Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

Too many feminists in the West are reluctant to condemn cultural practices that clearly harm women

original article: On This ‘Day Without a Woman,’ Don’t Leave Women Oppressed by Sharia Law Behind
March 8, 2017 by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Wednesday is International Women’s Day, and the organizers of the Women’s March are holding another protest. This one is called A Day Without a Woman, in solidarity with those women who have lower wages and experience greater inequalities.

The protest encourages women to take the day off work, avoid shopping other than in small women- and minority-owned stores, and wear red.

The problems being protested against Wednesday—inequality, vulnerability to discrimination, sexual harassment, and job insecurity—are all too real for many disadvantaged women, but the legal protections for them are in place here in the United States. Women who are unfairly treated at work or discriminated against can stand up, speak out, protest in the streets, and take legal action. Not so for many women in other parts of the world for whom the hashtag #daywithoutawoman is all too apt.

Around the world women are subjected to “honor violence” and lack legal protections and access to health and social services. According to Amnesty International’s recent annual report, throughout the Middle East and North Africa, women and girls are denied equal status with men in law and are subject to gender-based violence, including sexual violence and killings perpetrated in the name of “honor.”

The relationship between the sexes in Muslim majority countries is inspired and often governed by a mix of tribal, traditional practices and Islamic law. Algerian author Kamel Daoud recently referred to this system as entailing “sexual misery” for both men and women throughout the Islamic world.Daoud favors the full emancipation of Muslim women, yet many commentators criticized him as being guilty of “Islamophobia,” a term increasingly used to silence meaningful debate.

International Women’s Day should be a day to raise our voices on behalf of women with no recourse to protect their rights. Yet I doubt Wednesday’s protesters will wave placards condemning the religious and cultural framework for women’s oppression under Sharia law. As a moral and legal code, Sharia law is demeaning and degrading to women. It requires women to be placed under the care of male guardians; it views a woman’s testimony in court as worth half that of a man’s; and it permits a husband to beat his wife. It’s not only women’s legal and sexual freedoms that are curtailed under Sharia but their economic freedoms as well. Women generally inherit half of the amount that men inherit, and their male guardian must consent to their choosing education, work, or travel.

In Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan, and parts of Nigeria, where Sharia law underpins the judicial system, women’s rights suffer greatly.

There is a growing trend among some feminists to make excuses for Sharia law and claim it is nothing more than a personal moral guide, and therefore consistent with American constitutional liberties. Yet the rules that such “Sharia-lite feminists” voluntarily choose to follow are also invoked to oppress women—to marry them off, to constrain their economic and human rights, and to limit their freedom of expression—who have not consented to them. The moral conflict between Sharia and universal human rights should not be dismissed as a misunderstanding, but openly discussed.

Many Western feminists struggle to embrace universal women’s rights. Decades ago, Germaine Greer argued that attempts to outlaw female genital mutilation amounted to “an attack on cultural identity.” That type of deference to traditional practices, in the name of cultural sensitivity, hurts vulnerable women. These days, relativism remains strong. Too many feminists in the West are reluctant to condemn cultural practices that clearly harm women—female genital mutilation, polygamy, child marriage, marital rape, and honor violence, particularly in non-Western societies. Women’s rights are universal, and such practices cannot be accepted.

The revival of part of the women’s movement, catalyzed by the election of Donald Trump, has deeper roots than can be seen on the surface. Like Wednesday’s protest, a large portion of Western feminism has been captured by political ideologues and postmodern apologists. Rather than protecting women’s rights, many feminists are focused on signaling opposition to “right-wing” politics.

One of the organizers of the Women’s March movement recently tweeted: “If the right wing is defending or agreeing with you, you are probably on the wrong side. Re-evaluate your positions.”

I’m all for dissent, but that “us vs. them” mentality has caused political gridlock, even on humanitarian issues where the left and right should work together. Hostility and intolerance to others’ views have made rational discussion on important issues taboo. A robust defense of universal women’s rights should welcome support from both the left and the right, overcoming domestic partisan divisions in order to help women abroad attain their full rights.

This International Women’s Day, we should protest the oppression of women who have no access to legal protections. We should support those Muslim reformers, such as Asra Nomani, Zuhdi Jasser, and Irshad Manji, who seek to reform Islam in line with full legal equality between men and women. And we should strive to overcome domestic political divisions to defend the universality of women’s rights.

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No, Stay At Home Moms Don’t ‘Waste’ Their Education

original article: No, Stay At Home Moms Don’t ‘Waste’ Their Education
March 7, 2017 by Anna Mussmann

Anyone who castigates a woman for failing to cash in on her degree reveals a complete misunderstanding of the nature and purpose of education and the actual needs of society.

In Dorothy Sayer’s 1936 novel “Gaudy Night,” a minor character refers to the “question of women’s education.” Famous detective Lord Peter Wimsey responds, “Is it still a question? It ought not to be,” and adds, “You should not imply that I have any right either to approve or disapprove” of what women do.

Most progressives today would agree heartily with the first half of his sentiment. Feminists consider it a settled question that educating women is essential to a humane, egalitarian society. At the same time, however, few are quite so restrained as Lord Peter. Most venture to “approve or disapprove” of women’s choices, especially if what a woman chooses is to follow years of education with life as a stay-at-home mom.

Smart, educated women who decide to end, pause, or part-time their careers are often treated as defective parts in the machinery of egalitarian social justice, or as children who have asked for a plate of food and then thrown it in the garbage. The general argument is that an education, like a treadmill or a bag of flour, is wasted if it is not used (the definition of “used” being, “used to make money”).

The thing is, though, anyone who castigates a woman for failing to cash in on her degree reveals a complete misunderstanding of two things. 1. The nature and purpose of education, and 2. The actual needs of society.

Education Is Not Just a Synonym for Job Training

The American founders argued routinely that ordinary citizens ought to be educated. This was not because literacy would help farmers milk their cows more sensitively or because familiarity with Plato would open up additional career prospects for pioneers, but because it would change what sort of people they were internally.

Education is much bigger than any specific field of work. Career coaches recognize this when they tell students that their choice of college major rarely dictates the field in which they will later find employment. Education helps people do a better job at any task by helping them discover how to think, how to learn, and how to exercise the self-discipline necessary for achievement. Educated people know useful facts, of course; but more importantly, they know how to live.

