Even within the warped worldview of a caricatured leftist, it seems that marriage between one man and one woman makes too much sense to ignore or conflate with something else.
All right-thinking Americans have long been celebrating the fact that marriage equality is a done deal, and there’s no going back. Even stubbornly radical conservative extremists like John Kasich have recently acknowledged this obvious and indisputable truth. Progressives have, at long last, convinced the American people that marriage belongs to everyone, and rightly so. The romantic feelings of homosexuals are just as deep & meaningful, their intimacies just as enjoyable, and their commitments just as strong. (Although, due to the stubborn persistence of archaic religious beliefs in some backwater parts of our culture, I feel compelled to add that my use of the word “commitment” is not in any way intended to imply any kind of promise of exclusivity or permanence. Marriage, as we all know, can involve any number of outside sexual partners and can be ended at any time, even by the most committed of couples.) But let’s not dwell on the benighted past. Instead, let’s pause and give ambiguous, non-sectarian thanks that marriage is now equally open to all because we finally realize that there is no real difference between gays, lesbians, bisexuals, asexuals, pansexuals, and any other sexual orientations when it comes to their intimate relationships.
Unfortunately, the work of those who strive for social justice is never done, and we must take up our banner once again. It’s time to cast our gaze upon another underprivileged minority struggling to come to terms with a sexuality that their society fails to understand and embrace: monogamous cisgendered heterosexuals. For those of you who are not keeping up with the latest developments in gender studies (shame on you,) these kinds of relationships involve a permanent and exclusive pairing of one male person who chooses to embrace the gender foisted on him by society and one female person who does the same. However you might judge such unique choices and however high or low your awareness of them might be, together they create one more small tile in the beautiful mosaic of human sexuality.
But all is not well in this community. These brave individuals face unique challenges, but society has not done enough to accommodate their needs and facilitate their sexual empowerment. I don’t make a habit of dredging up biological specifics—too many have used such facts as tools of oppression. However they are relevant when it comes to certain medical realities, and such is the case here. In cisgender heterosexual relationships, one partner has a penis while the other has a vagina, and they often unite these two organs during intimacy. This creates a special challenge for them. Their unique biology combined with their lifestyle choice makes them susceptible to the most pernicious of sexually transmitted diseases: Pregnancy.
Pregnancy begins simply enough. Scientifically speaking, cisgendered heterosexual intercourse routinely creates a tiny blood clot in one partner’s uterus. However, that blood clot slowly grows and develops into a kind of goopy tumor that causes all sorts of complications. The war against this global tragedy has raged for decades, and progressives have long been at the vanguard. Planned Parenthood and other wonderful organizations have tirelessly devoted themselves to the eradication of pregnancy. Countless dollars have been spent on developing techniques, equipment, and pharmaceuticals designed to prevent this disease. Our schools have devoted a significant part of their curriculum to educating people on the subject. We have (at great financial and political cost) ensured easy access to procedures that evacuate the uterine contents when contraceptive measures have failed. And they fail frightfully often. Hundreds of thousands of such treatments are administered every year in America. Unfortunately, even the magnitude of these noble efforts is simply not enough. In 2011 alone, 2.8 million women were unwittingly infected despite all these precautions, and of these, a mere 45% received proper treatment in time to be cured.
And timing is very important. Pregnancy is a disease that needs to be caught early because a frightening development occurs after roughly 9 months of infection. I hope you will forgive what follows, but sometimes graphic language is necessary. If you feel you might be triggered, please stop reading now. Up until this point during pregnancy, the symptoms are bad enough. The partner with the uterus slowly becomes grotesquely deformed by the ever-swelling tumor. Meanwhile, the hormonal changes wreak further physical havoc on that same partner, and psychological havoc on both partners. At around 9 months, their condition takes a turn for the worse. At this point, The tumor has grown so large that it begins emerging from the uterus through one partner’s vagina in an incredibly painful and unsanitary process.
At the moment when the tumor’s characteristically large, hairy nodule emerges (it even has human-like eyes, mouth, and nose; YIKES!), the tumor suddenly develops acute personhood and must therefore be sheltered and nourished. Despite our best efforts to the contrary, abortion has not yet been deemed a medically appropriate treatment subsequent to this stage of pregnancy. When this happens, the disease affects both partners by triggering the release of even more hormones that create a kind of psychosis which makes them feel attachment and even affection for the little tumor-person. (They call the tumor-person a “child,” so I will adopt that term going forward to avoid any unintentional micro-aggression; I only used the more popular “tumor-person” for the sake of clarity among a broader audience.) This affect is so powerful that it persists even as the “child” begins secreting disgusting substances, emitting irritating noises, and expelling foul odors.
Catching pregnancy early is further complicated because many monogamous cisgendered heterosexuals hold to peculiar indigenous religious beliefs. They have been brainwashed to believe that this tumor is actually a human being (which science has long known to spontaneously generate from our public schools.) Odd as it may seem to us, however, these stupid beliefs need to be treated with dignity and respect. Molech-worship might be the dominant spirituality in our country, but we are nevertheless committed to protecting religious minorities.
Unlike other sexual orientations, this disease can strike any cisgendered heterosexual couple at any time without any intention, simply because they love in the way that’s natural to them. All of our precautions have utterly failed to prevent mass infection. The prudish and the retrograde might therefore compel these persons to change the way they love to match society’s expectations, but we know full well how cruel and insensitive this would be. Society must take action on their behalf, and so I would like to propose what I call “procreative unions.”
