The women's soccer team is fighting for equal pay. A conservative friend thinks this is silly.
It's a curious thing. This friend is not a troglodyte. He does not support keeping women at home and out of the workplace like conservatives would have in, say, the 1960s. He also does not support efforts to get women equal pay now that they are in the workplace.
This is the belief of conservatives. Today, the natural evolution of "We deserve to be admitted to universities and corporate workplaces," to "and it makes no sense that we regularly make tens of percent less than men" gets the first part right and the second part wrong. In their eyes, conservatives who tried to keep women out of universities and the workplace were overly repressive decades ago and progressives who today would push for equal pay are overly progressive.
Think about the odds of this. For thousands of years before the current conservative became an adult, society was too repressive. Societies that have pushed further and now ask for equal pay for men and women have gone too far. Out of thousands of years of history and thousands of years of future, only the society they discovered at the time they became an adult got it just right. Progress had neatly deposited the conservative in just the right place in history and no further.
You would think that conservatives would be happier people. Had they been born even a generation earlier, they'd be outraged at the inequity of repressive conservatives around them not enlightened enough to give women equal opportunity. And had they been born even a generation later, they'd be outraged at the inequity of all the progressives who were stupid enough to insist on equal pay. There was only one generation in history to get it just right and it happened to be theirs. You'd think that would make them feel happy and proud.
"50 years before I was born, the world was in the Dark Ages. 50 years after I turned 18, the world had gone mad. What a joy that I found just the right time to live in, a glorious golden age in which the golden mean was achieved. What bliss. What luck. What perfect timing."
"A conservative is someone who stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it."
- William F. Buckley, Jr.