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PHIL 2170 Lecture Notes - Heterosexism

Course Code
PHIL 2170
Samantha Copeland

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March 30, 2011
Normativity aspect – ideal form of marriage and should be practiced as such, because
marriage sets up the site of civic virtues and the virtues developed are unique to marriage,
or sets people up to learn those things (i.e. mutual respect, responsibility, etc.)
Problematic because when we argue for a version of marriage because it
reinforces the traditional view of the family. (Calhoun) We should question the
traditional value itself (i.e. do we need a man and a woman)
Gender Based Argument
1. Same-sex relationships tend to be more egalitarian than heterosexual ones
2. Same sex relationships set an example heterosexuals will follow
3. But there are two essential kinds of people – men and women
4. And, only heterosexual unions preserve gender differences (and therefore, male
dominance) in homosexual relationships there is no gender difference;
perversion of gender difference
5. So, prohibiting same-sex marriage is a away of preserving male domination,
therefore is sex discrimination
6. And allowing same sex marriage challenges sexism
People are hostile towards same-sex marriage because heterosexual relationships threaten
the male-dominance feature of a patriarchal society.
More egalitarian:
Suggestion is empirical copes are more equal to one another
Set example heterosexuals follow
Disrupt traditional values
Against: (1) assumes an empirical fact
Only difference in these relationships is heterosexism – gender just disguises this
Heterosexism Argument:
Pre-political – foundation for liberal society and all societies; and defined externally. If
heterosexual marriage is defined this way, then the state protects it. Foundational –
necessary for society to even arrive (state must protect for it’s own society) not true.
Lose natural sense of priority. Homosexual marriage is not a free choice so therefore the
state must remain neutral
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