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Much of what we engage with is playing with the idea of rights when others are groaning under real pain in real prisons — when real human rights are violated
What has happened to the noble concept of human rights?
The concept was most firmly implanted into modern consciousness after the unspeakable cruelties and mass murders of the Nazi regime were fully documented and published to the world. That was the horrid prompt for The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. The significance for human safety and dignity were then underlined by the revelations of the degrading torments and horrors of the Soviet gulags under communism. Both were a vast canvass of what a world without human rights looks like.
It is perhaps the saddest story in the world that, since the proclamation, so many states have practised and are practising (Cambodia yesterday, North Korea and China today) terrible incursions on the pure dignity and liberty that belongs to every single human being.
It is also sad that the idea of human rights has become so degraded and trivialized.
Where is this noble idea now, particularly in the comfortable and secure West, in this era of high progressivism?
In British Columbia, there is at the present moment 16 “human rights” complaints, launched by a single person who asserts the status of “trans woman” against (mainly immigrant) female cosmeticians who — from religious sensibilities, reasons of safety, or simple personal preference — refused that person’s demand for a Brazilian waxing of their male genitals.
Do we really want to call this a human rights case? To insist, for example, that a woman perform a waxing on a penis and testicles in her own home, when she doesn’t wish to, doesn’t know how and has religious objections as well? Really? Do we think the formulators of the UN Declaration of Human Rights were careless when they left out the human right to crotch grooming?
I seriously wonder — seriously — if this story somehow made it to the ears of an incarcerated and tortured North Korean, how he would respond to the invocation of human rights law to cover such a matter? How could he, being beaten, doing forced labour on starvation rations, locked in for life, possibly with every family relation imprisoned too, intellectually or morally digest that in some way the case(s) in B.C. were being adjudicated under the same rubric of human rights as his situation?
Let me proceed to another point. The litigant in this case, while posting under his masculine name, Jonathan Yaniv, put up this: “We have a lot of immigrants here who gawk, judge and aren’t the cleanest of people, they’re also verbally and physically abusive, that’s one reason I joined a girl’s gym, cause I DON’T want issues with these people … They lie about shit, they’ll do anything to support their own kind and make things miserable for everyone else.”
So we have at a Human Rights Tribunal a person who speaks of ethnic immigrants, particularly women, as dirty and abusive and calls them “these people,” that they lie, “support their own kind” … and that person is the complainant?
Said complainant is also the person who most vilely went after Lindsay Shepherd, who is recently a mother, with a series of disgusting and most vulgar tweets — they are desperately ugly references to Shepherd’s own genitals and reproductive organs. When Shepherd responded with totally justified harshness, she was banned from Twitter! Twitter is the slop pail of political correctness, the idea it has a moral authority to rule on anything is benighted.
Back to the main storyline: some of these women, obviously under strain to provide for themselves and their families, have had to close their businesses over all this. The stress they are under — because of a human rights complaint — is itself something that might be filed under an abuse of human rights. The multiple and savage ironies in this case do not seem to enter the minds of those arbitrating what I regard as a degrading and narcissistic triviality.
The largest of these ironies has to be the publicly expressed disdain and contempt for immigrant women by the person filing complaints because that person insists — it is necessary to be blunt — they handle male genitals.
Originally, and this is the final point, the bizarre proceedings were under a publicity ban. Thankfully, the ban was challenged and is now lifted, and reports from inside the proceedings are available on internet feeds.
My question to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal is simple: Have you no idea of balance, discretion or plain sense? Serial complaints against struggling women, forbidden by religion or good taste, or — how’s this — modesty from waxing a penis and testicles are admitted for deliberation and judgment under the banner of “human rights?”
If a day comes we in the West are judged by less fortunate people, I think there will be more anger at how precious and silly we became with all our wealth and security. So much of what we engage with is playing with the idea of rights when others are groaning under real pain in real prisons — in other words what happens when real human rights are violated. We mock them with our games.
This farce in B.C. should be terminated.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019