As I’ve said before, I’m ambivalent about the Marriage Amendment. I’m still not entirely sure how I’m going to vote on it.
But I did encounter the least convincing argument against the amendment of all the other day:
[Any amendment supporter] is teh heppocreet! They are teh divorced! How can they limit marriage for others when they don’t take their own vows seeriously? That is sucks!
This argument drips stupidity on almost too many levels to count. But I’ve built a bit of an unremunerated career cataloging stupidity that drips; it’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it.
Divorce is an awful thing – but sometimes it happens for a reason. Even the Bible allows a couple of grounds for divorce – cheating, and being abandoned by a non-believing spouse. I said “allows”, as opposed to “encourages”. Society has added a few more; people are only expected to give so much leeway to addicts, abusers and the like.
By the way, that “hypocrite” argument only stands up if one assumes gays will have a divorce rate of zero.
The fact that one has been divorced – leaving the cause aside (see 1, above) – doesn’t mean the person doesn’t believe in traditional marriage, or plan to make sure their next attempt is one.
If you’ve been out drinking, and have had about six too many, and are about to head out to your car to drive home, and a friend whom you know to have had a DUI 10 years ago says “give me your keys, I’ll give you a ride home”, do you say “You are teh hipocreet! You had a DUI! You can’t tell me about teh rules of driving!”? If you’re not one of those people who says “Divorced people who support the Marriage Amendment are hypocrites”, you’re probably smarter than that.
A key tenet of the Christian belief that animates so many Marriage Amendment supporters (and enrages the opponents) is the idea that we are all imperfect; we all fall short of our ideals. We are forgiven via God’s grace and the salvation He sent us via His son. We err. We sin. We repent, and try to do better next time. Christ, we believe, doesn’t tattoo sinners with scarlet letters that follow them the rest of their lives.
If you’re a DFLer – your party supported, and still supports, no-fault divorce. Careful, your leadership will spank you for being a heretic.
There is a debate to be had about the Marriage Amendment. The Amendment’s opponents have largely done a terrible job of making that argument.
Come on, be honest. Don’t you want the federal government to have a complete overview of health care? The potential rationality is stunning. And one thing in this emerging rationality is clear: Although women tend to love the notion of government control more than men do, it is women who will be told they’ll have to cut back. On treatments. And years. You know we’ve been taking more than our share.
Read the whole thing.
And remember the example whenever libs start yapping about people voting “against their own best interests”.
In the modern media consciousness, there is no more noble, pure-as-the-driven-snow construct in all of humanity than the Gay Couple.
Now, I have nothing against gay couples. Indeed, while I believe that God or Evolution or remorseless fate or random biology or whatever you believe in did in fact create male and female parents for some very good reasons – they are different, and both bring things to the child-rearing process that the child needs and that the parent of the other gender lacks – that for example it’d be preferable to have adoptive kids raised by gay couples than, say, single parents. If nothing else, they can play one-on-one instead of zone defense against kids. You laugh, but it’s important.
But the debate about gay marriage has nothing to do with children (and if it did, gay couples would eschew marriage, since the divorce industry is the worst thing for children). Indeed, you can listen to gay marriage supporters for years – as I have – and hear scarcely a mention of children (which is true of way too many straight couples too).
But here’s the one reason I’d like to see gay marriage pass.
Currently, gay couples – at least, the sort of gay couples that intend to get married – are portrayed, inevitably, as saints and angels walking among us. Kind, loving, perfect parents, in a relationship placid enough to shame a fifties sitcom family. And go ahead and read any thread about gay marriage on Youtube; the thread will be full of teenagers saying “I’d take any gay couple over my parents” (although I suspect you’d see some of those same kids saying the same thing on video threads about the Partridge, Manson and Ganbino families. Teenagers are like that). And always, always, always, whether in anecdote or media report, gay couples are juxtaposed with straight couples – who fight, get divorced, get arrested, have the sorts of problems real couples have these days.
You never see the couples where one partner is flopped on a sofa in front of a TV, halfway through a twelve-pack, while the other partner is screaming at her about how she could have been something until she met her. You never see the cop cars in front of gay couples houses, frog-walking a boxer-clad handcuffed gay guy out to the car while the other, in a tank top, bellows “I love you, Earl!” from the porch of the trailer and vows to come and bail him out.
The reason is most likely political correctness (and the fact that gay couples, having to adopt kids as they do, do have to be highly-motivated and just-about-perfect, at least for a while).
And if gay marriage were legalized, one minor fringe benefit would be that gay couples would actually “get” to be human.
Or at least the media – news, entertainment and otherwise – might start portraying them as humans. Which is another matter altogether.
…that the Light Worker’s campaign is aimed at the one group he’s got a shot with: the not very well informed:
This is an ad, as Ed points out, that even left-leaning Politifact has rated “pants on fire”.
As this blog has been noting for quite some time now, the Democrat strategy seems to be to just toss crap in front of the electorate and hope just enough of it sticks to the dim, uninformed, adolescent, solipsistic and over-emotional to eke out a win.
So the other day on Twitter, I took the liberty of congratulating Lynn Cheney for “marrying” her partner. I took the liberty of pointing out that Cheney, lesbian though she is, has a rare and glorious ability to shred through lefty chanting points.
A couple of liberals on Twitter, smelling rhetorical trap, tried to turn that into an endorsement of gay marriage and/or a position on the Marriage Amendment this fall.
