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Sexuality, Loathing and Dignity

In our circle of acquaintances we might be critical of someone's taste in music or food preference while believing that he or she should continue to be treated with dignity. If the difference is sexual preference, why not treat he or she also as a person deserving dignity? Sexual excitement is actually a very small part of our lives considering the amount of time we spend on it. Why should we let it color what we think of as the whole of a person?

The philosophy Martha Nussbaum writes about the "politics of disgust" and projected disgust justifying subordination of homosexuals. She has a book out about "Why Democracy needs the Humanities." Indeed, the humanities find fault with people but also free us from unnecessary disrespect.

It is a distortion to generalize that homosexuals are inherently more focused on sexuality than are heterosexuals. Homosexuals see the full humanity of their partners as much as do heterosexuals. Their lives a filled with the same daily concerns as the rest of us.

It's an issue that brings to my mind my favorite journalist, Rachel Maddow. She does well with her guests and her audience because she radiates consideration, warmth and integrity. She is a Stanford grad and according to Wikipedia "the first openly gay or lesbian American to win an international Rhodes Scholarship. Focused on her education, she earned a doctorate in politics. She is unpretentious, and on camera she has called herself stupid for having made a mistake. My point here is that she should be regard to her sexual orientation. It would be crude and small for a heterosexual to associate her work with her sexual preference, and it appears that those who appear with her on camera do not.

We also have Anderson Cooper, another great human being.

Generally, speaking Americans are decent people.Some of them are Christians who would like to equip their children with what they believe to be God's design for relationships, marriage and sexuality. There has been a complaint from apparently such a parent about being described as a hater, homophobe and bigot. Parents who dislike these labels could describe the sexual practices they dislike as something other than loathsome – a word my Mac dictionary describes as "causing hatred or disgust." To their children they could describe gays as having sexual preferences different from their own but as deserving respect and as having rights, including the right to be free of bullying.

And it is best for children that they not be taught to loath themselves.

Finally, I'm with Epicurus. He held that excessive devotion to the gratification of appetites produces misery rather than happiness and therefore should be avoided. Commercial interests and people advertising their talent put too much focus on sexuality. A proper balance in my opinion requires attention to a wide spectrum of matters concerning being human.

Copyright © 2016 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.