He makes a good argument:
(Hat tip: Earl Aagaard)
He makes a good argument:
(Hat tip: Earl Aagaard)
I know you’re desperately curious to get to the stain removal part of this post, but you’ll have to bear with me as I first work my way through the Leftist obsession with gender roles and the Leftist denial about biologically programmed gender roles before I finally get to the dirty laundry.
Although I’m trained as a lawyer, for the last few years, I’ve mostly been a stay-at-home Mom. I worked part-time as a lawyer through 2008, but the recession caused my clients to go away and they haven’t come back. Last year, I spent a few months blogging full-time, but that was very difficult because I’m married to a man, who regardless of whether I earn money, wants me to be entirely responsible for the traditional feminine role in the house. In other words, he wants a June Cleaver. That’s not quite accurate. What he really wants is a life partner who is both a Ward and a June. I tried to do that for several years (and again last year), I decided I didn’t want an early grave that badly. Fortunately, my husband is a very hard worker (which is why I don’t mind being June to his Ward), and we are able to live on his salary.
My husband is rather extreme in his sexual role stratification, insofar as he won’t do any work related to the house. Throughout our neighborhood, though, even amongst the working families, it’s the women who do the laundry. They’re also the ones who cook on a regular basis, although the man may cook periodically, cook for special occasions, or help clean up. The neighborhood women also do the bulk of housecleaning, although the men are more likely to take out the garbage and take care of the garden and garage. Those women who can stop working and focus solely on home and children have done so (as I have).
Part of the reason for the men’s lesser contribution to the house in my neighborhood is that they tend to work longer hours. Yes, ours is the classic neighborhood in which working women earn less per hour than the men, because they’ve made the conscious decision — invariably because of children — to work part-time, flex-time, or “merely” full-time (40 hours, compared to the men’s 60, 70, or 80 hour work weeks).
I’ve heard grumbling from both men and women in the neighborhood, all of whom occasionally feel as if they’ve gotten the short end of the deal. On the whole, though, everyone recognizes that their various accommodations, although they may not be personally satisfying, work best for the family unit. More specifically, they work best for the children. I do know of two house husband situations that have been extremely successful, but they’re the exception, not the rule. From what I see, the average family falls in the traditional roles if at all possible: mom at home, dad at the office. That’s just the way it is.
The reason for this long rumination is twofold. First, I’m thinking about these things because of the ridiculous Claire Shipman-Jay Carney puff piece in Washingtonian magazine, which has been roundly, soundly, and appropriately targeted because of the Soviet propaganda wall art; the ludicrously Photoshopped books, clearly intended to make the Shipman-Carneys look intellectual; and a carb-loaded diet that would have heads exploding among Michelle Obama’s food police.
At Power Line, John Hinderaker points out one other thing that lies in the text, not the images: the article’s main point is that Shipman and Carney have such a wonderful partnership because she made the decision to put her career on the slow burner, so that he could work 12 hour days. Of course, the way this is written, it’s not about a beleaguered little lady staying home, barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen, because of male chauvinism. The focus, instead, is on Shipman’s empowerment:
“Balancing Act” is written with the usual cloying feminist slant. The news hook, to the extent there is one, is a book that Claire Shipman has co-authored called The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know:
Their book posits that while confidence—rather than competence—plays a key role in female success, particularly in the workplace, many women lack this critical ingredient. …
Many women possess a deep-seated fear of being wrong or embarrassed, which prevents them from taking risks. Risk-taking is important, in part because it can lead to failure—and surviving failure, they say, is essential to building resilience and confidence.
“How often in life do we avoid doing something because we think we’ll fail?” the pair ask. “And how often might we actually have triumphed if we had just decided to give it a try?” They advocate “failing fast,” a tech buzzword that is the ideal paradigm for building female confidence. Take a small risk, fail, learn from it, and move on. Men are more comfortable taking risks, and tend to more easily shrug off failure. Women, on the other hand, stew, worry, ruminate, and second-guess themselves.
Men, of course, don’t mind being embarrassed at all. They don’t worry, they just plunge ahead, full of self-confidence. And failure? It doesn’t bother us a bit! We shrug it off! As a man, you don’t know how easy you have it until you read feminist tracts.
And yet Carney’s own experience illustrates how silly the Democrats’ claims are. Shipman has worked part-time for the last five years to spend more time with her young children. Carney, meanwhile, leaves for the White House at 7:25 a.m. and tries to get home by 8:00 in the evening. As in most families, it is his wife who takes time out from her career to focus on children, and who devotes more time to her family: “Flexibility, she says, is what most working mothers really want.”
Even Obama’s closet associates put the lie to his blatant, hackneyed canard about women earning 77 cents on the dollar, as well as explaining the reasoning behind women’s slightly lower earning power: given the choice, women want to be home caring for the children and men want that too. It’s the triumph of biology over experience.
So that’s one article that got me thinking about gender roles in my home and my computer. The other one was an NPR Fresh Air interview with a gal who has advice for getting stains out of things. Her advice is very good. If you’re in charge of keeping things clean in your house, I highly recommend it — but do be prepared to laugh as guest Jolie Kerr and host Terry Gross try desperately to assure any men listening that they’re not going to lose their man-card if they don’t immediately turn off the interview.
Before I get to their rhetorical contortions, let me assure you that Kerr isn’t writing like some coy 1920s “advice for the housewife” columnist. That is, she’s not saying, “When you clean your husband’s clothes, you’re telling the world you love him. You don’t want him to head off for work with ring around the collar and sweat stains under the arms. Every woman needs to know these laundry tricks to take care of her man.” Instead, Kerr just says “for X stain, do Y treatment.” Gender-neutral, stain-killing advice. Apparently, though, both Kerr and Gross were pretty damn sure they needed to reassure the male listeners in their audience — college educated Democrats who must have a sneaking suspicion that, notwithstanding the amount of sex the hook-up culture has given them, they’ve somehow sacrificed their core masculinity at the feminist altar:
GROSS: And I should say you address the column to men and women. You are not making the assumption that it is women who do the cleaning.
