Can you imagine a city ordinance prohibiting sports jerseys and baseball caps on South Beach? What if the Florida state legislature banned Ladies' Night at Mr. Moe's in Coconut Grove? I, for one, would have a shit fit.
But thanks to asinine politicians, who should be ridding society of crime and poverty instead of common sense, these ridiculous laws have been proposed in various cities across the U.S.A. Take heed, because it could happen here. Last March the city of Miami determined that perfectly legal items such as pacifiers and Vicks inhalers were really drug paraphernalia (Okay, I admit it ... they are for guys like me). Then they prohibited those items from this year's Ultra Music Festival.
But back to the loony legislation that's sweeping other parts of the nation. Last week an entertainment district in Louisville, Kentucky banned jerseys, sleeveless shirts, and backward baseball caps -- in other words, hip-hop fashions popularized by the black community (although just as many whites wear them, too). We're not talking about individual, private businesses, which have every right to enforce a dress code. We're talking about public streets throughout an entire section of the city. The city council allowed certain types of apparel to be classified as "gang-related clothing," then gave the green light to restrict them. The ACLU has taken up the fight on behalf of all the cool people in Louisville, a city that has a substantial black population.
Then there's the recent court decision by the head of New Jersey's Division on Civil Rights that could have made "ladies' nights" a violation of state law. First, let's get one thing straight: "Ladies' nights" are absolutely discriminatory. But you know what most people don't have the cajoobies to say? Not all discrimination is a bad thing. Don't gasp, just hear me out.
Discrimination, by definition, implies "making a clear distinction; to differentiate." Many times the distinctions are fueled by racism and sexism, which is wrong, but sometimes it's just an oft-ignored friend called logic at work. Most men aren't offended by the idea of a "ladies' night." They get the economic benefits it can have for establishments with a liquor license. The belief that the presence of women draws men to clubs, and not the other way around, can be substantiated by spending a simple night out on the town. If I ran a club, I'd want to have the right to offer women discounts on admission and drinks.
Besides, the practice actually benefits both sexes. The obligation men feel to buy women drinks (some people say it's self-imposed pressure, to which I reply bullshit) is gone. Men can have free drinks, too, if they're with a sly girlfriend or girl friend who's willing to make extra trips to the bar for them. The reality is that everybody's usually happy and drunk on "ladies' night." (After the court's decision made national headlines, the State of New Jersey overturned the stupid ruling last week.)
So what was all the fuss about? Ladies and germs, it means that political correctness has gone too far. These laws represent a reflection of the continuous pussifying of America. Here's the thinking behind the laws we've reviewed: "I want my free drinks just like she gets or I'm going to cry," and "Big, black cultural elements are so scary; please force people to dress as white as possible."
But you know what the real irony is? Many readers who manage to stumble upon this needle in a haystack of a column will actually find my sound reasoning as offensive as these laws themselves. It's true. If I had a nickel for every uptight reader who wants my head on a platter (and I'm not talking about the one holding my brains) for refusing to lobotomize my libido or pretend that illegal drugs aren't an important part of partying, I'd be a rich son of a bitch.
Oh well. I figure pissing off the easily offended is better than walking around on eggshells.
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