Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Friday Links

Here are a few things from around the web that may interest you:

Marriage

“So Long, Partner: The curious staying power of husband and wife” [via The Atlantic]

“Dating in the 21st Century: A Reading List” [via LongReads]

“With New Bill, Abortion Limits Spread in South” [via NYTimes]

“Dude’s Demand for an Open Relationship Backfires Spectacularly” [via Jezebel]

“Dating Advice from TV’s Leading Ladies” [via The EveryGirl]

“What If We Admitted to Children That Sex Is Primarily About Pleasure?” [via Pacific Standard]

Really heart-breaking writing from a man who lost his sister on 9/11 about his feelings upon visiting the 9/11 memorial: “The Worst Day Of My Life Is Now New York’s Hottest Tourist Attraction” [via Buzzfeed]

Thank you to those who submitted links for me to include. If you see something around the web you think DW readers would appreciate, please send me a link to wendy@dearwendy.com and if it’s a fit, I’ll include it in Friday’s round-up. Thanks!

Follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

64 comments… add one
  • avatar

    lets_be_honest May 23, 2014, 1:20 pm

    I hope people chime in on what they think of the 9/11 article. I still can’t watch the documentaries on it and I can’t imagine going to the museum. I wonder if I ever will. I suppose it might be similar to Holocaust museums and people who lived through it not wanting to go?
    A friend of my mom’s lost her son that day and went to the museum just to see if there was any reference to the terrorists apparently. There was at the end I guess.

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    • mandalee

      mandalee May 23, 2014, 1:33 pm

      I don’t know how I feel about the 9/11 memorial museum. I mean, there is Holocaust museums and ones dedicated to wars and the like, and I understand the need to tell a story about an event and preserve it in history. However, like the man in the story, I’m sure what happened to people who lost loved ones in the tragedy is so overpoweringly awful that it seems tasteless or wrong to turn their tragic day into a “tourist attraction”. On the same hand, even though many people didn’t have a personal loss in the tragedy, it rattled a lot of people and I could see the need to visit a museum that tries to convey both the overarching and personal stories that occurred on that day. So, basically, I’m not sure how exactly I feel about it, but I know I wouldn’t personally want to go to the museum.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest May 23, 2014, 1:46 pm

        Maybe it would be better received if it weren’t so recent. I doubt they had holocaust museums built 10 years after, ya know? Just too fresh. And then to have a gift shop. 🙁

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      • avatar

        bethany May 23, 2014, 1:55 pm

        Yeah, I feel like it’s too soon. A memorial, absolutely. But a museum… I don’t know. I just don’t know how I feel about it. And frankly, I’m not sure that my opinion matters.

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      • mandalee

        mandalee May 23, 2014, 2:02 pm

        Yeah, a gift shop seems really unnecessary and crass.

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      • othy

        othy May 23, 2014, 1:51 pm

        For me, the big difference between the Holocaust museum and the 9-11 museum is the cost. The Holocaust museum is free, and doesn’t have a gift shop. It’s a very reverent place. The 9-11 museum costs a lot to get in, and has a gift shop attached. I understand the funders are different (the holocaust museum is a part of the Smithsonian networks), but it still rubs me the wrong way.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest May 23, 2014, 1:58 pm

        My mom was saying that recently, and how sucky it is that it seems only DC has free admission to things like that.

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      • LlamaPajamas

        LlamaPajamas May 23, 2014, 1:53 pm

        I thought the Smithsonian Holocaust Museum had a gift shop attached?

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    • KKZ

      KKZ May 23, 2014, 1:43 pm

      I admit I haven’t read the article, so I am just commenting on the verbiage used in the headline: my knee-jerk feeling is that I don’t really view museums as tourist attractions. Do they attract tourists? Sure. And in a city like NYC that is a giant tourist attraction in itself, there’s a stronger case to be made. But I look at museums as guardians and stewards of significant information and history, who make sure the public has access to that knowledge for generations to come.
      .
      Maybe the 9/11 one feels a little tourist-gimmicky because, historically speaking, it’s still so recent; many of the families who were affected by it are still around today. In my city we have the National Underground Railroad Museum; I can imagine if, had that opened when slavery and bounty-hunting were still very recent and real for people, it would have left a bad taste.
      .
      But to me, the point of the 9/11 museum is that future generations who were not around when it happened, or maybe those who weren’t impacted directly, or who were so young when it happened that they never got their minds fully around it (which is what I’d say of myself – I was 13 when it happened and not at all equipped to contextualize it), can still access, digest and remember its many many layers of significance, from the personal to the global.

