Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Why Do People Care So Much What Other People Do???

NerdyAppleBottom has been all over the news lately about the post she wrote about her son's awesome Halloween costume.

I loved the post with its rather antagonistic (to some) title "My Son Is Gay". It was sure to get some attention. But whoa. Seriously, people are freaking out about this.

My main question, other than the obvious ones that in I'll get to, is why do people care so much what other people do?

It seems to me that we should only really care what other people do if what they do affects us in some way or another. Economists call this "externalities" or spillover effects. Even the Ninth Circuit, expecting that the Prop 8 supporters in California will appeal Judge Walker's reversal of the anti-gay marriage law that narrowly passed in 2008, requires that the appellants have "standing":

Standing is a legal doctrine with roots in the Constitution's Article III that requires a plaintiff to show harm or injury. "Essence of standing is that no person is entitled to assail the constitutionality of an ordinance or statute except as he himself is adversely affected by it," explains Black's Law Dictionary, an authoritative legal guide.

See also George Saunders' satirical essay "My Amendment."

So how is this kid, dressed as Daphne from Scooby Doo, for ONE DAY affecting YOU???

Firstly, the kid is probably not gay.

As it turns out, a precious few of us on this planet are gay.

Statistically speaking, that number is WAY less than Kinsey surmised (at 10%), probably reaching somewhere less than even four percent and differing for men and women.

Secondly, though the debate about whether being gay is caused by nature or nurture (biology or socialization) has not yet been definitively concluded, we know that you can't really MAKE someone gay.

And for that matter, you can't MAKE someone NOT gay.

So, regardless about this FIVE YEAR OLD's sexuality, what do you think would have been the psycho-social-emotional effect on him had his mom told him that it was inappropriate to be Daphne and that instead he should be Iron Man or some other gender-appropriate costume?

I suspect the effect would have been FAR more long-reaching and negative.

Thirdly, for those of you out there who worry that his costume is not "age appropriate" I suggest you focus your concern on all those third grade girls out there who wore sexy Santa suits.

Speaking of letting people do what they want, I also just heard about a couple in London seeking a civil union rather than marriage.

Can we just come to this agreement? I'll stay out of your business (including your religion and how you want to decorate your backyard) if you stay out of mine and just let me have my legal rights as a citizen of this fine country.

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