Unless we want a society in which an elite few rule over the wider peasantry, we must recognize that people—men, women, lawyers, mechanics, stay-at-home moms, everyone—benefit when they pursue the learning and wisdom that make them more fully human. To say that moms “waste” education is to show tremendous disrespect for the actual importance of education.

Education Is Supposed to Open, not Close, Opportunities

We tell our children they can become anything they want. On the other hand, when young people aspire to careers that may or may not be achievable—when she wants to major in art, when he thinks he can open his own restaurant—we encourage them to hedge their bets. We talk about double majors, business minors, and back-up plans.

Likewise, many young women hope to eventually become mothers, and many would prefer to stay at home while their babies are young. They, too, are wise to hedge their bets. What if they never meet the right man? What if they do, and illness or disability keeps him from being able to support a family? What about divorce? Hitting pause on a career may still leave them somewhat vulnerable to later financial challenges, but less so than if they possessed only a high school diploma. For them, a degree is a prudent investment regardless of the outcome. It maintains options.

The inflated cost of modern college is admittedly a complicating factor. A debt load that shackles a woman to a particular career path is probably a bad investment for anyone. We should absolutely encourage young people to think outside of the box when acquiring an education. And, of course, universities are not the only places one can become educated.

Society Should Trust Women

Feminists encourage society to trust women in matters like abortion. Yet feminism distrusts females who want to stay home with their children. Perhaps such critics assume that if a woman’s daily work belongs to the domestic sphere, with no raises to compete for and no performance reviews to hold her accountable, she is likely to lounge around in yoga pants while surfing the Internet. That is, they imagine that outside accountability is inextricably tied to meaningful accomplishments.

Yet the most meaningful human work transcends accountability. As an analogy: the best classroom teachers do wonderful things for students not because they adhere to any checklist, but through who they are. They communicate a love of learning by loving to learn. They inspire compassion by being compassionate. They engage by being engaging, challenging people who care both about truth and about their students.

When school administrators distrust teachers and hold them to overly rigid guidelines or testing schedules, it hampers the efforts of excellent teachers. The best work in all spheres of life is not about accountability, but about the sort of person doing that work (yet one more reason why we should value education for everyone!).

When women make sacrifices to stay home with their own children—the babies for whom they would die—they are likely to be highly motivated to be the sort of people who make a difference in their children’s lives. We need to trust women on this.

Society Also Benefits from People who Do ‘Less’

The current culture delights in volume. Bigger boxes of French fries. More volunteer activities on college applications. Our values make it very easy to see the merit in those high-energy achievers whose packed schedules allow them to accomplish what seems like everything at once. It is often harder for us to admire those who delve more deeply into only one or two things. After all, their list of what they do each day seems short. To people who do not understand, their daily activities might even sound trivial.

Yet society needs deep-focus people as much as it needs multi-talented, multi-tasking people. We need the lab assistants who stare faithfully at computer screens all day. We need the cellists who devote the majority of their lives to practicing. We need the scholars whose years of devotion to mathematics produce a single work upon which others can build. These people do their work just as faithfully as those who juggle a greater variety. In fact, they do it in a unique way that requires sacrificing variety.

Hard as it might be to realize, society benefits when we recognize that there are many ways of being useful members of society, of serving others, and of finding joy in our work. Stay-at-home moms are able to bring a deep focus to the lives of their children and the needs of their community. By sacrificing volume, they are able to serve others in a unique way.

We Can Value SAHMs without Condemning Working Moms

Ultimately, I suspect many women are uncomfortable with arguments in defense of stay-at-home moms because they are concerned about the specter of simplistic consistency. After all, if a woman provides an important benefit to her child by becoming his full-time caretaker, doesn’t that imply that the opposite is also true—that the children of career moms are missing out on an important benefit? And that, therefore, homemakers are better moms?

In reality, life is complicated. No two mothers can provide their children with quite the same good things. Trying to do so is crazy. Every life choice brings both costs and benefits. In fact, it is not always easy even to know whether a given difference is a benefit or a handicap. Living in poverty can prevent a child from gaining access to resources—and can teach resilience and determination. Watching a parent struggle with a disability can teach compassion and grit—and be confusing and depressing.

Being a good parent is not about competing with other women to magically give one’s child everything that seems good. It is about faithfully doing one’s best in all kinds of circumstances. Often that means making a careful, thoughtful choice about how best to put the needs of one’s own children first, whether by remaining in the workforce or taking time off from it.

I remember when a very conservative friend warned my mom not to let us girls pursue career-oriented degrees. This friend was afraid that educated women would be unlikely to stay home with children. Most feminists would decry the idea of trying to “trap” young women into any particular life path. If they are to be consistent, however, feminists—and society at large—need to recognize that education is not a trap, either. It is something that helps all women live their lives in a more fully human manner, no matter what their work may turn out to be. Even if it involves teaching children how to go potty.

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Two recent incidents of violence against women

We are supposed to believe progressives/liberals fight for equality, women’s rights, and oppose violence against women. Consider this.

At the recent women’s march in Washington, D.C. The Rebel Media recorded a video of a male member of the march assaulting a conservative woman.

Rebel reporter assaulted at Women’s March — $1,000 reward to find him

You’ll see in the video the perp is male, the assault happens against a women, and the assault occurs in the midst of the protest (plenty of progressives/liberals present as witnesses). And how do the perp’s fellow protesters respond? By protecting HIM! Watch the video for yourself.

At West Virginia University we have another video of another leftist assaulting another woman.

Leftist student physically attacks conservatives after botched debate meeting

The hate this guy harbors is painfully obvious. Watch the video.

And what should we expect from the progressives/liberals who learn of these two incidents of violence against women? Nothing other than the same reaction we saw in the 1990’s when a certain president was sexually harassing and abusing women all over the place – total hypocrisy. Feminism looks like a fraud when it protects men who do the very things these women claim they oppose.

Political correctness and social justice are not about justice or fairness or equality. They are about the anti-diversity left wing agenda of sameness, driven and defined by powerful agenda makers. The common folk do indeed have power but not the kind of power they think they have. They are being led down a road I suspect many of them would reject if only they could see where it takes them.

The ultra left (which now seems to be the mainstream left) only selectively cares about women and violence against women and women’s rights. Reasonable leftists (if there are any) need to know about this stuff. If anyone has a chance of pulling the leftwing of the political spectrum from its extremes back toward the center it is reasonable leftists. Please spread the word whenever anything like this happens.

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If Black Genocide were shown on BET, Black Lives Matter would be attacking abortion clinics

original article: One of Margaret Sanger’s Pals Ran a Concentration Camp That Killed Black People
October 14, 2016 by JASON JONES & JOHN ZMIRAK

It’s a pro-life commonplace that The American Birth Control League, founded by Margaret Sanger 100 years ago and later rechristened Planned Parenthood, had ties to eugenicists and racists. This is not quite right. It’s like saying that the NBA has ties to professional sports. The birth control movement and the eugenics movement were the same movement — to the point where Margaret Sanger twice tried to merge her organization with major eugenics groups.

One eugenics expert, Eugen Fischer, whom Sanger featured as a speaker at a population conference she organized, had already run a concentration camp — in German-ruled Southwest Africa, before World War I, where he murdered, starved and experimented on helpless native Africans. It was Fischer’s book on eugenics, which Hitler had read in prison, that convinced Hitler of its central importance. Another longtime official of Planned Parenthood, Garrett Hardin, had a decades-long track record of serving in eugenics organizations, and as late as the 1980s was calling for mass forced sterilization of Americans as a necessary solution to the “population problem.”

The same people served on the boards of the American Eugenics Society and Sanger’s organizations for decades, and they worked closely together on countless projects — ranging from researching the birth control pill as a means of diminishing the African-American birth rate (they tested the early, hazardous versions of the Pill on impoverished rural women in Puerto Rico), to passing forced sterilization or castration laws in more than a dozen states that targeted blacks and other poor people accused of “feeble mindedness” or “shiftlessness” and diagnosed as “unfit” parents. Today, Planned Parenthood sets up its centers in America’s poorest neighborhoods, and continues to target the same populations via abortion.

Maafa 21: Black Genocide

That’s the appalling truth uncovered in a neglected 2014 documentary which we feature here at The Stream as part of our #100forLife campaign. Maafa 21: Black Genocide gets its odd title from the Swahili word for slavery, and it is this film’s contention that the eugenics movement in America began in the panic which white racists felt at the end of slavery over what should be done to solve what some called the “Negro problem.” It’s a long, harrowing film, which you should watch in small doses — treating it as a miniseries. And keep a box of Kleenex handy, because you will weep.

Produced by the pro-life apostolate Life Dynamics with a mostly black cast of narrators and commentators, this film claims that Planned Parenthood and other organizations and government programs that target the poor and try to block their reproduction are the 21st century’s answer to the Ku Klux Klan — which was founded by white Southern elites to keep down the “unruly” ranks of freed black slaves.

It’s a shocking assertion, but one that the filmmakers prove beyond the shadow of a reasonable doubt, citing name after name, giving racist quote after racist quote, showing that Sanger personally approved the publication of outrageous and cruel claims of the genetic inferiority of millions of Americans, especially blacks, and calling for their forced sterilization, and the cut-off of welfare benefits and even private charity, to stop the “unfit” from reproducing themselves. Then she took part in promoting policies that turned this evil, utopian program of social engineering into binding American laws. One of the leading advocates for the legalization of abortion in the 1960s and 70s was Planned Parenthood, run by her appointees and later by her grandson, Alexander Sanger.

Margaret Sanger Worked with White Supremacists for Decades

The board of Margaret Sanger’s organization and others where she served as an officer, the authors she published in The Birth Control Review, the conferences she sponsored, and the people to whom Planned Parenthood gave awards well into the 1960s and 70s, are a Who’s Who of the ugliest, most paranoid misanthropic elitists and white racists of the 20th century — apart from those who were thankfully hanged at Nuremburg. After those trials, when “eugenics” had acquired a well-deserved taint, these same American elitists used the exaggerated threat of “overpopulation” to peddle the desperate need to control other people’s fertility, if need be by forced sterilization — a policy which Sanger had advocated since 1934.

The eugenicists, self-appointed experts on human quality of life, had peddled their theories not just in Britain and America but in Germany, where they helped to directly inspire Nazi sterilization and extermination programs aimed at the handicapped, Jews, and the small population of black or mixed race Germans — children of French colonial troops whom Hitler considered a grave menace to “Aryan” racial “hygiene.” One of Sanger’s regular authors in The Birth Control Review wrote in a U.S. newspaper in the 1930s defending the forced sterilization of such mixed-race children, for the sake of Germany’s “health.”

Hitler’s Bible, by Sanger’s Friend

Friends and associates of Sanger (such as Harry Laughlin) accepted awards from Nazi-controlled universities, visited with Hitler and Himmler, and boasted that the forced sterilization programs which they had instituted in America were used as models by the Germans. One author who served on Sanger’s board and published regularly in The Birth Control Review was Lothrop Stoddard, a high official of the Massachusetts Ku Klux Klan, whose book The Rising Tide of Color Against White World Supremacy, Adolf Hitler cited in Mein Kampf as “my bible.”

Ota_Benga_at_Bronx_Zoo

Nor were the eugenicists isolated cranks. Their ranks include Harvard professors, mainline Protestant clergymen, prominent conservationists for whom entire animal species are named, and Gilded Age plutocrats. Much of the funding for eugenics organizations came from the Carnegie Corporation and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, writing his opinion that the forced sterilization of a supposedly “feeble-minded” woman in Virginia was constitutional, infamously said that “three generations of imbeciles are enough.” His views were echoed by President Teddy Roosevelt, as the film proves with quotations. It also recounts how a Sanger ally Madison Grant, a prominent Darwin apostle and eugenicist, helped to exhibit Ota Benga, an African pygmy, in a cage with an orangutan for ten days at New York City’s Bronx Zoo, to “illustrate evolution.” Mr. Benga took his own life ten years later.

The eugenicists’ arrogant certainty that, because they had inherited money and power, they were genetically superior to the rest of the human race, found in Charles Darwin’s theories an ideal pretext and a program: to take the survival of the fittest and make it happen faster, by stopping the “unfit” from breeding. The goal, in Margaret Sanger’s own words, was “More Children from the Fit, Fewer from the Unfit.” Instead of seeing the poor as victims of injustice or targets for Christian charity, the materialism these elitists took from Darwin assured them that the poor were themselves the problem — that they were inferior, deficient and dangerous down to the marrow of their bones.

“Feeble-Minded” and “Shiftless” Blacks

The targets of this campaign in America were poor people, the unemployed, non-English-speaking immigrants, but most of all African-Americans. This vulnerable population, composed largely of ex-slaves and their children, was identified in the 1880s as a “threat” to the “racial health” and progress of the United States, by followers of Francis Galton — first cousin of Charles Darwin, heir to a slave-trading fortune, and inventor of the “science” of eugenics. These people had been exploited for centuries as free labor, denied education for fear of fomenting rebellion, and excluded from most of the economy. Now the eugenicists blamed the victims, black Americans, for their desperate social conditions, claiming that they were the natural result of blacks’ “defective germ plasm,” which posed a threat to America akin to a deadly virus.

The forced sterilization laws which Sanger and her allies passed were used to sterilize at least 60,000 Americans, but perhaps as many as 200,000, on the pretext that young women who became pregnant out of wedlock were “feeble-minded,” “immoral” or “socially useless” parasites — all rhetoric that Sanger personally used in her books, articles, and at least one speech before a Ku Klux Klan rally, as she recounts in her memoir.

tony-riddick-150x150

Maafa 21 interviews Elaine Riddick, who was raped at age 13 and became pregnant. As she lay in the hospital waiting to deliver the baby, welfare officials from the state of North Carolina warned her illiterate grandparents that if they didn’t sign the consent form to have her irreversibly sterilized, the state would cut off their welfare benefits. They scrawled an “X” on the government form, and Elaine was sterilized without her knowledge. She only learned what had been done to her five years later, when welfare officials explained that she was too “feeble-minded” to care for a child “or even tie my own shoes,” as she recounts. Elaine was sterilized in 1968. The last such “eugenic” forced sterilization in the U.S. took place in 1983.

While Elaine never went to high school, she went on and finished college, and the one child which the United States government had permitted her to have — Tony Riddick, a child of rape — now runs his own successful company. Harry Laughlin, the eugenicist who helped pass the law that sterilized Elaine, died without any children.

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2 fatal mistakes made by Roe v. Wade

original article: 2 fatal mistakes made by Roe v. Wade
January 18, 2016 by KRISTI BURTON BROWN

Roe v. Wade has been the most fatal judicial decision in U.S. history. In the aftermath of Roe, 58 million babies have been aborted, whilecountless women have been irreparably damaged and families have been harmed and torn apart.

Roe was based on multiple mistakes, direct lies, and a rejection of accurate science, research, and the real Constitution. (Even Ruth Bader Ginsburg agrees that Roe was “heavy-handed judicial intervention [which] was difficult to justify.”) However, there are two particularly damaging mistakes – one made by the justices and one by the attorney who argued the case.

FATAL MISTAKE #1: The justices completely missed the intent of the 14th Amendment.

The justices behind Roe wrote that there was no constitutional basis for protecting preborn life. They rejected the 14th Amendment as a basis for protecting the preborn, even though it recognizes the right to life and equal protection for all persons.

They entirely failed to recognize the specific intent of the Congressional sponsors of the 14th Amendment. The intent – a key part of interpreting law – shows that the sponsors wanted to include future vulnerable and oppressed human beings in constitutional equal protection.

Representative John Bingham, a House sponsor, intended the Amendment to be applied universally – to any and every human being.[1] In a speech to Congress, prior to the passage of the 14th Amendment, he declared that the Constitution is “based upon the equality of the human race. Its primal object must be to protect each human being…”[2]

Senate sponsor Jacob Howard agreed that “the measure would apply to even the ‘humblest, the poorest, the most despised of the human race.’”[3] Representative H.D. Scott stated: “The strength of this Government…is in its willingness as well as ability to do equal and exact justice to every human being…”[4] He condemned justice being “made subservient to interest” and when the strong “can prey upon the weak and unfortunate with impunity.”[5]

Just as these statements applied to Black Americans at the time, they apply to the preborn now, just as they did on January 22, 1973, and at the time the 14 Amendment was passed. The Roe Court would have done well to recognize this clear and constitutional truth.

FATAL MISTAKE #2: The lawyer who argued Roe believed women needed abortion to be successful.

There are certainly things to admire about Sarah Weddington, the 26-year-old lawyer who successfully argued Roe v. Wade before the U.S. Supreme Court. At a very young age, she took on the entire nation to advocate for something she believed in. She didn’t let her age, gender, or inexperience stop her.

However, besides the fact that Weddington was on the completely wrong side of a human justice issue, she also has a sad story in her personal history. Before she married Ron Weddington, she became pregnant with their child in her final year of law school. Neither of them wanted children, and so the couple traveled over the border to Mexico, for an illegal abortion.

Weddington cites her ability to have an abortion as the reason she went on to have a career as a lawyer, and yet countless successful female attorneys have proven Weddington’s assertion wrong. Women are, in fact, able to be successful and to be mothers.

Erika Bachiochi, a feminist and former pro-choice attorney,  authored “Embodied Equality: Debunking Equality Arguments for Abortion Rights” for the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy. She also wrote about the real truth on abortion and women for CNN:

As a one-time abortion rights supporter, I well know the temptation to see the right to abortion as a representation of women’s equality. …

Abortion betrays women by having us believe that we must become like men — that is, not pregnant — to achieve parity with them, professionally, socially, educationally. . …

When we belittle the developing child in the womb, a scientific reality that most pro-choice advocates have come to admit, we belittle and distort that child’s mother. We make her out to be one with property rights over her developing unborn child (much as husbands once had property rights over their wives).

We give her the inhumane (but for 42 years, constitutionally protected) right to decide the fate of another human being, of a vulnerable child — her child — to whom she properly owes an affirmative duty of care. We do all this rather than offering her the myriad familial and social supports she needs, whatever her situation, and cherishing her role in the miracle of human life.

Conclusion

While these two fatal mistakes continue to cost millions of lives, we can each personally work to stop the damage. In our conversations with friends, on social media, on campus, and at our offices, clubs, churches, and groups, we can spread the truths that every human being – at every stage of development – deserves equal protection and that no woman needs to take her child’s life to succeed at life. We can actively and practically help women who make the choice for life.

As Carol Tobias, President of the National Right to Life Committee,says:  “As long as abortion is legal, pro-lifers will fight and never give up.”

Sources:
[1] CONG. GLOBE, 34th Cong., 3rd Sess. (1857)
[2] Id.
[3] SENATOR JACOB HOWARD, SPEECH INTRODUCING THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT, Speech delivered in the U.S. Senate, May 23, 1866
[4] CONG. GLOBE, 34th Cong., 3rd Sess. (1857)
[5] Id.

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The Clintons are a war on women

Possibly the most famous sexual predator not in prison is named Bill. No, not Cosby, his name is Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton is a war on women. Any widely accepted definition of abuse of women should include the former philandering president. So how do we square Hillary’s recent comments on hearing, believing, and supporting abused women with Hillary’s own efforts to utterly destroy any woman who accuses her husband of sexual predation? Watch The Run Down address the particulars of the question.

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Is feminism anti-human?

Feminism is far from a monolithic single-minded entity. There is vast diversity of thought within feminism, and not all denominations of the movement agree with one another. Some wings of feminism are not even acknowledged by others. Part of the problem is that, while all feminists at least seem to be fighting for equality for women, not all of them actually are fighting for that goal.

Among the nuance one might have noticed 3 primary schools of thought within feminism: the pro-equality school, the pro-women school, and the anti-male school. The latter has a fairly bad reputation in western culture with the most extreme flavors of feminism falling into this category. That reputation, sadly, is well earned. It should not have to be said that an anti-male attitude is not the same as a pro-woman attitude, and certainly not a pro-equality one. This radical brand presumes to be the primary voice for women in the world. This ultra-left flavor of feminism gives all feminism a bad name and it should be called out for what it is. So what is it exactly that needs to be called out?

First, not all brands of feminism are inherently Marxian, as is the ultra-left anti-male feminism. Marxism teaches, among other things, that life can be understood as a contest between oppressors and the oppressed. The problem with this mentality is that it is tragically reductive, over simplifying life to a simple equation utterly dependent on fomenting anger and bitterness. In the anti-male feminist school this amounts to treating men as inherent, inevitable enemies of women. To understand life in these terms is not to understand life at all. While plenty of evidence can be found to support this rabid view of life, to maintain such view the believer must ignore most of life’s experiences or distort them in a way as to confirm the predetermined bias. Any confirming evidence is treated as the norm (i.e., “rape culture”), and conflicting evidence treated as an aberration, if acknowledged at all. This is how confirmation bias works, but it is not how understanding (or intellectual honesty) works.

Second, the anti-male school of thought unintentionally ends up being anti-woman. Think about it. What are the most common ways extreme feminists advocate to empower women? By urging women to act more like men! Women are denigrated for living a lifestyle which militant feminists would ridicule as “gender stereotypes”. Motherhood is often treated as a form of slavery, marriage as a form of oppression. The maternal instinct is regarded as something like a disease that must be educated out of a women in order to free them. In this way womanhood itself is denigrated and shunned. Women are instead encouraged to abandon traditional hallmarks of womanhood and instead become aggressive, like men. On the one hand we have the feminization or Oprahfication of men and the masculinization of women, both of which are designed to reduce men and women to a politically correct delusion where the sexes are the same. Not equal, mind you – the same. Treating people equally is one thing, trying to make them the same is quite another. You are not the same as other people in the world, you are a unique person. You are more than your sex organs or life choices. But the militant wing of feminism has made it seem they reduce women to mere tools, politically viable weapons and force women into a victim mindset. Whether that was the intent of this brand of feminism, this is in fact how it makes itself appear.

Which leads us to a third issue with militant feminism: it is anti-freedom. We are not allowed to think for ourselves regarding militant feminism. If these feminists see a situation as the oppression of women, even falsely accusing men of rape is blindly accepted as truth, where there is no need to verify any evidence. If something is deemed sexist we are not permitted to view the situation is any other way. (Some feminists insist the tradition form of narrative (story telling) is sexist because it models the male sexual experience – as if that were the only legitimate way to think of narrative).

Ruling in Twitter harassment trial could have enormous fallout for free speech
July 14, 2015 by Christie Blatchford

Likewise, women find militant feminism attempts to control them by pushing for some choices and denigrating others. A woman who has a college degree is often pressured into following a career, as if she has an obligation to womanhood to do this. If such a woman instead, of her own will, chooses to be a home maker and mother, that same woman can expect to be treated as a traitor to her sex or as a blind zombie mindlessly falling into a patriarchal trap. Women are encouraged to treat sexuality with the same selfish, consequence-free fantasy (and childish) attitude men are often criticized for. With bully tactics like this (telling other people what to think) we find militant feminists constructing a way of womanhood while claiming to abhor social constructs.

At the end of the day it seems modern feminism (the anti-male type) is intent on destroying anything feminine in women, even the freedom to make their own life choices.

On the other hand there are women who fight for equal rights for women without devoting their lives to attacking men. Such women have the misfortune of being attacked by extremist feminists but they also offer a far better picture of empowering women. These women fight an uphill battle against a hyper-politicized and well funded extreme left wing brand of feminism.

One such woman is Christina Hoff Sommers of The Factual Feminist. Sommers is an academic who does not allow falsehoods and fraudulent augments to pass for truth in feminist circles. She challenges bogus data and politically motivated bunk because feminist fraud doesn’t help women, it harms real efforts to help them.

