The core issue between Islam and the West is control over women

I have written often at this blog about the wise words a friend of mine told me more than a decade ago.  I can no longer remember his precise words, but I can summarize them:  Islam’s problem with the West, he said, boils down to sex.  Muslim men are terrified that accepting Western ways means losing the stranglehold they have over women.  A religious and political leader in Iran confirms just how right my friend was:

Ahmad Khatami, a senior Iranian cleric and a member of the Assembly of Experts that chooses the next Supreme Leader has warned Iranians not to fall into the trap of negotiating resolution of the nuclear issue with the United States. “If this issue is resolved, the [US] will raise the issue of human rights,” he said, explaining, “Today their problem is the nuclear issue, and when this issue is resolved, they will raise the issue of human rights and say whatsoever rights men have, women should have them, too.”

Read more here.

It makes sense, actually. Humans have needs (food, water, shelter, etc.), and humans have drives (sex, power, etc.). Once the needs are fulfilled, sex is undoubtedly the strongest drive. Western society constrains men’s sex drive; Islamic society constrains the women in service to men’s sex drive.

Women and the Obama economy

Women voters, terrified by the Todd Akin bogeyman and promised a lifetime of free birth control, put Obama over the top in the 2012 election.  Now many reap what they sowed:

Frey’s situation reflects a trend in which women in the United States have been losing the government jobs they dominate even as the private sector has added positions. Women have lost 454,000 federal, state and local government jobs, compared with 267,000 by men, since the 18-month recession ended in June 2009, Bureau of Labor Statistics records indicate.

The gap has widened in the past year even as government job losses have slowed. Government payrolls cut about five times as many women as men in 2012, and the pattern is continuing. In January, women surrendered 8,000 positions compared with 1,000 for men.

State and local governments have done the majority of firing as their revenue plummeted and are poised for a rebound as the economy picks up. Yet the imbalance could persist if Congress doesn’t avert the automatic federal spending reductions scheduled to begin this month, said Harry Holzer, a professor at Georgetown University in Washington and former chief economist at the Department of Labor.

I don’t think I need to add any further commentary. Frankly, I’d rather read what you guys have to say, because I always enjoy your clever and informed comments.

Why married women deserve Social Security benefits

From 1947, a week worth's of woman's work.

(From 1947, a week worth’s of woman’s work)

James Taranto highlights a couple of women, Lisa Arnold and Christina Campbell, who complain that it’s unfair that married women, when widowed, get to receive social security benefits that tie into their husband’s social security “earnings.”  Here, per Taranto, is the heart of Arnold’s and Campbell’s argument:

“More than 1,000 laws provide overt legal or financial benefits to married couples,” they complain. “Marital privileging marginalizes the 50 percent of Americans who are single. . . . Marital privilege pervades nearly every facet of our lives.” Income-tax liability is generally (though not always) higher for unmarried earners; married workers more or less automatically have access to spouses’ health insurance; couples can share individual retirement accounts, and so forth.

[snip]

That of course begs the question. Any policy that differentiates among individuals is “discriminatory,” and not all discrimination is unjust or irrational. One of Arnold and Campbell’s examples–Social Security–illustrates the point quite nicely.

If a single person dies without children, her money will–must–go into the system to be provided to whomever [sic] needs it most, which is good because that was the original intent of Social Security. However, if a married person dies, the money can be routed back to her family. This is good for the married person, but fails to account for the important people in singles’ lives.

“Social Security privileges marrieds in many ways,” the duo complain. “For example, [a] married woman could receive up to 50 percent of her husband’s benefits while her husband is alive.” Wait, that sounds like a cost of marriage to the hubby. “Spouses can also receive 100 percent of their dead spouse’s benefits, if the deceased’s benefits are higher than the recipient’s would have been.”

As one would expect, Taranto quickly exposes the logical flaws in their argument, one that flows from a fundamental misunderstanding about social security:

The bottom line is that a married woman is likely to collect considerably more in benefits than a single woman with the same lifetime income. The difference runs into six figures in the hypothetical example Arnold and Campbell devise. That sounds unjust: Why shouldn’t benefits be fully concomitant with the money one paid into the system?

Because that’s not how Social Security actually works. Although it is often misunderstood as an insurance plan, in reality it is a pay-as-you-go welfare program. That is to say that tomorrow’s retirees depend for their benefits not on their own contributions but on tomorrow’s workers. If you retire single and childless, that means you’re living off the labor of other people’s children. Why shouldn’t you get a smaller benefit check than those who accepted the personal and financial burdens of raising those workers?

Taranto is absolutely right about the issue from the social security end, but he could have made a further argument — namely, that Arnold and Campbell are being utterly sexist insofar as they’re denigrating a woman’s very real financial contribution to a marriage.

The old male chauvinist pig argument was that, because women made no income, they actually contributed nothing of value economically, either to the marriage or to society as a whole.  The first feminists were quick to point out that this is a fallacy, as the stay-at-home mother’s contributions do, in fact, have a very real valuable.  If mom were to vanish suddenly, and there was no female relative to step in to fill the gap, the father would have to hire someone to shop, cook, clean, and, most importantly, raise the children.

