The haters who said that polygamy would follow same-sex marriage

Back when same-sex marriage was the subject of referenda (eventually rendered irrelevant by the Supreme Court), the haters said that same-sex marriage was the camel nose under the tent for polygamy. This was an outrageous calumny. See “Polygamy Is Not Next” (TIME, 2015), for example and “No, Polygamy Isn’t the Next Gay Marriage” (Politico, 2015): “Opposing the legalization of plural marriage should not be my burden, because gay marriage and polygamy are opposites, not equivalents.”

From CNN, six years later: “Three dads, a baby and the legal battle to get their names added to a birth certificate”:

This isn’t news, actually, but we’re just hearing about it now…

The judge ruled in their favor before their daughter Piper was born in 2017. Jenkins believes they are the first polyamorous family in California, and possibly the country, to be named as the legal parents of a child.

The journalists want us to know how much better this is than when there are two squabbling opposite-sex parents:

The dads and their children share a bustling house with two Goldendoodles named Otis and Hazel.

“We’ve had zero negative feedback from coworkers and friends. Everyone seems to just be delighted about the arrangement and that’s because they know us,” Jenkins says. “I think some people will look at this and say like, ‘Oh, this is exotic. It’s going to harm the child.’ But people who know us know that we have been taking care of these kids as best as we possibly can.”

That however hopeless things may seem as a young gay man struggling to fit in, the world is changing. And that he’ll someday find more love under one roof than he ever imagined.

(If two dads are good, maybe three are better! See The happiest children in Spain live with two daddies,)

From my inbox, “How Polyamorists and Polygamists Are Challenging Family Norms” (New Yorker): “Campaigns for legal recognition may soon make multiple-partner marriages as unremarkable as same-sex marriages.

Some excerpts:

The next year, in an online forum, they saw a post from a woman in her early thirties named Julie Halcomb that said, “I’m a single mom, I’ve got a two-year-old daughter, and I’d like to learn more.” Rich wrote, “If you want to know more, ask my wives.” Angela had opposed adding a third wife, but when she got off her first call with Julie she said, “O.K., when is she moving in?” Julie visited, mostly to make sure that the kids would get along, and joined the household permanently a week later.

Their living arrangements attracted other unwelcome attention. Neighbors called the police, and Child Protective Services interviewed the children. Since there was only one marriage certificate, the police couldn’t file bigamy charges. “They said, ‘We don’t like it, but there’s nothing we can do,’ ” Julie recalled. “But we had them at our door constantly. One of the kids would have an accident at school—we’d have them there again. They were constantly trying to find signs of abuse.”

At the family’s largest, Rich had four wives, but when I met him, a couple of years ago, he and Angela were divorcing, and another woman, April, had come and gone. Rich, Brandy, and Julie were living with their kids—six, including Rich’s and Julie’s from earlier relationships—and saw Angela’s two every other weekend.

The Austins would like one day to enjoy the legal benefits that married couples take for granted. Brandy and Julie take heart from the success of the gay-marriage movement. “I’ve got a wedding invitation on the way from a friend who’s transitioning from female to male,” Julie said. “I’ve got classmates that came out almost twenty years ago. They’ve been lucky enough to get married. I wish people would be as accepting with us as we try to be of everyone else.”

We already have functional polygamy in the U.S. An American doesn’t need to settle for the highest-earning partner whom he/she/ze/they can find for a long-term marriage. He/she/ze/they can have sex once with an already-married high-income defendant and earn more via child support (see Hunter Biden’s plaintiff) than by getting married to a mediocre earner and enduring his/her/zer/their presence in the apartment 24/7. Soon we can have de jure polygamy?

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Raping by lying

“You Were Duped Into Saying Yes. Is That Still Consent?” (New York Times, March 5):

Imagine the following hypothetical situation: Frank and Ellen meet at a night course and end up getting drinks together after class several times. The drinks start to feel like dates, so Ellen asks Frank if he is married, making it clear that adultery is a deal-breaker for her. Frank is married, but he lies and says he is single. The two go to bed. Is Frank guilty of rape?

