An Author’s Preface to a Lost Story: Marriage is as Marriage Does [Flash Fiction]

Lesbian, in other words Witch;

or should this be otherwise:

Witch, in other words, Lesbian.

–The Author

Marriage–as it has been discussed by persons in various cultures, codified by laws and/or customs, ritualized in religious practices and understood by how a people anywhere define it, giving it specified and special resonance in the words used–must be opened to investigation. We cannot assume that words have no residue over time, and that contemporary connotations are free from or cleansed of any historical residue. My essays concerning Gay Marriage are all of a piece, related, connected, interconnected. I will attempt a re-definition of “Marriage,” at least with respect for and cognizance of how it has been articulated socially in English speaking countries over the past millennia or more, and this I know is crucial. Our respect for diversity does not require that we become non-assertive or even inarticulate or lacking in any conviction for our freedoms or with our support for our liberty.

An examination of diction concerning the institution will be helpful in understanding how mentality formed over millennia concerning the institution of marriage affects how we understand and respond to gay marriage today. These measures toward defining marriage or articulating how marriage has been defined will show us where we can go and how we can get there. This redefinition with respect to where Gay marriage fits–all of which will be based on how any discussion of Gay Marriage has inherited an archaic way of phrasing what marriage is and who the players on the social stage of marriage get to be–is necessary.

Traditional marriage, for a long time coming, has needed a re-examination, an articulate re-definition. The institution of marriage has been stuck in an archaic understanding of men and women, and has suffered the subtractive legacies of patriarchy, and the power plays politically that men have enacted over time to control women, most specifically, their bodies, their sexuality, which extends to the reproductive rights of women as well, which in turn has affected how men-centered societies have legislated against a woman’s right to choose a safe medical procedure when induced miscarriage is the preferred option during her pregnancy. It has also framed and formed how marriage is understood in our culture today. We cannot keep these pro-choice issues or these right-to-self-determination issues separate any longer, not without a subtraction in the rhetorical force necessary to support both of them appropriately. Moreover, it is self-determination we are talking about when we talk at all about a woman’s right to choose safe medical procedures and a Gay couple opting to ritually and/or legally enter marriage.

Witch trials have often been an extension of this patriarchal control over women and their bodies, even when they have been coupled with or gathered among other impulses and drives quite distinct from socio-political control and repression. Witch trial mentality and the individual psychology developed within has much to do with how Gay Marriage is perceived and understood in our contemporaneity–and I will continue to drive this point in all trials of the ideas contained in these issues. How we have missed this might be puzzling, but will not become crucial in developing an argument that supports Gay Marriage or a woman’s right to choose a safe medical procedure for her opted induced miscarriage.

Homosexuals have also suffered witch trials (literally applied)–being a lesbian has traditionally left the woman concerned at the mercy of male perception in a way heterosexual women were not necessarily subjected to–lesbians have traditionally been unable to negotiate male prerogatives in the way heterosexual women have been generally capable, at least within a woman’s learned behavior, unless the woman was especially gifted at performance . . . which brings us to why so many gay men and women have gravitated toward the theater . . .

 

[. . .]

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