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      • LlamaPajamas

        LlamaPajamas May 23, 2014, 1:51 pm

        Llama Guy and I were talking about this last night. Well, we were more discussing the controversy over the gift shop, but this still applies. We went to the Flight 93 National Memorial and Ground Zero last year and found them both profoundly moving (especially the Flight 93 site since it’s eerily quiet). My background is in anthropology and he’s a Park Ranger, so we both feel like major events should be memorialized for the ages. I’m sure it’s difficult for the people who were directly affected to visit (I was in college in Central PA at the time so I had some distance) and I’m sure there will be some asshole tourists who are just there to take selfies, but you can find that at any memorial and I don’t think that’s a good reason not to create this kind of space. And memorials are great learning opportunities and, in my opinion, help bring a sense of humanity to tragedy. But I totally understand the arguments that it’s crass or inappropriate.

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      • KKZ

        KKZ May 23, 2014, 2:00 pm

        Yeah, Gift Shop adds a whole different element to it, I’ll agree with that. That does feel a little icky.

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B. May 23, 2014, 3:03 pm

        Here in SF, the museums are a big part of the tourist industry. At least, when my out-of-town friends come, they always want to go there. Based on the brisk business the DeYoung gets, I don’t think they’re the only ones. But, I don’t think a gift shop is appropriate in this case. I’ve heard the argument that the museum is not supported by city or state money, and it needs to generate revenue, but there has to be another way. Private donors, maybe. I would like it better if the remains were kept somewhere else. Maybe outside in a nice, restful setting where people could go and pay their respects in whatever way they need to. I wouldn’t like to have to pay a fee to go visit the gravesite of my loved ones, and that’s basically what it is. And I definitely would not want to see stuffed animals or keychains or ties with the WTC on them.

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      • katie

        katie May 23, 2014, 3:27 pm

        whoa, the victims remains are there? wow. yea that is crazy.

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    • avatar

      bethany May 23, 2014, 1:53 pm

      I liked the 9/11 article. Though I guess like isn’t the right word. I had thought about the sadness, obviously that a family member would feel to visit the museum, but I never really thought about the ‘weirdness’ of it all. I totally agree with the author when he talks about not wanting to be there with tourists and he says:
      “I think now of every war memorial I ever yawned through on a class trip, how someone else’s past horror was my vacant diversion and maybe I learned something but I didn’t feel anything. Everyone should have a museum dedicated to the worst day of their life and be forced to attend it with a bunch of tourists from Denmark.”
      *
      Remembering 9/11 is obviously important, and those of us who lived through it all have a story- it was uniting, because it was something that happened to all of us, but at the same time, what happened to the families of the people lost that day is a totally different experience than what the rest of us had.

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      • avatar

        Ella_ May 23, 2014, 3:18 pm

        I enjoyed reading that article too but can’t at all articulate my thoughts about there being a 9/11 museum and gift shop. In the abstract, I am glad that there is a museum with artifacts from and information about 9/11 but I don’t think it is a place I would ever want to go to. I think I would just cry the entire time and I am very far removed from the actual events of that day — I grew up in California and don’t have any sort of connection to anyone directly affected, but just thinking about what actually happened to all of the people who died that day just gets my stomach in knots and makes me so uncomfortable. I wish that the unidentified remains weren’t in a place attached to the museum. I wish the museum and memorial were more separated. I wish the museum was somewhere else, but I understand why all of those things aren’t the case.
        .
        There never would be a “good time” to build the 9/11 museum or a “good place” for it or anything like that. Having the artifacts and images and news reports is a good idea, to preserve the memory and history of what happened, but of course it is going to make people uncomfortable. But how to balance that with the wishes and feelings of the people who lost loved ones? I don’t know.