KERR: Absolutely I am not, no, no, no. I write for both men and women. It’s very important for me to that. It was actually one of the reasons that I moved my column away from its original home into a place where I could be writing for both a male and a female audience. I personally view cleaning as a human problem, not a gendered problem. I would not be interested in only writing for a female audience and to continue to reinforce the notion that cleaning is women’s work. I just don’t see it that way at all.
GROSS: OK. Now in talking about these stains you mentioned underarm stains from sweat and deodorant, and we have two people on our show who wanted to know about that. One is a woman, Heidi Saman, and the other is a man, John Myers, and they’re especially interested in white T-shirts and white shirts. So what advice do you have for getting out sweat and deodorant underarm stains?
KERR: Sure thing. Well, the first thing I want to say is that I love that both a man and a woman asked that. It’s actually probably my number one question, both from men and women, total equality when it comes to pit stains.
KERR: Which is great. I think that that is a wonderful, wonderful thing when we can start showing that…
GROSS: Equality at last.
Yes! “Equality at last.” Exactly what I was thinking . . . NOT.
My daughter is taking high school physics. This morning, she told me about the class results following the midterm. “Four people got A’s; four people got B’s; and six people got C’s.” Then she giggled and added, “All the people who got C’s were girls!”
Deadpan, I said, “Your teacher must be a sexist.” (I was thinking, of course, although she couldn’t know this, about the way the Ivy League feminists tried to destroy Larry Summer’s career for daring to suggest that there might be a connection between gender and women’s low representation in STEM degrees.)
“No, that’s not true” my daughter replied, quite shocked that I would suggest such a thing. “He teaches everyone the same way.”
“I was just joking,” I told her.
“Well,” she answered, “A lot of people aren’t joking when they say that.”
Leftism sucks both humor and reality out of just about everything.
Every conservative online publication today is talking about the British hospital that used aborted and miscarried babies as part of the fuel for its heating system. I, and others, have commented that even the Nazis didn’t use their crematoria for heaters, although one cannot deny that the Nazis harvested everything they could from the bodies of those they murdered (gold teeth, hair, prosthetic limbs, etc.). Many people came up with the Soylent Green analogy, which is apt.
What happened in England is a grotesque, reprehensible thing. It’s also completely logical. The premise of abortion is that the fetus is just a jumble of tissue, no different from removing a tumor or cyst. Things removed from people’s bodies in a hospital have to go somewhere, and cremation is the cleanest way to dispose of human tissue and other potentially contaminated remains. And in a day and age of recycling and “green energy,” why not recycle that living matter into heat? It all just make sense.
My point is that, if you’re going to make abortion legal, you must inevitably contemplate some way of disposing of the results of that abortion. Being clean and energy-efficient is as good a way as any of ridding yourself of something you’ve already determined is valueless. As I said, the story is grotesque but logical (even predictable).
The news story that blew me away this morning, however, was the one reporting that the female head of the biggest abortion provider in England is entirely comfortable with sex-selective abortions (meaning abortions carried out solely because the fetus is female):
Ann Furedi, of BPAS, said the law does not prevent women from choosing a termination on the grounds of gender and she even compared it to abortion after rape.
However, Mrs Furedi – whose charity carries out more than a quarter of abortions in England and Wales, argued that if doctors believe going ahead with the pregnancy would damage the mental health of the mother, the abortion is within the law.
Writing for online magazine Spiked, she said: “A doctor agreeing to an abortion on grounds of rape would be breaking the law no more and no less than a doctor who agrees an abortion on grounds of sex selection,” she said.
“While it is true that the sex of the foetus is not a legal ground for abortion, nor is rape, or incest, or being 13 years old. Nor is being homeless, or abandoned, or just feeling there’s no way you can bring a child into the world… yet they are all reasons why a doctor may believe a women has met the legal grounds of abortion.”
She added: “The woman gives her reasons, the doctor decides on the grounds as set out in the law … there is no legal requirement to deny a woman an abortion if she has a sex preference, providing that the legal grounds are still met.
“The law is silent on the matter of gender selection, just as it is silent on rape.”
It’s probably worthwhile filling you in on a few facts about the killing of females both in and outside of the womb. In 2010, the Economist wrote about the toll gendercide was taking on the would-be women in the world:
In January 2010 the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) showed what can happen to a country when girl babies don’t count. Within ten years, the academy said, one in five young men would be unable to find a bride because of the dearth of young women—a figure unprecedented in a country at peace.
The number is based on the sexual discrepancy among people aged 19 and below. According to CASS, China in 2020 will have 30m-40m more men of this age than young women. For comparison, there are 23m boys below the age of 20 in Germany, France and Britain combined and around 40m American boys and young men. So within ten years, China faces the prospect of having the equivalent of the whole young male population of America, or almost twice that of Europe’s three largest countries, with little prospect of marriage, untethered to a home of their own and without the stake in society that marriage and children provide.
Parts of India have sex ratios as skewed as anything in its northern neighbour. Other East Asian countries—South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan—have peculiarly high numbers of male births. So, since the collapse of the Soviet Union, have former communist countries in the Caucasus and the western Balkans. Even subsets of America’s population are following suit, though not the population as a whole.
In China the sex ratio for the generation born between 1985 and 1989 was 108, already just outside the natural range. For the generation born in 2000-04, it was 124 (ie, 124 boys were born in those years for every 100 girls). According to CASS the ratio today is 123 boys per 100 girls. These rates are biologically impossible without human intervention.
