Lessons From Gay Marriage

Friday, July 12, 2013

Gay Marriage (Getty Images)

Liza Mundy, writer for The Atlantic, helps wrap up marriage week by examining changing norms of marriage and giving examples of what straight married people can learn from gay couples.


Liza Mundy

Comments [34]

The words of longtime gay activist Bill Weintraub:

______Begin Quoted Text____________

Psychologically, the cultural emphasis on anal sex has been, I maintain, devastating also. The division of gay men into tops and bottoms means, inevitably, that a large proportion of gay men, probably the majority, internalize a submissive, feminized role that at best is a parody of the way women themselves actually behave and which has been rejected by most heterosexuals. (The incorporation of this female caricature, which is most clearly seen in the buxom burlesques of drag, should not be confused with the psychologically desirable male goal of coming to terms with the feminine, or intuitive, side of one's nature.)

As gay men we experience the results of this internalized self-hate everyday in the bitchiness, the attitude, the hissy fits, and the denigrating use of she, her, and girl to refer to other gay men which, along with alcoholism, drug abuse and compulsive promiscuity, are among the worst aspects of gay male life.

_____________End Quoted Text______________

From 'Frot: The Next Sexual Revolution' by Bill Weintraub

(Explicit, graphic content)

Copyrighted material. All rights reserved.

Jul. 12 2013 11:26 AM

It's always interesting to think there is a "silver bullet" to solving relationships problems. And that looking to alternative lifestyles for the "answers" hence the "silver bullet"is in the least, entertaining, as in , interesting. Although the jury isn't out just yet, I can tell you from talking to folks from a community, I'm not a part of, but I have friends and met many people who are and they ALL say the same thing. It takes work on BOTH sides to make a relationship work. That also includes give and take and making compromises --- wow, whutta surprise.

Once more, gay couples are just as vulnerable to divorce as straight ones. The way the hetero community has avoided divorce and the pain attached to it is by NOT getting married unless there are children in the equation.
Incidently I know of 2 gay couples who have divorced and their pain is very deep because they remember just living together and being very very happy. But also for fighting for the right of marriage with their partners. Marriage brings change, legitimacy among them. But there are many things they don't count on: the cheating and the lies that marriage elicits from some partners, who thought they would be happily married too.

Jul. 12 2013 11:22 AM
Joe from Boerum Hill

Just my two cents, but in my over thirty years of being married I've never learned anything from anyone else's marriage, except perhaps from their mistakes.

Jul. 12 2013 11:19 AM
Rochelle from White Plains

I think there is a bias in any comparison of gay and straight marriage and parenting. First, the gay couples marrying today may very well have been in committed relationships for years before legal marriage, giving the quick failures a weeding out before comparison. In parenting, there are no or extremely few unplanned gay pregnancies. Certainly for gay couples, and especially two men, having children is a much more complicated and more expensive process. This has to account for some differences in comparing the behavior of gay and straight parents. That's not to say the differences aren't present, but I don't think the comparisons are as facile as your program would suggest. Gay couples and gay parents face their own unique challenges in parenting. Who goes out with the "moms" from school? If you are a "specialized" in your words lesbian working mom, there may be a lot of isolation in this regard. The reverse may be true for stay at home dads, as it can also be in straight marriages with stay at home dads.

Jul. 12 2013 11:16 AM
Tony from Canarsie

"MakeMySkinCrawl from US -- Let's declare the law of gravity invalid & jump off the empire state building & see what happens!"

Be my guest. Since gravity is one of the weakest forces in the universe (though not anywhere as weak as your comments), I'm sure it's totally safe. See you on 34th Street, literally!

Jul. 12 2013 11:12 AM
seth from Maplewood, NJ

That was a RIDICULOUS sterotype Dina from Maplewood just made.
I haven't watched a full, live (regular season) football game on Sunday TV in at least 5 years. I have 2 girls, and my wife works full time as do I. My hours are nuts since I work in advertising, so most of the time she feels like a working single mother. So on the weekends, especially during football season, not only do I WANT to help my wife, I WANT to spend time with my kids. I will DVR the game and watch it later that night. It is a child's game, and playing games with my children is 10-fold more important than my crappy-ass Jets.
It may just come down to "all the straight couples" you know where it is acceptable for the husband to "check out" on the weekends to watch sports, and the wife's job is to "keep the kids away" (which I found offensive and archaic) that there may be maturity or responsibility issues that they need to work on. OR they have an arrangement of sorts – but to say that all, ALL Straight father's seem to do this, and it is acceptable, is nonsense.
thank you.

