Yet another unsympathetic article

Here you will find the latest round of crap about GSA, this time questioning it’s very existence. On with the show:

Names are a big deal. Would Marion Mitchell Morrison have become an American icon if he hadn’t changed his name to John Wayne? Would Elton John have become a pop superstar and byword for flamboyance if he’d stuck with Reg Dwight?

Would the irrefutable evidence that Barack Hussein Obama was born in the USA and is a practising Christian have been as wilfully and widely ignored if he was named Barry Harold O’Brien? For that matter, would Sonny Bill Williams command such attention if his name didn’t fold into a distinctive abbreviation?

So? People are entitled to change their names if they so choose in order to gain more success in the world, that’s hardly a new thing.

Then there’s the technique of using neologisms or euphemisms to give unusual behaviour a gloss of respectability or obscure the true nature of awful acts.

Well, just maybe sometimes those ‘unlawful acts’ should not be unlawful. GSA is NOT a euphemism, it is a genuine phenomenon. Yes, it involves two people who are closely related entering into a sexual relationship, it shouldn’t matter if this is brought about by GSA or not, people should have the right to choose their own partners without state interference.

“Polyamorism,” for instance, is having multiple sexual partners of both genders who in turn have multiple partners. You have to admit it sounds a bit better than “rampant promiscuity” and way better than “shagging anything that moves”.

The writer is clearly showing his prejudices here. Polyamory is not necessarily ‘shagging anything that moves’ as he so eloquently put it. There are plenty of closed triads where the three are as committed to each other as a regular couple would be. Somehow I doubt this writer would have similar qualms about the REAL promiscuity that happens each friday and saturday night when people go to nightclubs, get blind drunk, and then shag some random stranger. Promiscuity and polyamory are NOT the same thing and they should not be treated as the same.

(Polyamorics categorise disapproval of their activities as “polyphobia”, which is presumably resentment of people who are getting more sex than you are.)

It is a myth that poly people get more sex, the same crap was said about bisexuals and that also proves to be untrue.

“Extraordinary rendition” could mean just about anything. In fact, it’s agents of country A kidnapping a resident of country B and transferring him to a secret facility in country C, usually for the purposes of torture. And of course genocide is now known as “ethnic cleansing,” a term that suits war criminals down to the ground because you can skim over it without entirely registering that a whole bunch of people were slaughtered.

This has exactly what to do with people sex lives? I agree that this is bad, the same as civilian war victims being called ‘collateral damage’ is bad. This is still off-topic just a little.

Which brings us to incest or, as we now have to call it in certain cases, Genetic Sexual Attraction (GSA).

Well, GSA is not a euphemism for incest, it is a phenomenon in which reunited family members become attracted to each other, and sometimes this leads to sexual relationships. So it might LEAD to biological incest (in the case of GSA it is not sociologically incest because they did not grow up together and the Westermarck effect did not have the chance to develop), but the feelings themselves cannot be defined as incest.

GSA is the phenomenon of close relatives who meet for the first time as adults and can’t keep their hands off each other. As in Kim West (51) and her son Ben Ford (32) who have just unapologetically outed themselves as a couple.

I think they probably should have been more careful about outing themselves in this way, as it has provoked a lot of hate against them. People such as the author of this article are contributing to the hate.

Briton West got pregnant at 19 while studying in California. She put her son up for adoption; 30 years passed. A couple of years ago Ford tracked her down and it was lust at first sight.

Three days after they had sex for the first time, Ford told his wife he was leaving her for his mother.

Would you prefer that he string his wife along and pretend that everything is okay? Would that be fair to either him, his mother or his wife? I don’t think that is a viable option, do you? It’s better to leave his wife than to be sneaking around committing adultery. At least he had the balls to do the right thing.

According to Charlotte Gill, the writer of a Daily Telegraph article that also appeared in the Herald, GSA is real, more widespread than we think and we’d better get used to it.

Yes, it is more widespread than people think, people only assume its rare because it doesn’t get spoken about. Ditto for non-GSA consanguinamory.