Other countries have wildly skewed sex ratios without China’s draconian population controls (see chart 1). Taiwan’s sex ratio also rose from just above normal in 1980 to 110 in the early 1990s; it remains just below that level today. During the same period, South Korea’s sex ratio rose from just above normal to 117 in 1990—then the highest in the world—before falling back to more natural levels.
The Economist article, which is excellent, goes on to describe the consequences of these increasing gender imbalances, one of the more frightening of which is an excess number of young men without the civilizing influence of women.
The numbers lost to sex-selective abortions are staggering. Back in 2011, Ross Douhat examined data suggesting that at least 160 million girls were killed in the womb for no other reason than that their culture preferred boy babies.
There is nothing in the world more hostile to women than sex-selective abortions. Absolutely nothing. Life for women is hard all over, but only sex-selective abortion has wiped out 160 million of them. Yet Ann Furedi who, as head of England’s single largest abortion provider must surely call herself a feminist, says that this gendercide is A-OK.
Perhaps I’m erring in calling Furedi a feminist. It’s certainly a reasonable assumption that she is, because in every Western nation, abortion is presented to us as a civilized necessity for saving, elevating, aiding, and supporting women. It’s the way, as Obama said, that we make sure women aren’t “punished with a baby.” Those who oppose abortion, say the Democrats, are engaged in a “War on Women.” The corollary, of course, is that those who support abortion must by extension support women.
Furedi, however, seems to have declared a war on babies and, more specifically on female babies. That doesn’t sound feminist. That sounds profoundly misogynistic. And perhaps, within that framework, there’s nothing random about the fact that the same woman who cheerfully condones mass murder of women is married to the leader of the British Revolutionary Communist Party.
I’ve often said that one of the things that drove me from being staunchly pro-abortion to being primarily pro-Life (although leaving a door open to abortion in certain cases) is the extremism we see in the abortion culture. No matter how much the abortion spokespeople and the Democrat party (but I repeat myself) wrap themselves in the mantle of women’s rights to justify abortion, their every pronouncement makes it plain that their focus isn’t on letting women live, it’s on letting babies die.
Furedi — who heads England’s biggest abortion “charity” — has just become the poster child for the Left’s Big Lie. By support gender-selective abortion she reveals that the “pro-abortion = pro-women” mantra is hollow. She doesn’t care about women. She cares about killing babies. Otherwise she could not condone the continuation of a practice that has already accounted for something far in excess of 160 million female lives.
The burned babies heating hospital buildings is disgusting, but it’s just the final manifestation of a cult that has nothing to do with women and everything to do with genocide and gendercide.
In America, it used to be that boys were boys and girls were girls, except for a handful of boys and girls who didn’t conform to the norm. Boys were at the top of the heap; girls had a carefully carved out, limited sphere of influence and opportunities; and sexually non-conforming people were ignored or abused, depending on both their ability to blend in and their community’s ability to cope with their differences. Both women and sexually non-conforming people were routinely denied equal treatment under the law.
The women’s lib and gay rights movements were originally sold as a way to ensure that women and gays (and, eventually, the whole LGBTQ spectrum) received equal treatment under the law. That was originally understood to mean equal access to education, employment opportunities, and house; equal pay for equal work; and freedom from overt, violent discriminatory practices — and that was it.
Since then, equal treatment under the law has become a picayune, limited goal. Instead, the Left is using gender and sexuality as a way to remake society entirely in opposition to heterosexual males, the ones who created Western society in the first place.
The latest push to remake society is the effort either to ban the word “bossy” or to turn it into an undiluted positive when the word is applied to girls. This, of course, ignores the reality of bossy little girls.
Girls are bossy, something that comes about because they model themselves on their mothers. Despite decades of Leftist marriage, gender, and sexuality rejiggering, for most children, Mom is the Big Boss in the house. (Indeed, considering the soaring number of single moms, she’s the only boss in the house.) The vast majority of little girls identify with mommy. That’s a fact that no gender theory will ever change. So if Mommy is bossy — as she has to be in order to run a household with children — then a little girl’s logical assumption is that, to be a grown woman in training, she too must be bossy.
And what about the claim that we’re all wrong to say it’s obnoxious when girls are bossy? I couldn’t disagree more. It’s incredibly obnoxious when girls are bossy. What’s appropriate coming from a grown woman with responsibilities is profoundly irritating whether a 4-year-old lisps orders to her friends, a 10-year-old hollers imprecations at her brother, her a 15-year-old, in a strident whine, tells her parents what she wants them to do. It’s obnoxious not because the 4, 10, and 15-year-old are female, but because they haven’t yet earned the right to boss anyone around. The issue is age, not sex.
Even as the Leftist/Progressive/Democrat establishment seeks to make it so that every girl’s fecal matter is perceived as perfumed, the relentless attacks on boys never end. Fortunately for me (’cause I’m lazy), I don’t have to go into detail on this topic because Matt Walsh has already done so, saying what I would say, only doing it better.
So let me just skip ahead to a discussion of the Left’s latest attack on America’s last bastion of masculinity: the military. The military used to be the place where you sent your boys to become men. Now? I don’t know. The military is still overwhelmingly male, but the Obama administration, even though it cannot change the numbers, is doing its best to change its manly ethos.
Gays can openly serve now, which puts a great deal of pressure on young men. While the Left will freely acknowledge that women shouldn’t have to shower with men who view them in a sexually predatory fashion, and that women in the military are at risk of becoming victims of violent sexual attacks from predatory men, the Left refuses to acknowledge that gay men can be equally predatory to other men. (And lesbian women are often predators to other women.) Under the new paradigm, shying away from showering with an aggressive gay man or lesbian woman isn’t logical self-preservation and respect for ones own sexual integrity; it is, instead, homophobic and the people holding such views must be re-educated and/or destroyed. It’s an interesting social experiment, but a disastrous burden to place on an institution that has as its primary task combat training and preparation to fight off enemies of unspeakable savagery.