Children playing

Merely feeding children is not enough.  In an America with large swathes developed after the automobile came along, and in one dominated by media-fed fears of child-snatching, the caregiver spends an inordinate amount of time ferrying children about, whether to school, to friends (if you want them to be marginally socialized), to mandatory “volunteer” activities, to doctor’s appointments, or to sports and other extracurricular activities.  Additionally, when the children are little — and maybe even more when they’re big — they need to be supervised so that they don’t get into mischief.  Their associates need to be vetted (druggie or good kid?) and their emotional and intellectual development overseen.  Children are hard work.  There’s pleasure involved, but, boy!, is there work.

Many women work outside of the home, with their income going to pay for childcare.  This works only if the working mother’s income is sufficiently high that, after the household and childcare fees are met, and after the woman pays all her taxes (including Social Security withholding) there’s something left over.  Otherwise, she’s just working so that she and her husband can pay someone else to raise the children.

Family

The core fact here is that raising children and running the household is a job.  There are two ways to view this when looking at a married couple.  Either the man and the woman are a partnership, with each having a different function, but with all profits derived from the enterprise, in the form of the husband’s salary, covering the partnership as a whole.  Under this view, as a contributing member of the functioning partnership, the mother is clearly entitled to a share of the Social Security payments, even though her side of the partnership consisted, not of working outside of the home but, instead, of enabling her husband to earn a cash income that’s subject to social security withholding.

A less nice, but still accurate, way of looking at social security payments and stay-at-home moms is that the husband essentially employs the wife.  He earns the money, and he gives it to her to provide services such as housekeeping and child-rearing.  In her absence, he’d have to pay someone else — in cold, hard, taxed cash.  Because she is an employee, her earnings are subject to Social Security withholding, something that the government sees to by taking those withholding from the husband.  After all, if it wasn’t for his children, she could be out there earning money.

Husband's funeral

It’s perfectly true that not all women have children or that there are women with children who cheerfully work outside the home.  On the bell curve, though, both of those situations occupy the long-tailed margins.  The reality is that married women mostly have children, and that these women mostly provide child and household care, and that, by doing so, these women mostly see their personal income drop, even as they contribute to their husband’s income on behalf of the marital estate.  This last fact means that they’ve earned Social Security benefits as certainly as their husband did.  And these women certain deserve the payments after their husband’s death because their withdrawal from the labor market to benefit the family means that, once hubby dies (and hubby is statistically likely to die first), they no longer have much, if any, income-earning capacity.

Arnold and Campbell couldn’t be more sexist than when they demean stay-at-home moms by arguing that their contribution to the martial partnership is valueless and that it shouldn’t be compensated in the form of repayment of the money the government forcibly wrested away from the family unit.

Barack Obama — closet misogynist?

Obama’s Cairo speech first tipped me off to the fact that he’s probably a misogynist.  He may have a couple of powerful women upon whom he relies (Valerie Jarrett and Michelle Obama), but his instinct is to avoid women and hide them away.  The Cairo speech got my antenna up because I thought it was peculiar that Obama twice boasted that one of the hallmarks of his presidency would be ensuring that women could continue to wear the hijab:

Moreover, freedom in America is indivisible from the freedom to practice one’s religion. That is why there is a mosque in every state in our union, and over 1,200 mosques within our borders. That’s why the United States government has gone to court to protect the right of women and girls to wear the hijab and to punish those who would deny it. (Applause.)  [This makes me uncomfortable.  It's good to trumpet America's religious freedom, but I find it icky that he would boast about the fact that America (rightly, I guess) allows its Muslim citizens to enshroud their women -- and please note that this last is an applause line.]

[snip]

The sixth issue — the sixth issue that I want to address is women’s rights. (Applause.) I know –- I know — and you can tell from this audience, that there is a healthy debate about this issue. I reject the view of some in the West that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal, but I do believe that a woman who is denied an education is denied equality. (Applause.) And it is no coincidence that countries where women are well educated are far more likely to be prosperous. [There he goes again with the hijab. Maybe it's freudian, and he wishes he could shut Michelle down.]

Three months later, Obama was at it again, applauding the hijab:

The president paid special tribute to Kareem Khan, who “made the ultimate sacrifice” when he died serving in Iraq, Nashala Hearn, who won the right to wear a hijab in school, Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir, who holds the record for the most points scored by a high school basketball player in Massachusetts, and Muhammad Ali, who – though he couldn’t attend – is “a man of quiet dignity and grace and continues to fight for what he believes.”

We are a pluralist society, with First Amendment for freedom of religion, so I’m no going to quarrel with women who voluntarily chose to wear the hijab.  Nevertheless, to the extent that it represents the first step in de-sexualizing and even de-humanizing women, and I am no fan of the garment and could not understand why Obama gave two speeches lauding the garment.  My snarky guess at the time was that Obama doesn’t like women and that his admiration for the hijab represented a Freudian desire to see women subordinated.

With these thoughts in my mind, it came as no surprise to be that Obama’s White House discriminates ferociously against the women who work for him.  Aside from a few high profile female staffers, women who work for Obama are paid less than men across the board.  Obama’s cabinet also boasts only eight women out of a total of twenty-three positions, something ardent feminists demand he remedy by applying a 50% quota (showing that, while Obama may not like women, modern feminists are fools).

