Suzanna Walters – Gay rights. Recent years have ushered in a whole new meaning to the idea. Many believe that with gay marriage becoming legal and more gay role models we are becoming much more tolerant. But what about the idea that they need to be tolerated in the first place? Do any of us have the right to simply tolerate someone? This week we speak with Suzanna Walters, Director of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Professor of Sociology at Northeastern University, as well as the author of the new book, The Tolerance Trap: How God, Genes, and Good Intentions Are Sabotaging Gay Equality.
“The notion of tolerance already has built into it a kind of tepid acceptance of that which you do not really embrace.”
Quotes from Suzanna:
[shadowbox]”We tolerate things we don’t really like, that’s the nature of the word. Tolerance is too low of a bar for a civil rights movement.”
“We need to celebrate differences and the way differences can transform all of us in positive ways.”
“This issue is about a change in consciousness. What needs to happen to create a truly inclusive society is a deep knowing of other people and other ways of life.”
“Tolerance can be taken away as it is always someone else who is doing the tolerating.”[/shadowbox]
What we learn in this episode:
- The slippery slope we encounter when we talk about tolerance around gay rights, as if it is something that we can only tolerate and not embrace.
- By focusing on singular issues surrounding gay rights, we miss out on the entire idea of individual rights in general.
- How social inclusion and celebrating others differences is a key part of a truly thriving society.