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    • Miel

      Miel May 23, 2014, 2:24 pm

      I think the problem I have with the museum the way it’s described in the article is how it’s really a museum, and not so much a memorial. I’ve never visited any of the sites surrounding the events of 9/11, but I’ve visited some WWII museums while I was in Germany (I’ve never been to any of the north-american ones). What I remember the most about the Holocaust memorial in Berlin is how it inspires reflection and reverence. I was visiting it as part of a group, but we naturally all went our own way and didn’t talk at all for the few hours we were there. It’s a very silent place, like in a library really, and when I came out of it, it was hard to “come back to the real world”. This was a memorial to the victims, and it wasn’t about “explaining the war” or “teaching history”. It was really just a memorial to the Jewish victims of the war.
      .
      I’ve seen museums about WWII too. But they were different. They were about teaching the “what happened” and “who did what and when”. Those museums weren’t in places where people had died, and they weren’t about the victims. There you could talk, and listen to your audio-guide, and take pictures. But it wasn’t a memorial, it was an actual museum.
      .
      I think building a museum and a memorial at the same time was a mistake. It’s just two different purpose for the same space.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson May 23, 2014, 3:07 pm

        I didn’t see the author’s purposes until your comment. I think what’s getting lost in this is that it’s a graveyard. There should be a quiet space where people who have lost loved ones can grieve, and they shouldn’t have to pay an entrance fee to get there.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson May 23, 2014, 3:07 pm

        See the author’s perspective**

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      • Miel

        Miel May 23, 2014, 3:34 pm

        At the Holocaust memorial in Berlin, there was this room that was completely dark, with benches to sit, and there would be a name projected in white letters on the wall, and there would be a small audio segment saying that person’s name, where they were from, what we remember from them, and where they died. And then there would be silence again, and another name would appear and another story would be told.
        .
        I remember just sitting there for 15-20 minutes, just listening to the stories of the victims. There was no other noise, and no other source of light than the names that were projected. It was a very powerful and sad experience to sit there, but I feel like such a room was an appropriate way to remember the victims, whether you were from the family or not.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson May 23, 2014, 4:01 pm

        Oh wow that gave me chills just reading it. It would be great if the museum/memorial at the WTC did something like that. I often feel like the victims get lost in the tragedy. They become just one mass of people that died, and not individuals with stories and histories and family and achievements.

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      • LlamaPajamas

        LlamaPajamas May 23, 2014, 4:32 pm

        Family members don’t have to pay and they have a dedicated ticket window and phone line.

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      • katie

        katie May 23, 2014, 3:09 pm

        i really love this thought. this is pretty profound, i had never thought about the differences.

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    • LlamaPajamas

      LlamaPajamas May 23, 2014, 1:59 pm

      This is the article I read a few days ago about the gift shop.

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  • avatar

    Christy May 23, 2014, 1:31 pm

    The open relationship article filled me with delight. What a jackass.
    .
    I actually saw a one-act play off-off Broadway about this exact topic. And it ended up the exact same way.

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    • LadyinPurpleNotRed

      LadyinPurpleNotRed May 23, 2014, 1:35 pm

      It made my already pretty awesome day, even more awesome. I couldn’t stop giggling.

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    • Kate B.

      Kate B. May 23, 2014, 2:49 pm

      That was freaking awesome. “I can’t believe a guy like that is interested in my girlfriend and is not out with a hot girl.” I hope she reads that and dumps his sorry ass and then gets with the guy with the tats, who sounds like he’d be happy to have her all to himself.

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    • avatar

      John Farrier May 26, 2014, 5:12 pm

      That was hilarious. He got exactly what was coming to him.

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  • LlamaPajamas

    LlamaPajamas May 23, 2014, 1:41 pm

    I love the term “partner”. I love that it’s sex/gender neutral, I love the idea of Llama Guy literally being my life partner, and I love that there’s no way to shorten it to “hubs”.

