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WRITING FOR A REAL WORLD Writing for a Real World 2010–2011 A multidisciplinary anthology by USF students PUBLISHED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO DEPARTMENT OF RHETORIC AND LANGUAGE 2 www.usfca.edu/wrw Writing for a Real World (WRW) is published annually by the Department of Rhetoric and Language, College of Arts and Sciences, University of San Francisco. WRW is governed by the Rhetoric and Language Publication Committee, chaired by David Holler. Members are: Brian Komei Dempster, Michelle LaVigne, Michael Rozendal, and David Ryan. Writing for a Real World: 9th edition © 2011 The opinions stated herein are those of the authors. Authors retain copyright for their individual work. Essays include bibliographical references. The format and practice of documenting sources are determined by each writer. Writers are responsible for validating and citing their research. Cover image courtesy of Marti S. This photograph was taken in Havana, Cuba. Printer: DeHarts Printing, San Jose, Calif. To get involved as a referee, serve on the publication committee, obtain back print issues, or to learn about submitting to WRW, please contact David Holler <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Back issues are now available online via Gleeson Library’s Digital Collections. For all other inquiries: Writing for a Real World, University of San Francisco, Kalmanovitz Hall, Rm. 202, 2130 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA, 94117. Fair Use Statement: Writing for a Real World is an educational journal whose mission is to showcase the best undergraduate writing at the University of San Francisco. Student work often contextualizes and recontextualizes the work of others within the scope of course-related assignments. WRW presents these articles with the specifi c objective of advancing an understanding of academic knowledge, scholarship, and research. We believe that this context constitutes a “fair use” of copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material herein is made available by WRW without profi t to those students and faculty who are interested in receiving this information for research, scholarship, and educational purposes. 3 Writing for a Real World 2010–2011 Executive Editor David Ryan Editor David Holler Associate Editors Brian Komei Dempster Michelle LaVigne Mark Meritt Michael Rozendal Copy Editors Carl S. Braun Giuliana Ferrante Program Assistant Tara Donohoe Publication Assistants Ana Kitapini Estephanie Bautista Sunga Journal Referees Veronica Andrew, Rhetoric and Language Brian Komei Dempster, Rhetoric and Language Leslie Dennen, Rhetoric and Language Johnnie Johnson Hafernik, Rhetoric and Language David Holler, Rhetoric and Language Devon C. Holmes, Rhetoric and Language Saera Khan, Psychology Kara Knafelc, Rhetoric and Language, Martin-Baró Scholars Program Moira Kuo, Rhetoric and Language Lois Lorentzen, Interim Associate Dean, College of Arts & Sciences Tom Lugo, Rhetoric and Language Theodore Matula, Rhetoric and Language Sean Michaelson, S.J., English / St. Ignatius Institute Star Moore, Leo T. McCarthy Center Angelika Rappe, Rhetoric and Language Michael Rozendal, Rhetoric and Language David Ryan, Rhetoric and Language Carol Spector, Gleeson Library Eleni Stecopoulos, Rhetoric and Language Ellen Thompson, Rhetoric and Language Stephanie Vandrick, Rhetoric and Language Fredel Wiant, Rhetoric and Language WRITING FOR A REAL WORLD 4 WRW as a Literacy Project 6 Honorable Mentions 10 JADE BATSTONE Cowboy vs. Mad Dog: An Analysis of Reagan’s Rhetoric Surrounding the 1986 Libyan Airstrikes 12 MICHAEL BRATEN The Marriage Act 1753: Drastic Alteration or Mere Development? 30 MELISSA FESSEL Maternal Mortality and Mayan Women in Guatemala 44 HEATHER M. FOX Appreciating but Resisting Nietzsche’s Chief Normative Worry 53 EVAN GIUSTO In Defense of Same-Sex Marriage 60 MICHAEL GREENBERG Public Sector Unions, Pensions, and Collective Bargaining Rights: Striving For a More Perfect Union? 76 LAUREN HILL The Guatemalan Civil War: The Prevalence of and U.S. Involvement in State-Sponsored Violence 91 MELISSA D. LEWIS Examining Marc Anthony’s Poetic Rhetoric in Julius Caesar 112 Table of Contents WRITING FOR A REAL WORLD 5 AN MAI and JAMEY PADOJINO Yarn and Yarning: Communication Patterns of a “Stitch and Bitch” Club 125 DEREK POPPERT Why Peace Has Not Been Achieved Between Israelis and Palestinians 140 JILLIAN RAMOS In Honor of the Forgotten: A Search for Equity for Filipino–American World War II Veterans 151 SAMUEL WEISS Aesthetic Obsession in Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home 164 2011-2012 Submissions Information 194 WRITING FOR A REAL WORLD 6 WRW as a Literacy Project WRITING FOR A REAL WORLD was founded in 2002 with the focused idea of illustrating exceptional undergraduate academic writing at USF. Since then, access to our journal has broadened, for teachers have integrated our essays into their courses as models of good writing. Our Gleeson Library has digitized every edition to allow others to read, study, and refl ect on our student papers. Textbook publishers, as well, have selected some of our more remarkable essays to include in their textbooks. This scholarly interchange has prompted us to recontextualize our celebratory journal as a literacy project, one that allows us to see the kind of writing that is important to faculty and understand what subjects preoccupy our students. Because most writing assignments compel students to respond to other kinds of writing, WRW also instructs us as to what our students are reading, thinking, and concluding. Among the many things we can deduce from our project is that eff ective, successful writers are also diligent, perceptive readers—those who are able to off er deep insight into texts, discovering and explaining what a text does and how a text communicates its messages. Other students work to explain how texts are inscribed by the cultural, social, and historical forces that helped shape the reading. These academic eff orts speak to the aesthetic and epistemic interest in the power of reading and writing. Without a doubt, constructing a broader, more comprehensive inventory about what students are reading and writing from year-to-year (beyond what appears in WRW) would be helpful in identifying broader disciplinary trends as well as measuring student achievement at USF; however, there is no viable method to identify all the texts read or review all the papers written. Nevertheless, we believe that WRW off ers a small yet richly sedimented sample of well-written papers from varying disciplines. The power of such a varied collection derives largely from the academic choices of USF’s instructors and the more personal choices of students who are willing to test their ideas against normative traditions and emerging trends. WRITING FOR A REAL WORLD 7 Notes on the Selection Process Our referees reviewed carefully 97 entries. Every paper was read by at least two readers, and every winning submission had to pass the review of at least four referees. No names appeared on the manuscripts and reviewers who recognized their students’ work recused themselves. Here, then, we present 12 outstanding papers written during the 2010-11 academic year, and we acknowledge 12 more papers as Honorable Mentions. We thank our new as well as experienced judges for reviewing the submissions with great care and patience. Our list of referees is on page 3. Fr. Urban Grassi, S.J. Award In this issue, the Department of Rhetoric and Language announces Jade Batsone is our recipient for the Fr. Urban Grassi, S.J. Award for Eloquentia Perfecta, an award named after USF’s fi rst professor of English and Elocution. This award is given to the highest rated entry. Our reviewers rated Jade’s essay, “Cowboy vs. Mad Dog: An Analysis of Reagan’s Rhetoric Surrounding the 1986 Libyan Air Strikes,” written for Professor David Holler, as the most exemplary. Congratulations to Jade for her remarkable accomplishment! Acknowledgements and Gratitude With every issue, we re-affi rm our gratitude to those who support our project. We are deeply grateful to Provost Jennifer Turpin; Marcelo Camperi, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Lois Lorentzen, Interim Associate Dean of Arts and Humanities, College of Arts and Sciences; and Eileen Fung, Associate Dean of Arts and Humanities, College of Arts and Sciences—all of whom continue to support this institutional project with respect and admiration for our students. Our thanks extend to Associate Editors Brian Komei Dempster, Michelle LaVigne, Mark Meritt and Michael Rozendal for their continuous work. We also thank our two eagle-eyed student copy editors, Giuliana Ferrante and Carl S. Braun, for their detailed review WRITING FOR A REAL WORLD 8 of manuscripts and help with page layouts. Our program assistant, Tara Donohoe, and publication assistants, Estephanie Bautista Sunga and Ana Kitapini, deserve special mention for helping WRW meet its year-round deadlines. We gratefully acknowledge the work of Digital Collections Librarian Zheng Lu who helped digitize this journal as well as past issues. Thank you to Norma Washington and John Pinelli for helping us meet our fi nancial obligations, and a large debt, as always, is owed to Fredel Wiant, Chair of the Rhetoric and Language Department, for her long-standing commitment. We off er our special thanks to Ronald Hussey, Senior Permissions Manager at Houghton-Miffl in Harcourt Publishing, who generously allowed us to reprint so many of Alison Bechdel’s images in Samuel Weiss’s essay on Fun Home. Finally, the instructors of our authors earn our gratitude for composing their introductions during their summer break, but our deepest thanks are reserved for those students who submitted their work. As our Honorable Mentions list illustrates on page 10, we received many more commendable papers than we were able to publish. Congratulations to those who earned honorable mention, and, of course, congratulations to our winners, for all of our authors bravely enter the realm of writers writing for a real world. This journal is dedicated to them. —David Ryan and David Holler WRITING FOR A REAL WORLD 9 10 WRITING FOR A REAL WORLD Honorable Mentions JADE BATSTONE “From Rubble to Respect: Emerging from the ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ Debate with Mutual Understanding” Written for Rhetoric and Politics David Holler, Rhetoric and Language ANABEL CASSADY “Brief for Appellant, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission” Written for Free Expression and The Constitution Brian Weiner, Politics TZIPPORAH DANG “Failure to Launch: The Validity of Sex Addiction” Written for Writing for Psychology Lisa Biesemeyer, Rhetoric and Language ALEXANDRA DELEON “Japan’s Dirty Secret: Sexual Violence and Cultural Challenges” Written for Advanced Writing Practicum Darrell g.h. Schramm, St. Ignatius Institute and “The Beast of Beauty: Oppression of Women Through Beauty Ideals” Written for Advanced Writing Practicum Darrell g.h. Schramm, St. Ignatius Institute HEATHER M. FOX “Reconsidering the Purported Advantages to Black Americans of Racially Homogenous Liberation Movements Relative to Racially Heterogeneous Ones” Written for Honors 339 (Moral Psychology) Manuel Vargas, Philosophy and “On the Need for Community- and Individually-Based Rights in Political and Moral Systems” Written for Philosophy 484 (Ethics) David Kim, Philosophy WRITING FOR A REAL WORLD 11 EVAN GIUSTO “Theory of Evolution: Science or Religion?” Written for Written and Oral Communication David Ryan, Rhetoric and Language MICHAEL GREENBERG “Love By the Fireside: A Rhetorical Perspective of America’s Romance with Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and How it Saved the Banking System” Written for Rhetoric and Politics David Holler, Rhetoric and Language DEREK POPPERT “The Ambiguous Relationship Between Political Equality and Economic Inequality” Written for Introduction to Political Theory Brian Weiner, Politics ANTHONY RISUCCI “Wicked Witches of the Western World: Analyzing the Evil Witch Archetype in Fairy Tales” Written for Advanced Writing Practicum Darrell g.h. Schramm, St. Ignatius Institute STEVEN SLASTEN “The Gullibility of a Nation: A Rhetorical Analysis of the Election of 1824” Written for Rhetoric and Politics David Holler, Rhetoric and Language SAMUEL WEISS “Identity and Storytelling in Sherman Alexie’s Poetry” Written for Contemporary Native American Literature Dean Rader, English and “Military Subversion in Tristram Shandy” Written for English 320 (1700-1900) Rachel Crawford, English NICOLE WICKSTROM “The Spiritual Autobiography of Robinson Crusoe” Written for English 320 (1700-1900) Rachel Crawford, English ANALYSIS OF REAGAN’S RHETORIC SURROUNDING THE 1986 LIBYAN AIR STRIKES 12 WRITER’S COMMENTS This year the world spotlight turned to the Middle East and North Af-rica as the regions experienced a wave of popular upheavals and protest movements now commonly referred to as the ‘Arab Awakening.’ One of the fi rst countries to see civilians organize and demonstrate was Libya, where thousands of people took to the streets to protest the repres-sive 42-year rule of President Muammar Gaddafi . The reactions of the U.S. government to these tumultuous events incited me to examine past Libyan-U.S. relations. This essay employs a rhetorical lens to analyze the events surrounding the 1986 U.S. air strikes on Libya. I focus on Reagan’s strategic oratorical campaign against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi . Reagan’s mastery of rhetoric framed the bombing of Tripoli and Beng-hazi as a strong front to his administration’s response to international terrorist threats. Drawing on his thespian past, Reagan was able to cast the world into dramatic polarities, presenting events to the American public in the context of simplifi ed, diametrically opposed entities such as good vs. evil, hero vs. villain, rational vs. irrational, terrorist vs. freedom fi ghter, and aggression vs. self-defense. Americans, in turn, perceived him to be a master of these binaries, possessing the ability to fi rmly separate right from wrong. Bestowed with this moral authority, I realized that Reagan was able to achieve a feat that President Obama fails to match through his unsuccessful efforts to garner American support for the current NATO air strikes in Libya. In the wake of the 1986 Operation El Dorado Canyon, Reagan was able to legitimate his actions by associating Gaddafi and his regime with the greater forces of world evil. — Jade Batstone INSTRUCTOR’S COMMENTS With analytical acumen and stylistic fl air, Jade arrives at a subtle inter-pretation of Reagan’s “success” against the perennially menacing fi gure of Gaddafi (whose regime, it appears, is mercifully crumbling as this book goes to press). I was particularly impressed with Jade’s ability to connect Reagan’s command of kairos to our current foreign-policy imbroglio, but I was even more impressed with Jade’s clear overall command of the calculus of rhetorical and political analysis. This essay will serve as an out-standing model for future students in my Rhetoric and Politics course. —David Holler, Department of Rhetoric and Language JADE BATSTONE 13 JADE BATSTONE Cowboy vs. Mad Dog: An Analysis of Reagan’s Rhetoric Surrounding the 1986 Libyan Air Strikes Fig. 1. Hook, Geoff rey. “Showdown.” 