Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. The Urge to Purge

 

HoopSkirtAs I’ve said before, the primitive desire to purge our society of anything that makes us feel bad, particularly things that relate to history (no matter how far removed we are from the events in question) will continue, unabated, until people stand up and say “enough.”

Consider this opinion piece in the Washington Post, headlined “Remove the Southern belle from her inglorious perch.” The author, Elizabeth Boyd, makes the case for banning the hoop skirt. Yes, you read that correctly: The hoop skirt must be banned. But that’s not all.

Boyd, a “research associate in American Studies at the University of Maryland,” predictably trots out Dylan Roof’s murderous rampage as the rhetorical foot-in-the-door before urging the elimination of not only the Confederate flag, but a whole laundry list of cultural artifacts she connects to evil.

She points out that the University of Georgia, of all places, has already banned the hoop skirt, but laments that it took so long. “Long after many universities had officially done away with a variety of Old South symbols,” she continues, “the feminine figure most clearly identified with Dixie — the Southern belle — continued to enjoy free rein.”

How dare the Southern belle enjoy free rein! We simply cannot have that! To use the favored parlance of progressives, “That’s NOT OK!!!”

Boyd adds, “While donning a hoop skirt on occasion may not constitute a hate crime (whether it is a crime of fashion is another matter), make no mistake: The Southern belle performances routinely staged on campuses across the South constitute choreography of exclusion.” Wearing a hoop skirt may not constitute a hate crime? How generous of her to allow for that interpretation. She elaborates: “Discounted but powerful, these belle performances may not stem from conscious ill intent, but they are surely racial symbols as much as any noose or flag. And they can be plenty intimidating.”

A noose is the same as a flag is the same as a skirt. Adjacent to refuse is refuse, I suppose. All of it must go, because everything intimidates someone! And, as always, intent is absolutely irrelevant. Purge it! Oh, and, never mind the fact that women outside the antebellum South wore hoop skirts! She’s on a roll!

Boyd reveals the endgame before she’s through:

The hoop skirt ban is a great start … [but] if UGA and other Southern schools really want to lead, they will not only ban the hoop; they will also go after the belle. This will be tougher to do. It will mean discontinuing support for still-prevalent campus productions that promote imaginative connection with the Old South. And it will mean instituting new campus productions in their place. [Sororities] will develop new yardsticks for evaluating potential members that are less about looks and more about leadership. In short, they will confront the central role their choreography plays in reiterating race and class privilege. They will just say to hell with the belle.

There, dear readers, is the crux of it.

The unsophisticated and primal urge to destroy every bit of society with which we disagree — or might remind us of something with which we disagree — never goes far enough. To those who indulge in this thought process, once measure X is agreed-upon by hand-wringing college administrators or elite journalists or left-leaning politicians, that merely leads to the next essay by a social-justice advocate: “X is nice, but … “

It doesn’t end. Because a push toward totalitarianism never ends. It’s total, after all. It’s right there in the name.

The author doesn’t just want to substitute her own value system for the one used by various Southern schools and sororities. She goes much further. She dismisses those values as inherently superficial and hate-based and wants those values banned as a matter of policy.

To be replaced, of course, by her own values.

Enough.

There are 41 comments.

  1. Al Sparks Thatcher

    That’s bizarre. It’s not like hoop skirts are even close to mainstream anymore. They are relegated to period costume parties.

    • #1
    • August 16, 2015, at 7:05 PM PDT
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  2. Bob Wainwright Member

    They won’t stop until they ban the American flag, which flew over the slave states for much longer than the confederate flag did.

    • #2
    • August 16, 2015, at 7:09 PM PDT
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  3. EThompson Inactive

    I’m guilty as charged because I attended several Old South formals at Vanderbilt University dressed like this: Total Sorority Move | Hoop Skirts.

