Campus Dailywatch (2009-02-18)

Today’s Dartmouth has a pretty inane op-ed about Cornell’s LGBT group’s Valentine’s Day kiss-in, half of which just summarizes the Cornell Daily Sun article about the kiss-in and the other half of which states some things that seem pretty self-evident to me:

But at the same time, I think the shock value some of us find in “Queer Kissin’” says a lot about where we stand as a culture. We may be a relatively tolerant generation — on an intellectual level — but, in practice, we are not nearly as accepting as we claim to be. The Cornell kiss-in encourages us to reevaluate and question the tacit beliefs and prejudices we may not have known we had. By pulling these skeletons out of the closet, I think, we as a society can grow more accepting and understanding of varying opinions and lifestyles.

As if this is a unique discovery that Kevin Niparko ’12 (the author of the column) made himself! At Princeton, I’ve talked to quite a few people in the past week who said that they were all for gay rights, but why did the Pride Alliance’s “LOVE = LOVE” posters, featuring same-sex couples kissing, have to shove it in their faces? This is hardly an unusual phenomenon.

People like relationships—or anything else—that they can identify and classify. If a same-sex relationship can effectively be disguised as an opposite-sex relationship, and if all mention of the fact that the same-sex couple might be having sex is omitted, then we can reliably pretend that our conception of normativity and morality isn’t being challenged. But that’s no way to tolerance, really. It’s more along the lines of forced assimilation. We’ve got to take the “but” out of “I’m all for gay rights, but…”—and I don’t think it takes a Dartmouth freshman to point that out.

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