Tuesday, August 28, 2007

More on Public Sex and Stupid Laws

Admittedly, Obsidian Wings makes some good points about the bathroom Senator- basically they note that he's been involved in enough of these situations that we can assume he's a closeted gay man, and that he supported amending the Constitution to block gay marriages making it hard to sympathize with him as a closeted gay man, and that the laws apply to everyone, even Senators. In general, I think they're probably right that he's a douche.

Okay, let's take these in order. In the first place, I don't really care if he's a closeted gay. Nor do I think it should be obvious to any of us outsiders. Sexuality is bewildering, messy, chaotic, and unpredictable. I think it should be that way. I've said before that I think it's absolutely possible to imagine a married straight man who wants to give blow jobs without it being particularly self-contradictory, and without the mandatory divorce and 'self-realization' that mainstream society seems to demand from him. I hate the need to stick people in little boxes marked 'sexual identity' and I think we should resist all attempts to force human experience to conform to limited realms of possibility. So, I don't know if he's gay, and I'm guessing that neither does he. And honestly I've met very, very few people in my life who knew their own 'orientation' with any certainty. Every gay man I've ever known has admitted to me, while drunk, that he thinks about fucking women, and every straight man I've ever known has admitted to me, while drunk, that he thinks about fucking men. Big fucking deal.

Secondly, I don't like that he wanted to amend the Constitution, but I don't really like that less in light of the fact that he also wants to suck cock. I really don't believe that sexuality is so constitutive of identity that it should override one's opinions on everything else. A gay man who believes that the institution of marriage should not be open to gays might seem strange, but I'm not sure that this isn't because we're conflating two realms of human experience- namely, sexual desire and one's opinions about law or religion. Again, I don't like essentializing people. I hate arguments that run- If you are X, then you are obligated to believe Y, and to do Z. This is not how I understand life.

Thirdly, I don't think that the argument that shitty laws apply to everyone is a good one either. I'm guessing that people who are arrested for drug possession, say, don't tend to respond with long harangues about the unreasonableness of the drug laws. Therefore, the fact that the guy responded to his arrest by pointing out that he's a U.S. Senator might be a bit craven, but it doesn't change my opinion that it's stupid to arrest an adult for propositioning another adult for sex (for Christ's sake), much less for acting a bit strangely in a public restroom.

This argument that ''well, I don't like it either, but we all have to obey laws'' is quite common, but not one I'm sympathetic to. Clearly, the laws against public lewdness are way too vague and ill-conceived. I don't think the police should be arresting people for vaguely propositioning other adults for sex, whether or not those people are douche bags. And I'm not particularly upset that some people violate some laws at some times, especially laws as stupid as this one. It doesn't bother me that some women at the 'spa' on the outskirts of our town apparently give hand jobs for money. It doesn't bother me that half of the teenagers in our town probably smoke dope in their basements every weekend. And it doesn't bother me that some married men have gay sex in secret. And, even if those things did bother me, I wouldn't agree that the state should do something about them.

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