    • #3
    • August 16, 2015, at 7:22 PM PDT
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  4. RightAngles Member

    Sometimes I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I’m reminded of the old Communist Party purges of the 1950s. I remember our teacher told us of a scientist that fell out of favor, so they purged his name from every book and photograph. She showed us a group photo where he had been standing in the back row. They had airbrushed him out but had forgotten to remove his feet, so there was a pair of disembodied shoes there.

    But now that they no longer teach the evils of Communism/Socialism in schools, we have generations of young Americans who, because they don’t know history, will repeat it. And pat themselves on the back the whole time.

    And if Ms Boyd is not that young, she has zero excuse.

    • #4
    • August 16, 2015, at 7:32 PM PDT
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  5. RightAngles Member

    And Tom Garrett, I hope you’ll post your excellent and eloquent words as a response in the Washington Post.

    • #5
    • August 16, 2015, at 7:34 PM PDT
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  6. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I wonder when they are going after the Azalea Trail Maids.

    • #6
    • August 16, 2015, at 7:44 PM PDT
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  7. RightAngles Member

    Instugator:I wonder when they are going after the Azalea Trail Maids.

    shhhhhhhh! hahaha

    • #7
    • August 16, 2015, at 7:46 PM PDT
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  8. MLH Inactive
    MLH

    Whatever happened to “never forget”?

    • #8
    • August 16, 2015, at 7:49 PM PDT
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  9. RightAngles Member

    MLH:Whatever happened to “never forget”?

    I’m afraid it’s turning into “Never Know In The First Place If We Don’t Like It.”

    • #9
    • August 16, 2015, at 8:15 PM PDT
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  10. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor

    That there’d be nutters out there writing approving editorials on a hoop-skirt ban doesn’t really surprise me. What surprises me is the ban itself, and that it was apparently initiated by the students:

    The hoop skirt ban came after UGA Student Affairs administrators met Monday with some UGA fraternity and sorority leaders…

    …It wasn’t administrators who made the ultimate call on attire, it was the fraternity and sorority leaders, Wilson said.

    “A standard aspect of event planning for Greek organizations is that costuming for events must be evaluated as to its appropriateness,” read an email sent out Tuesday by Ashley Merkel, president of UGA’s Panhellenic Council, and Alex Bosse, president of the Interfraternity Council. “The student leadership, staff and advisors agree that Antebellum hoop skirts are not appropriate in the context of some events. We will continue to review costuming and themes for future events to ensure their appropriateness for our organizations.”

    • #10
    • August 16, 2015, at 8:25 PM PDT
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  11. EThompson Inactive

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:That there’d be nutters out there writing approving editorials on a hoop-skirt ban doesn’t really surprise me. What surprises me is the ban itself, and that it was apparently initiated by the students:

    The hoop skirt ban came after UGA Student Affairs administrators met Monday with some UGA fraternity and sorority leaders…

    …It wasn’t administrators who made the ultimate call on attire, it was the fraternity and sorority leaders, Wilson said.

    “A standard aspect of event planning for Greek organizations is that costuming for events must be evaluated as to its appropriateness,” read an email sent out Tuesday by Ashley Merkel, president of UGA’s Panhellenic Council, and Alex Bosse, president of the Interfraternity Council. “The student leadership, staff and advisors agree that Antebellum hoop skirts are not appropriate in the context of some events. We will continue to review costuming and themes for future events to ensure their appropriateness for our organizations.”

    Midge; don’t you know there is no such thing as fun anymore?

    Fraternities and especially lacrosse teams are nothing but nests of sexism and racism although I vaguely remember them as sources of extraordinarily good-looking and eligible young men. Even my beloved niece (who pledged my sorority at an ultra liberal university) rolled her eyes at my college scrapbook.

    • #11
    • August 16, 2015, at 8:55 PM PDT
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  12. MLH Inactive
    MLH

    I went to the Spring Pagent in Natchez a few years ago. Walking properly in a hoop skirt makes you move like one of the Martians in “Mars Attacks.” It’s a skill!

