Thursday, May 18, 2006

Double Standards

By: Michael Akerman

Gentle readers, if ye be of sound, non-laughter-crippled nature, I would caution ye against reading my second-to-last post, for it contains horrors you wouldn't believe, of things I promised to do regularly but didn't!

I've been in a writer's slump, as it were. I simply don't know what to write about. The immigration issue is something, and maybe I'll cover it in detail (this weekend, perhaps), but I can sum it up rather concisely: illegal immigrants are breaking the law, they are sending our money out of the country, and they are taking jobs that the poorest citizens and legal immigrants could (and would, at the wages that those jobs deserve) take. We don't need them, they don't help us, and, most importantly, they are taking valuable space up that the good people who have shown they respect our laws and seek legal means of entrance should get.

I suppose I could say my opinions on what precisely we should do about it, but, as you can perhaps see from the title, that's not what this post is about.

Some People are More Equal Than Others

I'm tired of the double standards our society foists on us: I'm sick of affirmative action, I'm pissed off at the race card, and I'm generally weary of all the preferential treatment being thrown about. This being my soapbox, I will embark on railing against another facet in this taboo subject, and there's nothing any of you can do to stop me.

Before I begin, I caution you against throwing around claims of sexism (as this will be mostly about gender-based double standards), and I offer what I hope is a very specific disclaimer: I do not intend any of these statements as sweeping indictments of any group. I am aware, thank you, that not everyone is alike, and that, indeed, most of the members of the general groups I'll be writing about do not exhibit the behaviors I will describe. So, I intend only to criticize those who cling to these beliefs and actions.

So, the impetus for this: students caught having sex during school hours. There are several things wrong with this story, and I hope it's obvious that the school had no business in punishing two wholly capable and rational humans for indulging their baser instincts, since they were not at a school function, were not representing the school, and were not at a school facility (obviously, they should be punished for skipping, which is a minor offense). But that is standard bureaucratic negligence on the part of the school, which is a thing all too common. There are many schools run by incompetent administrators (this blog's authors were blessed to attend a high school that had, at least, a highly effective principal, though the lower administrators rotated through various phases of strength and shoddiness), and it is pointless for me to proselytize about that, since my answer is the conservative one: move away from national standards, drop the No Child Left Behind crap, and give more power and oversight to local governance. As a personal addition, I add that the children and parents should grade the teachers and administrators at the end of the year, just as the children are being graded.

No, that's not what irks me in this. If you read the article, you may have noticed something missing. Though the "girlfriend" is older and just as responsible as Ryan, she is not identified, and there is no note of her being punished. This stands to reason, since, as far as I can find in any news report, only Ryan was served a notice and suspended. Supposedly, the girl's mother demanded Ryan's suspension, but, since her daughter is a perfect angel, evidently neglected to consider if the blame should be spread.

Of course, it should be. She (I am forced to use the general "she," since we can have no clue what her name is) is as responsible as Ryan. It is incredible that she wasn't. Did no one think to blame her? Why should she not be punished equally? If women are to have equality, why can something like this still happen, where the female is immediately treated as the victim? It is notable, too, that the lack of identification regarding the girlfriend stinks of how the media treats supposed victims of sexual crimes (especially rape), so this consensual sex is treated as if it were what is widely considered the second-worst crime. This is, of course, something that has made the Duke Lacrosse case exceedingly difficult, as we are not allowed to weigh the character of the accuser to any large degree.

It is an artifact of feminism, it seems, that has bred the belief system that women should be equal in every situation unless it's bad for them. A similar thing has happened in race relations, but this was not due to the civil rights movement, but came afterward. It is this editorialist's opinion that affirmative action bred this desire for half-equality, but that is an issue best covered elsewhere. It is this attitude, though, that leads to 90% of divorced fathers having less than full custody.

This is endemic in the world of divorce: the mother is preferred to the father far more often than should be the case. It is obviously true that the mother ought to be preferred in some cases, but these involve abusive fathers and are few and far between. Custody is given to the mother, alimony is given to the ex-wife, and child support is paid disproportionately by non-custodial fathers, even if the father makes far less income than the mother (the link above has good statistics on these issues).

Over and over, the world is expected to give women equal opportunity. This is a good belief: women are as capable as men (note, I don't discount some difference in natural tendency. Men may be more likely to be good at math, but many women can be just as good in the field). However, when a woman may be adversely affected by a decision, society then assumes that women do not take advantage of their equality: that is, they are treated as less capable and more needing of artificial advantages.

It is of the utmost importance that we do away with this system by training the leaders of our culture: the judges, the administrators, the police. Heck, if necessary, make some laws that require equal punishment for equal behavior (in this case, we must tread lightly. Over-enforcement of such laws could bring us back to the sorry state of the nation before feminism). Like affirmative action, this is a system that enables the continuation of inequality. It is a system that teaches women that they need special treatment, and that they can't be as self-sufficient as men can be. This attitude, and beliefs in its ilk, are part of the cluster of issues born of thoughtlessness and naivete that maintain the "glass ceiling." It is not malicious behavior that keeps women achieving less than men, by and large (yes, it does happen, but it's not common, and becoming less so with every anti-feminist executive who dies out): it is this benign misconduct that suppresses.

Change yourself, and change society.

By my hand,
~Michael Akerman