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    • KKZ

      KKZ May 23, 2014, 1:48 pm

      Since I’ve started dipping a toe into the casual & FWB space, I’ve toyed with words to refer to the people I’m “seeing.” I think paramour and companion are my favorites. (Not that I have much occasion or reason to label them anything, I just think words are fun.)

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      • LlamaPajamas

        LlamaPajamas May 23, 2014, 1:54 pm

        Gentleman caller is fun, too! As is beau. I love old-fashioned words.

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      • avatar

        No Pants May 23, 2014, 2:02 pm

        My 89-year-old great aunt called He Pants my beau and it was my favorite.

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      • KKZ

        KKZ May 23, 2014, 2:03 pm

        But some of my callers aren’t/won’t be gentlemen! 😉 So far I’ve used ladyfriend for that situation. But that’s just kinda for silliness because it’s not a real word. What would be the feminine equivalent to beau?

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest May 23, 2014, 2:04 pm

        febeau?

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      • avatar

        No Pants May 23, 2014, 2:05 pm

        Belle?

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      • LlamaPajamas

        LlamaPajamas May 23, 2014, 2:07 pm

        Yes! Belle and Gentleperson Caller.

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      • KKZ

        KKZ May 23, 2014, 2:14 pm

        YES! And when I think of whom I’d apply this to, I think she’d love it. 🙂 Thanks NP!

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      • avatar

        No Pants May 23, 2014, 2:32 pm

        Anytime! 😀

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      • LadyinPurpleNotRed

        LadyinPurpleNotRed May 23, 2014, 2:06 pm

        Gentleman caller is two words…why can’t it be lady called or lady friend?

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      • avatar

        No Pants May 23, 2014, 2:09 pm

        My friend has a lot of ladyfriends and that is the word she uses. 😀

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      • avatar

        ktfran May 23, 2014, 2:51 pm

        I actually kind of like the term lady friend. If a dude I was seeing wanted to call me that, I would be on board.

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      • avatar

        RedroverRedrover May 23, 2014, 6:00 pm

        I have friends who use the term lady friend to refer to female friends. And generally they pronounce it the way Hank Hill calls his dog Ladybird – Laaaaadyfriends!

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      • LlamaPajamas

        LlamaPajamas May 23, 2014, 2:45 pm

        P.S. I didn’t mean to be heteronormative, sorry!

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      • KKZ

        KKZ May 23, 2014, 7:01 pm

        No offense taken! 🙂 Because if I do things right, there will be both gentleman callers and lady-belle-friends. haha.

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      • avatar

        No Pants May 23, 2014, 2:11 pm

        Oh, me too. I actually can’t wait til I’m a Golden Girl.

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      • avatar

        ktfran May 23, 2014, 2:36 pm

        I have a gentleman caller coming next week. I can’t wait!!!!!

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      • avatar

        No Pants May 23, 2014, 2:41 pm

        Hooray!

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    • GatorGirl

      GatorGirl May 23, 2014, 2:07 pm

      I realllllllly don’t like partner. I don’t have a solid articulation of why, other than I’ve always known partner in the sense of a business partner or a partner in class. It seems really sterile to me. But I do think everyone should call their life mate what ever they please.

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl May 23, 2014, 2:09 pm

        “If you are a man, and you are married, you are ‘generally’ a husband—regardless of the gender of your spouse. If you are a woman, and you are married, you are ‘generally’ a wife—regardless of the gender of your spouse. Period.”
        .
        Also this.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest May 23, 2014, 2:11 pm

        I thought partner was more commonly used when the couple isn’t married?

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      • LlamaPajamas

        LlamaPajamas May 23, 2014, 2:15 pm

        That’s true. I call LG my partner now because I also hate the word “fiancé” (I hate a lot of words) but I’ll probably still call him my partner once we’re married. GG, it is really sterile, maybe that’s why I like it? Who knows.