Naturally, I’m not falling for any of that. The fact is, I’m personally, deeply ambivalent about gay marriage. And about the Marriage Amendment that will be addressing the issue in Minnesota this fall. And about marriage, regardless of the genders of the participants, for that matter. One of the liberals accused me of “moving the goalposts”, as liberals always do when one introduces logical or moral nuance into an argument (remember – they’re the smart ones, and the only ones allowed to have nuance or observe gray area in their world views).
But notwithstanding the lefties’ attempt to back me into a rhetorical box of their making, which I brushed aside with ease and style (as always), it did start me thinking; it’s getting toward November. I mean, it’s four months away.
And I’m still undecided about the Marriage Amendment.
As I’ve written in the past, the Marriage Amendment is…
On the one hand, a bad idea: The libertarian in me bristles at the idea that the government should be telling people what to do in their personal lives. Marriage is a contract; if two people have standing to sign a contract, why not? Animals and children cant’ sign ‘em, after all.
On the other hand, the Amendment is a great idea: It should bring out social conservatives to vote. Look, I hate using peoples’ personal lives as grist for the political mill, but it’s the coin of the realm. And the long-term survival of this country does in fact depend on the political extinction of the current version of “progressivism” and its vessel, the Democrat party. If this issue is a milepost on the way to the extinction of the DFL, I’m all for it (although I think the Voter ID Amendment will be much more useful in that regard).
Because on the one hand, I believe government should stay out of peoples’ personal lives.
On the other, I believe “Marriage” is mostly a religious institution.
On the third hand, I find most of the arguments for gay marriage just as illogical as some of its proponents find “because Jesus said so”. A quick sample, off the top of my head:
“Support Gay Marriage or we’ll thow things at you”: This video clips is making the rounds; a young Marriage Amendment opponent tossing glitter at Amendment supporters at a demonstration outside General Mills:
He tosses glitter at old people, toddlers – and then has a hissy when people get mad at him.
And reading the comments to the video are enough to make you truly afraid for this nation’s future. If the next great cultural war is fought on the fields on logic, ethics and fact, we’re screwed blue.
I’m not going to say “this is the best argument that gay marriage supporters can muster” – notwithstanding the fact that it’s the best a lot of Amendment supporters can muster, it’s clearly not a great argument. But much of the Minnesota gay movement has tied itself to the glitter bomb as its primary positive case.
Color me unconvinced.
Still, the better ones have challenges as well.
“Civil Rights aren’t the subject for popularity contests”: Of course they are. The government and media spent years demonizing people who supported the Second Amendment, in order to shave those rights back as far as they could. And ask German-Americans about the popular laws enacted during World War I, or Japanese Americans during World War II.
“But those were mistakes”. Sure. But that’s a separate question. We constantly subject rights, including rights purportedly enshrined in the Constitution, to popularity contests.
“You antis are hung up on a word”. Well, sure – the idea that “marriage” is a religious institution, while “civil unions” are not.
But let’s be honest – everyone is hung up on a word. Try this exercise with your favorite local gay marriage proponent – and by this, I mean the reasonable one, the one that can hold a civil argument (we’ll get to the others later):
YOU: Allowing for the fact that no major faith group (outside some dissenting congregations here and there around the US) sanctions gay marriage, and none of them do so on theological grounds, what are your reasons for wanting gays to marry?
GAY MARRIAGE SUPPORTER (GMS): So that gays have rights to visitation, so they can visit each other in the hospital and have power of attorney, inheritance, the various tax benefits, the ability to transfer custody of children in cases of death or disability, those sorts of things.
YOU: OK. So it’s a legal thing.
YOU: OK. So I propose that we adopt Civil Unions. It’s a contract between two adults of majority, conferring every single one of the rights you mentioned and a few others you (well, OK, I) forgot, just like marriage. Only it’s called a “Civil Union”.
GMS: That’s not OK. People would view that as a second class institution.
YOU: But you yourself said this was about rights. You’ll get every single right that a married mixed-gender couple gets. Exactly the same resolution to every single situation under the law. What’s the difference?
GMS: People will think Civil Unions have a lower status.
YOU: Hm. So a parallel institution that is exactly legally equal to straight marriage is not acceptable because…
GMS: Because you are hung up on a word.
“Because Marriage is about love!”: I have to clamp off my own personal cynicism about marriage to answer this one. But even being idealistic for a moment? No, it’s not. Ask anyone who got married for “love”. ”Love’ carries you through about the first two years, if you’re lucky. After that it’s about a lot more than “love”.
Which is not to say that gay couples don’t have whatever that is. Just that the “Marriage is love” chant is a stupid one even for straights.
Still, it’s better than this one:
“A Gay couple would be better than so many of the straight couples out there!”: Have you noticed how every gay couple that anyone ever refers to is Ozzie and Harriet these days? And those Ozzy and, er, Ozzy couples always get compared to straight couples that are like Joan Crawford and whoever she was married to?
Gay marriage supporters have painted not so much gay marriage, but gays who want to marry, as just plain better human beings that all us nasty, angry…human straights. It’s becoming a bit of a stereotype – the doting, impeccable, perfect gay couple, always a better option than…whatever the option was.
“Marriage is a right, and we don’t restrict rights”: There are really two responses buried in there.
Of course we restrict rights. My right to keep and bear arms, to pick one example – which is important enough to be spelled out in the Constitution, and incorporated onto the states by the McDonald decision – is restricted in all sorts of ways; I have to show ID to buy ammo, much less a gun; felons can’t buy ‘em, and on on, and so on.
And marriage? Yep, restricted all over the place. You can’t marry your first cousin – not even “for love”. You can’t have several spouses – not “for love”, or even because your religion, Mormon or Muslim or Hefnerian, allows it. Not even if first cousins or multiple spouses make better parents than your uptight old straight parents did.
