Monday, 29 June 2009

Love: sex on the side, hold the marriage?

Shorter Ross Douthat, The Way We Love Now in the weekend New York Times: "Middle-aged guys have dangerous and reckless liaisons; middle-aged women crave dangerous and reckless liaisons".

His op-ed is a shallow response to a couple of thoughtful essays written by two women reflecting upon their recent experiences as well as to the tabloid-sensationalized sexual shenanigans of men who gave lip service to US religious conservative Family Values©™.

In What's Love Got to Do With It?, author Seth Michael Donsky looks to Dagmar Herzog, a CUNY history professor and the author of Sex in Crisis for insight.

She states that, because of AIDS in the mid-1980s, there were legions of young men, mostly in New York and San Francisco, in their twenties, who were faced with the sort of mortal, life decisions—such as health-care proxy and inheritance rights—that men in their twenties rarely have to deal with. “People would be dying in the hospital, and families, often estranged, who hadn’t seen their sons in years, and who didn’t accept their lifestyles, would show up and kick their sons’ lovers out and take over the whole operation. It was one of the first times that the queer community sensed, en masse, how vulnerable it was without those civil rights.”

Herzog further contends that, at the same time in the mid-’80s, as a direct result of the woman’s movement in the 1970s, women with school-age children from previous heterosexual marriages were now living in lesbian relationships.“There were great complexities,” she explains, “in attempting to co-parent with a partner who didn’t actually have any legal, parental rights over the children.” According to Herzog, however, it wasn’t marriage that people sought in the beginning. It was civil rights. “I don’t think that people really thought that marriage, as the solution, was even possible at the time.”

She poses that the next big shift occurred in the early ’90s when the Republicans, who had just lost the presidential election to Clinton, in their desire to rally the troops and to court the religious right, spearheaded the Defense of Marriage Act, before many people on the other side of the issue were even talking about marriage.

On the 40th year anniversary of Stonewall, one does wonder about love, marriage and the whole damn relationship thing.

1 comment:

Jymn Parrett said...

Atrios on Douthat's article:

"Ross Douthat thinks some peoples' sex lives are too hot, some are too cold, and some are just right."

Post a Comment