When Exclusion is Actually OK

exclusion, manchild, feminism
Wonder Woman, movie, cinema, feminism
(not sure of licencing, copyright, etc if I used a pic from the new version)

Exclusion: it’s a modern sin, right? You might have heard about the fuss over a cinema offering women-only screenings of the new Wonder Woman film. And, if you haven’t yet read the local Mayor’s glorious response to some whiny manbaby who threw a tantrum over the concept, you really should.

Overall, it’s a good thing to include people in events, and to make events as accessible as possible. Excluding people may well be unkind, unethical and, to an extent, illegal. But it isn’t always necessary or desirable to include absolutely everyone in absolutely everything, and there may be perfectly valid reasons to restrict entry to particular places at particular times on particular dates. You’re under no obligation, for example, to invite your entire work department to your wedding, or your birthday party, if there’s only five of them that you like and two where your mutual loathing could spill over into something disciplinary-worthy any minute.

exclusion, rejection Similarly, when a normally-public place has been hired for a private event (or a ticketed event, when admission is usually free) you can’t claim discrimination or anything else if you are not invited to said event, or can’t get a ticket because they sold out, or are beyond your budget.

It’s particularly pissy (but surprisingly common) to complain when your access to something is restricted on one occasion, in one location, despite there being identical provision of whatever it is just round the corner, or in a couple of hours’ time, or on the next day. A case in point would be a particular hobby group I belong to, which is run by and for women, with men admitted only under certain restrictions and by prior arrangement. There are about four other local groups for enthusiasts of this hobby, all of which admit anyone who wants to attend (with, of course, a right of exclusion should any attendee start behaving like an absolute dick. You know, just like any other public or private place…) Yet there are still men, from time to time, who whine and complain about the existence of this particular group, and object to the fact that they are not allowed to go, even though they are NiceGuysTM.

exclusion, manchild, feminismYes, there are times and occasions where exclusion is a bad and unfair thing and those excluded have every right to object. Faith school admission policies, for example, where small kids have to travel miles to school because the convenient, local one is rammed with those whose parents were sufficiently good at faking piety. Workplaces where all the real deals are done during after-hours socialising, so those with dependents  struggle to keep up with the gossip, and those whose faces (or, let’s be real, gender identities) don’t fit with the chosen hospitality are made to feel wretchedly uncomfortable. It’s almost certainly to do with the fact that men, particularly white men, have historically been the ones setting the rules as to who gets included and who is allowed access, that so many white men fall prey to such ludicrous, incoherent rage at the mere idea of there being a place or event where they are not welcome.

Dudes: suck it up. You’re too sensitive and over-emotional, sometimes…

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