Friday, January 16, 2015

Rebecca Solnit's "In Praise of the Threat: What Marriage Equality Really Means" (2013)

Solnit on marriage equity and the real power of same-sex marriage, a few passages:

"Because a marriage between two people of the same gender is inherently egalitarian––one partner may happen to have more power in any number of ways, but for the most part it's a relationship between people who have equal standing and so are free to define their roles themselves" (Solnit, Men Explain Things to Me, 62).

“Gay men and lesbians have already opened up the question of what qualities and roles are male and female in ways that can be liberating for straight people.  When they marry, the meaning of marriage is likewise opened up.  No hierarchical traditions underlines their union.  Some people have greeted this with joy.  A Presbyterian pastor who had performed a number of such marriages told me, ‘I remember coming to this realization when I was meeting with same-sex couples before performing their ceremonies when it was legal in California.  The old patriarchal default settings did not apply in their relationships, and it was a glorious thing to witness” (Solnit 63). 

“It’s time to slam the door shut on that era.  And to open another door, through which we can welcome equality: between genders, among marital partners, for everyone in every circumstance.  Marriage equality is a threat: to inequality. It’s a boon to everyone who values and benefits from equality.  It’s for all of us” (Solnit 65).  

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