Judging by a recent news story, discount tire places around Massachusetts might find themselves indebted to the overly-sensitive champions of the underdog that seem to have overrun the Bay State.
“Bald is Beautiful…”
It’s a saying which probably started out as some sort of affirmation uttered quietly into the mirror by countless follicly-challenged men each morning, but it has grown to mean so much more. In recent years, it has become a battle cry for those individuals who live with Alopecia, or have lost their hair as a result of cancer treatments. It reminds us to be less judgmental, and to be open to acknowledging a wider spectrum of perceived beauty. This increased awareness and improved social sensitivity, along with changing trends, have empowered victims of hair loss to embrace the reality of their existence. And it’s with this in mind that September 13th of each year has actually been designated ‘National Bald is Beautiful Day’ to encourage a more inclusive existence for all. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned over the last three decades, it’s that even the most noble and inclusive of social endeavors can be corrupted.
At the start of 2020, few people could claim to be unfamiliar with the term ‘social justice warrior’. To some, it’s an indictment. To others, it’s a badge of honor. Regardless of which side of that particular assessment you stand, let’s all agree that outrage has become the new impetus for social change.
Unfortunately, our definition of ‘outrage’ is evolving – and the power associated with the term diminishes every day that we use it to describe what is more likely to be ‘disappointment’ or ‘disagreement’. What isn’t diminishing is the impact such strong emotions are having on lawmakers.
Some of you might remember back in October when Massachusetts House Bill 3719 made it to the floor of a Judiciary Joint Committee, attempting to make it illegal to utter the word “bitch”. Although sponsored by Democratic Representative Daniel Hunt, the bill became a reality as a result of direct petition from one of Hunt’s constituents.
Now, Massachusetts is back in the news, with state legislators putting pressure on the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) to increase leniency in regard to tire tread. The general rule of thumb when it comes to tire tread is that it should measure no less than 1/16 of an inch, with anything less ruled as ‘bald’.
“Allowing the term ‘bald tires’ to be interpreted as a negative is no longer acceptable,” explains Arianna Libb, President of the Massachusetts Association of Social Sensitivity, and Hometown Oversight of Legislative Effectiveness. “Twenty five years ago, we marginalized entire segments of our population by allowing terms like ‘gay’ and ‘retarded’ to be used as negatives. Fortunately, we’ve come a long way, but M.A.S.S.H.O.L.E. refuses to rest until we’ve completed our journey of inclusivity here in the Bay State, and expanded it across the globe.”
But what exactly is M.A.S.S.H.O.L.E. setting out to do? Logic would tell us that they were simply looking to outlaw the use of the term ‘bald’ in a negative light. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned when it comes to social justice, it’s that a reasonable expectation of healthy change is never quote ‘good enough’. After all, only a reasonable person would settle for reshaping language when they could reshape reality itself; and if there’s one thing few social justice warriors could be accused of being, it’s ‘reasonable’.
It remains to be seen if the group actually intends to eliminate tread depth requirements altogether. Setting aside the obvious obstacles presented by safety requirements, chances are that the giants of the tire industry might have something to say about a plan that could prove so harmful to their collective livelihood. That said, those of our readers who demand assurance of safety in their vehicles, we recommend that you advise your local representatives to vote against Libb and her M.A.S.S.H.O.L.E. associates.