I also don’t think it’s a coincidence that, in a couple of speeches, Obama almost randomly targeted his grandmother as a racist.  In his Rev. Wright speech, he spoke of her inherent racism:

I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.

Having said that, he helpfully clarified that his grandmother was “typical”:

The point I was making was not that my grandmother harbors any racial animosity, but that she is a typical white person. If she sees somebody on the street that she doesn’t know (pause) there’s a reaction in her that doesn’t go away and it comes out in the wrong way.

So, Obama started off by insulting his grandmother — a female target — and then extended that insult to all white Americans.

I’d be lying if I tried to pretend that those four disparate pieces of evidence — two speeches referencing hijabs; lower wages; and a small, but not insignificant, number of women in his cabinet — prove that Obama doesn’t like women.  They prove nothing, although they hint at a trend.

Today, I learned another factoid that hints at this same trend — Obama, the great golfer, has golfed with women partners only two times, despite playing the game 107 times during his presidency:

President Obama, who ran a campaign that alleged Republicans were waging a “war on women,” refuses to bring women along on his favorite recreational pastime, golf.

Obama has not included a woman in his golf outings in more than two years, choosing instead to bring along male staffers, male politicians and, while vacationing, a regular group of old friends, all of them men.

The last time he brought a woman out onto the golf course was October 17, 2010, when he played with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Since then, he’s been golfing 54 times, but has never brought along a woman.

I’m only aware of one other golf outing Obama has had with a woman during his presidency, a round with chief domestic policy advisor Melody Barnes on October 25, 2009. The White House acknowledged at the time that this was the first time he had golfed with a woman as president.

That makes, as of today, two out of 107 total outings during his presidency.

Keith Koffler, who noticed this interesting phenomenon, also points out that women have been railing for years against men only golf courses and clubs because so many deals are brokered in those segregated preserves.

One can draw two reasonable conclusions from Obama’s golfing patterns, neither of which is mutually exclusive:  (a) When in relaxation mode, Obama does not enjoy women’s company; and/or (b) Obama does not believe in making deals with women. Both of those conclusions provide further corroboration that Obama, if not actually a misogynist, has misogynistic tendencies.

 

 

Found it on Facebook: Voting with those “lady parts”

This keeps cropping up on Facebook and every time I see it, I find it irritating.

There’s something horribly medieval about reducing women to their sexual organs.  After all, when you think about it, the only thing that Obama has done for women is to order employers to provide insurance that covers birth control — which is a very limited expense.  That’s the difference between Obama’s approach to women and Bush’s.

In all likelihood, notwithstanding the fact that both Romney and Ryan are pro-Life, the only change under a Romney presidency is that we’ll go back to having women pay for their own birth control.  (And men, I’m sorry, but you should pay for your own Viagra.)

The Supreme Court is not going to reverse Roe v. Wade.  If it does, the matter goes to the states and, if enough people want it, a constitutional amendment.

As Michelle Malkin says, I’m voting with my lady smarts, not my lady parts.

The babe-alicious face of the conservative movement

If you enjoy women who are smart, principled, and beautiful, John Hawkins has assembled the list you want to see:  this year’s 20 Hottest Conservative Women.  I am not on the list, since my image is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.  I can assure you, though, that, if you like mouthy, middle-aged, suburban Jewish mothers, who like hitting things, I’d be right up there with the hottest of them!

Will 2012 be the revenge of the Mommies?

Women have been responsible for some pretty bad presidents.  Warren Harding leaps most easily to mind, since his was the first presidential election in which women participated, but women were also water carriers for JFK and Bill Clinton.

The Barack Obama campaign clearly hoped to capitalize on women’s bad habit of voting for bad boys, so they offered women (1) free birth control, (2) the charmingly helpless Julia, (3) stunningly stupid attacks against Ann Romney; and (4) the pithy claim that Republicans (and Romney) are waging a “War Against Women.”  If you live in a liberal bubble, this seems like a very good tactic.

Sadly for the Obamites, what looks good on Dem party paper doesn’t necessarily work in real life.  In real life, women have children, and they worry about those children.  That worry trumps their concerns about birth control or silly wars on women or gay marriage.  And that concern focuses on two things:  a strong economy, so that women can raise healthy, happy children who go on the a good life; and a safe world in which those same children will thrive.  Funnily enough, when the soccer Moms, and working Moms, and la crosse Moms, and football Moms, and harassed Moms, and happy Moms look at these serious, rather than superficial concerns, one candidate floats to the top — and it ain’t Barry:

After months of manufactured “GOP War on Women” silliness, a new CBS/NYT poll (!) finds Romney leading Obama 46-44% among woman voters. Mind you, that isn’t GOP woman or even independent women, but ALL women voters.

More importantly, today’s poll finds a notable shift among women in just the last month. In April, Obama was leading Romney by 6% among women. No other group saw an 8 point shift in their support.

Turns out women’s top concern is the same as men’s: The Economy. All the contrived outrage about contraceptives and women’s health can’t mask the fact that 73% of voters listed either the economy or the federal deficit as their number on issue.

