Konditori 100 guests
"Hi! Welcome to listen to us talking about our future. After the Europride-parade, that ended the week-long celebration of homosexual pride in Stockholm in late July 1998, we've been sitting here talking. We have finished talking about the celebration and the parade, but surely it won't end just with getting usual homosexuality accepted. The struggle to get rid of injustices based on sexual differences have more phases, haven't it? Please sit down and listen to us, and consider what you think about it."
"This is Eva. She is divorced, and has a son living in his own flat. And that is Mikael. He is not yet married, and he shares a flat with his sister who is a single too. Peter here is divorced. He lives with his two children aged seventeen and nineteen. And I am Anna, the only one of us who is happily married."
"Happily married, yes, but now that homosexuality has become more accepted my husband told me that he have a relationship with one of my colleagues. A man I fell in love with some years ago, but without having an affair. Now my husband thinks of divorcing me to marry that man, but he loves me too. And I want to live with him. I also like his boyfriend, who likes me too - although not in the way I thought earlier."
Anna looks at us, before she continues.
"I want to marry my husbands boyfriend too. Then no one of us have to be alone."
"Do you think that will work?" Peter asks. "Two of you will be interested in your husband, but the new boy will probably not be so interested in you. How are you going to sleep - all in one bed, or will you have one room with a double bed and one with a single bed for the one who will sleep alone?"
"Peter, many usual married couples have worse problems than that. We believe in it. We can move to one flat and live like we were married, that is not forbidden, but it's not so accepted in our community. If we want to get married, that is forbidden. I suppose we'll have to emigrate to a country where it is permitted to have a marriage with one woman and two men."
"How will it be if you get children, then?", Mikael wonders. "Will they say in school that they are going home to mom and the daddies? Well, at least it's good if they get in trouble with other children - not everyone can run home and fetch two daddies."
"Don't be silly, Mikael. How about you, by the way? No problems living with your elder sister? Big sister and little brother good friends all the time?"
"My sister and I have been friends as long as I can remember", Mikael tells us. "We were really good friends when small, so when she moved to Stockholm for her education I actually longed for her to move back home. When I moved to Stockholm two years later her boyfriend had recently left her, so I could borrow a room in her flat until I found a flat of my own. We shared the rent and all the practical work with the home."
"But it wasn't so nice when she or I had a friend sleeping over. It was hard to go to sleep hearing them in the next room, and sometimes when I was with a girl I thought of my sister trying to sleep with our sounds heard through the wall. It was much better when we both had partners, sometimes it almost became a competition of sounds between the rooms", Mikael says with a smile.
Mikael looks down, and is quiet for a while. "Then during a wet party one friday evening my girlfriend left with my sisters boyfriend. I got real drunk, and woke up the next morning in my bed with my sister beside me. We didn't know if we had made love, but it felt like we had finally crossed a big gap. We made love the whole weekend. Since then we've only had each other. In public we continue to live lika a sister and brother sharing a flat, but it feels like people are turning their heads after us, whispering things to each other. It seems like everyone knows that we are lovers, and are against it. Makes me feel like shit. Why should it bother them? Both of us are grown ups."
"Don't you meet friends at all?", Eva asks.
"No. We've talked about meeting friends, but it doesn't feel right against her to sleep with other girls. I'd be sad if she did it, and I think she feels the same way. In the beginning we had friends visiting, but it was a bit odd at the end of the parties when none of us tried to get someone to stay over night. We love each other, and want to live together. Why is that illegal?"
"It has to do with old experience, that too close relatives not are suited to give birth to children. Seemingly it is an increased risk that the children are born with handicaps, something about inbreeding", Peter comments.
"But we haven't planned to have children", Mikael says. "And if we want children we can adopt them. Or some genetic thing where my sister gets an insemination or so."
"And you tease me about what our children would say in school", Anna points out. "What about your children, having a father who also is their uncle."
Mikael smiles to that, but explains that he thinks it would be good with a real marriage. "It feels more serious, that you really have thought it over and wants to live together, than just living in the same flat. It also gives the one you marry a better securite for the future. In many countries the traditional family is more or less gone, and in some countries you don't have to be of different sexes to get married and have a family. But a sister and a brother who really have learnt to know each other, are not allowed to marry and have a family. Isn't it sick?!"
"Sure it's nice if you believe in it, but my husband just left me", Eva says with bitterness. "He met a young girl and just went away with her. Took his clothes and flew. That's not forbidden at all."
"Haven't you too met another, then?", Peter asks. "I think you're a nice and goodlooking woman."
"No, I haven't. Since my son got his own flat I live alone, and don't meet any friends. But my son often visits me. We have a good relationship", Eva explains. "When it's about pleasures as well as the boring daily things."
"That boy seems to be the dream of any mother-in-law", Mikael comments.
