Slowly but self-righteously America continues its descent into becoming a land debilitated by political correctness. Today there are more parameters for what constitutes acceptable speech than ever before while the trendy troika of race, class, and sex trump truth on a daily basis. Isms, more than knowledge, fuel our university curriculums and public policy decisions.
One of PC's most essential precepts is that women are morally, vocationally, and intellectually superior to men. The spheres of government have internalized this outlook and their belief in women being an oppressed group colors numerous laws. The bias against men in criminal and civil matters has effectively made female privilege as much a part of our nation as baseball, unfettered immigration, and the media's perpetual frenzy over the comings and goings of celebrities.
In the hopes of "empowering" the fair sex (fnt 1), the state has melded half of the population into sacred cows; mammals now bestowed with rights and advantages wholly unearned (and of which men can only dream). As evidenced by the lynching of the Duke lacrosse players, the word of a woman can even effectively reverse presumption in criminal cases.
Integral to crimes like domestic violence is the concept of male guilt even though, "... contrary to the predictions of feminist theory, domestic abuse (verbal, psychological, and physical) occurs significantly more often among lesbian couples than among heterosexual pairs." (fnt 2) Truth has no dominion in a culture paralyzed by dogma.
Nowhere is female privilege more evident than within the star-chamber like confines of the "Sexual Harassment Industry." In this arena, feminist lobbyists have erected a charnel house to exterminate the expression of random, unscripted male behavior in the workplace. It has even created a ludicrous female right not to be offended ... by anything said or done in their proximity. This right can be brandished upon men who accidentally forget to don their automaton costumes before punching the clock.
As Daphne Patai explains in her exquisite book,
Heterophobia: Sexual Harassment and the Future of Feminism: "At the present moment, 'sexual harassment' seems often to be little more than a label for excoriating men ... Its real function at this moment, in addition to keeping feminist passions at fever pitch, is to serve as the conduit by which some extreme feminist tenets about the relations between the sexes enter everyday enter everyday life with minimum challenge." (fnt 3)
The recently concluded Isaiah Thomas sexual harassment trial again illustrates the tremendous partiality with which our nation treats women. Allegedly, Mr. Thomas subjected former employee, Anucha Browne Sanders, to crude language-such as the occasional use of the
b-word and h-word- while also making sexual advances toward her. As a means to redress his wrongs, the court awarded her over
11.6 million dollars. She may receive more than that though. As of yet, no decision has been made concerning her request for another 9.6 million in compensatory damages.
Luckily for Mr. Thomas, the Madison Square Garden corporation will be the ones required to enrich this young lady as they allowed her "her to work in a hostile environment."
In tears Ms. Sanders stated that her windfall was for "the women who don't have the means and couldn't possibly have done what I was able to do." Oh but here she is very wrong. Her victory was for every woman in America. Many of whom have long known that the law provides a way for them to receive payola in exchange for being subjected to unfiltered speech. A myriad of lawyers would take their cases on a contingency basis as their chances of winning are as likely as the Cubs never appearing in another World Series.
There is no way of knowing-as is the case in all "he said/she said" situations-if there is any truth to her allegations. Yet, even if we accept her version of the story as being valid, it does little more than highlight the tremendous disparity in terms of status and opportunity between the sexes. The right that Mr. Thomas violated-the right not to be insulted-is one our courts have not, and will not, extend to men.
The attempt on the part of the government to protect women from the vagaries of life has launched a juridical theatre of the absurd. Soon our robed masters might add a couple more punch lines by creating offshoots of legal doctrine revolving around "tortuous teasing" or "cacophonous criticism." The state's efforts have only managed to free some women from the burden of becoming well-adjusted, reliable adults. Infantilizing the hardiest members of the population-as female lifespans always surpass those of men-is an assault on reason from which no good can come. Regarding citizens as fragile icicles whose psychological integrity shatters with a light touch benefits no one.
That we are occasionally subjected to the insults of others is part of the human condition and a byproduct of vocalization. It is not one in need of the Leviathan's intervention. Our politically correct culture has even gone so far as to uniquely outlaw the words you can use to describe a woman. Calling them "b's, h's" or "c's" is strictly verboten. Yet no similar censure has been initiated in regards to men. With what words can you not use to impugn a man? There are none.
