Monday, October 12, 2009

RE: Titles and Labels

Hey there people.

This morning I received an email about my previous post. I appreciate the gesture of sending this private message, but it brings up a topic that I'd like to address publicly:

Hey there Sydney! It’s been a while right?! Anywhoo, I just have a quick question that I wanted to ask you that I didn’t want to ask in your comment section because I felt it was better suited as an email.

Okay, so in your post you said:

A piece of paper saying that two people are united in holy matrimony doesn't mean a thing.

Do you mind if I ask how do you feel about gay marriage rights? Because there are sooooooo many people who are trying to prove the exact opposite of what you are saying . I used to be like: It’s just a piece of paper and as long as Gays & Lesbians are afforded the same rights (through things like civil unions guarantying benefit,tax breaks etc) as hetero folks who cares? It wasn’t until I started law school and kind of started paying attention that I realized that it goes beyond that. And, all things being equal, a piece of paper saying that two people are united in holy matrimony means everything.

I just want to be clear on something. It wasn't my intention to offend any of my readers who are a) very happily married or b) a member of the LGBT community. Please understand that my comments were not intended to belittle the sanctity of marriage as an institution. I know that there is SO much more to marriage than fidelity and, as I said in my post, there's no way I could possibly address every combination of a relationship. My focus was only on the issue of honor within a marriage, or relationship for that matter. Everything outside of that, I won't attempt to speak on because I couldn't do the issue justic. That said, I'd like to reiterate something I probably didn't make entirely clear in my post. I was in no way suggesting that marriage itself is meaningless (I can understand how my statement about "a piece of paper saying two people are united in holy matrimony not meaning a thing" could be misconstrued as such). Though I have never bared witness to a successful, honest marriage, I do believe that when two people are fully commited to each other, it can be a beautiful thing. I was speaking ONLY in regards to fidelity. In this context, certainly the marriage title doesn't stop a person from being unfaithful. I think we can all agree on that. That was my only argument.

What I want you guys to realize is that I'm writing from my personal experiences and perspective. I come from single parent home; my parents divorced because of my father's infidelity (he cheated on my mother with six different women; the result was six half-siblings). What my father did to my mother is the epitome of everything I fear. They were, to her knowledge, happily married for 10 years. But then she found out that he was cheating on her the entire time. So you see, based on my own personal experiences with relationships (having been cheated on and cheated with) and the example of my parents', I am just a smidge disenchanted with marriage at this point in my life.

As I mentioned before, I know that I've come a long way from where I was but I'm FAR from being where I want to be. I've made mistakes in the past and I'm certainly make some inthe future; I know I've got a lot of growing to still do. But the opinions I express here are based on the experiences I've had thus far. The decisions I'm making for my life are ones that suit my lifestyle at the moment. So, I'm not suggesting that my approach towards dating is the "right" approach. I'm just saying it's what is working for me right now. Please believe that I am not claiming to be a know-it-all when it comes to relationships. But this is where I am right now. At this moment. Just as my beliefs have changed in the past year, I expect my outlook to be different this time next year. That's what life is about: Learning, evolving, and growing. A static life isn't one I want to live.

I know it's easy to call my assertions naive or ignorant because of my youth and inexperience. But one thing I want my readers to understand is that I'm not claiming to know everything. I know that I can't please everyone in what I write, so please forgive me if I offend your beliefs. I'm VERY open minded and I would hope you'd comment (either publicly or privately) so that I can understand your view. It is never my intention to offend anyone here, and I really want you guys to know that.

Like I said before, I can't really say for sure that I'll "never" get married. And never once did I say that I didn't believe in marriage either. I just feel that titles (husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend) are irrelivant when it comes to FIDELITY.


Jaded said...

Hey, I couldn't have said it better myself,titles are irrelevant when it comes to fidelity.
(but they do help in dissolution proceedings...bad joke? lol)

Video Vix[o]n said...

i completely agree with the concept of labels and a piece of paper defining your commitment to someone because fidelity can still occur...

i feel that beyond the legality of marriage, there has to be a mutual understanding that there is an "emotional contract" in place, beyond the court and such that needs to be upheld, otherwise, the title means nothing, like a "Hi, My name is (blank)" sticker.

in the end, despite how young and inexperienced you may think you are, you can only go off of your experiences; that's all we have... you made a good point...

Don said...

i wholeheartedly agree with your words in this post. no one knows it all, but we definitely know and do good to express that what we know in our hearts and mind. and i too promise that a piece of paper means nothing - trust me.

thanks for the concern. much respect.

Nikki said...

Hey Syd,
I agree with what you've said, but I think I WOULD go even further and argue that marriage doesn't mean anything period. What is the difference between a loving relationship, and a loving relationship where you have to sign a contract to prove how 'faithful' you are to one another? Marriage just brings a lot of baggage into any relationship, including extremely unhealthy gender roles, etc. In terms of what this means for LGBT rights, I would also argue that marriage is NOT the ultimate goal for their community. Does being able to obtain a marriage license make your love worth more? Does it leave you less vulnerable to hate? No, if anything, it's just a mechanism of co-opting same-sex love into the hetero-normative experience. It's like gentrification for relationships.

Anyway, sorry for the rant-- I love you (!!) and can't wait to see you over Christmas!!

con mucho amor,

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