Sunday, 26 April 2009

The Deconstruction Of Marriage and Family

It should go without saying that an open society must be tolerant towards different lifestyles among adults. However, the issue has long ceased to be that of tolerance, but of the dissolution of marriage bonds and family ties. Today’s boost in social status for homosexuality must be seen in conne ction with the social and sociopolitical tendencies towards the deconstruction and complete redefin ition of marriage and family and the dismantling and redesign of genders and generations.

The Deconstruction Of Genders

In recent years there was an increasing shift away from man and woman as basic
anthropological realities, towards heterosexual and homosexual identities which supposedly exist on an equal level. However, this, too, has now become ou tmoded. For quite a while now German universities no longer offer just “Gay -Lesbian Studies”, but “Queer Studies”.

“Queer” theories deny that humankind should fall into two gender categories. Instead of acknowledging mutually complementary manhood and womanhood, such theories hold that there are a variety of different genders which are all on a par with each other: heterosexuals, homosexuals, bisexuals, transsexuals, transgender sexuals, intersexuals and cross -dressers, to name but a few.

The University of Hamburg has been holding public lectures on “Queer Studies” since 1999. The declared aim of the lecture series is to “counter hetero -normativity … with something different”. The latest publication of the series gave the following definition of the word “queer”: “As a term in the political battle, queer stands against hetero-normativity, against the distinction of merely two genders and against patriarchal stru ctures.”

At the same time, the new genders are to be no rigid “pigeon holes”. Rather, it is to be a matter not just of “destabilizing the two-gender structure”, but of “removing the lack of ambiguity of gender and of sexuality”. One suggestion is to aim for the “diversification of genders” and therefore to abolish completely any references to gender as a c ategory in legal documents (e.g. in ID cards).

When requested to draft an official statement on the German Transsexuality Act, a number of leading sexologists proposed that it should be possible for people to change their registered personal status (e.g. from “male” to “female” in an ID card) if a person feels transsexual, irrespective of whether a sex change operation has taken place. A change in personal status and name should be subject to no more than a medical report and the person’s statement that their “perceived gender membership” does not match their “biological gender”. Download as pdf

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