John Rambo, a FaceBook friend, posted about an article from the New Republic titled “The Straight, White, Middle-Class Man Needs to Be Dethroned”. This article was written by a British artist named Grayson Perry, who also self-identified himself/herself/itself [I’m unaware of his/her/its preferred pronoun] as a transvestite:
Today, in politically correct 21st-century Britain, you might think things would have changed but somehow the Great White Male has thrived and continues to colonize the high-status, high-earning, high-power roles (93 percent of executive directors in the UK are white men; 77 percent of parliament is male). The Great White Male’s combination of good education, manners, charm, confidence, and sexual attractiveness (or “money,” as I like to call it) means he has a strong grip on the keys to power. Of course, the main reason he has those qualities in the first place is what he is, not what he has achieved. John Scalzi, in his blog Whatever, thought that being a straight white male was like playing the computer game called Life with the difficulty setting on “Easy.” If you are a Default Man you look like power.
I must confess that I qualify in many ways to be a Default Man myself but I feel that by coming from a working-class background and being an artist and a transvestite, I have enough cultural distance from the towers of power. I have space to turn round and get a fairly good look at the edifice.
I probably spent more time thinking about it than it deserves but the basis of the article appears to be his/her/it’s belief that in order for he/she/it to be able to express a given type of existence, the white male middle class needs to be destroyed because he/she/it is being forced to obey the rules that are laid down by these pasty white old guys. He/she/it doesn’t appear to want equality so much as he/she/it wants retribution so that everybody can feel the same pain that he/she/it is feeling. He/she/it doesn’t want equality, they want the majority of society to be forced to accept him/her/it in contradiction to the established societal rules.
I can’t help but think of Rush Limbaugh’s Undeniable Truth #24 which states: ” “Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of American life.”
What Perry and others like him want is an impossibility. The very essence of liberty and freedom is that we are allowed to be whatever we wish to be without requiring the permission of anyone else – but when one is forced to accept a deviant aspect of another via force of law, that act is the very antithesis of freedom and liberty. As the old saying goes, your rights end at the tip of my nose. John C. Goodman, Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute, writes:
“Rights sanction morally allowable actions. In the process, they create obligations for other people to refrain from preventing those actions. To say that “Joe has the right to do X” implies all other people have an obligation not to interfere with Joe’s doing X. For example, to say “Joe has a right to build a swing set in his backyard” implies that other people are obliged not to interfere with Joe’s construction of the swing set.
…Joe’s right to build a swing set obligates others to stay out of the way. It does not obligate others to help Joe — by furnishing labor, materials, etc. So, Joes’ right creates negative obligations for others, not positive ones. All fundamental rights imply negative obligations in this way.”
In order for Mr./Mrs./Ms. Perry to achieve his/her/its goals, by forcing me to accept his lifestyle as an act of government is a direct infringement of my rights. The only way to avoid such a conflict is to do nothing. One rule that we all live by is that actions have consequences. Mr./Mrs./Ms. Perry’s identity is an action that has consequences – whether he/she/it is willing to live with those consequences is not a burden others should be asked to bear. That is like the government deciding that we have to supply the materials for Joe’s swing set in the example above.
Oliver Wendell Holmes said: “Even a dog distinguishes between being stumbled over and being kicked.” I feel safe in speaking for all the straight, middle class men in saying that this feels a lot like a kick.