Julie Bindel: Historically, women have suffered most from matrimony. Why are so many lesbian couples in favour of such a conservative institution now?
What if one of these articles was actually relevant and insightful for once, instead of insipid and tired and just bad analysis? What if?
Like, there ARE valid criticisms to be made of the way many mainstream LGBT rights organizations prioritize marriage equality at the expense of other ends, but complaining about assimilation and calling lesbians who want to get married bad feminists doesn’t actually make that critique.
What if I just want to get fucking married, why is it MY bedroom always has to be the public battlefield for everyone’s fucking rights?
Yeah, I totally disagree with Bindel on this. Lesbians marrying doesn’t take away support from asylum seekers or bullied youth—if anything, it is part of altering the social fabric such that these other issues are more possible to combat. It is momentum.
I think the right wing is correct in its assessment that gay marriage—in particular, lesbian marriage—fundamentally alters the nature of the institution. I just welcome that change, whereas they want to keep seeing women as fundamentally being the childbearing property of men.
When lesbians marry, it is a radical departure from its origins—the traffic in women. Lesbian marriage is a socially recognized and benefitted way to create a female-only family unit (at least sometimes—sometimes there are male childen). That’s a total coup and it’s amazing.
As Appropriately-Inappropriate has written about extensively and persuasively, the benefits of legal marriage are many—this is the most accessible form of legal contract to average people and it benefits working and poor people more dramatically than the wealthy who have mostly been patching together complex and sophisticated legal and financial instruments to achieve some of the same aims—though not all.
Of course, we won this victory as a fringe benefit of gay men getting what they wanted, but in this case, that’s awesome. It has a positive impact for all women—and definitely for lesbians. Especially where children are involved, or where citizenship is at issue, or hospital visitation, or a host of other complexities—this is just the basic stuff of life, made a little bit more possible. I reject any politics that says this is not a “pure” enough win.
Edited to add: And I’m used to hearing this kind of thing from the Queerer Than Thous—for whom it is never enough to be a lesbian, and for whom lesbian interests are always in last place.