Placing women in combat is also a de-masculinizing effort (yes, it’s a neologism) on the Obama administration’s part. Training standards will have to be lowered because it’s the extraordinarily rare woman who can compete head-on physically with men. Men are bigger and stronger. They have stronger bones and joints. Their skin is tougher and has fewer nerves, meaning it’s less sensitive to pain. They get less breathless. They can pee standing up or into old water bottles, and they don’t have periods or get pregnant. They are vulnerable to rape (see the above paragraph), but less vulnerable, especially because cultures other than America subscribe to the Red Army’s approach to despoiling conquered women.
The only way women can compete equally with men is to lower the standards for men. This means that young men will not be challenging themselves as much. To the extent many join the military because men need challenges, the military becomes less attractive. Additionally, young men aren’t fools. They know that women will create physical and emotional drags on a combat unit. Only in the Ivory Tower, surrounded by theory, would people think that women with their different biology are identical to men for all purposes, including combat.
Having turned the military into a Progressive experiment for gays and women, now what do we do? We bring transsexuals into the military. Although the number of transsexuals in the military will of necessity be small (there aren’t that many around), I suspect the transsexual-infused military will be a different animal from what it currently is. Libby, one of my wonderful commenters, found this interesting tidbit about transsexuals:
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention report on suicide attempts among transgender and non-gender conforming adults (Jan.2014) found that the while rate for suicide attempts in the general US adult population is about 4.6%, in transgender people, the rate is 41% (46% for trans men).
transsexuals are deeply, deeply unhappy people, who wear their own bodies like a painfully ill-fitting outfit. I feel nothing but compassion for their anguish (an anguish that gender reassignment may do nothing to help). Having said that, I am appalled that our president somehow thinks that the military will be the group therapy environment these troubled souls need. He is using America’s front line defense against a dangerous world to normalize that which, statistically and biologically speaking, isn’t normal.*
There is nothing closer to who and what we are than are gender and sexual orientation. A wise friend of mine thinks that Islam’s entire beef with the Western world is the fact that, as Westernism creeps into Muslim communities, women fight to leave the harem, the burqa, and the hijab. All other insults to the religion are tolerable, except for the one that shakes up the relative values between men and women under Islam.
The Left understands this, but it heads in an opposite direction from Islam. Rather than attacking women and gays to gain control over culture, it attacks heterosexual males. This is why, beginning when they’re just little children, America’s males are systematically demeaned and insulted. They are also deprived of opportunities to express their masculinity in positive ways and, instead, are reduced to expressing it through computer games, random violence, and perpetual dorm-style sloth and slobbery. If you want to see the end of a sustained Leftist attack on men, you need only look to the American black community, where men have been rendered useless. The government fulfills all the functions women need (shelter, food, health care, and child care), leaving the men responsible only for spread sperm. No wonder, then, that black men have developed a culture focused on the size of their weapons (both of which, ironically, are tucked in the pants): guns and penises.
*No, I’m not saying people on the LGBTQ spectrum are “perverts” or “sickos,” or that they should be ridiculed, humiliated, discriminated against, hanged, beaten, imprisoned, or anything else. I don’t believe that.
What I do believe is that love and physical desire are a combination of mind, biology, and culture, and that, when it comes to consensual adult relationships, it’s my business to stay out of it. When I look at people, I judge them on values other than their sex partners, values such as individual freedom versus government control, stable relationships versus promiscuity, hard work versus parasitism, kindness versus cruelty, etc.. I do, however, reserve the right to look down upon people if their choice of sex partner is their only value.
So, rather than sit in judgment on LGBTQs, what I’m trying to say is that non-heterosexual orientations are statistical anomalies and that it is impossible to build a culture around a biological statistical anomaly. It won’t stick.
Kevin Williamson has a brilliant article about modern feminism. I won’t summarize it. I’ll just urge you to read it.
I’ve called myself a small “l” libertarian, to distinguish myself from the Ron Paul crowd. Richard A. Epstein has given me an even better name for my political view, one that recognizes the need for government, but that always hews to individual and marketplace freedom: I’m a “classical liberal.”
Peter Beinart is in agony, because he’s a terrible father. Why is he such a terrible father? Because he allows his son to watch pro football with him. By doing so, says Beinart, he lends his imprimatur to something that’s really no different from a Roman gladiator contest, with the loser gladiator executed or eaten by lions at the end:
Last Saturday night, he [Beinart's 8-year-old son] proudly dug out a long-unused Patriots jersey and joined me on the couch late into the night as the Patriots dispatched the Indianapolis Colts.
It was wonderful. And it made me a little sick.
It made me sick because I could see the game through his eyes. And it wasn’t pretty. My son, unfamiliar with the NFL’s pieties, assumed that hurting the other team’s players was the goal. To his untutored eye, the violence that guilt-ridden fans like myself decry was a feature, not a bug. He didn’t cheer the injuries; he’s too sweet for that. But despite my insistence to the contrary, I suspect the message he took from the experience was: The only thing you need to know about the large man writhing in agony on the screen is whether he’s on our team.
Mr. Beinart, if the takeaway lesson from football that you’re teaching your son is “let’s cheer when men get hurt,” the problem isn’t with the game, it’s with you. You are indeed a failure as a father because you, with all your fine words and liberal anguish, were completely incapable of teaching your son the good lessons that football — especially pro-football — teaches.
