Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Just when I thought it was safe ...

... Nina Karin Monsen pops out of the woodwork again. I am SO sick of that stupid cow now. I was hoping she'd have crawled back under the rock she came out from, but no such luck. When I opened today's edition of Aftenposten while peacefully eating my lunch, there she was. And in an unexpected place - Si ;D, ie 'Say It', a page set aside for teens, and teens only, to express their views. Rarely has the Si ;D page's corner's sometime title been more apropos: 'The Fossil Corner'. Monsen is indeed a fossil, a relic of a bygone age. I can't remember reading the letter that she is responding to. But it doesn't matter, she's just regurgitating more of her inane drivel. How does she keep getting away with it?? 'Philosopher' my shiny metal ass. Don't we have any real philosophers in this country? Aren't they embarrassed by being associated with this person? Why doesn't a single one of them ever speak out against it? :-(

A word of explanation: Monsen is an opponent of the new Marriage Act that we now have in this country whereby same-sex marriages share equal status with hetero marriages. Yawn. I support the law simply because I am in favor of equal rights in society, and gay people aren't asking for anything to be taken away from anyone else, they just want a share in what straight people already have. That's obvious, right? Nope, not if you're a great big idiot like Monsen. She won an award recently - a freedom of speech award that she was given on completely false grounds, but that's another story - and part of that was a sum of money, namely 400,000 crowns. That's, let's see, about $65,000. Guess what she's spending the money on. Nah, you won't be able to guess that. I credit my readers with more sense. ;-) She's using it to finance a lawsuit against the Norwegian state, a lawsuit which will determine whether she and her husband are still married. o_O Yes, seriously. I can think of SO many ways that that money could have been better spent. There are people starving in this world. Dare I say it, little children, that Monsen claims to care soo much about, are starving to death right this moment. But hey, be my guest, lady. Flush your money down the toilet for all I care. Just don't expect people to take you seriously afterwards.

Anyway ... this woman is very religious, basically a fundie xian, and that's why she's so anti-gay. I don't buy for a second that she actually cares about the kiddies. If she does, she argues in their favor incredibly badly. None of her arguments hold water. It's amazing that she has the gall to call herself a thinker. (And to accuse others of 'thought failure', too ... but again, that's another story.) Today I'm mostly pissed off that she seems to not know and/or understand anything about history. She actually writes, in her letter in the paper today, that modern society is one giant adult conspiracy. o_O The new laws only give adults equality with adults. Of course they do!! Children have never had and will never have 'equal rights' with adults. And why should they?? They are not our equals, so why should they have equal rights? As adults we can and must care for them and make decisions for them ... and certainly that fact, which I will take to be indisputable, means that they cannot possibly be our equals in the eyes of the law. And as for this whole adult conspiracy thing, WTF is that about? You don't have to go back all that far before the concept of childhood didn't even exist. And then she ends her communication by saying that it's a bad thing that some adults see their own children as possessions or slaves. Yeah, that would be a bad thing if it was true. Do you want some coffee with your straw man, Monsen?

I just can't stand the way this whole issue has been debated. Oh, and just to make one thing clear: I don't have anything against Monsen believing the way that she does. I disagree with her, and I think she's full of shit, but I'm perfectly fine with her thinking that way. I just don't see why she has to be such a bitch about it. And I really resent the way she's fucked up this debate by making us all discuss the wrong questions. She, and those who agree with her, claim that the question we need to discuss is whether kids are screwed up by gay parents, with the underlying assumption that yes, they are. It's such a damaging environment for kids, no male role models, it's so unfair to the innocent children, etc, etc. She says that children with gay parents 'start life with a handicap' and so on. And as a result of all the hateful nasty things she says and the awful way she expresses herself the debate has become about gay people and what does who think about them and homosexuality is a bad thing (say some) and homophobia is a bad thing (say others) and, and, and. But this is turning the discussion upside down. These are kids that don't even exist yet - that's what we're discussing. So why are we talking about whether or not gay couples are capable of giving a child the love and care that it needs? The question we should be asking is this: is the experience of having parents of the same sex so traumatising to a child that it is better for that child to never be born?

That's a whole other question, isn't it?

But I will say this: I understand completely why Nina Karin Monsen does not want that question answered.


kisarita said...