Another woman fighting against bogus feminism is the infamous Phyllis Schlafly. I say “infamous” because Schlafly is often accused of being anti-woman. I’ve seen Schlafly in person and read numerous criticisms of her. I can’t help but notice a deliberate effort to misconstrue and mischaracterize her work by those who accuse her of being against women. Besides, Schlafly’s experiences show she didn’t need a militant feminist movement to earn her education or establish her career – she did all that before most modern feminists were even born (let alone “helped her” achieve what she has achieved). I’ll let her tell her own story:

abuse, bias, bullies, corruption, culture, elitism, extremism, feminism, fraud, hypocrisy, ideology, indoctrination, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, marxism, pandering, philosophy, political correctness, progressive, propaganda, relativism, sex, sexism, socialism, victimization, video

Filed under: abuse, bias, bullies, corruption, culture, elitism, extremism, feminism, fraud, hypocrisy, ideology, indoctrination, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, marxism, pandering, philosophy, political correctness, progressive, propaganda, relativism, sex, sexism, socialism, victimization, video

Progressive chickens coming home to roost in higher ed

PC Liberals Devour Their Own
June 3, 2015 by RICH LOWRY

Noorthwestern University professor Laura Kipnis didn’t set out to become a martyr to free speech when she wrote a spirited essay in The Chronicle of Higher Education pushing back against “sexual paranoia” on college campuses.

To stir the pot, yes. To outrage the sensibilities of people she thinks are more naive than she is about sex, sure. But not make an example of herself in the fight against the stultifying regime of political correctness that grips academia.

This is the chilling fact at the center of the Kipnis affair: Her university investigated her for something she wrote, and not even something that was remotely anti-feminist or traditionalist.
No one will mistake Kipnis, who teaches filmmaking, for Phyllis Schlafly. Her books include “Ecstasy Unlimited: On Sex, Capital, Gender, and Aesthetics” and “The Female Thing: Dirt, Envy, Sex, Vulnerability.” In a starred review, Publisher’s Weekly said an evidently pro-adultery book she wrote combined “the slashing sexual contrarianism of Mailer” and “the scathing antidomestic wit of early Roseanne Barr” (sounds delightful).

This gets to the other fact that should be chilling for any liberal blasé about the Jacobin atmosphere of college campuses: If they can come after Kipnis, they can come after anyone.

Conservatives in academia have traded stories for years of fear on campus, of keeping their heads down and watching what they say lest they get harassed or fired. Now, the illiberalism of the left is being turned against its own. It is an illustration of the basic civil-libertarian point that any regime meant to stifle opponents eventually comes back to bite its architects.

The groves of academe have gone from what are supposed to be bastions of free speech to grim prosecutorial arenas where everything you say can and will be used against you. The potential McCarthyites sit in every lecture hall and seminar room and they are children of the left, students who have been trained and encouraged to be whiny, litigious and censorious.

This is a dystopia entirely of the left’s making. Its identity politics, feminism and hysteria about campus rape are ascendant on campus. On top of this, it is the Obama administration that weaponized Title IX in response to the alleged epidemic of campus rape and made it a clear and present danger to due process and freedom of expression.

In her essay, Kipnis argued that “in the post-Title IX landscape, sexual panic rules,” and the new campus codes are “a striking abridgment of everyone’s freedom” and “intellectually embarrassing.”

Kipnis should have known that her offenses were manifold. She called a he-said-she-said case of alleged unwanted groping at Northwestern, the occasion for a Title IX lawsuit, a “melodrama.” She questioned why women are called “survivors” instead of “accusers,” even when their accusations haven’t yet been validated. She professed mystification at the proliferation of students who say they find course material “triggering.”

Her critics could have argued back and hoped one day to be able to write as well as she does. Instead, they protested Kipnis (carrying mattresses, naturally) and reported her to the authorities.

In retrospect, Kipnis might as well have been a 13th-century monk taunting the Inquisition, or a 17th-century courtier of Charles I daring the Stuart king to throw him in front of the Star Chamber. She was duly accused of violating Title IX by writing an essay questioning the excesses of Title IX.

The university’s investigation of her was about what you would expect if Kafka’s Josef K. had caught the attention of the shadowy Committee of Affairs by writing an op-ed some people found uncongenial. It was difficult for Kipnis even to find out what she was accused of, which turned out to be violating a Title IX prohibition against retaliating against an accuser — even though all she did was write about a case that had nothing to do with her.

Kipnis was eventually cleared of the charges, but, as the cliche goes, the process was the punishment. Her subsequent essay on her experience, “My Title IX Inquisition,” has caused liberal soul-searching. It’s all fun and games when Condoleezza Rice gets disinvited, or when feminist-critic Christina Hoff Sommers protested, but when a film professor with high regard for Foucault is targeted, then clearly things have gotten out of hand.

The liberal explainer website Vox ran a piece a few months ago basically arguing that political correctness is a hoax perpetuated by oppressors. In the wake of the Kipnis piece, it featured a piece by a liberal professor saying he’s terrified of his liberal students, for the same reasons as Kipnis (tellingly, he wrote it under a pseudonym).

If liberals are really going to push back against the political correct regime on campus, they will have to do a number of things they will surely find unwelcome: tell students to grow up and realize that speech they disagree with is not tantamount to a physical threat; acknowledge that campus rape, even if it’s a serious issue, is not an out-of-control plague that requires dispensing with due process and other norms; and pressure the Obama administration to rescind its notorious April 2011 letter on Title IX that has roiled campuses and caught up innocent actors like Kipnis.

As it stands now, for a university not to take every Title IX accusation seriously is to risk a federal investigation and potentially a catastrophic loss of federal funding. So the normal bureaucratic impulse is to toss common sense out the window, and with it, protections for free speech.

In its statement on the Kipnis case, the campus free-speech group FIRE wrote, “The transmogrification of Title IX into an all-purpose excuse for knee-jerk overreactions to complaints about speech — sometimes only tangentially related to sex — is an unacceptable trend that endangers freedom of expression and undermines the purpose of higher education.”
Laura Kipnis just proved it.