A man is expected to take it and endure ... which is how it should be. Play a weak victim long enough and you will eventually become one. During my daily commute I am occasionally the recipient of demeaning gestures and verbiage from my fellow motorists. This is regrettable but should not give me the right to sue the Illinois Department of Transportation or the Illinois State Police as a means of redress. When I play poker at a casino and a nearby rounder ridicules my play I should not have the right to institute proceedings against the Harrah's Corporation either. What this country needs is equality as opposed to chivalry justice.
Hearing slurs is the side effect of living around other people. It is not invigorating but it is entirely predictable. Sympathy is not the proper response for Ms. Sanders or anyone else who claims that heated syllables produce deep-seated emotional trauma. We should acknowledge the bizarre privilege that such individuals possess. Happily, most of us are not incapacitated by huge egos which become destabilized upon hearing others express non-affirming views. Ms. Sanders must have led an ornate, bejeweled existence, and empathy for the multi-millionaire is totally misplaced.
Ms. Sanders's position "earned" her $260,000 in salary last year. This figure ... ah, is not the norm. The 2006 median annual household income was $48,201, so here, oppressed is to plaintiff as non-controversial is to George W. Bush. There are no words, phrases, names, or finger salutations for which 99 percent of the male population would not endure in exchange for such a bounty. Personally, for that sum, this commentator would put up with being called every name in the Devil's Dictionary. At the end of each pay period I would then thank my oppressors and respond to their taunts by calculating the exact weekly worth of each insult I absorbed.
Yet overcoming obstacles and enduring pain are now deemed archaic notions. A mandate of our therapeutic age is that the process of making money should never require one to put the needs of your employer above your own. Even drudgery equates with dehumanization. "Work" is no longer considered work as it really seems to be more of a personal fulfillment scheme.
Women, in particular, have bought into the idea that labor is more about self-esteem and achievement than getting paid for the completion of tasks. As Ann Coulter noted, "Men always had 'jobs,' women have 'careers.'" (fnt 4) Apart from those fortunate enough to finagle state financed position at college Women's Studies programs in which projecting personal pathologies onto the backs of others (men, Caucasians, and the United States of America) is considered good form, most of us find work banal and routine. We work in order to survive. Making ends meet is an end in itself. One does not set their alarm for 4:45 am and drive off into a January frost in the hopes of feeling good about oneself.
Of course, the New York Times believed every word of the plaintiff's claims. This is not surprising as the paper consistently advocates for female empowerment. They concluded that "Reality had no voice until Anucha Browne Sanders took the stand. Truth had no visuals until she provided them in court." Remember, they were not there and have no idea if her version of the affair was true or not. What will they say should the decision get overturned? Don't bet on a retraction.
They also suggest that "Thomas added to the Garden's creepy vibe by dismissively treating Browne Sanders as if she were nothing more than a groupie he once charmed during his playing days." What if he did treat her in that fashion? Ms. Sanders was not there to be Mr. Thomas's equal. She was there to work for him. A position of subservience should have been assumed the moment she signed her contract.
Thomas had this to say: "I want to say it as loud as I possibly can. I'm innocent. I'm very innocent. I did not do the things that she accused me in the courtroom of doing. I'm extremely disappointed that the jury could not see the facts ... and I will appeal." Alas, I fear The Times may never have to reconfigure their support for Ms. Sanders because the judiciary and the general population are soundly steeped in the edicts of women's privilege. Fairness is not a consideration should a woman claim to be wronged. If you can show she's been insulted or had her feelings hurt then the only question left is to determine the award sum.
How any man can have faith in our legal system is perplexing. The courts uphold inequity whenever possible and reflexively debase men in the hopes of elevating women. Until corrected, this malignant phenomenon has permanently dispelled justice from the land.
Bernard Chapin is the author of Women: Theory and Practice and Escape from Gangsta Island. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Some writers may dislike using the term "fair sex" but I am always ready to concede that women are physically more appealing, hence fairer, than are men. As for the other nuances of the idiom, I will not extend judgment here.
- Carlson, Allan C. and Mero, Paul T. The Natural Family: A Manifesto. (Dallas: Spence, 2007). Pp. 157-158.
- Patai, Daphne. Heterophobia: Sexual Harassment and the Future of Feminism. (Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 1998). P.11.
- Coulter, Ann. Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right. (New York: Crown, 2002). p.39.