I feel vindicated.  Last week, I wrote that Barry is the Eddie Haskell of politics.  He’s a bad boy, who seems like fun, until he gets you in trouble.  Mitt Romney, on the other hand, is this election’s Ward Cleaver.  He’s the voice of reason, the protector, and the bread winner.  The girls in the political world know a good provider when they see one — and, more importantly, they understand that this “providing” doesn’t mean selective government handouts that slowly but surely eat away at the nation in which their children are born but, instead, means a stable, healthy economy that gives opportunity to all.

[Gotta run, so this is "dictated, but not read."  My apologies for typos.]

You’re correct if you’re put off by that Time Magazine breast feeding cover

If you haven’t yet seen Time Magazine’s most recent cover, welcome back to earth from your extended journey to some other galaxy, far, far away.

To bring you up to speed, here’s a copy of the famous (or infamous) cover for you to enjoy:

The Mom pictured on the cover has promised to stop breast feeding her son before he reaches college, perhaps even before he reaches high school.

Yes, I’m lying.  She’s actually planning on weaning him sometime around kindergarten.  That, of course, is three to four years after most American mothers wean their babies.  And by “most American mothers,” I truly mean “most American mothers,” not just “those American mothers who breast feed.”  In America, almost 75% of women breast feed their babies for some period of time during baby’s first year, with or without adding solid foods to the diet.

Breast feeding is a good thing.  Moms come equipped with a natural processing and delivery system that is always ready to provide baby with a wholesome diet, one that comes complete with all the required nutrients and immunizations, and that is invariably served at the perfect temperature.  From Baby’s point of view, everything is just right:  taste, feel, smell, and cuddle factor.  From Mom’s point of view, there’s no bottle shlepping, no messy formula, and food is instantly available when the baby’s in an uproar.  Moms also theoretically loses in pregnancy weight faster when they breast feed (I certainly didn’t).  Best of all, Mom gets a chance to sit down and put her feet up.

So what’s the big deal about the cover?  I’ve already established (at least to my satisfaction) that most American women breast feed and it’s a good thing.

The big deal, of course, is twofold.  First, that kid is no baby.  Assuming healthy dental development, a normal digestive system, and reasonable coordination skills, he’s perfectly capable of eating the same food as the rest of us.  Second, that Mom isn’t bonding with her son as she stares militantly at the camera.  Nope.  Instead, she’s telling you off, you narrow-minded, prudish, salacious American you.

My understanding is that the point of the article, which I haven’t read since it’s behind a pay wall, is that Dr. William Sears has managed to convince a lot of American women that they have to hyper-bond with their child, a system that requires co-sleeping and endless breast feeding.  I was not a Sears acolyte.  I stopped breast feeding my two when they had some serious teeth in their mouths, figuring that they were telling me they were ready for something that didn’t scream when they bit down. Co-sleeping left me awake in an agony of fear that I would roll over and smother the poor things (something that, Sears & Co. forget was a common cause of infant mortality in pre-industrial Western society.)

I’ve been following Facebook discussions in which the usual crowd, after roundly castigating evil right-wing Republicans for their prudishness about the cover, go on to cite approvingly to Third World (i.e., pre-industrial societies) as role models for up-tight Westerners to follow when it comes to extended breast feeding or even ordinary breast feeding.  I made no friends when I waded into this debate to point out a few obvious things:

First, as I noted above, Americans breast feed in vast numbers, so it’s no use trying to pretend that conservatives are offended about the article just because they want all babies to drink formula from plastic battles (complete with profits going to greedy corporations, of course).

Second, women in poor countries have limited birth control options.  If they want to avoid delivering a baby every ten or twelve months, breast feeding can slow the process.  It’s by no means a perfect birth control mechanism, as many women will attest, but there’s no doubt that it does interfere somewhat with a mother’s fertility.  Mom’s over-bond with one baby so that they won’t have to have another one.  American women have other birth control choices.

Third, women in poor countries may have limited options for feeding their children solid food.  Even if there’s food around, poor sanitation often means that those women who wean early watch their children die quickly from food-borne diseases.  Where food availability and sanitation are issues, extended breast feeding may be a very reasonable option.  Last I looked, we Americans don’t have that problem.

In other words, I think the arguments people are making up to defend the photo’s apparent message (namely, that American women should emulate pre-industrial cultures when it comes to breast feeding) are silly.  The photo itself isn’t actually silly, because it’s a photo, not an argument, but you’re right if you think it’s offensive.

That woman on the cover isn’t bonding, she’s advocating.  She’s so “in your face” she practically leaps off the cover, clawing at your eyeballs.  This picture can best be analogized to a porn picture.  In those, the woman, rather than gazing lovingly at her partner, turns her seductive gaze to the camera — and to the viewer beyond.  Just as porn isn’t about love, this photo isn’t about bonding with a baby.  This is one Mom’s statement about the “evils” of American culture, nicely captured on the front page of a magazine owned and distributed by vast corporate interests.  (I so love the irony.)

The uncomfortable feeling we slightly old-fashioned romantics get when we look at that exposed breast is also completely reasonable.  Women’s breasts are wonderfully utilitarian objects, in that they’re dual purpose.  They feed babies and they entice men.  How cool is that?