26 March 1986. <www.geoff hook. com>. Reprinted with permission. DRAW!” With his pistols free from their holsters, his legs plant-ed in a defensive stance, and bullets whizzing by his oversized hat, we can almost hear the cowboy drawl in this command to his adversary. Clearly no Billy the Kid, the deranged-looking outlaw of this cartoon stands amid clouds of smoke in full military garb. The presence of a modern high-rise labeled “U.N.” transports the scene to the 20th century. A dialogue bubble coming from within the building reads: “Do you ever get the feeling we’re redundant?” This satirical gunfi ght contextualized the political face-off between President Ronald Reagan and Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi within the Old West of American cultural mythology. Political art-ist Geoff rey Hook (see Fig. 1 above) spoke to the events of 1986, “ ANALYSIS OF REAGAN’S RHETORIC SURROUNDING THE 1986 LIBYAN AIR STRIKES 14 condemning the administration for relinquishing true diplomatic eff orts in favor of a rhetorical showdown. Leading the charge in this endeavor was President Reagan himself, who promoted the idea of a world divided between freedom-loving cowboys and ter-rorist- endorsing outlaws. The dramatic polarities served Reagan well; when the dust from the Libyan air strikes had settled, the cowboy-president was left standing tall. By employing a host of rhetorical strategies to categorize events and people in simple bi-naries, Reagan successfully justifi ed to American onlookers one of the most controversial actions during his two terms in offi ce. Reagan stormed on to the presidential scene in 1980 touting an assertive foreign policy. The perceived weakness of the Carter administration, as well as the heightened concern over terrorism in the wake of the Iranian hostage crisis, perfectly set the stage for Reagan’s aggressive outlook. A key component of his hard-line stance was the resolution to never again negotiate with terrorists (Hoyt). However, the decentralized nature of international terror-ism made it diffi cult for the Reagan administration to enact force-ful opposition, whether verbal or material, against it. In order to ease American fear and confusion at the hands of seemingly in-visible actors, Reagan needed to delineate a clear adversary: giv-ing the enemy a human face meant that he could be targeted and subsequently eliminated. Thus, Libyan President Muammar Gad-dafi , with his anti-American rhetoric and repressive Libyan regime, soon became the real and symbolic nemesis for Reagan’s dealings with international terrorist threats. In his book Qaddafi , Terrorism, and the Origins of the U.S. Attack on Libya, military expert Brian L. Davis traces the collision course that Gaddafi and Reagan steered their respective nations towards from the outset of the 1980s. Beginning in 1981, a fl ood of rumors permeated U.S. media regarding a Libyan hit squad running loose within the country (Davis 48). These sensational news stories in-cited further anti-Libyan sentiment from the administration and in December of that year Reagan called for all Americans to leave Libya (49). The following spring the administration announced a boycott on the importation of oil and imposed various other eco-nomic sanctions on the North African country (Davis 49). How- JADE BATSTONE 15 ever, according to Davis, the 1983 bombing of the U.S. embassy in Beirut by anti-Western “Islamic Jihad” militants marked the real turn in the Reagan administration’s policies towards terrorist ac-tors (and, by extension, Libya). The attack radicalized Reagan’s White House towards military punishment for acts of terror—a view embodied by Secretary of State George Shultz’s 1984 speech “Terrorism in the Modern World” (Davis 64). In a fi ery oratorical display, Shultz argued that “one of the best deterrents to terror-ism is certainly that swift and sure measures will be taken against those who engage in it” (qtd. in Davis 64). Reagan espoused this hard-line view by vowing to undertake transnational military retri-bution against terrorism (solidifi ed by his signing of the 1984 Na-tional Security Decision Directive 138 which established a policy of preemptive and retaliatory strikes against terrorists)—an un-precedented stance in United States foreign policy (Davis 64). However, for all the militaristic bluster, the mid–1980s inun-dated Americans in violent threats and actions by non-state actors concentrated in the Middle East. On June 14, 1985, members of the Shi’ite terrorist group Hezbollah hijacked American TWA Flight 847 on its leg from Athens to Rome (Hertog). The traumatic event and the three-day hostage crisis that ensued led to Reagan’s fi rm declaration that when it came to terrorism, “our limits have been reached” (qtd. in Davis 70). While there were some unconfi rmed reports that Libya had played a behind-the-scenes role in the in-cident, no solid evidence ever surfaced (Davis 70). Nevertheless, the trauma of the hijacking increased public support for counter-terrorist action and administration offi cials would later credit the event with shaping the political will necessary to enact future mili-tary action against Libya (Hertog). By 1985 U.S. intelligence was reportedly intercepting yet more incriminating links between the Libyan government and active terrorist organizations, including the brutal Palestinian Abu Nidal group (Davis 68). The militant faction belonged to an international terrorist network, coordinating with Hezbollah, PLO, and Europe-an Marxist groups as well as receiving substantial aid from hostile countries like Syria, Iran, and (of course) Libya (Davis 68). Through intercepted telephone exchanges and other covertly gathered evi- ANALYSIS OF REAGAN’S RHETORIC SURROUNDING THE 1986 LIBYAN AIR STRIKES 16 dence, the U.S. government was able to discern that Abu Nidal had moved signifi cant parts of its operational base to Tripoli, where the Libyan dictator received them with open arms (Davis 69). Reports in the Libyan press confi rmed that Gaddafi and Abu Nidal engaged in regular meetings wherein the former promised funding, training, arms, and logistical support to the brutal organization (Davis 69). The Reagan administration’s concern over the marriage of these two dangerous actors was tragically confi rmed on the morning of December 27, 1985, when Abu Nidal militants simultaneously at-tacked travelers in Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci Airport and Vien-na’s Schwechat Airport (Hertog). The joint attacks left 110 people wounded and 20 killed, including an eleven-year-old American girl named Natasha Simpson (Hertog). Her death in particular would come to symbolize the barbarism of world terrorism and the need for American retaliation in order to protect its victims (consider, for example, the impact of a New York Times editorial supporting the 1986 U.S. bombing of Libya titled “To Save the Next Natasha Simpson”) (Chomsky 128). In responding to the jarring incident, Reagan shifted the focus from the militant perpetrators to the Libyan role in the massacres: “By providing material support to terrorist groups which attack U.S. citizens, Libya has engaged in armed aggression against the United States … Qaddafi deserves to be treated as a pariah in the world community” (qtd. in Davis 81). Despite many calls within his administration for retaliation, Reagan deferred to calls for increased economic sanctions for the time being (Davis 82). However, the U.S. Sixth Fleet was tread-ing more dangerous waters, so to speak, in the Mediterranean Sea. For years Gaddafi had dramatically referred to the nautical area surrounding the Gulf of Sidra as the “line of death,” barring its crossing to any foreign power (Hertog). While the U.S. government publicly stated that its fl eet was merely engaged in naval exercises, the coincidental timing with the Rome and Vienna massacres and rising anti-Libyan sentiment seemed a bit too convenient (Chom-sky 135). If Reagan did indeed intend to provoke Gaddafi into ac-tion, the President got his wish on March 23, 1986, when Libya opened missile fi re on U.S. aircraft carriers (Hertog). In a statement made the next day, Press Secretary Larry Speakes claimed that the JADE BATSTONE 17 attacks were “entirely unprovoked and beyond the bounds of normal international conduct … U.S. forces were intent only upon making the legal point that the Gulf of Sidra belongs to no one and that all nations are free to move through interna-tional waters and airspace” (“Gulf of Sidra”). After several days of exchanged hostilities the United States, lacking enough in-criminating evidence from past terrorist actions to legitimate a more comprehensive strike, withdrew (Davis 105). The bloodied waters of the Mediterranean had yet to set-tle when an explosion in East Berlin shifted the international spotlight, providing Reagan with the fi nal rhetorical armory necessary to “bring the hammer down” on Libya. On April 4, 1986, the U.S. army brigade stationed in Berlin intercepted a message sent from the East Berlin People’s Bureau to Tripo-li. The cable read: “It will happen soon, the bomb will blow, American soldiers must be hit” (Davis 115). Fifteen minutes after the Americans translated the daunting words, a bomb ex-ploded in a West Berlin discothèque called La Belle— a night-spot which U.S. soldiers were known to frequent. The terrorist action left over two hundred people wounded, seventy-nine of who were American citizens. It was the fi nal straw for the American public, making the international terrorist threat seem imminent, irrespective of continental boundaries. Into this fertile American soil, President Reagan sowed the seeds of aggression against a distinguishable enemy. Murky telegrams quickly became the smoking gun of the Gaddafi regime, lay-ing the basis for Reagan’s April 14th claim that “our evidence is direct, it is precise, it is irrefutable” (qtd. in Chomsky 140). The President thus prepared to strike a symbolic blow against terrorism in general, implementing his long-professed canon of rigid dealings with the perpetrators of such acts. In the early hours of April 14, U.S. fi ghter jets swooped down on Tripoli and Benghazi to deal retribution from the skies (Davis 134). Called Operation El Dorado Canyon by the Reagan administration, the joint attacks on the Libyan cities were intended to eliminate alleged terrorist training facilities as well as military and missile sites (Hertog). The targets chosen for the assault bore an additional signifi cance, however, as they ANALYSIS OF REAGAN’S RHETORIC SURROUNDING THE 1986 LIBYAN AIR STRIKES 18 were all areas that Gaddafi was known to frequent (Hertog). No matter; after the smoke had cleared, the mad dog himself was left unscathed while his two-year-old daughter and an ad-ditional hundred Libyan civilian casualties paid the fatal price of America’s counter-terrorism policy (Hertog). Forced to con-tend with an incriminating death toll (and critics like Noam Chomsky calling the air strikes a “U.S. terrorist attack”), Rea-gan faced the rhetorical challenge of depicting the air strikes as an act of heroism to subdue the enemy—a feat he undoubtedly accomplished (Chomsky 148). Through a televised address to the nation following the bombings, Reagan began his oratorical campaign to justify his actions to the American people. Citing numerous economic sanctions and other shows of “quiet diplomacy” as warnings, Reagan began the address by lamenting that “Qadhafi contin-ued his reckless policy of intimidation, his relentless pursuit of terror” (Reagan Apr. 14, 1986 address). This clear nod to those who would oppose his use of force framed the air strikes as a last-ditch eff ort to stop a ruthless aggressor. He then proceed-ed to supply a laundry list of terrorist acts supposedly com-mitted by Gaddafi . Though merely an independent actor, obvi-ously possessing many Libyan advisors and elites surrounding him, Reagan attributes sole blame to the “mad dog” himself. This verbal strategy pinpoints the source of the opposition, strengthening his adversarial rhetoric, and allowing for further character attacks like “Colonel Qadhafi had engaged in acts of international terror, acts that put him outside the company of civilized men.” Referring to his opponent as “Colonel” instead of “President,” subtly excuses the American act of war by deny-ing Gaddafi the legitimacy over an established state that such a title would connote. Another key aspect of the April 14th address was Reagan’s depiction of the air strikes as a preemptive (rather than retal-iatory) action. To this end, the President merely threw some rhetorical frills and bows on a briefi ng given by Press Secretary Larry Speakes earlier the same day, during which Speakes stated that: “it is our hope that this action will preempt and discour- JADE BATSTONE 19 age Libyan attacks against innocent civilians in the future.” Validat-ing the bombing as a “preemptive action against [Gaddafi ’s] terror-ist installations” aimed to “diminish Colonel Qadhafi ’s capacity to export terror,” Reagan successfully portrayed himself as a protector of the nation rather than as a vengeful aggressor (Reagan Apr. 14, 1986 address). The line between persuasive oratory and outright de-ception, however, blurs around his ensuing claim of possessing “sol-id evidence about other attacks Qadhafi has planned against the United States’ installations and diplomats and even American tour-ists.” No evidence to confi rm Reagan’s bold assertion ever emerged, proving that he harbored little reservation about using fear tactics to bolster the perceived necessity of his actions. Not only did Reagan describe these “preemptive” measures as crucial, but he also used the address to place the air strikes fi rmly within the American ethos: “Self-defense is not only our right, it is our duty.” Reagan’s enthymeme that the attacks were defensive rather than antagonistic, struck the right chord among an Ameri-can public traumatized by the preceding decade of terrorist aggres-sion. The watershed of public support that Reagan’s prime-time address managed to unleash for an originally unpopular military campaign was nothing short of groundbreaking; one national poll reported an approval rating between seventy and eighty percent (Peffl ey, Langley, and Goidel). In the aftermath of this fi rst successful appeal to the American people, President Reagan faced additional rhetorical challenges in convincing his constituency that the unprecedented policy of avenging a terrorist attack was in fact legitimate and in line with core American values. The “Great Communicator” earned his esteemed appellation through his ability to direct the public’s fears and anger around international terrorist threats to a specifi c aggressor—the arch-terrorist himself, Muammar Gaddafi . After conjuring a clear adversary, Reagan’s verbal assault on the Libyan dictator proved to eff ectively denigrate the man and thus garner support for military actions taken against his regime. Finally, Rea-gan emerged from the controversial bombing with his moral au-thority unscathed, for he successfully deployed a range of rhetori- ANALYSIS OF REAGAN’S RHETORIC SURROUNDING THE 1986 LIBYAN AIR STRIKES 20 cal combatants to force the action within a wider context of the battle of good versus evil. Reagan’s verbal crusade began in 1981, when he entered offi ce to rescue America—whether the assailant be an economy fraught with loose spending and high taxes, Communist aggression, or international terrorism. He loved playing the hero—a role PBS’s American Experience documentary entitled “Reagan” revealed he spent a lifetime preparing for. Beginning with Reagan’s youthful days working as a lifeguard on the Rock River, he cherished the sense that he could help those in need (Hoyt and Bosch). In the McCarthy era, those victims were members of the Screen Actors Guild, whom Reagan aimed to save from the purported commu-nist spies in their midst (Hoyt and Bosch). Even his onscreen per-sona continued this heroic theme, for throughout Reagan’s entire career as an actor (appearing in over 50 fi lms) he only played the villain once (Hoyt and Bosch). As president, the strongman veneer served him well as most Americans believed in his Superman-like ability to lift the heavy vehicle of the nation from a period of eco-nomic and political uncertainty. Yet, what is a champion without a veritable adversary to fl ex his muscles against? In the face of in-ternational terrorist threats, Reagan designated a foil character in order to employ the “savior