Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Don't you oppress me.

Just thinking again about this

and remembering a little altercation I once had with a young man who was having a bad day and screaming his bloody head off at someone I knew. I went over to him and told him to shut up and control himself. He rounded on me and responded, "How DARE you try to deny my right to express my anger?"

Ah, rights. And expressed in the tone and language I remembered so well from my hippie upbringing. I remember being told every day that I had the right to do whatever I wanted all the time and was particularly encouraged to "express my feelings" as much as possible. (Being naturally contrary, of course my only recourse was to become a bookish introvert). In due time, I was sent to an experimental hippie "free school" where the bullies were equally affirmed in their rights. A grand old learning experience was had by all, I can tell you.

Yes, I remember the beginning of the Rights Mania that brought us the magical land of Modernia in which Monty Python is no longer satire.

"I've got an idea: Suppose you agree that he can't actually have babies, not having a womb - which is nobody's fault, not even the Romans' - but that he can have the *right* to have babies."

"Good idea, Judith. We shall fight the oppressors for your right to have babies, brother... sister, sorry."

No comments: