Have you ever noticed that living in a politically correct world is akin to navigating a field of landmines?
The truth of this metaphor recently made itself apparent in the realm of Valentine-themed dances.
The first instance occurred in a New York elementary school, which cancelled its father-daughter dance because it failed to include those of other genders. Anything that is unsupportive to all genders – boys, girls, transgenders, and so on – violates the new gender inclusivity laws enacted in 2017 by the New York education department.
But across the country, the inclusivity police struck in a very different fashion. According to MSN, pre-teen girls at a Utah elementary school were informed that they were required to say yes to any boy that asked them to dance at the school’s Valentine’s Day event.
Upon hearing the rule, a number of parents expressed disbelief:
“‘This is a terrible policy,’ one person wrote.
‘Inclusiveness is not nearly as important as teaching children that they have no obligation to allow anyone to touch them or invade their personal space if it makes them uncomfortable.’
Another agreed adding, ‘This sends the wrong message. Anyone should have the right to say 'no.' Teaching children how to say no respectfully is a more important lesson.’”
One can’t blame these parents for their dismay, either, for in the era of #MeToo, the idea of denying a female the right to say no to the advances of the opposite sex is quite astonishing. In fact, such a policy is the complete opposite to one advanced by Princeton University in the fall of 2017.
As Campus Reform explains, Princeton students were advised to seek consent on the dance floor during a Halloween-themed dance so as to avoid all possibility of sexual harassment. The following poster was released in order to show what this might look like:
The inconsistencies between these similar events are stunning. On the one hand, everyone is supposed to be inclusive and accepting of everyone else. But in order to do so, one may violate the rules of consent which women’s movements now hold so dear.
In his 1986 work, The Closing of the American Mind, Allan Bloom observed:
“In a chaotic universe, reason is unreasonable because self-contradiction is inevitable.”
Such a statement piggy-backed on a sentiment Bloom uttered a few years earlier:
“Most people do not have coherence in their thought, just as their deeds frequently do not match their speeches, but in the long run people, and especially societies, pay the price for their inconsistencies.”
As the examples above show, we certainly seem to be living in a world where contradiction and incoherence reign. Is the prevalence of chaos and uncertainty in our society one of the prices we are paying for these inconsistencies?
[Image Credit: Staff Sgt. Olufemi Owolabi, Public Domain]
Annie Holmquist is editor of Intellectual Takeout, an online magazine and sister publication of Chronicles.