What conservatives don’t get about the demand for free birth control
still catching up on the Sandra Fluke story and trying to understand what it means. Hot Air
has some excerpts
from her testimony last week, with amazed (and also dirty) responses by the commenters about how Fluke wants other people to subsidize her and her sister students’ consequence-free and apparently very active sex lives.
A couple of observations.
Fluke is (or was, now that Rush Limbaugh has made such a mess of things) an entire target-rich environment in herself, providing a tremendous opportunity for conservatives to show the nightmarish end point of liberalism. And Limbaugh blew that opportunity, even turning it into a liberal victory, by calling Fluke crude names for which he had to apologize.
The commenters at Hot Air only get half of it. They get the part where Fluke is, astonishingly, complaining that the Catholic university where she chose to enroll won’t subsidize her sex life. But here’s the part they don’t get. They think that the demands Fluke is making on her university and on society are crazy, insane, out of left field, unutterably whacko. But they are not. Or, rather, they are both crazy in their substance, and entirely logical in their derivation, as they follow strictly from the current liberal and feminist belief in sexual equality, viz.:
- Society is a collection of equal persons, all having the right to equal freedom.
- But remaining traditional social arrangements still render women—half the human race—significantly less free than men.
- Therefore the attainment of sexual equality—equality between the sexes with regard to everything in life, particularly with regard to sex itself—is society’s highest priority.
- In order for the sexes to be equal with regard to sex, women should be at no more risk of pregnancy and its inconveniences than men are.
- In order for women to be at no more risk of pregnancy than men are, society (whether in the form of Georgetown University, or some health insurance company, or the taxpayers) must provide all women in America with free birth control.
That is what conservatives don’t get. At its core the demand for free contraceptives is not about sex. It’s about equality between the sexes. And this for feminists and liberals is a sacred cause and the very meaning of America and the reason why they will allow no compromise.
Every conservative in America should spend some time reading Mark Richardson’s Oz Conservative blog, a leading site for the discussion and analysis of cutting-edge feminist ideas and agendas, for example his recent article about the proposals of law professor Laura Rosenbury. Contemporary feminist thought is much, much farther out than most people realize, but, at the same time (as I always say), follows strictly and logically from widely accepted liberal premises. And this may be why mainstream conservatives such as Limbaugh don’t want to know about it, because they themselves share those premises (or at least have no alternative premises), and so are unprepared and unwilling to oppose them. - end of initial entry -
James N. writes (his comment, making almost exactly the same point as my entry, arrived, synchronistically, immediately after the entry was posted):
Subject: Sandra Fluke, the Culture War, and the Created Self
Great title, huh?
Unfortunately, the comment that goes with the title is unavoidably brief.
Americans believe, deeply, in the created self. A majority probably don’t, personally, subscribe to radical autonomy—that’s a very hard way to live.
But all the assaults of the cultural marxists resonate, somehow, with Americans because to reject them—homosexual “marriages,” legal, safe, and not at all rare abortion, and female contraception (both necessary to facilitate fornication), not giving “offense” to those self-created selves who live among us—to reject them fundamentally, from first principles, involves admitting that the created self is a fiction, that we are born with many unchosen attributes, affinities, and connections which are beyond our ability to change.
This realization violates the zeitgeist, and makes attacking the Sandra Flukes of the world feel weird, and makes such attacks by mainstream politicians (that is, right-liberals) seem inauthentic.
Jim Kalb writes:
I agree that the right to absolutely free contraception is largely an equality issue. Women can’t be subject to any burden men aren’t subject to. It also demonstrates that sexual autonomy is an unquestionably good thing to be accommodated and supported in every possible way. People feel the need to stress the point because they sense that maybe it isn’t true.
James P. writes:
I have said at Oz Conservative that the “theory of radical autonomy” misses the point. Mark considers that the destruction of traditional institutions—Church and family—is, in effect, an unintended byproduct of the Left’s pursuit of radical autonomy. My view is that the destruction of traditional institutions is exactly the point of the Left’s worship and promotion of radical autonomy. “Autonomy” from traditional institutions necessarily means greater dependence on the state, as we clearly see from the case at hand, in which the state subsidizes the sex lives of women so they can escape the constraints of the traditional institution of marriage.
