Thursday, December 23, 2010

Someone Else Tries to Firmly Grasp Straw

This writer makes it clear she’s against the rights of consanguineous lovers to love, sex, and marriage.

Incest makes me queasy. It’s gross, disgusting, revolting, vile, and so Freudian. But what if Freud was right? What if we really do want to have sex with our parents?

She goes on to make an argument that, given this start, makes it sound like the only reason she hasn’t had sex with her father is the law, and that's why laws must deny this freedom.

Incest is something that some people are talking more openly about enjoying…Clearly incest is coming out of the closet, so much so that Swiss legislators are calling for the decriminalization of consensual incest and such relationships are already legal in the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, Israel and China.

But here’s where the limits of the liberal subject are felt. Because although consent is always problematic (do we really consent to work or are we obliged to do so?), it is even more problematic in conditions of extreme power imbalances.

Consent is always problematic? Wow, I wonder if this woman is married. Even if she is, is really married by choice? Did she really consent to be married, or was she powerless to say no because of the shiny diamond offered for her finger, or the power imbalance between her and her spouse? If consent is always problematic and that is reason to use the force of law to prevent or punish certain relationships, how can any contract stand up on a court of law? If consent is always problematic, then all sex, to one degree or another, is rape, right?

But let’s just say that the power balance between a father and daughter is not skewed—let’s just say the daughter is the one who is fabulously wealthy and famous and powerful and the father is a nobody and they have a consensual affair. Does that then make it OK?

Whether she thinks it is OK or not, it shouldn’t be illegal and they shouldn’t be denied the freedom to marry.

I’m going to say no: not just because it makes me ill to think about or because I think the community should regulate the morality of adults, but because I believe such relationships are like second-hand smoke. They threaten the health of all of us by infecting familial relations with the possibility of sexual relations.

Ah, I see. If her friend’s father his enjoying sex with her friend, then she’s going to feel pressured to have sex with her father, is that it? Really? Has she engaged in a same-sex relationship because anti-gay laws have been overturned and there are happy lesbian relationships and lesbians out of the closet? Or has she engaged in a heterosexual relationship only because it is legal? People are attracted to others for their own reasons. People consent to sex with others for their own reasons. That something isn’t a crime doesn’t mean you must do it.

If incest comes out of the closet and is accepted as just an alternative lifestyle between consenting adults, then all parent/child relationships are eroticized, at least potentially, since your father may just be your next lover.

Then we can’t let heterosexual men and women work together, and of course all of our relationships with friends of the same-sex have been eroticized because of LGBT rights. All relationsips that straights have with non-related people of the opposite sex are eroticized, right? Especially between different generations?

These objections can be reduced to “I don’t like it. I wouldn’t do it. So nobody else could possibly truly want to do it. So they shouldn’t be allowed.” Don’t want a consanguineous sexual relationship? Don’t have one. There are some places where they are legal, and family and society has not ended in those places.
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