Metters Musings

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Life, Liberty and the
Pursuit of Blondeness

August 5, 2005

There’s a hot issue that’s been all over the news in the last year or so that I’m pretty upset about.  I just felt a need to say something publicly about it because I can’t believe there are still people out there opposed to such a thing.

Blonde marriage.

Our country has come a long way over its short history in tackling civil rights.  As much as we hate to admit it, there was a time when we slaughtered the Native Americans so we could forge the west.  As a country we have put Japanese people in concentration camps and paid Chinese workers a mere dollar a day to risk their lives building our railroads.  There was a time when we enslaved African Americans and a time when women – of all races – weren’t allowed to vote.  These are realities we are not proud of, yet they are all sins our country is guilty of committing.

The good news is that we’ve made tremendous progress as a country in the ongoing battle for civil rights.  We have learned – and are continuing to learn – that we are all people.  The sum of who we are as individuals is not defined by the labels put on us.  We are not blacks, whites, women, men, Hindus, Jews or Christians. We are human. We are all different, and yet in a very fundamental way, we are all the same. How wonderful it is that as a country we have finally started to learn this; how awful that we ever thought differently.  I am so thankful I didn’t have to live during some of those more discriminatory times, and I feel fortunate to live in an era where the world and our country are much more tolerant.

But there is still one group of people that, in general, our society has not fully embraced.  One group that we still discriminate against, one group that still does not have all of the same fundamental rights that the rest of us do.  I’m talking about blonde people.

As far as we have come, blonde individuals are still not fully accepted in our society.  Oh sure, there are still plenty of bigots out there that don’t accept black people or women or whoever. But overall our society has embraced blacks and women because we finally allowed them all the same constitutional rights as everyone else.  At that point our country officially accepted them as human beings and dropped the labels.  Blonde people, however, have not been afforded that same constitutional acceptance.

As you all know, the issue on the table lately is whether blondes should be allowed to marry.  There is still a huge constituent of people out there who think that just because a person is blonde they should be denied a right that the rest of us enjoy and take for granted.  I really don’t get this.  I suppose much of it is just a matter of ignorance.  After all, a lot of people believe no one is born blonde.  They think that being blonde is a lifestyle some people choose by dying their hair.  Maybe they do, maybe they don’t.  I really don’t know because I’m not blonde.  (Although I must admit I dabbled in blondeness years ago by getting highlights, but that was in my younger, wilder days.  I was a bit blonde-curious, if you will.)  But why should anyone who’s not blonde question it?  Who really cares?  If being blonde is who you are – whether you chose it or not – it’s just who you are.  The rest of us should respect that.

And some people do, but they only do so conditionally.  Some people say, “I’m fine if they want to be blonde, but they don’t have to flaunt it in my face.  What they do with a bottle of bleach behind closed doors is their own business but I don’t like to see blonde freaks walking hand in hand down my street.”  What a ridiculous argument!  Why should brunettes and redheads be able to walk freely and openly down the street together, but blondes are supposed to hide it under their hats?  If two blonde people are walking down the street hand in hand, I don’t call that flaunting; I call it being in love.  I also call it normal.  If it makes someone who is narrow-minded uncomfortable, then that is their problem.  Blonde people shouldn’t have to hide who they are for those bigoted few that can’t handle it.

As far as blonde people getting married goes, in my opinion, the arguments against it are pretty weak.  The major argument is that the Bible is against blonde marriage.  Okay fine, the majority of our nation is Christian so it’s hard to argue with the Bible.  The problem is, our country was largely founded on the principles of freedom of religion and separation of church and state, which means religious reasons for outlawing something isn’t a good enough reason.  Some like to say our country was founded on Christianity but those people haven’t read their history books in a while.  Yes it’s true, the Puritans who landed on Plymouth Rock were indeed Christian, but they did not found this country on Christianity.  They left England because they didn’t like religion being forced on them and were being persecuted for their religious beliefs.  They wanted the right to choose how and who and when they could worship.  Yes, they happened to be Christians, but this country was founded on freedom, not Christianity.  That’s why, even though these Puritans were far more devout than most Christians are today, the word Christianity never made it into the Constitution.  In fact, the only mention of religion at all is in the First Amendment where the government is prohibited from making laws based on religion: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”  The Puritans – and later the colonists – knew the danger of allowing religion and politics to mix, and they wanted to assure it would never happen again. 