To many feminist legal scholars, the law’s failure to regard sexual fraud as a crime — when fraud elsewhere, such as fraud in business transactions, is taken to invalidate legal consent — shows that we are still beholden to an antiquated notion that rape is primarily a crime of force committed against a chaste, protesting victim, rather than primarily a violation of the right to control access to one’s body on one’s own terms.

The author, Roseanna Sommers, is a law professor and she essentially concludes that Frank did rape Ellen.

If the goal of “feminist legal scholars” is to help those who identify as “women”, I wonder if lying = rape will actually be helpful. Perhaps the theory is that this will be good for those who identify as “women” eager to file rape lawsuits because it is almost exclusively those who identify as “men” who lie to obtain consent. But the hypothetical example isn’t comprehensive. If Ellen is having sex in order to turn a profit via child support, for example, Frank being married actually improves her chances of getting consistently paid for 23 years (if Frank can’t pay, his beleaguered spouse will work and pay). What if Ellen were to say “It’s okay because I’m on the Pill”? She still has a good claim for $2 million in tax-free child support, but now Frank can file a civil lawsuit against her for rape and receive some of that money back (and then Ellen can file a child support modification lawsuit saying that Frank’s new wealth entitles her to higher monthly checks?).

Let’s tweak the story a little, to align it with a common lie

Frank asks Ellen if she has previously slept with more than 100 sex partners, making it clear that being a Tinder super user is a deal-breaker for him. Ellen is Tinderlicious, but she lies and says she hasn’t had sex with anyone since the Obama years. The two go to bed. Is Ellen guilty of rape?

Would it be a positive, from a feminist perspective, for Ellen to face a lawsuit in which sexual history is a legitimate subject for cross-examination?

How about financial matters? “Do Americans marry for love or money?” (MarketWatch):

Some 56% of Americans say they want a partner who provides financial security more than “head over heels” love (44%), a recent survey released by Merrill Edge, an online discount brokerage and division of Bank of America Merrill Lynch BAC, +1.18%, found. This sentiment is held in almost equal measure by both men and women (54% and 57%).

Should someone who identifies as a “woman” be exposed to a rape lawsuit because she purportedly told someone at a club that she expected to be promoted to a lucrative executive position that, in fact, did not materialize and that a reasonable person should not have expected? After a year of sex without the promotion materializing, the “duped-at-the-club” person now has a rape claim?

What about people who have difficulty remembering what they said years ago? “New state law extends the statute of limitations for rape in New York” (CNN):

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation Wednesday that extends the statute of limitations for certain cases of rape and other sex crimes. He was joined at the signing by actresses… And under the law, victims now have 20 years in which to bring a civil suit for the offenses.

(and maybe Governor Cuomo was joined by some of those actresses after the signing as well?)

Suppose that a plaintiff sues Dianne Feinstein, alleging that the 87-year-old senator committed rape by lying in 2000, when she was 67 years old. That’s within the statute of limitations for rape, but are 20-year-old statements within the likely memory of an 87-year-old? Unless Feinstein is much sharper than the average 87-year-old and can testify convincingly, the $88 million that she acquired via marriage can be mined out by the plaintiff?

The good news is that the taxpayers of Michigan paid Professor Sommers to think about these issues! (or, if $billions for universities is buried somewhere in the latest $1.9 trillion spending package, perhaps taxpayers nationwide paid for this idea)

The scales of Justice, Gainesville, Florida, January 2021:

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Gender studies: Maverique or Nuetrois?

An applicant for a Vermont state-sponsored job was confronted with the following form:

Note that it is unclear whether Nuetrois is a new gender identity or simply a variant spelling of the familiar gender identity Neutrois.

How about Maverique?

Maverique is a gender identity that is characterized by autonym towards manhood or womanhood, while having the internal conviction that it is unrelated or not derived from none of the binary genders,[1] while this is not a genderlessness or a gender apathy nor a gender neutrality.

That’s from the Simple English Wikipedia.

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How many Christmas/New Year cards did you get that specified pronouns?

