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What’s sex got to do with marriage question?

By John Hargreaves - 25 September 2017 10

I was wondering the other day why I had mixed feelings about the question in the survey about people of the same sex getting married. I just couldn’t get it.  Then it came to me.

I’m not normally a semantic pedant but the use of the word sex in the question and indeed in the debate is what’s wrong with much of the discourse.

I’ve got an old (1967) version of the Concise Oxford Dictionary and it is to this tome that I refer when arguing a point with a semantic or a pedant or people who are both at the same time.

I also use it as my preferred reference in Scrabble games in which I indulge every pancake Tuesday.

Well, this dictionary describes sex as: “n. being male or female or hermaphrodite.” It also applies the term as an adjunct to another word giving the new word a meaning of six something, from the Latin for six.

But after a lot of six related meanings the dictionary talks about the word sexual. “a. of sex or the sexes and when used with other words conjures mind pictures of genitalia, copulation, mutual attraction, and intercourse.”

The term sex in popular use also applies to the act of union in the bedrooms of Oz.

I reckon that in this debate, the word sex is intended to represent the concept of sexuality in the bedroom meaning of the word. It is intended to create mind pictures of two people of the same gender going at it in bedroom Olympics.

Note that I have used the word gender. Oxford describes this word as “n. grammatical classification (or one of the two, or three classes) of objects roughly corresponding to the two sexes and sexlessness (masculine, feminine or neuter)…”

This word is used frequently to describe a person’s sexual classification but does not whip up mind pictures at all, let alone those of sexual intercourse.

There would have been no harm in using the term gender in the survey question and in the debate. But to do this, the removal of the horror factor would have been required and that just won’t do, would it?

I have written before on the political theory of keeping the populace in a state of fear in order to control the masses. This theory requires the presence of monsters which can be slain by the [insert name here] who will look after us. Trump is doing it over North Korea and Thatcher did it over the Falklands.  Bush, Blair and Howard id it over the mythical weapons of mass destruction which were used as justification for invading the Middle East.

The churches have been doing it for centuries. The Devil is the ultimate expression of that monster and the [insert name here] church is the only source of salvation against that hideous monster.

When the churches describe the Devil, they have to give some examples of why this dude is evil (another construct without proof of existence like an all-powerful and all-loving God). This being is responsible for nasty happenings, like dishonesty, killings, theft, adultery to name just a few.

But often the Devil is responsible for us not conforming to a set of standards, mores, ethics which have been constructed by the ruling elite, the church hierarchy. Moses had these fantastic tablets showing the right way to live one’s lives. Happens though, that other wise guys in antiquity have also laid down similar laws, like don’t go around killing people; be nice to your parents, don’t nick stuff just because you like it, don’t chat up someone else’s missus. Abrahamic heroes don’t have mortgage on these tenets.

Immersed in these tenets is the notion that only men and women can be married. Well, these are the same tenets which rendered any other coming together of the heart illegal and punishable by death. Fortunately, we live in more enlightened times now.

So the forces of power, needing us to bend to their concepts of what is right and what is not have to resort to the state of fear theory and project mind pictures of unnatural unions of a sexual nature between people who may be of the same gender! How dishonest is this?

They say that the union of a man and a woman is so that kids can be delivered. What if one or more partners don’t want kids? What about the case of a man is in his second marriage after having had a vasectomy in the first? What is the status of a person who changes gender but doesn’t get divorced?

Another assumption which gets me riled is that marriage automatically comes with bedroom notions of our particular construction. Heaven (wherever that is) help us all. I don’t know or care what anyone else does in their bedroom. It is not my place to say to folks, Hey! Tell you what! I’ve got this great idea how you can have a great time in the sack! But that is exactly what the NO case is trying to do.

What they don’t get is that same-gender folks are living together already, they have kids sometimes, they do all the same things that the rest of do. It’s happening already, guys! How are you going to stop it? Make same gender co-habitation illegal? Have Gender Police?

Back to being semantic for a moment.

If the use of words was to facilitate considered and respectful debate, the use of emotive and hysterical wording and mind pictures would not be used. It is only when a result must be engineered rather than successfully argued, are such emotive words used in debates.

I have filled in my survey form, marked the YES box and am sitting back now listening to hysteria and hyperbole, emotive language and downright lies all being employed to engineer a result.

The survey is a farce, the motives of those who pushed it are suspect, and it is not going to be a true reflection of how most people feel about this subject. The whole thing has warts on it.

What’s Your opinion?


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10 Responses to
What’s sex got to do with marriage question?
Spiral 6:49 pm 28 Sep 17

John Hargreaves said :

Spiral said :

” Thatcher did it over the Falklands.”

You may have forgotten that Argentina did actually invade the Falklands.

It wasn’t just a made up threat, It really did happen.