of the nation” rhetoric that he was so fond of. Every hero needs a villain. When casting the world’s Lex Luthor, Reagan needn’t have looked farther than Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi . Bizarre, shrewd, conspiratorial, and shockingly unscrupulous in his rheto-ric, Gaddafi was ideally suited to play the anti-hero. When Ameri-cans needed an outlet for their fear and confusion in the wake of escalating acts of terror, a seemingly unhinged man spewing state-ments like, “We want every one of us to say, ‘I have decided to die just to spite America’ ” easily fi t the bill (qtd. in Davis 67). Even so, the Reagan administration engaged in a verbal campaign against Gaddafi , using a variety of argumentum ad hominems (abusive, ste-reotypical claims intended to degrade a man and delegitimize his actions) to make Gaddafi the face of international terrorism and Libya the pariah of the international community. In a televised news conference held fi ve days before Opera- JADE BATSTONE 21 tion El Dorado Canyon, Reagan assured Americans that “this mad dog of the Middle East has a goal of a world revolution” (Reagan Apr. 9, 1986 address). This hyperbolized statement reveals the ad-ministration’s doctrine of linking Gaddafi indiscriminately to acts of worldwide evil. Here, Reagan also assigns Gaddafi the title of “mad dog”—a nickname that would stay with the man for the ensu-ing twenty-fi ve years. The dehumanizing slurs wouldn’t end there, however, as Reagan used the same appearance to state that “ev-eryone is entitled to call him whatever animal they want.” Among those who took this permission to heart was the American comic book industry. A one-shot comic book published in 1986 illustrat-ed popular culture’s take on the Arab leader. The cover depicted President Gaddafi alongside an image of Daff y Duck dressed in the same military garb—the title read “Daff y Qaddafi .” (See the Appendix for the cover image.) Sketches of a “mad-dog” terrorist defeated by a reasonable Daff y Duck and his army of small children comprised the scathing political satire. The “Daff y Qaddafi ” comic popularized a weak and irrational picture of the Libyan President. This view aligned with the man-ner in which the administration hoped to present Gaddafi to the American public. Reagan vowed in speech given in July of that year, “We are especially not going to tolerate these attacks by outlaw states run by the strangest collection of misfi ts, Looney Tunes, and squalid criminals since the advent of the Third Reich” (qtd. in Davis 70). This loaded statement served various purposes, not the least of which was to recall the caricatured image of Gaddafi . Rather than providing an examination of U.S. foreign policy that could poten-tially incite aggression from Middle Eastern-based terrorist groups, Reagan chose to focus on a reckless actor whose ideas he could equate to those of a cartoon character. Also, by referring to Libya as an “outlaw state,” Reagan employs an enthymeme to frame the con-fl ict as a cowboy vs. Indian drama with America as the gun-slinging protagonists and Arabs as the hostile savages. Finally, mentioning the Third Reich ties Libya to an evil regime that Americans were al-ready familiar with. This was no aberration from Reagan’s narrative of heroes and villains: all the bad guys played on the same team. And if the slew of derogatory names and images associated ANALYSIS OF REAGAN’S RHETORIC SURROUNDING THE 1986 LIBYAN AIR STRIKES 22 with Gaddafi and his government wasn’t enough to garner support for his military operation, Reagan also possessed an arsenal of anti- Arab sentiment to draw from. In his article “Arab Images in Ameri-can Comic Books” Jack Shaheen points out that from 1950 to 1986 American comic books failed to depict a single Arab “fi ghting the good fi ght.” Instead, villains dominate the pages, fulfi lling one of three main characters: the repulsive terrorist, the menacing sheik, or the greedy thief (Shaheen 123). The caricature of the perpetually angry Arab found its way to more reputable publications as well. The cover of Time magazine’s April publication in 1973 featured a stern portrait of Gaddafi in his colonel uniform beside a head-ing that read: “The Arabs: Oil, Power, Violence.” These negative stereotypes again appeared on the cover of the July 1981 issue of Newsweek; a furtive-looking Gaddafi stares into the distance as two Arab men fi re semi-automatics against a scenery of camels and des-ert. (Both images are easily found online.) With these demonized views of Arabs at the fore, it was easy for Reagan to use Americans’ pre-existing stereotypes in order to legitimize his government’s ac-tions. For example, in his remarks to members of the American Business Conference held the day after the bombings, Reagan an-nounced: “yesterday pilots of the air and naval forces of the United States spoke to the outlaw Libyan regime in the only language that Colonel Qadhafi seems to understand.” Both by linking Libya to the criminals of American pioneering times and by invoking the sentiment that Arabs are purely violent, aggressive by nature, Rea-gan utilizes popular culture to justify his Libyan campaign. In the same speech on April 15, Reagan added, “I would remind the House voting this week that this arch-terrorist has sent $400 mil-lion and an arsenal of weapons and advisers into Nicaragua to bring his war home to the United States.” This reference to the upcoming House vote (timed perfectly for the day after the bombing) on aid for rebel groups in Nicaragua against a Communist–leaning Sandini-sta government, revealed the Reagan administration’s strategy of us-ing the Libya off ensive as a means to prepare public opinion for an escalation of U.S. military action in other parts of the world. Reagan was faced with the task of gaining support at home for the Contra insurgents, whom he lauded as “the moral equals of our founding JADE BATSTONE 23 fathers and the brave men and women of the French resistance” (qtd. in Shane). The challenge consisted of drawing the rhetorical distinction between the state-sanctioned terrorism of the Gaddafi regime and the U.S. backing of Central American guerillas. Thus, the administration birthed the term “freedom fi ghter,” bestowing a purity of arms, so to speak, to any militants supporting a cause that the U.S. supported. The term “freedom fi ghter” contrasted starkly with the term “terrorist,” an appellation which Stanford University scholar Martha Crenshaw claimed in a 1972 essay “delegitimizes the opponent” (qtd. in Shane). According to Crenshaw, “It’s not just the tactics that are discredited, it’s the cause as well” (qtd. in Shane). In this vein, Reagan referred to Gaddafi as the “arch-terrorist,” defam-ing the man by linking him to a breed of worldwide villains and thus validating actions taken against him. Inevitably the mechanisms of violence and resultant death tolls mattered little in American rhetoric. Rather, the meaning ascribed to violence by those in positions of power was what inevitably de-termined whether the cause was just and the use of force legitimate. Operation El Dorado embodied this concept, as the bombing of Tripoli and Benghazi resulted in the deaths of more than one hun-dred Libyans—mostly civilians according to the Western press— compared to the solitary American serviceman fatally wounded in the La Belle bombing (Chomsky 138). In order to distinguish this off ensive from the illegitimate acts of terrorist violence that his administration had repeatedly condemned, Reagan stated in his April 14 address to the nation on the state of Libya: “The attacks were concentrated and carefully targeted to minimize casualties among the Libyan people with whom we have no quarrel.” Notably, he called the victims of the attacks “the Libyan people” instead of “civilians”—the Great Communicator no doubt realized that the term alone could trigger associations with terrorist bombings. To solidify the gradient spectrum of violence, he used the same ad-dress to contrast the careful U.S. attack with the “maximum and indiscriminate casualties” that Qaddafi -sponsored terrorist actions aimed to infl ict. Not only was the Reagan administration able to turn public ANALYSIS OF REAGAN’S RHETORIC SURROUNDING THE 1986 LIBYAN AIR STRIKES 24 support in favor of the Libyan bombings, but the perceived success of the operation hastened changes in American attitudes toward terrorism (Peffl ey, Langley, and Goidel). In the wake of Operation El Dorado, public opinion polls indicated that Americans were more accepting of military force as an eff ective tool for dealing with state-sponsored terrorism (Peffl ey, Langley, and Goidel). These re-visions in public perception owed in large part to Reagan’s mastery of rhetorically framing issues in a manner that would appeal distinc-tively to American society. For instance, Reagan activated the con-servative mentality and moral code held by many Americans in the 1980s by using a “strict father model” in his rhetoric. As described by George Lakoff in his book Don’t Think of An Elephant, this view necessitates a strong and capable authority fi gure to off er protec-tion for his children against the world’s perils. Reagan evoked this sentiment in a 1986 address on national security: “The past 5 years have shown that American strength is once again a sheltering arm for freedom in a dangerous world” (Reagan Feb. 26, 1986 address). Another facet of Lakoff ’s model is a vision of the world divided between clear winners and losers. Reagan alluded to this competi-tive ideology with his assertion that “We live in a world where it’s dangerous if not fatal to be second best” (qtd. in Hoyt and Bosch). Speaking of the Libyan situation with such phrases as, “there are limits to our patience” and “we must teach them a lesson,” called to mind a parent chastising a rebellious child and thus further in-grained the strict father model of seeing the world (Davis 47). With this mental frame in place, the United States was justifi ed in taking the belt strap, so to speak, to a misbehaving Libya—in fact, it was the moral thing to do. Just as strict fathers believe that the only way to teach children right from wrong is through harsh (and in some cases) painful punishment, Reagan sought to con-vince the American people that Libya, Gaddafi , and terrorists in general would only change their erroneous ways if they when met with forceful consequences. Speaking of the terrorists involved in the La Belle bombings earlier that week, Reagan warned that “if somebody does this and gets away with it and nothing happens to them, that encourages them to try even harder and do more” (Apr. 9, 1986 press conference). JADE BATSTONE 25 As a “strict father,” a moral authority to the world, it was cru-cial that the United States was perceived as a strong international presence. Reagan’s “peace through strength” doctrine solidifi ed this image of the nation as well as portrayed the Libyan off ensive as a show of might that would make the world a safer place. Military capacity was the instrument of peace that Reagan referred to most often and that which he invariably pointed to as a measure of the country’s strength. Conversely, weakness, in Reagan’s eyes, con-sisted of inaction in the face of external threat. In the aftermath of the Rome and Vienna massacres Secretary of State Shultz adopted this aggressive outlook as well, asserting that “state-sponsored ter-ror will increase through our submission to it, not from our ac-tive resistance” (qtd. in Davis 84). Reagan, for his part, told the American people that “[Qaddafi ] counted on America to be passive … he counted wrong”—a clear nod to the “passivity as weakness” doctrine (Reagan Apr. 14, 1986 address). By disregarding the poten-tial for peaceful negotiations or state-issued sanctions to serve as a form of action, albeit non-violent, Reagan legitimizes his unde-clared war on Libya by presenting it as the only recourse for taking action against enemies. Quoting Edmund Burke, he reminded the audience of a White House meeting held the day after Operation El Dorado, “In order for evil to succeed, it’s only necessary that good men do nothing.” Reagan’s militaristic foreign policy didn’t begin with the terror-ist threat, however: he assumed the presidential offi ce armed with the belief that a strong front face was exactly what was needed to force the Soviet Union to keel over (Hoyt and Bosch). Reagan then framed the Libyan attacks as an extension of the fi ght against the same forces of world evil. By placing the new disturbing threat to their safety within a preexisting realm of shared experiences, Reagan was able to console anxious Americans and gain support for his administration’s policies. He assured Americans that there was still a bear loose in the forest, albeit a bear of a distinctly Arab breed. To enact this strategy, Reagan and those in his government used pre-existing anti-communist rhetoric in their verbal campaign against world terrorists. Secretary of State Alexander Haig made a ANALYSIS OF REAGAN’S RHETORIC SURROUNDING THE 1986 LIBYAN AIR STRIKES 26 public statement in 1986 claiming that “the punishment necessary to defeat the terrorists is not a tit-for-tat which leaves them the choice of escalation” (qtd. in Davis). By espousing strong action to create a deterrence eff ect, Haig invoked a line of reasoning that Americans were already familiar with. It drew on widely accept-ed American values: the immorality and innate evil of the Soviet Union. Likewise, one political writer of the time termed Reagan’s approach to Libya “containment, rollback, and bleeding all at the same time” (Davis 60). Casting international terrorism, and by ex-tension the Libyan regime, in the same light as the dreaded Com-munists paved the way for Reagan to earn overwhelming public support for his anti-terrorism endeavors. Selling a combative foreign policy to the American people was a great oratorical feat of Reagan’s presidency. The cult of person-ality that he managed to create for himself facilitated a rhetoric that drew theatrical representations of heroes and villains on the world stage. With the threat of international terrorism looming over the American people, Reagan utilized this simplistic script to cast a clear aggressor (Gaddafi ) and make a show of vanquish-ing the dangerous foe. In this way, Reagan successfully legitimized the 1986 Libyan air strikes as a demonstration of meeting the evil scourge of terrorism with force—an impressive achievement when we look at our current president’s failure to achieve a similar rhe-torical victory against the very same opponent. Despite a near international consensus that Gaddafi should be ousted from his repressive Libyan regime, Obama’s deployment of U.S. military aid was largely seen as a “folly” (Falk). Whereas Reagan embodied con-fi dence and decisiveness with his actions (no matter how fl awed), Obama’s deliberation over a course of action in Libya merited the pejorative description of “dithering” by some (Falk). Rather than a heroic crusade, one Al Jazeera columnist lamented that Obama’s “military intervention has not saved the day” (Falk). Thus, even the staunchest liberals must concede a grudging admiration for the late Great Communicator’s masterful wielding of public opin-ion. When it comes to rhetorical gunfi ghts, Obama could use some target practice. JADE BATSTONE 27 Appendix Daff y Qaddafi : Malice in Wonderland. Comic Book. Comics Unlimited. 1986. Print. ANALYSIS OF REAGAN’S RHETORIC SURROUNDING THE 1986 LIBYAN AIR STRIKES 28 Works Cited Chomsky, Noam. Pirates and Empires: International Terrorism in the Real World. Brattleboro, VT: Amana, 1990. Print. Daff y Qaddafi : Malice in Wonderland. Comic Book. Comics Unlimited. 1986. Print. Davis, Brian L. Qaddafi , Terrorism, and the Origins of the U.S. Attack on Libya. New York: Praeger, 1990. Print. Falk, Richard. “Obama’s Libyan Folly.” Al Jazeera. 