So the Bible argument shouldn’t hold water in a legal sense.  If Christian people want to protest blonde marriages, go for it.  That’s what freedom of assembly and freedom of speech are all about.  I personally don’t agree with that approach, but that is their right to exercise if they choose to.  But when it comes to government involvement and making laws, what the Bible says shouldn’t matter.  What if those blonde people are Buddhist, Hindu, or even atheist?  Why should what the Bible says matter to them?  It doesn’t.  Not only that, within the Christian religion there is plenty of disagreement on how to interpret the Bible.  (That subject could be a musing in and of itself…)  Go to any number of churches and you’ll find blonde people right there in the pews.  So why should a fundamentalist few be allowed to decide for an entire nation who can get married and who can’t?  They shouldn’t, because using religious arguments to enact laws is a blatant violation of the First Amendment. 

What disturbs me most is that our President has publicly stated that he wants to pursue a Constitutional Amendment that would outlaw blonde marriages.   After all of our struggles to drop labels and accept people as people, it makes me sick to think that the leader of our country wants to take us backward in time and discriminate against an entire class of people.  He seems to have forgotten – or maybe he’s one of the few that never learned – that people should be viewed as individuals and not lumped into categories based on the color of their skin, their gender, their religion, or even the color of their hair.  Everyone else is allowed to marry, why are blondes singled out?  Because of ignorance and intolerance, that’s why.

In fact, last year our President was quoted in the media as saying, “I believe marriage has served society well, and I believe it is important to affirm that – that marriage among brunettes and redheads is the ideal.  And the job of the president is to drive policy toward the ideal.”  I couldn’t disagree more!  First of all, what is “ideal” is a matter of opinion.  What is ideal for me clearly may not be ideal for you. Not only is it presumptuous for the President to assume he knows what is “ideal” for everyone, it sounds frighteningly Hitler-esque to me.  Secondly, the President’s job is not to “drive policy toward the ideal” anyway.  I’m not sure where he came up with that.  The President’s job is to protect our unalienable rights.  That is, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  As long as one person’s rights don’t infringe on another’s – and blonde marriage affects no one other than the two people wanting to get married – then it is his duty to uphold that.  Perhaps our President needs a refresher course on our Constitution.

“Ah, but wait!” you say.  “You claim blonde marriage affects no one other than the two people wanting to get married, but what about the kids of blonde couples?”  This argument stems from the belief that a child’s emotional and social development would be adversely impacted (or even irreversibly damaged) by growing up in a blonde home.  The flaw with this argument, though, is that having kids and getting married do not necessarily go hand in hand.  Blonde couples who want to have children are already doing so.  Granting them the right to marry doesn’t affect their ability to have kids one way or the other.  And as a brunette person with no children who celebrated my 10th wedding anniversary this past year, I can tell you that even though marriage and children usually go together, they don’t have to.  They are two separate choices.  So denying a blonde person the right to marry “for the good of the children” is just plain dumb, because the two things are independent.  Not to mention that being brunette or redhead doesn’t automatically make you a superior parent anyway.  Just as marriage and having children do not necessarily go hand in hand, neither do hair color and parenting skills.  There are plenty of dysfunctional non-blonde families out there to prove that point for me. 

The only other argument I’ve heard against blonde marriages is that if we allow blondes to marry, before we know it people will want to marry animals.  I.e., cats, dogs, goats, you name it.  This misguided argument makes the assumption that being blonde is a perversion, and that allowing one perversion to be accepted opens a Pandora’s Box to a whole host of other perversions.  While I understand the logic – albeit extremely skewed logic, in my opinion – the argument is so ridiculous and irrational that it’s not even worth rebutting.  If you honestly believe that being blonde and bestiality are even remotely comparable, you my friend are a scary individual.

You may be wondering why I even care about this issue.  After all, I’m brunette, not blonde, so this doesn’t directly affect me. True, but I believe discrimination of any kind is never okay, it is never productive, and it only proves itself to do more harm than good.  Maybe there is no law against me personally for being brunette, a woman, or even for being short, but if we allow discrimination against blondes, who is next?  Discrimination is a cancer that can too easily spread.  To write it into our Constitution in any form – regardless of the issue – in my opinion is a huge mistake, and a frightening one at that.  If this is the direction our country is headed, I fear for our future.  I can only hope that tolerance, acceptance, and intelligence will prevail.

 

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

– excerpt from the Declaration of Independence

 

Copyright © 2002 2008 Susan B. Metters.  All rights reserved.

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