Of gender, privilege and word games

109_2013_b3-philbin-privileg8201_s640x581Originally published in the Washington Times, Oct. 9, 2013.

My privilege invalidates my perspective on how you identify.

If you had to read that sentence twice and maybe are still unsure what it means, you’re woefully unfamiliar with contemporary liberal-speak. You see, “identify” and “privilege” are terms with great currency on the left these days. They are also two sides of the same magic coin, minted to instantly quash dissent and silence argument.

This became abundantly clear recently when I made the mistake of commenting on Twitter about the latest 6-year-old “Princess Boy” news story. My crime, according to the liberals I offended, was declining to call a boy a girl. I’m rather a stickler for reality, and because the child was a biological boy, to my benighted thinking, the male pronouns still applied.

This was beyond the pale to lefties. In refusing to use the feminine pronouns, I was refusing to accept his identity, disrespecting his “autonomy” (yes, a first-grader’s autonomy) and, horrors, being trans-phobic. I was advised by one of my new Twitter friends to “check your privilege, dude.” Another helpfully amplified: “You are a straight, white male. Check your privilege, bigot.”

First, that matter of “identifying”: In 2013, you no longer need lady bits to be a lady. You need only “identify” as one — reality be darned. In modern America, you can’t earn a living the way you want to, or build on your own property if it impacts the habitat of the spotted slug. But call yourself a halibut, and you can self-righteously demand the world cover you in beurre blanc and serve you with a dry white.

How you identify is sovereign. If Bradley Manning says he’s Chelsea, then, by golly, the world is expected to send gender-warming gifts with a C embroidered on them. (Would his and hers hand towels be inappropriate?) We’re all expected to choose sides in Manning’s argument with biology, and make no mistake: Biology is in the wrong. Anyone with the temerity to point out the empress has no womb is a bigot.

Woe unto the pronoun refusenik who happens to be a straight, white guy. As my possibly straight and definitely white Twitter interlocutors so damningly pointed out, I am guilty as charged. Told to “check my privilege,” my instinctual response was to suggest they check their bong. In their eyes, I am a creature of privilege. My skin color and reproductive organs — and how I use them — have imparted it. White privilege makes my perspective invalid and my opinion unwelcome, as long as I’m disagreeing with liberals.

This charge of privilege amounts to a simple statement: You had your time, white guy. You built this civilization. You’re going to sit quietly while we dismantle it. So “check your privilege” and shut up.

This is the flip side of the left’s “identify” piety. Bradley is Chelsea, pronouns and all, because Bradley says so. But if Bradley quite likes being Bradley, and prefers to marry a Chelsea and produce little Bradleys and Chelseas, he’s a scion of privilege. It doesn’t matter if he’s worked his way through college, never took a dime from government, never benefited from racial or gender preferences, never had a test dumbed down for him and the Huffington Post never dedicated a page to his “lifestyle.” The left has identified for him.

That’s how they fight. Liberals understand the power of language and how to employ it in their politics of grievance and envy. They define and redefine the terms of the argument. “Privilege” has always been a reliable class-war cudgel. Why not press it into service in the left’s other campaigns, conflate pigmentation advantage and sexual advantage with material advantage?

Alternatively, they’ll create new terminology from scratch to validate the last thing they made up. Since your imagination is the only limit on how you identify, new terms are needed to describe that identity. That’s why the old “LGB” has been stringing new letters on the end of it at a clip of about one a fortnight.

Friendly journalists help put new terms into circulation (think “marriage equality”). Businesses eager to burnish their “diversity” credentials and earn goodies from the diversity industry pay people to keep up with them. Thus, Reuters recently surveyed its employees about sexual preference, asking them to choose from eight different options (including “Genderqueer/Androgynous” and “Intersex,” whatever that is.)

Pretty soon, the old language has lost objective meaning. Words mean what liberals say they do, and reality — inasmuch as it exists any longer — does, too.

We all must play the game. The existence of one dissenter serves to puncture the entire splendid fantasy and remind them that facts are stubborn things and that Bradley is just playing dress-up. That’s why dissent is intolerable. To decline to use their language is to hate. To cling to what was real and true last week, and for 5,000 years before that, is bigotry.

So take it from someone who found out the hard way. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll check your privilege, mind your pronouns and brush up on the ever-expanding alphabet soup of sexual identity.

Save Us. Ashley Judd in NBC Texas Church Drama

JuddIs NBC crazy? In this day and age, it takes real chutzpa to develop a “provocative drama set against the backdrop of a prominent Michigan mosque where faith, family and corruption are explored in equal measure.” Wait, back that up. Replace “Michigan mosque” with “Texas church.” Now that makes sense.

Perhaps operating on the theory that pop culture just doesn’t do enough to stick it to Christians, NBC has green lighted “Salvation.” According to the Hollywood Reporter, “the pilot centers on Jennifer Strickland (Judd), who has to defend her children, church and religious beliefs after her husband dies under mysterious circumstances.” But since it stars erstwhile Democratic senate hopeful and moonbat liberal Ashley Judd, and its executive producer, David Janollari, was formerly the head of programming for MTV, its hard to imagine the show going to the barricades for “religious beliefs.”

NBC must think drama can succeed with drama where comedy failed. Just two years ago ABC cancelled “GCB” (short for “Good Christian Bitches”), a particularly nasty show about hypocritical … Texas Christians. Sensing a theme?
Posted at http://www.mrc.org/articles/save-us-ashley-judd-nbc-texas-church-drama

Remember Those Deadly Toyotas?