The idea that cultural revolution must preceded political revolution dates back to Gramsci and the Frankfurt School. They argued that breaking the beliefs, morals, and institutions of the Right would destroy its political will to resist the Left. They were correct, and they have largely succeeded in implementing this agenda, of which feminism is merely a subset.
It is important to emphasize this because the Left is very often given credit for “good intentions,” and the intentions of the pursuit of “equality” are not at all good. Furthermore, the Left’s agenda cannot be fought, much less defeated, if it is not understood correctly.
Liberalism has different aspects and we need to try to see them together. Consider the previous post about the free birth control issue, “The Democrats take off their humanitarian mask,” and this one. In the previous post, I argued that the demand for free contraception is about seeking power for single women and making the rest of society the slaves of single women. In the current post I argue that the demand for free contraception results from the liberal belief in equal freedom (as Jim Kalb would put it) or in radical personal autonomy (as Mark Richardson would put it).
Now the pursuit of the power of one group over the rest of society, and the pursuit of equal personal autonomy for all persons, may sound like contradictory explanations, but in reality they are two aspects of the same thing. This is because, as I discussed in my 2004 article “How to Oppose Liberal Intolerance,” to demand that inherently unequal categories or groups be made equal is to require that the “disadvantaged” group (in this instance women and particularly single women) be unjustly raised up, and that the “privileged” group (men, traditional married couples, and private institutions and tax-payers generally) be unjustly brought down. In all socialist schemes, the only way equality between inherently unequal categories or groups (or groups that are inherently unequal in some particular respect, such as that one group can get pregnant and the other can’t) can be achieved is through the exercise of power to harm, and seize the unequal benefits of, the “better off” group. Thus the belief in equality, and the exercise of tyrannical power to destroy the “privileged,” are inextricable aspects of the same phenomenon. It is therefore fruitless to get into a debate about whether liberalism is “really” about equality or “really” about the destruction of traditional society. It is about both.
Jim Kalb replies to LA:
I’d say that equality, destruction of traditional society, and absolute rule by technocratic elites are three faces of a single pyramid. “Equality” means getting rid of distinctions (sex, family connections, religious and cultural heritage) that correspond to institutions and ways of doing things. To get rid of the one is to get rid of the other. But then if there aren’t any human differences or institutions, you need someone to keep the differences and institutions from reappearing, and more generally to organize and run social life. That’s where the technocrats come in, who can do what’s needed in a fair and rational way.
Texanne V. writes:
Women should be at no greater risk of becoming pregnant than men. And men should attain parity with women in being able to become pregnant and bear children. It’s only fair.
It’s absurd that a Catholic university has allowed a woman’s rights activist to enter its institution. Where’s the logic? Has it no shame? Does it bow down to the spirit of the modern age and not to God’s teachings? Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden and Kathleen Sebelius should all be excommunicated as well. Conservatism and liberalism should stop fighting each other in a caged pen and apply for a divorce citing “irreconcilable differences.”
I’ve browsed a couple of websites and blogs and more liberals are claiming that Limbaugh’s apology isn’t enough. That he should do a stronger apology.
Indeed, it was reported today that while Limbaugh repeated that his apology was sincere and heartfelt, Fluke has said she will not accept the apology. She said that over a three day period he insulted her or her fellow students 53 times, so that his apology is not enough.
Laura Wood writes:
The push for free contraception is not simply about achieving women’s equality.
Liberals such as Obama genuinely believe that our worst social problems are caused by “unplanned pregnancies.” It’s not successful women such as Fluke that they are really worried about. It’s the uneducated who continue to have children before getting college degrees and settling themselves in lifetime careers.
When liberals read about the rising rate of illegitimacy, they don’t think, “Gee, we need to return to traditional morals.” They think, “Why are these women giving up the opportunity to improve themselves? If only they had been smart enough to use contraception, their whole lives would be different.”
