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I Now Pronounce You Building and Wife

Tamara Scott, co-chair of Michele Bachmann’s Iowa campaign, says that if we don’t stop same-sex marriage it will lead down a slippery slope not only to polygamy but to women marrying inanimate objects, like the Eiffel Tower. Which gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “french tickler.”

I love how she doesn’t even attempt to draw a connection between same-sex marriage and polyamory. Polyamory has been around for centuries, millenia; it doesn’t have a damn thing to do with the push for same-sex marriage. Her argument is just “OMG, people have sex in ways I don’t approve of. We must punish gay people.”

Comments

  1. laurentweppe says

    The Eiffel Tower is clearly:

    1. Female
    2. “Mounted” by 19.000 people each day.

    So she’s clearly bi and polyamorous…

    Speaking of which: I live in Paris and it’s been 9 years since I climbed her: I’m definitely going to pay this sexy thing a visit before the end of the week.

  2. d cwilson says

    I’ve always suspected that the root of many people’s opposition to same-sex marriage is not just that marriage should be between one man and one woman, but between one dominant man and one submissive woman. This is why they find same-sex marriage so threatening to their view of traditional marriage. A same-sex couple doesn’t have a clear distinction as to who is to hold the dominant role and who is to hold the submissive role.

    Bachmann herself alluded to this view when he mentioned that she became a lawyer because Marcus wanted her to and Jesus said she must be subservient to her husband in all things.

    This why arguments about relationships between consenting adults sail over their heads. In their view, asking about the wife’s consent makes as much sense as asking for the Eiffel Tower’s consent.

  3. d cwilson says

    @laurentweppe:

    I don’t know about the Eiffel Tower being female. Like the Washington Monument, it looks pretty phallic to me.

  4. D. C. Sessions says

    Well, she might just be articulating a deep American cultural element that has been suppressed in recent years. I mean, how often any more do you hear from men referring to women by comparing them to their ideals: a building? Anyone else remember the classic song by the Commodores?

  5. eric says

    Don’t worry Ms. Scott. If it happens, our crack INS folk will make sure that any so-called ‘marriage’ is not simply the Tower’s attempt to get into the country without a proper work visa. The french may have got that green lady by us, but it won’t happen again!

  6. gshelley says

    There was something very similar a week or two ago, not her IIRC.
    I wonder if these people think through the position, or if they genuinely don’t think consent important in a marriage? The only way their argument can possibly make any sense is if it doesn’t matter whether the two participants agree or not.

  7. D. C. Sessions says

    They never get the idea of informed consent, do they?

    They have no experience with it, so it’s really not surprising.

  8. says

    Fundies jump to the conclusion that granting the right for universal person-person marriages based on mutual consent will somehow lead to person-object, person-nonsentient animal, or person-plant marriages where one half is unable to give informed consent. The fact that they make this wild leap as if it were an obvious, stepwise progression makes me wonder what new frontiers of kinkiness they’ve been exploring in porn while trying to enforce orthodox hetero-missionary sex on everyone else.

    Of course, my anecdotal experience that “traditional marriage” advocates have a large overlap with rape apologists (“She was asking for it by wearing a miniskirt instead of a burka modest clothing!”) makes me question whether they think about consent as a factor in sexual ethics. If they don’t bother with consent, that would let them slide down the slippery slope they propose. These fundies also wouldn’t recognize that the consent factor prevents normal people from going down that alleged slope.

  9. interrobang says

    They never get the idea of informed consent, do they?

    Never mind informed consent, they just don’t get the idea of consent, period. Obviously in their minds, people don’t get married because they both want to, it’s because the man (always the dominant one in this worldview) wants to; it’s just like how these same people always confuse rape with sex.

    I’m sure they’re just fine with the sort of transactional arranged marriages where families basically sell their daughters to the sons of other families for strategic reasons, and the only reason they’re not out in public saying that’s how everyone should do it is because they don’t think they can get away with it…yet. But they’ve got their heels dug in and they’re shoving away at that Overton Window as hard as they can…

  10. lofgren says

    This is why they find same-sex marriage so threatening to their view of traditional marriage. A same-sex couple doesn’t have a clear distinction as to who is to hold the dominant role and who is to hold the submissive role.

    This is the only explanation I have seen explains the conservative stance so well. They obviously have other objections, but I think this is the primary one. I believe it extends beyond homosexual marriage to homosexuality in general, and even to race relations. In general, these people are uncomfortable with any relationship that lacks a clearly defined hierarchy of power.

