Ok, I want to rant a bit at Micheal Medved's recent column on marriage. In it he tries to make the case that marriage is based on the differences between gender, male and female (man or woman, take your pick since he doesn't seem to recognize the difference between sex and gender). He's one of those "Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus" people who thinks that because of that marriage should be protected as the union of differences. What doesn't he get?

For one he doesn't realize the whole "Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus" concept isn't realistic. No one doubts evolution made men and women different, but there are far greater differences between women and far greater differences between men than between men and women. Both sexes and genders are more similar than different, and to use a few diferences grounds for marriage doesn't make sense. For what purpose? Because it makes people feel better to be different? Why? Simply to sell an argument and feel good that the difference is better?

My real argument is that he uses what he states are "recognized" differences between the men and women as the basis but doesn't state what the differences are. He keeps using that difference argument without expanding on what he means. What differences? Name me one non-physical characteristic that is unique to either men or women. You simply can't name one, so where are the differences? If men and women share everything besides the obvious physical characteristics of the sex, there are no real differences, just human expressions.

But my real anger is for his view of transgender people, " much so that they’re willing to undergo painful, elaborate and humiliating surgical and hormonal procedures with the hope of “reassigning” their gender identity." They're not reassigning their gender identity, they're making everything correct by changing their physical sex to match their gender identity. It's about one's sense of being a whole, complete person. Over 98% of all transgender people live satisfying lives after their sex/gender reassignment survery. Their only problems are society's failure to understand and accept the diversity of human beings.

In addition he states, "If men and women are, in any sense, interchangeable then the whole notion of this sort of sacrifice and discomfort for the sake of achieving your “true” sexual identity would make no sense whatever." No one has said men and women were interchangeable, and no one has said men are interchangeable with men or the same for women with women. We're all unique people that share commonalities with both men and women. And transgender people aren't making the case their sex as one to be the other is because of differences, it's because of their innate gender identity.

His whole column seems to be giving the conservative, religous right an argument for banning marriage to all people of this country by implying the use of gender differences between men and women are reasons for protecting heterosexual marriage, or as he states, "... because of the combination of two vastly different genders." And, "It downplays the essential, irrevocable nature of gender differences – and serves to undermine the crucial importance of gender specific roles in all relationships." He's trying to establish gender-specific roles we all should follow? And that's the difference? Roles? And if people don't?

I'll discuss marriage in another column.

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WSR V2.8, January 2013