4 Apr. 2011. Web. 6 Apr. 2011. <http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/04/201 14410410950151.html>. Hertog, James. “Elite Press Coverage of the 1986 U.S.-Libya Confl ict: A Case Study of Tactical and Strategic Critique.” Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 77.3 (2000): 612-27. Print. Hook, Geoff rey. “Showdown.” Cartoon. 26 March 1986. <www. geoff hook.com>. Hoyt, Austin, and Adriana Bosch. “Reagan.” American Experience. Prod. Austin Hoyt. PBS. Television. Ivie, Robert L. “Images of Savagery in American Justifi cations for War.” Communication Monographs 47.4 (1980): 279-294. Communication & Mass Media Complete. EBSCO. Web. 24 Mar. 2011. Lakoff , George. “Framing 101: How to Take Back Public Discourse.” Don’t Think of An Elephant. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green, 2004. 3-34. Print. Peffl ey, Mark, Ronald E. Langley, and Robert Kirby Goidel. “Public Re-sponses to the Presidential Use of Military Force: A Panel Analysis.” Political Behavior 17.3 (1995): 307. Web. Reagan, Ronald. Address. The President’s News Conference. East Room at the White House, Washington. 9 Apr. 1986. Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Web. 29 Mar. 2011. <http://www.reagan.utexas. JADE BATSTONE 29 edu/archives/speeches/1986/50786a.htm>. _______. Address. President Reagan’s Address to the Nation on U.S. Air Strikes against Libya. Oval Offi ce at the White House, Washington. 14 Apr. 1986. Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Web. 29 Mar. 2011. <http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1986/41486g.htm>. _______. Address. Remarks at a White House Meeting With Members of the American Business Conference. In Room 450 of the Old Executive Offi ce Building, Washington. 15 Apr. 1986. Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Web. 29 Mar. 2011. <http://www.reagan.utexas. edu/archives/speeches/1986/41586c.htm>. _______. Address. Address to the Nation on National Security. The Oval Offi ce at the White House, Washington. 26 Feb. 1986. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library. Web. 29 Mar. 2011. <http://www.reaganfoundation.org/reagan-quotes-detail. aspx?tx=2280>. Shaheen, Jack G. “Arab Images in American Comic Books.” Journal of Popular Culture 28.1 (1994): 123-133. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 25 Mar. 2011. Shane, Scott. “Words as Weapons: Dropping the ‘Terrorism’ Bomb.” The New York Times. 2 Apr. 2010. Web. 6 Apr. 2010. <http://www.nytimes. com/2010/04/04/weekinreview/04shane.html?_r=1>. Speakes, Larry M. “Statement by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Speakes on the Gulf of Sidra Incident.” Address. Briefi ng Room at the White House, Washington. 24 Mar. 1986. Ronald Reagan Presi-dential Library. Web. 29 Mar. 2011. <http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/>. THE MARRIAGE ACT OF 1753 30 WRITER’S COMMENTS I was far from excited when I fi rst chose to research and write about marriage in eighteenth-century Britain for Professor Crawford’s course. Quite frankly, it seemed a dull and irrelevant subject, but this changed when I encountered information about the Marriage Act of 1753. I was surprised to fi nd that the arguments of proponents and opponents of the Act were nearly the same as those I had heard when Proposition 8 was on the ballot in 2008. In addition, I found it fascinating that more than two hundred years later, scholars like Probert and Bannet still hadn’t reached a consensus about the impact of the Act. Using primary and secondary sources I sought to discover what led to the Act’s rati-fi cation as well as the effects of the Act and how they could be used to inform our theory and practice of marriage in contemporary America. — Michael Braten INSTRUCTOR’S COMMENTS Michael wrote this essay for a British Eighteenth-Century Literature course and chose a subject that grew out of his formal, oral presenta-tion to the class. The paper that emerged, however, introduced an entirely different focus than the original project. During his research Michael dis-covered a shameful historical fact: problems that attach to institutions such as the family rarely change; rather, they simply disport themselves in unfamiliar sartorial display. He was thus able, early in the essay, to parallel Proposition 8 with the Marriage Act of 1753. This transference of knowl-edge takes cognitive maturity: the thinking skills associated with form-ing relationships between topics seemingly divorced from each other by time and even content can be shown to have much in common, can even show that nothing much has changed. To write this paper, Michael not only had to conduct research into the Marriage Act, which few people, frankly, know about, and consequently know nothing of the legal statutes that, in a process over time, we fi rst import into ways that we think about the fam-ily, and, second, we naturalize so that they become invisible. Michael’s essay brings the Marriage Act into visibility and thus frames an astute argument. Like all of Michael’s written work, however, the perspicuity of his argu-ment owes much to the solidity of his writing. Although Michael learned to write good academic prose early on, he demonstrates here that he clearly understands not only how to make and support an argument—he can also transform a subject that initially seemed dull into a politics that is relevant for us today. —Rachel Crawford, Department of English MICHAEL BRATEN 31 MICHAEL BRATEN The Marriage Act of 1753: Drastic Alteration or Mere Development? ON NOVEMBER 4, 2008, Californians entered polling stations and cast their votes to elect new government offi cials as well as to support or oppose a series of statewide and municipal mea-sures. One measure that appeared on the ballot was Proposition 8, which sought to defi ne marriage in California as the union be-tween a man and a woman. The measure descended from Propo-sition 22 that had passed in 2001, but which the State Supreme Court had overturned, citing that the California State Constitu-tion required equal treatment of individuals regardless of their sex-ual orientation. In the months prior to the 2008 election, a debate raged throughout the state over the consequences of the proposi-tion. Many proponents argued that if Proposition 8 did not pass, it would destroy the sanctity of marriage and dissolve the modern family (Garrison). When Proposition 8 passed with 52.5 percent of Californians voting in favor, supporters celebrated the victory as one that pro-tected society and children. “I think we made them realize,” said supporter and proposition strategist Jeff Flint, “that there are broader implications to society and particularly the children when you make that fundamental change that’s at the core of how soci-ety is organized, which is marriage” (qtd. in Garrison). While many who voted in the 2008 election saw Proposition 8’s attempt to (re) defi ne marriage as a contemporary phenomenon, the truth is that Prop 8 was only the most recent change occurring to an institution which, for hundreds of years, has undergone a process of constant revision. More than 250 years before Proposition 8 appeared on the bal- THE MARRIAGE ACT OF 1753 32 lots, long before the United States of America even existed, Eng-land faced a measure called the Marriage Act of 1753. At the time, many argued that the Act altered the defi nition of marriage and aff ected society profoundly. Proponents of Prop 8 echoed the exact words of dissenters of the Act in Parliament who “protested that the government was giving ‘the word marriage … a diff erent signifi - cation from what it had before’ ” (Bannet 233). The truth, contrary to arguments in the 18th century, is that the Marriage Act of 1753, was not a radical revision of existing practice, but rather “a devel-opment of what already existed” (Probert 249). In addition, the Marriage Act was not, as originally argued in the House, a safety measure put in place by Parliament to protect young wealthy heirs and heiresses from being seduced by members of a lower socioeco-nomic class. Instead, it was a way to increase the population of the commonwealth. It succeeded. Whereas contemporary measures such as Proposition 8 seek to defi ne marriage as the union between one man and one woman, de-fending it from the alleged menace of homosexuality, the Marriage Act of 1753 sought to defend marriage from the menace of clan-destine marriages (O’Connell 100). In order to understand exactly what clandestine arrangement were, and why Parliament wished to prevent them from occurring, it is essential to look at not only the variety of ways in which individuals could have married in the 18th century, but also the reasons why individuals chose to marry. Most marriages that took place in England prior to and well into the 18th century were arranged. Arranged marriages occurred “among landed or moneyed families” as well as middle-class fami-lies, and were “essentially fi nancial agreements designed to ce-ment powerful alliances and exchange or acquire land or property” (Moore 1). The fathers of the involved families arranged these mar-riages, usually while the bride and groom to be were still infants. The marriages came to fruition in the betrothed individuals’ teen-age years, many times without either of the individuals knowing each other. Sometimes, the individuals wed without ever having met each other, which was to be the case with Mary Pierrepont. When she was 23, Pierrepont’s father arranged a marriage between her and an Irish aristocrat whom she had never met. She went on MICHAEL BRATEN 33 to describe the wedding arrangements as “daily preparations for [her] journey through Hell.” Pierrepont was fortunate enough to escape this arrangement when she eloped and married her long-time lover just days before the marriage ceremony was slated to take place (Moore 1). Very few couples were able to do what Pier-repont did; most arranged marriages were, of course, disastrous and unhappy. The marriage that Pierrepont chose to pursue, one founded in love rather than in the alliances and fi nances of her father, is an ex-ample of the other form of marriage gaining popularity in the 18th century, the companionate marriage. Considered to be the norm today, marriages in which “spouses put the prospects of emotional satisfaction before the ambition for increased income or status” were a new phenomenon for the upper and middle classes in 18th century England (Stone 217). The lower classes had always been free to choose their own mate, so long as they were of the same social standing (Moore 1). As Daniel Defoe (1660–1731) noted: persons of lower station are, generally speaking, much [more happy] in their marriages than princes or persons of distinction. So I take much of it, if not all, to consist in the advantage they have to choose and refuse. (qtd. in Stone 218) When people of a lower class married for love rather than fi nan-cial gain, however, it caused fewer problems for parents than when upper-class individuals decided to do the same. Thus, many upper-class betrothed children like Pierrepont who chose to marry for love were forced to marry under clandestine arrangements that their parents could not prevent, but which still carried many ad-vantages of a legal marriage. Understanding what it meant to celebrate a clandestine marriage in the 18th century requires that one understand what made a mar-riage offi cial at the time. According to Stone, an offi cial marriage involved a series of distinct steps. The fi rst was a written legal contract between parents concerning the fi nancial arrange-ments. The second was the spousals (also called a contract), the THE MARRIAGE ACT OF 1753 34 formal exchange, usually before witnesses, of oral promises. The third step was the public proclamation of banns in church, three times the purpose of which was to allow claims of pre-contract to be heard (by the seventeenth century nearly all the well-to-do evaded this step by obtaining a license). The fourth step was the wedding in church, in which mutual consent was publicly veri-fi ed, and the union received the formal blessing of the Church. The fi fth and fi nal step was the sexual consummation. (30) A clandestine marriage abandoned many of these steps yet remained valid under ecclesiastical law, and retained property rights under common law (O’Connell 71). This was possible because “at canon law, consent, not ceremony, made marriage,” and thus “the crucial distinction for ecclesiastical courts was not whether a priest was present” at a wedding, but whether or not couples voiced marriage vows in the present or future tense. Marriage vows said in the pres-ent tense (spousia per verba de praesenti) before witnesses constituted a binding marriage, while vows said in the future tense (spousia per verba de futuro) in the presence of witnesses constituted a marriage upon consummation, but could be broken with mutual consent any time before that (O’Connell 80-81). If couples only exchanged vows without witnesses present the marriage was considered a contract marriage. If couples made the vows in the presence of a priest, but without any of the aforementioned steps, the marriage was con-sidered clandestine. These marriages were understandably more popular among individuals because they could be proven when it came to the death of a spouse and inheritance became an issue (Probert 249). Clandestine marriages were also popular because they were performed without many of steps in which disapproving family members would have had to participate. It comes as no surprise, then, that in order to pass the Act, as Bannet points out, “the Government said that the Act was de-signed to prevent rich heirs and heiresses of good family from be-ing seduced into clandestine or runaway marriages with their so-cial or economic inferiors” (233). Many even referred to the Act as “An Act for the Better Preventing of Clandestine Marriages.” The Act stipulated that the only valid marriage under law was one “per- MICHAEL BRATEN 35 formed by an ordained priest according to the Anglican Liturgy in a parish church or public chapel of the Established Church after thrice called banns or the purchase of a license from the bishop” (O’Connell 67) and made a marriage nearly impossible without parental consent for couples under 21 (Moore 1). All of these restrictions appeared to aim at preventing clan-destine marriages, but the government’s motives are uncon-vincing considering the facts of the Act. First, because the Act only applied to England and Wales, couples desiring to marry against their parents’ wishes eloped in “Scotland where the Act did not apply” and “married at Gretna Green, the fi rst village across the border” (Moore 1). Second, as Probert points out, “it was possible to marry within the letter of the law, but still evade the notice of friends and family” (254). Several large loopholes in the law enabled this. For example, a marriage could not be nullifi ed after occurring if banns were not published in the lo-cale where the parties resided. In addition, couples under the age of 21 “could marry by banns without parental consent,” and “such a marriage was valid unless the parent or guardian had publicly expressed dissent in the church or chapel where the banns were published” (Probert 254-55). Thus, if couples mar-ried in a parish other than the one that they regularly attend-ed, their parents could not dissent. Allegedly, this was widely practiced in the wake of the Act, given the fact that “parishes surrounding London lost much of their marriage trade to the anonymous urban parishes” (Probert 255). With the information above taken into consideration, Ban-net is correct in noting that rather than being aimed at prevent-ing clandestine marriage, the Act can be interpreted as “one of the fi rst fruits of the new discipline of political economy.” For Bannet, it “represented the best contemporary thinking about how to manage population in order to increase Britain’s wealth” (235). Philosophers of the 18th century, such as Adam Smith, expressed that a