That’s why liberals are so rabid when it comes to sex education in high school and providing teenagers with condoms. They believe if contraception were cheap and widely available, everyone, including blacks who now live on welfare, would behave reasonably.
Laura Wood continues:
I fleshed out that previous comment to you here.
Sage McLaughlin writes:
James R.’s comments on the nature of Obama’s HHS mandate, and others like it, gets right to the point. It is the thing that has been bothering me so much these last few weeks about the issue. What has happened is that the left has gone from advocating that people be forced to support their agenda through taxes—which strikes most people as pretty diffuse, and anyway, most people don’t pay any real taxes—to arguing that people should be forced to do so through their collection plates at church. I’m surprised more people haven’t seized on this essential element of the issue.
It’s very strange. People don’t want the government taxing them for the purpose of paying for other people’s contraception, and for the most part they don’t think this is happening (though of course it is through all sort of government grants and subsidies). But there is a sense in which many people seem to relish the idea of church-going people being forced to contribute, through their donations to their churches, to other’s people’s hedonism. This is why I don’t buy that this is about access—there is no problem of access to contraception. What this is about is a totalitarian desire that every person and every institution be made into directly implicated participants in the sexual revolution.
This is Stasi-like in its contempt for conscience, in its drive that everyone be a direct participant in the revolution. When even a person’s gift of charity to his church constitutes direct material support to elective sterilizations, there is literally no place left that a man may practice the Christian faith. That is the point in all of this—to make hypocrites of us all, so that we are not free even to abstain from participating in the culture of death, and to make support for our churches contingent on our willingness to pay for the sexual mutilation of others. It is one of the most evil things I’ve seen in American politics in my life. The speed with which this evil idea was adopted as an essential, non-negotiable right of human existence just takes my breath away.
Sage McLaughlin continues:
I always credited Rush Limbaugh for being fairly savvy in matters of practical politics. After the last week, now I can’t even say that much in his favor. The stupidity of making such a statement at that point in time, in that political context, on an issue of this importance, when we were already losing media battle so badly, just leaves me speechless. He talks as much about the “drive-by media” as any person walking this earth, and yet he pretends that they don’t exist at the precise moment when their baneful influence was turning the terms of the debate wholly against our side of the issue.
He owes you and me more of an apology than he owes to Fluke.
In all, this is part of a pattern I have noticed over the last six months. Obama is going to be President after this year, and he’s going to do it because of what I see as his downright diabolical political fortune. He is blessed with the stupidest Republican opposition imaginable, but the confluence of forces acting in his favor—which rise to the occasion each and every time he appears to be on the ropes—leave me with the impression that events are being influenced by some destructive immaterial force. I am left with no other explanation for his run of luck.
Thomas S. writes:
When I was a liberal, I chose what I wanted to believe.
I was the center of reality, deserving of attention.
When I became a conservative, reality chose my beliefs. I learned about Human Nature as an existing, imperfect phenomenon. I came to the universal, the universal no longer came to me.
The liberal disorder which demands free birth control stems deep from the center of “pro-choice.”
“Pro-choice” that is, of “choosing your beliefs,” rather than reality coming to you.
Sandra Fluke is “pro-choice” to the core.
Bruce B. writes:
In this entry you wrote:
“I’ll just note that if some oppressive government were preventing women from reproducing, it might make sense to have an organization called Law Students for Reproductive Justice. But what Fluke and her peers feel they are being deprived of—because it is not being subsidized by others—is not birth, but birth control. So they should call themselves Law Students for Contraceptive Justice.”
The left often won’t use honest, objective, value-neutral language to describe what they support. Another example is “women’s health” clinics. An accurate, objective and value-neutral term would be “abortion clinic” or “pregnancy termination clinic.” Doesn’t this dishonesty suggest how false their beliefs are? And how, on some level, they know it?
Roger G. writes:
There was absolutely nothing wrong with Limbaugh using “slut” and “prostitute.”
THOMAS MORE: Roper, the answer’s “no.” And will be “no” so long as you’re a heretic.
ROPER: Now that’s a word I don’t like, Sir Thomas!