I wonder if we can track trends via Christmas/New Year’s cards. Out of roughly 100 cards, we received one with explicit pronouns. This was from a Ph.D. engineer (colleague of Dr. Jill Biden, MD?) who opened by characterizing 2020 as “bizarre” (the Swedish MD/PhDs might agree with him that it is bizarre for middle aged people to cower in place for a year to avoid a 0.1% chance of nasty flu symptoms or worse). Here’s an excerpt from the letter:

[usually-female name] (they/them) left [Company A] to join [Company B]… a few months later they left [Company B] to become a consultant for [Company C]… they have the distinction of having been hired twice of having been hired twice during a difficult time for employment generally.

Pronouns are also specified for two additional children, the author (“he/him”) and the mother of the three kids (“she/her”).

I have gotten accustomed to receiving business correspondence, e.g., from Linode, festooned with pronoun specifications, but can’t recall too many previous personal letters containing them (their/theirs). Readers: what did you get in your mailboxes this year in terms of pronoun specs?

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LGBTQIA+ is a popular cause with employers because it cuts parental leave costs?

Is LGBTQIA the most popular social justice cause because it does not require giving money? looked at the question of why individuals might love to wave the rainbow flag.

What about employers, though? Why is it Pride Month Every Month at employers whose businesses don’t relate to romance, sex, gender reassignment surgery, or anything else that might seem directly related to LGBTQIA+?

Let’s consider heterosexual sex acts from an employer’s point of view. These encounters regularly result in the accidental production of children whose existence then leads to (1) up to a year of paid parental leave during which time employee productivity is zero, (2) additional years or decades of reduced productivity, and (3) massive increases in costs for health insurance (or health care for the self-insured employer).

From a rational employer’s point of view, therefore, it makes sense to promote all things LGBTQIA+. From my 2016 visit to the Facebook campus (see Open-pit Coding), for example:

Another way to look at it, which of the follow individuals would you rather employ?


  • Broody hen compared to gravid human in the office: “Just as a broody hen negatively impacts a farmer’s productivity, a gravid human poses a significant inconvenience to her employer. That’s why companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple pay for female employees to extract and freeze their eggs. It’s great to see tech companies empowering women the same way that factory farms empower their battery hens!”
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My pronouns are He/Her

A physicist friend lives in San Francisco and likes to have fun with psychology. Thus, whenever asked for pronouns, which is a common occurrence out there, the physicist’s response is “He/Her”. This leads to a brain freeze in the recipient of the information and an inability to form sentences.

This does raise a question of why people ask for “pronouns” rather than “pronoun”. Most of the customer support notes that I get from people at Linode, where this blog is hosted, are signed “Joe (He/Him)”, “Mary (She/Her)”, or similar. To avoid the cross-pronoun situation above, wouldn’t it be better to sign “Joe (He)” or “Mary (Her)”?

Part of an email from our local public school (in which, thanks to the First Amendment, there is no possibility of insisting that people follow an established religion…):

The link goes to a Human Rights Campaign Foundation page, “Talking About Pronouns in the Workplace” (why talk about work when you can talk about pronouns?)

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Social Justice Christmas Gifts

What Would Jesus Give this Christmas? Here are my ideas…

The GayBCs, a book for 4-8-year-olds.

A is for ALLY.
A friend who is there
to stand up for you
with strength, love, and care.

B is for BI.
You can shout it out loud:
“I like boys and girls,
and that makes me proud!”

C is for COMING OUT.
You’re ready to share
what you feel deep inside;
it’s okay to be scared.

Note to computer programmers: Nobody wants you to share what you feel deep inside.

The book gets 4.5 stars on Amazon.

(Should S be for Sashay if we are trying to teach away from stereotypes?)

How about this one…

H is for HATER

Who won’t buy the GayBCs

And don’t forget to “Queer Your Screen Time”. From a companion document:

What if you don’t have a 4-8-year-old who needs to learn about LGBTQIA+ terminology? From … dress like Goya Employee of the Month AOC in a $58 sweatshirt:

Miss your inexpensive and plentiful Ubers? Also from AOC, a $28 hat to demonstrate your advocacy of open borders for low-skill migrants:

You might also want this $30 T shirt from Ilhan Omar:

A $34 “Justice from Detroit to Gaza” T shirt from Rashida Tlaib:

Readers: What are your best ideas for social justice gifts?