    • #12
    • August 16, 2015, at 9:21 PM PDT
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  13. DocJay Inactive

    Sadly when it comes to altering history, the legions of progressives have got there the firstest with the mostest.

    • #13
    • August 16, 2015, at 11:06 PM PDT
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  14. Jules PA Member

    Weren’t the hoops made of whale bone?

    #SaveTheWhalesFromHoopSkirts

    • #14
    • August 17, 2015, at 2:50 AM PDT
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  15. Jules PA Member

    I might be losing my mind, but I think this moved to main feed while I was reading it…

    excellent post and great read.

    • #15
    • August 17, 2015, at 2:53 AM PDT
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  16. OkieSailor Member
    OkieSailor Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Their shameless propensity to dictate thought and action for the “ignorant masses” is firmly rooted in an overwhelming ignorance of anything approaching an accurate understanding of history. Having been mis-educated about their own historical roots they now seek to erase any chance of future generations having access to a correct, balanced understanding of how we got to where we are culturally.
    Count me out as far as being even nominally compliant with such repugnant schemes to control my actions, speech and, yes, even thoughts. If I don’t like what you say, I may try to convince you of another viewpoint but I will never try to criminalize your speech or thoughts. Those who refuse to grant the same freedom to others do so because they don’t really believe they have a winning argument.

    • #16
    • August 17, 2015, at 3:09 AM PDT
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  17. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Sexual puritanism and racial grievance-mongering in direct conflict on our university campuses! I think I’ll have a mint julep while I watch.

    • #17
    • August 17, 2015, at 4:13 AM PDT
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  18. Tim H. Member

    So the author makes an astoundingly unreasonable stretch of logic with regard to hoop skirts and racism, and she uses that to justify an overtly prejudiced and bigoted point of view. I’m a seriously ticked off Southerner right now, but I’ll try to keep my temper under control and simply compare her to Hitler. See, purveyors of bigotry, prejudice, and discriminatory actions, like Boyd and Hitler, usually justify this by claiming that their victims had it coming because of what dirty, degraded, subhuman, badly-behaving creatures they are. ;)

    If I were to elevate my writing with more biting logic, I would suggest that her attitude is not a matter of trying to regulate *actions* (wearing of hoop skirts), but is rank bigotry on the basis of *identity* (Southern/Confederate). Sure, she could claim that she’s suggesting an even-handed rule that applies to everybody, but it’s obvious to everybody that only Southern girls (and really only a subset of them) actually *want* to wear hoop skirts. So her proposal can be motivated only by the desire to hurt this one group.

    What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the [CoC] gander.

    • #18
    • August 17, 2015, at 6:04 AM PDT
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  19. Man With the Axe Member

    I wonder if these social justice warriors ever reflect for a moment about what it means to ban something.

    Now, I find it understandable that some in our society might want to ban the most egregious symbols of hate, such as Nazi swastikas (as opposed to the American Indian swastika), the burning cross used as a threat, and certain words (e.g., “

    Editor's Note:

    Automatically redacted for Code of Conduct violation: Obscenities and vulgarities.

    If you are the author, you can edit this and remove the offending word. This is an automatic filter and does not reflect editorial judgment.

    ” used as a racial insult, as opposed to a term of endearment among blacks, for which it retains a certain currency).

    But even the attempted banning of these most unpopular symbols and words runs afoul of first amendment freedoms. The hurt feelings engendered by having to see hateful symbols just have to be put up with in a free society. Don’t like them? Criticize them. Boycott the people who use them (peacefully). But they simply cannot be banned unless they are inciting violence. And if the speaker using the symbols is at risk of attack, the authorities must protect him. Not everyone likes that state of affairs, but that is the constitutional order that we have chosen.

    So the idea that the white people wearing blackface make-up, or the flying of the confederate battle flag, or the wearing of a hoop skirt (unbelievable) can be banned is simply ludicrous. The University of Georgia, being subject as a governmental institution to the strictures of the first amendment, should be deeply ashamed.

