How Can You Not Be “Got”?

Whenever we say that a person “ought” to have done X, we imply that he could have done Y instead. In law, we do not hold people culpable if they have no choice. Much PC manipulation, however, relies on us not noticing that there is no valid alternative course of action, because all possible actions attract equal condemnation, for diametrically opposed reasons. For example, women are quite right to complain when men assume that in any mixed group, the leader must be the lone male or one of the males. However, there is a double-bind situation facing any man who meets a head honcha, which she may or may not wish to exploit. Namely, he gets rebuked for any surprise at finding that the boss-person is a woman; but if he immediately defers to her as the leader, then she can do a number about how men are so hierarchical.

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