With the mounting evidence that GM is alive only in the sense that patients hooked to machines infusing them with life-giving cash are alive, and the news that the company loses $49,000 for ever Volt it sells, I thought I’d revisit this Newsbusters piece from 2010. Back then Ray “Bike Helmet” LaHood was screaming from the rooftops that Toyota’s “unwanted acceleration problems made them positively murderous. On the other hand, Government Motors had some lovely products …

“Mr Chairman, one Camry actually told its new owner he had a very small …”


House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations

February 23

Begin transcript:

REP. WALDEN (R-OR.): Secretary LaHood, are Toyotas safe to drive?

SEC. LAHOOD: We believe that the Toyotas listed on our Web site are not safe to drive – unlike the sporty, affordable Chevy Cobalt.

REP. SUTTON (D-OH.): So, you’re saying that a woman – a minority woman – driving a Toyota is putting her life at risk?

SEC. LAHOOD: Yes ma’am there is a significant risk of her Toyota accelerating, uh, unwantedly. Now had that woman checked out the surprisingly affordable Buick Enclave …

REP. DINGELL, (D-Mich.): Mr. Secretary, I want to thank you for your forthright testimony here today, and I’d like to ask you if you think these problems in vehicles built at Southern plants might be the result of negligence of workers who are unhappy? I mean workers whose job security and retirement are in constant jeopardy, and who’ve been denied the opportunity to collectively bargain? Who lack representation?

SEC. LAHOOD: If you mean to imply, Congressman, that these safety issues wouldn’t have occurred in cars built in UAW plants, uh, you’re absolutely right. Now, for the union professionals who build the luxurious Cadillac Escalade, there’s union quality behind every turn of the wrench.

REP. WALDEN: Now let me …

SEC. LAHOOD: I’d also like to say that the quality doesn’t end at the factory door…

REP. WALDEN: Thank you…

SEC. LAHOOD: …and it extends to those famous Mr. GoodWrench Mechanics…

REP. WALDEN: Mr Secretary, please. Can you explain why you believe the unwanted acceleration problems are electronic?

SEC. LAHOOD: Well, our experts compared Toyota wiring to the state-of-the-art electronics found in the legendary Chevy Corvette – which has an exciting new look for 2010 – and we determined that they used the circuits from old clock radios.

REP. WALDEN: Clock radios?

SEC. LAHOOD: Clock Radios. And Sony Walkmen.

REP. WALDEN: That’s a troubling allegation, Mr. …

REP. DINGELL: Mr. Secretary, what have you found out about the links between climate and the acceleration?

SEC. LAHOOD: Uh, yes. It’s definitely linked to climate change, with … the carbon and stuff …

REP. DINGELL: No, what I mean is the climate where the cars are manufactured. Isn’t it true that cars built in more humid, hotter climates are more prone to developing certain …

SEC. LAHOOD: Unwanted acceleration and other problems? Yes sir. That’s why we’re – I mean GM – is developing the cutting-edge Chevy Volt in Michigan.

REP. SUTTON: What about …

SEC. LAHOOD: And let me just add that the Volt proves that you don’t have to sacrifice performance and drivability to end our dependence on foreign oil and preserve our planet for future …

REP. SUTTON: Yes, now speaking of that, what about the allegations about the Prius brake lines?

SEC. LAHOOD: We’ve looked into that extensively, Congresswoman, and have determined that the floor mats cut the brake lines.

REP. SUTTON: The floor mats?

SEC. LAHOOD: Mostly when minorities are driving.

REP. SUTTON: Indeed?

SEC. LAHOOD: Yes. Mostly when minority women are on their way to polling stations to vote.

[noise, cross-talk]

CHRMAN STUPAK (D-Mich.) Order. Please come to order. Mr. Secretary … uh … Mr. Secretary, I want to ask you about the reasons for investigating the Prius.

SEC. LAHOOD: Yes sir.

CHRMAN STUPAK: And you believe it was warranted to investigate that model of Toyota?

SEC. LAHOOD: Congressman, when it comes to safety, there can be no compromise. The same with luxury, and that’s why discerning people who know the best, they drive Cadillacs.

REP SUTTON: Mr. LaHood, what are we to make of these rumors that Toyotas are … sexual predators?

SEC. LAHOOD: Ah, allow me to clarify that, Congresswoman. Let’s be clear. It’s only certain newer models that have been accused of sexual harassment, and in one case the on-board GPS made very inappropriate comments. That’s why we’re recommending that single women, or women who are going to be driving alone much of the time, take a look at the 2010 Buick Lucern, with it’s reliability and safety features …

REP. WALDEN: Mr. Chairman … Mr. Chairman, if I may … Mr. Secretary, let me see if I have this straight. You maintain that Toyota manufactures racist, sexist, predatory environmentally unfriendly vehicles using parts from old household appliances. Is that right? I mean, have we left anything out?

SEC. LAHOOD: No sir, that about covers it. Except for the shoddy child safety restraints, and, you know, some complaints about the warranty. But in fairness, the 8-track tape players that are standard in most models are state-of-the-art, you know, if you’re into Emerson, Lake & Palmer or the Edgar Winter …

[noise, cross-talk]

End Transcript