MORE” It’s not a likable word. It’s not a likable thing!
I think it’s ridiculous to call her a prostitute. Do people have no understanding of the meaning of words?
Madame S. writes:
Another pernicious source of inequality between the sexes that is rarely mentioned: Women’s ability to reproduce expires; men’s, not so much.
What’s ahead: Women who squandered their reproductive years engaging in recreational sex will one day be demanding federally subsidized fertility treatment because they put off having babies too long. It’s coming—just wait.
Aaron S. writes:
I must say that I just don’t find all of this too surprising. Wasn’t this inevitable, once we consider the nature of the health bill? As Plato reminds us, health is the very symbol, and possibly the substance, of morality. In our constitutional order, both written and informal, we have purposefully set aside final, national edicts on matters of health. This is because we’ve assumed—wisely and correctly—that this would mean compelling an unbearable degree of uniformity in belief across the span of a continent. But to give such questions over to the discretion of a bureaucrat, as against this historical understanding, is a sly but unmistakable form of usurpation. James R. is absolutely correct when he says:
it’s a matter of freedom, full stop. This sort of dictat violates everyone’s liberty, not just that of churches and church-run institutions.
The interesting question will be just how many more of these conflicts we will face before very terrible things begin to happen. In terms of its ability to take fundamental decisions entirely out of the political arena—or at least out of that part of politics where some room for compromise exists—the healthcare bill is much like Roe v. Wade, albeit several orders of magnitude larger.
Do the liberals not understand this? Do they honestly want a civil war? I would like to believe that they don’t intend a war, and that they are blinded by their ideology and greed. But perhaps that is being too generous. Maybe this is a distinction without a functional difference.
Aaron S. also writes:
Indeed, it was reported today that while Limbaugh repeated that his apology was sincere and heartfelt, Fluke has said she will not accept the apology. She said that over a three day period he insulted her or her fellow students 53 times, so that his apology is not enough.
Here’s something I noticed today before I even read this entry: I finally managed to catch a couple of clips of Fluke in action. The first was the testimony itself, the second, her appearance on “The View.” What’s interesting is that she comes off initially as a decent-looking, pleasant woman. This is ideal for the left, because whatever the underlying truth of the situation, it seems as if a vulnerable, honest human being has been harmed by a brute. (By contrast, Limbaugh’s entire presentation, from the enunciation of words to his body language, comes off VERY badly.) Keep watching, though, and something else emerges. The soft eyes and reasonable tone give way to a subtle but steely bitterness—I suspect many people who have spent time around colleges will recognize this woman. She’s the “wounded” feminist ideologue, able to turn on a dime from pleasant feminine allure to venomous sniping. The first is a lead-in for the second. It is possible that regular people will pick up on this. But this assumes both that she remains in the public eye demanding apologies, and that someone convinces El Slowbo to shut his trap for a while and quietly to leave his apology at rest. Fluke made it very clear that she wants no personal apologies from Limbaugh; his comments were already “too personal.” This seems to suggest that what she desires from him is additional public abasement. She is clearly enjoying the attention; let’s hope she gets a bit more.
Daniel F. writes:
On this issue, it seems that Orwell was quite wrong about the relationship between physical sex and modern tyranny, at least as it is now taking shape in the West. In Nineteen Eighty-Four, physical sex was kept under strict control of the state and criminalized if spontaneous. But in the developing leftist authoritarianism of contemporary Western countries, spontaneous, meaningless, consequence-free sex is sacralized as the one activity in which the individual is allowed to be “free,” at the same time as every realm of consequential, socially constructive activity (running a business or charitable enterprise, speaking out on public issues) becomes more, or is sought by the left to made more, regimented and subject to direct or indirect state control. The left seems to be using sexual freedom as a way of co-opting and pacifying the young, making them the left’s pliable tools. [LA replies: This is similar to the portrayal of a central European Communist society in The Unbearable Lightness of Being.]
Relatedly, might the large number of affluent young men today who do not suffer from any apparent incapacity but seem to lack all ambition and apparent self-respect—the backward-baseball cap wearers who live with their parents all the way through their 20s without starting any career or other serious life project—be attributable to the easy availability of sex?