Further commentary:

Support separation between School and State

My Title IX Inquisition
by Laura Kipnis

I’m a liberal professor, and my liberal students terrify me
June 3, 2015 by Edward Schlosser

FIRE’s Statement on Northwestern’s Lengthy, Unwarranted Title IX Investigation of Laura Kipnis
June 1, 2015 by Fire

Laura Kipnis’s ‘Title IX Inquisition’ Reveals Absurdity of the Current Campus Climate
May 29, 2015 by Susan Kruth

The Laura Kipnis Saga: Privacy Paranoia Runs Amok Once More On Campus
June 2, 2015 by Greg Piper

abuse, bias, bigotry, bullies, bureaucracy, censorship, discrimination, education, extremism, feminism, free speech, government, hate speech, hypocrisy, ideology, indoctrination, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, litigation, nanny state, oppression, philosophy, political correctness, politics, progressive, protests, public policy, reform, regulation, scandal, unintended consequences, victimization

Filed under: abuse, bias, bigotry, bullies, bureaucracy, censorship, discrimination, education, extremism, feminism, free speech, government, hate speech, hypocrisy, ideology, indoctrination, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, litigation, nanny state, oppression, philosophy, political correctness, politics, progressive, protests, public policy, reform, regulation, scandal, unintended consequences, victimization

The real victim of ‘rape culture’? Free speech

original article: The real victim of ‘rape culture’? Free speech
April 23, 2015 by JAMIE PALMER

In November last year, anti-rape activists at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, erupted in outrage when it was announced that libertarian feminist Wendy McElroy had been invited to take part in a debate about sexual violence. McElroy, as it happens, was herself the victim of a rape so violent it left her with permanently impaired vision. But she has since incurred the wrath of those who claim to speak for rape victims by vehemently disputing the existence of what radical feminists call ‘rape culture’. Rape culture, McElroy has written, is ‘a lie [which] has been successful in spite of reality’ and is now being used to justify an illiberal and sinister attack on due process. Whether one agrees with this view or not, it ought to be obvious that transparent debate of this issue is not only legitimate, but vital. McElroy’s activist opponents disagreed. The very expression of opinions like hers, they insisted, constitutes an intolerable threat to student safety.

This dismal scenario is now being re-run following an invitation extended by Oberlin College Republicans and Libertarians (OCRL) to feminist writer Christina Hoff Sommers. Sommers – a resident scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute and author of the 1994 polemic Who Stole Feminism? – also considers ‘rape culture’ to be a dangerous moral panic. And, like McElroy, she believes it must be discredited with the careful marshalling of evidence and argument. Her opponents, on the other hand, while maintaining the truth of their own claims to be self-evident, have preferred to marshal only disgust and invective, the most recent manifestation of which has been an open letter published in theOberlin Review beneath the maudlin headline ‘A Love Letter To Ourselves’.

These activists have every reason to feel defensive. Sommers’ talk comes on the heels of the devastating investigation by the Columbia School of Journalism intoRolling Stone’s credulous reporting of last year’s UVA campus rape hoax. Not only was the story’s fallout an embarrassment for Rolling Stone – it also painfully exposed the degree to which campus activists refuse to allow facts to interfere with conviction and radical feminist dogma. The Oberlin letter will do nothing to dispel this impression.

The letter opens with a spurious attack on Sommers’ bad timing. ‘This Monday’, it explains, ‘happens to be a part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month which makes the timing of this talk particularly objectionable’. And why should awareness-raising preclude open debate and discussion? Because, we learn, Sommers is a ‘rape denialist’. The inference is not hard to grasp. Would you, the letter suggests, bring a Holocaust denier on to campus to contest the facts of the Shoah during Holocaust Memorial Day? It is difficult to conceive of a more tasteless and dishonest analogy, which may be why no attempt is made to substantiate it. Instead, what follows is an example of question begging in its crudest form:

By denying rape culture, [Sommers] is creating exactly the cycle of victim/survivor blame, where victims are responsible for the violence that was forced upon them and the subsequent shame that occurs when survivors share their stories, whose existence she denies. This is how rape culture flourishes. By bringing her to a college campus laden with trauma and sexualised violence and full of victims/survivors, OCRL is choosing to reinforce this climate of denial/blame/shame that ultimately has real-life consequences on the wellbeing of people who have experienced sexualised violence.

Or, in other words, it is dangerous to challenge the existence of rape culture, since to do so inflames rape culture.

This is, at best, circular reasoning, and, at worst, an exercise in self-serving denunciation, cynically constructed to render dissent heretical. Have the letter’s authors never heard of the importance of falsifiability? Or have they simply chosen to disregard it in the name of expediency and bad faith? What follows leads me to suspect the latter: ‘We could spend all of our time and energy explaining all of the ways she’s harmful. But why should we?’ Why indeed, when to act fair-mindedly would only invite the accused to defend herself?

But like a child who has purged himself of a violent tantrum, the letter’s tone then lapses abruptly into sullen resignation. Eight ‘concrete examples of ways to engage’ are offered: ‘1) Listen to your friends who’ve been harmed; 2) use your social and financial capital; 3) challenge violence and harm; 4) participate in actions and conversations in response to the event; 5) recognise and prioritise intersectional feminism and survivor support; 6) genuinely care for one another; 7) educate yourself on the impacts of trauma and symptoms of post-traumatic stress/reactions; and 8) silence.’

But what is being recommended here is not engagement, but flight from argument, a retreat into the comforting echo chamber of like minds. Lest there be any doubt, sympathetic readers are then encouraged to ‘engage in some radical, beautiful community care, support and love. Let’s make space for everyone to engage at whichever level they want/need. Let’s come through for each other, both now and in the future. Trauma is an experience that threatens a person’s bodily, spiritual and emotional integrity. The psychological, emotional and somatic impacts extend beyond the experience of trauma. Healing is a process that looks different for each person. Let’s make space to care for all experiences of trauma and to respect those we care for. Let’s focus our energy on taking care of each other and ourselves. Let’s make [Sommers’] talk irrelevant in the face of our love, passion and power.’

If this letter is representative of intersectional feminism, then this is surely an ideology approaching its nadir. Its champions hold reason, scholarship, academic rigour and critical thought in contempt, while they re-cloth censorious spite and sanctimony as compassion. We are right because we care; you are wrong because you don’t. ‘It is important to underscore both that safety is a priority and that it’s not possible to be neutral about rape culture’, the letter runs. ‘A decision not to support survivors/victims is a decision to permit the actions of the perpetrators.’

