My response to madamenoire.com article

If you really want to see it, is here here, but be warned. Ignorance abounds: http://madamenoire.com/488938/celebrities-who-married-a-cousin/

_The Comment I left:

There is a lot
of misinformation here. As someone who has read up on cousin/cousin
relationships extensively for my writing, I can see so much distortion and
prejudice in your article it’s disgusting. Journalists are supposed to present
facts without telling people what to think. But you are no different than so
many other self-professed “relationship experts”. The fact is, human
sexuality is diverse and complex. There is no one kind of healthy or normal.
You really have to look at things on a case-by-case basis to try and see which
relationships are right for the individuals involved and which ones may not
be….. I fully agree that some of these marriages are inappropriate, but that
is due to the ages of the females involved, not because of the sheer fact of
their relation to their partner.

For your
information, first cousins have a very low risk level for having kids with
defects. All people (whether related or not) carry a baseline risk for defects.
And first cousins’ risks are only a little higher, not high enough to ban
marriages… which is why many places still allow it. The kind of defects that
can occur are not the kind that would ruin the quality of a kid’s life. They’d
be minor inconveniences, if they happen at all. As for the rare worst case scenario
(of severe mental or physical disability) in the case of cousins there is no
evidence to show that it is caused by their relation.

Any relationship can
produce children with major issues. When major issues do occur for a cousin
couple, it is often because there were several generations in a row of
inbreeding in the same family. There is a HUGE difference between that and the
risks for a cousin marriage where there is no history of incest already in the
family tree. Some of Darwin’s kids had issues.. he also had several generations
of incest in his family (both him and his wife’s side). Every time a person
casually looks at the birth defects, they are not getting a balanced view
because they are not investigating further. The major issues happen when there
are SEVERAL GENERATIONS IN A ROW.

Lastly,
and just as important as the stuff on genetics, what makes you think that these
relationships are somehow less valuable than the ones you are used to?? You
have to be a seriously narcissistic person to think that your experience in
life is the only one that holds any meaning. If you study history, you’d see
that morality is largely subjective to the culture, the times, the individual,
etc. And as for whether or not it is in line with
‘natural selection’ or ‘evolution’, you need to take a closer look at the
animal kingdom. Human beings don’t just go and mate in some base way. Human
relationships are about the mind, the soul, shared values and interests. We are
so much more advanced than animals. You think that these people are being
backwards by loving within their family. But you are so far removed from their
experience that you cannot begin to see how far ahead they are in their views
of love. Real Love is not about reproduction and mating like an animal in heat.
Reproduction is a separate matter that should be looked at with consideration
to ACTUAL facts about risk levels on a case-by-case basis – not a generalized
paranoid opinion of someone who is more interested in sensationalism than
truth.

To the author of this article and her fans: You
are not relationship experts. Get over yourselves. There are children of cousin
couples all over this world who are dealing with unnecessary stigma because of
people like YOU. I am not defending customs here… Cousin marriage as a
widespread custom is dangerous in the long term. But I will fully defend those
(in a minority) that marry their cousins out of genuine love and connection.
You cannot speak for these people. They have a voice of their own and each one
is different. Cousin marriage is a complex and controversial topic but in order
to understand it fully you need to be able to look at it from ALL angles and
make distinctions between harmful and harmless, all the while acknowledging
that people have the right to choose how to live and love, as long as there is
consent. They’re not here to play a puppet role for you or anyone. There are a
multitude of ways to be a COUSIN, and to be HUMAN. I’d much rather hang out
with free-minded people any day than those who spread ignorance with pride.

For an example of unbiased journalism, see this: http://www.atomica.com/article/1269307/15-celebs-who-married-family-members

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