    • #19
    • August 17, 2015, at 7:20 AM PDT
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  20. Nick Stuart Inactive

    Wasn’t aware hoop skirts were exclusively a Southern fashion.

    • #20
    • August 17, 2015, at 7:27 AM PDT
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  21. Nick Stuart Inactive

    Lets ban grits.

    Hominy?

    All of them.

    • #21
    • August 17, 2015, at 7:28 AM PDT
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  22. Dan Hanson Thatcher
    Dan Hanson Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    If we are now banning symbols even tangentially related to something bad that happened in the past, the obvious place to start would be communist imagery.

    I wonder how a Cuban refugee in college feels about having to stare at some progressive’s Che Guevera T-shirt all day. Talk about your micro-aggressions!

    Somehow I suspect that if you suggested banning Mao caps and Che T-shirts you would be called a censoring thug by those same people in blissful unawareness of their own hypocrisy.

    • #22
    • August 17, 2015, at 8:18 AM PDT
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  23. RightAngles Member

    Nick Stuart:Wasn’t aware hoop skirts were exclusively a Southern fashion.

    Mary Todd Lincoln wore them. Ban the Emancipation Proclamation! Louisa May Alcott wore them. Ban books! And hey, Adolf Hitler wore PANTS. And BOOTS. Ban ’em!

    • #23
    • August 17, 2015, at 8:30 AM PDT
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  24. Man With the Axe Member

    I used to relax at home in ladies’ bloomers, but I stopped doing it when I found out that Margaret Sanger wore them.

    • #24
    • August 17, 2015, at 8:33 AM PDT
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  25. RightAngles Member

    Dan Hanson:If we are now banning symbols even tangentially related to something bad that happened in the past,the obvious place to start would be communist imagery.

    I wonder how a Cuban refugee in college feels about having to stare at some progressive’s Che Guevera T-shirt all day.Talk about your micro-aggressions!

    Somehow I suspect that if you suggested banning Mao caps and Che T-shirts you would be called a censoring thug by those same people in blissful unawareness of their own hypocrisy.

    Very good. All of you get over to WaPo and post these as rebuttals.

    • #25
    • August 17, 2015, at 8:54 AM PDT
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  26. The Reticulator Member

    Re #4. Communist purges of the 50s???

    • #26
    • August 17, 2015, at 9:31 AM PDT
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  27. RightAngles Member

    The Reticulator:Re #4. Communist purges of the 50s???

    Sorry, ’30s.

    • #27
    • August 17, 2015, at 9:59 AM PDT
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  28. Bob Wainwright Member

    Opening doors form women = chivalry = southern = racism. Therefore opening doors for women is racist.

    • #28
    • August 17, 2015, at 10:34 AM PDT
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  29. Mr. Dart Inactive

    Over the past ten years I’ve been on several major university campuses in the South more than a few times.

    I’ve yet to see a hoop skirt.

    I have, however, seen lots of young Southern women. Here’s a representative group of same from ‘bama.

    There are thousands and thousands just like them. Bless ’em all.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBf6BUQzYgA

    • #29
    • August 17, 2015, at 12:14 PM PDT
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  30. Tom Garrett Member
    Tom Garrett

    The outcry for the video above is another example of what I talk about in this article, of course.

    First, I think the video is absolutely fine. It’s college girls having fun. It’s not profane, it’s not mean-spirited, and it doesn’t portray illegal activity. The objections are (1) the girls are too attractive, and (2) the girls are too white. These are not real objections.

    The bigger point, which I addressed in this piece, is that it’s one thing to say, “I don’t like this.” Great. You don’t like it. Fine.

    The part where we have an issue is when someone says, “I don’t like this, and, therefore, this must cease to exist AND you must apologize.”

    I’ll never be that arrogant or that totalitarian.

    • #30
    • August 17, 2015, at 2:42 PM PDT
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