Monday, August 6, 2012

The Power of "Why?"

"But we've always done it that way."

Have you ever heard that? Perhaps you've hears it in a workplace if you came in as a new person or a consultant, with fresh eyes. "Why do you do it that way? Why not do it that way instead?"

"Because we've always done it that way" doesn't really answer the question, but it is easy to say when the original reason has been forgotten. Sometimes, things were done a certain way in the past because of the technology available, or the tastes of the management. Meanwhile, technology moved on and managers died or retired and were replaced.

I was thinking about this because of something written in a thread at the Kindred Spirits forum.
Talk about WOW! Thursday I dropped by my regular watering hole and this very topic came up! There is a "brother/sister" act has started coming in regularly and they seem 'extremely' close. They live together and Sissy is raising her grandson. It's been noticed that they dance more like a couple than "brother & sissy" when the DJ is there. Anyway...

One regular clumsily brought up the subject, "Ya know it seams like XXXXX & XXXXXXXX are weirdly close. Ya think they might be....." The first reaction from a few was "YEW, that's gross!" A couple of other comments were "That's just sick" and "Only perverts would do that".
To paraphrase,  person who wrote the entry asked "why" consanguinamory is wrong.
When I asked, "Why?" no one could/would give me a definitive answer. Sheeple being led around by the nose by antiquated societal mores. 
To advance relationship rights for all adults, to reach full marriage equality sooner rather than later so that people will not be discriminated against for being LGBT, or polyamorous, or consanguinamorous, or for their relationships with other consenting adults, we should ask, "Why?"

People are disgusted by different things. Many heterosexual men are disgusted by the thought of gay sex. Some lesbian women are disgusted by the idea of heterosexual sex; that isn't really a problem. The problem comes in when someone says, "Because I am disgusted by the thought, you shouldn't be free to do it." And personal disgust is one answer you'll get when you ask someone why two men shouldn't be free to marry, or three women, or siblings. Personal disgust is not why someone else shouldn't be free to do what they want.

So when someone says that adult shouldn't be free to share love, sex, residence, or marriage because they are the same gender, or because there are three or more of them, or because they are closely related, we should ask "Why?" It may get them thinking and open their minds a little bit. Many of them will realize the only reason is "because we've always done it this way." Of course, we know that these relationships have always existed. We're just emerging from a time of oppression where they were forced into the closet and underground. There have been (and remain on the books in some places) laws against... together or sharing a hotel room without being married
...having sex without being married
...buying or selling or using sex toys
...having sex with the lights on
...buying or selling or using birth control
...engaging in oral or anal sex

Most people are aware that it took a Supreme Court decision to overturn laws against interracial marriage.

Times have changed. We live in a diverse society more comfortable with our sexuality.We still have a ways to go, but "it's always been that way" belongs in the trash along with laws against interracial marriage.

If you ask WHY consenting adults shouldn't be free to be together and to marry and the other person doesn't have a good answer, they may say something like "If you can't see why, there is something wrong with you." That's a dodge. Your response to them should be "If you can't explain why, then your dislike of equality  shouldn't have power over someone else's life."
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