Jul. 12 2013 11:11 AM

Russia is looking more and more appealing...

Jul. 12 2013 11:08 AM

@ntableman, because how the heck would any court determine how to split property and children if you "divorce" when there is no legal definition for being married?

Jul. 12 2013 11:04 AM
MakeMySkinCrawl from US

@Nate from Manhattan
"To : MakeMySkinCrawl from US
No, because there's no such thing as marriage between the same sex.

Message from the Supreme Court (from the US) THERE IS NOW"

Men can't change facts, not even the supreme court.

Jul. 12 2013 11:00 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

I never watched football in my life, but am so happy to be single, cleaning, cooking, and doing everything for myself by myself, and playing video games all night long if I feel like it and not having anyone to nag me, one way or the other. Men should learn to do for themselves and never be dependent on a woman for anything. Unfortunately, we are dependent on their wombs, and this is our downfall.

Jul. 12 2013 11:00 AM
advise to deena's husband

When you're sick of football and basketball, just say "Sorry to cut you off but we're out of time."

Jul. 12 2013 11:00 AM
Tom Crisp from UWS

It's worth noting that the "opposite sex dynamic" that exists in hetero- couples is not just a problem: it also provides spice. Same-sex couples frequently are comprised of two people who have a successful union because they also have some dynamic working between them: one in a creative field, the other in a technical one; one older, one younger; different cultural or ethnic background; etc. Put in the most stereotypical terms, one may take the more typically feminine role in the marriage, the other the more typically masculine. But there is usually some kind of dynamic to keep the marriage an active, learning experience through life. We want to see a complementary person when we look at our partner, not a mirror image.

Jul. 12 2013 10:59 AM
Jro from Upstate NY

Haha, as trivial as the callers argument may seem, I think she may have a good point. American society often gives men a break from domesticity in marriage where women get no break at all. A women taking a break from watching the kids to watch a football game would be considered a bad mother.

Jul. 12 2013 10:58 AM
Nate from Manhattan

To : MakeMySkinCrawl from US
No, because there's no such thing as marriage between the same sex.

Message from the Supreme Court (from the US) THERE IS NOW
jgarbuz sex techniques dude you must be REALLY boring

Jul. 12 2013 10:58 AM

Hi, Brian! I am a crooked woman from a crooked marriage......I hate the term, "straight marriage".

Jul. 12 2013 10:58 AM
MakeMySkinCrawl from US

@ Tony from Canarsie

""MakeMySkinCrawl from US -- No, because there's no such thing as marriage between the same sex."

The 30% of the US population that lives in states which allow gay marriage would be surprised to learn that. /snark"

Let's declare the law of gravity invalid & jump off the empire state building & see what happens!

Jul. 12 2013 10:57 AM
fuva from harlemworld

About the rate of lesbian marriage dissolution:
I've observed that male and female same-sex couples emphasize and treat sex and emotions differently.
Perhaps there's some connection between this and divorce rates.

Jul. 12 2013 10:57 AM
Kat from Manhattan

Finally some one said it ! What most men are too scared to admit in a more equalized world lest they be called sexist ....

Yes women's unrealistic idealist expectations about relationships are the threat to marriage!

Jul. 12 2013 10:55 AM
Janet from Bloomfield

One of the frustrating realities of "gay marriage" is that the corporate world has not figured out how to deal with two equal partners. We went for car insurance and they had no idea how to deal with co-owners: Straight couples assume that the father is the main driver and the wife is secondary on the policy. Co-ownership of a house, a car etc is a brave new world for corporate America, so we always feel like Aliens.

Jul. 12 2013 10:55 AM
Tony from Canarsie

"MakeMySkinCrawl from US -- No, because there's no such thing as marriage between the same sex."

