Steve Horner Violates Rights
by Ari Armstrong, February 16, 2007
Steve Horner is a buffoon. He claims to oppose feminism, yet he champions the very worst strains of feminism. He claims to oppose Marxism, yet he fights for state control over private property. He pretends to advocate civil rights, even as he violates the civil rights of others. He invokes the Constitution while acting to suppress "the right of the people peaceably to assemble." Either Horner is an imbecile, and therefore incapable of recognizing his own contradictions, or he is a publicity hound who doesn't care about the absurdities of his claims or the rights he tramples.
The secondary headline for Calhoun's column states: "Rosa Parks didn't surrender to discrimination and take a different bus. So why should Steve Horner go to a different bar?"
Westword's comparison of Horner to Parks is absurd. Rosa Parks stood up for civil rights. Horner acts to violate them. Rosa Parks fought for liberty. Horner tries to smash it.
Here are two huge differences between Parks and Horner. It is immoral to discriminate against African Americans, and Parks stood up against that immorality. However, it is not immoral for bars to give women cheaper admission and/or drinks (on "ladies nights"). Parks fought to eliminate unjust laws that required segregation. Horner fights to maintain unjust laws that (if his interpretation prevails) ban free association.
Anyone who compares Horner to Parks simply doesn't understand the meaning of individual rights or the reasons why Parks is an American hero. The ridiculous comparison tries only to drag Parks's sterling reputation through Horner's muck. Parks deserves better.
Westword also compares Horner to Jesus (as both are "[m]artyrs for their cause"), clearly in jest. If anything, that only makes the comparison to Parks worse by trivializing Parks's achievements.
Westword's secondary headline also misrepresents the situation. Nobody tried to force Horner to "go to a different bar." In fact, nobody tried to force Horner to do anything whatsoever. Instead, bars offered to serve Horner according to their standard terms. It is Horner who is attempting to force bars to alter their policies, thereby violating their rights of property and association.
Calhoun writes, "Women may say they don't want special favors, but they are getting them, [Horner] insists." Horner also wrote a "novel that traces feminism's parallels to Marxism." Horner gave Calhoun this laughable line: "Feminism is Marxism which creates terrorism through its inherent double standards, creating anger, confusion, resentment, feelings of betrayal, and ultimately, revenge and violence."
We might guess what "inherent double standards" Horner has in mind regarding Marxism, but apparently he thinks that feminism promotes the double standard of both wanting and not wanting "special favors," such as ladies nights.
Horner thus implies that his social crusade to stop ladies night is somehow comparable to the movements to stop the forcible oppression of women and discrimination against them in the work place. But the comparison does not hold. Ending the forcible oppression of every person is necessary under individual rights. And treating women justly at work -- recognizing their virtues and productive abilities without gender bias -- is morally required by employers. But there is no forcible oppression in the case of ladies night. And there is no injustice when bars offer women a deal (in order to bring in men).
Feminism in its worst strains attempts to downplay or even obliterate the real, biological, meaningful differences between men and women. It is this sort of feminism that Horner (schizophrenically) embraces.
The core of Marxism is state ownership of the means of production. True, Horner does not wish the state to seize ownership of the bars. He only wants the state to control the way bars operate. Technically, that is closer to the form of socialism called fascism, but Horner does share with Marx a deep disrespect for property rights and voluntary association.
And it is Horner who has embraced "revenge and violence" in his crusade. His vengeful nature comes through in such comments (again recorded by Calhoun) as that Colorado women would "rather sleep with their dog than a man." By way of violence, he is seeking to take money by force from various establishments via state agencies.
The real tragedy of the situation is that, but for Colorado government's complicity in Horner's violations of individual rights, we could all just ignore Horner.
Horner told Calhoun, "They say I need to get a life, to find something more serious. What's more important than protecting one's civil rights? ... This is deeper than stupid old ladies' night."
Horner is correct about only one point: this is more important than "ladies' night." When irresponsible publications and state agencies sanction Horner's fake, make-believe "civil rights," they jeopardize other people's actual rights. Those who seek to place Steve Horner on the same pedestal as Rosa Parks threaten to undermine Parks's crucial achievements.