Mark A. writes:
This is a perfect opportunity to post a link to what is, in my opinion, one of the greatest discussions on VFR of all time: the dialogue between you and Jim Woodhill in the 2002 entry, “Cultural Weapons of Mass Destruction.”
Note Jim Woodhill’s comments on “thong feminism.” A perfect term in light of Sandra Fluke. Perhaps we can rename it “Fluke Feminism.”
Robert B. writes:
Missing from all of this is the idea that a mentally healthy (mature) adult would not want someone else to be responsible for his life. A healthy adult wants—and accepts, responsibility for himself. He does not want someone else to take responsibility for him as that means surrendering his real autonomy. This idea was hinted at in Mr. Kalb’s book and formally spelled out in Rossiter’s book. Rossiter postulates that the average liberal is a malformed adult who has gone from having “mommy and daddy” take responsibility for his actions to demanding that the government fulfill that role. Rossiter believes that this is due to a failure of being able to form a sense of individual self in childhood. This failure to differentiate oneself from others is what leads one to believe that all of society is responsible for oneself. Our traditional institutions were all based upon the individual’s responsibility for his own life and his role as a responsible individual in the greater society. Thus, the elite of the left uses this to their advantage and appeals to it. Which does not detract from what James P. states—destruction of the traditional institutions and structures is a necessary component in the left’s war on our society. This was deemed as necessary in the West as we had, via capitalism and real individual freedom, created a society with a vast middle class which would never go along with a Soviet style revolution. Thus was hatched the idea of incrementalism. Fabian Socialists and their publicly acknowledged plan of action, were amongst the first to implement this.
I am uneasy with theories that attribute liberalism to personal psychological or characterological flaws. In fact, this is what liberals do to conservatives all the time, they define conservatism as a mental disease. Sure, there are liberal parasites, like the aptly named Fluke. But there are also plenty of liberals who are well-functionging, responsible people in their personal lives. The problem with liberals is not that they are personally bent (though obviously many are), but that they are spiritually and intellectually bent. They suffer, not from psychopathy (an illness of the personal psyche or soul), but from what Eric Voegelin calls pneumopathy (a disease of the spirit, and of the spiritual understanding, which is more impersonal). It’s their thinking about larger issues, about right and wrong, about society, about the meaning of life, which is distorted.
While I completely agree with you that attributing political beliefs (on a large or general scale) to personal character flaws is neither wise nor productive, Robert B. does make a very good point. This birth control fracas isn’t about personal autonomy; it’s about surrendering personal autonomy to the state. As other commenters have pointed out, birth control is easily available. It’s also dirt cheap. The pill is $20-35 per month without any insurance or subsidies from anyone. If a woman wants to choose not to conceive while having sex, she can also choose to pay for the privilege, and to me (and as it should be to anyone who truly believes that women are thinking, rational humans with the capacity for independence—i.e., anyone who claims, usually falsely, to be a feminist) that’s the essence of equality: the right to choose a path through life and the willingness to take responsibility for the results. The problem here is not that Fluke is a feminist; the problem is that she’s not, at least not in any meaningful way. She does not actually believe that women are able to take responsibility for their own lives.
Fluke, and other liberals who’ve weighed in on this topic, have also complained that very poor women can’t afford birth control without assistance. Well, tough. If you’re so poor that you can barely afford to house yourself and eat (and I’m not by any means condescending to those in that position; I’ve been there, believe me), then perhaps you ought to prioritize something other than your sex life. It’s not only possible to go to school and find better employment while not having sex (what a concept!), it’s also easier to do without the distraction of a chaotic personal life.
Also, I enjoyed your comment on the use of the word “prostitute.” That was bothering me as well.
Kilroy M. writes:
“Fluke is (or was, now that Rush Limbaugh has made such a mess of things) an entire target-rich environment in herself, providing a tremendous opportunity for conservatives to show the nightmarish end point of liberalism. And Limbaugh blew that opportunity, even turning it into a liberal victory, by calling Fluke crude names for which he had to apologize.”