The smart thing, of course, and the way our culture rolls, is to keep the two purposes separate.  Sometimes we’re in Mom mode, in which case we breast feed, ’cause it’s good for us and good for the baby, but we do so discreetly.  I can guarantee you that, despite having breast fed two children, no one outside of my nuclear family (and that includes the kids themselves) got an eyeful of me.  Feeding mode is not the same as flashing mode.  Nor was I at all inconvenienced by maintaining my [physical privacy.

When we’re not in Mom mode, our societal norms applaud, indeed encourage, showing our breasts — provided that we keep the business parts covered.  Indeed, keeping the business parts covered is important, because otherwise we suddenly depart from Western sexy and find ourselves sliding into Third World utilitarianism, where the breast is constantly exposed by Mom’s simultaneously practicing primitive birth control and disease protection on their children.  Once upon a time, these pictures were exciting for the 13 year old boy, pouring over black and white photos in National Geographic, but that day is long gone. I’m willing to bet that any guys reading this post are not feeling libidinous stirrings as they gaze at the photo below.

When all is said and done, the Time cover is nothing but a publicity gimmick, and I have to admit that I’ve fallen for it — I’m discussing the cover and its meaning.  However, I haven’t gone so far as to buy the magazine and I don’t, and will not, subscribe.  I advise you to avoid the magazine as well.  Sure, a conversation is nice, but lets not get inveigled into increasing one American corporation’s profit simply because it publishes a cover that subtly denigrates America and her normative culture.

Hilary Rosen defenders look to 1960s “male chauvinist pigs” for support

I’m seeing a terribly funny new meme on Facebook, aimed at explaining away Hilary Rosen’s statement that Ann Romney, who raised five children, fought breast cancer, and has MS, has never worked a day in her life. Friends are posting things to the effect that, while parenting is “work,” it’s not a “job.” From this I gather that it’s only a job if you get paid for it.

I’m old enough to recall a time when feminists went absolutely ballistic at men who denigrated their housework by saying that it wasn’t really a “job” because they weren’t getting paid for it. In other words, women trying to defend Rosen’s statement have had to fall back upon what the famous “male chauvinist pigs” of the 1960s and 1970s used to say about women. All of which proves, once again, that there’s nothing more regressive than a Progressive.

Parenting: The most exhausting job I’ve ever had

I started working when I was 16.  Up until I had children, my jobs were all white collar. I was either a secretary or a lawyer. I found both jobs challenging and tiring (and preferred secretarial work to lawyering).  When I was working as a lawyer at a big firm, I complained a lot about the 60+ hour weeks.  I always believed that I worked hard.

Then I had children.

Being a parent is, without a doubt, the hardest job I’ve ever had. It is physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting. In addition, although I haven’t always enjoyed it, it’s also the most important job I’ve ever had. Raising our nation’s next generation and caring for two vulnerable little souls matters more in the long run than my writing a good opposition to a demand for further document production.

I wonder how many other mothers, including working mothers, are offended by the Democrats’ denigration of Ann Romney — mother of five, cancer survivor, and MS sufferer — on the ground that she’s “never worked.” The Dems can walk this one back as much as they like, but it’s out there, and closely associated with a White House that apparently underpays its women.

 

 

Obama’s election, like Harding’s, is one where we remember the voters as much as we remember the one for whom they voted

In 1920, for the first time, American women had the right to vote in a federal election.  Warren G. Harding won that election by a landslide and, rightly or wrongly, he went down as the president whose dashing good looks and insouciance so charmed American women that they put him in the White House.  Here is the dashing, insouciant Harding:

Harding’s good looks and charm have not worn well.  Neither has his reputation.  His administration is remembered as one of the most corrupt in history — and, sadly, that first batch of women voters is remembered for having put him in the White House.

Almost one hundred years later, Tina Korbe has identified a new group of voters who may well be remembered for their role in placing one of the most corrupt presidents ever into the White House.  It seems that the millennials (those young ‘uns who come of age politically in the new millennium) are no more.  Our President has given them a new name, one that, unsurprisingly, is tied closely to his own presidency:

President Barack Obama has rebranded us. To him, we’re “Gen44.” Expanded, that means we’re the generation that elected him as the nation’s 44th president. Can you say, “hubris,” anyone? It’s almost like pleading to restart the calendar with 2008 as 1 Anno Obama.

In addition to the overwhelming narcissism this re-branding displays, Korbe points out that there is a certain truth to this horrible appellation:

What’s particularly galling about this is that he’s right. To date, our record participation in his election is our defining achievement.

What women were to Warren G. Harding, Gen44 will be to Barack Obama.  Let us just hope that Obama’s administration will be almost as short-lived as Harding’s (only Obama, God willing, will be booted out via the ballot box, rather than congestive heart failure).

 

A debate about young people’s behavior at CPAC highlights our culture’s inability to distinguish between things that are sexy and things that are vulgar. *UPDATED*

I’ve got sex on the mind today.  (How’s that for a great opening sentence?)  It actually has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with a confluence of posts and statements that came my way within the last couple of days.

