Home / A Modest Proposal: Ban Hetero Marriage

A Modest Proposal: Ban Hetero Marriage

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All of the recent hubbub over gay marriage has gotten me to thinking that perhaps we shouldn’t be so concerned about same-sex unions and maybe we need to initiate a ban on opposite-sex weddings. My wife and I have just celebrated our 25th anniversary, but it sure seems that we’re in the minority these days.

I think that most of the problems facing married couples have to do with the fact that women and men are very different, and the differences will never be completely reconciled. I don’t believe that women are inferior to men, but to deny the basic differences and biological peculiarities is foolhardy at best.

For example, here are a few things that women do that men will never understand:

  • They enjoy making useful objects useless, such as towels that are not intended to dry anything, candles that have wicks but are not intended to be lit, and bars of soap that are not intended to be used in cleansing anything.
  • They spend hours clipping coupons so that money can be “saved” by buying products that would not have been bought if there hadn’t been a coupon.
  • They insist bitterly that the man is an idiot when they don’t check to see if the toilet seat is down before trying to sit on it.
  • They spend $600 on a clothes dryer and then hang all of their wet clothes in the bathroom or laundry room.
  • They go into stores and touch every piece of merchandise at least once and utter the words “cute” and “tacky” at least 200 times each, without having any money or any intention of buying anything and then call the exercise “shopping.”
  • They insist that the house isn’t clean so long as there is any evidence whatsoever, including trace amounts of DNA, that anyone has ever lived there.
  • They pour windshield washer fluid into the power steering reservoir instead of the windshield washer “thingy” despite the fact that the power steering “thingy” is clearly marked “POWER STEERING FLUID ONLY” and then complain that the people who design cars must think everyone is a rocket scientist.

I realize that women could compile their own lengthy lists of things that men do (or don’t do) that they consider irrational, but that’s my point. Men and women are so fundamentally different that getting along for any amount of time at all requires extraordinary bilateral patience and forbearance, and without condescension. It seems that same-sex unions would have a much better chance of lasting just because the most fundamental obstacle — the inherent difference between men and women — isn’t in the way.

People of my generation were raised believing that homosexuality is perverse, and there are still many backwards individuals who believe that sexual orientation is a matter of choice. Of course, none of them can cite the occasion when they made the choice to be heterosexual. Most if not all of the objections to gay marriage are based in religious beliefs, and the idea that morality is inextricably bound to religion. Religious types are fond of quoting the Old Testament passage from Leviticus that says that for a man to lay with another man as with a woman is an abomination. But then again, the same Old Testament says that eating pork is a no-no and I don’t see any conservative Christians lobbying for a constitutional amendment to ban consumption of bratwurst.

The objections to gay marriage are all based on bigotry and fear, and religion is being used as a lame surrogate for rational thinking.

I would feel uncomfortable in a room full of gay people, but it’s the same discomfort I would feel in a room full of black people or a room full of Lithuanians. We have a tendency to steer away from those who are racially or culturally different from ourselves. The fact that I would be uncomfortable or even fearful in those situations, though, is my problem, and it’s up to me as an allegedly rational adult to recognize my own prejuduces and not blame them on innocent bystanders.

This is a civil rights issue; churches don’t have to marry gay couples if they don’t want to, but for government to deny basic rights to a very large segment of the population because of religious fears is unconscionable.

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About James Wynne

  • Another idea: ban lame satire.

  • Thanks, Rodney. I wrote it down. Please be sure to check back in the next time you have an idea (don’t worry, I can wait).

  • I’m with you Jim lets ban bratwurst!

  • I do appreciate the kudos throughout the article about supporting same-sex marriages/families.

    Marriage has over 1,000 federal benefits, rights and privileges automatically bestowed and 700 state benefits, rights and privileges (varies by state).

    There are about 6 million children, some estimates put it as high as 10 million, in this country who are being raised by same-sex couples. Denying these societal structural support systems to the families of these children, most of whom are heterosexual, creates a subclass of citizenry and makes their home life harder. Not something a Christian nation should be proud of doing.

    I liked your article. Although you do paint women as rather inept, so to be fair, you need to post an article with your wive’s thoughts on all that you do wrong. Just for equality, you know.

  • Steve S. said:
    I liked your article. Although you do paint women as rather inept, so to be fair, you need to post an article with your wive’s thoughts on all that you do wrong. Just for equality, you know.

    Thanks, Steve. Remember, I just listed a few things that women do, and you characterized them as evidence of ineptness :>). I’m sorry to say that equal time for my wife won’t be possible as it would take far too much space to list all of the things I do that she would consider wrong. Let her get her own blog.

  • Che

    I am a woman (or at least I was last time I checked things out down there). I hang around the house in my boxer shorts drinking beer. I am totally confused by coupons and I hate to shop. Any kind of shopping. Even at the grocery store I become so disoriented by the choices that I always come back with just a bag of potatoes and a block of cheese. Oh and beer. I am perfectly adept at basic automobile maintenence and I even make minor repairs to my own plumbling. My house is clean and neat, only because I don’t own anything but a desk and some books. And beer. I certainly don’t own anything useless, I barely own anything useful.

    I often hear men complain that they don’t understand women. Wanna know WHY men don’t understand women? Becaue they’re trying to understand WOMEN – as if women are a cohesive whole with identical thoughts, ideas and desires. Here’s an idea, guys. Instead of trying to understand women, why not get to know each woman in your life as an individual, undersand that each has her own wonderful personality, her own interesting ideas, her own mannerisms, quirks and eccenticities. Just like every man.

  • Che

    Oh and PS. enjoyed your article.

  • JIm Wynne


    Thank you. I have to disagree a little bit, though. Men don’t understand women because women are different, and vice versa. We will never understand one another, so you’re correct in saying that the key is to focus on individual things that we can understand and appreciate. And beer.



  • Dawn

    Now, that there, was some fine writing!!

    Ahhh, mature, intelligent men, they are so sexy.

    But, I must say that it is men who leave the toilet seat up, therefore it is they who should return it to its resting position.

  • Mature, intelligent, sexy…

    Well, I got one out of three.

  • Funny, witty but hardly satirical.

  • Funny, witty but hardly satirical.

    I know–An editor did that.

  • Baronius

    One big reason for the legal protection of marriage is the difference between men and women. Marriages are unequal partnerships, with both participants taking a very different set of risks. This is why that, even though heterosexual monogamous marriage is longstanding in society, legal changes like the relaxation of divorce laws in the 1970’s can do so much damage.

    Thank you for your reminder of our need to defend heterosexual marriage.

    Everyone feels uncomfortable in a room full of Lithuanians. Those Liths and their ice cubes. (OK, if you don’t watch Malcolm in the Middle, that made no sense. Sorry.)

  • Marriages are unequal partnerships, with both participants taking a very different set of risks.

    name some risks.

    Thank you for your reminder of our need to defend heterosexual marriage.

    excluding loving committed couples from participating, is not defending it for those who already don’t respect it.

  • Amen, Steve.


    Funny? Witty? Mileage varies. I can agree with Mr. Wynne’s idea to get gummint out of marriage entirely, but the attitude behind his list of “what women do” (and yes, that shows them being inept) is a part of what is wrong with this country and the world. And I am reminded again to update my killfile.

    And Ms. Che has it spot on. Why don’t people stop trying to force people into those damned boxes and judge them as individuals – the woman who can build cars, the guy who is a patient and understanding listener, the woman who can bench press twice her weight, the man skilled at needlepoint, the career woman, the househusband… Men and women may differ from each other, but they also differ from other men and other women. So, Mr. Wynne, treat people, regardless of gender, as invididuals! You’ll experience fewer problems in human relations as a result, and while doing so will force you to use your brain … it will benefit you too in the long run.

  • NR Davis:

    I’m sorry that irony is lost on you, that you ascribe grave meaning to insignificant blog posts and that you presume to know anything about how I treat people on the basis of the same insignificant blog post.

    I think that your killfile is a good place for me if you are bigoted to the extent that you would put someone there based on a single insignificant blog post. The world will little note nor long remember, my friend.

  • Mr. Wynne (do we know each other at all? you refer to me as “friend,” so I have to ask), you are in no danger of being killfiled (as if anyone would really care about that). The few who reside there only gain admittance after many, many insignificant though upsetting (to me) statements. That is not you.

    You are correct that I have no idea how you treat people and I hope it doesn’t mirror what’s here. My statement was based on what I read above. You may call it irony, but lots of people really feel that way about women and stereotype women in such a sad fashion – and you never made it clear that you were being ironic. That’s why people describing this as funny and witty surprised me. I saw nothing humorous. So are you claiming then that men and women are more similar than you said?