"Oh yes, he is, but he also fits the dreams of many others", Eva answer. "This christmas I realized that I am in love with him. I was feeling down and longed for his company, and when he gave me a beautiful bracelet for christmas I gave him a warm hug. I even gave him a quick kiss on his mouth. He looked a bit puzzled, so I apologied the kiss - but he said that it is usual in many cultures, and gave me a kiss back and a smile."
"It was a nice christmas eve, and when he were to leave we hugged each other as usually. At least it began as usually, but..."
"So he didn't go home that evening?" Peter says more as a statement than a question.
"No, he didn't", Eva answers. "Now he wants to move back home to me. I've asked him if that really is sensible, and he thinks it is. He is going to tell his friends that he can't afford a flat of his own, and that there are plenty of room for him in my house. I want him to live with me, but at the same time I don't want him to. He's my son, but he is a grownup man and we love each other. It's not his or mine fault that we happen to be mother and son. If he had been my sisters son it would be legal for us to marry and live together as a married couple."
"In this case it's not only the risk of inbreeding that makes it illegal. The old prohibition is also aimed at the risk of children being exploited by their parents", Peter explains.
"Yes, but he is a grownup man", Eva retort. "He reached majority years ago. The difference in age between him and me isn't greater than between my ex-husband and his new wife. And if we want to have children we can adopt them."
Mikael can't keep quiet. "So to your new children you will be both their mother and their grandmother, and will give them christmas gifts from both 'persons'. And their father will also be their brother."
"Shut up!", Anna tells him.
"I too was left behind with children, but I haven't had the slightest thought of going to bed with my daughter!" Peter is astonished and sounds a bit shocked. "She is old enough, and I've noticed that she has developed a very attractive body, but I surely haven't felt any bodily lusts for her."
Eva and Mikael protests. "It's not just about bodily lusts, as you call it", Eva retorts. "What I feel is true love and affection, in the same way I've felt for other girls earlier but not as strong and with such a response as I now feel for my sister", Mikael explains.
"Naturally you don't have any problems of the kind, Peter?", Anna asks acidly.
"No, I don't have any problems of the kind", Peter answers. "Not really. The only one I've met since I got alone, and have fallen in love with, is a wonderful girl living in the same apartment building as I live in. And I am positive that she is in love with me. We always talk with each other when we happen to meet, and everything seems to fit between us."
"Have you proposed to her, or are you waiting for someone else to do it?", Mikael asks.
"No, I haven't proposed - not yet. For two reasons. Partly because she is younger than my children. I'm not sure about how they will react."
"She isn't so young that your children will have to babysit for their mother, is she?", Anna asks spontaneously.
Peter pretends not to hear her remark, and continues. "Partly because she recently became fourteen years old. She isn't elder than that, but I am truly in love with her."
Anna gives him a comforting tap on his hand. "There are countries where they are allowed to marry before they are eighteen years old", she says. "Maybe we can find a country that allows both that and bigamy, so we can keep on meeting and talking like this."
"Lots of shit here", comments the always and everywhere present pastry cook, and wipes the table as he passes. No one seems to hear him.
"Well, it's not easy to predict the social lifestyles of the future", Peter says. "Sometimes when small steps in the evolution take place in old systems, in communities with well established ways of living, these small changes can work as catalysts leading to a chain of quicker changes."
"The hippie and flower-power movement at the end of the sixties was a try-out to make a change, but there were not enough economical interest in it so it died away - partly because of the use of drugs. The 'woman liberation movement', among others giving women the right to vote in political elections and get the same jobs and salaries as men, has led to some big changes in the lifestyles in some countries during the last decades - for good or bad with familys having both parents working and the children taken care of in kindergartens and other places."
"Now homosexuality gets more accepted - and it sure is more interesting to get legalized for lots of people, among others people working with economy, legislation and politics. Ways of living that have been prohibited for ages, by various reasons, becomes legal and more or less accepted. And some things that has been usual, and a kind of accepted, gets prohibited - like discrimination of homosexual people."
"That man is 'better' than the other mammals shows among others by the ways we find own uses and solutions for our inherited reproduction functions. The number of ways to have intercourse have become probably innumerable after which the humans have discovered that more than two can participate, and found out that the human body has more than one hole that can be used."
"The traditional family with mother, father and children, with some variations in some countries, is more or less dissolved in many so called modern societys. Separations of familys giving one-parent familys, and remarried familys with 'your children, my children and our children'. People starting family life without marrying or even plans to marry. Abortions to get rid of unwanted results are usual in many countries, legal or not. Various kinds of artificial insemination is used. We no longer need a man and a woman to give birth to a child."
"So, why shall we go on with old ways of social life founded on completely different situations than we live in today?"
