Sep 15, 2013

[Technicolor Musings] A Need For Human Laws



 In light of my post last week about the complexities of the gender discussion, I had a few interesting conversation across social media about how different people responded to this situation. I had a fair mix of folks who defend the need for SOGIE as an education tool while others agreed things were getting rather ridiculous.

The perspective that interested me the most was the "no labels" folks, that far too often get dismissed as being unrealistic or unwilling to take a definite stand somehow. But when you look deeper, thinking beyond labels like gay or bisexual or whatever may be precisely the right direction to take.


Now we have to concede that labels do serve a function - as does naming in general. Naming is a practice that has always demonstrated our ability to exert dominance or control over the different parts of our chaotic world. Instead of just being a fruit, calling that red thing an apple captures it within a concept - thus we all know what apples are "supposed" to be like and leave things at that. Thus in Biblical terms, the Old Testament Yahweh was obsessed with renaming all of his patriarchs once they agreed to follow him.

But shifting to truly humanist thinking may be the key shift that will work better in the long term.

This is not to say that we aren't already there yet. At Pride marches around the world we already see a lot of posters and T-shirts with likes like "Gay Rights and Human Rights" and such. But the angle of thinking isn't fully developed, I feel, or at the very least it is not being fully utilized.

Yes, the SOGIE-related scales try to present a matrix to support a wider view of gender identity and sexual attraction beyond the dreaded "sexual binary" that certain LGBT activists hate so much (but totally love using the phrase). But the end result or the understanding should not be (nor am I implying that this is their intent) to decide which box you fit in or to identify which labels apply to you. Our quest for understanding our personal gender identity does not have to end up with us being able to say "Okay, so it looks like I'm gay / bisexual / genderqueer / assexual / etc".

The scales can help people accept that there's more than just men and women in this world, yes. But then the focus should be more about the ultimate truth - we are all human. And human being should be free to love other human beings. We fall in love with people and personalities after all. We do not fall in love with a person's abstract gender concept of himself or herself.

And this may be the better approach to take in terms of the fight for LGBT rights. Instead of trying to create new laws that recognize LGBT rights or define LGBT needs within the existing framework, perhaps the better approach is to get lawmakers to expand the language of existing laws to focus on the rights of human beings as opposed to the rights of men and women separately. This way we no longer distinguish between gay, straight, lesbian, or whatever. Instead we focus on the fact that we are all fundamentally equal as human beings.

I know this isn't easy, but I just wanted to point out that it's a line of thought worth pursuing.


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