Human Rights and Harvard Yard [A Short Story]

A Harvard Undergraduate

Makes a List Sitting on a Yellow Chair

in the Yard Near Massachusetts Hall

where Emerson Once Slept

I

Any sane and rational discussion of Gay Marriage will have to address basic human rights as the primary concern for how and where gay marriage fits in our society–and it does fit in our society, irrespective of what the Know-Nothing Party Trumpets as its alarums for our future.  All other foci are ancillary to the primacy and ultimacy of gay marriage as a human rights issue; and it is the human right to choose we are talking about when we talk about Gay marriage; it is the human right of self-determination, and  the human right of sole proprietorship over body we are also talking about. Just as the Know Nothing Party of Donald the Trumpeter Angel of the new Right’s Paradisiac Millennialism are talking about the abolition of civil rights for some as a way to fix the political and economic problems of America, as if Nazism was the solution for Germany’s problems, irregardless of how much German Industrialists as well as American Oil Companies got behind Hitler, and Mussolini before him. All together wrapped up in the issue of gay marriage are all of our civil rights.

II

Gay Marriage in our more sensitive and intelligent discussions (–and I do understand how sensitive and intelligent are synonyms in some contexts of use) will address how laws that have been made to oppose universal Human Rights do not void these fundamental rights, and the people in Oklahoma will have to adjust to the idea that a democracy and freedom itself cannot be determined by a tyrannous majority. The excessive demand for equality has left us–all of us– with the heinous consensus that no one’s opinion is greater better saner more intelligent or rational than any other. With this we only have left either the Will to Power or one or another tyrannies of the majority. You do understand this, don’t you? I do not wish to assume that you do not;I just do not have the faith that others have in the general intelligence, the overall level of education, or the quality of our literacy, irrespective of how many shell games we play with our quantitative analyses with regards to our state of literacy or alphabetics, if I am to be more accurate.

III

All sensitive discussions will also be part of a grander metaphysical discussion concerning the universality of human rights for all people everywhere irrespective of belief system or class, irrespective of race or gender or gender identification or re-gendering, no matter how we come to define gender and gender roles, and whether or not there needs to be more than one gender, although there may still only be two sexes–and this idea of sex is the biological one, although there are instances of one person being both? Sex here is also not an indication of sexuality. We will have to address the affront that Sharia Law poses for democracy and freedom, irrespective of how much my fellow Harvard students do not want to oppose culturally enforced misogyny because they feel as if they have no right to oppose misogyny when it has grown out of a culture not our own, and it would be a transgression of their respect for freedom to tell Muslim men that they cannot violate a woman’s basic human rights when Sharia Law or culturally inherited laws guarantee men a repressive role socially and by family over women–respect for diversity does not disallow me from opposing oppression, repression or tyranny regardless of how much any of the three are wrapped in “product-of-culture” rhetoric that my fellow undergraduates seem unable or unwilling to handle correctly—talk about politically incorrect? If all things are relative, there will be nothing for anything to be relative to; do not try to tell me that there are no universals concerning freedom or democracy or basic human rights because if you did I would have to assume you were an idiot, as I would for anyone who told me that I had to make a space for Sharia Law here in the United States because I would have to understand that Sharia Law were a product of or a relevant means of governing within a Muslim world view, and that would just have to be the stupidest things I could ever hear, and you who say it probably wonder why we are suffering as many conservative backlashes against our freedoms as we do. As semi-literate and ahistorical as too many who count themselves liberals in American have become, it is no wonder . . . I have to pause.

IV

We do know that human rights cannot be restricted to political philosophy alone, that Human Rights have metaphysical valence too. And I do know how too many of my fellow undergraduates here in The Yard have succumbed to one or another received anti-metaphysical idea . . . especially the lot of you taught by professors and TAs who haven’t looked at a document more than five or maybe ten years old in any of their research,papers or assignments. The idea that there are no universals of course affects how we manage democracy, freedom and even how we get to control or counterbalance Power, Money, the State. Ask anyone on campus what We the People means, could mean, has meant, will mean, might mean in opposition to the State or to we becoming a state servingPublic in place of The People. I cannot pause tolisten to the stream of inanity couched in just enough buzz words to indicate the person speaking the inanity is a right thinking liberal, a received idea thinking liberal, a dogmatically controlled liberal parroting what other imbecile liberals on campus spew . . . and we wonder why the conservative barbarians are at the gate. Let us let the Visigoths in, why not? We have been mistaken and horribly prejudiced against the barbarian hordes. The Vandals and the Ostrogoths have culture too–and I am not using the word culture in its older more traditional prejudice, but in its most recent anthropological sense. I am just saying we can evaluate cultures and decide intelligently. I mean, if we were to find a tribe of people who every full moon gathered at night in a field and in a circle shoved feather duster handles up their asses to then cluck and strut in that circle like roosters; this would be their culture. Let us now do it in suit?

In as much as Gay Marriage remains fixed as a human rights issue, Gay Marriage demands a re-examniation of the institution of marriage, and that is not so much marriage today (although it does insist we do so), but marriage as it has been over time, historically. Gay men and women have basic human rights and one of them is the right to co-habitate with another adult consensually. It is universally true that Gay Marriage is a Human Rights issue and must be decided as such, and defended as such by intelligent, articulate liberals who are not afraid to say that Human Rights are universal irrespective of culture.

V

Individuals often find themselves opposed to Gay Marriage based primarily on how the language we use to speak about marriage, to name the roles in marriage, to identify the partners in marriage, has left us with an archaic understanding of marriage that was once beneficial to harnessing women within an agrarian world view and a view of society rooted in patriarchy and patriarchal oppression (and how so many of my fellow undergraduates here at Harvard have forgotten this and have forgotten their obligation to defend this is beyond me, maybe as much as it seems the obligation is beyond them).

These constructs no longer have a place in our world, and not because of how new we have become, but because they have maintained a mode of thinking that is no longer verified by reality–in fact, they have helped shape our thinking about the sexes in a way that remains today contrary to the full emancipation of women and has only helped foster respect for and support of a hierarchic orientation between men and women, with women on the bottom; perhaps why the missionary position was culturally enforced? If it was in fact ever prescribed. Nevertheless, the missionary position is also the chimpanzee position when chimpanzees copulate, so I really do not know where today’s missionaries stand or lie with respect for how humans should orient themselves when they sexually copulate? How people like to fuck consensually should never have been a consideration of any government, any hierarchy of order, and should not be a concern in any democratic society.).

 

Epilogue

I hesitate to call anyone opposed to my views idiots or imbeciles or mental defectives of another order; and not out of politeness. You can intelligently disagree with me, butI do hold certain truths to be self-evident, and I know how this puts me in opposition to many of my classmates. I just had a girl break up with me because of my defense of metaphysics, my belief in certain universals and absolutes, and my articulation of views she described as horribly debased and transcendental. The latter she inflected as if she were saying pedophile. I didn’t even want to call her a cunt  I do think one or another of the former assignations, idiot or imbecile from time to time.

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