Saturday, May 10, 2014

The song that Jane doesn't like

The importance of the ultimate questions--who? whom?--gets hammered home in a Seattle Times story (via Steve Sailer):
The female marijuana plant, sold for its sticky psychoactive chemicals, is where the value lies in the pot industry [to all you misogynists out there who delight in pointing out that mosquitoes provide a valuable lesson for men, put that in your pipe and smoke it!].

But the industry has long been dominated by men and can be crassly sexist, particularly in underground pot commerce. Women are relegated to supporting roles and sometimes blatantly viewed as sex objects, according to a study published this year. 
... 
Initiative 502 in Washington sought to close the gender gap at the polls by having women appeal to women in campaign ads. “Women are the secret weapon in this business,” said Neill Franklin, executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. “Now that women are really starting to become involved in marijuana reform, you see people listening.” 
Men are more likely than women to use pot, according to surveys and polls.
I'm left unsure of whether marijuana is Good or is Evil. The GSS shows that, with the notable exception of black men*, women and minorities are less supportive of legalization than white men are. The following table shows the percentages of respondents by race and sex who support marijuana legalization. For contemporary relevance all data are from 2000 onward:

GroupLegalize
Black men47.1%
White men45.8%
White women37.5%
Asian men34.8%
Hispanic men29.2%
Black women28.2%
Asian women27.2%
Hispanic women23.6%

I guess this is another illustrative example of the link between demographic and cultural changes. In this instance, though, the newcomers appear to be swimming against the tide of history. Legalization is coming. Parenthetically, black women need to get with the program. Legalization means fewer black men behind bars, which in turn means fewer black women unable to find a mate tonight!

My difficulty in discerning the moral of the story stems from the SWPL author's cognitive dissonance. Support for legalization is Good, the mark of a progressive, enlightened mind. However, pointing out the relatively hidebound, patriarchal curmudgeonry of women--especially non-white women--on the issue is Bad.

The best way to square the circle is by blaming female opposition to legalization on the masculine aspects of the weed industry. It's a Good idea that has been darkly hijacked--figuratively-speaking of course; the literal problem is in the hijackers' lightness--by Bad people (though mostly the less Bad of the Bad people) but with enough awareness raising, like the excerpted from Times' article, this ugly situation can be set straight.

Just when I think I have it figured out, though, I start second-guessing myself. The marijuana trade--over half of which originates south of the US border--is saturated in machismo culture. This intensifies my confusion because Hispanic = Good; Machismo = Bad (I think). After all, women and minorities are also less supportive of laws outlawing affirmative action in college admissions, hiring, and the like than white men are, and that situation is far less murky to me. Race preferences = Non-racist = Good; Race neutrality = Racist = Evil. Crystal clear.

Additionally, it seems unusual that such dirty laundry would be aired out publicly. Standard operating procedures are to ignore these sorts of embarrassing problems, as in the cases of things like environmentalism and re-electing Obama.

As a married heterosexual white father in red-state suburbia, rather than trying to navigate a brutal cultural minefield designed to pummel me as I earnestly yet unsuccessfully attempt it, I need a cover story. It would probably behoove me to spin a story about the gender confusion I've experienced that dates all the way back to my earliest inchoate memories. The cross I've bared is having to suffer having a child in the heteronormative way because my desire to cherish another human being was so strong that I took the only socially acceptable route open to me (red-state suburbia, remember!) and elected to hide my true nature instead of risk becoming a victim of a neo-Nazi terrorist attack on the transgender IVF donor clinic my LGBTTASXCVWEDZXBCXLUETQPA lover and I would've visited if the world we inhabited wasn't so full of Hate.

GSS variables used: GRASS, SEX, RACECEN1(1)(2)(4-10)(15-16), YEAR(2000-2012)

* One might naively think the Times' reporter would've wanted to highlight the fact that black men are ahead of the curve on this one. A Good thing happening to a Good group--what's not to celebrate? Unfortunately, it risks confirming an ugly stereotype about the propensity of black men to engage in harmful and illegal activities, which is of course is beyond the pale Bad. 


1 comment:

BehindTheLines said...

"Legalization means fewer black men behind bars"

I don't think it will effect much. I'm betting there are very few black men that are (1) in jail for smoking pot and (2) have committed no other crime.