As a gender non-conforming individual, I was always utterly confused at why there is such an effort to control gender and place it within the binaries of male/female and as a bisexual individual why there was an effort to control the sexuality of others. Today in theory class I had an “Aha!” moment when discussing Mary Douglas and her analogy of the body. The analogy of the body is so frequently used because it is universal, in a sense. Everyone has a body, everyone has experiences, emotions, and similar such things happen to them whilst in their body. Many of us have a basic knowledge of the inner workings of the body. The body is just the perfect model for society— except when it’s not.
Things that are outside the body (or the norms) are considered dangerous, in a sense, and thus must be regulated. This was my “oh, that’s why so many people think I can’t live my life the way I’d like… it offends their sensibilities” moment. Theory has opened my eyes to why so many different people think the way they think in politics and considering gender and sexuality are two personal interests of mine, I’ve learned more ways to apply theory to these specific concepts as well.
When I think of someone who wants limited government and is generally conservative my mind usually jumps to the image of the loud, spiritual, moral conservative. The one who wants the government to not interfere with their economy or tax them (and often still wants the benefits of public taxpayer-funded
utilities) but wants their government, which in principle should have minimal interference in people’s lives, to interfere with a select few people’s lives by controlling their lives. From banning gay marriage and transgender people from serving in the military to trying to control which bathroom people use to y’know, go to the bathroom, many of those who preach limited government really would like the government to overstep their limits into other people’s personal freedoms. To say the least, it irritates me.
Though my idea of presenting my own gender as neither fully male nor fully female does not affect anyone’s personal life but my own, and my desire to settle down and enjoy the legal benefits of marriage with my girlfriend in the future do not actually have any impact on other people’s “traditional” marriages it is outside of the binaries- male-female, straight-gay, etc and thus is constantly trying to be managed by those inside the “normal” body of society. They claim society will lose its stability, structure— and god forbid the sanctity of marriage if these things were allowed to occur. Yet, it hasn’t destroyed anything but the lives of those overly passionate about trying to police other’s rights.