Ann CoulterIf you're reading this blog, we probably don't really need to make the case against Ann Coulter, so we'll just stick to a few of her greatest hits about women and gender issues (with some bonus homophobia).
I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word "faggot", so I — so kind of an impasse, can't really talk about Edwards.
I think [women] should be armed but should not vote...women have no capacity to understand how money is earned. They have a lot of ideas on how to spend it...it's always more money on education, more money on child care, more money on day care. [Comedy Central; Politically Incorrect; February 26, 2001]
It would be a much better country if women did not vote. That is simply a fact. In fact, in every presidential election since 1950 - except Goldwater in '64 - the Republican would have won, if only the men had voted. [The Guardian; May 17, 2003]
I don't think I've ever encountered an attractive liberal woman in my entire life. [The Guardian; May 17, 2003]
I think the other point that no one is making about the [Abu Ghraib] abuse photos is just the disproportionate number of women involved, including a girl general running the entire operation. I mean, this is lesson, you know, number 1,000,047 on why women shouldn't be in the military. In addition to not being able to carry even a medium-sized backpack, women are too vicious. [Fox News; Hannity & Colmes; May 5, 2004]
Girl-power feminists who got where they are by marrying men with money or power -- Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Arianna Huffington and John Kerry -- love to complain about how hard it is for a woman to be taken seriously. It has nothing to do with their being women. It has to do with their cheap paths to power. Kevin Federline isn't taken seriously either. [Townhall.com; January 24, 2007]
Liberals' only remaining big issue is abortion because of their beloved sexual revolution. That's their cause: Spreading anarchy and polymorphous perversity. Abortion permits that. [Slander (2002)]
Like the Democrats, Playboy just wants to liberate women to behave like pigs, have sex without consequences, prance about naked, and abort children. [Slander (2002)]
Liberals refuse to condemn what societies have condemned for thousands of years - e.g., promiscuity, divorce, illegitimacy, homosexuality.
So in a maniacal pursuit of equality... these querulous little feminists stripped women of the sense that they can rely on the institution of marriage and gave men licence to discard their wives. But at least women can choose to be pigs now, too! This is what happens when you allow women to think about public policy. [From her column, National Organisation For Worms]
Dr. LauraRadio host Dr. Laura Schlessinger came back into the public eye recently when she made some comments about the Elliott Spitzer scandal. She claimed that often when husbands cheat, their wives are at least partly to blame for not making their men feel special and loved and desired enough, forcing men to go outside the marriage to have their 'needs' met.
Some quotes from her appearance on the Today show:
She later said that some men are "narcissistic" and "sociopathic" and just generally jerks, and in that case the woman isn't partly responsible for the cheating, but that most men who cheat don't fall into this category.
VIEIRA: And do you think that women play any role in this, Dr. Laura?
SCHLESSIGNER: Well, it's interesting. What you said about what men need --
VIEIRA: I mean the wife obviously.
SCHLESSINGER: -- is very true. Men do need validation. I mean, when they come into the world, they're born of a woman and getting the validation from Mommy is the beginning of needing it from a woman. And when the wife does not focus in on the needs and the feelings, sexually, personally, to make him feel like a man, to make him feel like a success, to make him feel like her hero, he's very susceptible to the charm of some other woman making him feel what he needs. And these days, women don't spend a lot of time thinking about how they can give their men what they need --
VIEIRA: But, you say -- are you saying the women should feel guilty? Like they somehow drove the man to -- to cheat?
SCHLESSINGER: You know what? The cheating was his decision to repair what's damaged and to feed himself where he's starving. But yes, I hold women accountable for tossing out perfectly good men by not treating them with the love and kindness and respect and attention they need.
SCHLESSINGER: Because I would challenge the wife to find out what kind of wife she's being. Is she being supportive and approving and loving? Is she being sexually intimate and affectionate? Is she making him feel like he's her man? If she's not doing that, then she's contributing to his wrong choice.
