As you all probably know, Fla. Governor Ron DeFascist and his fellow Republicans are outraged that Disney dared defy him and question the wisdom of Don’t Say Gay. He’s claiming that Disney’s sexing up cartoons — as noted at the link, it’s not a new thing in cartoons — but it’s doing the job of encouraging corporations to collaborate. He’s unsurprisingly fine with Nazis protesting Disney. And his party’s on board too: Josh Hawley’s suddenly discovered corporate copyright lasts too long and needs to be changed. Provided you’re a corporation with $150 billion in revenue so it’s not like he’s targeting revenue.
While I agree copyright stretches out way too long, altering the law to punish specific companies is not a good alternative. Once again, Republicans show themselves as the Stalinists they pretend to despise. It was a staple rule in the old USSR, and many other oppressive states, that you either give lip service to party orthodoxy or pay a price. It’s not the first time, either: back when George Soros looked at buying into major league baseball, some Republicans said that would cost MLB its antitrust exemption. But the important thing from Republicans’ perspective is that its discouraging other corporations from speaking up.
The focus on Disney and DeSantis’ hating on gays shouldn’t obscure that he’s also punching down at sexual-harassment and diversity training. It bans training that says, for example, that race, sex or national origin make some people privileged, or that tells employees they should feel “guilt, anguish or psychological distress” because of actions committed by people who share their race or gender. If an employee thinks their employer has crossed the line, they can sue.
Rather like the Texas abortion bounty hunting program this is considerably more freewheeling than a policy supervised by the government. Would saying that statistically more men than women commit harassment or that women have to deal with harassment a lot qualify? Even if the employee loses, it’s going to cost the employer time and money, providing an incentive for employers to be very, very careful about harassment and diversity training).
Like Don’t Say Gay, the primary goal here is proving DeSantis is fascist enough to be a Republican presidential candidate. I suspect the right-wingers who complain sexual harassment is an arbitrary standard will be fine with it. They’re not offended by sexual harassers such as Madison Cawthorne or Roy Moore. Like Suzanne Venker they assume the problem is that women are there in the workplace so it’s their fault. Just keep women and men apart at work and if women’s careers suffer, well why should misogynists care? Likewise, the assumption is that diversity is a synonym for “minorities and women getting jobs they aren’t qualified for” in contrast to the fantasy era when white people ran everything because they were superior.
I don’t know if DeSantis believes any of that or is just making a calculated political gesture. Like his enthusiasm for punching down at gays to gain political points, it’s vile either way. Which unfortunately makes him a perfect Republican.