  11. says

    Looks like a lot of people followed the same line of thought (and more succinctly) while I was typing and editing that relatively big comment.

  12. jamessweet says

    When I say this I know you at home are thinking ‘this woman is nuts’

    This gives me an opportunity to use my favorite new word!

    No, I am thinking ‘this woman is nerts!’

  13. jamessweet says

    Also, since these assholes think LGBT aren’t actually people, the idea that gay people could get married is no less preposterous to them than the idea that inanimate objects could get married.

  14. says

    I’m sure they’re just fine with the sort of transactional arranged marriages where families basically sell their daughters to the sons of other families for strategic reasons, and the only reason they’re not out in public saying that’s how everyone should do it is because they don’t think they can get away with it…yet. But they’ve got their heels dug in and they’re shoving away at that Overton Window as hard as they can…

    That’s something else I should have commented on. Society at large already accepts the “radical” notion that marriage is about the desires of those individuals getting married. That flies in the face of the traditionalists, and they’ll probably try to crush that if they manage to get their higher priority goals of crushing same sex and interracial marriages.

  15. says

    She closes with this statement:

    … and the red herring will be the headline of tomorrow of ten years if we don’t deal with it today.

    So… is she also saying that she’s against human-fish marriages? To tie it with her comparison to the woman who married the Eiffel Tower, does it matter if the fish is alive or dead (or is she considering it an object no matter its condition)? [/snark]

  16. lofgren says

    makes me question whether they think about consent as a factor in sexual ethics.

    I think to a lot of people the idea of informed consent as a prerequisite for ethical, legal, and moral sexual activity is just some new-fangled PC bullshit. Sex is something to be taken or acquired. One party is always the penetrated victim, the other always the accomplished penetrator, so consent is really an imaginary concept. Sex is something that is sick and dirty, which men inflict on women because they are fallen. That’s why we need careful moral proscriptions for determining the appropriate partner (i.e. your wife and none other). The desires of the woman are irrelevant, since as the party being penetrated there is no way for her experience to not be degrading. If she “consents,” it is only out of begrudging duty to her husband. Women who consent to (or show any interest at all in) sex with a partner who is not their lawful husband are sluts who deserve whatever happens to them, and need to protected from themselves by their fathers.

    This attitude varies by degree. You will only occasionally find it expressed so baldly. But if you examine the behaviors and statements of archconservatives you will find this attitude at their root. Often people have this as an unconscious, unexamined attitude that they know intellectually is wrong, which is why when you approach the question of sexual ethics from a more intellectual angle, or even just state the logical implications of their actions in a clear and concise manner, they will disavow them – but then utterly fail to modify their beliefs accordingly.

  17. naturalcynic says

    Never mind informed consent, they just don’t get the idea of consent, period.

    Awwww, they don’t get the idea of informed either.

  18. Aquaria says

    There was something very similar a week or two ago, not her IIRC.

    I can see how you’d get them all mixed up. There’s not much variation in this group.

    I wonder if these people think through the position

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Never.

    or if they genuinely don’t think consent important in a marriage? The only way their argument can possibly make any sense is if it doesn’t matter whether the two participants agree or not.

    They think, as has been pointed out repeatedly, that “Og hit woman head. Og drag woman. Go Og cave.”

    Actually, their ideal courtship is this:

    Female taken to church with family. Male sees female. Wants female. Goes to father. Tells father, I will marry your daughter. Father negotiates with whippersnapper about his qualifications. If suitor worthy, father tells daughter to marry whippersnapper. Daughter obeys. They live happily ever after.

    I’m serious–this is how they’d all do it, if they had their way.

  19. Aquaria says

    I hope that made sense. This cold has been lingering around for a few days now and finally took a turn for the worse. I’m going to bed.

  20. says

    Ah, the classical ploy of using one truly bazaar example to trivialize the basic rights of a millions other people who don’t have anything to do with the one bazaar example. Did you hear about the drunk man getting mauled by a polar bear at the zoo, because he climbed into the exposure naked? Good, then you’ll agree with me that we should shoot all grizzly bears.

    Also, how could American marriage laws effect the Eiffel tower? After four years could the Eiffel tower apply for a green card? Would the little towerette’s be French or American? And in forty could they run for president?

  21. danielkim says

    Even worse, people may even try to marry corporations! After all, a corporation is a ‘person’ in the U.S., so why not?

    Apparently the only thing that holds back the tide of degradation and insanity is the force of law. Without such legal restraint, there will be no end to the terrible acts that would be committed. Humans and animals would get married. Children would be forced to marry. Objects will be brought into marriage. People will marry their patents and copyrights. They will marry insurance policies.

    And then, the tide of unfettered behavior will spread beyond the realm of marriage! A mining company will feel free to neglect proper safety equipment and procedures, resulting in the deaths of dozens of workers. Meat packing plants will incorporate prion-disease tainted meat into products to be sold to school lunch programs. Dicey mortgages will be repackaged into obscure financial implements and given “AAA” ratings, eventually crashing the world economy. People diagnosed with cancer will be dropped from their health insurance coverage to ‘save money’.

    Where will it all end?

    . . .
    What’s that you say? It’s already happening? Oh no!

  22. says

    Minor nitpick for Holytape:

    Bizarre is the word you’re looking for. Bizarre means strange. A bazaar is a (usually exotic or varied) marketplace.

  23. says

    This is the only explanation I have seen explains the conservative stance so well. They obviously have other objections, but I think this is the primary one. I believe it extends beyond homosexual marriage to homosexuality in general, and even to race relations. In general, these people are uncomfortable with any relationship that lacks a clearly defined hierarchy of power.

    You know what I’ve noticed? Nobody panics when things go “according to plan.” Even if the plan is horrifying! If, tomorrow, I tell the press that, like, a gang banger will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics, because it’s all “part of the plan.” But when I say that one little old mayor will die, well then everyone loses their minds!~Everything you need to know about the Conservative mindset.

    The Plan is good no matter how many people it hurts.

  24. Who Knows? says

    umlud @ 12,

    I saw a program a while back on BBC America about that. They profiled more than one person with object fetishes. It was pretty interesting and strangely arousing.

  25. eric says

    While I agree with everyone about (Scott not getting the concept of) informed consent, a quibble: I think one of the points Ed was trying to make is we can allow SSM but not polyamory regardless of the question of informed consent. They are so different that its incredibly stupid to apply the slippery slope argument in this case. Thus, the “Polyamory has been around for centuries, millenia; it doesn’t have a damn thing to do with the push for same-sex marriage.”

  26. frog says

    danielkim @ 28: “Even worse, people may even try to marry corporations! After all, a corporation is a ‘person’ in the U.S., so why not?”

    –>Awesome! I would arrange to marry a corporation in California, get involved a little bit in the day-to-day workings, then divorce under CA’s 50/50 community property law. Talk about a golden parachute!

  27. says

    Even worse, people may even try to marry corporations!

    I’m having a mental image of a board of directors and shareholders recreating the scene in Futurama: Beast With a Million Backs, where various leaders are debating about whether our universe should continue dating Yeevo or to dump shkler.

  28. says

    Maybe the people who invented marriage should have thought about the slippery slope they created when they decided that state would define voluntary social relationships. If we didn’t allow opposite-sex marriage in the first place, people wouldn’t demand same-sex marriage. [/sarc]

  29. Abby Normal says

    Now I know why we haven’t heard from mroberts for a while. The Bachman campaign appears to have hired him to develop their talking points.

  30. lofgren says

    Maybe the people who invented marriage should have thought about the slippery slope they created when they decided that state would define voluntary social relationships.

    Well I think what we are discovering is that they never really intended those relationships to be voluntary, at least not for one of the parties involved.

  31. Sastra says

    d cwilson #2 wrote:

    I’ve always suspected that the root of many people’s opposition to same-sex marriage is not just that marriage should be between one man and one woman, but between one dominant man and one submissive woman. This is why they find same-sex marriage so threatening to their view of traditional marriage. A same-sex couple doesn’t have a clear distinction as to who is to hold the dominant role and who is to hold the submissive role.

    You may very well be right, but this wouldn’t explain why the opponents like to bring not just polyamory but polygamy into their scenario of the horrible things that will become legal if same-sex marriage is allowed. The standard stereotype of polygamists is that the husband rules in stern and strict authority over ‘his’ very submissive wives. Or perhaps this doesn’t disturb them as much as they pretend. I don’t know.

    I love how she doesn’t even attempt to draw a connection between same-sex marriage and polyamory.

    Maybe the rule is that, if it’s not traditional Christian … then it’s CRAP! And from their perspective one way of being wrong looks like any other way of being wrong. That would account for their concern over all those Muslim-atheists.

  32. d cwilson says

    @Sastra:

    It’s interesting in that the Bible doesn’t condemn polygamy. Indeed, Jacob among others had two wives. My guess is that their beef against polygamy is a fear that it will lead to a shortage of beards wives for many men as the choicest ones get claimed by the leaders of their communities.