It all started when Erick Erickson put up a post about the way in which the young men at CPAC were lining up to buy condoms.  (This distinguishes them from the lost, morally empty young women at Shippensburg University, who line up at vending machines to buy morning after pills.)  Erick believes that you cannot simultaneously stand for conservativism and act like a teenager under Progressive indoctrination:

We can be thankful that CPAC is not like the communications war room at Media Matters. But it should be much more than that. The young men and women who go to CPAC are often present or future leaders on their college campuses and within the conservative movement. They go to CPAC and are often on near equal terms at CPAC with people much older than themselves. Unfortunately, too many treat CPAC like spring break.

More than a few of the twenty and thirty somethings who go to CPAC seem to treat it like an extension of their college days doing their best to hook up before passing out. It’s not the majority to be sure, but it is a noticeable minority.

My friend Melissa Clouthier followed up on this by noting that the young men were aided and abetted in behaving badly by the young women, who were dressed more appropriately for nightclubbing than for political networking:

Second, have women so internalized feminist dogma that they see themselves in only two ways? Butch, men-lite wannabes or 3rd wave sluts who empower themselves by screwing every available horndog man?

Neither path is a way to self-love and respect, mind you. Both tracks will inhibit future success.

Women, if you’re at a conference where you’re learning to be a future politician or wish to succeed in the business of politics, dress the part. No, you don’t have to be in a business suit with pearls. However, modesty is a minimum.

Unsurprisingly, both Melissa’s and Erick’s posts generated a great deal of heat.  (I find David Swindle’s take the most interesting, insofar as he points out that an organization that tolerates street-corner women and rutting men is still barring GOProud.)

In my mind, all of these posts tied in with something I wrote the other day regarding Hollywood’s willingness to embrace Chris Brown (to the point of awarding him a Grammy), despite his admitting to having beaten his girlfriend, Rihanna, so badly that he ended up with a felony assault conviction.  Although I’m disgusted by the entertainment world’s stand, I’m not surprised.  In Hollywood, people are commodities, and none more so than women.  The adage that sex sells turned into a slight variation called “nothing but sex.”

Because everything that’s continuously thrust in ones face becomes boring after a while, and because Progressives as always anxious to break down traditional norms, in the last 40 years, “sexy” has been overwhelmed by “vulgar.”  For my purposes, these are the appropriate definitions for that latter term:

1. characterized by ignorance of or lack of good breeding or taste: vulgar ostentation.
2. indecent; obscene; lewd: a vulgar work; a vulgar gesture.
3. crude; coarse; unrefined: a vulgar peasant.

Vulgar is not sexy.  It focuses on the basest parts of the sexual appetite.  Before the sexual revolution, American women used to sell a little sex and a lot of mystery.  By doing so, they engaged men’s higher brain, not just their lower one.  And also by doing so, they reminded men that women were whole people, not just anonymous genitalia.  If a man wanted to unveil the mystery, he had to court the whole women.  Saying “Wanna f**k?” would get him nothing more than a well-deserved slap on the face.  Nowadays, that same question gets the guy some transient pleasure, and gets the girl a place in line at the Shippensburg vending machine.

Believe it or not, I’m not trying to make any moral points here, although I think that this is a pretty sad morality we’ve handed our young people, both men and women.  We’ve got women who don’t respect themselves, and men who don’t respect women.  Ultimately, a thinking, moral man is going to think less of himself too for using these pathetic creatures.  (Okay, so I am making a moral point, but I won’t beat it to death.)

What I really want to say here can be summed up in a single picture showing that, when it comes to “sexy” (not “sex,” but “sexy”), a minute of Rita Hayworth is a whole lot more attractive than an hour of Lady Gaga:

I mentioned at the start of this post that I was influenced, not only by things I’ve read, but also by something I’ve heard.  I’m very happy to say that this statement was a spontaneous utterance from my 9th grader.  “Mom,” she said, “I like the way I dress.  I wear attractive clothes, but I never show my belly the way the other girls do.  That’s just so vulgar.”

Bless her heart, my very wholesome young lady isn’t thinking yet in terms of sex.  Instead, in a refreshingly age appropriate way, she’s thinking about what’s attractive and what’s not. She’s figured out, just by observing her peers, that when you have a 15 year old with a muffin-top parading around in Uggs, shorty-shorts, a cropped shirt, and low decolletage, it’s neither attractive nor sexy.  It’s just vulgar.

Our young women think they’re marketing themselves in the best possible way, but that’s not the case.  They’ve been tricked into selling a big-box, below-the-waste product, rather than promoting the whole, wonderful boutique package that they are.

And wasn’t it our mothers who always told us nice girls, “Why should men buy the cow when they can get the milk for free?”  Today, too many young women (including the women at CPAC) have stopped making graceful mooing sounds and are just shaking their udders.

 UPDATE:  This post isn’t even five minutes old, and I’m already updating it.  Some email comments have led me to believe that readers think I’m piling onto the CPAC attendees with this post.  I wasn’t actually intending to do that, although the posts about CPAC certainly provided the starting point.

I’m just mad at a culture that trades charm and beauty for raw sex.  Sex has its place, but in social interactions, especially amongst young people, charm and beauty are the ones that I believe provide the greatest benefit for all participants in the dance of the sexes.  What goes on behind closed doors — as long as it involves consenting adults — is none of my business.

