Thursday, December 20, 2007

Sex, love and politics.

Right, hopefully that got your attention!

Over at Shiraz there is a post about the 'fuck circuit'. I have got into a debate with Punchie about the issue of politics and partners.

Punchie states:
Having a general rule of no howsyourfather with Brit lefts on the grounds of taste (and that rule would also apply, only doubly so, if I was a gay man or a straight woman) an indulgence with an RCPer at the same time (although arguably they were not members of the British Left) was undertaken with higher motives in mind.

My response :

Whilst agreeing that some on the left could do with a bit of a makeover I do find the idea that its a ‘rule’ that you don't have sex with or relationships with lefties. As someone of such principled revolutionary beliefs don’t you find it odd to be with someone who is either ‘unpolitical’ (though I think everyone has politics even if they say they don’t) or right wing ?

Wouldn’t you have to shoot them come the Punchie revolution?

So what politics have your girlfriends/partners/shags had then ?
Its not such an issue for a one off but any sort of relationship surely must be difficult if you don't have some politics in common?

Punchie responds ( this is not word for word, so check out the original):

Damn, I knew I shouldn't’t have started this. I’m not sure whether I should go off the subject but as I’m asked, I’ll answer.

People are generally apolitical (although I agree that no-one is really) - “I’m not interested in politics, are you some sort of nutter?” might be a common response.

Also many don’t fit into conventional categories e.g. an Indian who may be big on anti-imperialism (who do the whites think they are to run the world and tell Iran what to do?) mixed with reactionary ‘domestic’ politics (Calcutta’s a cesspit because of these communist chumchas).

But it did include one Frenchwoman who seemed pretty apolitical - or so I thought until she showed me some pictures of her at university including being pictured next to no less than Chirac whilst waving an enormous Tricoloeur - apparently she was the student leader of whatever his party was at her college and another Frenchwoman who appeared a greeny type, if anything, but then I found her current membership card for the British Conservative Party in her house, even though she had only ever lived in France and had been to Britain only a few times (there was strange, and almost understandable reason for this.)

And then there was a Sicilian woman, a long time ago, whose English was diabolical. We got to talk about Mussolini (by sign language, I think) just before she left and she appeared to say she had a great liking for him - but then she may have been saying she had a great dislike of him.

But generally I think the moral is clear - the righter the better. Carla Bruni or Arlette Laguiller? There are more things to talk about than politics.

I am curious as to what others think about this. I do not expect a partner to have identical views to me, that would be dull and I like a challenge. I would want them to be leftish, anti sexist and racist and not homophobic. They would need to be fairly libertarian as well on social issues. Within all that there is quite a lot of scope.

That does not mean politics is the only thing I talk about, but its important.
I would find it impossible to have a partner who held fundamentally opposing political views and stood for everything I fight against.
I could ignore many things, but its impossible to avoid politics as an issue with a partner. I want someone who cheers when there is a victory and gets animated about the issues I believe in.Someone who rants like I do !

This is not such an issue if its just a one off fuck. There is no need to share any interests other than sex. But , saying that, I couldn't fuck someone I knew to be a racist or who was being openly homophobic or sexist . That's not to say sex should be PC, I think it is an area where there are many contradictions and I'm not sure I would want it any other way. I just think if they were expressing those views I would probably have argued with them, been extremely rude and told them to fuck off.

Thoughts ?

Update : re reading this I just want to say that I'm not prescribing what people should do. I suppose with the original comments on Shiraz I was partly trying to wind up Punchie because he is critical of wussy lefties and so I was curious as to why he has a sort of no leftie 'rule' re relationships. So perhaps I have come across as judgemental when that wasn't my intention.

Thinking a bit more about this I am curious to hear from people who have made a relationship work where there are major political differences. I somehow doubt a racist and an anti racist could work, but I have heard of lefties and Tories. I suspect its often that one person is uninterested in politics (though again I don't think anyone is nonpolitical if you really push them on their views)rather than outright opposite. Is there a difference re men and women on this issue?