November 5, 2013

"Kids React to Gay Marriage."

This video has gone viral.

Much as I support same-sex marriage and think these children are adorable, I have a few problems:

1. Using children to get out a political message. They're too young to consent, so it's an invasion of their privacy, and they're too young really to understand the issues, even if their out-of-the-mouths-of-babes opinions charm us (especially when we agree).

2. The video is edited, so we don't hear any "wrong" answers the videographers didn't want us to hear, and we don't hear the extent of the leading questions and promptings by the adults... which takes us back to point 1: using children. When you do things with children, that particular child's interests must be placed first.

3. These children — at least most of them — have probably already been indoctrinated. We're told they are "from California." What schools have they attended? What have they been told? Do they even know what sexual feeling is? Do they understand the issue basically in terms of being nice to other people and liking what you like?


Lyssa said...

It's well documented in law and psychology that people have a misguided idea that children are excellent, uncorruptable witnesses. This is absolutely untrue; children are very manipulable and can be convinced (indoctrinated) to say just about anything.

Meade said...

Exploitation, even for a perceived good cause, is still exploitation, misuse, and oppression.

Oso Negro said...

It isn't gay marriage that is objectionable, it is the inevitable indoctrination of children that attends the mainstreaming of homosexuality.

Shouting Thomas said...

This is the inevitable result of your pigheaded, stupid attack on tradition and language, Althouse.

I used to get angry about your bonehead stupidity and fag hag sentimentalism about this absurd bullshit. That was a waste of time.

You may be a hard headed, erudite scholar in just about other area. Here, you're just a moron. Your stupidity and cluelessness are funny. Worthy of a Monty Python skit.

This video is not a misstep. It is the natural path your stupidity will take us. And, it's funny as hell. You are an absolutely ridiculous clown on this subject.

No point in getting angry. Just laugh. What else can you do when an educated, professional woman who should have some sense behaves like an utter fool?

I'm not here to fix the world. I'm just here to enjoy the ride. I decided some time ago to cease being annoyed by your foolishness and to laugh at you. There is nothing else to do.

Henry said...

At six, my daughter announced she was going to marry her best friend. I broke her heart when I told her she'd have to move to Massachusetts. "I don't want to move to Massachusetts!"

Well now, she wouldn't need to move to Massachusetts and we've moved to Massachusetts anyway.

MadisonMan said...

I really dislike those public proposals that are IMO all about the person proposing (Look how cool I am!!!) and not about the proposal at all.

LOL at the 13-yo boy commenting on the fineness of the man's suit.

C Stanley said...

My experience with my own kids and others had been that they (when young) seem to naturally think homosexuality is bizarre, and they were incredulous that abortion occurs. Now, maybe they've been influenced by their red state surroundings but we never purposely coached those early reactions.

A funny anecdote...I had introduced my son at around 6 to the classic Looney Tunes, the Rabbit of Seville. At the ending when Bugs in drag weds Elmer Fudd my son cracked up and said "Boys can't marry boys!"

A few days later a gay friend was visiting and my son insisted that we show her the cartoon. I was glad he liked and wanted to share it but after it started I was sweating it when I remembered his comment but we managed to distract him at the end before he had a chance to create an awkward situation.

rhhardin said...

Marriage is a union of one man and a series of ever-younger women.

Bizarro the modern far-side.

Sigivald said...

I am right there with you on that.

I'm ambivalent-to-positive on gay marriage (and just positive on civil unions).

And I think that's a cheap-trick tactic that avoids actually confronting the issues that people who actually have issues with the topic have - it's pointless and insulting.

Henry said...

Avoiding the "inevitable indoctrination of children" is very hard, no matter what you're talking about. Parents teach their children their own culture both explicitly and implicitly. Indoctrination is the water children swim in.

Avoiding "exploitation" is easier. But still. Is it just politics where cultural expression turns into exploitation? Or is it when expression of any kind is made a public spectacle?

If a child takes part in a Christmas pageant, is that exploitation? What if it's televised?

MadisonMan said...

Well, I guess if children think it's a good idea, then we have to do it.

Let's ask them what to have for dinner tonight too. Because, you know, children know best.

Lauderdale Vet said...

Honestly, I'm trying to figure out what Shouting Thomas is mad about.

SOJO said...

