Thoughts from the ammo line

Ammo Grrrll explores MINORITY RULES:

I have written previously about what it was like to be a kid growing up in Flyover Land in the ’50s. We were a largely unsupervised horde that played rough games and lived most of our non-school hours out of doors, no matter the weather. We built snow forts in order to wage protracted snowball wars, splashed in puddles in the rain, and threw rocks or played sports until it got too dark to see the various balls.

I’m not saying that abandoning your kid in the woods for punishment is an idea whose time has come, but I am saying that it was not at all unusual for parents to have no idea where the hell we were at any given moment – woods, lake, swamp – and most of us kids survived. Back then there were huge families who could afford to lose a couple, anyway. (In comedy, that’s called exaggerating for comedic effect or KIDDING!)

We didn’t need a costly First Lady vanity program to encourage us to get off our expanding kid lard-butts and “Play 60.” In summer it was more like “Play 600.” Nobody, and I mean nobody, was obese. The few who were slightly chubby would appear scrawny today. Of course there were no Gameboys or iPads yet. Many of us didn’t even have television. We got our first one when I was 12.

Most of our amusements then are now close to illegal: Tag, Dodgeball, Crack the Whip, Red Rover, Mumblety-Peg, and the aptly-named Kill the Man with the Ball. Others are just hated by the Left: Cowboys and Indians, Soldier, any game with a gun, real or plastic.

We also policed ourselves fairly well, in games, in decisions about what to play. In disputations, we would often vote and enforce the decision with a chorus of “Majority rules!” There was some deference to the older kids, out of fear mostly, but democracy was a quaint cherished ideal to ’50s children and “Majority rules!” was a magic incantation. Of course it mattered who owned the bat and ball. One option was always to “take your ball and go home,” assuming you wanted to play alone till high school graduation.

I realize we don’t live in an actual democracy, but a republic (if we can keep it). We have enshrined important restraints on “majority rule” and massive protections for the minority. That is important as each of us is probably a minority in one way or another.

But how far can we stray from the concept of majority rule and still survive? For several years, I was the only woman on night-shift in a print shop with 80 men. If their culture was to have a couple pinups around to brighten their days, how in God’s name did that actually hurt me? But that constituted a “hostile work environment.” One woman’s right not to see scantily-clad lady bits overrules the rights of 80 other people. And I wasn’t even allowed to certify in writing that I didn’t object. Too dangerous for management and their attorney to risk.

Female persons constitute somewhere around 170 million souls in this country. Our right to restroom privacy – privacy being THE putative constitutional right that trumps even the right to life – goes out the window when stacked up against the right of a few thousand men to expose their junk in our bathrooms. Where is any kind of justice in that? How, even, could a fair-minded trangender-in-process think that was right any more than I felt it was fair for my co-workers to have to remove the Farrah Fawcett poster to accommodate me? (Speaking of that iconic poster, it certainly must have been a chilly day when the photo was taken…)

It goes on, of course, as such things will. Mr. AG attended an adult Jewish learning camp he found very inspiring a few years back, but the word went out that one person was allergic to scents and so everyone was to refrain from perfumes, scented soaps or even deodorant. Enjoy! Would not such a person consider even for a minute that maybe she should stay home rather than impose a deodorant-free week in humid upstate New York on everyone else?

Likewise, the peanut prohibitions at ballgames. Now, I understand that peanut allergy is one of the deadliest around and you don’t want to screw around with it. We lived on Peanut Butter in our house, but should our son have been allergic, should he NEVER have been allowed to go in person to the ballgame he loved? Sounds pretty harsh. Then again, to make thousands forego their bag of warm peanuts in the shell so he could attend risk-free also seems kind of selfish. Where do you draw the line? How about the revenue loss to the vendors? Do Vendors’ Lives Matter too?

Is there EVER a clear instance where the majority SHOULD rule and the minority should make other arrangements and just suck it up? I welcome, yea, solicit, your thoughts. Tricky business, this governing thing. Glad all those old white men in 1776, though imperfect products of their time, got so much right. And speaking of men in any color, Happy Father’s Day this Sunday, Daddies. Your value cannot be overstated.

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