Thursday, November 8, 2012

"Dear Margo" Howard Revisits Twincest

You may recall that the advice column "Dear Margo" ran a letter from someone suspicious that adult twin siblings, who clearly love and enjoy each other, were ... gasp ... making love with each other. The column has now run a follow-up.

"Concerned" wrote in...
I agree with you 99 percent of the time, but I think you gave only a partial answer concerning the possibly incestuous twins. You wrote, “And really, it is their business. Should your worst fears be the reality, it is no reflection on your family.” That was the recent assertion of a Hollywood director making a movie about incest: It’s just an alternative lifestyle!

It's not an alternative lifestyle. It is a normal life between people who love each other. If you saw a couple like that walking down the street, holding hands and sharing a quick peck on the lips, you'd either wouldn't notice or you'd think they were a lovely, sweet couple in love. (The Hollywood director he mentions is Nick Cassavetes.)
Yesterday I read an article by a psychiatrist (I’ve been looking like crazy so I could include the link, but I failed to find it) saying that incest is not just an alternative lifestyle.
Hmm, the letter writer seems very interested in this subject.

Normal people do not fall in love with their elders and express that love sexually. When intergenerational roamnce occurs, it is because of deep childhood harms that occurred, and it’s always a sign that someone needs help. Fast.

Whoops. I got that quote wrong. Let's try again...
Normal people do not fall in love with people of another race and express that love sexually. When interracial love occurs, it is because of deep childhood harms that occurred, and it’s always a sign that someone needs help. Fast.
Still got it wrong. Let's try again...
Normal people do not fall in love with their same-gender friends and express that love sexually. When homosexuality occurs, it is because of deep childhood harms that occurred, and it’s always a sign that someone needs help. Fast.
Okay, the writer didn't write those last three quotes, but those are things people like the letter writer have written. Here is what the letter writer actually wrote...
Normal people do not fall in love with their siblings and express that love sexually. When incest occurs, it is because of deep childhood harms that occurred, and it’s always a sign that someone needs help. Fast.
It is just as prejudiced and bigoted as the other statements.

I realize sexual orientation as in LGBT, hetero, etc. is different than either Genetic Sexual Attraction or Familial Sexual Attraction, but if we’re talking about CONSENTING ADULTS, who cares??? Why is it anyone else’s business? Those twins can consent to join the military, operate heavy machinery, major surgery, serious contracts, and so many other things, but they can’t consent to have sex with each other? Sex is NOT a bad thing! If you think it is, you are doing it wrong.
I agree with you that just because they live together does not mean it’s incest. Twins are very, very close, and I think the bonds are stronger than between singleton siblings, so she shouldn’t jump to conclusions. But if it is incest, it isn’t just a MYOB situation. Her siblings need help, and not to save the family’s image, but to save them. Incest is taboo for a reason.

And that reason is...? Notice such assertions are usually not followed by anything reasonable. If there is an explanation, it is always one of the Discredited Arguments. We know why there are laws/taboos, and those reasons don't justify continuing discrimination against consenting adults.

Here is the response...
Should incest be verifiable, then you and I would see eye to eye that mental health help is indicated. We also agree that severe family dysfunction is at the root of such deviation, making it true that, like charity, incest begins at home.

How disappointing. Dysfunction can contribute to Genetic Sexual Attraction, and may be present in some cases of Familial Sexual Attraction, but if consenting adults are happy together and treating each other right, the only problem that needs to be addressed is the bigotry of others.

I would very much like the letter writer and Margo to meet siblings couples like the ones I've recently interviewed here, here, and here. I can only imagine what they'd say about my PCM friends. They have one of the most beautiful relationships anyone could ever have.

Belinda Joy left a comment...
A sister or brother that suspects incest, not only can but should ask, if they suspect. Because it IS wrong on so many levels and DOES point to mental issues. Anyone that would argue to the contrary has their own mental issues to deal with. For anyone to say that a brother and sister, father and daughter, mother and son that engages in sexual activities with one another should be viewed as acceptable because they have a right to do so, is a person with severely flawed thinking.
Did you catch that? If you don't see thing the way Belinda Joy does, you must have mental problems. Meanwhile, she did not say what the harm was in their relationship. Because she can't. Because there isn't any.

One way to approach the twins would be to approach one and start asking questions like, I have a friend who saw your picture and was interested in you. Would you like to meet him/her? See what the answer is. If they say no ask them do you want to date? If they say no. Ask why. Take a round about way of asking, you might actually get the truth.

That's all fine if someone is genuinely interested in what their sibling wants. But if it is so one sibling can be attacked by another because they are in love with another sibling, (or gay/lesbian, or happy being alone, or happy with having casual sex but no relationships), then it is destructive. Why try to control the sexuality of another adult who is happy with themselves?


Assuming the twins are consanguinamorous, of what benefit will it be to express disapproval of their love? Yes, if they live where stupid laws against consanguineous sex are still on the books and a prosecutor is willing to do it, they can be treated like criminals. How does that help or protect anyone?!? Trying to pull lovers apart rarely works, and when they have the bond such twins would have, the most likely result of such an attempt would be that the twins would cut the judgmental finger-waggers out of their life.

An adult should be free to share love, sex, residence, and marriage with ANY consenting adults, without prosecution, bullying, or discrimination.
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