country’s industrial ability was of the highest value and that in order to increase this industrial abil-ity, a country needed as many helping hands as it could man-age. In other words, as Smith said, “the most decisive mark of the prosperity of any country is the increase in the number of THE MARRIAGE ACT OF 1753 36 its inhabitants” (65). Bannet notes that in the time before the Act passed, opinions of the House diff ered over whether or not the Act would increase population. “But,” Bannet points out, “they agreed that ‘propagation of species’ and ‘the good of so-ciety’ were the ‘two great ends [they] should have in view when [they] make any laws relating to marriage’ ” (234). Additionally, English Parliament understood that an increased population didn’t necessarily equate to a productive one. As British econo-mist James Steuart (1712-1780) explained: Children produced from parents who are able to maintain them, and bring them up to a way of getting bread for them-selves, do really multiply and serve the state. Those born of parents whose subsistence is precarious, or which is propor-tioned to their own physical necessary only, have a precari-ous existence, and will undoubtedly begin their life by being beggars. (XII) The government recognized that children born to uncertain, disastrous, or broken marriages often died of untended diseas-es, starved, or fell into the hands of the parish and the nation for support. Only when parents raised children in a stable mar-riage assured by the Marriage Act of 1753, would they be pro-ductive members of the commonwealth. These children would then also go on to mirror the marriage that they were raised in as a result, and would in turn produce more commonwealths-men (Bannet 234). Considering the statistics, the Marriage Act accomplished the goal of increasing Britain’s population. As Bannet states, “the population’s growth rate accelerated steadily in the latter half of the eighteenth century according to Rickman’s fi rst cen-sus in 1801, and Britain’s population almost doubled between 1791 and 1831 when it went from 7.74 million to 13.28 million in about a generation and a half” (250). During this period, how-ever, illegitimate births more than doubled, thus calling into question whether or not the Act succeeded in positively im-pacting Britain’s political economy (241). In the essay, “The Marriage Act of 1753: ‘A Most Cruel Law MICHAEL BRATEN 37 for the Fair Sex,’ ” Eve Tavor Bannet argues that the British gov-ernment reached the aforementioned goals of population growth at the expense of women. She cites the rise in illegitimate births as proof that women suff ered the most because of the Act. Ban-net demonstrates this noting that before the Act, marriage relied solely on the “private exchange of promises between a man and a woman to live together as [husband] and wife.” Thus, “church courts and justices of the peace would uphold the claim of a preg-nant woman [if] ‘she had been debauched under promise of mar-riage.’ ” They also, if necessary, compelled the man in question to uphold his promise. This meant that “seductions, as well as, abduc-tions and clandestine marriages were, for all intents and purposes, real marriages” (234). When the Marriage Act came into being, if a woman consummated with her lover and had a child as a result, even if spousals had been exchanged prior to intercourse, and the male involved chose to fl ee, the woman would be stuck with a bas-tard child. To illustrate this, Bannet quotes Sir William Blackstone, from his Commentaries on Laws of England, who said: Any contract made, per verba de praesenti or in words of the pres-ent tense, and in case of cohabitation per verba de futuro also, be-tween persons able to contract was before the late act deemed a valid marriage to many purposes; and the parties might be com-pelled in the spiritual courts to celebrate it in facie ecclesiae. But these verbal contracts are now of no force, to compel a future marriage. (234) In this sense the Act made women who engaged in sexual activity out of the confi nes of the law whores, and any children born as a result of the sexual activity bastards. And Bannet is not alone in her opinion. When the Act was debated in the House, opponents said that it was “one of the most cruel enterprises against the fair sex that ever entered into the heart of man,” for it would be “the ruin of a multitude of young women” (Bannet 235). Further, Bannet ex-plains, because “men had increasingly appropriated to themselves what had once been considered women’s jobs in the economy at THE MARRIAGE ACT OF 1753 38 large,” a debauched single woman and her children barely stood a chance to survive, let alone be successful in any way (241).To illus-trate how this might have happened, Bannet cites the case that al-legedly spurred the Marriage Act. In 1746, the case of Campbell v. Cochran began when Captain John Campbell died in combat at the Battle of Fantenoy. Shortly after, a woman named Magdalen Cochran came forward as Camp-bell’s widowed wife expecting his pension, despite the fact that Mr. Campbell had been married to another woman, Jean Camp-bell, for over 20 years. Jean Campbell thus “raised a Declarator of Marriage process before the Commissary Court” (Leneman 2). The case went to trial, where Cochran claimed that she had been clandestinely married to John Campbell in the summer of 1724. Al-though she lacked a marriage certifi cate, she produced a document signed by John Campbell verifying their wedding, as well as hun-dreds of love letters, in which Mr. Campbell referred to her as his wife. At the time of the marriage, Mr. Campbell asked Cochran to keep the marriage secret “because he was dependent on the Duke of Argyll who would not approve of it” (Leneman 2). Soon after, Mr. Campbell married Jean, and when confronted by Magdalen about it, he claimed that he was drunk when she se-duced him and that he had impregnated her and had to marry her to avoid consternation from the Duke of Argyll. Despite this, John and Magdalen continued their relationship, writing letters, and sometimes even seeing each other in person. Jean Campbell even-tually learned about the relationship and was understandably upset, but nothing could have prepared her for the shock of learning that Magdalen appeared in English court as Campbell’s wife to claim his pension. If Magdalen succeeded in her claim, Jean Campbell’s 22-year-long marriage would have been nullifi ed and her daughter would have been declared a bastard. Fortunately for Jean, “the Court found that the marriage had been suffi ciently proven and barred Magdalen Cochran from bringing evidence of her claim” (Leneman 4). But Magdalen did not give up and appealed to the House of Lords in 1749. In the summer of 1751 Magdalen’s process was again dismissed after which she appealed again. According to Leneman, “it was that fi nal appeal, in January 1753, that led the Lords to press for new legislation to prevent clandestine marriag- MICHAEL BRATEN 39 es, something Lord Hardwicke had long advocated” (5). Although it took place before the Marriage Act of 1753, Bannet notes that this case represents the potential consequences of many post-Marriage Act relationships. For Bannet, this is an example of “a woman who thought herself [a man’s] widow [and who] had ac-tually lived with him publicly as his wife for many years [but] was set aside by the true or trumped up evidence of his pre-contract to another woman.” For Bannet it also would have meant “that the woman who thought herself his widow had been married to him bigamously and that her children were in fact illegitimate” (237). Fortunately, Magdalen did not have children from her relation-ship with Campbell and thus was not left poor and husbandless, as many women in the 18th century allegedly were due to broken marriage promises. Bannet concludes that before the Marriage Act, unions were constituted by “ ‘truth’ of the sexual union and its potential fruit” and that the old laws regarding these unions were designed to “follow, acknowledge and, where necessary, uphold the ‘troth’ of the union.” Marriage was viewed as a union that had existed since Adam and Eve, before civilized society, and only depended on the private vows made between a man and a woman. Laws then existed only “to repeat and publicly enforce ‘every obligation which natu-rally arises from the Marriage Contract.’ ” According to Bannet, the Marriage Act, “on the other hand, sought to regulate people’s natural impulses in order to bring them under the control of public police.” The Act regarded reproduction as a necessary ingredient to the economy, and marriage a precursor to healthy reproduction, although for generations “churchmen and moralists had taught that marriage was a remedy against fornication designed for mu-tual comfort and the procreation of children” (250). And in the end for Bannet, women were the primary victims, their sexuality com-moditized and regulated by the Marriage Act, and valued as long it could be proven to have occurred while they were bound in an offi cial marriage with a man. Despite the convincing nature of Bannet’s argument, Rebecca Probert manages to counteract many of her points in the essay “The Impact of the Marriage Act Of 1753: Was It Really ‘A Most THE MARRIAGE ACT OF 1753 40 Cruel Law For The Fair Sex?’ ” Probert’s essay demonstrates that the Marriage Act was, by no means, a drastic alteration to existing practice, but merely “constituted a shift in practice” (248). She il-lustrates this by pointing out that “the Church had long prescribed the form that marriages should take, even if less formal ceremonies were accepted as valid” (248). According to Probert’s research, cou-ples were required to announce banns for hundreds of years prior to the passing of the Act, and the Ecclesiastical License Act of 1533 made it possible for couples to dispense banns and instead obtain a license. Further, she says that “church courts had the power to pun-ish couples who failed to comply with these formalities and could require the parties to solemnize their marriage in the approved form” (248). Bannet’s argument is founded on the idea that after the pass-ing of the Marriage Act, women who were seduced under promises of marriage and then abandoned had no means of recourse and were left to fend for themselves with an illegitimate child. This hy-pothesis only works if contract marriages (the simple exchange of vows) were prevalent before the Marriage Act. Probert’s research indicates that this is not true. She quotes Stone who claims that contract marriages “died away to almost nothing between 1680 and 1733,” and that three cases in the 1730s “made legal history as the last of their kind” (qtd. in Probert 250). It is possible that contract marriages may have remained popular despite instances of dispute within them, but even then, contract marriages were very diffi cult to prove, and thus it is unlikely that woman would have been seduced into relationships based on the promise of one. As Probert points out, “a woman who surrendered her chastity upon a promise of marriage breathed into her ear by a man who then rejected her in favor of someone else would have diffi culties in establishing that she was his wife in law as well as in conscience” (251). Lord Hardwicke, who is largely credited with the Act, made the point during the trial of Priest v. Parrot that contract marriage promises were instances “which it is almost impossible to give evi-dence of” (251). Responding to Bannet’s claim that women could also be se-duced into clandestine marriages after the Act, Probert states that MICHAEL BRATEN 41 “estimates of the proportion of clandestine marriages over the country” varied “from four per cent to thirty per cent” (249). Even then, the thirty percent is an outlier because, as O’Connell pointed out, clandestine marriages were the “ ‘commonest means’ of mar-riage in London … before the Marriage Act,” yet we cannot assume that the rest of England functioned as London did (76). Further, as Probert notes, many of these marriages may have only been clan-destine so far as they were “celebrated at uncanonical hours” (mar-riages were supposed to be celebrated before noon) or were cel-ebrated “in a parish to which the parties did not belong” (249). All things considered, formal marriages were actually more common than not. As Probert says, “clandestine marriages peaked at the end of the seventeenth century” and by “1753 conformity with the church’s formal requirements was almost universal” (249). Thus, it is hard to argue that a woman would be tricked into uncertain unions with a man as Bannet argues, before or after the drafting of the Act. Even if a woman was seduced by a man and made pregnant, there were still means of recourse. If a man promised marriage before the seduction, a woman could sue for breach of contract. If marriage wasn’t promised there were still ways of holding the man fi nancially responsible. “The Poor Law guardians,” Probert notes, “could recover from the putative father sums they had paid to the mother.” In addition, the victimized woman’s father “could bring an action for aggravated trespass or loss of services against his daughter’s seducer” (256). With all of the aforementioned information taken into con-sideration, what is to be made of the spike in illegitimacy rates after the passing of the Act? Probert notes that illegitimate births were already on the rise before 1753, that there was an increase in marital fertility in the latter half of the 18th century. Probert also calls attention to the fact that other countries (who had not made changes to their marriage laws) were also witnessing a similar rise (255). Probert also examines the relationship between law and behav-ior in her essay, an aspect that is absent in Bannet’s. Probert asks: THE MARRIAGE ACT OF 1753 42 How far is human behavior—especially the behavior of lovers— dictated by the law? Did the Marriage Act really lead to a rise in the number of cynical seducers, who took advantage of the Act to take advantage of women, safe in the knowledge that they could not be made to marry them? Is it not more likely that the type of man who would seek to rely on the lack of legal enforce-ability of promises of marriage after 1753 would have been careful not to utter a direct promise of marriage before that date? Such men were likely to be exceptional. The great majority, both be-fore and after the passage of the Act, married not because the law constrained them to do so, but because they wanted to marry the woman in question. (256) Although the consciences and opinions of 18th century men cannot be proven, unless we take letters and novels to be a direct represen-tation of their thought, Probert is justifi ed in pointing out that very few men acted in the manner which Bannet assumes they did. In ad-dition, Probert calls attention to the way in which we view women. She agrees that the prior to the Act and after the Act, marriage dis-advantaged woman in some way. She argues, however, that we need to appreciate “that women were not—and are not—inevitably pas-sive victims of either individual men or the collective male might of the law.” While it is true that women “have suff ered manifest injustices in the past,” Probert argues that we need to “accept the possibility that some developments were an improvement” (259). Probert concludes that “it seems unlikely that the Marriage Act resulted in a signifi cant change in the way people thought about mar-riage.” She notes that, as has been demonstrated in this essay, “most couples had married in the church before the Act, and more married in the church after it was passed,” whether due to social pressure, legal advantages, or their own personal convictions (256). We must look at contemporary amendments to marriage in the same way. As Probert argued, “the Marriage Act of 1753” was not “a breach with what had gone before, but rather a development of what already ex-isted” (249). And is this not what recent legislation involving mar-riage rights boils down to? Surely, the mere development of marriage by making it inclusive to a group of people, much like anti-misce- MICHAEL BRATEN 43 genation bans did in the 1960s, will not cause marriage to dissolve, and cause the family as we know it to break down. If anything, it will merely cement the institution and broaden its reaches. Works Cited Bannet, Eve Tavor. “The Marriage Act of 1753: ‘A Most Cruel Law For The Fair Sex.’ ” Eighteenth-Century Studies 30.3 (1997): 233-54. Print. Garrison, Jessica. “Nation Watches as State Weighs Ban.” The Los Angeles Times. 5 Nov. 2008. Web. Leneman, Leah. “The Scottish Case That Led to Hardwicke’s Marriage Act.” Law and History Review 17.1 (1999): 161-71. Print. Moore, Wendy. “Love and Marriage in 18th-Century Britain.” Histori-cally Speaking 10.3 (2009): 8-10. Print. O’Connell, Lisa. “Marriage Acts: Stages in the Transformation of Mod-ern Nuptial Culture.” Diff erences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies 11.1 (1999): 68-111. Print. Probert, Rebecca. “The Impact Of The Marriage Act Of 1753: Was It Really ‘A Most Cruel Law For The Fair Sex’?” Eighteenth-Century Studies 38.2 (2005): 247-62. Print. Smith, Adam. The Wealth of Nations. 1776. Clarendon: Oxford, 1979. Print. Steuart, James. “An Inquiry into the Principles of Political Economy by James Steuart.” 1767. Marxists Internet Archive. Web. Stone, Lawrence. The Family, Sex and Marriage in England: 1500-1800 (abridged ed.). New York: Harper & Row, 1979. Print. MATERNAL MORTALITY AND MAYAN WOMEN IN GUATEMALA 44 WRITER’S COMMENTS Learning to provide culturally sensitive care was a key component of my training as a nurse. Through the service learning project developed by the University of San Francisco School of Nursing and led by USF instructor and certifi ed nurse-midwife Dr. Linda Walsh, I was given the opportunity to travel with ten other nursing students to Guatemala in January 2010 to provide prenatal and intrapartum care to almost one hundred Mayan women in 14 remote rural villages. We were one of a dozen groups of USF nursing students over the six-year long partnership with the com-munity who have traveled to San Lucas Tolimán, Guatemala. We worked alongside traditional comadronas, or midwives, in order to improve the access and quality of prenatal care to the Mayan community. The indig-enous women of Guatemala have some of the highest rates of infant and maternal mortality in the world, and this paper discusses the contribut-ing factors that I observed during the immersion program and suggests interventions that could address this health problem. — Melissa Fessel INSTRUCTOR’S COMMENTS Maternal mortality is a sensitive measure of women’s place in a society. It speaks not only to the medical care available to a given population but also to the rights enjoyed or denied to women. In the developing world, women often have limited options for childbearing. Outside urban areas, the choices are usually the traditional birth attendant, assistance by a family member, or no assistance at all at the time of the birth. Melissa Fessel explores the reasons that government and non-governmental organizations have not experienced success in decreasing the mater-nal mortality rate through the training of traditional birth attendants. It has become clear that the midwives are not the primary factor in the high death rates. Discrimination against the indigenous people in the health care system, and the poverty-related factors of lack of transpor-tation, poor nutrition and closely-spaced pregnancies have a far more profound effect on the outcome of pregnancy. Until we can work with communities to develop creative, culturally sensitive interventions, we will continue to see poor women suffering a disproportionate share of the pregnancy-related deaths in these communities. —Linda V. Walsh, Professor Emeritus, School of Nursing MELISSA FESSEL 45 MELISSA FESSEL Maternal Mortality and Mayan Women in Guatemala GUATEMALA has one of the highest rates of infant and maternal mortality in the world. Women’s Health Weekly (2004) under-scores this appalling statistic with the fact that “maternal mortality among indigenous women is 83% higher than the national rate” (“Obstetrics; Indigenous groups,” p. 109). Over half of the Guate-malan population is indigenous, or descendants of the Mayans, and these women prefer to be cared for by midwives (Glei, Goldman, & Rodriguez, 2000). During a recent service project to Guatemala, eleven nursing students, a nurse practitioner, and a certifi ed nurse-midwife (CNM) provided prenatal care to women living in villages near the town of San Lucas Tolimán. The students estimated that 90% of the ninety-seven women they assessed were Mayan, and almost all of whom stated that they had a midwife, or comadrona, to care for them during pregnancy and birth. As noted by Michel, Mahady, Veliz, Soejarto, and Caceres (2006), “more than 80% of rural births are attended exclusively by a traditional birth mid-wife,” and with the majority of the population living in rural areas, this makes comadronas the main source of maternity care for Gua-temalan women (p. 734). The Ministry of Public Health recognizes that the Guatema-lan health establishment must work with Mayan midwives in order to improve the maternal mortality rates in their country, and in 1935 an offi cial mandate was established in the hopes of orienting the comadronas to modern Western birthing methods and instru-ments (Hinojosa, 2004). The public-health ministry has been of-fering educational programs to midwives in Guatemala for the past fi fty years, but despite the increase in women seeking training and MATERNAL MORTALITY AND MAYAN WOMEN IN GUATEMALA 46 licensure, Guatemala’s high maternal mortality rates have not im-proved. While health authorities continue to blame these discour-aging statistics on the lack of knowledge of the informally trained comadronas, it has become increasingly apparent that the failure of the midwife training programs and correlating high maternal mortality rates of the indigenous population is not the fault of the comadronas, but due to a lack of sensitivity among health workers concerning the Mayan culture and traditional birth practices. The Guatemalan Ministry of Health (MSPAS)1 emphasizes the biological aspects of delivery and disregards the Mayan view of the importance of social and spiritual factors in birth (Berry, 2006). For instance, Mayan women have a certain degree of pena, or embarrassment, discussing and revealing their bodies (Schooley, Mundt, Wagner, Fullerton, & O’Donnell, 2009). This reluctance to divulge health concerns was witnessed fi rsthand by the nursing stu-dents during their patient interactions in Guatemala. The women went to great lengths in order to maintain their privacy as well as the reason behind their clinic visit. For instance, it was observed that when a urine sample was needed, the women would hide the cup given to them for this purpose under the fabric of their skirt or apron. The students additionally confi rmed that many of the women were reluctant to explain any personal health concerns and it was common that the comadrona would report the women’s com-plaints rather than the patient herself. A cultural barrier is erected when the fi rst instruction pregnant women are given when arriving at a clinic is “take your clothes off ,” and this is furthered by the lack of communication between health workers and patients (“Obstetrics; Indigenous groups,” 2004, p.109). As Glei, Goldman, and Rodriguez (2003) explain, “previous qualitative studies have indicated that medical staff in Guatemala may be condescending or discriminatory towards the poor, espe-cially indigenous people” (p. 2449). Alejandro Silva of the Guate-malan Health Ministry’s National Reproductive Health Program notes that it is not the lack of access that keeps the Mayan women away from the clinics, but rather the discrimination they face when 1 Spanish acronym is being used, which stands for the Ministerio de Salud Publica y Asistencia Social. MELISSA FESSEL 47 seeking health services. Silva explains how the MSPAS studies have shown that “people don’t question the quality of our services, they question the way we treat them” (Replogle, 2007, p. 178). These fi ndings are congruent with the fi rst-hand experiences of the nursing students, as they collectively recalled the hesita-tion among Mayan women to seek care from Westernized health care providers who do not speak their language nor make any at-tempt to accommodate their cultural beliefs. The students were told that it was common for a woman’s comadrona to be sent away if she accompanied her patient to the clinic, and the women would later confess to their midwives that they were terrifi ed by the lack of privacy during their physician examinations. Students also wit-nessed annoyance by clinic health workers when one woman’s fam-ily was praying for her while she was in labor, even though this is an important spiritual aspect of birth in the Mayan culture. The Maya view health and disease as a product of both natu-ral and supernatural causes. Successful pregnancies are associated with a balance between body and mind, in addition to “the mainte-nance of healthy relationships with family, community, and nature” (Michel et al., 2006, p. 739). One nursing student recalls how a pa-tient blamed her case of fetal demise on the mal ojo, or evil eye, put on her. She believed that the evil eye was placed on her by an angry woman, cursing her so that she would never have a baby survive again. Even though both the student and her instructor Dr. Walsh, a CNM, knew there were physiological reasons for the death of the fetus, they did not dispute the woman’s claim because to do so would have undermined the religious and social beliefs of the patient and ignored the woman’s culture. The student explained that she was taught to use cultural sensitivity when working with the Mayan patients because it is important to respect the tradi-tional beliefs of the Mayan culture. Unfortunately, clinic health care workers do not commonly employ this consideration. Glei and Goldman (2000) support this observation when they conclude that the lower use of biomedical care by the indigenous population is largely due to the increased likelihood of “discriminatory treat-ment” they have with Spanish-speaking providers (p. 20). The language barrier that Mayan women are confronted with MATERNAL MORTALITY AND MAYAN WOMEN IN GUATEMALA 48 when visiting clinics is an unavoidable obstacle. According to Glei and Goldman (2000), “only about 60% of the indigenous women of reproductive age are able to speak Spanish,” and even though provid-ers serve a mostly indigenous population, a majority of them do not speak an indigenous language (p. 8). The impact of this lack of com-munication is further supported by a study that examined pregnancy care and ethnic variation in rural Guatemala. It was found that fewer than 3% of non-Spanish-speaking indigenous women gave birth in medical facilities and less than one in ten of this sub-group visited a physician at all during her pregnancy. Spanish-speaking indigenous women, however, were more likely to visit a biomedical provider, which suggests that communication is a key element that women consider when seeking maternal care (Glei & Goldman, 2000). The current initiatives in place to strengthen the relationship between traditional midwives in Guatemala and modern Western obstetrics include programs aimed at formally training and licens-ing comadronas. The training sessions are held at local health centers and last about two weeks, with refresher courses approximately ev-ery year. Without a license, midwives are not allowed to practice openly, and the work authorization they receive must be renewed annually at their local health center (Hinojosa, 2004). The nursing students reported that there is a monthly reunión, or meeting, of the comadronas from the villages surrounding San Lucas Tolimán. The meeting is organized by San Lucas Tolimán health promoter Jesus Antonio Perez-Aguilar, and is an opportuni-ty for education and the discussion of recent cases. While the stu-dents on the most recent trip to Guatemala were unable to attend such a meeting, they explained that students from their nursing program have been accompanying Dr. Walsh to San Lucas Tolimán biannually for the past fi ve years. During each visit they plan an educational presentation for the reunión, with topics ranging from diabetes to pregnancy risk factors and premature births. Dr. Walsh re-affi rmed this claim and described how one group performed a skit for the comadronas and acted out prenatal interventions (Dr. Linda Walsh, personal communication, January 10, 2010). There are a myriad of problems associated with the current at-tempts by the Guatemalan Ministry of Health to improve health- MELISSA FESSEL 49 care for Mayan women. The training programs in place that aim to educate the comadronas are ineff ective. The trainers do not speak indigenous languages and use teaching methods that are inappro-priate for the older and largely illiterate midwives. Lecturing with-out any practical instruction disregards the way comadronas have traditionally gained their knowledge and skills. Instead of learning experientially, midwives are authoritatively taught pre-established guidelines. These guidelines do not allow the various therapeutic techniques used by the comadronas, and this results in a medical-ization of birth that plainly ignores the cultural belief systems of Mayan women. Glei et al. (2003) summarize the drawbacks to the current midwife training programs when they explain their fi nding that the medical personnel teaching the comadronas have “little ex-perience attending births, are unable to speak indigenous languag-es, and are condescending to the midwives” (p. 2449). These trainers discredit the knowledge and practice the mid-wives already have, and in no way make an attempt to incorpo-rate their local customs. Health offi cials criticize the traditional techniques of comadronas that they neither understand nor care to examine. Instead, they accept Western medical principles imposed upon them without hesitation (Glei et al., 2003). For example, MSPAS offi cials forbid the traditionally used kneeling or squat-ting birth positions—even though medical studies have found that techniques such as ambulation during labor and squatting births off er advantages including decreased pain and shorter labor. Train-ers criticize the use of prenatal massage and external cephalic ver-sion, even though these techniques are known to be safe and useful (Hinojosa, 2004). A number of interventions off er the promise of decreasing Guatemala’s high maternal mortality rates, and most of these are centered around the utilization of more culturally appropriate care. For instance, as opposed to the one-way, didactic approach of teaching, the format of the midwife training programs should be interactive, participatory, and taught by a provider with experi-ence in attending births. It is imperative that the trainer be able to speak indigenous languages. The information conveyed should be relevant to the rural midwives, and not merely a summary of foreign policies and medical jargon. MATERNAL MORTALITY AND MAYAN WOMEN IN GUATEMALA 50 The monthly reunións in San Lucas Tolimán are a success-ful collaboration between midwives, as they learn from each other’s experiences in a trusting environment. The longevity of Dr. Walsh’s partnership with the San Lucas Tolimán health promoters and comadronas has also been proven to benefi t the health status of the women in the community. One nursing stu-dent, M.