One of [the identity-politics crowd's] ideological allies is throwing cold water on the “born this way” argument for biology-based sexuality, saying it relies on “very thin science” and has actually harmed gay rights.That article takes readers to New York magazine,where Northeastern's Suzanna Walters, says:
“People feel and experience their sexuality in very deep and substantive ways, of course. But neither is it as simple and glib as some, you know, genome, some endocrine trigger.”Ultimately, she argues, it's not about biological science or social science, intellectual endeavours that are never settled. Rather, it's about freedom.
Walters believes that tolerance of biological difference is simply too flimsy a foundation for a cause such as gay rights — and that that’s part of the reason other civil-rights movements have shied away from such arguments. “Look at the women’s movement, look at the black civil rights movements,” she said. “Neither of those movements relied on notions of immutability, on acceptance, on tolerance. They relied on notions of equality, of liberation, of freedom. We have that tradition in our country.”Precisely. Nineteenth-century civil rights movements battled against notions of immutability, specifically the intellectual or emotional shortcomings the establishment of the era claimed to be part of the nature of being African, or female.
Walters acknowledged the challenge she faces given how deeply ingrained in the LGBT discussion the “born this way” line is. “It has become — not just for gays but for liberal allies — the position you’re supposed to take,” she said, and arguing otherwise is often seen as akin to arguing against gay rights altogether. That’s why Walters said her book specifically targets straight allies: She hopes to convince them, “You don’t need to rely on flimsy science, on notions of compulsion, on notions of immutability, in order to make a strong case for civil rights.”