A procreative union is simply a legal and social arrangement designating a comprehensive union of the couple, recognized by the government, and made available to monogamous cisgendered heterosexual couples for the purpose of honoring and facilitating their efforts to grapple with all the unique challenges their lifestyle entails. It could help smooth any number of difficulties: shared property & finances, estate planning, making legal and social decisions for the child, and more. It could also lend them a kind of official mark of social esteem, just as marriage has done for other sexual orientations to prevent discrimination. Fecundophobes, you are on notice!
You might be asking yourself the obvious question of why the pair can’t simply get married. As it turns out, the situation is more complicated than that, and marriage might not be enough. Because marriage is all about love, it needs to be able to be dissolved at any time and for any reason, and so divorce must always be quickly and easily available. As radical as the idea may be, procreative unions would need to be a little stickier. (Don’t worry: granting monogamous cisgendered heterosexuals procreative unions won’t have any affect on your marriage. What some couples you don’t know do on their own doesn’t affect you in any way.)
While the romantic feeling we call love which serves as the foundation of marriage comes and goes along with the marriage itself, the fallout of pregnancy lasts a lifetime. A pregnancy left untreated is incurable—in most cases, children even persist past the couples’ deaths. The children that pregnancy produces need round-the-clock care for years and regular maintenance indefinitely. At the same time, cisgendered heterosexual lifestyle choices create both a common interest in the child as well as shared responsibility for it. It makes a peculiar kind of sense for them to team up. And because dealing with this STD is so time-consuming, this comprehensive partnership even extends to areas of life that might unsettle strong independent persons who rely on no one but themselves (and the government, of course.) But while you personally might find even the prospect of sharing a bank account terrifying, it takes all kinds to make a world.
What’s more, because of their duration, these child-related responsibilities persist through the various seasons of life: the good times & bad times, wealth & poverty, sickness & health (children are well-known vectors of infectious disease) and so forth. It only makes sense that their partnership persist through those seasons as well. After all, its a daunting situation for one person on their own, which is precisely why we worked so hard to lionize successively polygamous cisgendered heterosexual female persons who contract pregnancy on their own and why we created so many broad safety nets to assist the ones who aren’t treated in time. Why should we fail to give an even smaller and less-expensive measure of assistance and recognition to monogamous cisgendered heterosexual couples? Why not let them know we have their back too? Besides, those who engage in other cisgendered heterosexual lifestyles (such as the aforementioned successively polygamous cisgendered heterosexuals that comprise the largest segment of the American population) will not be forced to enter a procreative union. This status would be completely voluntary.
Now, there is an obvious objection to this plan. If children are the unfortunate axis around which these matters turn, why can’t they be dealt with exclusively by teachers, day-care workers, and other licensed & certified caregivers who have already been properly trained to transform children into human beings? It’s a sensible thought, but presents numerous practical difficulties. For one, Federal labor laws and union rules simply forbid the kind of hours involved in caring for children. In addition, our zero tolerance policies forbid the administration of the medications that are frequently needed or domestic tools that are used in food preparation (such as knives.) That list of technicalities could go on forever. But on top of it all, even our best philosophers acknowledge that there are certain goods uniquely created in the home and that taking care of a child by committee is less than ideal. No, teachers already have a full-time job—let’s not foist another one onto them when there’s a better way.
This is 2016, and 21st century issues require 21st century solutions. We need to crowdsource the treatment of children. What if, when the child first appears, it is simply taken and accepted by first people who lay claim to it? As we’ve already covered, the symptoms of pregnancy predispose monogamous cisgendered heterosexuals towards such volunteer work. This is already a promising start, but what if they were further prepared by having the option of joining in a procreative union beforehand? Nobody can truly understand the unique challenge of an untreated pregnancy before they’ve experienced it, but we can help predispose them to success. Doing so can even help all of society at the same time. Though causation is still a bit murky, study after study (trigger warning: regressive language is present in those links) has shown a high correlation between the care a monogamous cisgendered heterosexual couple gives their child and the long-term success of adult persons.
Of course, the peanut gallery must be addressed as well. Naturally, conservatives, libertarians, and other regressives will oppose this initiative just as they do all civil rights. They will no doubt complain about creating yet another government program. But recognition and some legal streamlining is hardly a program. Besides government does have a legitimate interest in this, even by their astringent standards. Children are the raw material from which human beings are made—the very same humans that exist to sustain our government. Surely government has an interest in its future citizens.
Conservatives might likewise complain about “fairness.” After all, some monogamous cisgendered heterosexuals have a natural immunity to pregnancy. The so-called “right” will no doubt complain about occasional childless procreative unions just as they do about the occasional welfare recipient who uses their benefits as a way to avoid work. Its a silly objection, of course. Immunity, even when it is detected, is not always permanent. Sick and twisted individuals are always looking for new ways of making immune cisgendered heterosexuals susceptible to pregnancy once again (its one of the many microaggressions that society forces on them.) Beyond that, however, perhaps they can be soothed with the knowledge that actually taking such things into account in practice would require a level of government investigation that they would no doubt find “invasive” and “undignified.”
The course progress must take is as clear as the special plight faced by those affected by pregnancy and the unique susceptibility of cisgendered heterosexuals. Procreative unions are not for everyone—some don’t need them, others don’t want them, and that’s all fine. It’s not as though such discrepancies impeded our efforts at making sure health insurance covers things like free hormonal contraception or pap smears—services required only by a subset of certain gender identities. Helping everyone embrace their sexuality includes helping monogamous cisgendered heterosexuals, and helping them means offering procreative unions.