-L. Wong, stated her opinion: The comadronas know Dr. Walsh and respect her advice. She doesn’t try to force modern medical norms on the women but instead fi nds a way to use her techniques in partnership with the traditional practice of the comadronas in a way that still acknowledges and respects the Mayan cultural beliefs. (personal communication, January 20, 2010) The students explained that the community respects Dr. Walsh because she has demonstrated her dedication to improving their health program by returning every six months. A combination of these two eff ective initiatives by the biomedical health care providers would benefi t their relation-ship with the comadronas. Similar to the reunións of San Lucas Tolimán, through regular meetings the physicians would have an opportunity to educate the midwives on new obstetrical techniques and information. During these interactions the co-madronas would also have the chance to teach the Westernized providers about their cultural beliefs, and the importance of spirituality and religion in Mayan health. An improved cross-cultural understanding between the indigenous population and the Westernized physicians in Guatemala would increase the frequency of Maya seeking biomedical care. A supportive envi-ronment that respects traditional values would be much more successful in providing indigenous women care than a setting that imposes Westernized medical views on them. Dr. Walsh’s personal practice of cultural sensitivity is not the only principle that should be upheld by physicians work-ing with comadronas. Her continuity of care is also imperative when building a relationship with health workers in Guatemala. Dr. Walsh has returned to the villages surrounding San Lucas MELISSA FESSEL 51 Tolimán more than ten times in the past fi ve years, and continues to work to improve their prenatal and intrapartum care. The prob-lem of high maternal mortality rates cannot be solved by short, sporadic visits by health care providers with no community ties. One nursing student recalled a diagram in a village health center about contraceptives, which showed that over the course of two years there was hardly any birth control use except for one month in which patients received Depo-Provera contraceptive injections. The consensus of the group was that a visiting group of “medi-cal tourists” had most likely given the shots. While this was good exposure, the injections off er eff ective birth control for only three months and were not a long-term solution. The students realized that in order to create real, long-lasting change, programs need to be developed that allow for a continued partnership and dialogue between midwives and modern medical providers. The foundation of these programs should be the Mayan comad-ronas and health promoters, as midwives are the main providers for Mayan women and their children. In order to decrease mater-nal mortality rates in Guatemala, physicians must work together with these comadronas to provide better maternal healthcare. The current system in place in Guatemala undermines the knowledge and traditional practices of Mayan midwives. Instead of blindly conforming to the suggestions of Western medicine, biomedi-cal providers should learn more about the pros and cons of tra-ditional birth methods, recognizing the complementary benefi ts of diff ering interventions. If midwives and biomedical providers worked together they would be able to successfully integrate mod-ern obstetrical techniques into the practice of the comadronas. It is through cultural sensitivity and collaboration that Westernized physicians and traditional midwives will be able to bridge the gaps in their maternal care and off er Guatemalan women comprehen-sive, safe, and respectful treatment. MATERNAL MORTALITY AND MAYAN WOMEN IN GUATEMALA 52 References Berry, N.S. (2006). Kaqchikel midwives, home births, and emergency obstetric referrals in Guatemala: Contextualizing the choice to stay at home. Social Science & Medicine, 62, 1958–1969. Glei, D.A. & Goldman, N. (2000). Understanding ethnic variation in pregnancy-related care in rural Guatemala. Ethnicity & Health, 5(1), 5–22. Glei, D.A., Goldman, N., & Rodriguez, G. (2003). Utilization of care during pregnancy in rural Guatemala: Does obstetrical need matter? Social Science & Medicine, 57, 2447–2463. Hinojosa, S.Z. (2004). Authorizing tradition: Vectors of contention in highland Maya midwifery. Social Science & Medicine, 59, 637–651. Michel, J.L., Mahady, G.B., Veliz, M., Soejarto, D.D., & Caceres, A. (2006). Symptoms, attitudes, and treatment choices surrounding menopause among Q’eqchi Maya of Livingston, Guatemala. Social Science & Medicine, 63, 732–724. Obstetrics; Indigenous groups in the Americas have higher maternal, infant mortality rates. (2004, July 29). Women’s Health Weekly, p.109. Replogle, J. (2007). Training traditional birth attendants in Guatemala. The Lancet, 368 (9546), 177–178. Schooley, J., Mundt, C., Wagner, P., Fullerton, J., & O’Donnell, M. (2009). Factors infl uencing health care-seeking behaviours among Mayan women in Guatemala. Midwifery, 25, 411–421. HEATHER M. FOX 53 WRITER’S COMMENTS In Professor Sundstrom’s Ethics for Majors course, we examined crucial works from the history of leading theories in Western normative ethics, from Aristotle through Rawls. In this essay, which is the second draft of my fi rst written assignment for the course, I engage with Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morality, a work whose striking account of the origins, de-velopment, and entrenchment of ethics identifi es human beings alone as the source of normativity—“dragging ethics,” as I attribute to Professor Sundstrom in my frantically written class notes, “down from the heavens and placing it in the breast of humanity.” The essay is my response to our assigned prompt. In it, I try to explain Nietzsche’s idea of the “slave revolt of morality,” an event vital to his account of the evolution of our moral values, and its implications for our understanding of these values, and grapple with Nietzsche’s worries about these implications for hu-manity and his underlying conception of the human person that fuels these worries. —Heather M. Fox EDITOR’S COMMENTS Nietzsche’s provocations often engender vehement responses. (I still, for example, bristle at Nietzsche’s notion that altruism is somehow an impediment to a more pure form of morality.) Therefore, I appreciate all the more Heather Fox’s admirably even-handed response to one of Nietzsche’s most diffi cult claims. Note how Heather’s summary resists the temptation to immediately reject the low-hanging fruit of some of Nietzsche’s more dubious assertions; instead, she patiently explores his most intriguing ideas and arrives at an admirably measured conclusion on one of the 19th century’s most infamous and perhaps indispens-able polemicists. In this essay, and many others submitted to Writing for a Real World during her undergraduate career which have earned her both publications and honorable mentions, I see strong evidence that Heather Fox is a fi rst-rate intellect. I would not be surprised at all to see her work in print elsewhere in the near future. —David Holler, Editor, Writing for a Real World APPRECIATING BUT RESISTING NIETZSCHE’S CHIEF NORMATIVE WORRY 54 HEATHER M. FOX Appreciating but Resisting Nietzsche’s Chief Normative Worry NIETZSCHE’S On the Genealogy of Morality1 provides a naturalistic, descriptive account of “the conditions and circumstances out of which [moral values] have grown, [...] developed and shifted” (Nietzsche, 6). He traces the emergence and unfolding of these val-ues in order, ultimately, to critique them—to fi nally interrogate the otherwise uncritically embraced “value of these values”—through an amoral, normative analysis (ibid.). This paper endeavors to probe Nietzsche’s Genealogy via an investigation of his not uncontrover-sial “slave revolt of morality,” which Nietzsche understands to have catalyzed the shift from our early, modest moral foundations to our current moral system—one that he views, on the whole, as detri-mental to individual and collective human fl ourishing, and in these regards, inferior to the earlier, though also imperfect, morality. In what follows, I shall seek, fi rst, to faithfully re-sketch the descriptive contours of this crucial event and Nietzsche’s norma-tive assessment of it. I shall withhold my critiques of the descrip-tive (which I nevertheless fi nd problematic, and not ultimately plausible), in favor of accommodating a discussion of Nietzsche’s aforementioned normative worry. My thesis is that this (potentially quite dangerous) worry is not without merit, but that Nietzsche takes the worry too far, for he seems (mistakenly) to think that unless at least some humans can live in such a way as to exhibit unbridled forcefulness and strength as nobles do, humans cannot and will not aspire to and sometimes 1 Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm. On the Genealogy of Morality. 1887. Trans. Maudemarie Clark and Alan J. Swensen. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1998. Print. HEATHER M. FOX 55 achieve greatness, and will in this sense be signifi cantly worsened by their post-revolt moral constraints. Breaking with Nietzsche, I argue that virtues such as compassion, which, by his account, have been made available to us and are held in esteem by “slave moral-ity,” appear perfectly capable of motivating striving and achieve-ment similar to that which Nietzsche otherwise rightly considers impressive, but evidently holds to be impossible under such vir-tues. Nietzsche’s account, with its clear admiration for ‘noble’ val-ues, and misguided view of non-noble ones, off ers us only a partial sense of what a magnifi cent life involves. Nietzsche’s theory of “the slave revolt of morality,” which he characterizes as symbolizing “a radical reevaluation of [...] values,” and “an act of spiritual revenge,” is the culmination of “a two-thou-sand year history” (16-17). The deep and tangled roots of this event stretch to the fi rst moral distinctions and tenuous moral framework, which were invented and practiced by the nobility and endured by common/conquered people for ages. Surveying the etymology of words meaning “good” and “bad” in several languages, Nietzsche begins his genealogy with the insight that notions of social-political superiority and inferiority have, historically, extended to concep-tions of superiority and inferiority of soul (14). The understanding of “good” by aristocrats stemmed (egoistically) from their concep-tion of themselves, i.e., who they took themselves to be and how they took themselves to live: fully and happily; they attributed the label “bad” to their counterparts, i.e., non-nobles and their behav-iors. Nobles’ behavior essentially conformed to these distinctions: toward fellow nobles, they typically exercised “consideration, self-control, tact, loyalty, pride, and friendship,” whereas they behaved less uprightly toward non-nobles, whom they regarded as inferior and thus deserving of the lesser and often exploitative and/or abu-sive treatment (22-23). “The slave revolt of morality,” initiated by priests, an off shoot of the aristocracy, was the response of the weak masses against the prevailing, noble moral ideals, which sanctioned their mistreatment and touted a supremacy that they lacked and of which they were deeply jealous. Driven by a disdain for the powerful, their superior natures, and their way of life, treacherous priests, posits Nietzsche, APPRECIATING BUT RESISTING NIETZSCHE’S CHIEF NORMATIVE WORRY 56 cultivated and channeled an “ideal-creating, value-reshaping hate,” ressentiment (17). On this view, the Jews, possessed by ressentiment, inverted the nobles’ heretofore triumphant “value equation,”2 and began spewing dangerous distortions under the guise of moral revelations, including the following: only the “ ‘poor, powerless, [and] lowly’ ” are good; piety consists in and blessedness emanates from suff ering, deprivation, sickness, and ugliness; and the nobles (whose behavior is animated by the aforementioned nature) are evil and will suff er eternal damnation (16-17). Assailing those he counts as the slave class for having so championed attitudes and behaviors that he views as twisted, weak, and reactive—i.e., con-trary to the naturally deeply active and expansive “Will to Power” and human thriving itself—and having elevated them to the posi-tion of virtues and to the keys to salvation, no less, Nietzsche holds that the priests and their unhappy followers have infl icted serious harm on human beings, individually and collectively. “The slave revolt of morality,” reasons Nietzsche, has disgusted humans with the very aspects of their nature that compel them to strive for greatness and sometimes achieve it. This morality and its new values, which have brought humans “society and peace” and made humans inward-looking and interesting, have neverthe-less greatly harmed humans through their fundamental devalua-tion of the instincts according to which they formerly acted and with which they made sense of the world (56). This new structure implores people to refrain, for instance, from following their in-stincts to behave forcefully and exercise their strength when they so desire, but the primal drives, though now seldom acted on, re-main straining within people. With their natures and impulses so obstructed, Nietzsche theorizes, people began to direct their most abusive and aggressive instincts inwardly, hence the rise of guilt or “bad conscience”—feelings that would come to cause people not just to experience emotional distress generally, but that would positively undermine human thriving, for this morality and its side-eff ects are thought gravely to stifl e human beings, infect their spirits, and discourage individuals’ striving for excellence. 2 This “equation” held that “good=noble=powerful=beautiful=happy= beloved of God” (16). HEATHER M. FOX 57 I think that these worries about the implications of “the slave revolt” for individual and collective human achievement and fl our-ishing have some merit. Mainly, they eff ectively highlight for us what is beautiful and inspiring about the authentic noble spirit: its inexhaustible striving, pushing, and yearning for self-improvement, its propensity not just to say, but scream, “YES,” to itself, its burst-ing with life and compulsion to express its being most forcefully. The worries thus suggest both what might be at risk through the decline of “noble” values and rise of “slave” values, and what about the “noble” we might want to attempt to distill and salvage in our eventual post- or supra-moral system. Nietzsche, who makes clear his wish to transcend “good” and “evil” and to carve open the path for thorough moral transformation, indicates that we should not, in our transformation, accept a loss of what is most glorious about human beings, and should fi ercely resist processes that dilute hu-man potential. We should not ignore these concerns. We should, however, critically appraise them and ensure that they are reason-ably counterbalanced. It seems to me that we can appreciate Nietzsche’s admiration of those aspects or expressions of humanity that he considers most noble and his darkly romantic vision of human authenticity more broadly, without accepting his entire view. In particular, we need not accept his full account of the development of noble persons, the prime worth he places on the value of strength and activity or exertion in such development, and his neglect of at least most non-noble values in this process. It is not at all clear that noble values, as he conceives of them, are suffi cient to form or encour-age the formation of human beings of the sort Nietzsche longs to see, that is to say, people who “justif[y] man himself,” who are “completely formed, happy, powerful, triumphant,” and who, like taut bows, stand “unbreakable, tensed, ready for something new […] more diffi cult, more distant” (24). Noble values, as Nietzsche understands them, which rest on visions of “powerful physicality, a blossoming, rich, even overfl owing health,” and which are achieved through “war, adventure, the hunt, dance, athletic contests, and in general everything which includes