Thankfully, I’m not you. After having watched six hours of football yesterday, I had a very different takeaway message for my adolescent son: You can learn a lot from these guys. The reason I enjoy watching the game is because there’s something thrilling about men giving 110% to what they’re doing. I never watch an NFL game and think, “Gee, that quarterback is slacking off.” Or “That tight end’s doing nothing out there.” Anybody can be taught technique, but it’s up to each individual to bring passion, self-discipline, drive, energy, and courage to whatever he does. Those guys who make it to the NFL — and especially the guys who make it to the playoffs — are the best of the best, not just at the sport of football, but at the art of being a man.
Watch a pro game, not for the game aspect, but in a more abstract way, just seeing the men as bodies in motion. Every man on the field gives his all. These guys use their bodies as missiles, battering rams, walls, whatever. They are the quintessence of dedicated manliness without weapons. It’s hard on the body (although the media is making up numbers as it goes about the risks associated with the game) so these guys are appropriately well-compensated. That’s okay. It’s a known risk that they willingly take for a tangible financial reward.
In an increasingly feminized world, pro football is one of the last bastions of unabashed manliness. In classrooms all over America, boys are forced to sit still and read books about their feelings (where once they were at least allowed to read stories of war and heroism and adventure). In school yards all over America, girls and boys — but especially boys — are told not to compete, not to run, not to throw, not to hit . . . heck, not to engage in any of the familiar rituals (at all times, in all cultures) that young boys do as they move toward manliness. Rather than celebrating and cultivating manly virtues (bravery, loyalty, honor, strength), we routinely tell boys that, unless they imitate girls, they are without virtue. Their natural instincts are defined as fundamentally bad.
And then there’s football. I’m always amazed and impressed when I see a player run, spin, and leap, eluding attackers and, quite often, still running with at least one person attached to his leg. My lizard brain is telling me, “If this guy was my mate, and I was being chased by anything from an enraged mammoth, to a Nazi, to a Taliban, this is the guy who would be there for me. Pajama Boy would be screaming and weeping and begging for mercy, but this football player would lay his life down for me . . . after first inflicting some serious injury on the other guy (or mammoth).”
Yes, these guys can be as violent off the field as they are on. The fact, though, that their violent acts make headlines tells us that, for most of them, they can turn off the violence just fine. After all, these incidents make news because their rare, not because they’re ordinary. In any event, I suspect that their random acts of violence have more to do with their upbringing than their football career.
Men should be allowed to be men. I’d much rather have my guy get his instincts out in the culturally-sanctioned, structured environment of the football field, rather than spending his day pretending to be Pajama Boy, only to come home frustrated and angry. For better or worse, we humans are animals. The healthiest society is that which gives a controlled outlet for our animal instincts, than one that forces people to deny entirely that those instincts exist.
It seems that excessive alcohol consumption is the name of the game this week at Bookworm Room. Yesterday, I posted about the fact that my liberal friends believe that it’s wrong to tell teenage girls and young women that they increase their chances of getting raped if they drink to excess at parties. They don’t believe it’s wrong because it’s inaccurate. Indeed, all freely agreed that young men and women who drink too much are a recipe for rape. What bothered them was that this implies that girls have some control over whether or not they become victims. It makes them actually responsible for themselves, and that’s just unfair as long as there are men out there raping. You see, the men are the real culprits so it’s just wrong to let them off the hook in any way, shape, or form by implying that women have some power in the situation.
Today, Igorvolsky tweeted out a genuine, bona fide Obamacare ad out of Colorado:
Amazing ad in Colorado encouraging people to enroll in Obamacare: pic.twitter.com/IMpKpUZCwP
— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) October 22, 2013
Party hearty, dudes! Drink up! Just don’t, like, you know, rape some drunk chick. But dude! Here’s the really awesome thing: If you do rape the drunk chick, and she gets pregnant, Obamacare will, like, pay for the abortion. Awesome!
Last week, Emily Yoffe, who writes regularly at Slate set of a firestorm when she wrote a post that offered what normal, non-politically correct people, recognize as extremely good advice: Tweens and young women, if you don’t want to get raped, don’t get drunk. Yoffe wasn’t giving rapists, even drunk rapists, a pass. She was just saying that, as a practical matter, a young woman who is to incapacitated to make rational decisions or to lift a hand in her own defense, is a natural victim:
A 2009 study of campus sexual assault found that by the time they are seniors, almost 20 percent of college women will become victims, overwhelmingly of a fellow classmate. Very few will ever report it to authorities. The same study states that more than 80 percent of campus sexual assaults involve alcohol. Frequently both the man and the woman have been drinking.
Let’s be totally clear: Perpetrators are the ones responsible for committing their crimes, and they should be brought to justice. But we are failing to let women know that when they render themselves defenseless, terrible things can be done to them. Young women are getting a distorted message that their right to match men drink for drink is a feminist issue. The real feminist message should be that when you lose the ability to be responsible for yourself, you drastically increase the chances that you will attract the kinds of people who, shall we say, don’t have your best interest at heart. That’s not blaming the victim; that’s trying to prevent more victims.
Honestly, I don’t think Yoffe could have been more clear.
I happen to agree with Yoffe 100%. I agree to the extent that, whether sober or drunk, certain young men see a drunken woman, especially an unconscious drunken woman, as a perfect target for rape.
I also agree to the extent that drunken young women say “yes” when, had they been sober, they would have said “no.” Men aren’t the only ones who wear beer goggles. When the girls or young women wake up the next morning filled with regrets, they tend to whitewash their complicity in drunken sex by claiming “rape.” Those fake cries of rape destroy the men against whom they’re aimed, but in today’s culture, these young women are so brainwashed that they actually convince themselves that their drunken “yes” equaled a rape — and then they go around suffering permanent emotional damage from the mantle of victim-hood that they draped upon themselves.