We think that what's most annoying about these comments is that Dr. Laura easily could have phrased them in a different way to make a valid point. She could have said something like 'sometimes people are just narcissistic jerks that cheat because they want to and they can, but often when a person cheats, it's an indication of serious issues in the relationship, although of course that's not an excuse since those issues should be addressed and corrected or the relationship should be ended before cheating is seen as a viable option'. But why do that when you can be 'provocative' and reinforce tired old gender roles? Really, we wouldn't expect anything more from Dr. Laura.
Quick wikipedia summary of Schlessinger's political views:
Schlessinger is an outspoken critic of practices that she considers immoral and have become too prevalent in contemporary American culture. These include sex outside of marriage, premarital cohabitation, intentional single parenthood, day care in lieu of parents staying home to raise their children, the viewing of pornography, marrying too quickly or out of desperation, permissive parenting (also known as laissez-faire parenting), abortion, easy or no-fault divorce, and same-sex marriage. Her radio program often features short editorial monologues on these and other social and political topics, followed by her characteristically direct responses to callers' questions and moral dilemmas. Certain aspects of feminism are often discussed on her show (Dr. Laura was a self-claimed feminist in the 1970s).She has written a bunch of self-help books with charming titles like Ten Stupid Things Women Do to Mess Up Their Lives and The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands.
This is all pretty interesting considering her personal history.
While working at USC, she met Dr. Lewis G. Bishop, who was married with dependent children. According to divorce filings, Schlessinger and Bishop began an affair. Bishop left his wife after more than 20 years of marriage, and moved in with Schlessinger. They lived together as an unmarried couple, and Schlessinger tried to get pregnant after reversing an earlier tubal ligation and suffering an ectopic pregnancy. They married in early 1985, eight years after beginning their relationship, and Bishop became Schlessinger's business manager. Schlessinger bore their only child, Deryk Schlessinger, in November 1985, when she was 38.When she was younger, she also posed nude for a boyfriend (not a husband, but actually radio host Bill Ballance, who also gave Schlessinger her first radio spot) and year later he posted the images on the internet. We're not going to comment any further on any of this because we're going to try not to judge without knowing the whole story, a courtesy that Dr. Laura herself rarely extends.
Now it is difficult to find the male who values virginity, purity and innocence when females dress like babes and perform oral sex and intercourse without even having to be fed dinner... Who cares about vows - after all, why buy the cow when the milk is free.At one time Schlessinger was supportive of gay rights, but she eventually changed her position, causing a huge controversy by calling homosexuality a "biological error" and coming out in support of 'ex-gay' groups that claimed to be able to turn gay people straight with 'therapy' and in opposition to gay marriage and gays as parents. She has made some attempts to apologize for some of these views, but has not exactly been embraced by the gay community.
Dr. Laura has also said that military wives should "stop whining".
So the implication is that men in the military deserve "warrior wives" who will support them fully while never being allowed to acknowledge the difficulty of their own situations or speak out about how they feel, and fathers who leave their families to fight overseas deserve nothing but praise, while women in the military should be judged as bad mothers and wives for taking the chance of leaving their families. Gotta love it.
"He could come back without arms, legs or eyeballs, and you're bitching?" Schlessinger asked before taking the stage at the Fort Douglas base theater today.
"You're not dodging bullets, so I don't want to hear any whining - that's my message to them," she added.
Schlessinger was in Salt Lake City to host her nationally syndicated radio program, a program that focuses on ethics, morals and values. Schlessinger boasted that she once talked a young woman out of marrying a soldier, noting that "warriors need warrior wives" and that she felt the girl was unprepared.
She said Americans who do not believe that the war in Iraq is directly related to a larger battle against terrorism "need eye drops." And she praised fathers who have the courage to leave their families to fight for the nation. "When you're in the military, that comes first," Schlessinger said. "You don't want to not have gone and find out your wife has to wear a Burka."
The radio host known simply as Dr. Laura - Schlessinger's doctorate is in physiology but she is a former marriage, family and child counselor in California - declined to say how she felt about women who leave their families to serve at war. "I'm going to leave that alone," she said.
Charlotte AllenCharlotte Allen, a writer associated with the Independent Women's Forum, was the center of a huge controversy recently when the Washington Post published her op-ed piece on how stupid women are called "We Scream, We Swoon. How Dumb Can We Get?"