But beyond that – is marriage a “right?”
The US Constitution doesn’t say anything – except by omission, in the Tenth Amendment, which reserves everything not covered in the Constitution (and thousands of tons of case law, naturally) to the States and People, unless the Supreme Court can find a penumbra enanating something else (see: “right” to murder the unborn – which should not be viewed as a right, btw; one persons rights can not infringe another person’s rights; abortion not only infringes the “Fetus’” right to life, in many cases it destroys whatever rights may be scattered in and among the father’s many, many legal obligations). And the state of Minnesota defines marriage as a guy and a gal. Which is fine – laws were made to be changed, if you have the political muscle to do it. Go for it.
For most of human history, “marriage” has been about making, raising, securing the safety and maintenance of, and protection of children. Which, at various times, meant that the infertile, the old and the otherwise child-”free” weren’t elegible. In some parts of the world, “marriage” doesn’t happen until there was a baby on the way (including, until not that long ago, some parts of rural Holland).
Of course, that’s not how we’ve observed things for quite some time, with senior citizens and the “child-free” marrying, and with many, many more having children without bothering with marriage (or knowing each others’ names, in some cases) at all.
And so while “…because we’ve always done it this way” isn’t an especially satisfying answer for supporting the Marriage Amendment in and of itself, either are any of the arguments I’ve heard against it.
Activist sleeper in the midst of trying to provide this nation with yet another lawyer, who claims to pay at least double the market rate for contraception and wants the government to pay for it? Good.
Woman who marries guy who becomes wildly personally, politically and financially successful, and opts from her own free will to stay home and raise five boys? While dealnig with illness and starting out without a whoooole lot of money, family wealth notwithstanding?
Domestic abuse is bad. Don’t abuse your significant other. Physically, verbally, emotionally. Just don’t.
If you are male in Minnesota (or, pretty much, anywhere), you need to get over the idea that you have any right to self-defense. If a kerfuffle turns into a rhubarb and thence into scuffle, even if the woman clearly starts the fight, if the police are called and she has so much as a bruise on her wrists (from pummeling the male), and the male doesn’t have a meat cleaver stuck in his forehead, it’ll be he that goes to jail, and run into a domestic abuse charge in which he may not legally be “guilty until proven innocent”, but in which guilt is designed to be incredibly easy to prove, unless you are wealthy enough to afford quite the lawyer. (Some of our more depraved leftybloggers, and at least one idiot state legislator, will no doubt copy this paragraph and tweet “Berg Supports Domestic Abuse!”. Far from it. Seriously, you’ve been warned).
Cook was jailed and charged with domestic assault by strangulation, which can carry a prison sentence of up to three years.
But in a phone call to a police detective 20 days after the incident, Baker recanted her claim about the choking. She said she started the fight and had beaned Cook from behind with one of her shoes, cutting him behind the left ear.
The slap that knocked her into the wall was a reflex to that, she claimed.
She also acknowledged punching him and pulling out three of the shoulder-length dreadlocks he wore at the time. (She later testified she kept one of the dreadlocks.)
She also told the detective that Cook’s slap had ruptured her left eardrum. With that information, prosecutors amended the criminal complaint to add a count of third-degree assault, which accused him of causing “substantial bodily harm” by breaking her eardrum.
The injury healed by itself.
Before the case went to trial, prosecutors offered Cook a chance to plead guilty to one of the felonies in return for a three-year probated sentence. He rejected the deal.
Baker maintained her recantation when prosecutors called her as a witness. She took the blame for the fight turning physical, saying she’d been drinking that evening, didn’t handle booze well and had made up the choking allegation because she was mad at Cook and wanted to see him jailed.
So that goes to show you – the domestic abuse system works! Provided that you’re a millionaire who can afford a top-flight lawyer and the plaintiff actually admits to having lied about the whole thing. Oh, and here’s hoping he can recover from ten games’ suspension to make the roster and keep your exceptionally-hard-to-achieve career.
All you guys living in trailer parks in Elko or duplexes in Minneapolis or ramblers in Hugo who might run afoul a similar situation? Without the whole “top flight lawyer” bit? No, no – it doesn’t work that way for you.
Present law presumes parents will share Legal custody (decision-making about school, health, religion, etc.) but has no presumption on sharing Physical custody (where the child actually lives). Present law says the court does whatever it decides is in “the best interests of the child” which, in practical terms, infrequently results in shared physical custody.
Very true. Courts are under the impression that if a couple can’t get along well enough to stay married, they certainly can’t decide on something like custody.
It’s not entirely wrong – but on the other hand, the divorce process itself – especially the “winner take all” nature of the custody system, which adds a huge extra dollop of stress to an awful time in everyone’s life.
The fact is, every couple can choose joint custody; they just need to bury their differences long enough to reach an agreement on the kids’ future that’ll convince a judge that they’re acting in the kids’ best interests.
But most parents don’t do that. Partly because of their own emotions; partly because stress and strife means billable hours for lawyers.
And those lawyers spot a threat:
Instead, one parent gets “possession” of the kid and the other parent visits occasionally. Statistically, it seems to result in physical custody awarded to women most of the time, leading to single-mother families and absent fathers.
This law would attempt to change that by creating a rebuttable presumption that divorcing parents should share their children’s lives about equally, with obvious exceptions for abusive situations.
Feminists, including the National Organization of Women, oppose these laws for some obvious reasons – a single-mother society is a feminized society – and some less obvious; child support has become the new alimony, and the industry that’s grown around it supports not a few non-profit industries.