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      • avatar

        No Pants May 23, 2014, 2:18 pm

        I didn’t like “fiancé” either. I think we talked about that. I just call He Pants by his nickame and vice versa. I do tend to say, “This is He Pants, my husband,” if I introduce him to someone. T

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl May 23, 2014, 2:20 pm

        Yeah, that might be true, but the article was talking in terms of married (or so it seemed to me). I def understand feeling like bf/gf isn’t “serious” enough, because I felt the same way, but IDK I just won’t use partner, personally. But like I said, everyone should use what they are comfortable with.

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B. May 23, 2014, 2:51 pm

        I am glad to see I am not the only one who hates the word partner. I would be proud to be someone’s wife and would be proud to call someone husband. Yeah, it’s special, but so is marriage, in my opinion.

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl May 23, 2014, 3:16 pm

        IDK, hate is a super strong word. And I would wager people who choose to use partner in their relationships are proud of that word choice. So, while partner isn’t for me, I don’t hate it or think it’s any less special than husband/wife for those who choose that phrase.

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      • avatar

        Ella_ May 23, 2014, 3:19 pm

        Yeah I don’t like partner either and can’t say why. But I also feel like a 15 year old when I say boyfriend, so I generally just introduce mine with his name and leave it at that.

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    • avatar

      Christy May 23, 2014, 2:16 pm

      Partner has been growing on me. I was really anti-partner for a long time–it struck me as a second-class thing that LGB people had to call their SO. And now, well, it fits. Gf is my partner. We are a unit.
      .
      She was filling out an emergency contact form, and we discussed the use of partner then. She ended up just writing “emergency contact” after “Relationship:” because she didn’t want to decide anything.

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      • LlamaPajamas

        LlamaPajamas May 23, 2014, 2:18 pm

        I have a rather unromantic view of marriage, which might be why I like partner so much. I’m madly in love with LG but I think it takes so much more than love to make a long-term relationship work. I like the way partner makes it feel like we’re working together and on the same team. But like GG said, whatever works for the couple!

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      • Miel

        Miel May 23, 2014, 2:30 pm

        I agree with you on the “team” feeling of the word partner. It’s like, let’s forget about our actual legal status (girlfriend/boyfriend, fiance, spouse…) and let’s focus on the fact that we are together.

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B. May 23, 2014, 2:53 pm

        To me, wife encompasses the word partner. That’s why it works for me.

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      • avatar

        kerrycontrary May 23, 2014, 3:28 pm

        Yup, what llamapajamas said. We’re in love but we also view our relationship in a practical manner too. I call my fiance my life partner all the time and I think he thinks I’m a weirdo, but whatever.

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    • katie

      Katie May 23, 2014, 2:21 pm

      I also love partner. Legal marriage isn’t the pinnacle of partnerships, and also not the only meaningful one. Also gender neutral. That’s why I love it.

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  • katie

    katie May 23, 2014, 3:20 pm

    about the partner vs. husband/wife one, i do totally understand why GLADD would have said that they want husband and wife to be used- if i had fought like they have for equal rights, i’d for sure want to use husband and wife too

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    • avatar

      RedroverRedrover May 23, 2014, 6:03 pm

      It’s the same reason they want to use the word marriage, too, and rightly so. You shouldn’t have to use a different word for the same thing. But it’s too bad because actually I wish something gender-neutral would catch on, and the gay community is our best bet for something like that happening.

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  • avatar

    Lindsay May 23, 2014, 5:58 pm

    I understand why the guy is upset by the 9/11 memorial, but I don’t think the memorial itself is wrong. I think it’s really hard when what a person experiences as a personal tragedy is simultaneously a piece of history and a national experience, as well. Most people get to “claim” their loved one’s death, so to speak, for themselves and grieve in a personal way, but for others, it’s something that you have to share with thousands of other people. And I’m sure that hurts. But it’s a piece of history and it did affect people other than him and those who directly lost a loved one.

    I also think that sometimes when a person is feeling angry or upset over one thing (for example) the death of a loved one, it can be really easy to project that onto something related. I’m not trying to minimize his feelings, but in a lot of situations like this, I think deep down sometimes the anger is simply being hurt over their loss and needing an outlet for it. Especially since our society often treats grief as something that should go away as soon as possible.

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