The 30% of the US population that lives in states which allow gay marriage would be surprised to learn that. /snark

Jul. 12 2013 10:54 AM
Tom from UWS

Tens of thousands of gay couples have been waiting to get married, and that is what constitutes what Brian calls a "rush" to get married. Single gay people and many thousands of other gay couples not wanting to marry will not be rushing to the altar!

As we get further down the road, this will cool down, naturally enough.

The point is equality. We don't live in the 19th century, when marriage was a near necessity for most and when cohabiting without marriage - let alone having children without marriage - was considered immoral in most quarters and illegal in some.

Jul. 12 2013 10:53 AM
Edith from Manhattan

S.B. from NY,
Brian has strayed into sensationalism quite a lot lately. I guess he will do anything to get numbers up. Unfortunately, the quality of the show has been in decline for sometime and I find myself tuning out which I never did before. Brian, just because other outlets are mired in this type of coverage is precisely the reason one tunes into WNYC! Since they are being covered ad-nausea I would have hoped you would cover more important issues.

Jul. 12 2013 10:52 AM

Hetros are seemingly stuck on this patriarchal mess of marriage, I think we, gays, are showing people that there are many kinds of relationships and all of them are a form of commitment. A one size doesn't fit all approach.

That said, I have always been dead set against the existence of marriage for anyone - who needs the state ordaining your personal life? This seems like less liberty, not more.

Jul. 12 2013 10:51 AM
Jro from Upstate NY

I've was raised in a family where homosexuality was more of the paradigm, I've noticed that although gender is taken out of the picture in terms of equality and respect in the relationship that one partner may seem to dominate the other, regardless of the obvious fact that they were the same gender. I think the discussion needs to be opened to personality traits instead of just gender. For example, just becasue the couple is gay does not mean that everything is all equal, one partner may naturally resort to domesticity and the other to more power roles as deemed by society. I think we need to learn to respect each others work. I dont buy that everything is all equal in gay relationships.

Jul. 12 2013 10:51 AM

What I've learned from watching the relationships of my gay friends is that the communication problems and power games often attributed to men or women by women and men actually just happen in any romantic relationship regardless of the gender of the partners.

Jul. 12 2013 10:49 AM
Sally from Bushwick

Did your guest just coin the phrase "trickle over"? I've heard of trickle down and trickle in, but I'm not acquainted with trickle over. How exactly does that work?

Jul. 12 2013 10:48 AM
fuva from harlemworld

OK, maybe gay Brian Lehrer callers don't have gender roles. But there absolutely are gender or ying/yang roles in many, many gay couplings.

Jul. 12 2013 10:47 AM
MakeMySkinCrawl from US

No, because there's no such thing as marriage between the same sex.

Jul. 12 2013 10:47 AM
S.B. from NY

I've always enjoyed Brian's show in part because it's much less sensationalistic than a lot of other media, but sometimes it seems he strays into tabloid hype territory.

In promoting this piece he has often said that heterosexual marriage is "in decline," and asks if lessons from gay marriage can "save" it. Huh? Maybe marriage among straight people is taking place less often than in the past, but to say it's "in decline" is a real stretch. As is the notion that it needs to be "saved," and that lessons from gay marriage will do that saving.

Jul. 12 2013 10:47 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

One thing barren straight couples can learn, is that for every child adopted by a gay couple, that's one less child available for adoption by a straight but sterile straight couple. IOW, there will be more competition in the adoption market between gay and straight couples.

Jul. 12 2013 10:47 AM
Robert from NYC

That is so true. In my former "marriage" (partnership really) there wasn't all that gender differences crap. What a load off the system that is. So how can you learn from gay marriage? Easy go gay! That's it folks go gay!!

Jul. 12 2013 10:46 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

What can straights learn from gay marriage? Interesting "new" sexual techniques maybe?

Jul. 12 2013 10:43 AM
seems like a good time to ask

curious about the difference in frequency of sexual activity in married couples of both genders.

Jul. 12 2013 10:42 AM

I am so glad you are doing a show on what heterosexual married couples can learn from GLBT couples. I am writing a book for Pine Forge Press due out in 2014 on GLBT families and your topic is a main premise of the book. We have much to learn from studying GLBT families and from GLBT families themselves.

Jul. 12 2013 09:23 AM

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