If we act as if an opportunity has been lost because of Limbaugh’s use of language and subsequent apologies, then we implicitly acknowledge that he speaks for us. Of course, he does nothing of the sort. If we ignore his total implosion on this and act just as conservatives should have acted, we create distance between us and the establicons, a distance that also says volumes about their cowardice, ineptitude, and delayed liberalism. I think we should take every opportunity we can to make this distinction so that it becomes clear and undeniable in the conscience of the public and the online and print commentariat. I think that is necessary for a conservative renaissance, otherwise, it’s the establicons that dominate the image of “conservative man.” Let’s not allow them that honour by acting as if they are some authority in our eyes, so-much-so that what we do and say follows logically from their follies.
So, no, “we” haven’t blown anything. Limbaugh has. If we dance to his true, only then would we have have blown it. Thankfully those at American Thinker and here have done the right thing. If anything, we should ramp up our discourse and go on the attack while berating Limbaugh for his total implosion to the liberal Leviathan.
Fine, I agree. I only meant that in this immediate setting, there had been a setback due to Limbaugh. Obviously there’s nothing stopping conservatives from continuing to debate against and expose the madness and injustice of this latest liberal move.
Patrick H. writes:
Sage McLaughlin and others have rightly portrayed Limbaugh’s performance as a disaster for our side. But is Limbaugh on our side? I’m not implying he is some kind of mole or spy or saboteur. I am asking if he is in any sense a fit spokesman for traditional sexual morality. I believe you have put up at least one post that made the glaringly obvious point that a man who has been married four times and divorced three times, and who parades his “this [fourth] time it’s real” self-satisfaction all over the media, is simply not a credible spokesman for traditional morality.
My wife pointed out recently that using “serial monogamy” to describe the marital history of men like Limbaugh isn’t quite right. In fact, serial polygamy is better. Serial monogamy is accurate insofar as the serial wife-dumper only has one wife at a time (and therefore dumps only one wife at a time). But serial polygamy is a better description, because it reveals what the Limbaughs are really doing: they are practicing polygamy over time. The destructive effects of polygamy (polygyny really) are too well-known to bear repeating. But what must be pointed out is that Limbaugh and his ilk are serial polygamists. He is therefore only a spokesman for polygamy, only a defender of the right of wealthy, powerful, dominant men to dump their aging wives when it suits them, and to set their own lecherous eyes on younger, fresher girls. I’ll speak bluntly here: Limbaugh is in no position to spew sexual slurs at anybody.
Limbaugh never could have been a credible critic of Fluke, even if he had not bollixed up the whole discussion with his big fat mouth. If, as Sage McLauglin suggested, there is an evil intelligence working to help Obama, it may not have needed to do anything to prompt Limbaugh to give the left a weapon the way he has. Limbaugh has already gone so far over to the other side—in deeds, not words—that he might as well be a mole or spy or saboteur. At the very best, he’s been our side’s Keystone Kop on this issue.
But I don’t think anyone has ever thought of Limbaugh as a traditional or social conservative. He’s always been a “freedom” conservative—not a libertarian, but a person who sees the American good solely in terms of freedom and has no particular interest in, let alone ability to articulate, issues of social and moral order.
When I criticized Limbaugh over his fourth marriage, it was not over the fact that he had been married several times. It was over his wildly inappropriate, indeed unhinged, celebration and touting of his latest marriage:
Celebrating one’s nth marriage so extravagantly—indeed boasting about it—trashes the very idea of marriage, which, after all, is supposed to be for life. That’s why people should be more modest about a subsequent marriage following divorce, because the later marriage takes place in the light of the failure of the earlier marriage or marriages, each one of which, particularly the first, was billed at the time as the happiest day of one’s life.
Also, the embarrassing quotes of Limbaugh in the linked entry support Patrick’s point that Limbaugh is a person totally unequipped to deal with issues of social conservatism. In fighting against the birth control mandate, he should stay away from the moral aspect of the issue and stick with what has always been his main theme—freedom.
