Why, when you ask someone if they want to go out, does it always sound like ‘asking them out’?
Just wondering what you think. Anyway,
By ‘incest’ I don’t mean that image in your head of a mum sexually harassing her four year old boy – hmm, I guess you’re actually imagining a fat cruel cigar-smoking dad molesting his daughter, if anything, but never mind that. Molesting is a bad thing, and it only gets worse when incestuous, blah blah blah. There’s no point in explaining why the incestuous nature makes rape/anything like that so much worse, because it’s not in any way a good thing. I’m interested in the incest alone, between two (or more) consenting people – but I guess you’d say that children are naïve and innocent and blah blah blah, and I guess you’re partly right, so let’s say two consenting adults – an adult being, say, someone who’s above sixteen. Of course, even then a parent might (and probably will) have some sort of authority the son/daughter could find difficult to defy, but that’s not only true about parents (and certainly not only biological parents) – so let’s just assume, for that matter, that none of the participants, whatever the blood relation of those is, is being used by any of the others – and that, again, they’re all above sixteen – because, as everyone knows, sixteen year olds can’t think for themselves and must not have sexual relations with anyone/anyone who’s older than them. To be honest, I’m not really sure what I think of the whole ‘kids who are not sixteen/eighteen/twenty one/forty three yet must not have sex’ – because it’s not entirely false (and obviously not entirely right) – and I’m not sure what laws there should be in that area. So, all the ages I’m mentioning in this post should really just be ignored, and be replaced with the age of consent or something like that (I’m not sure how the ‘age of consent’ exactly work – it’s quite complicated in Israel).
Some time ago, I found out that incest was illegal in many countries – not only on paper, but truly illegal – and that some guy in Germany went to jail for having sex with his sister (the evidence for that being the child they had). To his sister, on the other hand, nothing has been done.
OK, German laws are stupid – I can handle that. The fact that these laws are actually being enforced is a bit more bothersome, but it’s not that shocking. Something a bit more shocking happened to me just after finding this out, when I brought the subject up in some website forum and asked people for their opinion.
There were a few sane people who said that they don’t care who’s having sex with whom (though many of them said they think inbreeding should be illegal) – but there were also quite a few loud ones who said incest should not be allowed because it’s… a taboo, and not normal, and disgusting, or something like that.
OK, fine, a few people on the internet don’t think incest/inbreeding should be allowed – big fucking deal. People on the internet are stupid.
The true shock came when I talked about incest with people I know.
For some reason, I expected people not only to be OK with incest, but to take the fact that it’s stupid to be against it as obvious – not only stupid, but odd too.
This expectation… did not match with the reactions I got.
‘What, you’re not against incest?’ ‘Well, I certainly don’t think someone should go to jail for having sex with his sister.’ ‘No, not jail, but they should go through some sort of treatment…’
‘Yeah, I heard of that German couple… and when they were asked, they said ‘But we love each other!’ *laughter*.
‘What?! Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! God, you’re not serious, are you? REALLY? People do that? And if they’re dating, they sure have sex too… Ew.’
Well, I think that kind of makes my point. Other people said stuff like, ‘Well, I don’t really know what I think about incest. On the one hand, it really disgusts me – but I also think people should be free to love whomever they want,’ which is relatively fine – and yet, I cannot help but wonder why people continue to express their repulsion of incest – and why some of them think it’s in any way relevant to whether it should be legal or not. I think sex is disgusting, but I don’t think it should matter to anyone else – but, of course, maybe it’s because I know it doesn’t, while it does matter to people that they think incest is repulsive.
You know what? That doesn’t really shock me – so yes, people are against incest because they’re repulsed by it, and not because of any logical reason. People aren’t logical – I’m not surprised by that. My real confusion came from something else – I just don’t understand what about incest is so repulsive.
Yes, we are repulsed by the idea of being sexually close to people we grew up with because of a psychological mechanism, and we are repulsed by the idea of being sexually close to people we are related to because of a social taboo, but I just can’t see what about the idea itself of incest is disgusting. I mean, people see two humans who are romantically/sexually close and think it’s cute – but then, if they are informed of a genetic closeness between the two which is resulted by some blood relation, they think it’s repulsive? I don’t get it. It’s not even that people think it’s disgusting of two people who grew up together to be ‘together’ – they think it’s disgusting of two people who are blood related, no matter at what age those met, to be ‘together’. So, if two kids who are not related, but grew up together, get married – it’s ‘normal’, but if two siblings meet at the age of twenty/later, and get married, it’s horrible. I. Just. Don’t. Get it.
There’s one argument I avoided throughout the post, because it’s not entirely relevant. Some people are just against inbreeding – either because of the high chances of the baby having a genetic illness, or because the number of people in the world who has a genetic illness would rise if we allow inbreeding. Now, I avoided it because most people are repulsed by/against the incest itself, and the incest itself is illegal in many countries (like Germany). That being said, I still don’t think this argument really holds water, and I’d explain why.
The child of the two siblings, that will probably have some genetic illness, doesn’t have, as far as we know, any chance of not being born with that illness – except not being born at all. I don’t really think he or she can complain we let them be born. They might be sorry that they were, if the genetic illness is so horrible, but that’s not a reason to illegalise their birth.
As for the rise of the number of people with genetic illness – well, any additional person who’d have a genetic illness because we allowed incest is necessarily the offspring of two siblings who gave birth either to him or some ancestor of his – which means that if we didn’t allow incest, he or she wouldn’t have been born at all. They can’t really complain either.
If you don’t want your children to have a higher chance of being born with a genetic illness – well, just don’t procreate with the offspring of incestuous relationships.