The public policy rationale for the proposal starts in Section 7 at line 7.1.
There is mounting opposition from divorce lawyers, battered women’s advocates and Democrats.
This comes up every few years. It’s opposed by a range of interests – feminist DFLers and fundie evangelicals.
But the plague of single parenthood – meaning children who grow up with only one parent – is exacerbating all of our society’s pathologies (boys who grow up without fathers have a hard time processing anger; girls without fathers have vastly higher tendencies toward teen pregnancy and depression) and causing some new ones. Teachers report a plague of children who never, ever get outdoors; single mothers, with a higher tendency toward fear of what’s going on around them on top of their normal female risk-averseness, are more likely to keep their kids indoors rather than letting them outside to play. And it’s causing all sorts of problems. And single parents are just plain overworked; anyone who’s ever played basketball knows it’s easier to play one-on-one than zone.
(No, not every single parent every time. It’s a statistic,not an individual indictment).
No matter. The media is in lock-step behind the Administration’s meme that the GOP wants to outlaw contraception. The theatrical “walk-out” of Democrats from Darrel Issa’s hearings was a classic bit of Goebbelsian theatre; while the useful idiots in the media (in this case, the gleefully dim Amanda Terkel at Huffpo) called the hearings “about contraception” they were in fact hearings on the constitutionality of mandating that religious groups offer contraception against their beliefs.
Catch that? The Democrats don’t even need to hijack Republicans’ meetings themselves. The mainstream media will do it for them, after the fact.
At any rate, that’s Obama’s message to female voters: ”Never mind the economy; never mind the unemployment rate; never mind the fiscal catastrophe waiting for you, your kids, and their kids; and above all, don’t believe your lying ears when the GOP mentions that they’ve never said word one about taking anyone’s contraceptives away. Look! Boogeyman!”
Women, in Barack Obama’s world, are not just dim little dolts; they seem to think that women are intellectual slaves to their reproductive systems.
I’m of many minds about this story (the photos are at the link; it’s safe, but tasteless, for work).
Rossie Brovent wants £60,000 in damages from Ryan Fitzjerald.
Rossie, from Dayton, Ohio, US, wanted a scene from the Narnia trilogy inked on her back.
But thaaaat’s not what happened…
Instead she was left with a pile of excrement with flies buzzing around it.
Ms. Brovent’s ex-boyfriend had a reason…:
Tattoo artist Ryan turned rogue after discovering that Rossie had cheated on him with his best friend.
On the one hand – ick. I mean – ick.
On the other hand, it’s only in the details that it’s worse than most tattoos, especially full-back ink. Note to people with full-back or ful-frontal tattoos; ugh. Ugh ugh ugh. That means you. Ick. I mean – yes, again – Ick.
Seriously. Call me a child of another era – one where tattoos meant that someone had been in the military (good) or prison (not good), but I think America is going to wake up someday from its fixation with tattoos the same way people woke up from hair styles they tried back in the seventies – except they won’t be able to get a hair cut and burn a bunch of photos to eliminate the evidence. Nothing short of third-degree burns will get you out of that.
Seriously, Mr. Fitzjerald – not classy.
And yet I’m curiously impelled to give you at least some style points.
I see an Administration ban on drunk tattooing coming up.
UPDATE/CORRECTION: When I wrote this, I wrote it more as a commentary on the battle of the sexes and on America’s gauche fixation with body art than as legal reporting. I gotta confess, I also thought “reads like a hoax, and I’ll bet it’s henna”.
Which is good, since the story is…well, at least all of the names and the legal action are apparently fake, according to this story from which, I note, all mention of the existence or permanence of the tattoo itself is absent.
Neither side wants this issue to be resolved: You caught the bit about this being a vote getter – or at least a perceived vote-getter – for both sides, right? It’s not just this election; however this amendment turns out next year, it’ll be an electoral carrot and stick for both parties to dangle out there for years to come…provided it’s not actually resolved, one way or the other.
The GOP Has More To Gain By Keeping It As A Public Issue: While I agree with Andy Aplikowski that Minnesotans are generally a fairly socially libertarian bunch, I think that when you add up the math for the GOP, it’s a lot easier to get to “landslide win” if the evangelicans turn out for you. And while evangelical conservatives will turn out for economic issues, throwing them some social red meat surely can’t hurt. Can it?
The DFL Has More To Lose: The Democrats nationwide are scrambling to give their base – to say nothing of independents – a reason to turn out next November. Saddled with a turkey of a President, a Senate with approval lower than Mullah Omar, a slew of Senate seats at risk, the unions’ attempt to outsource agitation to the “Occupy” movement dissolving in a welter of filth, crime, sexual assault and counterculture dissipation, and Progressivism in the heartland rocked back on its heels by two-chamber flips in Wisconsin and Minnesota, the DFL needs to be able to wave the bloody shirt of “bigotry” at its gay and gay-sympathetic constituents.
The DFL Needs It More: If the Democrats nationwide are in a public relations bind – still running against George W. Bush, looking forward to a campaign that has to answer the question “are you better off now than you were four years ago?” with “Hey! Mitt Romney has weird hair!” - the DFL is worse. They’re not really even a party anymore; The DFL is a shell that basically administers outsourcing contracts with “Alliance For A Better Minnesota”, “Take Action Minnesota”, “Win Minnesota”, “Common Cause”, “Draw The LIne” and other checkbook advocacy groups that do most of the “party’s” actual work; think “the Hessians”. DFL could use something to get people to remember they exist. (But they’ll likely subcontract this out to “Minnesotans For Marriage Equality”, a fully-owned subsidiary of “Alliance For A Better Minnesota”. Yes, it’s fictional, but you know that’s basically how it’s going to work, don’t you?)