Apparently, the inspiration for the piece was a couple of reports of women screaming and a handful of women fainting at rallies for Barack Obama. Because of course it's totally silly for women to be loud and passionate and excited at a rally for a candidate that they support. (Especially since women couldn't possibly have intelligent and well thought out reasons for supporting a candidate and also get excited about him or her during a rally.) And nobody ever fainted at an event because it was hot or overcrowded and not because their poor delicate womanness was just overcome by how, like, totally awesome and dreamy Obama is.
Some quotes from the piece:
I can't help it, but reading about such episodes of screaming, gushing and swooning makes me wonder whether women -- I should say, "we women," of course -- aren't the weaker sex after all. Or even the stupid sex, our brains permanently occluded by random emotions, psychosomatic flailings and distraction by the superficial. Women "are only children of a larger growth," wrote the 18th-century Earl of Chesterfield. Could he have been right?
So, women (except for Charlotte Allen and her friends) are embarrassingly stupid because some of us enjoy things like pop music and chick lit (which Allen rips apart later in the piece). Right, because the fact that some of us sometimes like some 'lowbrow' elements of pop culture (hello Rock of Love) makes us 100% hopeless, useless, and embarrassing as a gender. Because men don't read Tucker Max or go crazy for their favorite sports teams. (Of course some of us do both of those things too and we don't think there's anything wrong with doing them, we're just talking in terms of the silly argument that Allen has constructed.) And Hillary Clinton's campaign is "stupid" because she's a woman and has hired a lot of women to work with her. Got it. And we have to admit that it is a plausible argument, because no male candidate has ever run a stupid or poorly executed campaign, and in this election cycle there were no male candidates who dropped out of the race before Hillary because they didn't have as much support as she did.
I'm not the only woman who's dumbfounded (as it were) by our sex, or rather, as we prefer to put it, by other members of our sex besides us. It's a frequent topic of lunch, phone and water-cooler conversations; even some feminists can't believe that there's this thing called "The Oprah Winfrey Show" or that Celine Dion actually sells CDs. A female friend of mine plans to write a horror novel titled "Office of Women," in which nothing ever gets done and everyone spends the day talking about Botox.
We exaggerate, of course. And obviously men do dumb things, too, although my husband has perfectly good explanations for why he eats standing up at the stove (when I'm not around) or pulls down all the blinds so the house looks like a cave (also when I'm not around): It has to do with the aggressive male nature and an instinctive fear of danger from other aggressive men. When men do dumb things, though, they tend to be catastrophically dumb, such as blowing the paycheck on booze or much, much worse (think "postal"). Women's foolishness is usually harmless. But it can be so . . . embarrassing.Take Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign. By all measures, she has run one of the worst -- and, yes, stupidest -- presidential races in recent history, marred by every stereotypical flaw of the female sex. As far as I'm concerned, she has proved that she can't debate -- viz. her televised one-on-one against Obama last Tuesday, which consisted largely of complaining that she had to answer questions first and putting the audience to sleep with minutiae about her health-coverage mandate. She has whined (via her aides) like the teacher's pet in grade school that the boys are ganging up on her when she's bested by male rivals. She has wept on the campaign trail, even though everyone knows that tears are the last refuge of losers. And she is tellingly dependent on her husband.
Allen then goes on to say that many sexist myths about women's inferiority are actually true--we're worse drivers, we have smaller brains, etc. The 'evidence' she provides to support these claims is flimsy at best. (Media Matters has an awesome line-by-line takedown of every stupid claim.)
Allen later defended this piece in a question and answer session, saying that it was meant to be "funny but with a serious point" and standing behind all of her claims. Not surprising from someone who once argued that liberals and feminists are to blame for women's feelings of financial insecurity because they've attacked marriage as a patriarchal institution, causing both men and women to be less invested in marriage and quicker to divorce, which of course causes women to be desperately worried that they won't always have a man around to take care of them.