  • zingzing

    some woman*: “I must say that it is men who leave the toilet seat up, therefore it is they who should return it to its resting position.”

    maybe it is more comfortable when it is up. i’ve talked to a few toilet seats in my time… and every time i did, i was glad to see that the seat was up… it did not voice any objection, so i assume it is fine either way.

    besides, it doesn’t take much to lower the seat. classic example of female insanity.** i mean, why should we have to lift it up every time? are we not people too? do you hear us complaining?***

    you know what? fuck women!**** i’m going gay! men i can understand… women? mysteries… sexy, sexy mysteries…*****

    *it was dawn. sorry. had to.
    **i kid, i kid. but, damn… there are more important things in the world…
    ***other than now.
    ****not really, well, really, but not really… i love women
    *****see? i’m not going gay…

  • NR Davis:

    We don’t know one another, as far as I know. Sorry for referring to you as “my friend.” In addition to being unable to recognize humor (lame humor perhaps, but humor nonetheless) you also seem to have trouble with idiomatic English and figures of speech. You are not my friend. I have no friends, but if I did, you would probably not be one of them, by mutual assent.

    Please see comment #8 above (my response to Che). Also the comment from the apparently aptly-named zingzing, just above this one. I think zingzing probably didn’t take my post seriously, and I also don’t believe that zingzing would react suspiciously if I were to refer to him/her as “my friend.”

    P.S. When I said I have no friends, I was kidding. I do have some one.

  • Clyde 21

    Jim we need to talk. I think we may be married to the same woman. I however, never let her anywhere near the car. I’m still trying to help her figure out the dvr.

    How come you can’t generalize anymore without somebody claiming to be an exception to the rule? We know, not all women are prissy, not all gay people are prissy, not all fat people are lazy, etc.. We get it. You guys are making so that sterotypes aren’t fun anymore. Next you’ll say not all black people steal.

  • zingzing

    jim, i take your post as seriously as i hope people would take mine: sarcastic, yet with a (small) point hidden deep within.

  • the one thing to note about blogcritics, is that you can jump from topic to topic with relative ease. This means you can come from a post where a fundamentalist (for example) talks about the religious man being king of his castle, straight over to a satirical piece where one of the spouses is portrayed as inferior. It can be hard for the person who is coming from one thread, ‘switch over’ to an entirely different mindset. Not something that can really be avoided, but something to keep in mind.

    Also, there is some truth to the fact that you can’t really generalize anymore. It’s too bad (that’s sarcasm) that making fun of others is now politically incorrect and we have to find our humor in other ways, but making fun of others does have consequences that the ridiculer often doesn’t like to own up to.

  • For many of us, Mr. Clyde 21, stereotypes aren’t fun. Stereotypes are the brickbats that bruise our souls, reinforce and expand our defensive walls and color our views of all humankind. They are also the fuel that ignites fiery-tempered, violent hate-criminals.

    Generalizations can’t always be avoided, I suppose, but when possible, it seems to be, um, generally beneficial in the long run.

    And yes, sorry to offend mainstreamers, but those not of us in the majority – those perennial and inconvenient “exceptions” – MUST speak up so the masses know that mainstream experience and opinion are not the be- and end-all. The freaks, weirdos, eccentrics, nonconformists, misfits, independents, etc. matter too. Don’t want to read it? Move on.

    Mr. Wynne, you’ve decided that I am not worthy of your friendship after a few insignificant comments? Wow. I don’t consider you or 99 percent of the people here as friends, but not because of unworthiness per se – it’s because I do not know you. There is insufficient data available for something so important, you know, and the reality is that we are dealing with pixels on a screen, not real people. The process of determining whether a person has potential and to allow the relationship time to develop into acquaintainceship and then true friendship is not a short-term process, at least not for me. But I assume that the vast majority of decent BCs are MORE than worthy, there just isn’t time or energy available to deal with people beyond the stranger level. Glad I supplied you with all you needed to know to deny me your friendship in such a short space of time.

    Hold on to your friend(s); true ones are rare and should be treasured.

    And why is it that when someone doesn’t get a failed comedian’s joke, it is necessarily the fault of the audience? I am quite capable of detecting humor, just not your brand of it. Just because a couple people were on the same wavelength as you and picked up on the fact that you were attempting to be funny doesn’t mean that everyone will – even you noted that it was lame (read: unfunny).

    One more thing: There are those to whom the idea of getting government out of the marriage business altogether is very serious business. Doesn’t take much to guess that some of these people might look at your essay and *seriously* consider what it says. To many people, this is not a laughing matter. Don’t condemn them for it, I beg of you.

  • Dawn

    Life is serious business, so let’s all lighten the hell up.

    Just kidding.