"A child having gay parents"

correct that to gay parent, in the singular, please. gay people can't have children by definition. at least not with eachother. and even a fraudulent birth certificate don't change that.

the partner is a step-parent, or an adoptive parent.

That is what irks me about this whole gay marriage thing. It's about pretending that a pretense, an imitation, is the real thing.

Leisha Camden said...

The stupid, it burns ... !!

Bite me. You do not tell me what to write here or how to write it. 'Correct' your language on your own blog, and stay off of mine if it offends you.

I think it's really sad that you don't think an adoptive parent is as good as a biological one.

What is your opinion of straight couples where one of the partners is infertile, and they need, say, donated sperm in order to conceive? Would you also call their child's birth certificate a fraud?

Nah, you just don't like teh gays. Yawn.

Marcos Imamura said...

Heisann! Just to tell you I have sent you my letter to your e-mail. In case you haven't got it, just let me know!
Ha det bra!

Leisha Camden said...

Hi!! Yes, I got your letter - thank you! Very interesting reading. ;-) I'll be emailing you back tomorrow or Friday. Can't wait to meet up with you guys!!

kisarita said...

I didn't say a word on whether it is as good or as bad, just that it isn't the same thing. And simply by comparing, you tacitly admit it.

kisarita said...

Good point. An hetero couple who use someone else's gametes but puts their own names on the birth certificate is being fraudulent, and it's a shame the law cooperates in this.

In fact, it was my research on donor conception of straight people that led me to disapprove of the gay marriage movement, and not the other way around- before hand I didn't really care much.

You don't know me, so you have no idea whether I like gay people or not. Assuming that I am biased merely reflects your own bias.

kisarita said...

Article 7, the UN declaration on the Rights of the Child:

1. The child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and. as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents.

Article 8

1. States Parties undertake to respect the right of the child to preserve his or her identity, including nationality, name and family relations as recognized by law without unlawful interference.

2. Where a child is illegally deprived of some or all of the elements of his or her identity, States Parties shall provide appropriate assistance and protection, with a view to re-establishing speedily his or her identity.

Anonymous said...

It's sad that people adopting a child can never be true "parents"... Ack!

That's the "logic" I got out of kisarita's comments.

(is wildly disapproving that "logic", by the way)

Anonymous said...

It's something I don't understand. Please inform me!

If a couple - whether they be gay or straight - choose to conceive children by egg/sperm donation. What rights do children in Norway have to find out who their biological parents are?

Won't gay couples have potentially more children wanting to know who their biological parents are compared to children of straight parent/parents?

Maybe they arent that interested to know - utter and completely satisfied with ther gay moms and dads - and that's great! But I'm thinking that for some knowing who their biological mom&dad is may represent a component of identity?

The dillema as I see it is that on one hand this poses a challenge for all said children regardless of straight/gay parent/parents. On the other hand this challenge will be more common among children of gay parent/parents.

- Curious -

Leisha Camden said...

operafantomet: What can I say, I agree. I think it's sad to see such a blind and narrow interpretation of what a parent is.

Of course you know how I feel - that a person who is incapable of loving an adopted child as much as s/he would love a child that was biologically theirs is unfit to be a parent at all, to any child.

Leisha Camden said...

Curious: thanks for your input and questions. I'll try to answer them. :-)

A Norwegian citizen conceived by sperm donation in Norway has the right to learn the identity of their biological father from the date of their 18th birthday. The information is not given to them automatically; they must apply to have the information released. And of course their parents are not obligated to tell their child/ren that they were conceived in this way, so they may not necessarily find out.

Egg donation is not legal in Norway.

The questions you raise are interesting. However, I think it's very difficult, if not downright impossible, to answer them categorically. The answers are so much down to individual personality. Knowing your biological family may be a vital part of your identity, sure. But it may not - and in those cases, isn't it wrong to insist that there's something wrong, emotionally or otherwise, with those who don't have an interest in that information? I have a friend who was adopted to Norway from Korea as a baby. She knows who her birth parents are, she has been to Korea and met them. But she doesn't really care about them - she feels that they're just some friendly strangers that she's met a couple of times. When she met her birth mother she felt pretty much nothing. All the 'mother love' she feels is towards her adoptive mother - because that's her real mom, she says. I also know another woman who was adopted from Vietnam right after the war there. She has not found her biological family (her orphanage was burned to the ground during the war) but is quite desperate to do so. If she, like my friend, could have found her birth family, she would probably have moved to Vietnam to be close to them, at least for a while. She has even changed her name back to her Vietnamese name. But both of these women's feelings are equally valid. Neither is more right than the other. So it's impossible, IMO, to take it as given that every 'donor baby' and adopted child will feel something's missing if they don't know everything about their background. Because that's just not the case.