The Iron Maiden was quoted as saying that if one is in trouble politically at home, having a war will fix that. I paraphrase but it was she who articulated this political theory.

That quote would be a quite accurate description of why Argentina invaded the Falklands, but doesn’t really seem to describe the British position.

John Hargreaves 3:42 pm 28 Sep 17

chewy14 said :

Doesn’t John realise that there are 57 genders?

Asking if we want same gender marriage really wouldn’t have helped things and would likely have caused mass offense to the perpetually offended class.

I’d love to know what those 57 genders are really. I thought that they were only masculine, feminine and neuter. that’s what I was taught at school. That people can now medically change their gender or identify as a gender other than that one was born with, does not change things.

The no campaign is really about whether one’s sexual orientation and preference should be the determinant not what gender the lovers may be. For those on the extreme fringe of the no campaign, it is about sex between consenting adults of the same gender and that can’t happen. They wish to have authority over the lives of people who a different to them even though, what these folks do in their private lives affects none of them.

John Hargreaves 3:38 pm 28 Sep 17

Spiral said :

” Thatcher did it over the Falklands.”

You may have forgotten that Argentina did actually invade the Falklands.

It wasn’t just a made up threat, It really did happen.

The Iron Maiden was quoted as saying that if one is in trouble politically at home, having a war will fix that. I paraphrase but it was she who articulated this political theory.

dungfungus 6:47 pm 26 Sep 17

Roksteddy said :

dungfungus said :

Given that “the winner” will have to have to have enough “votes” to exceed 50% of the number of survey forms mailed out it is unlikely there will be a conclusive result, either way.

Where does that come from? The PM said that even if there is only one extra Yes vote than No votes, then there will be a vote in parliament before the end of the year. And if there are more No votes, then its all over Red Rover (until the next election). You are right in that it’s not conclusive either way but because it’s a non-compulsory survey, there is nothing about the result being dependent on the percentage returned. It’s Yes v No

devils_advocate said :

Interesting point. I suppose there will need to be a further plebiscite or postal vote on whether intersex people can marry (in addition to other intersex people) males or females; since the current vote is on same sex marriage and would not cover either of these situations.

Alternatively, we could just accept that there is no longer any valid reason for the state to construct and enforce a concept of ‘marriage’ and repeal the act in its entirety.

And we could also accept that being unmarried doesn’t stop a couple loving each other and just leave things as they are.

dungfungus 6:45 pm 26 Sep 17

Roksteddy said :

dungfungus said :

Given that “the winner” will have to have to have enough “votes” to exceed 50% of the number of survey forms mailed out it is unlikely there will be a conclusive result, either way.

Where does that come from? The PM said that even if there is only one extra Yes vote than No votes, then there will be a vote in parliament before the end of the year. And if there are more No votes, then its all over Red Rover (until the next election). You are right in that it’s not conclusive either way but because it’s a non-compulsory survey, there is nothing about the result being dependent on the percentage returned. It’s Yes v No

I heard some one being interviewed about it on the ABC (which is the only broadcaster I listen to) state that is how the result will be determined. There is bugger-all on the ABS website.

Roksteddy 1:55 pm 26 Sep 17

dungfungus said :

Given that “the winner” will have to have to have enough “votes” to exceed 50% of the number of survey forms mailed out it is unlikely there will be a conclusive result, either way.

Where does that come from? The PM said that even if there is only one extra Yes vote than No votes, then there will be a vote in parliament before the end of the year. And if there are more No votes, then its all over Red Rover (until the next election). You are right in that it’s not conclusive either way but because it’s a non-compulsory survey, there is nothing about the result being dependent on the percentage returned. It’s Yes v No

devils_advocate 1:42 pm 26 Sep 17

Interesting point. I suppose there will need to be a further plebiscite or postal vote on whether intersex people can marry (in addition to other intersex people) males or females; since the current vote is on same sex marriage and would not cover either of these situations.

Alternatively, we could just accept that there is no longer any valid reason for the state to construct and enforce a concept of ‘marriage’ and repeal the act in its entirety.

dungfungus 5:38 pm 25 Sep 17

You are correct in saying the result will not be a true reflection on how most people feel about SSM (and the wider implications it may lead to) because no one is compelled by law to complete this survey.

Given that “the winner” will have to have to have enough “votes” to exceed 50% of the number of survey forms mailed out it is unlikely there will be a conclusive result, either way.

chewy14 4:37 pm 25 Sep 17

Doesn’t John realise that there are 57 genders?

Asking if we want same gender marriage really wouldn’t have helped things and would likely have caused mass offense to the perpetually offended class.

Spiral 2:33 pm 25 Sep 17

” Thatcher did it over the Falklands.”

You may have forgotten that Argentina did actually invade the Falklands.

It wasn’t just a made up threat, It really did happen.

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