    This actually happens in many polygamist cults where the “prophets” or leaders of the community often find excuses to exile the young men in order to eliminate the competition.

  33. Hercules Grytpype-Thynne says

    Now, if two buildings wanted to get married, that’s a different thing. ;)

    Yes, but they’d have to be consenting buildings.

  34. D. C. Sessions says

    Indeed, Jacob among others had two wives.

    Don’t forget the “handmaids” (read: slaves) who bore several of his sons (and presumably quite a few unnamed daughters besides Dinah) on his wives’ orders.

  35. eric says

    Don’t forget the “handmaids” (read: slaves) who bore several of his sons…

    If they bore him children, they didn’t stop at being handmaids, did they? Heh.

  36. Sastra says

    d cwilson #41 wrote:

    My guess is that their beef against polygamy is a fear that it will lead to a shortage of beards wives for many men as the choicest ones get claimed by the leaders of their communities.

    I doubt they’ve thought that deeply about such problems. The likelihood is that today polygamy is associated with Muslims and Mormons so it ends up on their OhNoez! list despite the otherwise commendable rigid sex roles and Biblical examples. Besides, they’re just throwing anything they think might get a reaction from those hypothetical people on the fence.

  37. lofgren says

    You may very well be right, but this wouldn’t explain why the opponents like to bring not just polyamory but polygamy into their scenario of the horrible things that will become legal if same-sex marriage is allowed. The standard stereotype of polygamists is that the husband rules in stern and strict authority over ‘his’ very submissive wives.

    But how do you know what the hierarchy of wives is? A proper marriage is a wife, a husband, and his obedient mistresses.

    Also, I’m not sure that this is the popular stereotype of polyamory amongst fundies. I think they are more apt to picture a bunch of hippies living on a commune and having drug-fueled orgies with each other, their children, their vegetables, etc. Of course, Jack Chick isn’t always the best source for typical fundie paranoia, so I could be wrong.

  38. eric says

    Hey, let’s look on the bright side. Lionel Ritchie would finally get to marry his real sweetheart:

    Ow, she’s a brickhouse
    She’s mighty mighty, just lettin’ it all hang out
    Ow, she’s a brickhouse
    Ah, like lady’s stacked and that’s a fact
    Ain’t holding nothing back
    Ow, she’s a brickhouse
    Well, we’re together everybody knows
    This is how the story goes

  39. Azkyroth says

    I saw a program a while back on BBC America about that. They profiled more than one person with object fetishes. It was pretty interesting and strangely arousing.

    Fetish fetish?

  40. Hercules Grytpype-Thynne says

    Just listened to the video. Who is this “Polly Amore” she keeps mentioning?

  41. D. C. Sessions says

    Eric, you have to put the pause in between “brick” and “house” to account for the “shit” that Ritchie had to leave out.

  42. kermit. says

    Same-sex unions are forbidden by God’s law, so they are on the long list of forbidden sex acts. Obviously folks do these things because in order to upset the American Heartland.

    Gay sex, child sex, it doesn’t matter – anything that outrages the righteous (by being either disgusting or arousing) are morally interchangeable. And since those of us who are enemies of Jesus and his righteous warriors are working full time(1) to bring about the downfall of wholesome Christianity, of course we want to indulge in every perverse act the righteous can think of. And they can think of a lot of ‘em. They are genuinely baffled by our claiming to not understand the logical progression of gay adult sex = gay child sex = pet sex = miscegnation = sex without guilt = hot, sweaty building sex.

    Many of you have noted that their marriages are largely dominant / submissive arrangements. This is why the godly male hates gay men so much – they have voluntarily given up this privileged role. And by the way, this is why male rapists in prison do not threaten their machismo with male-male sex. They remain dominant, and therefore a True Male®.

    (1) You guys don’t have anything else to do, right?

  43. peterh says

    Nah, she’s not simply nuts. She’s stupendously barking mad. We’d have to invent several new degrees of stupid to encompass such as she.

  44. frankb says

    Four years ago living in Iowa was interesting. The Clintons and Obama were criscrossing the state. Bill Clinton made a surprise visit to our celebrated greasy spoon restaurant here in Iowa City. But this year the campaigning before the caucuses is already very annoying. Rich Perry is blasting gays and Gnat Romney is using big words like GNP. Apparently Michelle can’t afford TV ads and I am thankful.