I know that, on the liberal side of the blogosphere, people went ballistic over Yoffe’s article. I didn’t have to read those posts to know what they were saying. I linked to Yoffe’s post on my Facebook page and got more comments than I’ve gotten on any other thing I’ve ever linked. With the exception of comments from three conservative friends, all of my other liberal friends said variations on exactly the same thing: While Yoffe is correct factually, they cannot approve of her saying what she said because it’s unfair to girls to say that they have a responsibility to protect themselves.
Please think about this for a moment. These liberals agree that girls who drink to excess are vulnerable to rape and other attacks. They simply think that this truism — one with huge practical implications for women’s safety — must go unsaid because its offensive to feminist ideology to state in any way, shape, or form, that young women have a responsibility to protect themselves.
In the comments section, I got all sorts of arguments against warning girls that drunkenness can be their undoing and all of these arguments were premised upon enormous logical fallacies:
There’s no excuse for men to rape. I agreed, but pointed out that there’s a virtue to making it harder for them to do so.
Suggesting that women can take proactive steps to prevent rape will make them feel guilty if they are raped. Yes, maybe, I said, but it will also mean fewer women get raped.
Just because people are drunk doesn’t mean they rape. Huh? Well, no, most drunk young men thankfully don’t rape drunk or unconscious women, but some do. Given that reality, why shouldn’t the women avoid the risks of running across the “bad” drunk guys? And certainly one of the most effective ways to avoid these guys is for you to keep your wits about you.
Men need to be told not to rape, rather than telling women not to drink. But, but . . . can’t we do both? And incidentally, we already tell men not to rape, a proscription that carries with it a heavy legal penalty. Despite that, some still do, whether they are drunk or sober.
Saying that drunken women are essentially willing victims is a free pass for men. Men are always morally responsible for their actions. If a thief robs a house, he’s still morally and legally in the wrong. But it doesn’t mean homeowners are relieved of the obligation to lock their doors.
It’s not fair to tell women not to drink if we also don’t tell other people not to do things that will protect them from crimes. Okay, now they’re really getting desperate. How often are we told to lock our houses, carry our purses so snatchers can’t grab them, check our surroundings before going to the ATM, lock our car doors, etc.? But even if we weren’t told these things, there’s a difference between crimes of property and crimes of person. While having our house broken into feels like a violation (been there, felt that), it’s not the same as having our person violated. That means that the need for warnings about careless behavior with our bodies should demand more attention than for careless behavior with our property.
Since I’ve been working on Mr. Conservative, I’ve spent way too much time writing about rape, sexual assault, and pedophilia. In 90% of those stories, alcohol is a factor. It’s definitely a factor in terms of the malfeasor’s conduct, but it’s equally a factor in terms of the victim’s conduct. This is especially true in the cases of the high school girls who find pictures of themselves on social networks naked or being sexually assaulted. Two things invariably happen: (1) The girls admit, or witnesses confirm, that the teenage victims had drunk themselves insensible; and (2) the other students at the school place more blame on the drunken victim than on the drunken perpetrator(s).
This last isn’t fair. Indeed, it’s absolutely vile. The fact remains, though, that outside of the rarefied world of elite feminism, it’s a reality: On the street, kids know enough about the world to believe that girls shouldn’t drunk themselves to vulnerability and, if they do, they shouldn’t destroy some guy’s life by complaining if he takes advantage of that situation.
The best thing that the feminists can do for girls dealing with the real world, rather than the elite’s dream of a real world, is to issue constant, graphic warnings telling teenage girls not to get drunk. If their body is a house, getting drunk is the equivalent of handing the keys to the guy trolling the neighborhood looking for a house to rob.
Two things come together in this article by Christina Hoff Sommers about the war that schools routinely wage against American boys.
First, it’s written by Christina Hoff Sommers, a writer I’ve deeply admired since I first read Who Stole Feminism?: How Women Have Betrayed Women. I give her a great deal of credit for helping strip the so-called “liberal” blinders from my eyes and allowing me to see human nature and the world we live in as they actually are, not as the Marxist propagandists claim they are.
Second, the article supports something I’ve been saying at this blog since the day I started it, back in (gasp!) October 2004: Our culture is incredibly hostile to boys, and this hostility is reflected in our schools. My pet peeve is the way education revolves around “feelings.” I’ve said a zillion times that boys tune this out. If you want to engage them in literature, have them read Ivanhoe, not Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. I loved that second book (in a chastely salacious way) when I was 11, but Judy Blume-esque books are so not for boys.
If you give boys books about adventure, and heroics, and honor, and decency, they gobble them up. If you foist on them relatively stagnant books about navel-gazing, they will zone out and become disengaged from education. Wrap that up with games that deny boys the opportunity to play rough (in a fairly safe way), and compete, and learn how to win and lose, and you will have emasculated a generation.
Earlier today, while my kids were still at school, I wrote about the way in which unions pushed a Leftist agenda into the classroom. I should not have been surprised, therefore, when Little Bookworm came home from high school and told me that, because one of the teachers was absent, they spent classroom time watching Miss Representation instead. Little Bookworm was not pleased with the movie. Why not? Because, according to Little Bookworm, the movie claimed that there had been a right wing takeover of media, and that Fox was a terrible, corrupting influence on the media.
I recall reading about Miss Representation when it first came out, and thinking that it was rather foolish, with its usual Regressive . . . uh, Progressive worldview, one that’s rooted firmly in the early 1970s. In Regressive-land, blacks are perpetually in the back of the bus, while women are barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen. (Which is why it’s such a hoot when an arch Regressive such as Paul Krugman tries to ascend the “reality based” soapbox to accuse the Right of factual ignorance. I mean, this is the guy who thinks you can solve the deficit by minting a trillion dollar coin.)
