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January 30, 2012



The argument is a trojan horse actually. BTW arguments basically give leeway to the slippery slope of race hygiene style eugenics. The same slope that the activist branch of the race realist industry is currently sliding down on.


I agree that the "born this way" argument has pragmatic rather than logical value. But sometimes political movements prefer influential arguments over correct arguments, "ends justify the means", etc. - and despite your historical counterexamples, experience suggests that for whatever reason, homophobic people usually are positively influenced by the "born this way" argument.

As for the specific case of Cynthia Nixon, my understanding is that female sexuality is often more fluid than male sexuality, so I'm not surprised that she feels free to choose while you or I don't.


I do understand that as a pragmatic matter, the "Born this way" line of argument has had a certain amount of success, at least in the United States; my problem with it is that beyond the goal of getting families and friends to accept that their loved ones aren't going to be changed by schoolyard bullying or being sent to Marcus Bachmann's School for Naughty Barbarians, it's a flimsy basis on which to build the case for fundamental rights like gay marriage.

As effective as such rhetoric has been to date, and even supposing the gay-bashers on the right were to cede completely the notion that it's entirely a matter of genes the political environment could very easily change: need I remind you of the infamous Daily Mail headline "Abortion Hope after Gay Genes Finding"? Had Dean Hamer's work been replicated, I am utterly certain that the only effect on the religious right would have been to provide them with a circumstance under which abortion is indeed considered acceptable ...

Finally, it's not as if the "It's all in the genes" argument hasn't been used to negative purposes in our time, either: remember Arthur Jensen, the Pioneer Fund, Murray and Herrnstein, etc., and for the most part it's the same bunch of people arguing for the innate inferiority of black people who are at the forefront of decrying any attempt at using government to alleviate these supposedly unalterable racial deficiencies. Much the same was true with all of the right-wingers leaping to defend Larry Summers' ruminations about the possible intellectual limitations of women; agreeing with the idea didn't bring a single opponent of women's equality around to changing their views.

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