Misogyny and the Conservative Tradition

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Tiassa, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Misogyny and the Conservative Tradition

    It is reasonable enough to accept that many of our conservative neighbors disdain the constant accusations of misogyny. Surely, however, they understand that it does them no good to remain silent in the face of open bigotry against women. Certes, we might note that the word "bitch" is still prevalent in American culture, though one can certainly argue that the word has taken on new meaning, though one will inevitably point out that the "bitch" in "life's a bitch" hasn't changed it etymology.

    But there are more troubling aspects that go beyond thoughtless slang. It is obvious to many of our conservative neighbors that Republican candidates like Rep. Todd Akin, Rep. Ron Paul, or Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock did not help dispel the notion of a Republican cultural war against women. Indeed, revelations of the NRSC's quiet return to Akin's corner in the weeks before the election only reinforce the proposition that conservative rejections of misogyny are mere lip service. Nor did Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) help the cause this week when trying to split hairs in defense of Akin and Mourdock.

    But this goes beyond mere politicians.

    I. Pat Robertson

    Consider, please, Brian Tashman's report for Right Wing Watch regarding the notorious televangelist Pat Robertson:

    In a question to Robertson, “Maxim” said that he “noticed that there has been a change in my father’s behavior” as he “spends too much time at the computer playing a war game,” which is making his mom feel alone. After suggesting that Maxim bring his parents to a “romantic resort,” Robertson promptly blamed the mother.

    “You know it may be your mom isn’t as sweet as you think she is, she may be hard-nosed,” Robertson said. “It’s easy to blame the mother.”

    Robertson then recounted a story about how a fellow pastor told an “awful looking” woman who was upset that her husband started to drink, “Madam, if I was married to you I’d start to drink too.” He added that women can’t expect their husbands’ love if they are “slatternly looking.”

    Robertson, of course, has a history of offering peculiar marital advice, including that a spouse should file for divorce if the other is suffering from Alzheimer's. As to vows 'til death do they part? Robertson says he wouldn't put a guilt trip on anyone who abandoned that vow. One wonders, though, if his advice would have been different if a wife had been cheating on her Alzheimer's stricken husband.

    The idea of Original Sin reminds that, in the Christian view, it's all a woman's fault, and the 700 Club host's response to Maxim only reiterates the impact of that belief.

    The show has a daily audience estimated in the neighborhood of one million, which is down considerably from years past. There is a legitimate question of how much influence Robertson actually has, these days, but he has been working his television empire for over fifty years.

    II. Piero Corsi

    The Catholic Church is the largest single denomination in the United States, with over seventy-seven million members. Thankfully, American Catholics are generally more liberalized in their thinking than the Vatican would prefer.

    Thankfully? Well, consider the situation in Italy, where one Father Piero Corsi blamed women for domestic violence and rape:

    Fr Piero Corsi said in a Christmas message posted on the door of his church in the small parish of San Terenzo, near Lerici and La Spezia in northwest Italy:

    How often do we see girls and mature women going around scantily dressed and in provocative clothes?

    They provoke the worst instincts, which end in violence or sexual abuse. They should search their consciences and ask: did we bring this on ourselves?​

    The leaflet, a copy of which was posted online sparking a wave of outrage across the country, said the 118 women killed in acts of domestic violence in Italy in 2012 had pushed men to their limits. Corsi also wrote:

    Is it possible that all of a sudden men have gone mad? We don’t believe it.

    The fact is that women are increasingly provocative, they become arrogant, they believe themselves to be self-sufficient and end up exacerbating the situation.

    Children are abandoned to their own devices, homes are dirty, meals are cold or fast food, clothes are filthy.​


    (The Journal)

    For the record, it's not just American Catholics, on this occasion, who are more liberalized than the institutional Church. In San Terenzo, the mayor described local residents as "dumbfounded and indignant". Bishop Luigi Ernsto Palletti, who oversees the diocese, said that Corsi's remarks "go against the church’s common feeling on the matter".

    One can rightly point out that the "common feeling" is a statistical matter, and not one of doctrine. Still, according to The Huffington Post, Msgr. Vincenzo Paglia was more definitive, saying, "There is widespread often dramatic violence against women and you can not think at all that it's the fault of women themselves."

    III. Role Models

    In many cases, Americans will lash out against celebrity for failing to provide a positive role model for others in society. While we might tar an Olympic champion for smoking marijuana, or a professional baseball player for throwing a string of firecrackers out the window of a team bus, or even start cutting ourselves in protest of Justin Bieber smoking a cigar or blunt, we rarely tack politicians or religious leaders to the wall so explicitly for being poor role models. True, a judge once gave a rape convict an unusually low sentence because President Clinton had committed adultery, but anyone who asserts no Seventh Day Adventist or Missouri Synod Lutherans pay attention to Robertson because he is nominally of the Southern Baptist Convention, or Corsi because he is Catholic, is deluded. There are times when Christian is Christian is Christian. The divisions often emerge for the sake of supremacist ideology, or as anti-identifications to distance one's faith from something unpleasant.