Where was I?
Oh, right — Miss Representation.
Since it seems that Miss Representation isn’t just some silly 1970s retread, I decided to check it out. First, the cast, which already tells you that this is propaganda from one side of the political aisle and not the other:
|Dianne Feinstein||…||Herself (as Sen. Dianne Feinstein)|
Is it just me or, with the exception of Condi rice, are conservatives missing from this list of media and political luminaries? Except for Condi (and I don’t know how she stumbled into this crew of knaves and cutthroats), the speakers in this “documentary” all come from the Left or, failing that, the Far Left, with some of them even emerging from under those rocks that shelter the truly loony Left.
But maybe I’m just being nasty and judgmental. Maybe this stellar cast of Progressive thinkers (ahem) was able to pull a Fox and present a “fair and balanced” approach to the issue of women in the media. As far as I can tell from the reviews that people put on IMDB, the movie is the usual stuff about a male hegemony that deprives women of high visibility roles, which is funny coming from a film that features the highly visible, well-paid Katie Couric, Rachel Maddow, Gloria Steinem, Jan Yanehiro, Dianne Feinstein, and Geena Davis, to name but a few of the downtrodden women who regularly appear on American airwaves and are very, very, very rich.
The movie also earnestly explains how TV makes women feel ugly, because it’s filled with images of unnaturally beautiful women. Yeah, like that’s never happened before in history:
My point, of course, is that, at all times, in all places, women have been objectified for men’s pleasure. And when men strut around in uncomfortable suits of armor, or ride off to the battlefield, or get their body’s tattooed, they too are preening for the opposite sex. That’s nature, not prejudice.
Moreover, as Thomas Sowell explains in simple (not simplistic) terms in Economic Facts and Fallacies, 2nd edition, is that women fall off the career track, not because of institutional misogyny, but because they have babies. A large number of women, probably the majority, when given the choice, elect to stay at home raising their children. While their husband’s spend 18 years honing their careers (learning skills, climbing the corporate ladder, making contacts), women spend those same 18 years nurturing the up-and-coming generation. It’s a Herculean and important task but, at the end of 18 years, they cannot simply walk into an office an demand a job at the same status and pay as their male counterparts who stayed in the office for those 18 years.
All of the above, in the context of Miss Representation, is the usual squawking that comes from a tired old feminism that, all real world experience to the contrary, continues to demand equality of outcome, rather than equality of opportunity.
The only area in which the movie seemed to try for some sanity was in its attempt to liken the media’s treatment of Hillary Clinton with that of Sarah Palin. I haven’t seen the movie, but this sounds somewhat apples and orangey. Back in the 1990s, Hillary did get challenged, but those challenges came from the right, which had no media outlets, not from the Left. I was there and I remember how Hillary was lauded. She was trumpeted as a career woman and a co-president. She got a 60 Minute segment to forthrightly explain (to media hurrahs) that she wasn’t there just to bake cookies. When the Lewinsky excrement hit the fan, the media loudly and proudly supported this valiant woman.
During the 2008 campaign, the media supported Hillary wholeheartedly, right until they turned against her. But they didn’t turn against her because she was a woman. They turned against her because they’d discovered an even more exciting, more politically correct candidate, and one with a drool-worthy body to boot. (And yes, the media went crazy sexualizing Obama, with New York Times articles detailing women’s Obama-centered sexual fantasies, with photo spreads about his pecs and abs, and with icky stories about female reporters on the plane begging Obama to showcase his manly assets.) Having found an even sexier candidate than Hillary, all that they could do was turn their back on her with stories about her temper. Boo-hoo.
What happened to Hillary was utterly unlike the savagery unleashed against Sarah Palin. She was persecuted in a way hitherto unknown in politics, from garbage can trolling, to mail hacking, to scurrilous rumors about her pregnancies, to unending attacks on her intellect, and on and on and on. This wasn’t because Palin was female, in which case her beauty would have been lauded as a campaign attribute. This was because Palin was a conservative female. She therefore had to be destroyed and, more importantly, her femininity had to be destroyed.
Comparing the media’s treatment of Hillary and Sarah is false equivalency with a vengeance. It elevates Hillary without ever rescuing Sarah.
What really got my knickers in a twist, and what will have me contacting the school tomorrow, is that Little Bookworm told me that the movie aggressively attacks Fox news as emblematic of what the movie claims is a conservative takeover of the news media. Little Bookworm wasn’t exaggerating:
Numbers don’t lie: Women make up 51 per cent of the population, yet comprise just 17 per cent of Congress. That is just one of the facts director Jennifer Siebel Newsom highlights in her debut documentary “Miss Representation.”
The film strings together statistics and interviews with women leaders to underline what it sees as a barrage of criticism and deluge of negative imagery the media rolls out on a daily basis.
“Unfortunately, the media and our culture is sending back to us the message that a woman’s value lies in her beauty and sexuality, and not in her capacity to lead,” Newsom told ABC News’ “Top Line” today.
Mainstream media, Newsom said, is particularly guilty.
The film highlights a jarring headline from New York Magazine juxtaposing Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin: “The Bitch and The Ditz.”
Fox News appears to be a repeat offender. The film shows a montage of the cable news network’s anchors and guests zeroing in on the physical appearance or mood swings of political female leaders.
Fox News is a “repeat offender” only because Ms. Newsom (who is married to San Francisco’s stylishly metrosexual ex-mayor Gavin Newsom) focused on Fox in much the same way that Jon Stewart, as partisan a comedian as one can find, focuses obsessively on Fox coverage, while carefully avoiding the drive-by media’s slavish devotion to Obama, fixation on celebrity (and everybody else’s) sex and sexuality, and general “race to the bottom” culture. I’ll just note that the Leftist media was fascinated by General Petraeus’ fall from grace, but couldn’t be bothered to cover Obama’s drone war or his malfeasance in Benghazi.
