Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Shop Class Sexuality

So, following the old CofC boards again, and some brilliant young gentleman just decided to explain how homosexuality is unnatural via the illustration of electrical wiring. Basically, his argument was you can't connect two male ends of a wire or two female ends of a wire and get a circuit, you have to connect a male end and a female end.

My first thought was: Please, tell me that you didn't just reduce human sexuality to electrical wiring. My second was: Wait a minute, I don't think that analogy works quite right.

So, if I'm remembering correctly from my days back in the old shop class male and female connectors on both plumbing and wiring are arbitrarily placed onto a completely neutral wire or pipe. Unlike, say a magnet with a two ends with opposite forces, the pipe or the wire doesn't have a set male or female end. So, I could place two female connectors on both ends of a wire or on both ends of a pipe. And with a little creative thinking, I could get around the apparent problems of making a circuit with two male or two female connectors -- Cut the connectors strip a bit of the insulation from the wires and twist: yeah, it still needs a positive and negative end, but the analogy just doesn't work. Same thing with pipes. Give me a pipe cutter and some glue or a soldering torch, and -- heck -- I think you can buy converters for these things at your local hardware store. (Do I want/need to continue the metaphor at this point? No, not really.) Anyway, the analogy breaketh done and quickly at that. Because the key to ruling a shop is to be a creative thinker!

Beyond the bad analogies, the reduction of sexuality into wiring and then into reproduction (does this mean he got to second base in the sexual shaming game?) seems to just be another case of the disgust for sexuality in language discussed by dw3t-hthr:
We build this world with our hands and our voices, and some people choose to build it with words that mould it out of sexual shame and contempt even for their own partners.
It's fascinating, in a morbid sort of way, just how many collective unconscious hang-ups are revealed through off-hand language.

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