The DFL Doesn’t Want Single-Sex Marriage Legalized: Think about it. They’ve been nominally for gay marriage for thirty-odd years. And from 2006, and especially 2008, through 2010 the DFL had absolute control of the Legislature; it was two chambers against Tim Pawlenty. Now, the DFL maintains that a majority of Minnesotans support same sex marriage. So if they actually believe that, why not push it through in the 2008 or 2010 sessions, when they had overwhelming control, were riding high on two landslide victories and the Obamascenscion? ”Because Pawlenty would have vetoed it! Why waste the votes?” is the usual answer. So why not bypass Governor Pawlenty and go for an amendment? Or use that purported majority of Minnesotans that favor the issue to either override the veto, or use it to get Republicans voted out of office back in 2010? There really are only two reasons; one would be that there just isn’t that much of an electoral demand for same sex marriage – but we just know the DFL wouldn’t blow smoke up the state’s skirt, would it? The other reason is that it’s not in the DFL’s interest either to push this issue (in the oh-so-unlikely even they’re lying) or, I suspect most likely, they don’t really want same sex marriage legalized; that would take it off the table as a get-out-the-vote issue.
”Gotcha” moments don’t come more classic than the one that happened in Montgomery County recently.
The Sheriff’s Office blotter says two officers were called to an apartment to investigate a sexual assault.
“The alleged victim stated to the deputies that her 26-year-old male friend had sexually assaulted her,” the report says.
Fair enough, and with that friend standing in the same apartment, no big manhunt needed.
And your typical womyn’s studies major would have convicted the guy and given him a lethal injection right about there.
Not so fast: “Upon further investigation the deputies watched a video recording the male had made that showed the female telling him that she was calling the police because he was making her leave the apartment and she would tell the police he assaulted her.”
Hope it turns up on “Smoking Gun’s World’s Dumbest…” one of these days.
When The Hill released its annual 50 Most Beautiful People list earlier this week, there was one striking difference from the D.C. publication’s lists it had published over the last several years.
Republicans apparently just got a lot more beautiful.
The 50 Most Beautiful People list is a water cooler-worthy collection of photos and brief bios of D.C. staffers, lobbyists, Capitol police, members of the House and Senate, and other workers in and around the federal government.
And The Hill finally noted that the party of Kristi Noem and Sarah Palin has finally upended the party of Bella Abzug:
Smart Politics content analyzed the last five years of these annual 50 Most Beautiful lists and found a marked change in 2011′s edition compared to the previous four years.
From 2007 through 2010 Democrats crowded out GOPers, with 111 Democrats profiled as the most beautiful (56 percent), compared to just 70 Republicans (35 percent) and 19 independents or non-partisans.
In 2011, however, only 16 Democrats appeared in The Hill’s spread (32 percent) compared to 27 Republicans (54 percent) and seven others.
This is a mystery?
Go to “Drinking Liberally” and then a MOB party. You’ll figure it out.
My oldest was born almost 20 years ago. I’ve had a few Father’s Days. Of course, I have a father – a great one, as it happens. I’m a lucky guy.
As Bob Collins notes over at News Cut, not everyone – fathers or kids – is so lucky:
I think being a father is way harder than anything else in the world, but all I take away from that is a new appreciation for my father, who passed away some years ago, shortly after I wrote him a letter telling him so (I’m still waiting for my letter, kids).
The survey presented some interesting data, but shied away from the deeper questions about the role of fathers. If 1 in 10 fathers lived apart from the family in 1960, and now it’s 1 in 4, is that a failure of fatherhood? Is that why fathers think it was easier to be a father way back when?
It’s certainly a part of it.
Margaret Meade once wrote that “Motherhood is a biological necessity, and fatherhood is a social accident”. And for the past couple of decades, society has been putting its money where Mead’s mouth was. I couple of years ago, I wrote about my own ambivalence about Father’s Day:
24 million Americans are growing up without fathers. Some of it is due to cultural shifts; big swathes of our society are being born into “fatherless” families; “Urban” culture in this country exalts skipping out on ones’ kids; it sounds tragic, and it is, but it’s a natural offshoot of the devaluation of men, and fathers, left over from slavery and the matriarchal nature of most African societies (which was, in return, reinforced by the rootlessness and destruction of families under slavery). Marriage is an otion rather than the expectation for many in our society – in some quarters, most of our society.
Madison Avenue doesn’t help. The standard archetype of the father in American advertising is the bumbling, inept,. schlubby oaf who’s lucky to be saved by his gorgeous, competent wife (and children – usually girls, of course, since the boys are going to grow up to be fathers one day, too – right?). And if the schlub and Mrs. Fix-It break up? The nation’s family courts systematically undercut the rights and value of fathers in divorce and custody settlements nationwide.
So while raising kids is probably no harder now than it was then, I think it’s fair to say that legally, culturally and socially being a father is a lot more fraught than it used to be.
Anyway – here’s hoping everyone has a fantastic Father’s Day this year. Beer, baseball and brats for the house!
As I’ve pointed out in the past, I’m deeply ambivalent about pretty much everything in the Gay Marriage mix; gay marriage itself, sure, but straight marriage too, and amending the constitution to protect it as well.
Yesterday, if you were at the Capitol, you saw a Madison-like outpouring of support for gay rights and opposition to the Amendment. And by “Madison-like”, I mean “largely Metrocratic”.