Movies such as Miss Representation might have some good points. However, to the extent that they are carried along on a wave of Leftist rhetoric, faulty statistics, a denial of human biology and its real world effects, and a deep and abiding hatred for the single somewhat conservative media outlet in America, they have no place in public school classrooms.
I recognize that my mind makes strange, often counter-intuitive connections, but as I hear Progressives rail against guns, I can’t help but think of slut walks.
What?! You don’t know what slut walks are? Slut walks are the latest manifestation of the feminist/Progressive rule holding that a women has no responsibility whatsoever if she is raped.
Slut walks are the exhibitionist version of the same ideology that says that a young woman can go off to college, get blind drunk, fellate several equally drunk young men and then, when she wakes up the next day and realizes that one or all had sex with her, cry rape. In each case, the entire responsibility for rape (whether it was quite obviously rape at the moment occurred or transmuted into rape along with the morning hangover) is on the man.
Before I get deeper into this one, I should say that a man is always guilty if he enters a woman without her consent, just as a robber is always guilty if he enters a house with the homeowner’s consent. This is true whether the woman is walking down a dark alley in a bikini or the homeowner has left the front door wide open. Nothing I’m about to say removes the moral and, almost invariably, legal responsibility the man or the robber has for the act he committed.
Having said that, though, you and I both know that, if a homeowner leaves a window open at night or the keys in the front door, he’s going to come in for ridicule and criticism from the police and, if he has the courage to confess his carelessness to them, from his friends, neighbors, and colleagues. “Damn, dude! That was really stupid. Why didn’t you just hang a sign on the door saying ‘come in and take my television’?”
Everyone engaged in this chaffing or ridiculing would understand that the homeowner’s stupidity didn’t make the robber less culpable — but that it did also make the homeowner culpable. And we would all make extra sure to lock our own doors. Heck, we might even buy an alarm system if we suspected that there were robbers trolling our neighborhood.
When it comes to rape, though, political correctness mandates that we exonerate the woman of any responsibility for what happened. Pardon me if I sound like Mr. Spock, but that’s illogical. We know that if a half-naked drunk woman walks into a biker bar, she’s more at risk of sexual assault than if a woman in a bulky sweatshirt and mom jeans walks into a church social. Basic common sense makes this obvious.
In the bad old days, if the half-naked drunk woman was raped in that biker bar, authorities would say “she asked for it,” and give the bikers a pass. The problem is that, in the bad new days, if the half-naked drunk woman gives a slurred “yes” to the guy who looks cute through her beer goggles, and then cries rape the next morning, his life is over and she gets a pass. Not only that, the message to other similarly situated young women is “Don’t change a thing — walk around the streets in clothes that western culture associates with the boudoir and get blind drunk or stoned on a regular basis. We will never punish you.”
Even if the Leftists give the woman a pass, though, the punishment is still there. It’s there in the form of young men whose lives are destroyed and, even more, it’s there in the form of young women whose lives are also destroyed. All those women urged by society into trashy, minimal clothing think that they’re never responsible for the consequences of their actions, but they’re wrong. Even if society refuses to condemn them, nature does, whether it’s a pregnancy (plus or minus an abortion), sexually transmitted diseases, feelings of self-loathing, or irrational fears of all men that make future trusting, stable relationships all but impossible.
What drives this entire “slut” movement is the malignant narcissism that characterizes almost all Leftist social and political positions. One of the hallmarks of narcissism is the narcissist’s inability to take responsibility for his acts. It’s always someone else’s fault.
When it comes to rape (or “gray rape” which is the morning-after guilt a woman feels when her drunkenness led her into acts she regrets), because of feminism’s push within Leftist corridors, it’s always the man’s fault. No matter what the woman does, no matter how foolish she is, she bears no responsibility for her acts. She doesn’t even count as a grim warning to others who follow. (Again, I’m not saying that the man who rapes isn’t fully responsible for his conduct; I’m just saying that rational thinking demands that women must also be responsible for their conduct.)
The same is true when it comes to guns. What better place to put responsibility than on an inanimate object? “It’s all the gun’s fault.”
Here’s a real-world fact, though, one that seems to have eluded the “reality based” political party: Guns do nothing unless people handle them. When courageous, principled people handle them, they save lives. When crazy people handle them, they take lives. Crazy people also take lives with knives, fertilizer bombs, glass bottles, boots, airplanes, box cutters, and whatever else comes to hand. Knives don’t have great reach, but bombs certainly do — and that’s true whether the crazy person is listening to the voices in his head or the voices from the imam’s pulpit.
Leftists (primarily the ACLU) have made it all but impossible to institutionalize crazy people, no matter how dangerous they quite obviously are. Leftists have created gun-free zones to which a crazy person can head secure in the knowledge that there’s no one there to stop him. Leftists operating out of Hollywood have glorified a the most bloody of gun violence of a type that a conservative culture would never countenance. Leftists up and down the Left coast, with an eye to profit, have put out video games that make it routine and painless to blast human-looking avatars to death. And Leftists have so highly sexualized our culture that two 7th grade girls at a local middle school had a major falling out because one girl gave a blow job to the other girl’s ex-boyfriend.
Leftists make rape easy by hyper-sexualizing our culture and by exonerating women of all responsibility for their acts.
Leftists also make killing an easy and attractive option for people who, in a more conservative culture, would be kept in humane comfort behind high stone walls. The great thing for the Leftists, though, is that they can, in good conscience, attack the Second Amendment and the inanimate gun because being a Leftist means never having to say you’re sorry.