Also, I don’t think I’ve ever criticized anyone over his marital history except in the context of saying that it would be extremely damaging to conservatism and society for Republicans to nominate a thrice married man (Giuliani, Gingrich) as president.
I think serial monogamy is an accurate and descriptive term.
David B. writes:
Since Rush Limbaugh has managed to make a fool of himself again, I thought I would remind you of another blunder of his in 2009. Limbaugh’s humiliating failure to become a team owner was his third attempt to become involved with the National Football League.
The second time is the most similar to his present difficulty. In 2003, Rush became a commentator on pro football for ESPN. He said that the MSM was rooting for a black quarterback to succeed. He made the mistake of mentioning a black quarterback, Donovan McNabb, who was a pretty good player.
In the Fluke Affair, he uses words like “prostitute” and “slut.” Totally unnecessary for a serious argument. The Stupid Party and its personalities never fail to live up the name.
Kilroy M. writes:
Perhaps Robert B is familiar with the work of Howard Schwarts, specifically his book Society Against Itself. The book is reviewed by Thomas Bertonneau at The Brussels Journal. Basically, the author uses the tools of psychoanalysis to deconstruct the left via the “anti-Oedipal” metaphor. If I understand correctly, a child is wraped in the protective membrane of the Mother’s unconditional love, but maturity involves taking the place of the Father as one comes to terms with objective reality. Liberals rebel against this by refusing to mature and seek continued “love” from the State. Hence, they fail to take the place of the Father, fail to come to terms with reality. Of course, it’s a bit more complicated than that; if people are not inclined to read the book, the review itself gets into enough detail to paint a more complete picture.
Mark L. writes:
In an earlier thread, Aaron S. wrote that he had viewed Sandra Fluke’s testimony before Congress, along with another appearance on TV, and found that
” … she comes off initially as a decent-looking, pleasant woman…. Keep watching, though, and something else emerges. The soft eyes and reasonable tone give way to a subtle but steely bitterness—I suspect many people who have spent time around colleges will recognize this woman. She’s the ‘wounded’ feminist ideologue, able to turn on a dime from pleasant feminine allure to venomous sniping. The first is a lead-in for the second. It is possible that regular people will pick up on this.”
I’m glad he made this point, because I noticed the same thing when watching her testimony, and I did recognize the personality type from my college days (I majored in English, where this kind of woman is in abundant supply).
I agree with you that Limbaugh screwed up by calling her a slut—not because he used the term inaccurately, but because he insults her morally, in a way that she can then claim to be outraged by.
Instead, he should have just mocked her for the know-nothing smart-a** that she is. Mimic her smug tone (“umm, she’s gay …”) and her patent sophistry (umm, hello! I’m only following in the Jesuit tradition!). Much more effective (or at least fun) to show an academic leftist to be stupid than charge her with immorality.
Which brings me to a related point. We seem to be reading a lot these days about how “studies” are showing that conservatives are mentally or psychologically defective. I say we turn the tables. Point out that people like Sandra Fluke and those who think like her are either not smart enough or thoughtful enough to be receiving an education from a respected university like Georgetown, and that she’s just embarrassing herself by exposing her idiocy to her fellow Americans. Make them either feel their stupidity and ultimately acknowledge their unworthiness to be at the policy table discussion; or at the very least, even if they really don’t see their folly, make them sense most other people regard them as complete idiots.
What do you think of this as a tactic?
Very interesting idea. I think I will propose it to Richard Lynn, a leading race realist who once published a study saying that believers (namely Christians) are less intelligent than non-believers. (Be sure to see my reply to him.) I want to ask Prof. Lynn, since he agrees with liberals that theists are less intelligent than (secular) liberals, does he also agree with liberals that conservatives generally, including race realists such as himself, are less intelligent than liberals? After all, the argument that conservatives are unintelligent follows almost exactly the same lines as the argument that believers are unintelligent
The evil party (Democrat) and the stupid party (Republican) may be at it again but the contraception controversy is ultimately not simply about Republicans. It’s about the Catholic Church and that’s something that is being glossed over in a couple of news reports.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 05, 2012 07:50 AM | Send