Apropos young people, I’ll just throw one thing in here that seems relevant to the discussion:  I’ve been commenting for years about the peculiar fact that, if you go to any high school campus, you’ll see a peculiar clothing divide.  In past generations, pretty much throughout history, teenagers’ clothing had a similar “look” to it, whether polished or scruffy, innocent or sophisticated.  Now though, the girls look like street corner hookers, with massive of amounts of revealed flesh and heavy make-up.  The boys, however, look like toddlers:  their hats are on backwards, their clothes are over-sized, and their shoes are untied.  This is as true today as it was ten years ago when I first noticed this trend.

I think this clothing chasm is very, very strange, and I honestly don’t know what to make of it.  All I know is that I want my daughter to look fresh and wholesome (so far, so good on that score) and that, when my son is older, I want him to bring home fresh and wholesome girls.

UPDATE II:  On right on cue in terms of my comments about boys’ infantile dressing, read the first item in today’s Best of the Web, about men felling behind women in various economic/educational measures.

She’s gorgeous, if emaciation is your thing

There’s a model out there named Karlie Kloss who is being hailed as “the new Body” because the fashion world adores her figure so. You can see her pictures here, but be warned that they’re NSFW, as there’s some partial nudity.  I have three comments:

I bet her legs would look great even if they weren’t so heavily photoshopped.

Is it just me, or is there something appalling about lauding a woman as the most beautiful body in the world when you can count her ribs and cut yourself on her jutting hip bones?  It may be the standard in the fashion industry, but it’s scary to think that our daughters look at that emaciated woman and think “If I don’t look like her, I’m not beautiful.”

In becoming “the new Body,” Kloss supplanted Elle Macpherson, who once held that spot in the fashion world.  Scanning images of Elle (probably NSFW either) reveals that Elle is a woman of flesh, not bones.  Our beauty culture has transitioned from slender to skeletal.

Guys, I’m especially interested in hearing from you.  I’ll take it as given that Kloss is beautiful, but is she your idea of what a woman’s body should be?

No surprise to Bookworm that the White House is hostile to women

Back in September 2009, I posted about Obama’s obsession with getting women into burqas which is, to my mind, a very misogynistic approach to women.  I’m therefore entirely unsurprised to learn that those women who have worked in the White House claim that it’s a hostile environment to women, and that this hostility comes from the top.

Obama always signals things:  his dislike for Jews and Israel (all his pro-Palestinian friends and advisors were the giveaway), his love for socialist economic fallacies (his Chicago organizer background, his Ivy League education, and all his socialist friends), and his misogyny (that burqa obsession).   Patting myself on the back, I consistently predicted who and what this man would be, something that was pretty easy if one paid attention to what he said and did.

 

Women in combat

Over at Ricochet, there’s a really interesting post about women in combat, written by a former paratrooper.  The point that fascinated me was his claim that women aren’t leaders.  I’ve always defined myself as a born follower.  I’ll fill a vacuum if no one is leading, and I have no problem taking a leadership role when I’m caring for children but otherwise, I don’t want to be a general.  I’m a foot soldier, and a damn good one.  What amazed me is that, apparently, I’m not the only one.

It is NO BIG DEAL that a Jewish publication got rid of Hillary’s picture

There is much breast-beating amongst the usual suspects about the fact that an Orthodox Jewish newspaper deleted all female images from the Situation Room picture the White House issued after bin Laden’s death.  Hillary was one of those deleted.

The deletion was technically a violation of federal policy, but given the way in which people have been messing with the photo — everything from party hats to superhero outfits — that’s not the issue, is it?  The issue is that the Joos hate women.  Actually, they don’t.  I wouldn’t want to live the life of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish woman (’cause I’m not a believer at that level), but the religious rules governing them are a manifestation of true respect and not its opposite number.

But here’s the real deal:  a little Jewish newspaper that has no government affiliation can do whatever it wants.  This is not the same as a government, complete with government power, demanding that there can be no images of women in the public sphere.  If Di Tzeitung deletes female images, it does so for two reasons:  (1) principles and (2) knowing its market.  It’s allowed to do that, just the way Hustler is allowed to show way too much of women.

When we should be concerned is when Saudi Arabia deletes women, not just from images, but from society altogether; or when China and India delete women by aborting them.  Those are big issues.  Yet funnily enough, the usual suspects are almost completely silent.  Go figure.

UN Commission on the Status of Women

Everyone is commenting on the travesty that sees countries such as the Sudan and Iran on the UN Commission on the Status of Women.  It makes perfect sense to me.  If the commission had been named “Commission for the Protection of Women,” or “Commission for the Liberation of Women,” things might have been different, but but it’s obvious that the Sudan and Iran are perfectly clear about women’s “status”:  per Allah’s inviolable decree, they are at the bottom of the pecking order and need to remain there.  At long last, these nations sit on the perfect bureaucratic vehicle for pursuing their “feminist” agenda.

Islam and rape

Your matched set for today:

Andy McCarthy writes about the elephant in the liberal living room; namely, Islamic attitudes towards rape:  Women are almost always asking for it, especially Western women, and, once having forced an innocent man to give in to his base animal nature, they deserve to be beaten, arguably to death.

