The forces of hatred are rising again in America. We have abandoned the great principle of equal treatment for all which powered the civil rights progress of the past two centuries. This leaves us vulnerable to the social engineers of the Left and the counter-revolutionaries of the Right. Their conflict might widen the fissures of US society, allowing raw hatred to erupt. We have to tools to prevent this if we exert ourselves.
The Alamo Drafthouse theater chain proudly announced women-only showings of Wonder Woman in Austin and NYC.
“Apologies, gentlemen, but we’re embracing our girl power and saying ‘No Guys Allowed’ for one special night at the Alamo Ritz. And when we say ‘Women (and People Who Identify As Women) Only,’ we mean it. Everyone working at this screening – venue staff, projectionist, and culinary team – will be female.”
They quickly added additional screenings, all of which sold out. It was blatantly illegal under Federal, State, and city laws. Complaints were filed with the New York City and Austin Human Rights committees. For example, the Austin American-Statesman reported that “Albany Law School professor Stephen Clark, a gay lawyer in Albany, N.Y., specializing in sexual orientation and employment law” filed a complaint in Austin (see his explanation in the WaPo).
Good Leftists immediately responded. Beth Elderkin at Gizmodo wrote “A Women-Only Wonder Woman Screening Is Predictably Upsetting Dumb-Ass Sexists“. Her logic relies on imaginary codicils of the antidiscrimination laws.
“A women-only screening of Wonder Woman is an excellent idea, and any man who thinks it discriminates against them needs to spend the rest of the day staring in the mirror while a single tear flows down their collective cheeks. …
“Any girl born after 2005 has never seen a woman star in her own comic book film, yet at least 30 superhero and comic book films since 2008 have starred men. …It’s also important to note that this is the first general audience superhero blockbuster that’s been directed by a woman, which is something to celebrate all on its own.
“All of this doesn’t even touch on the role that Wonder Woman has played in the lives of millions of women, which is just as relevant a reason for these screenings. …
“So, to all the men complaining that a couple screenings of Wonder Woman exclude them, I say this: just shut up. Women have had to deal with the bullshit of non-representation for generations, and we will probably keep having to deal with it for generations to come. …Any man who doesn’t respect that doesn’t understand what Wonder Woman’s been fighting for all these years.
“Another counters with utmost charity, ‘I can see why a lot of guys are getting bothered by it, but come on…there’s way more important things in this world to flip out over. And another pipes up with the old ‘reverse-sexism’ chestnut: ‘Boy oh boy, turn it around and ban a woman from seeing a movie…All hell would break loose! Women would be out picketing. …Alamo Drafthouse, epic fail.’ A chorus of men echoed the accusation of discrimination, some demanding to know whether the venue had ever offered ‘men-only’ movie nights. …
“As for the frisson of male outrage – that’s all too expected, not to mention the product of gluttonous entitlement. Just as reverse racism is structurally impossible, so too is reverse sexism: many – though not enough of us – understand that the world is organized so as to buttress the power of white heterosexual men. You cannot be discriminated against in a world that is made for you.”
Got to love the leftist defense that “there’s way more important things in the world to flip out over.” The media overflows with indignant Leftist’ complaints about trivial things. For example, see their outrage at Katy Perry for “sharing a picture of a Hindu goddess on Instagram”, for working “with rap group Migos on her new single ‘Bon Appetit'”, and for “not letting Ariana Grande sing with her on ‘Bon Appetit'”. That’s just one week’s political incorrectness for one rock star. Without leftists’ whines our newspapers would be so much smaller.
Immunity of women and minorities from claims of sexism & racism
Belief in universal right — human rights — has transformed western societies during the past two centuries. They have not become Heaven or utopia, but have displayed rapid progress toward social justice on a scale — in both space and time — seldom seen in history. In America that has meant fantastic breakthroughs in rights for women and African-Americans, pushing back against generations of sexism and racism.
This has meant special programs for women, even as women students caught up with and then surpassed male students. For African-Americans, the quest for integration has been to some extent replaced by demands for black-only spaces. As seen at Evergreen College in Washington, quite violent demands (see a gentle description of this fascinating story, and a more explicit one at USA Today). And social justice warriors demand increasingly severe changes to US society, using the government’s power vast power to convince or compel.
The quest for special rights for these and other oppressed groups appears never-ending. As seen — on a small scale in the Wonder Women screenings — the quest for human rights has been replaced by new goals. Now the Left seeks social justice through social engineering. As part of this the great civil rights have been retconned, given new meanings directly opposite to their original intent. Prohibition of discrimination by gender or race becomes authorization for special treatment by gender or race.
There is always a counter-revolution. Abandoning the great principles used to push back the forces of prejudice and hatred empowered it. Our society is already politically polarized — stressed by increasing economic inequality, falling social mobility, and rapid social change. Added to that is a clash between social justice warriors seeking to manipulate society to better match their ideology — and right-wing conservatives seeking to roll back the clock.
Both claim high principles for their actions.The results are often chaos, even violence.
Most of us are in the middle, giving allegiance to principles no longer respected by either left or right. Both sides seek social revolutions. History suggests that the result will be unpleasant so long as the middle majority remains passive and apathetic.
The great civil rights laws were passed only after generations of struggle. We’ll probably pay dearly for abandoning these ideas so foundational to America. They are all that stands between us and a rising tide of hatred.
A warning from the past
From Robert Bolt’s play “Man for All Seasons“. It is the story of Sir Thomas More, the 16th-century Lord Chancellor of England who refused to support King Henry VIII of England‘s divorce. Here he warns us about the consequences of abandoning our laws.
ROPER: So now you’d give the Devil benefit of law!
MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
ROPER: I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
MORE: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you -- where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast -- man’s laws, not God’s — and if you cut them down -- and you’re just the man to do it -- do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake.
For More Information
- Congress did a great thing 50 years ago, but rot from that day has spread and taken root.
- Racism is the dark side of populism. Will it divide and defeat us?
- Donald Trump leads us back to the future, to the dark days of US history.
- Trump and the 1% lead America back to its past, to its dark roots.
- Warning: the income gap between races is widening in America.
- America’s unspeakable problem: African-American’s crime rates.