In case you’re wondering, I’m referring to this “news” story. (I’m pleased to note that after only a day I had to go digging to find that).
So what’s wrong, you might ask, with straight people wanting civil partnerships? We’re all about equal rights for everyone, right?
Absolutely. And on any other day I wouldn’t give a flying fuck about what straight people get up to. The problem with this story, as is so often the case, is that this is privilege run rampant.
Privilege, as a recap, is the force those in the positions of power use to ensure they stay there. In this case, we’re talking about straight privilege.
A quick example: two people are applying for a job, one is straight, one is a lesbian. The application form asks for their sexuality. Now, a lot of companies claim they don’t discriminate based on sexuality, but do we really know they don’t? So the straight person happily puts in their sexuality, and sends off the application. Their biggest anxiety is wondering if they’ll get called for an interview.
The lesbian, however, now faces a choice: does she put her true sexuality, and risk being overlooked because of it, or does she lie? If she lies, are there going to be situations where she will be found out, and will there be consequences because of this? Now she has a whole host of anxieties before she even sends off the application.
This is straight privilege.
How does this tie into the story about civil partnerships? Well, you just have to look at the history of them. Civil Partnerships were used as the appeasement when the churches wouldn’t allow the government to pass same-sex marriage. It was the infuriating result of years of campaigning, and wasn’t even what we were after.
Straight people already have full marriage, why the hell do they want the not as good, appeasement queer people were offered?
Honestly, because it seems like straight people just have to have everything the queer people have. And of course they do; the world has been engineered to favour them for so long that they feel it is their right.
This story annoys me in particular because, when it first appeared 3 years ago, it sucked up so much media time and attention. Time and attention that could have been used on the continuing campaigning of queer people for their equal rights. But they weren’t nice straight people, so of course the media went to them.
The other part that really annoys me is this pair bleating on about how they’re being “discriminated” against.
YOU CANNOT DISCRIMINATE AGAINST THE PEOPLE WITH THE POWER. THAT IS LITERALLY WHAT PRIVILEGE IS.
So yeah, most days I don’t give a fuck what straight people are up to. But you don’t get to swan in and claim that queer people are denying you rights when you’ve literally been doing that to us for millennia.
Straight folks, come pick up your people.