive anyone of the pleasure of self-righteous harassment, you know.)
This article made me chuckle at parts. From what I could tell, their real selling point wasn't the "open-mindedness" of the community so much as the fact that the houses were tailored to childless couples. The real breakthrough for real estate marketing will be when they realize the true divide between couples is the parents vs. childless, not gay vs. straight. As far as I can tell, that's the major selling point of this community, even if they don't realize it. There's a reason that you will often happen upon neighborhoods made up of young singles, young straight couples, gay couples of all ages and empty nesters and it has less to do with politics than it has to do with the desire not to trip over children in the grocery store, be woken up by children playing on a Saturday morning, or listen to parents screaming at their children. That and the draw of grocery stores that stock imported beers, wines and cheeses.
These guys have stumbled onto something like that and they don't even know it. They need to retool their strategy to emphasize the child-free lifestyle. The kitchens designed for actual entertaining instead of making macaroni and cheese with beanie-weenies is a good start. There are tons of straight couples who live like stereotypical gay couples, and my guess is gay couples with kids act like boring old married folks.
The rest of the article is interesting, if only that the freaky fundies are so powerfully offended by this. They truly have a talent for sticking their noses into other people's business. But all the time and energy exerted thinking about homosexuality, particularly for those who have an unending appetite for "disgusting" themselves thinking about homosexual sex, seems utterly wasted. Nothing whatsoever is learned. Case in point, this comment, which is surpassed in ignorance only by the inexplicable assurance of the speaker:

Murray sees Wilton Station as an example of the homosexual lifestyle presented in a deceptively positive light. "Really, there should not be a public sanction of these [gay] communities. People say, look, aren't these [lifestyles] wonderful? The reality is: They aren't if you look at the facts."

As far as I can tell, the freaky fundies really do believe that all gay people are miserable, freaky losers who just run around saying that everything is fine because.....well, it's not a well-thought out myth. But it's one that so precious that it can't be dropped even under an onslaught of evidence against it. Which made me think--this argument against homosexuality, that's it's unnatural and it's impossible to be fulfilled and happy when you are gay is pretty much the exact same argument that people throw at women (and occassionally even at men) who don't have or want to have children.
That self-righteousness is fueled in large part by jealousy is evident. If you doubt this, it would do well to watch anti-gay activists picket; there's usually one guy who will explain how "disgusting" gays are because they (fill in specific sex act described in extremely titillating detail), and he's usually the loudest shouter. But it's not possible that all super-dedicated gay-haters are all just in the closet. Instead, I think it's more that homosexuality has become a convienent shorthand for all the sexual freedoms that seem to be available to everyone but the freaky fundies. And one of those freedoms is the relatively pedestrian freedom to choose not to have children at all.
That's another reason gay marriage and adoption are "undermining" straight marriage. If gays aren't fated to loveless and childless lives anymore, than that many more straight people will realize they aren't fated to have marriages and children they don't want. And the comfort of knowing that you had children because you "had" to is taken away and you are left having to answer to yourself why you made the choice you did.
Apparently it's easier to bust your ass trying to get birth control and homosexuals banned completely than to take a good look at yourself.

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