Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Liberal intolerance

Are liberal societies intolerant of gender difference? If the student leaders at the University of Washington are any guide, the answer is yes. This year the tradition of a homecoming king and queen was abandoned by the student association, and replaced with non-gender specific "homecoming royalty", namely two women.

The student association justified the move by claiming that a small scholarship attached to the positions should be awarded to the top two applicants regardless of gender. Even so, it seems intolerant to replace a naturally "gendered" tradition, with an odd and unappealing alternative, simply to rationalise a very small scholarship.

I expect Emi Sumida, one of the female royal pair, was closer to the truth when she said "I think it's great that the UW has chosen to have a nongender-specific homecoming royalty. In our day and age, a lot of the traditional definitions of roles are changing, and this follows in line with that."

It's this negative attitude toward traditional gender roles in liberal cultures which best explains the demise of the homecoming king and queen. For more on why liberals develop a hostile attitude to things "gender specific" there are articles here and here and here and here.

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