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Saturday, February 20, 2016

Is a Woman Unable to Consent to Marry Her Sibling?

[Bumping this up because it is still revelant.] I take the idea of consenting adults seriously. An adult, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, or religion should be free to share love, sex, residence, and marriage (or any other legal union offered) with any and all consenting adults.

This does not mean I think any given person is a good match for any other person, or that they are treating each other right. It just means whether or not they have a relationship and what they do together should be up to them, not anyone else.

Our laws are inconsistent about this. A 22-year-old woman living below the poverty level can legally consent to sign a prenuptial agreement and legally marry a 60-year-old male billionaire. She can have sex with the President of the United States, who obviously has much more power than her. The law in many places allows her to marry a complete stranger. Also, in most places, she can legally live with and consent to sex with a man who has what amounts to a harem, or she can consent to group sex with several weightlifting champions she’s never met before, or an older man who’s been her next-door neighbor since she was born and babysat her throughout her childhood, and is now living on death row as a convicted murderer. That’s all legal. However, in many places she’s still barred from legally marrying another 22-year-old woman, and in even more places, she is still barred from having consensual sex with, let alone marrying a full or half sibling, even if they weren’t raised together. I have yet to hear a reason justifying such discrimination that withstands scrutiny.

Recently some tweets were directed to me by a thoughtful person questioning brother-sister marriage, and those tweets deserve responses longer than 140 characters, so I’m putting my response here.


as in statutory rape, how do you ensure the protection of incest victims current and future? Incest is predatory. It's rape.
And...
'consent' is the key word you've used. Prove consent in incest.
We “prove consent” in consanguinamorous relationships the same way we do so in any other relationship or encounter. Rape/assault should never be equated with consensual sex. They are two very different things.
some legal situations s/a stat. rape and incest recognize that consent is not always able to be given. Coercion/manipulation
In saying that sibling should be free to share sex and marriage, that in no way erases laws against assault. As with complete strangers, consent is at the center of sex. Without consent, it is assault.
But you're more likely to be viewing the product of a long term manipulation/coercion situation.
More likely? How do we know that? What about identical twins, or siblings who are about the same age and first met as adults? That some people are repulsed by the idea of marrying or having sex with their own sibling does not mean others can’t desire sex or marriage with their siblings, and freely consent to it. What we tend to read in academic studies or hear about in the news or with groups that take reports about abuse are problematic situations, where assault is taking place or the lovers have had mental health issues or run into trouble with the law. Siblings who are enjoying consanguinamory because they have a consensual sexual relationship, whether they share a residence or not, are usually going to fly under the radar. Very few are out of the closet.

Removing laws and stigmas against brother-sister sex (and brother-brother sex and sister-sister sex) will actually make it easier for abuse to be reported, because victims and witnesses will be more likely to work with law enforcement if consensual sex is not subject to criminal prosecution. I draw an analogy with assault by strangers. Unmarried sex used to be criminalized, and victims were often blamed for having engaged in such sex or putting themselves in a position where that would be a possibility. Now, ideally, law enforcement recognizes that (for example) a woman should be free to have casual sex if that is what she wants, and having casual sex with a man one night does not mean the same man or another man should be allowed to assault her on another night.
depth of intimacy and full emotional support is had in families with no sex required.
This is true, and it is the case with any adult relationships. People can have intimacy and full emotional support without ever having sex.
Sibling sex is unnecessary 4 bonding.
Whether or not it is necessary, the question is really “Is there a good reason to deny the fundamental right to marry to people because they are genetic siblings?” I say no. I have interviewed many siblings who have beautiful, lasting, healthy relationships. Often with brother-sister relationships, the sister reports that she initiated. The people in these relationships say it has made their bond much more deep and intimate and that nothing else compares. To try to use law to force them to cease lovemaking with each other is cruelty. To deny them the freedom to marry is unfair. That they are already family does not negate a need for marriage equality, especially if they want to share next-of-kin status with each other and prevent another sibling or a parent from interfering in their relationship or lives.

If we take the concepts of consenting adults and equality seriously, we can’t keep arbitrary discrimination such as the ban on consanguineous marriage.

I know of no better place to discuss consanguinamory than the Kindred Spirits forum. If you join that free forum, be sure to immediately read and follow the rules, or they will kick you right off.
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4 comments:

  1. Shows how shallow the concept of "love" really is, though I agree that it is somewhat silly to arrest someone for it when everyone else is doing it. If relatives want to play their little game as a "loving" couple, why arrest them?

    I cannot fathom however why'd you fight for something like that.
    You're more likely to win a lottery than experience "true love." And even then, nothing guarantees that it will last. Don't be fooled by supposedly happy couples, so many people put up that facade to hide the ugly reality. People wear masks and lie all the time. That's only human though, you can't expect anything better from us.

    True love is an abstract concept that is the subject of poetry, not reality. No offense but I think your head is way too up in the clouds.
    Idealism won't get you far.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I forgot to mention the point in case; third paragraph.

      Delete
    2. For the sake of my point, eliminate the word love. What about all of the other reasons people have relationships, sex, and get married? Why should that be denied a woman who wants to do so with her sibling?

      Delete
    3. All of these anti-incest tweets appear to be based on personal disgust... which is no valid reason for banning such relationships. Of course family members should be free to marry each other if that is what they want. To say otherwise is really just discriminatory and ignorant.

      Delete

To prevent spam, comments will have to be approved, so your comment may not appear for several hours. Feedback is welcome, including disagreement. I only delete/reject/mark as spam: spam, vulgar or hateful attacks, repeated spouting of bigotry from the same person that does not add to the discussion, and the like. I will not reject comments based on disagreement, but if you don't think consenting adults should be free to love each other, then I do not consent to have you repeatedly spout hate on my blog without adding anything to the discourse.

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