Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Apparently some mystical force is requiring people to use Airbnb

Joy Pullmann
Joy Pullmann is managing editor of The Federalist. Today she writes: “It’s Not Airbnb’s Job To Check Me For Bigotry.” the subtitle reads “In a supremely arrogant act of needless virtue-signaling, the short-term-rental website has banned people with religiously or scientifically informed views about human sexuality.”

Take your pick: Superstition or junk science designed to conform undesired realities to superstition. And precisely what is it about those views that causes one to need to discriminate? The reality, course, is that Airbnb hasn't “banned” anyone. Airbnb has simply said that if one wants to do business with their company then they cannot discriminate on the basis of “race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or age.” No one is forcing Ms. Pullmann to use their service. Moreover, if a host wanted to discriminate against, say, Catholics well that would be just fine with Pullmann. Sure.
In sum, you are only allowed to use Airbnb if you agree that race, sexual preference, disabilities, and so forth will have no bearing on your decision to live with someone for a few days. Beyond that, it is a pushy, socially conscious way to weed out of the Airbnb “community” anyone who doesn’t agree with the Left’s identity politics.
“Sexual preference?” Is that like missionary or doggie or does she mean “sexual orientation?” Perhaps that scientifically informed view of hers indicates that homosexuality is nothing more than a chosen behavior regardless of whether or not that conflicts with the overwhelming consensus of science. I can only begin to imagine Pullmann's projections when it comes to transgender individuals.

But the more important question is this: What would be so terrible if she shared some space with a gay couple for a few days? Does she think that it is contagious? Is she wed to the belief that this constitutes tacit approval of a “lifestyle” that she “disagrees” with. Perhaps she thinks that she might be strapped to a chair and either forced to watch or participate in sex with her hosts. Or do those thoughts arouse her?
So now Airbnb refuses to do business with anyone who doesn’t agree with them politically. (I bet Airbnb brass support forcing wedding vendors to participate in gay weddings though, eh?) Irony of ironies, they’re running around telling everyone, “We’re going to discriminate against our customers, but our customers aren’t allowed to do the same!” Discrimination is not only normal but a necessary part of human life, as Airbnb implicitly acknowledges by, well, discriminating. It’s just lying to itself and all of us about this reality. As a private company, Airbnb should be free to discriminate. But when it tells me they get to do it and I don’t, I’m going to call their leaders ignorant hypocrites.
The Federalist  must have a terribly incurious constituency. Since when is a view towards nondiscrimination a political position? And, oh yes, Airbnb is discriminatory.  They discriminate against people who want to discriminate. Every bigot is a victim. Just ask them. The argument from ignorance is priceless. Poor us! Why are we being persecuted?
And it’s not because I’m a bigot. [Heaven forbid] It’s because sharing one’s home is a very intimate thing to do, and people have a right to discriminate about who they let into it and why. A Muslim family should have the freedom to decline to put a transgender person in their spare bedroom, and someone who lives up six flights of steps should be free to say “We can’t accommodate people with heart conditions.”
Muslim is a substitution of convenience. Pullmann means Pullmann. She should have the freedom to discriminate by not hosting a transgender person. What possible difference does the sexual identity of a paying guest have to do with a short-term share? What happens if Pullmann's convenient Muslim is the ultra-conservative stereotype that the right is so fond of and his or her new guest walks in wearing a yarmulke? Should that person have the right to decline to put a Jew in his or her spare bedroom? Perhaps, if people are that sensitive, as either guests or hosts, then home sharing is not for them. That's what hotels with passable room service are for and there are other ways to earn some extra money.
Besides, people openly discriminate on Airbnb all the time, and have essentially as long as Airbnb has existed. Just check out all the descriptions saying “No kids, please” or “No smoking.” Aghh! BIGOTS! Or not.
Just how idiotic are Pullmann's readers. Smoking and children are relevant factors. Smokers and parents are not a protected class in most jurisdictions. How and with whom someone has sex in the privacy of their bedroom is irrelevant to a short-term share. It is the same old crap. Ms. Pullmann desires the right to demonstrate her religiously motivated disapproval. “Who said it is religious?” I did. LGBT people have been the objects of real persecution while Pullmann's victimization is a product of her imagination. We have learned a thing or two about those who would discriminate against us.
Every single time I’ve used Airbnb I have discriminated, and I feel no qualms about it. For example, as a woman typically traveling alone (or sometimes with a nursing baby), I feel especially vulnerable. I can’t check a gun or pepper spray in my typical travel bag, a small carry-on. And I don’t know martial arts. Even if I did I would have a tough fight against a big, pushy guy.
Do concerns for a woman's safety form relevant or irrelevant discrimination? Not approving of a transgender host has no bearing on safety — or much else for that matter. Pullmann's approval is irrelevant. And, by the way, is she one of those people who brings a nursing baby to restaurants and movie theaters? I am astonished that anyone would share with a woman and a nursing baby who might be a screaming brat at 3:00 AM. That is relevant discrimination and it is lawful in most locales.

This polemic finally culminates with:
Ironically, Airbnb’s “diversity” policies reduce the diversity of its community and the possibilities that people on all sides of every different “identity” can positively interact. Now I’m shut out from renting from a transgender person who might, like my many other hosts, humanize the “other.” Airbnb’s new policy pushes me to think of identity politics-mongers as insulated crybabies whose political lobby divides and attacks people. It teaches me to fear them because they use their power to push me into possibly unwanted interactions, which increases my threshold of resistance, rather than letting me decide to take a risk because I feel safe and uncoerced.
That would be true if diversity requires the acceptance of people who feel that they need to discriminate. Ms. Pullmann is most certainly not “shut out” from renting from a transgender person if she simply agrees that she would rent from a transgender person. It is circular logic: I cannot do something that I want to do because I will not agree to do it but I want to do it but I won't agree to do it so I cannot. Or something like that. My brain doesn't process batshit very well.

At the end of the day, Ms. Pullmann has seized on an opportunity to claim victimhood. The result is intellectually dishonest fertilizer. Check out the last time I wrote about Pullmann. Her victimization (along with co-author Stella Morabito) was described as “The Transgender War Against Human Rights, Science, And Consent.”

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