Concerning Fools

In a RelationshipOn April 1st, 2014, I announced my romantic relationship with another male friend of mine, publicly, on Facebook. Immediately the comments and messages started flooding in.

Some messages were simply shocked, not knowing that I “played for that team” or that I “loved man meat” while suspiciously noting that they thought this had to be some sort of a joke. Other friends messaged me, explicitly addressing their feelings of jealousy or envy for my new partner, but for the most part most were incredibly supportive; a very pleasant surprise:

okay, my son is gay. I’m okay with that” “You’re so brave!” “This Oleg character is quite attract. Good for you!” “Congrats buddy” “But but justin-chan how are we to wed now?!” “The rainbow flag has been posted in front of your door.” (I’m sure some of these commentators were well aware of my ruse.)

April Fools’ Day is one of my favorite “holidays” and it’s one of the few I celebrate. However, when pressed on my  foolery I am usually quick to reveal that it was simply a jest. April Fools’ Day is the one day of the year where I can lie without reservation or guilt for the purposes of fun and silliness and I do enjoy a great prank!

Now, before I am criticized for making light of “coming out” or of homosexuality in general, consider this: Would this criticism stand if I had made a joke about being in a relationship with someone of the opposite gender identity? I am convinced that this initial criticism betrays a double standard.

In response to one comment I said, “I don’t discriminate. Love is love.” This is truly my view and I realize it is not the predominate one. That said, just because some other people have different values than my own, doesn’t mean I have to play by their rules or conduct myself according to their [flawed] standards. If you agree with me, that we should be treating homosexual relationships as equal to heterosexual ones and that partners of any gender combination should be afforded the same rights as others, then I hope you wouldn’t have a problem with me joking about the two as though they were equal because this is truly my view.

This digression aside, I’d like to address the point of this article, that is, concerning fools. On this I have one thing to say:

Some people were fooled yesterday, but some people are simply fools.

The FoolI hope the rest of you had a great April Fools’ Day!

4 comments on “Concerning Fools

  1. Benjamin says:

    I haven’t seen you (or anyone else since the ancients) do any philosophy to support your views here (granted, I haven’t looked much either). So: what is sex, and do the biological difference have societal/ethical/etc., implications (particularly at the level in question here)? What is marriage? What is love (particularly concerning the relevant species here)?

    • Justin Grey says:

      I’m not entirely sure which views your addressing since I seemed to have expressed a few, but to answer your questions:

      “What is sex?”
      I assume you mean in regards to anatomy and genetics rather than in regards to the action. Sex is a form of specialization among animals that is relevant to sexual reproduction (the action I referred to earlier) and is often determined by their genetics (though in many non-mammalian animals sex is determined by many other factors). I’m not sure how far into the details you want me to go here, but the distinction between sexes is often between two (female and male), though there are some animals that have other sexes. In many animals there is sexual dimorphism that goes beyond the scope of mere reproduction. This dimorphism pushes the specialization of animals a bit further.

      “[D]o the biological difference[s] have societal/ethical/etc., implications (particularly at the level in question here)?”
      If the level in question here is “sex” then I would say so. For example, only females can give birth and therefore any social or ethical policies that affect actions around this biological factor are primarily relevant to females. Forced clitoridectomies, such as those performed in Northeast Africa, can only be forced upon females as males don’t have clitorides. That said, the implications of social policies, expectations, and ethical concerns involving male circumcision are primarily relevant to males.

      “What is marriage?”
      Historically, the practice of marriage and policies relating to it have differed widely from culture to culture. Marriage often involves people being ceremonially bound to each other to fulfill certain duties. Marriage is most commonly between two people at a time, often of different biological sex and gender identity, but has often, historically, involved multiple partners (e.g. husbands having multiple wives – polygamy). The ceremony is often religious in theme and there are often religious stipulations and restrictions regarding the institution of marriage in different communities.

      Politically, it can be used to unite different tribes, clans, or houses for purposes of strengthening influence or encouraging a synthesis between two or more peoples. Economically, it may serve to ensure financial stability due to sharing responsibilities. Socially, a marriage can secure one’s place in a social hierarchy or afford one mobility in a social hierarchy — it is often expected that one should marry by a certain age. Romantically, it can serve as a symbolic expression of love — binding persons together. The variety of marriages cross culturally and throughout history makes it difficult to assess any single function or any universal constant in all of them (this isn’t to imply that marriage is universally practiced).

      “What is love (particularly concerning the relevant species here)?”
      I don’t wish to dodge this, so if you’ll clarify, do you mean species in terms of animals? Or species of argument? I can give you a possible approximation of the biological/neurological processes that are relevant to the experience of “love” in human beings if that’s what you want, but I just wanted to make sure you didn’t mean something else.

      If you mean in regards to my statement that “Love is love.” I meant that the experience of love between one person and another is no less valid or important than another’s — regardless of gender identity. I feel that constructing policies that restrict one’s healthy and consensual expression of love on the basis of gender or sex is unfair. Gender is an arbitrary metric for assessing a person’s rights. Sex is an an almost equally arbitrary metric for assessing a person’s rights. I say “almost” because certain rights will only make sense to certain sexes: I’ve never seen a man fighting for the right to abort the fetus he is pregnant with.

  2. Justin C says:

    I was surprised at first, but only cuz I thought you were with Jessica. And then I realized what day it was. 😛

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