Personally, I can promise you that if I were to find out tomorrow that my father was not my biological parent, that would change nothing about my feelings. He would still be just as much my dad. He is my dad, nothing can change that. Same with my mother, she will always be my mom no matter what. Because it's not genes that make people family.

Biological bonds can be powerful, there's no question about that ... but IMO, they're not in themselves enough. And if the rest fails then the biological bonds may end up being entirely worthless.

"This challenge will be more common among children of gay parents" - yes and no. It will be more common, but the parents will be better equipped to deal with it. Strictly speaking, gay parents are the best parents anyone can get. Not because gay people are so great in and of themselves, but because those gay people who do become parents have thought it through so thoroughly. Out gay people don't become parents by accident - in their cases parenthood is always a result of a great deal of reflection and thought. The same with adoptive parents, and most of them are wonderful parents too. Because their kids don't just come along - they have to really work to get them. So these people will have really thought it all through and will already have gone over these potential problems and prepared themselves for it. Much more so than almost all heterosexual couples who become parents, I'd be willing to bet. :-)

I hope that this is the kind of feedback you were looking for. Welcome back if you'd care to continue the discussion. :-)

Leisha Camden said...

kisarita: are you trolling? Don't play coy with me, it's unbecoming in a grownup.

"I didn't say a word on whether it is as good or as bad, just that it isn't the same thing. And simply by comparing, you tacitly admit it."


When you call it fraud, you do in fact say that it is negative. Would you prefer that I use the word 'infer'? Same shit, different wrapping. And I didn't compare if, you did. Check out the third paragraph in your first comment.

"An hetero couple who use someone else's gametes but puts their own names on the birth certificate is being fraudulent, and it's a shame the law cooperates in this."

Do you understand what fraud means? It is a concept that is defined by law. The law allows the names of the social parents to be placed on the birth certificate - therefore, doing so is not fraud. You can't just change the meaning of whatever word you would prefer to mean something else.

"You don't know me, so you have no idea whether I like gay people or not. Assuming that I am biased merely reflects your own bias."

Interesting that you hint that it's a bad thing that I'm 'biased' in favor of equal rights for all citizens, and then post stuff about human rights. :-) I also don't think you've read what you've quoted objectively at all. There is nothing there that supports your stance.

Finally, I would like to inform you that you also do not know me. Here are a couple of points that may interest you, though:

I am 100% in favor of marriage equality. Ideally, however, I would like to see the concept of marriage entirely done away with. Keep it private and out of the law. However: The law at present is as it is, and as all citizens ought to have the same basic rights, both heterosexuals and homosexuals should have the same marriage rights.

I am 100% against artificial insemination and basically all forms of assisted conception. I don't think it should be done at all. I am, however (and fortunately), not saddled with your moral indignation - my viewpoint is based on the fact that our species is presently well on the way to killing the entire biosphere with our insane reproduction levels, which need to be curbed any which way. (It's probably too late, but we can at least pretend to make the effort.) Look to China. The one main problem in the world today is overpopulation, and children are starving in third world slums ... yet in the first world enormous sums of money are being spent on creating even more mouths to gobble up an unfair share of our limited resources. It's disgusting. However. Looking at it from a narrower viewpoint, in this country we will in the future need workers and taxpayers. These should come from stable loving backgrounds, in order to increase their chances of being honest, law-abiding, hardworking, stable citizens. Research indicates that gay parents have a high likelihood of producing just such well-adjusted individuals. Therefore, they should certainly be given the opportunity to produce future taxpayers. Ideally though they ought to adopt them. We can only hope.

Have a nice weekend, people. General advice: Try to worry more about your own affairs and less about those of others.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your response Leisha! Well thought and well written.


Leisha Camden said...

Thanks, I'm glad you appreciated it. :-)