strong, free, cheerful-hearted activity,” do seem to get us partly there, and highlight much of what APPRECIATING BUT RESISTING NIETZSCHE’S CHIEF NORMATIVE WORRY 58 a grand, rich life involves, but do not provide us a full picture (16). I think, that is, Nietzsche is right to say that these values play important roles in the process of developing authentic, impressive human beings, but wrong to think that such values and the above conditions that foster them are enough. Nietzsche goes too far in suggesting that less forceful ex-pressions of individual strength or will, and activities which evidently stem from non-noble values (e.g., collaborative activ-ities people might engage in or personal sacrifi ces they might make for one another’s benefi t), in fact divert us from such ide-als as he prizes and discourage or all together impede the devel-opment of the persons he considers extraordinary. I think that we have good reason to resist Nietzsche’s position, expressed throughout his Genealogy, that the more compassionate, less aggressive human beings we encounter following the “slave re-volt of morality” are “deformed, reduced, atrophied, poisoned” persons, and that they mark “the regression of humankind” (23- 24). On the supplementary view for which I am advocating, the characteristics or values evident in such persons whom Nietzsche considers disgraceful, are closer to robust than dis-eased or atrophied, and are necessary ingredients for process of the shaping of those humans Nietzsche champions. In an eff ort to make my point clearer, I wish to briefl y sketch some examples of the characteristics I have in mind, that for Nietzsche are thoroughgoing “slave values,” antitheti-cal to his ideal of the human person, which I think, any such ideal, if it is to be plausible, must take seriously (i.e., recognize the value of) and be able to accommodate. Compassion is a characteristic which, roughly, involves treating others kindly, and living in such a way as to not contribute to the suff ering of others, as well as possibly taking positive steps to amelio-rate that suff ering when one can reasonably do so. Sacrifi ce or generosity is another characteristic, which (again, roughly) in-volves one giving something to others, primarily for the others’ benefi t, at some cost, perhaps considerable, to the benefactor. Both such sketches are indeed cursory, but suffi cient for our purposes, for they capture elements of value that we typically HEATHER M. FOX 59 view as necessary for the development of good persons or ad-mirable characters, but that are at least deemed inessential, if not absolutely obstructive or detrimental, to Nietzsche’s con-ception of the extraordinary person. In Nietzsche’s view, indi-viduals such as those who take serious personal risks to save strangers’ lives or relieve their suff ering, or who give to others in desperate need when they can, that is, people who evidence deep compassion for others, and generosity towards them, are not, through their compassion, generosity, or their evidencing of similar characteristics, exhibiting anything like profound strength, great humanity, or acting in a way that people would rightly fi nd inspiring. They are instead exhibiting a form of weakness refl ective of “slave values,” which noble individuals should make an eff ort to avoid. I think Nietzsche is mistaken to exclude these character-istics from his conception of nobility. It is important for us to recognize that Nietzsche’s position on the danger of these characteristics or values to human thriving is not obviously cor-rect, for it seems that in practicing what Nietzsche considers to be dangerously and thoroughly self-denying or -negating moral ideals, like compassion or generosity toward other human be-ings, people appear very much to be engaged in a sort of noble activity—a striving for and sometimes achieving excellence, even in forcefully affi rming and asserting themselves, albeit in ways diff erent than one is typically understood to engage in that striving or related activities. Contra Nietzsche, I do not think that such compassion-driven striving, or self-affi rmation or assertion is “fake” or illusory, life-denying or sick. I think it represents an other, probably less conspicuous, but never-theless real and utterly necessary way for humans to live full, rich lives. Nietzsche’s account unfortunately misses this point and to the extent that such compassion or other slave-value-driven activities do motivate behaviors and achievements that are noble, the account provides us only an incomplete account of what an authentic, noble life involves. IN DEFENSE OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE 60 WRITER’S COMMENTS Our essay assignment for Professor Ryan’s Rhetoric 131 course called for analysis of a social issue particular to the City of San Francisco. San Francisco is known for the vitality of its gay and lesbian community, and in 2004 gained notoriety as the fi rst American city to legalize same-sex marriage, beginning a pitched legal battle that is still ongoing. My family has a wide circle of gay friends and acquaintances who were denied the right to marry by the passage of California’s Proposition 8 in 2008, so I wanted to more fully understand both sides of the issue. I decided to research the current legal status of same-sex marriage, the sociological arguments for and against state sanction of same-sex marriage, and the impact of same-sex marriage on both the gay community and society at large. My research led me to conclude that any denial of same-sex mar-riage is unjust and socially detrimental. —Evan Giusto INSTRUCTOR’S COMMENTS For the research assignment in my Oral and Written Communication course, I usually advise my students to pick a subject that is either relat-ed to their specifi c disciplinary major or has some personal signifi cance. Then, they must counter-argue. In Evan’s paper, we can see the most effective compositional and rhetorical concepts at work: claims and reasoning, data and evidence, empiricism and logic, interpretation and evaluation, invention and disposition, warrants and research. Of course, there are many more, and Evan manages to organize the elements of his argument into a very clear, coherent shape, arguing that same-sex mar-riage should be sanctioned not just legally but ethically and morally. — David Ryan, Department of Rhetoric and Language and the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good EVAN GIUSTO 61 EVAN GIUSTO In Defense of Same-Sex Marriage Abstract The legal sanction of same-sex marriage has become one of the defi ning social issues of our time, because allowing gay and lesbian couples full inclusion in society confi rms our commitment to core values such as liberty, equality, and equitable property rights. These are all ideals on which our country was founded, but we still dis-regard them despite the United States Supreme Court’s decision more than forty years ago that the right to marry is a fundamental freedom. To date, same-sex marriage is banned in the majority of U.S. states and by our federal government. This paper examines the legal status of same-sex marriage at the federal and state levels, focusing specifi cally on California, where the issue is currently be-ing contested in the courts. The paper also analyzes objections to same-sex marriage, and how allowing gay marriage has impacted both same-sex couples and society in general in Europe. Finally, the paper looks at the thriving gay community in San Francisco to get a glimpse of the impact of the same-sex marriage battle. Keywords: same-sex marriage, gay marriage, Defense of Marriage Act, DOMA, Prop 8, San Francisco Castro District IN DEFENSE OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE 62 Introduction SAME-SEX MARRIAGE implicates the deepest issues that defi ne us as a society. The issue requires us to question our values with re-spect to liberty, equality, and equitable property rights—all principles upon which our country was founded. However, despite the fact that the United States Supreme Court long ago declared that the right to marry is a fundamental freedom (Loving v. Virginia, 1967)1, same-sex marriage continues to be banned in the majority of states as well as by the federal government. Juxtaposed against this fact are studies that show that inclusion of same-sex marriage generally has a posi-tive eff ect, contributing to the stability of society (Badgett, 2009, p. 127-28). Conversely, suicide attempts by both gay and straight teenagers “are more common in politically conservative areas where schools don’t have programs supporting gay rights” (Tanner, 2011, p. A4). Thriving homosexual communities such as the Castro in San Francisco are evidence of the benefi ts of a socially inclusive environ-ment, be it straight or gay. This paper will examine the legal status of gay marriage in the United States, the social implications of le-galizing same-sex marriage, and how the legal sanction of same-sex commitments is playing out both here and abroad. Legal Precedent Federal Law During the Clinton administration, an overwhelming majority of both houses of Congress voted to enact the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defi nes marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman (DOMA, 1996)2. Thus, even if a same-sex couple legally marries in the handful of jurisdictions that allow it, the couple is not entitled to federal benefi ts, including Social Secu- 1 Loving v. Virginia decided the issue of interracial marriage (Loving v. Virginia, 1967). 2 Specifi cally, the statute states, “the word ‘marriage’ means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word ‘spouse’ refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife” (DOMA, 1 U.S.C. § 7) (1997). EVAN GIUSTO 63 rity and immigration rights3. However, in an ironic twist, the IRS reversed its position in May 2010, ruling that while homosexual married couples and registered domestic partners cannot fi le joint federal tax returns, they must, nevertheless, be treated equally with respect to state law. In California, one of the nine commu-nity property states, this condition means that gay married people and registered domestic partners must each declare one half of the couple’s joint income on their individual federal income tax returns (Meckler, 2010). As shown below, this IRS ruling will result in a substantial tax break for same-sex couples with disparate in-comes (Meckler, 2010). Fig. 1. Meckler, L. (2010, June 5). Gay couples get equal tax treatment. The Wall Street Journal. As the chart above from the Wall Street Journal indicates, surprising inequities might emerge in the tax liabilities of registered domestic partners in California. 3 The “United States Government Accountability Offi ce (formerly known as the General Accounting Offi ce) identifi ed a total of 1,138 federal statutory provisions … in which marital status is a factor in … receiving rights, benefi ts, and protections” (Pawelski et al., 2006). IN DEFENSE OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE 64 The second part of DOMA carves out an exception to Article IV, Section 1 of the Constitution, which requires states to give full faith and credit to the “public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state” (U.S. Constitution). Thus, DOMA declares that no state is required to respect any same-sex relationship sanc-tioned by another state (DOMA, 1996). Therefore, DOMA applies not only to gay marriages but also to domestic partnerships and civil unions (Cliff ord, Hertz, & Doskow, 2010, p. 31). Interestingly, DOMA was enacted before a single state allowed same-sex marriage; in essence, it served as a preemptive strike against what Congress feared would occur at the state level. Now that sev-eral states, including California, have granted full or partial domestic benefi ts to homosexual couples, the federal law has taken on greater signifi cance. Thankfully in February 2011, in an abrupt reversal of federal policy, President Obama concluded that DOMA is uncon-stitutional and instructed the Justice Department not to defend it in court (Savage & Stolberg, 2011). In a letter to Republican House Speaker James Boehner, Attorney General Eric Holder explained that DOMA’s classifi cation of individuals on the basis of sexual ori-entation violates the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, which guarantees equal protection under the law (Holder, 2011). More re-cently, a federal bankruptcy court in California held that DOMA is unconstitutional for the same reason (U.S. Bankruptcy Court Mem-orandum, 2011, p. 19). In the case of Balas and Morales, a gay mar-ried couple who fi led for joint bankruptcy, the government asked the court to dismiss the case. However, the court found that DOMA was enacted on the basis of “precisely the kind of stereotype-based thinking and animus that the Equal Protection Clause is designed to guard against” (U.S. Bankruptcy Court Memorandum, p. 10). Nev-ertheless, unless DOMA is either repealed by Congress or declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, it remains in eff ect and en-forceable in other federal jurisdictions. Consequently, although DO-MA’s powers have eroded, given the current conservative make-up of the House of Representatives and the Supreme Court, it is likely to remain on the books for the foreseeable future. EVAN GIUSTO 65 California Law In February 2004, San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom made history when he ordered the city to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples (Perry v. Schwarzenegger, 2010, p. 4). Fig. 2. Willie Albino and James Thompson on thei
|Title||Writing for a Real World 2010-2011: a multidisciplinary anthology by USF students|
|Subject||College students' writings, American -- California -- San Francisco -- Periodicals; College prose, American -- California -- San Francisco -- Periodicals; University of San Francisco;|
|Publisher||Published by the University of San Francisco for the Program in Rhetoric and Composition|
|Editors||David Ryan; David Holler;|
|Rights||Authors retain copyright for their individual work. Cover art courtesy of Marti S.|
|Title-Alternative||Writing f/a Real World; Writing for the Real World|
|Subject||College students' writings, American -- California -- San Francisco -- Periodicals; College prose, American -- California -- San Francisco -- Periodicals; University of San Francisco;|
|Publisher||Published by the University of San Francisco for the Program in Rhetoric and Composition|
|Rights||Authors retain copyright for their individual work. Cover art courtesy of Marti S.|
|Title-Alternative||Writing f/a Real World; Writing for the Real World|
|Original Item Size||15 x 23 cm|
|Relation-Is Part Of||Writing for a Real World 2010-2011: a multidisciplinary anthology by USF students|
WRITING FOR A REAL WORLD
A multidisciplinary anthology by USF students
PUBLISHED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO
DEPARTMENT OF RHETORIC AND LANGUAGE
Writing for a Real World (WRW) is published annually by the
Department of Rhetoric and Language,
College of Arts and Sciences, University of San Francisco.
WRW is governed by the Rhetoric and Language Publication
Committee, chaired by David Holler.
Members are: Brian Komei Dempster, Michelle LaVigne,
Michael Rozendal, and David Ryan.
Writing for a Real World: 9th edition © 2011
The opinions stated herein are those of the authors.
Authors retain copyright for their individual work.
Essays include bibliographical references. The format and practice
of documenting sources are determined by each writer. Writers are
responsible for validating and citing their research.
Cover image courtesy of Marti S.
This photograph was taken in Havana, Cuba.
Printer: DeHarts Printing, San Jose, Calif.
To get involved as a referee, serve on the publication committee, obtain
back print issues, or to learn about submitting to WRW, please contact
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