I recently had a conversation with someone who believes that it is perfectly okay for men to dawn make up and costumes in an outrageous attempt at imitating women because they are doing so to raise money to combat a disease that ravages people - AIDS. The reasoning given to me as to why this group of men who call themselves 'sisters' (again, in imitation of Catholic Nuns, not Buddhist Nuns but Catholic ones - they even pattern their stage names after Catholic Saints) being acceptable is that they have raised lots and lots of funds over the past 40 years of their existence. I was also told that it has nothing to do with their sexuality - even 'straight men dress up for this group, was the claim - and so any objection to this bit of performance art is obviously because the objector is a bigot or really misinformed.
Listen, I don't even argue with people about this kind of stuff anymore because their logic is so broken it isn't worth it. It is sad that people who use this type of thought process are also allowed to vote and drive a car but that is part of the wonders of a Democratic Republic. You do not have to be logical to vote.
What gets me wondering sometimes, however, is how our level of outrage as a society is determined. I would not expect the overwhelming members of Facebook to be outraged by a man who paints his face and attaches false eyelashes and pushes one body part out of the way and then accentuates another area to give him 'bewb action'. If we are offended, well hell....we aren't part of the cool kids in the cafeteria. We probably hate all those dying from AIDS. We are right-wing fascists.
However, I wonder what would happen if that same man was to paint his face with black paint, outline his lips in white and then paint them red, dress in an ill fitting suit and hold a banjo in order to raise money to fight Sickle Cell Anemia? Would his reason be good enough to fend off the outrage? If a group of white women were to darken their skins and lip sync to old hits out of Motown in order to raise funds for African American Veterans who have lost their homes, would they be vilified or glorified? No one would EVER okay this - it is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. You can spot it a mile away and if some white guy or gal tried to pull this off and use 'but I am raising money for charity' as their reason they would be (rightly) hounded off the internet.
Seriously now, take a breath and just think about it...making fun of women by naming yourself after our body parts (Sister Titzgrow is an example) is okay. We better just shut up, sit down and giggle along with the rest of you because if we dare to say, "But that isn't funny" it is probably because we are uptight and frigid and all the other names that get thrown at women who question that done by an all mighty man. If we sit up and say, "That makes me uncomfortable" we better just GET comfortable. We don't get to be outraged about THIS and if we do we are being 'stupid'.
Discrimination is a horrific sin. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches:
1935 The equality of men rests essentially on their dignity as persons and the rights that flow from it:
- Every form of social or cultural discrimination in fundamental personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social conditions, language, or religion must be curbed and eradicated as incompatible with God's design.
Sexism, however, is still pretty much up for grabs and a debatable issue. What one person sees as sexist is another person's performance art. While I may find a group of men calling themselves 'sisters' and naming their characters after women's body parts or barely disguised twists on the names of beloved Saints to be distasteful and objectionable I am not to be outraged by it. Instead, I must recognize that they have a right to do it, that it is raising money for a good cause, and then I better just shut up.
Sadly, in today's world, the rush to become victims has taken over the need to apply common sense for a lot of people. In this particular case, I am going to apply common sense. I am not going to contribute to their cause, not applauding their posts on social media and I am (basically) ignoring them. Not my circus. Not my clowns. If they think what they are doing is okay, then let them do it. If they expect me to tell them how clever and cute they are and give them money? Yeah, that ain't gonna happen.....anymore than I would attend a Minstrel Show to raise money for the local Catholic School.
If YOU think it is okay? Then we have to agree to disagree....I think it is insulting. I think a lot of 'performance art' that I was okay with as a 20-something is insulting. I guess I am turning into an old fuddy duddy.
OR - I am growing up. It may have taken me a long time, but I am finally growing up and my brain is functioning properly and things just look different when logic finally takes control. I think being stronger in my Faith matters too. Today, I KNOW.... I do not get to pull the ol' 'the ends justifies the means' card. I either believe in something or I do not.
And this, dear friends, is why I will never be elected Queen of the Prom in the High School that has become Social Media.