PC Patrol Devours Patricia Arquette for Denying ‘Intersectionality’
I’ll probably go straight to hell for this (and lose a dozen Facebook friends in the process), but I have to confess that I’ve lost any last shred of tolerance for irate politically correct rhetoric. I can’t help it; these insistent, unrelenting verbal assaults on common sense bring out my inner Scrooge.
Under normal circumstances, I’d undoubtedly care about the well-being of women, gay folk and people of color — just as I care about the well-being of everyone who doesn’t fit those categories. But let the rhetoric fly, as it’s been flying for several decades now, and all I can do now is hunker down, shout “Humbug!” and hurl contempt upon those grim agents of sexual and racial politics… those humorless graduates of collegiate Grievance Studies seminars… those bitter, impossible, obstreperous mouthpieces for divisive boutique ideologies… those snooty, sniveling, snorting gasbags of anti-male, anti-white, anti-heterosexual invective. Whew.
What could possibly have brought me to this self-damning outburst? The Oscars. More precisely, the response to Patricia Arquette’s feminist plea during her acceptance speech: “It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America.”
Mind you, I’m not protesting Arquette’s plea, even though I’m heartily tired of politicized Oscar speeches in general and equal-pay demands in particular. (If, say, a male advertising copywriter is more experienced and expert than the women in his department, are those women automatically entitled to earn his salary? Shouldn’t individuals be treated as individuals?)
You’d never know it, but we actually have a law in place — enacted over fifty years ago, if you can believe it (it’s called the Equal Pay Act of 1963) — prohibiting sex-based pay discrimination for jobs requiring the same skill. And of course even I would agree that women should earn as much as their male peers if they demonstrate the same level of expertise in the same job.
But Arquette’s garden-variety feminism didn’t cut the mustard with the boutique elements of the women’s movement. After the Oscars, the Twitterverse buzzed with persnickety remarks from PC enforcers who recoiled at Arquette’s narrow view of feminism.
A scribe named Morgan Jerkins tweeted, “Patricia’s speech is the reason WoC [Women of Color, for the uninitiated] are hesitant abt joining in on mainstream feminism. Intersectionality seems to not exist to many people.”
Intersectionality. Ah, the vocabulary you pick up at college these days. Makes my inner Scrooge want to go on an inspired rant, but I’ll spare you the bile.
Ms. Jerkins continued: “Equal pay, yay! Gender equality, yay! Ok now let’s talk about trans WoC who are dying left and right……no?…gotcha. Bye girl.”
So let me get this straight (sorry, no offense to the LGBTQ community): Patricia Arquette, as a privileged, presumably heterosexual white feminist, didn’t give a special nod to the fraction of a fraction of one percent of the population who identify as transgender women of color, a fraction of whom are “dying left and right” — and for that fatal oversight she must be reprimanded.
How boutiquified have we become as a nation — as a people — when the most minuscule minorities feel offended for being omitted from an impromptu 30-second speech on women’s rights? What? She said nothing about Albanian-American Muslim women’s rights? Or the rights of intersex Chippewas living in Minnesota? Curses upon her for her willful ignorance!
Of course everybody’s rights matter, including those of intersex Chippewas living in Minnesota. I’m not Scrooge enough to dispute that point. But somewhere along the way, we’ve forgotten that we need to think of ourselves as human beings first and Americans second; whatever else we are should place a distant third on the identity list.
The apostles of identity politics need to heed Lincoln’s ominous warning during the build-up to the Civil War: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” They’d also benefit from a passing acquaintance with America’s national motto: E pluribus unum — “From many, one.” Right now, too many PC ideologues have it reversed.
Rick Bayan is founder-editor of The New Moderate.