• Tue, Sep 11 2012

Gay Marriage And Incest Are Pretty Much The Same Thing, Right?

Director Nick Cassavetes has an interesting take on love.

His new film, Yellow, is about the “love affair” between a sister and brother, and as he told The Warp, “love who you want.”

Come on, guys, incest isn’t exactly that big of a deal. It’s love, and love is never wrong as long as you follow your heart, right? Or at least this is what one is to gather from Cassevetes’ pretty earnest statement. Love and let love, even if it’s your brother.

The appalling factor of incest and the biological ramifications on any offspring aside, Cassavetes went on to pretty much compare incest to gay marriage:

“Who gives a shit if people judge you? I’m not saying this is an absolute but in a way, if you’re not having kids – who gives a damn? Love who you want. Isn’t that what we say? Gay marriage – love who you want? If it’s your brother or sister it’s super-weird, but if you look at it, you’re not hurting anybody except every single person who freaks out because you’re in love with one another.”

OK.

While the point he’s trying to make is clear, he goes about it all wrong. For starters incest is, by most civilized people, considered a vile union between two relatives. It’s not only frowned upon, but is illegal in most places. (I could totally make an Appalachia joke here, but I won’t.)

Gay marriage, on the other hand, is far from vile. It’s not even in the same category of incest no matter how hard you try to put it there. (This is where the far right jumps in to object.) Yes, it may be illegal in some places at the moment, but not for long. The likelihood of incest ever becoming legal or accepted by society is pretty low — not just because it’s been ingrained in our heads that it’s wrong, but on an evolutionary scale, it doesn’t make sense. If brothers and sisters started fucking, the human race would be kaput in no time. It’s amazing that the royal families of the world are still around at the rate they practiced incest back in the day.

If Cassavetes needed to make an analogy in regards to incest, he probably could have chosen a better form of “love.” Like, say, bestiality, or maybe even necrophilia. Either of these would have been far more on par with incest than gay marriage will ever be. Like I said, I see the point he’s trying to get across, but putting those two topics in the same breath feels as though he’s not only setting back how far the acceptance of gay marriage has come (finally!), but he’s also giving them both the same “ew” factor. Gay marriage isn’t “ew;” incest is “ew.”

But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe my view of incest is coming from a place of ignorance, and I just don’t get it. (Frankly, I don’t want to get it.) The day I start thinking about getting down and dirty with a family member, is the day I march back up to Beth Israel, ask them to commit me, lock the door and throw away the key.

I know there’s going to be two sides to this one, so let’s discuss. Thoughts?

 

Photo: Retna

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  • porkchop

    This is what happens when you turn to film directors for guidance on relationships.

    Also: I had no idea before this moment that John Cassavetes’ son made the Notebook and Her Sister’s Keeper. Sometimes the apple falls far from the tree, and then rolls 100 miles downhill and into an open sewer.

  • holleeta

    I composed a fairly long, serious response and it’s not here. I’m fucking pissed.

    • anya

      same here! i wrote an in-depth, insightful paragraph that I was very proud of and the comment didn’t post!

    • Amanda Chatel

      Hmmm… I’m going to talk to tech about this! It’s fucked up!

    • Liz G

      me too. Maybe it went through? I got subscribed to follow up comments, but my comment has poofed.

  • Nefreet

    Also, the argument being made by same-sex marriage proponents in courts of law all across the United States right now isn’t about “loving who you love”. They’re arguing that marriage is a gender neutral civil contract between two people, and that one shouldn’t be discriminated against simply because they have the same genitalia.

    In other words, assuming same-sex marriage becomes the law of the land, you could not follow up that victory in a court of law using the same logic to marry your sibling.

    • Sophianova

      Why not let three unrelated gay men enter into a plural marriage. Or how about three unrelated straight women? Where is it chiseled in stone that two people in a marriage is the sacred number and that it should never be changed?

  • Tania

    Weird, this is giving me the “older comments” option, but the second page is blank!