Monday, May 18, 2009

My best defense for saving "Marriage"

My best defense for saving the "traditional" meaning of the word "marriage" is the story of the word "gay." I'm still pissed about that one. So I guess what I'm saying is I'm really arguing over a stupid word.
I truly believe people of the same sex who proclaim their love for each other should be able to enter a union with the exact same benefits as marriage. I say call it a "civil union," or somesuch, make it legally the same as "marriage" and let them have at it. I guess you could further define the situation as "traditional marriage" and "gay marriage," but the vitriol will still exist in our society, and it will inevitably get shortened to marriage anyway. How about we create a new word, like we did with "Ms." How about "murriage?" It could be for all unions, be they straight or homosexual. You could still use the words "husbands" or "wives" and you haven't re-written anything.
But quit changing the meanings of extant words already! Maybe one can argue that the word "marriage" was never specifically defined as between opposite sexes, but it was assuredly implied as such for millenia. You know, some words have a certain untranslatable meaning for their particular society. The word gay was not the exact same as any other single word, so when our culture changed its meaning, we lost something. Gay used to mean sort of lighthearted-happy-carefree but also carried a hint of the fleetingness or fragility of that state. Well, that one is gone for sure. Let us not sacrifice the meaning of another word to the alter of pop culture. Our language is pretty rich, surely we can expand it a tad further?
Love free speech!


Anonymous said...

I miss the old meanings of "gay" and "queer" as well. Well, you make a more interesting case than Miss California!

Tina Winston said...

Not possible. Language is a social construct; words only have meaning because we attach meaning to them. Therefore, as society's needs change, so will the meanings and words with which we describe it. No matter what you call it, someone will object. Conceptually, I agree, though. Nice post.