There are two articles in the Times this week about cross-party marriage — this Modern Love column, and this piece by K.J. Dell’Antonia. Both women are married to men with opposite political views. It’s not obvious from either post who’s the Democrat and who’s the Republican in each relationship, but K.J. (of whom I am a huge fan) drops some hints that she’s probably the Obama supporter in her marriage. Both women conclude that what’s actually important in a marriage is love and mutual respect, and that while political differences are challenging, shared fundamental values are what matter most. And in an increasingly politically polarized country, it’s hard to write the other side off as stupid or heartless when “the other side” is sitting across the dinner table from you. Both women emphasize that they share end political goals with their husbands — expanding health care access, improving the economy — they just disagree about how to get there. Cross-party marriages, K.J. says, are good in part because they model bipartisanship and compromise, which are two virtues our country hungers for.
But I think that’s kind of bullshit.
Obviously people can marry whoever they want, and this is just, like, my opinion man. But don’t marry someone who votes Republican. Don’t even sex someone who votes Republican. Why? Because the Republican party is hostile to women’s humanity. The Republican party is hostile to women having the most fundamental rights to their own bodies. The Republican party is hostile to gay people even existing, let alone enjoying the same rights and privileges as straight citizens. The Republican party campaigns on racism.
Don’t sleep with that guy.
This isn’t “just” politics. This is real peoples’ bodies and real peoples’ rights and real peoples’ lives. It’s easy to forget that, I suspect, when you’re a member of a class who isn’t constantly under attack, and whose body isn’t politicized and fought over as if you were an “issue,” like tax reform, and not bones and skin and blood and breath. Even if someone is socially liberal but fiscally conservative, they’re making a choice — a choice to put their own financial self-interest over the very bones and skin and blood and breath of more than half the population. They’re saying, “My views on taxes and economics are more fundamentally important than your basic right to be treated like a human being.”
And that’s bullshit. That’s not someone I would marry. That’s not someone I would let raise my kids. That’s not a view I would shrug off as “just different” than my own.
Judgmental? Hell yeah. Are there plenty of cross-party marriages and relationships that work? Yeah. And that’s fine — to each their own. But I maintain that any dude who doesn’t think you’re entitled to your own body and a full set of rights — who doesn’t think that all people are entitled to their own bodies and to equal rights — isn’t a person who will ever fully respect you, and isn’t a person who you should be with.