Not big on stuff like this no matter what side is manipulating "the children". A good example is pro- or anti-choice initiatives. They both drag their kids to the rallies and give them signs. Yeech.

Basil said...

TO better understand this, read "we the Living". It will make more sense then, comrade.

hombre said...

The vast majority of new HIV-AIDS cases reported to the CDC each year involve men who have sex with men, less than 5% of the population.

Why wouldn't we want these kids to think gay is great?

mccullough said...

Propaganda is usually bad. Child propaganda is always bad.

mccullough said...

Propaganda is usually bad. Child propaganda is always bad.

Shouting Thomas said...

Honestly, I'm trying to figure out what Shouting Thomas is mad about.

As I said, I'm not. I'm amused.

Althouse's performance on this bullshit is worthy of a Monty Python skit, or a play along the lines of Pere Ube performed by the Ridiculous Theatre.

95% of the time, I like Althouse. Hell, she's entertained me, even here, with her dopey performance.

We are all vain, foolish and infinitely stupid in some area of our lives. Hell, I'm 63 years old and I'm still a pro musician who goes out and plays gig with just about any jackass who calls me up and offers me money.

Gay marriage is to Althouse as global warming is to the algore and Obamacare is to Obama... the perfect intersection of vanity and foolishness. It's the human comedy!

n.n said...

They don't want tolerance of individuals, but normalization of their behavior. This is part of a progressive morality, which is either selective or ambiguous. They think that morality is a perpetually malleable concept which can be corrupted to fit anyone and everyone's whims. They cannot conceive of principles which preclude their dreams of material, physical, and ego instant or immediate gratification.

It's all about sex, money, and abortion. Fuck it. Tax it. Kill it. A progressive morality until we experience a dysfunctional convergence motivated by internal corruption or marginalized by an alien invasion.

Human life remains viable when a man and woman marry and reproduce. It is an easy decision to promote this behavior in a healthy society. It is a necessary step to advance evolutionary fitness.

Human life evolves from conception to death. It is an easy choice to reject commission of murder without cause or due process. A progressive devaluation of human life (e.g. degradation to commodity status) is a threat to everyone.

Unproductive, counterproductive, or dysfunctional behaviors can often be tolerated but there is no legitimate reason to normalize them.

m stone said...

Now if the video the kids were shown included the characters and behavior in a gay pride parade in the Castro District, I suspect the responses would be different.

John Lynch said...

"Morality" is what we call rules we don't like.

"Tolerance" is the rules we do like.

Everyone believes in some set of rules. We argue about whose rules we will use.

JoyD said...

God bless us, every. one. I'm not a churchgoer or even a literal believer, but I think the prime directive is clear.

West Texas Intermediate Crude said...

@SOJO 3:20: Not big on stuff like this no matter what side is manipulating "the children". A good example is pro- or anti-choice initiatives. They both drag their kids to the rallies and give them signs. Yeech.

One side would have an advantage in that discussion, don't you think?

R. Chatt said...

Imagine if children were indoctrinated to believe in equality of all people, basic human rights for all, God loves all, love is a fundamental right and therefore people should be able to love and marry a person of their choice regardless of gender, hating anyone is a contradiction to the belief in a loving God and the teachings of Christianity. Yeah, that's what most of them have been taught obviously.

I also am uncomfortable with the exploitative nature of the video but at the same time I also was impressed by thoughtfulness and deeply felt positions of the children. (The one kid who was strongly opposed to homosexuality and gay marriage obviously had no insecurity about his opinion or expressing it. Apparently he has not been bullied so they haven't been totally indoctrinated.) It wasn't the same as the robotic performance of the children singing the praises of the messiah, Obama, which Meade linked to.

What is childhood essentially but a period of exploration and adjustment to the world you inhabit? It's impossible to not be affected by your surroundings or to be completely neutral, so I would expect the children to have been taught some values. I think they reflected positive values about life which is important.

chuck said...

All kids are indoctrinated. You may wish them indoctrinated differently, but that is an argument you need to have between the parents, not cute kids. So I agree exploiting kids to propagandize adults is a bad form of argument. But I also don't see why everyone should be indoctrinated with the same values.

n.n said...

West Texas Intermediate Crude:

Children? Without a rotting clump of cells clinging to their shoe.

As if destroying and preserving human life are concepts with equal value. Evolutionary fitness often harshes people's mellow. Unfortunately, it is not a principle that requires a consensus.

