Right to Marry Debate
This marvelous poem by activist/poet Dajenya sums up my thoughts on the matter. I listened with rapt attention when she read it on June 3, 2009 in San Francisco–Dajenya received a standing ovation!
Please click on the link to read it in its entirety.
I have this nagging feeling,
like an itch I can’t quite reach to scratch,
that this total focus on the right to marry
is somewhat reminiscent
of the fight for the right
to kill and die
in the U.S. military.
Why should that be?
Certainly to marry
is not the same as to kill;
not today, anyway,
when marriage is no longer all about
the complete and utter ownership
of women by men.
No, marriage is now about
all sorts of good and necessary things:
custody of children,
or simply a symbol of love and equality
But if our struggle is really about
such good and necessary things,
as opposed to the emulation of mutual ownership
and sexist power imbalances,
than why so many bridal gowns?
A tux may be merely formal wear
but a bridal gown…
the epitome of the trappings of enforced “femininity”
the bound-feet of wedding wear
the total capitulation to patriarchal determination of women’s role
and purpose in life (to be a wife)
What ever happened to
Lesbians at the forefront of feminist consciousness ?
But wedding wear aside,
it is the singularity of the focus that leaves me so confounded.
Copyright 2009 by Dajenya; all rights reserved.
Excerpt forwarded from the Feminist Wire
By Darnell L. Moore
The singular investment (capital, ideological and bodily) in “gay marriage” advocacy work short circuits the emancipatory potential of a queer politic and activist platform that seeks the overall destabilization of any such “institution,” real or imagined, that furthers state-ordained, heteronormed, patriarchal and neoliberal modes of relationality. Such institutions are modes of normativity (made proper by way of state sanctions) that disqualify other modes of non-heteronomormative relationships. It is assismilationist posturing that moves us away from Cathy Cohen’s suggested trajectory of queer activism in the direction of anti-assimilationist and transformational coalition work.[i] And it is founded upon a politic of “benign disembarkation” into the realm of the “normal” rather than a politic of “radical departure” from the normative that simultaneously moves us in the direction of equalized, diverse forms of relationality.