Judging this Judge’s Judging

“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.”  – Lewis Carroll

The question is, says me, whether declaring one’s self a master, makes you one in fact. (I’m with Alice.)

There is a disconcerting trend I have encountered of people thinking, nay feeling, they must not judge others or anything lest they betray a bias that all things are not alike.

This seems to be a severe misreading of a statement from the Christian Gospels (Matthew 7:1–2) wherein Jesus admonishes us “judge not lest you be judged”.

This misunderstanding can be illustrated by a graduate student’s reaction, on hearing about women in Iran being stoned to death for an offence most westerners would deem minor. She curled into a fetal position and said, “I don’t want to judge. Every culture has its standards.” Really?

Pope Francis added fuel to this confusion when he reportedly said, “Who am I to judge?” in response to a question about the gay lifestyle. What he actually meant may never be known. That he was speaking for himself and not claiming infallibility in his statement may bring some clarity to what may be a paraphrase or a bad translation.

One cannot survive for long in this life without exercising discernment about what is the best course of action, or who are the best companions with whom to spend time. All behavior is not of equal weight or value. Everyone makes choices. Choices have consequences.

The quote from Matthew is more about ourselves being judged by the standard we set for others, than whether or not to judge at all.

I have been a victim of such muddy thinking myself. I once thought I was an idiot. However, it soon became clear this was not true. I was merely trying to fit in with my peers.

I came upon an article today: http://hotair.com/archives/2016/10/19/illinois-judge-cites-cisgender-subjects-transgender-bathroom-ruling/ .

The Federal Judge in the story (Jeffrey T. Gilbert) states in his ruling “High school students do not have a constitutional right not to share restrooms or locker rooms with transgender students whose sex assigned at birth is different than theirs.” Good to know he has read the Constitution. (Emphasis mine.)

I find several things about this statement to be curious. I am no constitutional scholar but I suspect the reason our founding fathers did not stipulate to such things in our Constitution is, to quote the Declaration of Independence, “We find these truths to be self-evident.”

The poor subject of this ruling, the young transgender woman (reportedly equipped with a penis), cannot understand why her need for privacy from those curious boys, might also excite the desire for privacy from those less curious girls, with whom ‘she’ now can share a locker room.

Does this Judge actually think the sex at birth is ‘assigned’ arbitrarily, by a fanciful nurse, to fill a quota or to rhyme with a Cole Porter lyric?

I am going out on a limb here by judging this Judge, but I always thought the sex of a newborn baby was ‘noted’. ‘Described,’ if you prefer.

Who would be served by making the answer to this primary question in anyone’s life, subject to a whim?

“Congratulations! It’s a… whatever.”

Mind you, this Judge is supposed to judge. He is a judge. Judging is his job. And this is the reasoning with which he arrives at his conclusions?

I’m merely speculating, but does anyone want to wager that this same Judge thinks there is a war on women? How would he know? Based on what obscure data?

How can there be a war on women if no one can identify exactly what the nature of a ‘woman’ is?

It might be illustrative to look inside a women’s locker room to see what one looks like. Or not.

If ‘womanhood’ is a status of one’s thought, this judge would have to be a mind reader to find a woman. Mind reading is a skill I never found useful in divining the thoughts of any woman I’ve ever known. But who am I to judge?

Who would identify as a woman if they knew war was being waged on them? Wouldn’t women wishing to avoid this gender war merely change that identity and go blithely about their lives?

But then they might be forced to wage war on women too.

Is that what this Judge is doing?



Sexist Pet Costumes? – or The Unexamined Life is not Worth Leaving

While my dog and I discussed how he will dress for Halloween this year (alright, fine, I was doing most of the talking), this article came to my attention: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/business/wp/2016/09/29/is-your-dogs-halloween-costume-sexist/

The article raises the question of pet costumes ‘offensively perpetuating traditional gender roles’. Whose roles would that be? The pets? (It is ironic that transvestites make great sport out of perpetuating these same gender norms. Don’t tell the dogs!)

The problem seems to be superfluous on a number of fronts. I couldn’t get my dog to take notice at all. (His opinion of modern journalism was explicit when getting house-trained.) But mention Pavlov and you will assuredly get a rise from him.

Of course, pets are not known for buying costumes for themselves. The people spending precious time worrying about this stuff fail to notice that the only choice of costumes available is human-style clothing. Bought by those who have too much disposable income. This is obviously more of a specie-ist issue than a sexist one.

A horse is a horse. Of course, of course.

Has anyone run up against the hideous sight of a cat dressing as a dog? Or vice versa? Hardly.

No self-respecting cat would be caught dead wearing anything suggesting a canine aesthetic. She would receive nothing but hisses as she strolled down the cat walk.

The story I’ve been told goes: that long ago, the primordial dog called the primordial cat a ‘pussy’. The cat, taking umbrage, responded with ‘skinny assed bitch’. Obviously, this was more about poor diction than true animosity.  But at this late date, this gross misunderstanding is impossible to resolve amicably.

What’s sauce for the goose…

I have never encountered any animal with a clouded sense of sexual identity. If they had, they kept it well closeted. These ‘evolved’ gender role concepts appear to be unfocused projections from their human owners.

Imagine taking your ‘animal companion’ to the vet only to be asked, “And what gender does Fido feel like today?” Take a look, Sherlock.

Is it only in America that feelings trump facts?

Leave it to the conceptually un-evolved (no wonder they are called ‘animals’) to take themselves completely at face value – how concrete!

A Dalmatian with a fire-hat? My God! What are you trying to do to the poor pooch?

Un-enlightened (but cute!) animals are incapable of populating their world with abstractions and projections. They are condemned to living life exactly as they are.  How dreary!

And yet they excel at living in the moment! (My dog is a Zen master!)

Dog biscuit micro-aggression.

Little do our ‘animal companions’ know that ever-meddling humans are bent on rescuing them from their ‘specie-ist’ human overlords. Animal rights activists want us to stop tormenting our furry friends with incessant anthropomorphizing.

But they also want animals to have rights without the attending responsibilities. Try collecting a tax from a tick. Or getting any pet to sign a contract, let alone read it.

One organism – one vote, and all that.

Is that a pendejo or merely a dangling participle?

The real problem appears to be one of language, you know, that pesky window through which we perceive the world.

I may be wrong but the Romance languages appear to have bypassed this confusion. Due to its strong gender distinctions, in Spanish one could have a very seductive conversation speaking only of inanimate objects. “The dish ran away with the spoon” might be provocative in Spanish. Or not.

Or, exposed from birth, to natural dualistic notions, perhaps the Spanish have better things to worry about than imposing an abstract fantasy onto gritty reality.

That English has few such gender distinctions may have led to the reputation that the English are ‘sexless’ and alternately, that Americans (those prurient Pilgrims), are obsessed with sex.

One could certainly conclude that about those busy bodies fretting about the “threat of sexist animal costumes”.

A cigar may be just a cigar.

If you read this far, I’ll save you the trouble of reading the initiating article. The crux is over the ‘female’ costumes costing more than the corresponding ‘male’ costumes.

So men, perceived as being less willing to spend on such frivolities are offered the incentive of a lower price. Thus providing an opportunity to put forth a positive (and cost conscious) masculine image.

(Oh no! Not that!)

And so the (marketing) tail wags the (adorable) dog.