Monday, October 22, 2007

A Sad Day for Geeks

What? Orson Scott Card is a homophobic bigot? But I loved Ender's Game! According to Card:
The Lord asks no more of its members who are tempted toward homosexuality than it does of its unmarried adolescents, its widows and widowers, its divorced members, and its members who never marry. Furthermore, the Lord even guides the sexual behavior of those who are married, expecting them to use their sexual powers responsibly and in a proportionate role within the marriage.
PZ Myers of Pharyngula takes apart Card's article - displaying for all its logical fallacies, inconsistencies, hypocrisies, and plain ugliness. The whole Pharyngula post is makes for excellent reading, but here is one bit that particularly struck a cord with me:

There are several misrepresentations here. One is that homosexuality is all about sexual behavior, which must be controlled in ways of which Card approves. Throughout, get the impression that all Card considers when he thinks of homosexuals is the gross icky carnal things they do with their bodies; an infantile idea that sex is all about and only about slippery bits of meat sliding about, which must be regulated.

I know heterosexual and homosexual couples, and I don't even think much of, let alone obsess over, their private physical behavior. I see them as people who love each other, which ought to be enough for all of us.

Yes, why is it that so many people see their own love as complex and beautiful, but insist on viewing other people's relationships as purely carnal instincts?

UPDATE: Apparently, Card's homophobia is well documented and has been angering librarians since 2004. And Austin Cline of points out that Card's bigotry isn't of the usual anti-equal marriage rights variety, but an even scarier "throw gays in jail" blend:

Laws against homosexual behavior should remain on the books, not to be indiscriminately enforced against anyone who happens to be caught violating them, but to be used when necessary to send a clear message that those who flagrantly violate society's regulation of sexual behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within that society.
The goal of the polity is not to put homosexuals in jail. The goal is to discourage people from engaging in homosexual practices in the first place, and, when they nevertheless proceed in their homosexual behavior, to encourage them to do so discreetly, so as not to shake the confidence of the community in the polity's ability to provide rules for safe, stable, dependable marriage and family relationships.

Gay love as a threat to safe, stable marriages? Are there unstable marriages that are likely to explode? I know that Card is a fiction writer, but this is the most unbelievable (and revolting) nonsense he's penned yet.


Casmall said...

I sensed from Cards writing that he only had a loose understanding of basic biology. I think this is why he can say this kind of thing. Turns out, homosexuality is both natural and common in the animal kingdom, so there is no reason to believe its unnatural for humans.

La Pobre Habladora said...

I don't think that Card is taking the "it's unnatural" tact. He seems to be saying that, while sexuality is natural, the community should be able to regulate the sexual behaviors of all its members. This is certainly a view that he shares with many straight men who feel like they should be allowed to define how both women and gays are allowed to expresses their sexuality, and with whom. The imagined threat to heterosexual relationships is used as his justification to put restrictions on everyone's sexuality. Yet, homosexuality would not be subversive if we would only recognize it as the part of normal human behavior that it certainly is.