Call me sceptical. That’s partly personal experience: my family emigrated from the UK when I was two and the best part of three decades elapsed before I met any aunts, uncles or cousins. When I did so, GSA was conspicuous by its absence. Without ever having discussed it with my sisters – for some reason the subject just never came up – I’m pretty sure the same goes for them.

Well then, you’re one of the 50% of people who are reunited with relatives who DON’T experience GSA feelings, good for you. That fact however, does not give you the right to hate on the other 50% who do. Also, just because you never discussed it with your sisters, does not mean that none of them had GSA feelings secretly and never told anyone. People tend not to tell all and sundry that kind of thing.

The evidence that there’s such a thing as GSA is pretty thin. The term was coined in the 1980s by American Barbara Gonyo who went weak at the knees when she was reunited with the son she’d given up for adoption.

The evidence is only thin because people aren’t doing the research, and they aren’t doing the research because they are put off by all the bigotry.

This is both self-diagnosis, hardly the most reliable scientific methodology, and self-serving. (Ford told a magazine, “This is not incest, it’s GSA.” Understandably: in Michigan, where he and his mother are shacked up, plain old incest is a crime punishable by life imprisonment.)

By calling it a ‘diagnosis’ you make it sound as though it is an illness, which it is most certainly not. As for self-serving, not really. Any group of people has the right to label and define themselves, it is part of their identity which should be celebrated, not condemned.

As to the anti-incest laws, life imprisonment for consensual sex with another adult is ridiculous, insane, inhumane and immoral, not to mention a tremendous waste of public resources.

Gill refers to a single study but glibly skates over the lack of scientific evidence: “There’s not a great deal of research into the area because who wants a PhD in incest?” How about anyone wanting to persuade us that incest has genetic origins?

Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t, more research is required. In the end it doesn’t really matter, what DOES matter however is removing the stigma and prejudice from such relationships, and guaranteeing people equal rights.

Besides, since when did the scientific community let public opinion influence its areas of research? Each year at Harvard University a committee including Nobel laureates hands out the “Ig Nobels” to scientists engaged in spectacularly frivolous or dubious research. Past winners include a team that explored the viability of a “gay bomb” that would cause enemy troops to become sexually attracted to each other.

Well, leave it to the military to think up something like that, but you can’t make a straight person gay any more than you can make a gay person straight. Likewise you can’t make a consanguine couple change their feelings towards each other, and nor should you.

Gill insists that “those who succumb to GSA are not sickos or freaks but victims who desperately need help and understanding. Their feelings are not controllable.” This characterisation sits uneasily alongside the presentation of West and Ford’s story and their crowing about “incredible and mind-blowing sex”.

True they are not sickos or freaks, but they also are not victims either. They are normal people. The only victimhood they experience is the prejudice of society, and it is society, not they, who must change. Why should their feelings be ‘controlled’… how would anyone like it if they were told that they couldn’t be with somebody just because people say so? Not nice is it, think about what you’re doing and saying please and have a little compassion.

And given the sordid, coercive and traumatising nature of most incest, it seems a little reckless to push a “my DNA made me do it” line, even in unusual cases.

No, incest is NOT traumatizing in the majority of cases, people only hear about an abusive minority because consenting adults have nothing to gain from outing themselves, as articles such as this one and many more hating on Kim West and Ben Ford prove. Most incest is positive or neutral. The only trauma involved is having to keep such relationships secret because of bigotry and prejudice. That is the fault of society, not the couples themselves.

Truth is, we DO NOT KNOW whether there is a genetic element or not, I would say maybe not due to the fact that no ‘gay gene’ has ever been found, therefore it is unlikely that there is an ‘incest gene’. In the end though, it doesn’t matter, these relationships do not deserve such hate and prejudice and society must change it’s attitude.

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2 thoughts on “Yet another unsympathetic article

  1. Another great article. It’s infuriating that science is so often held back by prejudice and superstition. How long are we going to have to wait to find out the truth about consanguineous relationships? I’m dying to know the answers!

    Like

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