Friday, February 25, 2005

And for us non-procreators?

The question is not to procreate or not, the question is can you. If you can, then you can get married. If you can't, then there's no reason to marry. The only reason to marry, according to some, is to procreate. (You know, in order to pass on patriarchal names and property and such.)

Here's what the state that issued my marriage license has to say:

The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in January that "there was a rational basis for the Legislature to draw the line between opposite-sex couples, who as a generic group are biologically capable of reproducing, and same-sex couples, who are not." (from the AP)
OK. Let me try to employ Booth's Listening Rhetoric here. The rationale here is that people get married in order to reproduce. If people didn't reproduce, there would be no reason to marry.
Now, I'm married. I've been married for awhile. I've not reproduced. Was getting married a waste of time? Or should I get busy right now and procreate before my marriage loses all validity? Could I qualify for an annulment since my marriage is without issue?
I guess I got away from listening rhetoric there in the last paragraph. The rationale (as I've already suggested above) is not *will* you reproduce but *can* you. It's the potential. Whether you do it or not doesn't matter. It's whether you can.
And what about infertile men and women? Should they be barred from marrying?
Oops. Got away from listening again. It's hard to listen sometimes. Especially when it seems as if the listening isn't mutual. One thing Booth maybe doesn't quite tell us is how rhetoric works when listening can only take us so far. I'm not listening that well: there's all sorts of static getting in the way. And it's hard to listen, from the other side, when you're pretty sure the highest authority in the universe has told you what's what. What does rhetoric do for us then?
(I haven't finished Booth's book, either. Maybe someone who has could answer some of my questions?)


Anonymous said...

I know this isn't Listening-Rhetoric, but as a potential procreator who hasn't yet, I do dearly wish that the pejorative epithet "breeder" would come into more common use, like "honky" and "ofay" did several decades ago.

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