There was a movie years ago* that included a joke about why we should have an “all-girl army.”
If you win, you can point at the other side and say, “Hah, you got beaten by a bunch of girls.” And if you lose, you can point at the other side and say, “Big deal, so you beat a bunch of girls.” Either way, you win.
At the time, this was hysterically funny. Today, it’s about as sexist as it gets. Worse still, women in the military have more than proven their mettle, and there’s just as good a chance some guy warrior will get his butt kicked by a woman warrior as not. There’s nothing that takes the laugh out of a joke faster than a good ass-whupping.
Conservative Ben Shapiro challenged Democratic Socialist Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez to a debate.
Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro challenged Democratic House candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to a debate on Wednesday and offered $10,000 for her campaign if she accepted the challenge.
In a segment on “The Ben Shapiro Show,” he noted that Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez has called Ocasio-Cortez “the future of the party.”
“Miss Ocasio-Cortez, I’m really excited that you’ve been elevated to that position and I would love to have a real conversation with you about the issues,” Shapiro said.
Whether Shapiro was being completely insincere in his “love to have a real conversation” troll or saw the opportunity to use his rhetorical skills to take advantage of a congressional candidate who was plopped on the pedestal well before she was ready to face the enormous pressure of being held out as the future of a party because of her extreme views, this was pretty much a troll by Shapiro. He was trying to goad her into a fight. This didn’t work out well for Bobby Riggs, but then Shapiro has far more practice being glib than Ocasio-Cortez.
Her response, however, was striking.
Just like catcalling? What does catcalling have to do with anything? Obviously, it doesn’t. Shapiro may well be trolling Ocasio-Cortez because of her politics, her overnight elevation from bartender to party icon. But there was absolutely nothing about his goading her that had anything to do with her gender or was in any way sexist. Yet, her response was not merely a complete non-sequitur, but an excuse that’s become acceptable, if not ubiquitous, for some women and their allies.
The challenge here was one of political ideology, conservative v. socialist. That Ocasio-Cortez is a woman is irrelevant to the ideological debate. Or is it?
Certainly, Shapiro is male and Ocasio-Cortez is female. Whether he’s uneducated is a matter of debate, but not particularly important. That he’s trying to push his way into her world is true. But what distinguishes catcalling is its sexual nature. Was there anything sexual about Shapiro’s offer?
From a certain identitarian perspective, every interaction between male and female is inherently sexual. Women are oppressed. Men are oppressors. No interaction, regardless of nature or content, can avoid this “truth,” assuming one subscribes to the notion. This is regarded by the woke as a feminist tenet. This is about as unfeminist as it gets.
Is Ocasio-Cortez too weak to withstand the likes of Shapiro because he’s a man? Her fallback on catcalling reflects her attempt to convert an ideological challenge into a sexist challenge. Should her socialist views be immune from question by any man because they’re just catcalling?
Shapiro, on the other hand, seems willing to fight the “all-girl army” even though his fellow conservatives may find his prevailing unavailing. So what if he wins against Ocasio-Cortez? She’s a political n00b, whereas he’s been playing this game for a long time and has a glib answer for whatever she can throw at him. Even if he delivers a knock-out blow, he can’t really win.
Forget the silly meme about “we need to have a real conversation,” since it’s just a subterfuge for the privileged to shut up and do as the marginalized tell them to do. There are issues at play here that warrant debate, and socialism is certainly one of them as a congressional candidate who will almost certainly win in the general election will take her seat in the United States House of Representatives and be a part of the policy guiding this nation.
But if any communication between a man and woman can be nipped in the bud by imputing a sexist excuse into the mix, then feminism has died. At least the notion of equality, where a woman can face a man on equal terms and make her case. Or lose her case. But as equals.
There are sound reasons for Ocasio-Cortez to refuse to debate Shapiro. In fact, there is no duty on her part to even respond to his trolling her, his goading her into a debate. She doesn’t owe him a response. She doesn’t owe him anything, though she may suffer the consequences as a result of her willing acceptance of the mantle of the “future of the Democratic Party.”
But catcalling isn’t one of them. It’s the sort of irrelevant, irrational excuse thrown out in weakness to deflect the real issue, whether her socialist ideas are viable or nonsensical. By responding with weakness, by resorting to the cheap sexist gambit, Ocasio-Cortez did the most unfeminist thing she could. She let Shapiro win in a war with an “all-girl army,” which shouldn’t be possible.
*My recollection is that it was Bill Murray in Stripes, but a quick search has failed to produce any evidence to support my memory.