That analysis, of course, must get paired with CBS’s muted and delayed reporting of the horrific rape that its reporter, Lara Logan, suffered at the hands of an Islamic mob.  CBS tries to spin it as a normal tale of a mob that’s gotten out of control, but people paying attention to the Islamic world understand that, while Western mobs attack cars and shops, Islamic mobs attack women.

I’ve mentioned before, and I’ll repeat again, that one of the smartest people I know believes that, boiled down to its essence, Islamic hostility towards the West revolves around women.  One of Islam’s primary goals is the total subjugation of its women, turning them into slaves who must provide sex on demand to their owners.  The Western world, even in its most repressive eras, provided more freedom — and respect — for women.  The one thing Islam cannot risk is for its women to gain equality.

I just don’t see how this is going to work

A Congressional panel is advocating the removal of all restrictions between women and the front line.  Aside from the same problem that arises with gays at the front line — the possibility of sexual jealousy interfering with unit cohesion — there are a few biological realities that I see as problems:  (1) women pee sitting down, although there are doo-hickies that get around that; (2) women have periods, which are, to put this as nicely as possible, messy; (3) women are targets for Islamist men who already think that Western women are asking for rape; and (4) women get pregnant, which ties in with the sexual jealousy and risk of rape issues.

I know that, when the whole world is a front line, as happened to resistance fighters during WWII, women have served in active combat and acquitted themselves well.  Those have been battles of necessity, though.  Absent the exigencies of an all-encompassing enemy, I simply don’t see any practical virtue to putting women on the front line.

British women escaping Western nihilism

In past posts, I’ve noted that it isn’t surprising that British women are converting in surprisingly high numbers to Islam.  In a secularized, socialized, de-moralized Britain (and, by de-moralized, I mean a place remarkably free of traditional morality), the women are pickled in alcohol, and encouraged to have sex at the drop of a hat with whomever happens to be convenient.

In other words, Britain’s social mores — or lack thereof — have abandoned its to a type of decadence that and debauchery that is soul destroying.  Islam, which frees them from the drink and sex culture, must seem to offer a redemptive purity.  The price they pay — complete submission to men — seems small, since they were already completely submitted to men, only in a debauched, not a “pure” way.

The Muslims understand this.  Although the value they place is women is stifling and dehumanizing, they still value their women more than Britain values its women.  Muslims clearly see Western women in precisely the same terms that those women see themselves:  as unprotected vessels to satisfy men’s sexual desires.

San Francisco sign threatens Fiorina and Whitman — by guest blogger Ms. GW *UPDATED*

UPDATE from Bookworm: Poor Enrico’s. Because its name features prominently on the building, people are assuming it posted the sign. It did not. From Enrico’s facebook page:

You may have received an email about a sign that says “FU (spelled out) Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina” asking you to call Enrico’s Restaurant to complain. Enrico’s is not responsible for the sign. It was put there by the Law offices of Tony Serra who has offices above Enrico’s. Enrico’s,like most businesses, doesn’t take political stands and is not responsible for the sign.

And now back to Ms. GW’s original post:

San Francisco sign threatens Fiorina and Whitman

This vulgar sign, spotted in San Francisco above a prominent restaurant at the corner of Kearney and Broadway, raises the same question one more time:

Why must the Left continue to demean female conservative candidates? How desperate is the Left?

To help answer the question, here’s some insight from a licensed psychotherapist who wrote on this very topic after observing the Left’s attacks on Sarah Palin two years ago:

As every woman knows, leering looks, lurid words, and veiled threats are intended to evoke terror. Sexual violence is a form of terrorism. In the wilding of Sarah Palin, the Left shows its true colors. Rather than shield the vulnerable, Leftists will mow down any man, woman, or child who gets in their way.

So: Leftists are bullies, plain and simple. The Left has been in power for two years, but apparently that’s not enough. Using vulgar language is a simple, common tactic to intimidate, repress and silence others. A “f*** you!” says plenty, and its recipient is instantly diminished. Words hurt and vulgar ones stop any conversation cold and do nothing to advance civilization. As our moms used to tell us, “People use bad words when they want attention or lack the language or creativity to express themselves.”

Interestingly, although it doesn’t show up clearly in this photograph, the sign bears the name of J. Tony Serra, a well-known San Francisco criminal defense attorney who has defended Huey Newton and the Black Panthers, Chol Soo Lee, Ellie Nesler, and other “society outcasts,” according to Serra’s website. Notably, Serra’s own website says, “Tony Serra has always known how to express the poetry of the law, while fighting in the ditches and dark alleys of legal practice.”

Poetry of the law, huh? Fighting in the ditches and dark alleys? If Serra did authorize this sign, most civilized folks will find nothing poetic or courageous in the threat of sexual violence against Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina. Let’s hope Tony Serra and the restaurant are not behind this sign . . . talk about desperately wanting attention.

And by the way, where’s the outrage from San Francisco’s politically correct women? Where’s the outrage from the San Francisco’s politically correct media? Where’s the National Organization for Women when we need them?

Ms. GW is a long-time Bay Area resident and woman who is appalled and offended by the Left’s attacks on any female candidate, conservative or  liberal.

UPDATE II from Bookworm: Please also check out the article on this subject that Ms. GW wrote for American Thinker’s blog. It’s similar, but raises some slightly different points you may find interesting.