Dahlia Lithwick Made a Funny

by |
03/09/2010 10:31 AM |


Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick reviews lawyer and philosopher and my ideal-world next Supreme Court nominee Martha Nussbaum’s From Disgust to Humanity, a book tracing physical repulsion’s pervasive influence over civil rights policy, especially the anal fixation of those recently opposed to gay rights. She quotes one state rep’s summarization of gay marriage as “‘taking the penis of one man and putting it in the rectum of another man and wriggling it around in excrement'”, and the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins declaring that if Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell were repealed, “other soldiers would refuse to serve. Perkins noted that he had showered together with 80 other men during his own time in the military, and he’d feel threatened by a gay man showering there with him.”

Lithwick summarizes Nussbaum’s arguments about how policy is too often dictated by panic and physical disgust, “even though nobody really wants to assault Tony Perkins in the shower.”

It’s true! If anything, other people in the shower should be afraid of being assaulted by Tony Perkins. You’re right, Dahlia: it’s always the homophobes.

(It’s an interesting piece on an interesting-sounding book and you should read it, also.)