A New York Liberty Blog

Thursday, July 5, 2007

On the Left: The Inextricability of Social Liberalism and the WNBA

(Just a reminder: essays are controversial. If you would rather not have controversy, please tune in tomorrow. If you are a thoughtful, intelligent, and rational human being who believes that discourse is the only true way to understand one another, then please continue, and if you disagree, by all means, contact me: write me an email, leave a post, or send me an essay. If it’s coherent, I’ll publish it, whether it shares my opinions or not.)

I’ve tried to keep politics out of my writings, and aside from a few remarks, which I think can go both ways on the political spectrum, I feel that I’ve done a good job. Sure, I’ve pretty much outed myself as being on the left of the social spectrum (I support/like feminist ideals, unions, and poetry: it was an even-money bet if you had laid cash on me being liberal on non-economic issues), but on a political platform, I’ve been largely silent. No Democrat/Republican jokes; no anti-Hillary rants, nor mockings of Mitt Romney’s political standing; No Rethuglican or Dummiecrat portmanteaus. In the end, this has worked pretty well. If the make-up of my readers is anything like the political landscape, some of you are Democrats, some are Republicans, some are Libertarians, or Greens, or Independants, or Reformists, or what-have-you, and most of you actively don’t care and don’t want me to inject something (read: politics) into sporting which, all thing’s being equal, do not have much to do with matters of federal and state authority.

All things are NOT equal in this one instance, however: the WNBA is based on the foundation of feminism, and thus, a social commentary is not only acceptable, but necessary. Women, physicality and genes aside, can do the same things just as well as men. This is the unalterable truth that the league rests upon, and all that goes with feminism – suffrage, respect, open-dialogue about issues, rights to opinions and actions involving sex, etc. – must come with it. In a larger sense, then, women – and by extension, their audience - cannot play (watch) sports without dealing with the ramifications of their actions: that is, the destruction of the Western Paradigm of gender-relations (Men play sports/make money/consume, women stay home/be quiet/birth babies).

The fact of the matter is that, like being a Gay Republican, there are thorny issues with sharing a viewpoint with people (here, on the conservative side of social issues) who would rather destroy that which you stand for than ignore it. Many Republicans would like nothing better than to send homosexuals back into the closet (if not into a casket); many social conservatives would rather women stopped playing sports altogether. Many Republicans believe in the unification of (anti-gay)church-and-state; many social conservatives want women to stop making choices on their own. Supporting both sides (as a Gay Republican or a Conservative WNBA fan) is a massive, unnecessary headache due to the large amount of problems that can arise from such a juncture. One doesn’t have to be This or That, but if you decide you like labeling yourself as a conservative, consider some the statements below.

Human beings are rational; it is how we survive in this world, and in the end, one can only ignore these issues for so long before they begin to fester and rot. A man or woman must make choices each and every day that will determine their course in life. Acting out of impulse can lead to ruin; our brains, evolving out of a state or ordered chaos, are what separates the human being from the rest of the animal kingdom. We have the ability to think rationally and abstractly so that we may survive to pass on our genes, but these largely independent choices must eventually cross paths in the causeways of the mind. So, sides are taken, and logical leaps are made to determine how one should approach a certain situation. Work for a corrupt organization, or bring attention to it; give back to the society that helped you succeed, or feed off of it; do good, or do evil. Sooner or later, a person MUST come to grips with the fact that their choices on issues are only seemingly independent, and while a person is neither wholly good nor entirely evil, a person must choose which side of the fence they sit on. In fact, we all have our moral compass (or rational map) that guides us through life. And just like a map (or a compass), one cannot go in two directions at once.

Which makes this issue especially problematic for those who would rather ignore their problem or pretend it didn’t exist: social issues of the political spectrum are largely intertwined. One cannot support one form of toleration (sexual) without dealing with the logical inconsistency in abhorring another (sexual orientation). A man (or woman) cannot be vehemently Pro-Life and see the strength of sacrifice and desire of the women in the WNBA (and thus the hard and life-affecting choices that they had to make along the way), without thinking about their stance on their pet-issue. The women who play in the WNBA are outcasts from the rest of the sporting world; rejection of outcasts is a rejection of the league itself.

This is not to say that those on the conservative branch of the political tree CANNOT (or, rather, should not) like Women’s basketball, but that there needs to be some serious thought about one’s standings on various issues. Kevin Smith once said that he puts homosexual material in all of his films as a shout-out to his brother (a homosexual who had complained to Kevin that there weren’t enough non-stereotype gay men in films). This had the unintended effect of making some of Smith’s fans uncomfortable; they identified with Banky (from Chasing Amy, for example) and laughed at the jokes, but were uncomfortable with the message of toleration. It forced them to come to a fork in the road; either they continued liking Smith’s works and changed their view on the world, or they left his canon with their POV intact. There was no middle-ground. A vote for a political candidate is a mandate for all of that candidate’s viewpoints – not just one – and supporting issues that hurt feminism does nothing but harm to the WNBA.

One cannot be the servant of two masters; one cannot support both the ideals that are at the foundation of the WNBA and preach a doctrine of intolerance. There is great kindness in this world, and horrifying cruelty, and a person can hold a great sway over the way the world turns. But at least with a person who professes evil, you know where they stand. They have accepted who they are and what they do and actively better themselves to reach their goals. An indifferent person has nothing except a broken compass and a torn map while being filled with indecision on which path to take next. Every turn undermines the last one, and in the end, he or she just winds up running around in circles. A species cannot survive in stasis. There is either forward momentum, or extinction.

(Now that I am off my high-horse in comparing evolutionary change with the WNBA’s growth, I will refrain from major political statements in the future. Expect dick-and-fart jokes to commence tomorrow morning when I lambaste the Detroit Suck and Sacramento... Monarchs. Before I retire this political soapbox to the back of the closet, where it will hopefully remain for many, many years, I will say this; sometimes, when I’m asleep, I dream of punching Ann Coulter right in her Adam’s apple. That is all.)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I stumbled across your article through a message board and I felt the need to comment. I consider myself both Republican and a huge WNBA fan. I can honestly say that I have never felt the philosophical pulls of the arguments that you have written here. In theory some your argument makes sense but in my personal experience it is not a reality. I guess I can be the exception.

Me said...

Awesome. I don't think that you're an exception. If the makeup of WNBA fans is similar to that of the national ratio, there are just as many Republicans as Democrats. And obviously SOME of them must feel comfortable in their stances. I'd love to hear more from you. Please elaborate, if you could.

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