Misogyny and the Conservative Tradition

Illinois Republicans Target Unwed Mothers, Newborns

Huh? Is Pino really hearing this?

What the hell is wrong with these people?

According to a proposed bill filed last week by two Republican Illinois state lawmakers, if a father is not listed on a newborn’s birth certificate, the birth certificate will not be issued and any future financial assistance will be denied.

The proposed bill HB6064 by Representative John Cavaletto and Representative Keith Wheeler would amend the Illinois Vital Records Act to require that unwed mothers either name a father on the birth certificate or within 30 days go to court and have another family member sign the birth certificate and agree to accept financial responsibility for the child ....

.... If a single mother fails to name the father or identify another guardian, the child will not be issued a birth certificate and the family will be permanently banned from public assistance. The bill makes no exception for rape or incest victims. Under current law, an unmarried father is not named on the birth certificate unless he signs a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity.


Ah, Republicans!

No, seriously, what is wrong with these people?


Tesfaye, Sophia. "Illinois Republicans target single mothers and their babies: GOP bill would ban birth certificates, financial aid if father is not named". Salon. 25 February 2016. Salon.com. 26 February 2016. http://bit.ly/1SZDoNq
Despite the fact that they reject evolution, they do believe that there is something biological that makes poor people poor.
At a family gathering once a joke was told and everyone laughed except one uncle. He said, " Why are you people laughing the joke was not funny. ",. I asked him if it was possible that he just could not grasp the joke because of some inner problem of his own. Think about, is it possible? You don't discuss nuclear physics with a six year old.

Let's try this one, and perhaps even name it the Nielsen Argument from Ignorance: This is an important subject, to me, which is why I don't know what I'm talking about.

Idaho state Rep. Pete Nielsen (R) claimed women who are victims of rape or incest are less likely to get pregnant than if they had consensual sex, echoing infamous remarks by 2012 U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin (R-Mo.).

Nielsen made the assertion, which contradicts scientific evidence, during a state House committee hearing on a bill that would require abortion providers to tell women where they can get a free ultrasound test. Abortion-rights advocates criticize the legislation as a way of deterring abortions, and point out that many of the facilities providing free ultrasounds are crisis pregnancy centers that often counsel women against getting an abortion.

The Idaho bill contains no exceptions for rape or incest. But, according to Nielsen, they're unnecessary.

"Now, I’m of the understanding that in many cases of rape, it does not involve any pregnancy because of the trauma of the incident," Nielsen said Thursday, according to the Spokesman-Review. "That may be true with incest a little bit.”

Nielsen stood by his remarks when questioned about them after the hearing.

"That’s information that I’ve had through the years. Whether it’s totally accurate or not, I don’t know," he said. "I read a lot of information. I have read it several times. … Being a father of five girls, I’ve explored this a lot."


So, Rep. Nielsen has explored this a lot, but still doesn't know that the Willke Lie is a lie. This is actually important, because in 2012, when Todd Akin harmed the entire GOP cause by actually reciting the Willke Lie out loud, we were also amid an election cycle in which pundits and analysts were exploring right-wing media and the concept of epistemic closure; that is to say, we all marveled at the Echo Chamber, the Conservative Bubble.

And this is how it goes. There are large media networks operating to serve the conservative political need; television, radio, books, magazines, even research firms. Their purpose is not to seek truth, but to cultivate messaging; nor should we expect any notion of rational consistency from them―imagine going in front of a Christian audience and telling them that Jesus is coming soon, and then telling them to be frightened and angry, and who to blame.

Yes, that happens on a fairly regular basis. Michele Bachmann makes it a staple of her post-congressional career, and it's worth noting for the sake of amusement that in my life, noting this point results in blank stares from atheists, conservative Christians asking me to explain what that means before grudgingly acknowledging the point, and liberal Christians simply laughing and shaking their heads because they get the joke. It's not a huge sample, but so far it's reliable.

Maybe my old joke aobut not trusting people who look forward to the end of the world is becoming obsolete.

Oh, right. Nielsen. Akin. Willke.

