sex, money, and miscellany: talking about what matters

sex is not global warming

In Uncategorized on November 6, 2009 at 6:00 am

Let’s face it: there are more important things to freak out about than who has sex with whom. Honestly and truly, I don’t want to picture most of the people I meet on the street in bed (or on the kitchen counter or living room floor) with each other. Why on earth would anyone else want to do that with me? My consenting adult sex life does not destroy the planet, does not harm anyone else–if that’s all you can think of when you see me, we probably need to have a few more conversations. I don’t want to be objectified for anyone. There’s a basic problem with objectification–it strips me of my humanity. But there’s a more complicated problem, too–it takes away perspective, flattens me down to two dimensions and one issue, and makes all the issues look like they matter equally.

Global warming is an issue I can worry about. It’s one I can get behind. What kinds of pollution are emitted by whom, and what they do to our ozone layer, our oceans, and our ecosystems? That worries me.

War is an issue I understand. We are killing each other. That’s a problem. We are still unable to move beyond eye-for-an-eye justice, revenge, honor killings…yup, that’s an ethical and moral disaster. Why can’t we communicate and negotiate better? Why can’t we learn to manage our pain better? And our conflict? And our disagreements? In fact, let’s start at home and work on our communication skills. There’s something that matters.

What consenting adults do in the privacy of their own bedrooms (or kitchen tables) is not on my list. If there is indeed a judging god, then that god will have to do what that god does, but the whole conversation is between each adult and their god. If there is no judging god, then how can I in my infinitely small being in this vast universe presume to pass judgment on someone else’s understanding of the world? That would be tantamount to telling someone else that they had to belong to my religion. My rights extend to the place where they interfere with yours. But who I sleep with interferes not a whit with your life. You may do whatever you like in your relationship, and I shall do what I like with mine.

And if you are uncomfortable with certain kinds of sex or certain kinds of commitments: don’t have them; grant me equal rights under the law, and worry about your faith community as I worry about mine.

But let’s move on. Plants are going extinct, animals and people are dying. Don’t we have better things to do?

PS: Mel over at Cabezalana has a modest proposal. Check it out.

  1. I don’t know if the Fundamentalists up there are like the ones down here in the Bible Belt, but many of the ones down here believe that global problems like climate change are caused by personal immorality (and that includes your sex life). So in that worldview, sex *is* global warming.

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