Sunday, February 19, 2006
I'm so close to being done with the libertarian book that I can almost smell it. Which is good for Mr. Boaz because now he's reminding me of an old joke. There's a new preacher in a church and he's nervous because it's his first Sunday but he gets up to the pulpit and he starts in about the sin of dancing, how it leads to lewdness and immoral behavior, and one woman in the back starts in "Amen, Preacher, Amen." So, he's feeling good and he starts in on the sin of drinking and how it leads to lewdness and immoral behavior, and that same woman in the back yells out again, "Preach it, Reverend, preach it!" And now he's really feeling it so he switches to the evils of television, with all the sex and violence and immoral behavior and the little old lady in the back turns to the woman next to her and says, "Well, now he's just meddling." This morning, when I got to the point where Boaz was talking about family and marriage, that was pretty much my response--now he's just meddling. He makes this claim--that marriage domesticates men--which I find laughable. Not just because I've dated enough married men to know that there's no force on earth that can straighten a jackass out if he's got it in his heart to be a jackass*, but because in that same chapter he claims that the reason it's so important for boys to have their fathers present is that fathers domesticate boys. Well, fuck me, gentlemen. How much domestication do you need? If left to your own devices would you be rooting through my garbage and eating your own poop? Seriously. Christ. Of all the reasons to support two parent families, domesticating men has got to be the worst reason I've ever heard of. What does "domesticating men" even mean? Let's just leave aside the weird ideas about women inherent in the notion that girls are powerless to raise boys on their own, but powerful enough to change grown-ass men** into housecats. What kind of weird-ass ideas about men does such a world-view promote? That men, left to their own devices, are monsters lacking all civility? That, without interference from a specific team of others (the father and the wife of said boy), men cannot help but act shittily? I mean, really, gentlemen. I am stunned, repeatedly, by how loud and clear the message is in our society--that straight men are monsters who cannot help themselves when they hurt others and it is up to the people they hurt to somehow manipulate them into better behavior--and how unaware of it y'all seem to remain. Doesn't this piss you off? When you look at yourself or your brothers or your sons or your nephews, do you really believe that, at his core, there is someone who would beat his wife or children, or rape a woman, or kill someone if no one stopped him? Do you all really think you are criminals kept in check only by the threat of violence from your father and the fear of being cut off from the vagina of your woman? Or, I guess the real question is--why doesn't this assumption piss you off? *For the record, I do not date married men on purpose. But I'm also going to take you at your word. If you don't say that you're married right up front, I'm not going to hire a fucking detective to make sure you're not misrepresenting yourself. I am not the god damn morality police. **I cannot say for certain how women might be able to work this little magic trick, but I suspect that, because of Boaz's hang-up on unmarried teenage girls, we're supposed to domesticate y'all by refusing to fuck you unless you straighten up (and the first step of getting you to straighten up is to get you to marry us). Whew! Lord knows there's nothing more fun than a relationship where women dole out sex as a reward for proper behavior and withhold it as punishment. Will a day come when we can build social policy that assumes that straight women actually like to fuck men and aren't just putting up with it because it's a way to get them to, say, go to church or mow the lawn or act in a respectable fashion?