Palin supports radical feminist law—so her “conservative” supporters support it too

Sage McLaughlin writes:

More evidence of what Palin hath wrought. Kathryn Jean Lopez finds “nothing to disagree with” in Palin’s Third Wave feminist musings. I’m not sure which is worse—left liberals’ insistence on marking every single “female first” as a triumph for cosmic justice, or right-liberals’ insistence that such milestones are no big deal because, as they put it, aren’t things supposed to work that way as a matter of course?

When K-Lo is hailing the fine intentions of perverse social engineering legislation like Title IX, we’re really seeing conservatism off into that good night, aren’t we?

Carol Iannone writes at Phi Beta Cons:

Kathryn Lopez discusses Sarah Palin’s warm endorsement of Title IX, and says, “Title IX had a good intention. It’s what feminists have done with it that’s bad.” However, the language and strictures of the title itself made it possible for feminists to do what they have. It is unfortunate that Palin is holding herself forward as a product of it.

Title IX works just the way affirmative action did. Supporters said affirmative action wouldn’t mean quotas and lowering standards, but it did. Likewise, supporters of Title IX said it was just about equal opportunity for women, and then professed surprise to see it become a tool for feminist tyranny via ruining opportunities for men.

The Office of Civil Rights in the Department of Education, the same bureaucracy that looks out for affirmative action in education, administers Title IX. The office checks for compliance by demanding proof that schools have offered equal opportunity. With all the complexities of the issue, and with the fear of actual and threatened lawsuits, the surest way to show compliance turns out to be through numbers, just as with affirmative action. And that means equalizing the numbers of both sexes participating in various activities.

It has been applied mainly in the area of college sports, and it has meant disbanding men’s teams. Since women haven’t shown as much interest in sports, even with colleges practically begging them to participate, men’s teams had to be dissolved so that the numbers would look the same for both sexes. Many college men have been deprived of the opportunity to enjoy low-level team sports. Another step toward demasculinizing men.

The National Academy of Sciences is using Title IX to push for equalizing the representation of women in science. If there are unequal outcomes it could be that someone is making gender somehow count as an issue when it shouldn’t. Start looking, and you are sure to find something you can call discrimination somewhere.

LA writes:

It’s worth copying the entire Lopez post which quotes Sarah Palin at length on the wonders of Title IX:

Palin and Title IX [Kathryn Jean Lopez]

She has said things in support of it. I’d be willing to bet money—and I bet liberal feminists who have been having a ball with Title IX would too—she’s not talking about what its wrought—the quotas, the killed opportunities for guys. She’s said

“I had a great upbringing under Title IX,” Palin told Alaska Business Monthly shortly after becoming governor in late 2006. “I can’t imagine where I’d be without the opportunities provided to me in sports. Sports taught me that gender isn’t an issue; in fact, when people talk about me being the first female governor, I’m a little absent from that discussion, because I’ve never thought of gender as an issue. In sports, you learn self-discipline, healthy competition, to be gracious in victory and defeat, and the importance of being part of a team and understanding what part you play on that team. You all work together to reach a goal, and I think all of those factors come into play in my role as governor.”

Nothing there to disagree with. Title IX had a good intention. It’s what feminists have done with it that’s bad.

Isn’t that nice? For Palin, “gender isn’t an issue,” even as the gender-equality law from which she benefited and which she praises causes vast harm to society and specifically to males, harm that she doesn’t seem to know or care about. She continues on her happy, non-gender-conscious way, while buildings are falling down behind her.

Meanwhile Lopez, who at least is aware of the bad consequences of the law, falsely imagines, like the unthinking right-liberal she is, that the bad consequences did not result from the law itself, but only from feminists’ misuse of the law.

LA to Sage McLaughlin:

You wrote:

I’m not sure which is worse—left liberals’ insistence on marking every single “female first” as a triumph for cosmic justice, or right-liberals’ insistence that such milestones are no big deal because, as they put it, aren’t things supposed to work that way as a matter of course?

This is really well put. I think you’ve identified a new phenomenon here. It came out in Palin’s comment to Charles Gibson about Title IX: This isn’t feminism, she said, this is just the way things are, part of the world in which I grew up. Right. So the radical re-making of society ceases to be seen as such, and just becomes a taken for granted part of the social and natural order. She doesn’t seem to be aware of the destructive things done in the name of the law that she finds so natural.

This is in line with what Ken Hechtman said, that the life styles being accepted now by social conservatives are no longer feminism, but just the way things are. Which, as he said, shows that the culture war is over and that the left has won. Of course it’s not over, in reality. But it is over, as far as the “conservative movement” is concerned.

LA writes:

And talk about brainless, see Victor Hanson’s concept-free discussion of the new, bad feminism typified by Democratic women as compared with the old, good feminism typified by Sarah Palin. He simply has no grasp of how egalitarian principles lead to increasingly egalitarian results. Nope, for this unthinking liberal, the good feminism changed into bad feminism as a result of feminists’ hypocrisy and snobbery. Bad feminism is not about certain principles and beliefs brought into practice in the form of law and custom; no, it’s just about feminists’ bad attitudes.

Has anyone noticed that all of Hanson’s endless bloviating about “bad liberalism” (he’s a good liberal) is on that intellectual level? And he is probably the most prolific and ubiquitous “conservative” columnist writing today.

Sage McLaughlin writes:

Yes, and this is connected to a phenomenon you’ve noted at some length, the singular focus on abortion in which being pro-life stands in as some sort of conservative marker, absent any real conservative substance.

Kathryn Lopez recently praised Palin for belonging to a group called Feminists for Life, which you may have heard of. This is the “liberal pro-life” organization extraordinaire, the very name of which is a rhetorical cringe. Patricia Heaton is their celebrity front gal, so to speak. Heaton is the star of that wearisome anti-male sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond” (the entire premise of which is that the poor wife has to constantly upbraid and condemn her incompetent, devious, slovenly husband—the children in that show are virtually invisible, making only occasional cameos, and Heaton’s character, while she is a housewife, is obviously bitter and resentful of the arrangement).

I noticed this phenomenon exactly where you did, in Palin’s comments to Gibson. She did not even bother to note how exceptional she and her family really were, much less offer up any defense of the traditional family. Contemporary “conservatives” are explicitly embracing feminism, and the model of the family that the Palins represent, as a positive good. Women who, by choice rather than necessity, strike out and leave their children in the care of others while they make a name for themselves outside the home, are not really heroes according to this way of thinking—they’re just doing what they’re supposed to do as liberated women of the new millennium.

Clark Coleman writes:

After approving of the soft feminism of Sarah Palin, as you noted, Kathryn Lopez at NRO stands up against the feminist attack on the military by specifically defending Kathleen Parker’s book chapter devoted to that topic.

So, on an issue that mainstream “conservative” men have largely abandoned, we have Kathleen Parker and Kathryn Lopez writing boldly. Yet on Title IX, which many conservatives (and many private citizens) have criticized, we get a cave-in. How can we predict what forms of liberalism will be opposed, and which ones will be accepted, at NRO?

I feel as though I were taking one of those intelligence tests where I am asked to describe the pattern that is common to several items. In this case, the items are the writings at NRO, and I am not smart enough to figure out a consistent pattern.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 15, 2008 01:34 PM | Send

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