"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The War Between The Sexes Loses Its Existential Claim When Sexuality Becomes Inclusive

If progressives are to be believed, sexuality exists on a flexible spectrum.  Clearly demarcated points – e.g., male, female, homosexual – are archaic, limited, and irrelevantly static.  Not only can individuals identify as men, women, gay, straight, or transgender; but transition from one position on the spectrum to another without consequence. 

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An originating female who first identifies her gender determination as macho male but finds herself ill- or wrongly-placed, can correct her course and re-identify as either ‘sensitive’, ‘assertive’ or ‘complaisant’ male.  She can –before final reassignment surgery – revert to lesbian or full heterosexual female status.

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Adam and Eve are discredited mythological figures with no relevance at all to today’s indeterminate sexual identities. The Tantric sexual union of male and female energies, the essential Biblical injunctions to ‘be fruitful and multiply’, the patriarchal nature of the Trinity, and the cult of the sinless matriarch, Mary are outdated social constructs.  The old version of mother, father, and children has been replaced by a sliding scale of sexuality where procreation is a choice no longer predicated on a male-female heterosexual union but on any number of sexual partnerships.

Two gay men or women can opt for surrogate parentage, eliminating the necessity of specific fertility and procreation and relying on a universal, mail order catalog of options.  A lesbian couple can choose from among thousands of sperm donors from Harvard PhD's to Michael Jordan athletes.  A male gay couple can select ova from female Yale graduates, and if they are not satisfied with the genetic quality of their own sperm, can go online for access to the best and the brightest of male superstars.

Depending on perspective, this can be seen either as an unholy arrogation of divine authority or a natural result of bio-genetic advances, social pluralism, and enlightened individualism.

Credit is due to those progressives who have assumed a socio-political position which counters millennia of human history, religious tradition, Darwinian evolutionary theory, and practical common sense.  Their conviction that a reordering of human sexuality for the first time in eons of evolution is right, just, justified and called for; and that they have the prescription for it in a new world order is impressive.

Every philosopher from Aristotle to Kierkegaard to Hume and Camus  have seen sexuality as bi-polar.  Playwrights like Shakespeare, Ibsen, Strindberg, O’Neill, and Albee have understood heterosexual marriage as the crucible of maturity. The war between the human sexes is as essential an evolutionary event as any in the animal kingdom.  Male and female are created differently, destined differently, and determined to fight for turf and supremacy until their end.

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While it is possible to imagine a gay Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf’, it is not probable.  George and Martha flay each other to the marrow in a struggle of sexual will; and the crux of the conflict is their imaginary, fictitious, but ever-so-real son.  Theirs is an existential sexual, procreative battle; and no equal partnership of same-sex couples could possibly stand in for them.

Mary Tyrone could never be a man, even in the most deconstructive imaginations of role fungibility.  She dominates her husband and her two sons as a woman, a sexually insistent and unforgiving character that no equitable partnership could even possibly mimic.

Laura, Alma, and Blanche – central characters in the plays of Tennessee Williams – could never be male. Even within the homosexual view of the playwright, these women are dependent on men – fathers, lovers, and husbands.  There are heterosexual sexual dynamics at play in The Glass Menagerie, Summer and Smoke, and Suddenly Last Summer.

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The assumption that same-sex couples are no different from heterosexual ones; that family sexual dynamics equate across the gender spectrum; and that the same sexual power of Cleopatra, The Father, Virginia Woolf, or Miss Julie can easily be replicated in modern trans-sexual relationships simply is not credible.

The sexes were created to procreate; but along with that procreative urge came competition, jealousy, and territorial and social imperatives.  This competition is the sine qua non of human evolution.  It is hard to imagine that a homosexual couple, without procreative sex and without natural offspring could have the same survival drive as Tamora (Titus Andronicus).

It is hard to imagine that a child conceived via a sperm donor and a surrogate mother could possibly have the same existential hold on its ‘parents’ as one naturally conceived. How easy would it be to dissolve a relationship in which the offspring are alien?  Blood has always been thicker than water.

For George and Martha, Albee’s fictional characters in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf fight their fictitious son is more important than a real son could ever be.  He is the essence of marital procreativity – a mutual creation which is the fullest, most complete, and most indicative of their very human sexual relationship. If a fictional son could be this important, it is not hard to imagine the centrality of true procreation.

Human procreation is primeval; and no surrogacy, adoption, or partnership can possibly mimic it.  Fights over heredity in Elizabethan times would have meant little if children had been fungible commodities.

There never would have been a Margaret, or a Dionyza, or a Volumnia in a neutralized a-sexual relationship.

Progressives have argued that the same sexual dynamics – jealousy, she-bear defiance, opportunism, and chicanery – would occur regardless of sexual configuration; but that  is to assume that men and women are no different.  That there are no differing evolutionary imperatives, no sexual prerogatives, and no difference in attitude, demands, technique, or purpose.

Conservatives contend that sexual imperative are hardwired like most else in human behavior.  No matter how much one may try to readjust sexuality, it will always be bi-polar.  Men and women will duel in the same predictable, historical ways as they have always done.  There is no more difference between the sexual drama between Antony and Cleopatra than there is between Sean and Kitty today.
It is the hope of progressives that sexual divisions, categories, and distinctions disappear.  That sexual identity is no longer a matter of biological destiny but one of psycho-social choice.

This can only be a fad, a momentary, politically-driven, idealistic assumption.  While progressives might like to believe that sexuality can be modified and engineered in a way conducive to one-world, anti-competitive harmony, it cannot.  Millennia of history have demonstrated the centrality of heterosexual family relationships.

The War Between The Sexes cannot have a post-modern era, one in which variously identified partners vie for power, influence, heredity, and patriarchal or matriarchal authority.  There can only be skirmishes, firefights, inconclusive family disputes, and bitchy, contentious spites.  Heritage, lineage, family status and social authority will be neutered.

Most importantly these new unions will be without the primal, fundamental, and inexorable claims of potent heterosexuality - the George and Martha flaying to the marrow, the Cleopatra melodrama, and the Miss Julie jumping through hoops.

While we as a society may accept or even embrace non-traditional sexual unions, we cannot ignore the limited dimensions of such relationships.  All societies have relied on on heterosexual union as a fundamental, existential force.  Its jealousies, suspicions, hatreds, and envies have fueled the social competition essential for social evolution. It is no surprise that national conflicts mirror familial ones.

Heterosexual union is the sine qua non of human society.

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