Separate But Equal

Separate But Equal (In 2016?!)

The phrase “separate but equal,” is engrained in American history forever as a result of a disgusting doctrine put forth by the United States Government over a century ago which essentially justified and permitted segregation and disregarded the fourteenth amendment of the United States. For those of you who went to public school, the 14th amendment was born out of the civil war and guaranteed equal protection to all, thus trying to eliminate both segregation and discrimination.

Fortunately, the Supreme Court destroyed the notion of being “separate but equal,” through a series of decisions, most notably the infamous Brown versus the Board of Education ruling of 1954.

To dumb it down; there was a time our nation said that African Americans were still equal to whites under the scenario that we were offering drinking fountains for “blacks only,” and “whites only.” At the time, we ignorantly argued “hey, you’re still getting water you’re just getting separate water.” What was implied, of course, was both segregation and a notion that white and black lips, hands, and presences shouldn’t be intermingled.

And now in 2016 we see separate but equal being played out perhaps more than ever before. Yes, that’s right…sorry to burst your bubble but racism and bigotry is alive and well in America, perhaps at levels not seen in decades. It comes in more peaceful forms (unless you’re at a Donald Trump rally) but it exists and it’s disgusting. Yet few people want to condemn any of it. What’s old is new again, yet again.

We’ve been dealing with the double standard “reverse-bigotry,” (a non-thing meant to highlight, as a phrase, how asinine all of this is), for decades. There can be a “Black Entertainment Network,” but there cannot, of course, be a “White Entertainment Network.” The counter argument that mainstream TV is mostly white is nonsensical since that is not only not true, but also because every year multiple advocacy groups produce reports ridiculing and demanding the lack of diversity on all “mainstream” networks. Can you imagine the outrage if a “Caucasian advocacy group,” issued a report on how BET or Univision “lacked diversity?

Enter “Chariot for Woman,” a new ride sharing program similar to Uber, but for women only.

Built and founded on irrational fear (as most things are), the idea is simple; because we’ve had a sampling of incidents involving women who get rides from Uber or Lyft in which they’ve been groped, fondled, or verbally harassed, we now need a safe way for women to travel. Never mind that there have been an equal number of complaints of incidents against men from such ride programs; that of, course is irrelevant, except for the fact that if someone started a “men only” ride service there would be complete and total outrage over how misogynist such a company was.

To be clear, I am a capitalist and encourage anyone to start any business they want and thus allow the free market to decide whether or not said business is viable.

To be equally clear, that is not the world we live in as I’ve already highlighted. Chariot for Women is being heralded as a fantastic and caring and compassionate idea for all of the poor, helpless women who are intimidated by getting in cars with strange male drivers. Chariot for Men would be demeaned, bemoaned and destroyed in less than 20 minutes of its creation.

As a man who likes the company of women in general far more than men, this offends me on more levels than I can possibly express here. For starters, while so many of you can say it is a wonderful way to make women feel more comfortable that is simply code speak for treating all women as victims, patsies and weaklings. It is never okay for a woman (or a man) to be a victim of any kind but the solution is also to not isolate one’s self from society. I know too many women who know how to handle and carry themselves to give any credit to this idea. And to those women who don’t have such confidence, don’t use Uber. Don’t use Lyft. Don’t get taxis. Just stay the hell home since going outside at all, in your mind, exposes to you to the potential of being a victim.

More than that, of course, is the blatant discrimination. Chariot for women, a service designed for women, will not even allow a woman who wants a ride with a female driver so that she can feel more safe, to bring along a male companion on her ride. This is not only discriminatory but even more insulting than the very premise since it implies that a woman who wants to feel safer with a female driver can only do so if she’s on her own, since if she’s with a man, he’ll protect her and they can take the ever so dangerous Uber.

Rather than cheering or heralding this, women should be decrying this as a monumental insult and setback. But that won’t happen because it’s not only politically incorrect, it’s verboten as the Germans used to say…and believe me, there’s a reason I chose to quote the Germans.

more posts in: