September 8, 2014

File under: "Misandry."

New York Magazine has only one tag — "misandry" — for its story — picking up on a NYT article"A Ladies-Only Cab Service Is Launching in NYC."

A commenter says....
You're allowed as a cab driver to discriminate on the basis of sex? 

How about a car service limited to whites only?  
... and gets jumped on: "You are such a loser" and "Is that a fight you feel the need to pick?"

The Times article — which has no comment section — is giddy with enthusiasm for the project:
New Yorkers can already choose from yellow taxis, green cabs or black livery cars. They can tap a smartphone app for a ride, or simply stick out an arm. They can pay with cash or credit.

Now there is one more option: a female driver....

“Perfect idea,” declared Gretchen Britt, 51, a school clerk in Manhattan who uses cabs and livery cars three to four times a month, always driven by men. “You feel safer and more comfortable with a woman.”

54 comments:

tim in vermont said...

I demand a hair cut!

tim maguire said...

Will be easier with Uber. So long as people hail cabs by holding up their arms while standing on the curb, this will fail--riders will climb in the first cab that comes along. The women-only cabs will accomplish little more than cutting themselves off from over half their customer base outside of rush hour.

The Times is pretty stupid for not realizing that.

bleh said...

This gives me an idea: a cab service with attractive, large breasted twentysomething female drivers. Only men may use the service. The benefits are obvious. Rather than get drunk and go out with the boys to the strip club where they waste hundreds or thousands of dollars, wandering men will instead get it all out of their system while taking a cab home to their loving wife. It's basically a public service.

Surely this will be celebrated in the NYT?

PB said...

Only a short walk from this to justifying burkas

Anonymous said...

So now black guys who want a taxi get doubly screwed.

Ann Althouse said...

"The Times is pretty stupid for not realizing that."

Well, you misread the article (or didn't read it), so you should be careful about throwing the word "stupid" around.

Kylos said...

Is this Britt a wussy?

Brando said...

"You feel safer with a woman."

"You feel safer with a white person."

Someone please explain why these statements are not equivalent.

Kylos said...

If so, the three Britt's today can be described with adjectives that have an average Levenshtein distance of 2.33.

Kylos said...

Levenshtein distance

Tibore said...

Time was that "Separate but equal" was disdained and derided as discrimination clothed in a mere guise of equality. I never imagined The Old Grey Mare (the NYT) would stoop to pimping a claim of "Separate yet better".

Look, I actually like the idea of boutique cab companies trying to make a business out of supporting some niche clientele (if you think about it, limo rentals for special events is exactly this. So are "bar crawl" tour buses). I'm just wondering why that bastion of progressivism is not jumping on the obvious sexism inherent in this particular model. Their selectivity is glaring and obvious.

Birkel said...

Focusing on the comments Althouse highlights:

1) Women commit crimes too. And women who think they will be safe because the driver is a woman have not considered, I think, that this sort of service may attract the sort of women intent on committing crimes against unsuspecting female customers.

2) I am generally sympathetic to these sorts of entrepreneurial ventures. However, under the precedent our courts have offered these sorts of public accommodations cannot, typically, be segregated based on a suspect classification. Should courts be willing to allow these sorts of ventures some latitude? Probably but I doubt it will happen.

3) Given my express beliefs in #2 above, I offer another argument in favor of limited government. The imposition of federal rules on these sorts of local businesses harms entrepreneurs and denies customers services for which they would otherwise pay. More local control would allow the experimentation the "laboratories of democracy" need.

Tibore said...

The article is even worse than I thought.

"... aims to serve women who may feel uncomfortable being driven by men..."

Change "men" to another group, like "LGBT". Or "aims to serve men who may feel uncomfortable being driven by women". The NYT would rightly jump on that harshly. Yet this gets a pass?

Galling. And ridiculous. The NYT simply needs to fail and go out of business.

tim in vermont said...

'The great question that has never been answered, and which I have not yet been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is "What does a woman want?" - Sigmund Freud

WikiQuotes

Near as I can tell, they want contradictory things universally enforced.

Ann Althouse said...

"If so, the three Britt's today…"

Ha ha. Yeah, 5 if you count the "Brits" Kate and William.

T J Sawyer said...

In Cairo, there are separate "women only" cars on the subway. Perhaps The Times will now begin to advocate for that policy in NYC.

tim in vermont said...

I am not sure declining to read the NYT counts as stupid under the vast majority of circumstances.

Better to miss an occasional valid point then be be sucked into the stupid vortex that it is.

Rae said...

Perfect job for a transvestite.

traditionalguy said...

Hooters Taxi Girls is the next big thing.

Moose said...

Now now remember - women are powerful but vulnerable. You can't deny them their power but you can't challenge them. You're a bastard if you hold the door or DON'T hold the door. You're not allowed to hit them - but they're allowed to hit you. You're not allowed to question their achievements but they still need special help in both school and work.

Kylos said...

To me, the British monarchy is passe.

Annie C. said...

How about just Viking females?

Larry J said...

If someone tried to start a cab company with only male drivers who only would allow male passengers, they would not only be denounced, they'd be sued. It'd be even more true if the cab company was by and for whites only. How is this any different just because it's by and for women only?

Lucien said...

does someone actually think such a business could be legal in NY? Seems like summary judgment in a drum for the first non-female prospective driver or passenger who comes along.

By the way, do they pan to serve only cis-gendered females, or is this another transphobic micro-aggression?

Anonymous said...

I only hope this opens the door to more freedoms. We ought to be able to choose to descriminate. Not be forced to descriminate or forced not to descriminate.

MadisonMan said...

So how do you know the woman is a driver? Do you ask to see her XX chromosomes?

I know plenty of male-looking women.

Bob Ellison said...

I have three dogs, all female. Can they drive the cabs?

Julie C said...

Are these new taxis hot pink? Cause I'm all over that, given that I'm a woman and all.

Am I allowed to say that women annoy the hell out of me sometimes?

jr565 said...

So, if this is allowable why can't someone not bake a cake for a gay wedding?

jr565 said...

No foreigners cab service. You don't have to suffer the indignity of being driven around by someone from India or Pakistan. Only natural born drivers, preferably white will drive you where you need to go. Because you can't trust them foreigners.

jr565 said...

It works for womens gyms so why not?
But then again why not work in the other way too? Mens only golf course. Whites only golf course. No gays on the golf course.

jr565 said...

My mom was a cab driver back in the 60's and 70's. And she eventually stopped because a customer choked her one night and stole her money. A lot of criminals are therefore not going to care that the driver is a woman, if they plan on robbing them. It might make it easier. They might be able to get a rape out of the deal too.

Alex said...

I have three dogs, all female. Can they drive the cabs?

I'm sure Uber will accommodate. They specialize in having dogs stand on their hind legs.

Toby said...

Hold on. The company's founder is married to the guy who started the state's taxi driver industry group. She says she could have used this service for her daughters. Isn't this a huge vote of no-confidence about the guys her husband represents? Does she know something we don't?

campy said...

"Someone please explain why these statements are not equivalent."

Because Shut Up, Racist.

lgv said...

What if the cab shows up and there is a man AND a woman?

What if they show up and deny a male rider? There is big difference between targeting a market segment vs. excluding a segment.

If they don't exclude men customers, I see the demand to be huge. It won't take long for the entire driver work force to swing toward women.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

But this would probably be illegal, right? Damn those libertarians with their lack of empathy--if only they were more persuasive this wouldn't be a problem.

DanTheMan said...

It's just another instance of the Althouse Rule:
If you compare women and men, what women do must be judged superior.

Thus: Women-only services are morally justified and liberating. Men-only services are exclusionary and criminal.


Michael said...

This is a great idea! Using an Uber-style app. the driver and the customer must both be female.

Great idea if you want to go broke. Not enough female riders and therefore not enough female drivers.

I have had a number of female Uber drivers. Because they can cruise the areas they want to pick up in they have a pretty safe gig and are fairly certain to get well behaved customers. Since regular users of Uber are rated they can also decline to answer calls from unknowns who have no record yet w/ the company

Anonymous said...

What if the female driver refuses to accept as a passenger a male who sexually identifies as a female? Where will the NYT land on that scenario?

DanTheMan said...

Indeterminate and Variable Sexual Identity Robot says:
"Hey! That's sexist!"

And, by definition, is always right. And wronged.

Anonymous said...

TJ Sawyer: In Cairo, there are separate "women only" cars on the subway. Perhaps The Times will now begin to advocate for that policy in NYC.

You may have obliquely hit upon the real reasons for any demand for women cabbies, which, of course, New York Magazine is not going to make explicit. I'm guessing it's the same reasons that resulted in a BBC employee being sacked a while back, for specifically requesting a non-"Asian" driver for her 14 year old daughter.

Apparently cabbies of certain, er, multicultural persuasions have acquired such bad reps regarding solo female fares in certain Western metropolitan areas, that even BBC-sters will get real when it comes to their own 14 year old daughters.

Well, in act if not in speech. Iirc, the lady in question adamantly asserted her anti-racist purity, and tried to pull rank with her educational credentials, whilst spinning some b.s. excuse that of course she was entirely cool with any flavor of cabbie but, you see, her daughter wasn't, um, er, used to Asians, yeah that's it, she'd freak out seeing some guy in a turban. (The "turban" mention was another nice evasive maneuver, for connoisseurs of this stuff, since I doubt the lady was much worried about Sikh cabbies.)

I bet the requests for woman cabbies has more to do with race trumping sex in PC poker, than with "not feeling safe" with men per se.

damikesc said...

Am I allowed to say that women annoy the hell out of me sometimes?

No. It makes you a misogynist. Even if you're a female and all.

So...MISOGYNY!!!

tim in vermont said...

We indulge women in the hopes of maybe getting a little. Maybe we should only accept as valid the points hot women make. So the men's haircut thing? No way. Cabs safe from rapey men? Sure.

Shanna said...

Once when I lived in DC, some women got into a cab and was driven off somewhere for a few hours by the cab driver and then let go. Scary stuff but I never had a problem. I did have a guy tell me, when I asked him to drop me off a zone away from my apartment building because I was short on cash (late at night), that it was "against his religion" to do so. But then he tried to convince me to go to the ATM, which wasn't happening!

"You feel safer with a woman."
"You feel safer with a white person." Someone please explain why these statements are not equivalent.


Because women, on average, are not as strong as men? So safer. In theory. I don't think I've ever had a female cab driver so I'm not sure how this would work. I suspect most women avoid the job, in part because of safety concerns.

tim in vermont said...

Can I just add that I think that women driven cabs for women customers is a perfectly OK idea. Too bad there isn't some political philosophy that would support such a thing...

Spiros Pappas said...

I believe that this service is directed towards Muslim women. So it would be racist (?) or discriminatory, in some fashion, to outlaw these cabs.

We're landlords and some of our apartments are rented to Muslim families. Perfectly normal, perfectly decent, heck, whiter than your typical "White" American. But you can't fix a faulty light switch unless there's a man in the house. It's odd...

tim maguire said...

Ann Althouse said...
"The Times is pretty stupid for not realizing that."

Well, you misread the article (or didn't read it), so you should be careful about throwing the word "stupid" around.


Or you could take the opportunity to note the error in the article--they're not talking about cabs.

Douglas B. Levene said...

There are women only subway cars in Manila, too. It seems like a reasonable way to separate the pervs (the tiny percentage of men who are gropers and flashers) from their targets.

But it strikes me as plainly unconsititutional under the current doctrine to have a public service in the US that only serves women.

NotWhoIUsedtoBe said...

So many people who didn't read the article.

It's not about women customers, but women drivers.

As someone who drove for a living for many years in many jobs, I'm very skeptical that this will work. Women can certainly drive cabs, but the problem is the situations with difficult customers. You have to pick up drunks late at night, and you have to drive in sketchy areas. It's also dealing with problems alone and handling physical tasks like carrying things and fixing the car when it breaks. My experience is that women don't like to take up those kinds of tasks. Not that they can't do them, but very few women want to. There are a lot of jobs like that, where women can do the work but won't. I wouldn't mind if this changed, but I don't expect it to.

This is the dirty secret of gender imbalance in many jobs. As long as the jobs are low-paying and low-status no one cares if they are male dominated.

Unknown said...

They have this in Dubai with women drivers and cabs all in pink.

NotWhoIUsedtoBe said...

Aha. The second article says it's only for women customers. Silly me.

Brando said...

It's clearly discriminatory and cabs likely fall under various nondiscrimination laws, so I don't expect this to last.

What I love is seeing the Left make all sorts of claims regarding gender--"women have to fear confronting men in public"; "men should be more sensitive to how they make women afraid of them"--which they'd never tolerate if the same claims were given in the context of race ("imagine how whites have to feel when confronting blacks"; "blacks should feel bad for making white people scared of them"). Point out that blacks tend to have lower education levels and higher incarceration rates, and this is an example of "white privilege." Point out that men tend to have lower education levels and higher incarceration rates, and this clearly cannot be "female privilege" because that's absurd.

So we have it with "female only" cabs. Why is this any different from "whites only" cabs? Blacks have higher crime rates, and many whites fear blacks--yet it would be unjust to discriminate against black customers because of that. Yet here the Left (in the fawning media coverage of this venture) seems to be okay with using that same logic to discriminate against men.

Of course if you favor free association over nondiscrimination laws, then both such types of ventures should be permissible, if objectionable. You could have cabs for white people, cabs for black people, cabs for Jews, Asians, you name it.

RichardS said...

Perhaps it's time that we begin to restore the liberty of association in the U.S. The 1964 Civil Rights act was probably the best way to help make necessary and good social change. On the other hand, by greatly expanding the definition of "common carrier" and "public accommodation" it compromised the liberty of association that is an essential part of a free society.
Remember that in Tocqueville, business corporations are NGOs. Restoring the liberty of association might help make our civil society more robust.

But we seem to be going the opposite way. Nowadays schools are preventing Christian groups from ensuring that their leaders are Christians.
http://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2014/09/intervarsity-christian-ministry-in-trouble-for-acting-Christian

Presumably the same logic applies to other groups. Homosexual advocacy groups, by this logic, must be required to allow conservative Christians to join and participate.

But that's not what the Left wants, and they may, in fact, not apply the rule fairly and equally. The Lefty logic is that "privileged" groups don't deserve such protection. Minority groups, they argue, do. There will probably be a double standard.

All that is a predictable consequence of saying that the government has the right to tell private associations, including businesses, who they may hire or take a clients.