So, sitting back enjoying my Sunday morning, getting ready to root for whichever team was playing the Patriots, and enjoying a cup of good coffee.
I have to wait for MNF to see if my Steelers figure out what type of team they want to be, so without much else to do I was chatting with a “womans rights” person. Smart guy, lawyer, believes in and fights for ethics. Just wanted to see if and where I could move his opinion or if I could learn something new…
And he had to go and write this:
“The comet mission was cool…I’m not all that sure that it impacts me or the future as much as getting the culture to treat women with respect.”
Just wow… you are kidding right? Science is not as important as getting culture right? So by that argument we should go back to the stone age style of living, and all be peace loving people worshiping a deity called the Great Mother? As long as we’re all equal… right?NOTE: Yes. I understand this was not his point, and it’s a straw man argument. Just work with me… I’m on a roll.As he put it: “I am quite certain that building an equal, respectful, productive and ethical culture is more important than measuring the temperature, speed and god know what else on a frozen chunk of ice…”
I still don’t agree. Just trying to make a point about overreaction… Read on…
Separate But Equal
I’m all for equal rights. And in our society woman have made huge strides. Woman are now the majority in colleges, rising to top levels in business, and are generally viewed is being the chief decision maker in most households. Woman control the budget. Is there still work to be done, yes. Always. Of course.
At the same time men and boys are being diminished throughout popular culture. It’s now not just acceptable to view men is “idiots” on many TV shows and commercials but it’s approved and pushed by popular culture. It’s also become normal to squash any “competitive” or “manly” traits of boys in school. Draw a picture of combat, get thrown out of school. Hold up a Pop-Tart nibbled into a rough pistol shape, suspended. Boys are being forced to act unnaturally and we’re starting to pay the price in culture. More and more young men are incapable of being productive in society.
But the “approved” new open culture is still pushing the fringe as the new norm. It’s now acceptable to watch the cast of Kinky-Boots march down Broadway in the Macy Day parade, on national TV. And to be shunned if you question it. So it’s ok to have my small children turn around and ask me “why are those guys wearing those funny boots in womans clothes?” A conversation I would love to have, only when they’re a bit older.
Is that okay feel that way? After all, I loved the play, thought the movie was awesome, the message one of tolerance and understanding. I get it. But did I want to see it on national TV early Thanksgiving morning? Nope. Equal rights, sure. But what about culture? Is it okay be concerned and ask the question?
I’m as open-minded as anyone you can meet. I believe in individuals, their right to make whatever decision in their own lives. I’ve been to drag parties, and my gay friends laugh as I get hit on (I always say thank you, but no, for it really is a complement. Or they’re too drunk. Still not sure…). I’ve fired or demoted half of an executive board for not having enough woman (among other reasons). And within a year, we promoted a new executive team, over half who were well deserving women that helped transform the business. I grew up with many sisters and a strong mother, and my grandmother, RIP, was a true southern lady but with more guts and more strength than anyone I knew. Hell, I love woman! And I always treat everyone with with respect. But is it okay if I also find I want a bit of decorum in society?
Won this Battle, Losing the War
About 20 percent of the population self identify as feminists (almost everyone favors of gender equality – I don’t understand that small group who are against it, but from what I see online it’s a few feminist woman who want to remove my balls and subjugate me). So when a feminist takes the spotlight for her own selfish narcissist needs she is not helping equality, and in fact may be driving anyone who supports her views to question that view. Big branding problem… blowing up minor issues can’t be helping the numbers.
The overreaction to the “sexist, oppressive women hating” shirt verses the lack of reaction to, oh, I don’t know, stoning of women in the Middle East? Too big? How about the lack of reaction to double standards? Feminist are all in when fighting for the last Victorian taboo – the freedom for women going topless. This is good, empowering, must be supported at all cost! But in the very next moment getting all worked up over a fun shirt with dressed women flying spaceships and shooting ray guns. Not helpful.
The feminist and their supporters in media won the battle. They successfully brought lots of attention to the shirt, and forced a weeping humiliating apology from a brilliant scientist. Victory. Yay. The “man” was shown his proper place in society.
But the war on equality? A giant leap back. How many of those undecideds in the middle, when exposed to this sort of selective feminist overreaction, decided that it’s not worth supporting a group like that. How many young girls, who like strong women, cool outfits, space ships and ray guns, decided they had better stick to Barbie as they may get too much attention to do otherwise. And how many young boys thought “hey, I like that shirt, but I will never go study rocket science as I’ll get my ass torn for trying to be cool!” So they drop out, stick to the video games, and live in their mothers basement?
I happen to believe that advancing science is more important than trying to make a political statement. Can’t we have some equality AND advance science? I want cancer cured, I want us to be able to travel to other planets, and I want guys like Matt (the guy with the shirt) out there, in that shirt or topless if he wants, pushing the boundary of science. The reaction was not equal… and harmful to womens rights.
Semper Fi.Top Cavewoman: some rights reserved by Randy Kashka