  • John C

    Great article and great responses! I agree with you completely. Controversy is in the eye of the beholder, whatever the topic may be. As educated beings, capable of intelligently looking at BOTH sides of the debate, it is our individual responsibility to find the ‘middle ground’ where everybody’s life-standard can be accepted and supported. Live and let live, love your neighbor, enjoy life. But sadly as we see from everyday events and disagreements, this ‘perfect environment’ is a long way off…
    p.s. Kudos to Che…a great household almost matching mine! Rock on.

  • Jim Wynne

    NR Davis:

    There’s a big thing right above the post that says “SATIRE.” As another commenter correctly pointed out, the piece wasn’t satirical, but there is no “humor” category here. And if it were satire, I’m sure you must be aware that it would be intended to get some people excited.

    BTW, there are people getting rich this very minute selling candles with wicks that are never lit, and towels that never dry anything, and soap that never cleanses. There are stores full of that crap, and they target females (successfully). Best Buy is in the process of rearranging certain stores to make them more appealing to females. They’re doing it because it works. Of course there are other businesses that target men. Why do you suppose that is? Could it be that men and women are different?

  • Mr. Wynne: I now see “SATIRE” among the secondary categories, to which I had not referred. BC policy is that satire pieces should have SATIRE included in the title, unless that rule was relaxed without my knowledge. Good satire, of course – or humor – doesn’t require its readers to go searching for categorization.

    As for Best Buy, if that’s the chain’s mentality, perhaps it is best if I don’t shop there. (No biggie: I tend not to shop chains anyway, preferring my fundage to go to independent merchants I trust.) Smart people will judge people as individuals. We probably will find that more men we encounter like football, no argument there, but at least we won’t miss the wonderful women who do or the terrific men who do not. And we can steer clear of ANYONE into those stupid wickless candles and meaningless knickknacks. I raise a toast to the exceptions.

  • Great essay, Jim!

    About the toilet seat… I leave the lid down on mine all the time. I don’t want the cats standing on the seat trying to drink out of it, or jumping in, as one did before I got the lid down. Therefore, in my house, everyone puts the lid/seat down when they’re done. I consider that a fair compromise.

  • zingzing

    see? there’s a reason! but just to satisfy the woman of the house… just to give us men something to do… NO! not good enough!

    fuck it, have your seat down, women of the world… you earn it, for, i dunno, childbirth or something… 1-1, i say, 1-1.

  • In our household of three (Spousal Unit; Male Child; Yrs Truly), things tend to revolve around the guys – I am outnumbered. They usually get first dibs on TV choices. They sleep in beds. The toilet seat remains up for their convenience, and the spouse has never heard a word of complaint about it. No one opens doors for me or orders for me at restaurants – because I want it that way. I carry my own grocery bags and take out the garbage and recycling. I spend MY money; Spousal Unit spends HIS. (We split communal expenses 50-50.) Gender roles as they exist in your society are VERBOTEN in my home, as are your stereotypes. And I teach my son not to hit ANYONE, not just to refrain from hitting girls. There is no such thing as feminine privilege in our household, and that is as it should be. Not that there is male privilege either – one good thing I can say about the albatross around my neck Spousal Unit is that he believes in equal distribution of the household labor and walks that walk – but if I put their wants ahead of mine, I can’t be criticized as some stereotypical fucking female human who shames the gender by batting her painted eyelashes (ewww) to get idiots with penises to do things for Her Hideousness. How disgusting is THAT? Brrrrrrr…

    Here’s a nonalcoholic toast to those who thumb their noses at the stereotypes and refuse to be complicit in their preservation.

  • zingzing

    damn! put that nerve back under your skin… it’s getting tweaked by something.

  • Yeah, Mr. Zingzing. By stereotypes and their glorification and their defenders. My nerves will go where they will. Don’t like it? Don’t look.

  • I don’t believe in the Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus theory that makes men and women so fundamentally different. Gender roles account for most of those differences.

    That’s easier to see if you comfortable with cross-cultural comparisons.

    Someone needs to spend more time with gay and lesbian men and metrosexuals as well as women who don’t care for stereotypes (and are most likely called bitches for acting like a guy).

  • Purple:
    I think you’re probably correct about gender roles. I was making an observation on the state of the union, not what state it should be in.

    Also, I have never, as far as I’m aware, encountered any lesbian men, and I think maybe “metrosexual” is classic stereotyping.

  • Josh

    Have anyone actually read the real Modest Proposal, by Johnathon Swift? I seem to remember it not sucking.

  • Josh

    *Has* anyone, not “have”.