One million productive Americans.
One million illegal aliens.
One million aborted human lives.

The last group is not favored to survive. Unless they can effectively capture support. A redistributive change scheme, as well as promises of dissociation of risk, would be effective incentives to join their cause.

jacksonjay said...

CBS Evening News - May 9, 2012

Support for same sex marriage is generational and the president said today his children don't understand why same-sex parents would be treated differently.

"It doesn't make sense to them and frankly, that's the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective," Mr. Obama said.

We all know how brilliant President Obama is. Val often speaks of how bored the President is with mere mortals in the room. So it is very telling that Sasha and Malia can change his perspective.

Smilin' Jack said...

""Kids React to Gay Marriage.""

Gay marriage is so yesterday. We need to see kids' reaction to Obamacare.

Marshal said...

West Texas Intermediate Crude said...

One side would have an advantage in that discussion, don't you think?

In response the other side took over the schools.

Ryan said...

I would add:

4. These kids were likely not raised in religious families or exposed to religious doctrines teaching that gay marriage is sinful. In fact, they seem to lack any understanding of "sin" outside the context of criminal behavior. Thus, this presents a one-sided and overly-simplistic view of the gay marriage issue.

I live in California and have three kids (of these same ages) who would give these same answers. At least here in Santa Monica (West LA) there is a very strong secular culture.

Do this same interview with kids in, for example, Utah (where I lived for several years) and you'll get a whole different set of views from the perspective of a child who has been given a religious upbringing.

This is one reason I like California. But, let's not pretend that these kids are pure and un-indoctrinated.

Birches said...

My son was devastated when I told him he wouldn't be able to marry his sister when he grew up. I guess I should have been more tolerant and started a movement so as not to crush his soul.

jr565 said...

What are these kids reactions to Polygamy? Marrying their brother? Marrying dogs? marrying grown ups? Marrying the Eiffel Tower? OR having multiple marriages or harems? Or marrying themselves?

jr565 said...

I'm thinking of writing a book called "Heather has three mommies and two Daddies". I'm going to interview these kids and find out what they think about it.

Kirk Parker said...

Lauderdale Vet,

Shouting Thomas is either (a) a looney with a hard-to-fathom hot button, or (b) a far-sighted individual who understands--more clearly than the average person does--how the destruction of traditional gender roles contributes to the death of Western Civilization (it's certainly not the only contributing factor, of course, but ST often comes across as if he thinks it were.)

Your pick.

Peter said...

All "documentary" films and videos are dishonest. They're dishonest because they force you to look where the camera's pointed, and whatever has been pre-selected by the "documentary" maker as worth looking at.

A nonfiction book may be honest or dishonest, depending on the words in it. But video and film doesn't exist in the universe of honest vs. dishonest, it's all in the world of fiction. Which is honest when labelled "fiction," otherwise not.

As for kids and sex, well, most smaller children would find any and all forms of sexual expression yucky.

And in the end, the real question isn't whether gays may get married, but whether they can be married.

Fritz said...

So, childish people support gay marriage?

Sam L. said...

If they'be been in California public schools, the have been indoctrinated.

Jane said...

Funny article on Slate's Double XX: reaction to a report that the number of men self-reporting visits to prostitutes was down. The interviewer and interviewee were both skeptical, since men who pay for sex have good reasons and the women who provide the service are respectable professionals. They seemed almost worried about this decrease (to the extent that there is one), as it would mean a decrease in the "job market."

Off topic, yet, maybe not -- the normalization of "sex work" rather than gay marriage, in this case.

William said...

I hope this is not a sign of how gays are going to change the institution of marriage proposal. A marriage proposal, like anal sex, should be done in private and with tact and discretion. These over the top proposals are embarrassing and gauche. If you need that many witnesses to validate your commitment, maybe you should rethink the whole deal.

Titus said...

Illinois is getting gay are surrounded Althouse!

EDH said...

Oh my god, does this mean Alan Funt and Art Linkletter were gay lovers?

Largo said...

'2. The video is edited, so we don't hear any "wrong" answers'

Especially this!

Largo said...

ST, methinks thou art amused too much.

El Pollo Raylan said...

RE California Public schools:

My son was 10 in 2008, in 5th grade and as apolitical as they get. One day, just before the election, he tried to tell me how to vote on Prop 8.

True story.