The Willke Lie is pretty straightforward. The late Dr. John C. Willke, a former president of National Right to Life Committee, used his medical credentials as an obstetrician to convince anti-abortion Christians that raping a woman doesn't cause pregnancy. Medical evidence speaks otherwise, but that's what the propaganda network is for. Most Americans have come in contact with the network in some fashion, be it the books of Dr. James Dobson, passing over CBN or 3ABN as one flips through the stations. There is an American bit that comes up from time to time in television and movies about driving through rural areas and only being able to find crazy preachers on the radio; the one that stands out in memory, I think, was Children of the Corn, and I can still remember thinking it was an awesome joke because I already knew it. My generation knows these people well enough because of the music wars of the 1980s, book burnings, the purity cult, among other things.

Consider this: If I am a Christian author who wants to warn parents about the dangers of rock and roll, the ethically and factually proper thing to do is (A) ignore the liner notes that tell me what a song is about in order to pretend a musical tribute to a Stephen King novel is actually a cultish call to mass murder, and (B) alter the lyrics if I don't think they're scary enough. And, yes, I can, under such circumstances, expect my audience to swallow it all uncritically. (Actually, that latter song was a warning about people who behave as the lying Christian author did.)

The whole point is to bear false witness in order to ingrain the lies within a faith structure.

And it works.

That is to say―

"That’s information that I’ve had through the years. Whether it’s totally accurate or not, I don’t know," he said. "I read a lot of information. I have read it several times. … Being a father of five girls, I’ve explored this a lot."

―Rep. Nielsen's explanation, while stupid as hell, is not at all implausible. It is entirely possible to read a lot of information―yes, even several times―and not once encounter actual, factual truth. This deception is the purpose of these conservative media endeavors.

Still, Nielsen is innovative. Usually this sort of argument from ignorance styles itself, "I didn't read it but let me tell you what's wrong with it."

This time, though, it comes with a twist: The issue is important to him, so he has read a lot of information, and he doesn't know whether it is right or wrong, so he's going to act on it, anyway.

I could save him a few words. He should have said, "I have no idea what I'm on about, but I want it, so I'm gonna do it." Well, okay, he could have. And it would add up to the same thing as he actually said.

We might remind, then, that ignorance is neither justification nor proper basis for public policy.

Then again, this is Idaho, and these are Idaho Republicans, who in turn are a special breed of awful↱.


Reilly, Mollie. "Another Male Lawmaker Claims Rape, Incest Victims Rarely Get Pregnant". The Huffington Post. 26 February 2016. HuffingtonPost.com. 26 February 2016. http://huff.to/1QMEwUn
A Dangerous Lack of Control

There is this bit of duplicity that is common among cheap salespeople of all sorts; politicians, naturally, make it even worse: Refuse to answer, refuse to answer, get cornered, try to seize initiative.

Oh, right. The actual lede here is that yet another Republican has tried to find a silver lining in rape:

The bill by state Rep. George Faught would ban abortion due to genetic abnormalities or Down syndrome, with no exceptions for cases of rape and incest.

Democrats challenged him on that in a debate on the floor of the state’s House of Representatives.

“Is rape the will of God?” asked Rep. Cory Williams.

“If you read the Bible, there’s actually a couple circumstances where that happened and the Lord uses all circumstances,” Faught replied. “I mean, you can go down that path, but it’s a reality, unfortunately.”

“Is incest the will of God?” Williams asked.

“Same answer,” Faught replied. “Doesn’t deal with this bill.”

Williams fired back that his questions did deal with the bill.

“You won’t make any exceptions for rape, you won’t make any exceptions for incest in this and you are proffering divine intervention as the reason why you won’t do that,” he said. “I think it is very important. This body wants to know, myself personally, whether you believe rape and incest are actually the will of God.”

Faught said:

“It’s a great question to ask, and, obviously if it happens in someone’s life, it may not be the best thing that ever happened. But, so you’re saying that God is not sovereign with every activity that happens in someone’s life and can’t use anything and everything in someone’s life, and I disagree with that.”


In a written statement clarifying his remarks, Rep. Faught explained that, "God can bring beauty from ashes."

Because, you know, that's a great reason for conservatives to aid and abet rapists.

This moment in human sickness is brought to you by the Republican Party, who apparently just can't help themselves, and the insatiable lusts of traditional conservatism.


Mazza, Ed. "Oklahoma Republican Says God Can Use Rape And Incest To 'Bring Beauty From Ashes'". The Huffington Post. 23 March 2017. HuffingtonPost.com. 23 March 2017. http://huff.to/2nrEc3x