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New York Times style: Mx. Jones

“The Rich Kids Who Want to Tear Down Capitalism” (NYT):

Heirs whose wealth has come from a specific source sometimes use that history to guide their giving. Pierce Delahunt, a 32-year-old “socialist, anarchist, Marxist, communist or all of the above,” has a trust fund that was financed by their former stepfather’s outlet mall empire. (Mx. Delahunt takes nongendered pronouns.)

“When I think about outlet malls, I think about intersectional oppression,” Mx. Delahunt said. There’s the originally Indigenous land each mall was built on, plus the low wages paid to retail and food service workers, who are disproportionately people of color, and the carbon emissions of manufacturing and transporting the goods. With that on their mind, Mx. Delahunt gives away $10,000 a month, divided between 50 small organizations, most of which have an anticapitalist mission and in some way tackle the externalities of discount shopping.

A friend who was a reporter for this paper in the 1980s told me that they wouldn’t write “Dr. Jones” for a mere Ph.D. Jones had to be an actual medical doctor. I think the paper has been doing “Mx.” for a while, but I didn’t notice until recently.

The article is also interesting for the unchallenged idea that immigrants from India are victims:

“The narrative of giving away everything feels like it’s being framed by white inheritors,” said Elizabeth Baldwin, a 34-year-old democratic socialist in Cambridge, Mass., who was adopted from India by a white family when she was a baby. Heirs in her position, she said, must decide whether to redistribute to their own communities or others’, and what it means to give up economic privilege when they don’t have the kind of safety net that comes with being white. She plans to keep enough of her inheritance to buy an apartment and raise a family, enjoying the sort of pleasant middle-class existence denied to many people of color in the United States.

Because her adoptive family’s wealth originated in land ownership and slavery, she donates to anti-racist groups and will soon begin making low-interest loans to Black-owned businesses. “The money I’m living on was made from exploiting people that look like me, so I see my giving as reparations,” she said.

Black Americans look like Indian-Americans? Is it time for an update of People of color from India can’t lead a middle-class existence in the U.S.? Is that because they earn 2X the median and therefore have to live an upper-middle-class existence? From Wikipedia:

Indian Americans have risen to become the richest ethnicity in America, with an average household income of $126,891 (compared to the US average of $65,316).

The rich and righteous don’t like stocks for the long run:

“My money is mostly stocks, which means it comes from underpaying and undervaluing working-class people, and that’s impossible to disconnect from the economic legacies of Indigenous genocide and slavery,” Ms. Gelman said.

Maybe it would be possible to get hold of some of Ms. Gelman’s cash by creating a mutual fund of stocks in companies that don’t have a significant number of employees and/or that pay high wages to employees because all of the crummy jobs have been outsourced to contractors?

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Queer Ecology at Muir Woods

From a November 17, 2020 visit to Muir Woods…

Nature is rarely as simple as A, B, or C, especially in the “Queer Woods.”

Preservation of these trees from the commercial saw is mostly due to Native Americans and people who identified as “women”:

“Indigenous” is another way to be queer, apparently. The Native Americans are lumped into this sign series ($100,000 fine and one year in Federal prison if a Native American were to take offense and remove one):

If you’re going to have sex, it is ideal to follow the examples set by the banana slug and some butterflies (“same sex behaviors”):

Some miscellaneous photos, including an explanation of how bad it is for salmon when a river is “straight”:

(What’s the situation at Muir Woods during coronapanic? Parking reservations are required. Hardly anyone was there on a rainy day. About 75 percent of the visitors wore masks when wandering around the empty trails, though wearing a mask was not required.)

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Rainbow flags for our prisons?

Here’s a luxury resort in the Catskills that you might not want to visit… Federal Correctional Institution, Otisville:

As we looked down from the Cirrus SR20 (IFR training), it occurred to me that the prison is lacking one thing: a rainbow flag. I’m hopeful that President Harris will correct this and then the prison can be renamed “Ministry of Love is Love”.

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