Confused Children & Complicated Centimetres
An American toy store, which isn’t usually known for its progressive agenda, is selling, among thousands of other things, a comic that dared to show a married gay couple.Some conservatives are outraged about kids being confronted with something nasty as love between two persons of the same gender. They say kids can’t handle that stuff. Oh really? On a side note: It’s ironic how they think children can’t comprehend the concept of sexual equality because they can’t understand sexuality, yet they charge the same kids as sex offenders when they’re as young as 6.
Anyway, Puppystuff has a nice analogy about this issue: “I keep seeing this argument from homophobic representatives that children should be sheltered from portrayals of gay romance because it’s ‘too complicated’ of a topic for them to understand. Every time I see it I’m reminded of a story.
When I was seventeen, I had a driving instructor who just went by “The Reverend” (I think this is because he used to be a reverend). He was a decent driving instructor; his advanced age hadn’t taken the same rasp to his perception and reaction time that it had taken to his voice and features. He told good stories about his time as a driving instructor, and his instruction was firm without being harsh. I never really had any awkward conversations with The Reverend.
Until we had a conversation about the Metric System.
The Reverend didn’t like the metric system. It was ‘too complicated’, with all its millimeters and centiliters, and it was all too much for him and he wanted to stick with what he knew, ‘cause it was simpler. This threw my high-school brain for a loop; were we talking about the same metric system? The kind with organized, powers-of-ten conversion, with clearly delineated systems for each method of measurement? It was completely beyond my ken that anyone could look at the hodge-podge mess of the Imperial Unit system, with its arbitrary methods of conversion, its frequently redundant and misleading labelling, and say “this is way simpler than that European goofiness.”
But the Reverend liked it. When pressed on why he thought the metric system was complicated, he muttered a few numbers, and one jumped out at me — two point two. The number of pounds in a kilogram.
The Reverend thought the metric system was complicated because he had to convert to it from Imperial. He couldn’t comprehend a remarkably simple system because he was approaching it from a complicated one that he knew by heart.
Homosexuality is not complicated. It does not confuse children at all. Over and over again we see instances of children asking questions about gay couples and, when the explanation is given to them, understanding perfectly. Children aren’t capable of the kinds of lust and love as adults are, so seeing two grown men or women in love is no more alien to them than seeing one of each in a relationship.
But to the homophobic parents of children, they find themselves halted and flummoxed by a concept for which their current system of measurement has no unit. The conversion to a simple idea about love is too complicated, coming from an archaic and narrow set of beliefs. They can’t imagine trying to explain homosexual love to their children even if they wanted to — they imagine it must be hard for the children because it’s hard for them.
Come on, you silly grown-ups. Homophobia is complicated. Homosexuality is not.”