HW and I love The Gaffigan Show. (Spoilers ahead)
We watched the first two episodes of the second season and both thought it was even better than last season. The second episode addresses a tweet Jim sent out, something addressed to women informing them men don’t notice when they get their nails done. In the episode people lose their minds with rage and he ends up being “tried” in the “court of public opinion.” A tweet like that could mean a couple of different things. It could mean something like “Hey ladies, men don’t care about your stupid nails, that you obviously only do to please men, because why else would you ever do anything?” or “Hey, I don’t know if you know this, but men don’t notice anything, including your nails, so if you don’t like having your nails done, don’t do it to please them.” I don’t know what he actually meant. Probably something in between. All of this has little to do what I am about to write, but I thought I would get out in front of all of this and say that a trial in the court of public opinion would not go well for me. I am aware of this, and also aware the words below could become easily twisted or intentionally misunderstood to cause unintentional and unnecessary drama. That is not my intent.
Some people like to compare sex to race. The argument typically goes something like, “If we shouldn’t treat people differently based on the color of their skin, then we shouldn’t treat people differently based on their sex.” Logically there are a lot of difficulties with this argument, but pointing that out puts one in serious danger of being labeled “sexist,” “racist,” or “fascist.” I’ll keep it short. The main problem, as I see it, and as I have written and argued many times before, is that while there are no “real” or fundamental differences between people with dark skin and people with light skin, there are real, fundamental, and measurable differences between the sexes. Note: This is not, in any way, an argument in favor or against any LGBTQI positions. On a biological level, there are differences between XX and XY, and I am not only talking about penises and vaginas (for example, men and women have different heart attack symptoms and have different risks for different cancers). Let’s leave all of that for the moment.
Many people (not me) argue that sex and race should be treated the same way. Let’s assume, for argument’s sake, I have not convinced you this argument is flawed. Race and sex are the same, and people should not be treated differently based on their sex or their race.
I follow you so far (with the noted exception above, which is that I think you are wrong). Racism is bad. Sexism is bad. Aggressive sexism is very bad, but benign sexism is also very bad. Note: I agree that sexism is bad, but I do believe differences based on sex are permissible, if they are designed to address the real differences. For example, if insurance companies want to provide coverage for women to have more frequent breast exams based on the knowledge that a much higher percentage of women are diagnosed with breast cancer, I see no reason why they would have to offer men the same thing.
So if black and white are the same (they are), then men and women are the same (they are not, but for the sake of this argument, let’s say they are), and if black and white must be treated the same way, men and women must be treated the same way. No special treatment. If women want to join a combat team, we have to pass the same tests the men do. If we want to fight fires, we have to pass the same exams. If we want to be lifeguards, we have to pass the same class.
I’m following all of this. I disagree, but based on your fundamental assumptions, it makes sense. Until we talk about affirmative action.
I know, you’ll say we are making up for past wrongs and that diversity in the classroom is important, and that justifies the programs.
I don’t buy any version of this argument, and I have heard very intelligent, well-spoken people make it, some of them with fancy charts and statistics. Most of them made me think (or say), “that sounds like a problem that should be addressed another way, long before a person reaches college.” I know my position is unpopular, and the one Justice left on the bench with whom I share it is even less popular, but it also happens to be correct.
Affirmative action is wrong and offensive and racist. It’s racist against white people (which I know nobody cares about) and racist about black people.
There. I said it. Affirmative action is offensive and racist. That’s what I really think.