Take Home Exercise: Giving Back to Marriage Bigotry

Over at The Data Lounge, a recent post with a bright, new idea for those struggling with what to do in light of the push for gay marriage, and (more especially) the push back against it. They report from one gay NYC man who has just had enough:

I no longer recognize marriage. It’s a new thing I’m trying. Turns out it’s fun. Yesterday I called a woman’s spouse her boyfriend. She says, correcting me, “He’s my husband”, and I say, “I no longer recognize marriage.” The impact is obvious. I tried it on a man who has been in a relationship for years,

“How’s your longtime companion Jill?”
“She’s my wife!”
“Yeah, well, my beliefs don’t recognize marriage.”

Fun. And instant, eyebrow-raising recognition. Suddenly the majority gets to feel what the minority feels. In a moment they feel what it’s like to have their relationship downgraded, and to have a much taken-for-granted right called into question because of another’s beliefs. Just replace the words husband, wife, spouse, or fiance with boyfriend, girlfriend, special friend, or longtime companion.

You can have as much fun as you like with this one, and I’m sure the more inventive WILL have a whale of a time with this one. But expect to do more than raise eyebrows. As one of the comments in the threads that follow says something like this:

I did a test run this morning. Man says “wife”. I ask if they were married in a church and then refer to her as his ‘religious companion’. When asked, I told him that my beliefs do not recognize this as a true marriage. He looked like I had punched him in the gut.

After people have that look, they are more likely to lash out at you, even if not immediately. So have as much fun as you like, but don’t be surprised by the rage you’ll provoke!

h/t to a recent comment at Feminist Philosophers

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One thought on “Take Home Exercise: Giving Back to Marriage Bigotry

  1. Pingback: A great idea worth sharing « The Word Warrior

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