Thursday, February 3, 2011

It's Natural

In my limited experience, this is still the most effective argument to win people over and get them to understand that homosexual desires are as natural as fruit bat blow jobs during copulation or male Right Whales double penetrating a female under the midday sun.  Via wickedgayblog:


108243152654086114360 said...

First: here's the comment John left in Google Reader.
I despise this line of argument for "winning over" straight people because it plays right into the heteronormative line of thinking: "gay is gross, unnatural, weird, but they can't help it; they don't have a choice"

It also ignores the true debate going on: legally removing rights from a minority group which you dislike is not acceptable even if the group members are minorities by choice or by birth. Our society is designed to preserve the rights of people who were born left-handed as much as it was to protect those who choose to be christian or libertarian.

Saying "it's not a choice! We deserve respect!" both implicitly acknowledges that being straight is the "correct" sexual drive (false) but also concedes that it's ok to marginalize groups of people if they are members of that group by choice (also false).

108243152654086114360 said...

Second: here are my thoughts.
I am not aware of ANY perfect arguements, and I suspect there are none.

The idea that there are.. that there's a "right way" to convince someone is a seductive idea. It stems from wanting to have someone else adopt your world-view in its entirety. Who wouldn't want that? We all think we're right.

You [John] are concerned that discrimination against gay people is an example of a greater form of discrimination. Maybe it is. But you face a MUCH more difficult task in trying to convince others of the general case than you do the specific one.

Some of us don't want to wait. Especially when the other examples of the general case are no where to be seen.

Furthermore, I feel there *are* situations where "choices" people make perhaps *should* open them up to legal discrimination. So I'm not even with you on premise.

Cookulacrates said...

Both of you (John and Nik) make points that I agree with, though I disagree with John's distaste for the argument for much the same reason that Nik does: there's no perfect argument. In the end, it's about convincing people of your perspective; the most effective way to do that sometimes is to relate the situation to something they can easily think about. There are people who oppose gay marriage because they think same-sex attraction is gross/unnatural - and it *is* for them. But by pointing out that sexual orientation is like the difference between blue eyes and brown eyes instead of 20/20 eyes and astigmatism, you cover two points: (1) You get the person to question their own sexuality, thus bringing them out of their comfort zone and hopefully getting them to see the other side of the coin, and (2) you lampoon the claim that it is "unnatural". By very definition it's natural because I *can* feel it, even if it WAS a choice.

John, I understand your frustration with the implicit concession, but part of the reason I'm a fan of this argument (besides the fact that it works), is that it corrects basic factual errors that are propagated by religious conservatives; namely that homosexuality is choice and that it is unnatural. Both of those claims have been shown to be untrue by a large body of scientific evidence. If nothing else, we should spread the arguments that correct these basic foundational misperceptions, so that if people continue to be bigoted, they will be informed bigots rather than ignorant ones.