Thursday, April 1, 2010
April theme: Rules to live by
For example, it's generally accepted that a happily married man does not fraternize with other women lest he be guilty of impropriety. But what if the man doesn't view women in "that way". What if she really is "just a friend" with absolutely zero chance that the relationship could lead to inappropriate behaviors? Is it still wrong for him to spend time alone with her (just as a straight guy might spend time alone with his male friends)? For that matter, is it wrong for a gay man in a mixed orientation marriage to spend time alone with his male friends? Does it matter if said male friends are straight or gay?
Another example: My wife and I were out driving around when I pointed out a new restaurant called "Bone Daddy's" as one I'd like to try some day. My wife replied that she had heard that it was like "Hooters" except they served ribs instead of chicken wings. To which I countered "if I ever go there - trust me, I really am there for the food." Good Mormon boys don't go to places with scantily clad voluptuous women - but what if you're a Mormon boy who is impervious to womanly wiles? Should the same rules apply?
On the flip side, there are situations that are completely innocuous for a straight guy - but which might prove challenging for the gay guy - such as a weekend camping trip with a friend..
This can leave us feeling like we are stuck between a rock and a hard place. We are expected to comply with societal rules that make sense for straight guys - but, at the same time, there are other things we should be careful with because they present valid temptations that could lead us to making bad choices. It's a double standard - we are expected to comply with all of their rules - but they are immune from compliance with our rules - rules which we often have to make up as we go along. We get the worst of both worlds.
I recall once watching a documentary on Logo TV about a Christian summer camp - for gay kids. One of the challenges they faced was with sleeping arrangements. Summer camps normally segregate boys and girls - but what if you have a bunch of boys who like boys and girls who like girls? Their solution - they had all the kids slept together in one room, boys and girls. Different rules for a different situation.
For the April theme, consider your own personal situation (out or closeted, single or in a same sex relationship, in a MOM, etc.) - what rules does society set for you that seem extraneous or inappropriate? What existing rules should apply to you and others in a similar situation? What new rules might apply to your situation?