December 6, 2005
The Dehumanizing of MenBy Selwyn Duke
While flying on Qantas Airlines, New Zealander Mark Worsley was asked to change his seat. You see, the airline viewed him as a threat to the child seated next to him. What was Mr. Worsley's crime? Was he on a sex—offenders database? Far from it.
The shipping manager and father of two—year—old twins was the victim of a blanket policy, adopted by Qantas and Air New Zealand, whereby they prohibit all men from sitting next to children traveling alone. Said a shocked Worsley,
Now, it raised my ire too, but before I proceed I want to issue a couple of disclaimers. Firstly, as I have expounded upon at length in the past, respecting freedom of association is an imperative. Thus, I defend businesses' right to embrace whatever policy they wish, regardless of how conspicuously stupid it may be. We then can decide whether or not we should patronize businesses that practice stupidity.
Next, when such liberal nonsense assaults one's senses, there's a tendency to react emotionally and dismiss such policies with a facile, knee—jerk response involving notions about how all discrimination and drawing of distinctions between groups are wrong. This is a mistake, however, because such pronouncements create an environment that doesn't allow for policies and practices — such as comprehensive profiling (including racial factors) — that reflect the effects and implications of legitimate differences among groups. When a group is over—represented in a category of crime, for instance, it is folly to disallow law enforcement and others from considering that reality when prosecuting their duties.
And, ironically, for the first time I'm aware of this fact was not lost on a liberal. New South Wales 'Commissioner for Children and Young People' (leading candidate for the 'Unnecessary Office of the Year' award) Gillian Calvert said,
She was joined in her acceptance of the policy by New Zealand Children's Commissioner (I was wrong, the aforementioned office could be number two) Cindy Kiro, who commended the airlines for putting thought into the policy and endeavoring to protect children.
Now, what these statists imply is true enough, most sex—offenders are men. But it's also true that virtually all the terrorists who currently bedevil Western civilization are Muslim and that certain minorities commit an inordinate percentage of crime. Yet, I can't imagine liberal bureaucrats rubber—stamping policies designed to minimize crime that visited discrimination upon them. Why, we're told that we can't even subject Moslems to greater scrutiny at airports.
So, while this is not a policy I would institute under any circumstances, it isn't its wrongheadedness itself that angers me. No, in fact, as I was pondering my feelings (as opposed to my thoughts) on the issue, I realized something. If this policy were embraced within the context of a society unencumbered by the insane and inane sickness of political—correctness, a civilization wherein group differences were recognized, acknowledged and factored into policy across—the—board, my attitude would be markedly different. Sure, I would still think it stupid, but I'd be able to laugh it off as just so much foolishness. I can't do that now, though, because evident in this situation is hypocrisy, the acceptance of an unjust double—standard and discrimination of a most invidious sort.
The injustice lies in the fact that they refuse to apply that discriminatory standard to all groups. In other words, it is not being said that all groups' level and type of criminality and characteristic foibles, perversions, aberrant choices, strengths and weaknesses may rightly influence the treatment they receive. We've been told:
So, profiling Muslims at airports? Never. Profiling minorities when prudent? Are you racist? Refusing to hire cross—dressers? Are you intolerant? Excluding women from police forces? Are you sexist? Equality, equality, equality, equality, equality, have you got that? Repeat after me: E—QUAL—I—TY. Simon says do this, and if you don't, you're a bad person.
Profiling men, painting them with the same dark brush, and discriminating against them whenever doing so is convenient for our fair—haired—boy groups? Well that's different.
If society had proclaimed the principle that undergirds this discrimination to be just, we would simply be left to argue about whether or not this is a correct application of the principle. But that is not the case. What is being said is that the principle is wrong, but we're going to apply it to men anyway.
But far more serious than such double—standards is one of their implications. Enlightened minds long ago came to the realization that all people, being as they are 'people,' must be afforded certain inalienable human rights. For instance, our Declaration of Independence states that everyone is entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And while there may be some disagreement as to what the full set of human rights comprises, it follows that whatever a civilization's conception of it is, it will afford those 'human rights' to all groups whose members are regarded as meeting the definition of the word 'human.' This is why there is such a passionate debate concerning the point at which unborn babies become human. After all, if they are human, then they must be afforded the human right to life. If the human right to life can rightly be denied them, then it follows that they are not human. Abortion becomes unpalatable and unjustifiable once the conclusion is drawn that what would be killed is a human being. Furthermore, if those advocating abortion are correct, then the babies' sub—human status justifies their pro—abortion position. If, however, they are wrong, then their position dehumanizes unborn babies.
And this is precisely why I assert that the policy at hand dehumanizes men. Liberals cannot justify this policy on the basis that men exhibit an inordinate degree of criminality in this area, for they have made it eminently clear that such a factor does not justify discrimination that affects a group as a whole. Moreover, as illustrated earlier, liberals have been so adamant in their furtherance of this anti—discrimination principle that it is obvious that they regard freedom from such discrimination to be an element in their set of human rights. If that isn't so, then on what logical basis do they so vociferously maintain that so—called racial—profiling is wrong? Thus, to subject men to this sort of supposedly damnable discrimination is to deny them something that is perceived by the powers—that—be as a human right. And to deny a group a human right is to dehumanize its members.
This conclusion may seem like an overstatement, but logic renders it inescapable. We know that everyone has a right to not be raped or murdered (Note: murder is defined as the 'unjust killing of a human being'). But what if, despite our embrace of that principle, we were to say that such could be visited on one particular group? The answer is that if the principle stating that everyone has a human right to not be raped or murdered is sincerely held, there is one and only one possibility: that group has been assigned sub—human status.
So it is with men here. If the principle stating that it's a human right that a group not be discriminated against based on the criminality of a minority of its members is sincerely held, there is only one possibility: men have been assigned sub—human status.
Now, I don't believe for a moment that such a principle is a human right, but I don't make the rules. Of course, the reason why liberal 'principles' (Can those governed by emotion have principles?) are so frequently violated is that they so infrequently work. But if liberals believe their 'human right' is valid, they should stand on principle and apply it equitably. If it's invalid, common—sense should prevail and it should be cast to the winds. And this means just profile, and dispense with the guile.
But I won't hold my breath waiting for liberals to develop principle or common—sense. This man doesn't want to be reduced to dead human status.
Note: I lodged complaints with Air New Zealand and Qantas. Qantas' response included, among other things, 'We make no apology for working within the guidelines of this policy.'
Selwyn Duke is a frequent contributor. He may contacted at SelwynDuke@aol.com