But while I’m ambivalent about gay marriage (I support civil unions, but don’t plan on ever getting a government marriage license, even if I do get married ever again), I think there is one uncontrovertible fact; the DFL’s motivations in opposing the Amendment were purely, and just a tad cynically, political.
Call From Pauline Kael: The left’s approach on gay marriage, thus far, has been to get it instituted by fiat, either by politicians (former San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsome) or the courts. It’s a fact that gay marriage has never passed a public referendum, not even in “progressive” cesspools like Oregan.
But there are polls that indicate that people are changing their tune; that people actually support gay marriage.
So is the landscape changing? It depends on the polls you believe, of course; I’ve seen surveys of likely voters that indicate most Minnesotans oppose it; there are others, of course. We’ll see – in November, 2012. I strongly suspect most people do, in fact, oppose gay marriage because…
What Happened In 2009? Last night, during the Madison-like surge of lefty outrage on Twitter, a “progressive” sniffed at me:
Sir- the agenda is Rights. DFL Benson: My conscious comes first, my constituents second, and my desire to be reelected, third.
Which makes a good chanting point. But it doesn’t stand up to history.
Four years ago,the DFL took control of the government in Saint Paul. Two years ago, the DFL had absolute control of Minnesota government, except for Governor Pawlenty. Had they wanted to push a gay marriage law, they could have. It would have been vetoed – but they’d have made their moral case to take to the voters.
And don’t forget that they could have passed a constitutional amendment, as the GOP just did, and bypassed the Governor completely.
And yet they dawdled for four years, and made no significant effort toward Gay Marriage. None. Zero.
If the DFL’s stance were “about civil rights”, about immutable libertarian principles, as Rep. Benson grandiloquently claimed, they’d have used their absolute majority to do something,
Contrast that to the GOP, which introduced the Constitutional Amendment immediately.
Leaving aside whether it’s good to vote on civil rights or whether Gay Marriage is a civil right, here’s a question: which is the stance of a party that believes that they are going to win a referendum?
I suspect the DFL ignored gay marriage (and their gay supporters) for four years because they knew the votes weren’t there throughout Minnesota; that if they voted for legislation pushing gay marriage, they’d get shredded statewide. They’d be kissing any outstate seats goodbye; they’d shave some of their majority in the Arrowhead and in the Twin Cities; few people oppose Gay Marriage less than Afro-Americans and Latinos; they might even jeopardize Tim Walz’ seat.
My thesis – this was never about principles, about liberty, about fairness for gays. This is about votes. The DFL believes they’ll lose them – lots of them.
John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove, is the first Republican in the Minnesota Legislature to announce his opposition to a proposed amendment to the Minnesota Constitution that would ban same-sex marriage, according to the Star Tribune. The bill has cleared a committee each in the Minnesota House and Senate, and Kriesel said he’s working hard to convince his Republican colleagues that the amendment is a bad idea.
“I look at it as: We are all equal,” Kriesel told the Star Tribune. “It is not right. I can’t do it. I’m very upset about this vote. I don’t like it. I think it sends the wrong message. You live once in your life and I’ve learned that the hard way. You never know when it is going to be your time. People fight to find happiness….You find someone you love and now other people are saying because I don’t consider that normal, you can’t do it?”
Two things to set straight first:
One: I have nothing but respect for Rep. Kriesel. He’s earned it, over and over. The fact that he got elected to the House was one of the most satisfying victories of a very satisfying election season last year.
Second: As a libertarian-conservative, I’m perfectly fine with letting people live their lives their own way; I support legalizing many drugs, and support civil unions as a civil contract.
But I – along with a sharp majority of Minnesotans – believe Marriage is a fundamentally religious institution, above and beyond its status as a civil contract. Every one of the world’s religions, barring the odd splinter (shaddap about Episcopals), agrees.
And when we say “marriage is, to us, a religious institution”, the best argument the gay marriage proponents have come up with so far is “no it’s not”.
Which is where I have to push back. ”Marriage” is really two different things, depending on who you ask;
it’s a set of contractually-defined rights (from inheritance to power of attorney to standing in custody trials during divorce) and obligations (most noticable when things don’t go well)
It’s an ordination for one’s Creator that you and another person are ordained to be together.
Of course, not everyone believes in the same Creator, or even that there is one; notwithstanding this, we are all created (by whatever you think created us) equal before the law of the land.
So there’s the dilemma for the principled libertarian Christian; in a secular sense, I can agree with Rep. Kriesel, that in re forbidding gays from forming civil contracts…
“It’s just wrong,” Kriesel said. “There is not anything that can move me on this.”
…while on the other hand being equally unmoved to renounce what I (and most Minnesotans) believe about the sacred institution of marriage.
In a sense, I think the Amendment would be a good thing for the proponents of gay marriage, inasmuch as it’d force them to state a case for radically changing the institution that sways the people. The gay movement’s current strategy is to take everything to court (or to radically “progressive” legislatures), and chant that everyone that opposes them is a “hateful” “bigot”. They desperately need to do better, if they want to convince anyone but a judge.
Especially someone like me – who doesn’t believe marriage is a “right” (or even necessarily a great idea), even for straight couples, but that equal protection before the law absolutely always is.
It’ll be interesting to see what issue it’ll be that demotes Kriesel back to “just another Republican” to the Minnesota Independent. There’s always something.
Senator Amy Klobuchar, up for election in a very short year, is sandbagging her constituents on the Senate Dems’ proposed repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act.