  45. dingojack says

    Psst Tamara, I’ve a gotta nice single bridge in Brooklyn you might wanna check out!*
    Dingo
    —-
    * It’s cheeeep!

  46. DaveL says

    If they bore him children, they didn’t stop at being handmaids, did they? Heh.

    Presumably they weren’t maids at all for very long.

  47. Aquaria says

    San Antonio making the news again for being stupid:

    http://www.ksat.com/news/Macy-s-employee-fired-after-violating-company-s-LGBT-policy/-/478452/4896064/-/133oi6u/-/

    Natalie Johnson is a 27-year-old student and, until last week, worked at the River Center Macy’s.

    On Nov. 30, a teenager shopping caught her attention.

    “I made sure to keep an eye on him because he was shopping for women’s clothing,” remembered Johnson.

    She said she was convinced the shopper was a man. So when she saw him in the women’s dressing room, she told him he couldn’t change there.

    “I had to just straight forward tell him, ‘You’re a man,’ and of course that made him really got him steamed,” said Johnson.

    But the group of people he was with supported the shopper, arguing Macy’s policy allows transgender people to change in the fitting room of the gender they associate with.

    “I’ve made my choice the other day,” Johnson told her manager. “I refuse to comply with this policy.”

    Johnson said she was let go.

    Johnson filed a complaint with the federal employment commission, claiming her religious beliefs prevent her from recognizing transgender people.

    “There are no transgenders in the world. A guy can dress up as a woman all he wants, that’s still not going to make you a woman,” said Johnson.

    A response from the retail giant said, “Macy’s does not comment on personnel matters. At Macy’s, we recognize and appreciate the diversity of our customers and associates.”

    Johnson hopes the company will amend their policy.

  48. says

    I’m still trying to get Exxon-mobil to marry me. After all, since corporations are people, I figure it’s doable. But marrying the Hoover Dam…. I mean, that’s one hawt dam!

  49. Chiroptera says

    Aquaria, #58: Johnson filed a complaint with the federal employment commission, claiming her religious beliefs prevent her from recognizing transgender people.

    Another nut who thinks she should be allowed to keep her job even though her beliefs prevent her from carrying out her duties in an adequate manner.

  50. crocswsocks says

    Actually, polyamory has been around exactly as long as ‘amory’ of any kind, cuz’ it’s the oldest kind.

  51. redgreeninblue says

    Well, I watched the video. And watched it again.

    Erm… um…

    I have this strange sensation of understanding all the words, and yet none of the sentences. Did the speaker actually have a point she was trying to get across, or is this some linguistics demonstration à la Noam Chomsky’s “Colourless green ideas sleep furiously”?

    :-/

  52. Chris from Europe says

    Re Gender of the Eiffel Tower:
    Towers are female in French (see Latin “turris”, but in German “Turm” is male).

  53. wheatdogg says

    While I have never had the opportunity to marry a corporation, I have been screwed by one or two in the past.

  54. eric says

    Off-topic, but Obama’s head of HHS just rejected the application for non-precscription use of the “plan B” emergency contraception by women under the age of 17. Despite the recommendations of the FDA and medical doctors that it is safe for those women.

    Sigh.

    I really don’t understand why he tries to kowtow to a group of voters who will never, ever vote for him.

  55. otrame says

    Wheatdog, that was your own fault. If you didn’t dress like a slut you wouldn’t be treated like a slut.

  56. FlickingYourSwitch says

    I do believe that polygamy should be legal. Why not, if all of them are consenting adults?

    Also, when we have AI’s on human level intelligence (or higher), what about rights for them to marry each other or indeed other intelligent entities? I am quite serious, because that is where we are going. Sooner or later we will have such AI systems.

  57. Chris from Europe says

    @eric
    In order to prevent a source of outrage. And there will always people like gingerbaker who then defend political decisions, even as it is more than clear that it was not based on evidence (admitting that your policy is inconsistent actually proves that).

  58. Azkyroth says

    I do believe that polygamy should be legal. Why not, if all of them are consenting adults?

    Inheritance issues. Gridlock in next of kin decisions. The unsustainable burden of corporations having to offer health insurance benefits to any arbitrary number of spouses.

  59. says

    Sooner or later we will have such AI systems.

    Programmed by whom, and for what purpose? We already have an example of such a thing, in the form of an Apple app that pretends it can’t find a women’s clinic, even when the user is standing right in front of one. We should not be marrying such AIs, we should be hunting down and erasing them, by any means necessary.

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