    The larger point is that religious leaders are among the most influential role models in human society. And while we cannot blame Corsi, for instance, in the case of Milton Bradley (yes, that's his real name), a former professional baseball player, we can certainly test the priest's suggestion:

    Former Los Angeles Dodgers and Seattle Mariners outfielder Milton Bradley has been charged with abusing his estranged wife and faces up to 13 years in jail if convicted, city prosecutors announced Friday.

    Bradley, 34, was charged on Thursday with 13 misdemeanor counts of assault with a deadly weapon, vandalism and dissuading a witness from making a report.

    In addition to jail time, Bradley could face up to $13,000 in fines and restitution if convicted.


    (Associated Press)

    And how did Bradley, long described in a range between "tempermental" and "asshole", get himself into this situation? Well, let's try blaming his wife:

    Prosecutors contend that Bradley threatened and attacked his wife five times in 2011 and 2012. He was twice arrested at the home in 2011.

    "During one incident in November 2012, Bradley allegedly pushed his wife against a kitchen wall and choked her with both hands after she requested that he stop smoking marijuana in front of their children and requested that his friends leave her San Fernando Valley home," said a statement from the city attorney's office.

    Prosecutors contend that during other confrontations, Bradley kicked his wife in the ribs, approached her with a baseball bat and threatened her with a knife while telling her: "You'll be dead b---- before you divorce me."

    By Corsi's outlook, how dare she ask him to not get high in front of the kids? How dare she attempt to exercise any influence over her own home? If she was a better wife, who let her husband smoke dope in front of the kids, or let his friends party all night in the house, or whatever else she might have done wrong (maybe she doesn't open her back door enough?), none of this ever would have happened.

    Of course, one can argue that it's not a fair test. After all, Bradley says his wife is lying, and none of it ever happened.

    (We in Seattle have no idea why the Mariners ever signed this guy. His brief tenure at Safeco Field went about as poorly as anyone expected.)

    Either way, Bradley's defense is that it's all the woman's fault. And this idea runs back at least twenty-five hundred years. At least, as we cannot rightly presume the idea of blaming women started with Genesis, unless, of course, we presume that the world is only six thousand years old, in which case the issue dates back, well, six thousand years.

    IV. Conservatives

    In the United States, people tend to label policies and ideas liberal or conservative according to party affiliation. Historically, though, liberal and conservative trends are fairly well defined throughout the human endeavor. While a contemporary American might consider Christian politics conservative, Jesus was rather quite liberal in the context of the times. Many condemn Islam as a uniquely extreme conservatism, but Muhammad, in his day, was radically liberal. In this sense, liberalism can claim an impressive roster, while conservatism often finds the names on its list somewhat infamous. The Founding Fathers were liberals against King George III's conservatism; the American Revolution transformed the social contract known as the state. Throughout history, liberalism has sought to extend the benefits of the social contract to a wider spectrum of people; conservatism has sought to retain those benefits to a privileged class. Nor is it a simple question; while many denounce the former Soviet Union as the epitome of liberal evil, others might parse the difference between the progressive intentions of the Russian Revolution and the conservative betrayal of Stalin, who consolidated power and privilege.

    Modern American conservatives routinely come down on the restrictive, reserved side of issues. Consider the idea of the conservative Democrat; it was the Democratic Party, in the nineteenth century, that supported slavery. In the twentieth century, Democrats lost the American South by betraying white supremacy.

    We make much, in American political discourse, of freedom and equality. And the divide between liberals and conservatives is easy enough to see. In issues of race and ethnicity, gender, and religion, conservatives insist on a standard for equality that is, essentially functional supremacism. We might recall, for instance, the Louisiana Republican, one Rep. Valerie Hodges, who retracted her support of a state voucher program to spend public funds sending children to religious schools when she finally figured out that the idea of religious schools was not limited to Christianity. As Steve Benen put it, "Publicly funded religion for me, not for thee".

    In the question of misogyny, 2012 was a terrible year for the Republican Party. Starting with the 2010 midterms, when hardline conservatives won tremendous victories at both state and federal levels campaigning on jobs and economy, newly-empowered conservatives immediately turned their attention to abortion and conscience clause laws. The House of Representatives, with its third resolution of the new Congressional session, attempted to strike statutory rape from the legal definition of rape. 2011 saw a record number of anti-abortion bills in the states. The presidential year opened with a fight about whether women should have to ask their employers for permission to have insurance coverage for birth control. And things just went downhill from there. Whether it was Ron Paul's "honest rape", Todd Akin's "legitimate rape", Richard Mourdock's "gift from God", Wisconsin state Rep. Rivard's "rape easy", or Pennsylvania candidate Tom Smith comparing rape to a pregnancy out of wedlock, conservatives could not have worked harder to tack neon signs to their foreheads reading, "Misogynist".

