The Trouble with Warner

Although we have not yet discussed this reading in class, “The Trouble with Normal” and the opinions of Michael Warner stuck out to me. At times, this was a difficult read for me, but I feel that a few aspects Warner brought to the table I both agreed and disagreed with. I was almost kind of shocked by a few ideas he wrote about and the viewpoints he held. Warner focuses on the point that he believes same-sex marriage actually has a negative impact for all people, queer or straight. He says that by allowing for a single form of commitment (marriage), this devalues other types of relationships held with different people. I disagree, since I believe that everyone, no matter their gender or sexuality, should be allowed to be happy with any partner they choose. I believe that every person should receive the same rights, including the right of marriage. I do not think that marriage for all devalues any type of interpersonal relationship, it strengthens it and makes your relationship known to all. It was odd to see that Warner does not agree with same-sex marriage or how the queer movement fights for their rights. Although I do not agree with some aspects of Warner’s writing, I appreciate when he states, “You learn that everyone deviates from the norm in some context or other, that the statistical norm has no moral value… You learn that the people who look most different from you can be, by virtue of that fact, the very people from whom you have the most to learn,”. I feel that this statement relates to everyone, any gender, sexuality, race, etc. It is such a broad statement that I feel everyone should believe, and learn from. 

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One thought on “The Trouble with Warner

  1. Personally, I interpreted Warner’s stance against the establishment of marriage as it being the mere opposition to the establishment aspect of the ceremony. While I agree with you as well that anyone should be able to get married to any individual they please, there should not be incentives from the government to get married, such as tax breaks and certain privileges spouses are afforded in emergency circumstances. By creating an advantageous position for people who are married, the government is deftly saying that in order to have a fully committed relationship, you have to be married. This, therefore, discredits polyamorous individuals as well as anyone who does not desire to marry anyone. Considering America is founded upon the separation of church and state, I believe that marriage should not provide individuals tax benefits as it provides government sponsored benefits to a church related ceremony. The government is also saying that falling within the norm of being married is morally ideal, thus provide individuals with benefits.

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