If you are not with us, you are with the rapists. The gavel has come down. The sentence is public disgrace and excommunication from feminist politics and decent society. May God have mercy on your soul.

abuse, bias, bullies, censorship, culture, discrimination, education, extremism, feminism, first amendment, fraud, free speech, hate speech, hypocrisy, ideology, indoctrination, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, pandering, philosophy, political correctness, progressive, propaganda, relativism, scandal, sex, tragedy, victimization

Filed under: abuse, bias, bullies, censorship, culture, discrimination, education, extremism, feminism, first amendment, fraud, free speech, hate speech, hypocrisy, ideology, indoctrination, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, pandering, philosophy, political correctness, progressive, propaganda, relativism, scandal, sex, tragedy, victimization

Modern Feminism Means Forcing Your Wife To Work

original article: Modern Feminism Means Forcing Your Wife To Work
May 6, 2015 by Mollie Hemingway

USA Today published a column from Sean Dunbar, 32, who is married with two children. “Why I won’t let my wife quit her job” is about how Sean won’t “let” his wife quit working even though she would like to. It sounds like controlling spouses’ career decisions is a general problem with his friend set. He begins by noting that his “friends are telling their wives to quit their jobs and be stay-at-home moms.”

Sean says he makes decent money so his friends ask him why his wife works. The wife is always referred to as his, never by name. None of the women who are being forced to stay in the workforce or to leave the workforce are named in the piece. Sean concedes that if his wife were to stay at home with their children, it would have “many benefits for the entire family.”

But, he says, “I want better for my wife. Am I a bad man for wanting this?”

I mean, we’re all stained by sin, so Sean’s not particularly special by being a bad person. But yes, he’s a bad man! There are all sorts of problems with this attitude. Namely, Sean is spending a lot of time thinking about what he wants and not a lot about what his wife wants. He lists all the reasons why he wants her to work and so by the time you read in the piece that Sean’s wife specifically said she’d like to stay home with the kids, you want to send her a help line. This is the picture of the couple that accompanies the USA Today column.

NamelessBrideA friend sent the article to me with the note, “Area man doesn’t see he’s making decisions for his wife.” That he’s announcing the decisions he’s made for her under the claim of wanting “better” for her is particularly patronizing.

Sean says that other women look at him as if he’s insecure for wanting his wife to work. He admits he fears her staying home. He discusses how proud he is of how hard she fought for her college degree (working full-time and going to school full-time). He says that she’s proud of her college diploma and is a good worker. When she was pregnant with her second child, her mood began to change, though. He thinks it was because her bosses were concerned about maternity leave but it sounds like she simply wanted to raise her children:

She started asking me whether she could quit her job and stay home with the kids. I danced around the issue, telling her things would get better.

But my wife could not wait to have the baby and be done with work.

But what Mrs. Dunbar wanted was not relevant. See, Sean says he was “so afraid of my wife becoming stagnant,” which is, I guess, what he thinks of women who are homemakers. I am a stay-at-home mother, albeit one who has also worked full time for a few years, and trust me on this: the least stagnant I’ve ever been in my life was when I got to stay home to be with my children. They are a never-ending source of joy and challenges that are unmatched by any job I’ve ever held. Every day was different, unlike many years of office jobs I held. But yeah, Sean, thanks for the dig.

Sean’s wife is working a new job from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and he says she loves it. He admits that making time for the kids is “just harder.”

His friends think he’s a jerk and he wonders, again, if he’s a bad man for making her work “even though she says she wants to stay home with the kids.”

He justifies this by saying he’s “terrified she’ll lose her drive,” which I think is a reference to how he values her only in terms of her market value.

Take this line:

The happiest times I have seen my wife (besides with the kids) is when she has achieved professionally. I don’t want her to look back and say, “I could have done ‘this’ with my degree.”

Isn’t that sad? He realizes she’s happier with their children but he is so focused on her (unstated) professional achievements that he denigrates that vitally important work of motherhood and fails to see how much women who stay home achieve in their home lives. There’s an old saw about how “no one ever says on his deathbed that he wished to spend more time at work.” But this conventional wisdom is becoming hate speech in an era where women are pressured to work full-time no matter if they want to or not.

Sean is a bundle of fears, saying he’s worried that if he doesn’t force her to work, she’ll feel inferior to him and resent him. And he goes on to note how much he hates women who raise their children at home:

More so, I think about our daughter. I don’t want her seeing mommy at home, thinking she needs to do the same because that’s what she grew up seeing.

I lay in our daughter’s bed at night, talking to her and listening to her dreams about going to Mars or being the first female president.

We don’t talk about her dreams of becoming a trophy wife or stay-at-home mom.

What the what? He equates raising one’s own children rather than paying someone else to do so with being a trophy wife? In what world does that make sense?

Anyway, let’s get to the end of this trainwreck:

A self-sufficient, independent professional also keeps a husband on his toes.

I mean, no offense, Sean, but you don’t really seem to be on your toes so much as on your back, on a digital therapist’s couch, telling the world about all of your greatest insecurities. And you’re making your wife — and your children — pay the price for your issues.

Listen, I’m sympathetic to the idea a husband would want his wife to work. Sometimes I talk to my husband about whether I could quit working and he strongly encourages me to keep working. But it’s because he genuinely thinks it’s good for me. And he doesn’t tell me what to do or make me do things against my wishes! And I don’t think I ever felt so valued as a woman as those early years with my children when I was so appreciated by my husband and babies.

This guy’s denigration of stay-at-home mothers combined with forcing his wife to work some 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. job against her wishes, shows how confused our messages to women are. It reminds me of when President Obama said of women who leave the workforce to raise their children, “That’s not a choice we want Americans to make.

Actually, women leaving the workforce to raise children is an excellent decision for a woman to make. Another important thing to remember is that this discussion should not be about simply full-time work or leaving the workforce. Some six in ten women with children at home say they’d like to work part-time. If it occurs to Mr. Dunbar to be so generous as to “allow” his wife such an arrangement, that might be the best of all worlds.

culture, family, feminism, freedom, ideology, left wing, liberalism, oppression, philosophy, political correctness, progressive, relativism

Filed under: culture, family, feminism, freedom, ideology, left wing, liberalism, oppression, philosophy, political correctness, progressive, relativism

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