    Well, okay, they probably could. The important rape in 2012, according to the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer, was the "forced assault" on Todd Akin after his ridiculous remarks. Add to that the public support Akin received from prominent anti-abortion organizations? By the time we get to Mitt Romney's binders full of women, it's just toxic icing on a poisonous cake.

    And conservatives aren't recovering well. A right-wing fad in the new year has been to denounce disaster relief as rape.

    Remember, going back to the 2010 midterms, Republicans in Colorado supported Ken Buck, a former prosecutor who refused to file rape charges when he had a confession from the rapist because he thought the woman deserved it. And now, on the other side of 2012, Republicans are back at it again, with a House bill intended to establish life at fertilization, effectively banning the use of hormonal birth control and intrauterine devices.

    The conservative tradition has long been misogynistic; indeed, one might reasonably assert that it has always been so. And while it might upset some conservatives to be associated with misogyny, there comes a point where they have to make a stand, and tell their hateful fellows to shut the hell up and get real. Perhaps their consciences really do argue that women are inferior, but these are the United States, where we have a rule called Equal Protection. Thus, conservatives need to simply get over it, and admit that women are people, and people are equal under the law. Christians who own businesses and scream about the oppression of having to offer women a decent health insurance plan need to stop and consider whether or not they require their employees to work weekends. One cannot logically pick and choose: Oh, sure, it violates one's conscience to not be able to strike certain aspects of a health insurance plan, but how many of them call their employees to work on the Sabbath? It is telling that treating women decently is what conservatives object to. They might not like being called misogynists, but they really should, then, reconsider their support of misogynistic policy. And they need to tell those role models like Pat Robertson, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Bryan Fischer, Rush Limbaugh, Richard Mourdock, Tom Smith, Todd Akin, Roger Rivard, and countless others to figure out what century they live in.

    Oh, and it might also help if they told the Republican Party to stop sniveling over the Violence Against Women Act. After all, when Republicans are down to invoking other forms of bigotry in order to justify their resistance to reauthorizing VAWA, it really does sound desperate. It really does sound like they're willing to do anything to keep women in their mythical proper place.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Cassata, Donna. "Gingrey: Rape comments not defending Akin". Associated Press. January 11, 2013. MDJonline.com. January 12, 2013. http://mdjonline.com/view/full_story/21392942/article-Gingrey- Rape-comments-not-defending-Akin

    Tashman, Brian. "Robertson Troubled that 'Hard-Nosed' and 'Slatternly' Women are Ruining Marriages". Right Wing Watch. January 9, 2013. RightWingWatch.org. January 12, 2013. http://www.rightwingwatch.org/conte...hard-nosed-slatternly-women-ruining-marriages

    The Journal. "Priest says women bring sexual and physical violence on themselves". December 27, 2012. TheJournal.ie. January 12, 2013. http://www.thejournal.ie/piero-cors...-women-murder-sexual-violence-732418-Dec2012/

    Bennett-Smith, Meredith. "Piero Corsi, Italian Priest, Says 'Provocative' Women To Blame For Spate Of Domestic Violence". The Huffington Post. December 28, 2012. HuffingtonPost.com. January 12, 2013. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/...men-to-blame-domestic-violence_n_2376702.html

    Piatt, Christian. "Cut for Bieber: How Did We Get Here?" The Huffington Post. January 9, 2013. HuffingtonPost.com. January 13, 2013. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christian-piatt/cut-for-bieber-how-did-we-get-here_b_2435373.html

    Associated Press. "Milton Bradley Charged With Domestic Abuse, Faces Up To 13 Years In Prison". The Huffington Post. January 11, 2013. HuffingtonPost.com. January 12, 2013. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/...tic-abuse-prison-years-charges_n_2457993.html

    Benen, Steve. "Publicly funded religion for me, not for thee". The Maddow Blog. July 6, 2012. MaddowBlog.MSNBC.com. January 13, 2013. http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/07/06/12598998-publicly-funded-religion-for-me-not-for-thee
     
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  3. youreyes amorphous ocean Valued Senior Member

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    I wonder who stands up for mens' rights nowadays and what is the term for "hatred against men"? I guess it is not popular to discuss hate against men, it just does not sell. Meanwhile flying articles like this always do well.
     
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  5. youreyes amorphous ocean Valued Senior Member

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    Obviously it is just a thoughtless deragotory slang that has no merit to reality.

