Tuesday, September 19, 2017
“If you want to change my mind, you won’t do it by shaming or ridiculing me. You’ll have a better chance of changing my mind by presenting me with something I haven’t seen before, which challenges me to re-evaluate my beliefs.”
This is what I’ve told every person who has tried to sway my vote on same-sex marriage one way or the other. It is a request that has, to date, fallen upon deaf ears. That’s why, in this post, I am going to be the change I want to see in the world. This post is all I am going to say about same-sex marriage.
In George Orwell’s Animal Farm, a literary classic by any measure, the animals of Manor Farm led a revolt against their farmer, Mr Jones, after years of toil and abuse. Thereafter, they established a new utopia called Animal Farm in which “All animals are equal” (this was, incidentally, the last of Seven Commandments). The pigs, having led the revolt and being the smartest, were entrusted by the animals to maintain this society.
Before long, the pigs introduced new goals and new rules until eventually they were recognised as the ruling class. They began trading with humans again; wearing clothes, and standing upright. To the animals’ horror, their guiding principle of equality became twisted into “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” By then, the pigs resembled the humans from whom they once freed themselves.
That is where the book ends.
But in an animated feature from 1954 that I’m rather partial to, the animals assert their numbers and stage a second violent rebellion, overthrowing the pigs.
I read Animal Farm when most other kids were reading The Magical Faraway Tree, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, and Superfudge. Back then it was just another children’s tale, but today I think it’s very relevant in making us question the nature of equality and the nature of democracy.