Cleavage in the cabinet, cont.
(Below, an NER commenter exposes Jackson’s feminist m.o.)
Mary Jackson at the New English Review thinks my recent blog entry on “Cleavage in the cabinet,” concerning a photo of British Employment Minister Caroline Flint, is silly. Here are a couple of things Jackson gets wrong:
1. Jackson, continuing her by-now notorious career of reading incomprehension, thinks I am disapproving of any decolletage displayed by women throughout the ages. In reality I was speaking of women in government (and television news) who dress in an overly revealing way that shows a lack of respect for their own positions, for the seriousness of the issues with which they are supposedly dealing, and for the public. In other words, in a typical female behavior that has been licensed by women’s political equality, today’s women are bringing certain female values, which are appropriate in the non-political areas of life, into the political arena, and thus degrading the latter.
2. Jackson focuses on the relatively small amount of cleavage in the photo of Caroline Flint that I criticized, as though that were the sole issue. In fact, I wasn’t just speaking of breasts, but of the plunging necklines by which women in public positions reveal their skin down to the middle of the chest. Whether or not there is cleavage is secondary. Women in public positions are showing too much of themselves, period.
3. Jackson tells the old joke about the psychiatrist showing pictures to a patient who sees sex in everything, as a way of suggesting that I have a neurotic obsession with sex. This of course has been a rhetorical device used by the left since the Sixties to silence critics of sexual liberation. Most people do not want to be accused of being “uptight” or overly concerned about sexual matters, and the mere threat of the accusation is enough to silence them. So what needs to be understood is that Jackson is not just attacking me. She is letting her readers know that if they agree with me that there is anything inappropriate about the way women dress today, there is Something Wrong With Them. She is practicing one of the hoariest methods of leftist social control.
And now, in her usual manner, Jackson, having played her PC hand, will try to have it both ways, by saying that it’s all just a joke, why am I taking it seriously.
By the way, I’ve also criticized men for inappropriate self-expression in the public square, such as in my comments on John Derbyshire’s and Jonah Goldberg’s sleazy remarks at the Corner.
Cindy L. writes:
I couldn’t agree more with your comments about the inappropriate way many women in the political or communication worlds dress. It is so typical to turn on the TV and see, say, two or three men and women, and, invariably, the men will be wearing dark-colored suits and ties while the women will be wearing nearly fluorescent, tight-fitting tank tops or low-cut blouses, short skirts, etc., while perched on a stool for their legs to be on full display. A woman once came to our office to give a lunch-time talk about investing our retirement funds while wearing a blouse that was literally open to just above her navel. It was embarrassing to all of us and an insult to the professional women in the group. As you say, there’s a time and place for it, and the professional world is not it. I say to any woman who feels she can’t resist vamping on a daily basis—get a job as a cocktail waitress or work at Hooters, where it’s written into your job description. Otherwise, take a cue from the men you work with and dress accordingly.
Commenter Big Bill at the NER thread, takes Mary Jackson apart from a moderate or centrist point of view. He tells her that if she can’t make rational arguments against me, she should drop the subject. Here’s his comment, slightly abridged:
20 Aug 2007Michael B. writes from Sweden:
A few good responses are slowly trickling into the NER thread. On one hand, this whole episode is real shame since Jackson is obviously capable of some good writing and thinking. I’m really quite fond of her in “logical” mode, making witty but pertinent commentary on Islam, sharia laws, postmodern fallacies etc.LA replies:
Her collapse into what I have called sub-intellectualism indicates how insubstantial her “conservatism” was. Based on your description of her past work, her “conservatism” consisted of opposition to obvious, extreme targets like Islam and post-modernism. Other than that, this “conservative” woman was still living within an unreflective liberal, feminist mindset. So, when certain liberal, feminist shibboleths were challenged in a direct way by me, she reacted in knee-jerk fashion. It didn’t occur to her that there might be a rational basis on which to challenge modern notions of sex equality.LA continues:
However, there is a problem with my above argument. Mary Jackson at the “What’s Wrong with the World” thread said that she agrees “wholeheartedly” with another commenter who had highly praised The Path to National Suicide, adding that PNS is “excellent.” Now, since a positive response to PNS (which is about how immigration is destroying white America) requires that the reader have at least some degree of what I would call normal white racial consciousness, and since absolute disapproval of such racial consciousnes, along with a dogmatic belief in non-discriminatory openness to nonwhites, is the sine qua non of liberalism, Mary Jackson cannot be a liberal, at least in the sense I described above. It would appear then that she is a conservative, but a conservative who still adheres to one, huge area of liberalism that she has never questioned: feminism. So, though she is a conservative in other areas, when women’s equality was challenged, she reacted like a knee-jerk liberal.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 19, 2007 03:24 PM | Send