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    http://myawkwardlifeingermany.blogspot.com/2012/02/american-woman-in-germany-identity-of.html
     
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  7. pjdude1219 screw watergate i want to know about zaragate Valued Senior Member

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    misandry


    men's rights? aww feel your manhood is threatened if you can't beat on a woman and have acceptable.
     
  8. youreyes amorphous ocean Valued Senior Member

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    awww reserving yourself to personal attacks to make your point across?

    Obviously misandry is not as popular in media.
     
  9. pjdude1219 screw watergate i want to know about zaragate Valued Senior Member

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    nah I rely on facts for that. the insulting part manly because I thought you were an asshole for whining about male rights. because it literal the hight of arrogance to be in a priviliged group and whine about your "RIGHTS" are being ignored.

    that's because for the most part it doesn't happen. only in the minds of people like you who feel your privilaged position in going to go away to equality complain about such things.
     
  10. youreyes amorphous ocean Valued Senior Member

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    Again you resort to personal insults. The OP is indeed "whining" about women rights, yet you do not take his POV and instead choose not to see it at all. Just because you choose not to see the nonexistence of hate against men, does not mean it does not exist.
     
  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Various points, some of which are obvious

    As I have said before, the problem with the men's rights movement is that it is primarily misogynistic.

    There are certainly issues to resolve, but the movement generally squanders its credibility—in the U.S., at least—by seething with misogyny.

    Furthermore, what indignities do men endure, just for being men, that are remotely equivalent to having churches and political parties lining up to denigrate them?

    Just out of curiosity, what do you call men in the condition depicted by the included images?

    To take that consideration a little further, in my lifetime, the biggest insults against men have been to imply that they are gay or womanlike. I'm not sure what about being gay or female is inherently degrading, but I've yet to figure out what word is the heterosexual male's equivalent of bitch or faggot.

    So, please, do inform me on that count.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
  12. youreyes amorphous ocean Valued Senior Member

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    My intent at this discussion must have been diverted or misrepresented through various provocations and accusations upon my own sex' behavioral practices. I assure you that the main POV I am trying to get across is that there are indeed women out there as you Tiassa has previously mentioned labeled as *bitches* and frankly those women deserve it. Men are without faults of their own, obviously jails are packed with them, a bad stereotypical violence trait upon my own sex. What is your POV Tiassa that some women who behave in a not socially acceptable and respectful of others way not be called bitches? Yes there are men who get drunk just like my pictures depict the women, however those are much less than the men. It goes like this remember, men kill, women sell bodies. This is the low that the sexes go to. The lowest of the society on the women side are indeed bitches. If you think that women of such nature do not exist, enlighten me.
     
  13. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    my daughter and I had this talk. I told her I was proud that she was strong without being hard. Hard women get called bitches and say "damn right, and proud of it" I would never want to be called a bitch. If anyone ever called me a bitch its because they are mean and it has nothing to do with me.

    Those women in the pictures are not bitches. They have been drinking and are making fools of themselves. Everyone has done it.
     
  14. youreyes amorphous ocean Valued Senior Member

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    There is a limit. And being a tough and hard woman does not make one a bitch in my definition. Mocking others, acting in a disrespectful way, and getting oneself high on alcohol or drugs or being with many men in my definition is a bitch. Answering to a boss back for taking advantage of womens' insecurities is a tough woman, and I respect that. To me your daughter sounds nothing like a bitch, but a strong woman.
     
  15. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    getting drunk and sleeping around makes a woman a bitch? Apparently I know a lot of male bitches. And what women's insecurities are you talking about?
     
  16. youreyes amorphous ocean Valued Senior Member

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    Well a man with a girlfriend who sleeps around with bunch of other women is on the same level as a "bitch". What is the name for such a man? **shole I presume) If a girl goes around getting drunk exposing herself in a bar and than sleeps with bunch of guys, yes thats a bitch. I was giving an example where a boss might be using his rank to advance on a woman and want sex or maybe just having the upperhand at discussions just because.
     
  17. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    what's wrong with a woman getting drunk and exposing herself and sleeping with whomever she wants?
     
  18. youreyes amorphous ocean Valued Senior Member

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    shes' a "bitch".
     
  19. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    you say she's a bitch because she did that. But why?? What's wrong with doing that?
     
  20. youreyes amorphous ocean Valued Senior Member

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    Its how I feel. I wouldn't respect that kind of woman.
     
  21. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    I think that says more about you than it does about the woman.
     
  22. youreyes amorphous ocean Valued Senior Member

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    that I don't respect drunk women laying on a floor of a bar with her panties showing right after which she goes puking and makes out in a gangbang sex?
     
  23. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    No, that you think that drunk women demonstrates that women are bitches.

    Do the recent serial killers demonstrate that all men are violent?
     

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