I am perfectly willing to admit that I myself am a classic case of female mental deficiencies. I can't add 2 and 2 (well, I can, but then what?). I don't even know how many pairs of shoes I own. I have coasted through life and academia on the basis of an excellent memory and superior verbal skills, two areas where, researchers agree, women consistently outpace men. (An evolutionary just-so story explains this facility of ours: Back in hunter-gatherer days, men were the hunters and needed to calculate spear trajectories, while women were the gatherers and needed to remember where the berries were.) I don't mind recognizing and accepting that the women in history I admire most -- Sappho, Hildegard of Bingen, Elizabeth I, George Eliot, Margaret Thatcher -- were brilliant outliers.
The same goes for female fighter pilots, architects, tax accountants, chemical engineers, Supreme Court justices and brain surgeons. Yes, they can do their jobs and do them well, and I don't think anyone should put obstacles in their paths. I predict that over the long run, however, even with all the special mentoring and role-modeling the 21st century can provide, the number of women in these fields will always lag behind the number of men, for good reason.
So I don't understand why more women don't relax, enjoy the innate abilities most of us possess (as well as the ones fewer of us possess) and revel in the things most important to life at which nearly all of us excel: tenderness toward children and men and the weak and the ability to make a house a home. (Even I, who inherited my interior-decorating skills from my Bronx Irish paternal grandmother, whose idea of upgrading the living-room sofa was to throw a blanket over it, can make a house a home.) Then we could shriek and swoon and gossip and read chick lit to our hearts' content and not mind the fact that way down deep, we are . . . kind of dim.
Of course, all of this begs the question--if Allen thinks that women should just chill out, embrace their inner idiocy, and focus on landing a man and redecorating the living room, what exactly is she doing writing opinion pieces for the Washington Post? If she believes that us 'mentally deficient' women belong in the home, when is she going to shut up and go there?
Elisabeth HasselbeckAh yes, Elisabeth Hasselbeck of The View, the queen of the 'I thought this up five minutes ago backstage while I was getting my hair done' argument. We're not conservative women so we won't speak for them, but we do think they have just as much reason to be bothered by Hasselbeck's presence on The View as we do, because we think that she does them no favors by representing the 'conservative viewpoint' in such an ill-conceived, unsupported, inarticulate way.
We talked once before about Hasselbeck's argument that if you have a child with someone, you should just go ahead and marry them, no matter what the circumstance, for the good of the child.
The "hot topic" was whether you should tell your kids if they were "wanted" or "planned" or if they were... an "accident". Now, I really don't like to refer to any children as "accidents" because it has the connotation of "mistake". I think unplanned is a better way to put it - or in the case of my own children - Surprise! Then the subject evolved into couples having babies without being married (both in an Elizabeth Hurley kind of way and a Brangelina kind of way). And that dumb bitch Lizzie had the nerve to say that basically (I'm paraphrasing) it's lazy and irresponsible to not go all the way and just get married if you have a kid. She went on to spout off some made-up statistics (well, okay I'm sure they weren't made-up but just that I know she didn't actually read any of these so-called studies that exist) on how bad it is for kids to grow up with unmarried parents. When asked "but isn't it better to have happy unmarried parents, than unhappy married ones?" she said "Why can't you do both?" Um. Okay.In a discussion about the over-the-counter availability of emergency contraception, Hasselbeck stated that she opposes EC because she believes that life begins at conception.
Now I won't deny that there is evidence that a stable, intact home environment with two active parents is better than say, being raised by Britney Spears... but I was really offended by the insinuation that "marriage" suddenly means everything is okay. I was raised by divorced parents and I would have been way more screwed up than I am now if those two people had continued to live together as husband and wife. Also, I resent the implication that somehow that little piece of paper that is a marriage license somehow makes your love more true and your life more stable.
"This prevents also, though, the fertilized egg from attaching to the uterine wall, taking away that environment for that egg to develop, which it would develop, most of the time, into a baby, a child, in this case. Taking that environment away from that life, to me it's the same as birthing a baby and leaving it on the street."She said that she opposed the use of EC even in cases of rape or incest because she believes that every life has value, and went on to imply that pro-choice women who support universal health care are hypocritical because after all, they want the government's hands off of their bodies.
With such strong opinions about EC, you can imagine how she feels about abortion. One day, the ladies discussed a proposal to give all babies a $5000 baby bond, with the idea that it could be invested, put into a college fund or something similar. Some critics argued that it would cost to much, and the point was made that with the amount of money we're spending each year on the war in Iraq, we could afford to give each child a lot more than $5000. Elisabeth weighs in and says that she thinks this could be a good idea because the money might make some women reconsider having an abortion. Because, after all, many women do have abortions for "superficial reasons". In the video below, Whoopi Goldberg schools Hasselbeck on reality, which is a place where, as Whoopi says, most women do not choose abortion "with some sort of party going on", but rather treat it as the serious and personal and incredibly difficult decision that Elisabeth Hasselbeck can't understand that it is.
Leslee UnruhLeslee Unruh is a leader of the anti-choice movement in South Dakota. She was one of the key lobbyists for the abortion ban legislation in that state. Unruh had an abortion when she was young, regretted it, and has dedicated the rest of her life to taking it out on other women.
Unruh had an abortion when she was in her early 20s, an experience she has said left her with feelings of extreme guilt. Several years later, she began "counseling" other women who'd had abortions or were considering the procedure. In 1984, she established the Alpha Center, which tried to dissuade women from getting abortions. Unruh and her husband also established the Omega Maternity Home in 1986, a home for pregnant girls in Sioux Falls, SD, that closed in 1994.The legal troubles didn't stop The Alpha Center for long, and eventually they moved into office space that had previously belonged to Planned Parenthood. (We can imagine how excited they were at the prospect of taking advantage of women who might have wrong or outdated info and come to The Alpha Center by mistake.) They have continued their work of "counseling women", holding charming events like 'Memorials for the Unborn', and spreading medically inaccurate information about contraception and abortion, including false claims that EC can cause infertility.
In 1987, Unruh was investigated by authorities after complaints surfaced that she had offered money to young women to carry their pregnancies to term and put their babies up for adoption. Tim Wilka, the Minnehaha County state's attorney at the time, told the local Sioux Falls, SD, newspaper the Argus Leader in 2003, "There were so many allegations about improper adoptions being made [against Unruh] and how teenage girls were being pressured to give up their children... Gov. George Mickelson called me and asked me to take the case."The Alpha Center pleaded "no contest" to five misdemeanor charges of unlicensed adoption and foster care practices, and was fined $500 as part of a plea bargain in which 19 charges, including four felonies, were dropped.
Unruh also founded the Abstinence Clearinghouse in 1997. Its mission is "to promote the appreciation for and practice of sexual abstinence (purity) until marriage through the distribution of age appropriate, factual and medically-referenced materials." Yes, remember girls, abstinence=purity.
The organization opposes reproductive rights, and its medical advisory council is made up of more than 60 health professionals who do not promote or prescribe contraception to unmarried teens. The clearinghouse maintains close ties to the Alpha Center; the two organizations not only share a president and a number of board members, but filed their 2004 taxes under the same address.
The Abstinence Clearinghouse maintains a strict definition of abstinence, defining sex as "intercourse, oral sex, anal sex, mutual masturbation and any genital contact or other contact that is sexually arousing." Its online store sells various abstinence-only propaganda, such as "Pet your dog, not your date" T-shirts and "What Would Jesus Do" purity rings. The group believes masturbation is dangerous, and Unruh has described masturbation as "the first step to sexual addiction." Unruh has even bragged that her daughter saved her first kiss for marriage.
Unruh and her colleagues were willing to do just about anything to get South Dakota's abortion ban passed because they say it as an important step towards repealing Roe v. Wade.
In 2005, Allen Unruh served on a highly controversial state task force established to look at the issue of abortion. The few pro-choice representatives on the task force said their opinions and much of the research presented were excluded from the final report, which erroneously states that science defines life as beginning at conception, and ultimately recommends a law banning all abortions.
State Rep. Roger Hunt's (R) bill — the unenforceable sweeping abortion ban in South Dakota that was recently signed into law — cited the report as a scientific rationale for the prohibition of abortion in the state.