From the Minnesota Birkeydependent:
Sen. Amy Klobuchar is one of only two Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee who have not signed on to a bill to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, and that committee is only two votes away from passing the bill out of committee. Klobuchar and Wisconsin Sen. Herb Kohl are seen as the two key votes on the committee and both have said they haven’t decided which way they will vote when the bill is taken up in the coming weeks.
Kohl, too? Why would he sandbag his gay constituents?
Oh, that. So if a Wisconsin Democrat is going slow on DOMA repeal, does that mean maybe Wisconsin isn’t sliding back into the blue camp over Walker?
It is rather important for DOMA repeal that A-Klo get on board:
Minnesota’s Sen. Al Franken, who also sits on the 18-member judiciary committee, is a sponsor of the bill. In order to pass the committee, the bill needs 10 votes, and eight senators on that committee are already sponsors. Eight other members of the committee are Republicans not likely to vote for the bill. That leaves two votes unaccounted for, those of Klobuchar and Kohl.
Naturally gays, like feminists, don’t actually expect liberal legislators to do what they said they would during the election.
Or do they?
The Courage Campaign, a proponent of the bill, contacted Klobuchar and Kohl late last week.
OutFront Minnesota, the state’s largest LGBT advocacy group, responded to the news in a Facebook posting: “Who knew Amy Klobuchar hasn’t taken a position on the repeal of DOMA? It’ll probably come as a surprise to thousands of voters (and donors).”
Yesterday, we noted that critics like Kay Hymowitz are noticing young men today are “angry”. They attribute it to the usual dog’s breakfast of feminist conceits; the young men are a little misogynistic, a little bit childish, a little bit full of inchoate rage over “poliitcal correctness” and changing gender roles.
I pointed out that while those roles are certainly changing today, they are no more jarring to the male sensibility than they were at any time from the 1960′s through the 1980s; I might argue that after three generations of “women’s liberation” and the broad acceptance of what used to be “Feminism’s” goals, young men today aren’t suffering any culture shock that men didn’t have, and much worse, a few decades back.
And we noted a scholarship program for “white” (more than 25% caucasian) males, which the Southern Poverty Law Center will no doubt classify a “hate group” before long.
And at the beginning of it all, we noted that subcultures that are attacked, persecuted, segregated or singled out over the long haul tend to adapt to it, in ways that address immediate-term survival over long-term good.
Why are 20-30-something males ostensibly turning away from dating, mating, and our society’s “courtship ritual” as it’s evolved in recent decades, in a way that their older brothers, uncles and even fathers and grandfathers didn’t?
Back when I was in fifth grade, I had my first male teacher. Mr. Buchholtz was a big guy, a former football player who’d done a hitch in the Navy in Vietnam. He was the first male teacher any of us had had.
And he did all sorts of things – showed us how to tackle, how to to do karate kicks, let us play “tackle pomp” and “cops and robbers” and “army”, complete with “guns” we made out of sticks, the whole line-up of things that might have mortified the women who’d taught us through fourth grade, had those women not come up through an educational system that let boys be boys.
And when I said let boys be boys, I meant “let them both exercise those “boy” traits – physicality, aggressiveness, spatial literacy – and learn to control them and use them appropriately. You could play “cops and robbers”; you couldn’t accost Mary Jo Helmbarger with the toy gun and scare her.
Of course, the classroom itself was pretty well designed for girls, who develop verbally before boys do. It all evened out.
And that was the system, thirty years ago. Maybe even twenty-five years ago.
Mr. Bucholtz would be the subject of administrative discipline today, and most likely ostracized by his colleagues.
It was about twenty years ago that the theories of Harvard professor Carol Gilligan started to gain currency. It was Gilligan’s theory that young girls suffered in school because boys, being more aggressive, were quicker to raise their hands and get attention; that young girls were neglected, and the neglect caused them to suffer – because the education system was just too masculine. The theory – publicized in countless books by scholars, pop-psychologists and ideological feminists – was that boys’ innate aggression intimidated girls into being quiet and not getting their questions answered in class (among other charges), which in turn beat down young girls’ spirits, which was a form of systemic discrimination that had to be overcome.
And the educational academy reacted immediately. Schools moved to start clamping down on “boy” things – aggressive play, games like “cops and robbers” and playground football and all the other ways boys have worked off their energy during recess since the dawn of the “sit your butt in the chair and learn what we tell you to learn” model of education.
Now, psychology has known for decades that if you make a person bottle up “who they are”, it’s going to cause psychological damage . It’s one of the reasons schools have bent over backwards, for example, to support gay students; because, they just know, if you make a person deny what they are for long enough, it’s going to cause damage.
Enlightened people would never think of demanding a gay student stop being gay.
But virtually overnight in pedagogical terms, it became the fashion to force boys to do just that; to bottle up who they were. I’ve been noticing this for almost as long; I remember having this conversation when my stepson was in school, in the early nineties. In one memorable conversation with a woman who was a teaching assistant at the University of London’s graduate educational psychology program back in 1998, I put that basic premise out there; her response, straight from the textbook of the day, was “yes, boys acting like boys is a pathology that gets in the way of good education”. Direct quote.