"Yes", Anna says, "there are other ways to have children than making them as a married couple. And what you mentioned earlier about protecting children from misuse with laws and morality - that doesn't seem to have worked out so well, thinking about all the things adults do to children. Maybe we shall work on getting rid of old laws that is to no use anyhow?"
"Yes, and let parents take a larger responsibility. And elder brothers and sisters, if it's appropriate", Eva adds.
"Here you are - nuts!", the passing pastry cook says, leaving a large bowl of peanuts on the table. No one seems to hear him.
"But, how will that be?", Mikael asks. "Lets pretend that Eva may marry her grownup son and make a family, and Anna can have a family with two men. Peter may marry the young neighbour girl, if she really wants to, and I marry my sister. Sure, we'll get the life we want, and lots of other people too. The way we grownups act today, it will probably not be so much worse if these things are legal. Instead of being hidden, only to surface in the news now and then. But will it be better in a wider aspect?"
"What do you mean with if she really wants to?", Peter asks sourly. "That I may marry her if she really wants to?"
Mikael is puzzled a while until he understand what Peter means, and irritated when he find out. "Peter, I don't think that such a young girl understands what a marriage is. I don't think we can let everything be permitted. There must be some bounds for what is legal and what isn't. Or shall it be ok to go to bed with as young children as you like?"
"Of course not", Peter retorts.
"How old must a child be, before someone who is in love with the child may sleep with the child? Sounds like a question from some humour magazine", Anna comments. "Will it be necessary to be in love with the child, by the way? Maybe it's enough if you just want to be nice to the child?"
"Hey, get serious now", Mikael pleads. "Do you really think that we can take away all these laws? All the time we read about rapes and other sexual misuses, both on adults and children. There are lots of other laws that people don't care about, but do we want to take away all those laws? Isn't it more important to make us humans follow these laws?"
"Well, I guess you are right in a way", Anna says. "But would our society really be worse if it was permitted to marry two other humans? I'm talking about a marriage, with all what that means of responsibility and so."
"Will it be worse if adults who wants to marry may do so, although if one of them is born by the other?", Eva adds.
"I really want to marry my sister", Mikael says, "but somehow it doesn't fell right. I don't know why. Maybe it's just because I've grown up with the idea that it is something very bad? I think that grownup brothers and sisters ought to be permitted to marry, but mustn't we set some limits? Shall it, for example, be legal to marry as many as you wish or just with two?"
"Of course we must have limits, Mikael", Peter says. "We need to protect both children and grownups from lots of misuses in the communities of this planet. We grownups create one stupid thing after the other, often with shortsighted reasons. Things that is bad for both the nature and for the humans. This far no one has come very far with either prohibitions or morality. Apparently even people in high social positions in some countries, with jobs that demands high responsibility, have misused young children sexually - both using photographs of them as well as using the children themselves. And it is hardly the children who have initiated those sexual contacts."
After a moment's silence around the table Peter continues. "But I still think that I ought to be allowed to marry this girl, since we both want to. Maybe we shall wait until she is fifteen. Or sixteen. If she regrets it when I am old, we can divorce - she will be in an attractive age then too. Will probably not have any problems finding a new husband."
"If the views of the marriage and the family is changed in general, it will solve some of our problems." Anna has found a new positive angle. "To live together without marrying is more or less on the same legal status as marriage in some countries nowadays. Today there are few who think it is strange with two people living a family life without marrying. If the view of family life is widened a bit further, I guess it's only your problem that isn't solved, Peter?"
"My problem will be solved in a few years when the girl is eighteen. Then we may marry even with the laws we have today. You Anna have no problem as long as you live together the three of you without you marrying with both the men. It is not forbidden either to share a home with more than one friend, or to have sexual relations with more than one person. No matter if it is with one or with more persons at the same time."
"How about you, pastry cook, how do you want to live in the future?", Anna asks.
"I want to be reborn in the future. But not until the evolution has come so far, that the child can choose parents before it is born. There are so many parents with oddities, so I would need to choose carefully before I allow someone to give me birth. Maybe a child should have a test period, and be born again if it had made a bad choice. I wouldn't choose anyone of you, that's for sure."
"What did you say at the end?" Peter asks with some anger in his voice.
"I will not chase you out from here, I said, or something sounding like that. By all means, sit here and go on discussing. The future passes here too, all the time, and you never know what will happen."
The pastry cook turns to you. "How about you then, who sit here listening to this group of guests - do you too have someone you'd like to live together with in the open, something that is prohibited by laws and morality today? Or someone that it would feel a bit shameful to live together with in some other way?
"Where do you think we shall have boundarys for human relations?"
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Konditori 100 guests
Updated January 18, 1998. (Code polished 19 November 2000.)
Text: Arne Granfoss © (if nothing else is said).
Production: AG Informice