Unruh has remained one of the abortion ban's most visible and vocal supporters since its passing. "We've been very successful to chip away at the laws of Roe v. Wade in South Dakota, and we think the rest of the country should really be following us, and following the heartland," she said in a February 2006 appearance on NPR's Morning Edition.
Unsurprisingly, President Bush is a big fan. Both of Unruh's organizations have received thousands of dollars in federal funding during his administration. (Our tax dollars at work!) Seems to us that if abstinence only education was so great and contraception and abortion were so damaging and unhealthy and harmful, Unruh and her followers wouldn't have to lie, fabricate and manipulate evidence, and break the law to get their point across.
Phyllis SchlaflyPhyllis Schlafly is a conservative leader and president of the Eagle Forum, and was one of the leading opponents of the Equal Rights Amendment. Like Ann Coulter, this is another case where if you've heard of her and you're reading this, you don't need to be sold. So just some greatest hits.
From the mission statement on the Eagle Forum website:
Eagle Forum exposes the radical feminists
We support constitutional amendments and federal and state legislation to protect the institution of marriage and the equally important roles of father and mother.We honor the fulltime homemaker and her rights in joint income tax returns.
We oppose the feminist goals of stereotyping men as a constant danger to women, while at the same time pushing women into military combat against foreign enemies.
Eagle Forum successfully led the ten-year battle to defeat the misnamed Equal Rights Amendment with its hidden agenda of tax-funded abortions and same-sex marriages.
Eagle Forum supports traditional educationSchlafly opposes International Women's Day because she believes that it's not about advancing women, but about advancing "radical feminism".
We oppose and deplore the dumbing down of the academic curriculum through fads such as Outcome-Based Education and courses in self-esteem, diversity, and multiculturalism.
We oppose liberal propaganda in the curriculum through global education and Political Correctness.
We support parents’ rights to guide the education of their own children, to protect their children against immoral instruction and materials, and to home-school without oppressive government regulations.
We oppose the feminist goal of federally financed and regulated daycare.
"Today's feminists and CEDAW advocates view 'progress' as government-run day care, greater access to abortion, the elimination of 'Mother's Day' because it promotes an 'negative cultural stereotype,' decriminalization of prostitution in China, and government-mandated workplace benefits that men do not enjoy, just to name a few," said Schlafly. "Their goal is not equality, but preferential treatment."
"The radical feminists want to remake our laws in order to eradicate everything that is masculine from our culture and create a gender-neutral society," concluded Schlafly. "The United States should seriously reconsider lending its stamp of approval to future IWDs."
Schlafly believes that feminism is "incompatible with marriage and motherhood". Many, many, many critics have pointed out the irony of Schlafly making a career (while being a wife and mother) out of arguing that women should just be wives and mothers and shouldn't have careers. Apparently her law degree and master's degree in political science were just little hobbies that took no time away from her real job of getting married and building a family.
Here's Phyllis on marital rape: "By getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don't think you can call it rape."
We had to laugh at the fact that one of her arguments on why women should not be allowed in combat was "they can't bark out orders loudly enough for everyone to hear". Yes, it's true, women can't be loud. We certainly don't know any loud women, do you? (She also believes that women shouldn't be firefighters or construction workers because we're physically inferior.)
Some more Schlafly humor:
"Homosexual clubs in high school are designed for the young." (Aren't all clubs in high school designed for the young?)
"People think that child-support enforcement benefits children, but it doesn't."
"Non-criminal sexual harassment on the job is not a problem for the virtuous woman except in the rarest of cases." (Obviously Phyllis has never walked the streets of New York City, because if she had she'd know that some men don't need any reason at all to make sexual comments to women, and virtue has nothing to do with it.)
"Men should stop treating feminists like ladies, and instead treat them like the men they say they want to be." (Funny, I don't ever remember hearing a feminist say she wanted to be a man. Equal to a man, yeah. Maybe she's confusing feminists with transsexuals, which is probably a good thing because I'm not sure I really want to read her opinion on them.)
We just have to laugh.