Of course, Carol Gilligan was wrong. Christina Hoff-Summers, in The War On Boys, pointed out that Gilligan’s “research” was not only almost completely exempted from peer review, but Harvard wouldn’t release any of the raw data or methodology that led to her conclusions – which was, in those days before “man-made global warming”, considered pretty bad form. Hoff-Summers pretty well shredded Gilligan, and the outcomes of the mania that had by this time swept the educational academy…
…but it was really too late. School became a fairly dismal place for boys. Especially the boys that couldn’t “go along to get along“. Acting too much “like a boy” – being too aggressive, not channelling their energy into acceptable forms, which meant “being verbal, not physical” – could get a boy drugged into compliance. Most outrageously, teachers started demanding boys get drugged into compliance, and making the system make those demands stick. In other words, raduates of the least academically-rigourous programs offered at most universities felt themselves empowered to act as practitioners in a field that took graduates of the most rigorous field, but one that even those practitioners know is still only vaguely understood.
Can you imagine what’d happen if science came up with a drug that could suppress a homosexual child’s identity? The very fact that the idea had been researched would be condemned with vein-bulging fury, to say nothing of the actual act of producing and prescribing the drug. And the furor would be right.
And yet our education system has been forcing half the student population to be something other than what evolution, brain chemistry and their physiology make them, and being drugged into submission and classified as “special ed”, and plopped onto the failure track if they don’t go along.
And it’s having an effect. The number of girls in college increased – from right around to slightly under half in the ’80′s, to closer to an estimated 60% of the population in the very near future. It’s even more pronounced in the humanities and soft-sciences. It’s gotten to the point that the mainstream media who trumpeted Gilligan’s “research” twenty years ago are fretting about the lack of men on campuses today. If 12 years of school have been turned into an ugly ordeal, why should they stretch it out to sixteen years – even assuming that their drug-addled, special-ed sodden academic records allow them to get into a college.
So the question I’d like to ask Kay Hymowitz – the author of the book Manning Up that I went after yesterday – is “why are you asking why young men are shunning the dating life, when the real question is why do you expect young men who’ve had traditional masculine roles beaten down and treated as pathologies to be overcome for their entire educational career and young lives to suddenly turn into Prince Charming when they turn 22?”
As long as we actively suppress, and oppress, boys acting like boys – especially by way of learning how to be responsible boys, and thus responsible men, the way they always have – then Kay Hymowitz’ dating malaise is just the tip of the iceberg.
Take a culture. Any culture (or sub-culture, really).
Deprive them of choices. Stuff them into ghettos, literally or figuratively. Punish them just for the simple act of being who they are. Make their identity the subject of scorn and abuse within the larger society. Actively denigrate their traits, their identity – their being. Lather, rinse and repeat for a few generations.
What do you get?
Cultural pathologies. The world’s full of them:
Russians, with over a thousand years of rule by strongmen and monarchs who used systematic abuse as a fundamental tool of power, have the most exaggerated sense of cultural Stockholm Syndrome imaginable. It’s been quipped by not a few Russophiles that Russia is generations away from being comfortable with western-style liberal democracy; the peoples’ cultural memory is as utterly tied to abuse as any battered spouse after leaving a thirty year marriage; as awful as it is, they keep finding more of it.
Jews the world over exhibit all sorts of stereotypical cultural traits – insularity, fatalism, and on and on – that sociologists have linked to the centuries of segregation, pogroms, and mass-murders epic and small that they’ve endured.
African Americans are still showing the cultural ills bred during 400 years of slavery; the black male, in particular, is still fighting with the marginalization he suffered under slavery, which lives on in far too many black families (and is glorified in way too much of the current popular culture); after 400 years of seeing signs of “uppityness” – education, initiative, individual thought – punished ruthlessly, it’s not hard to see why the culture’d have a hard time recovering in between 47 and 146 years.
White Trash, too; southern white working-class non-land-owners were treated little better than serfs until the civil war, and not much better after. Most of the ills that affect the white south – rural crime rates that in places like Louisiana and South Carolina overtop most urban areas, poverty, the Cyrus family, limited regard for education, the general sense of low expectations – trace back to the Antebellum period, where poor non-land-owning Scots-Irish crackers were expected to be cheap labor and foot soldiers.
And now, a full 49% of American society.
We’ll come back to that.
A couple of stories popped up on the radar the other day that led me to a topic I’ve been stewing over writing for quite a while now.
Author Kay Hymowitz is the author of the best-seller Manning Up, which argues that twenty and thirty-somethings today are putting off adulthood, preferring instead to remain in a sort of arrested adolescence she terms “pre-adulthood”.
But a lot of the responses unwittingly proved my point—and another one: Men are really, really angry. Consider: “We’re not STUCK in pre-adulthood, we choose it because there aren’t any desirable American women. They’ve been bred to abuse men.” This fairly typical response that appeared at the Seattle Post Intelligencer website: “Sorry ladies. In the age of PlayStation 3s, 24-hours-a-day sports channels, and free Internet porn, you are now obsolete. All that nagging, whining, and stealing our hard earned cash have finally caught up to you.”
Shocked? I wasn t. During the last few years researching this age group, I’ve stumbled onto a powerful underground current of male bitterness that has nothing to do with outsourcing, the Mancession, or any of the other issues we usually associate with contemporary male discontent.
Hymowitz focused largely on “men as potential mates for women” and the dating lives of the age group, of course, and her observations reflect the scope…:
No, this is bitterness from guys who find the young women they might have hoped to hang out with entitled, dishonest, self-involved, slutty, manipulative, shallow, controlling—and did I mention gold-digging?…Women may want equality at the conference table and treadmill. But when it comes to sex and dating, they aren’t so sure.
…but I think she missed a much, much bigger point. Men, especially younger men, are angry – and it’s not just about dating, mating and sex.
She gets ever so close to the real point, too:
So, is this what Susan Faludi famously called the backlash? Is it immaturity, as my own book seems to suggest? Is it the Internet as an escape valve for decades of pent-up rebellion against political correctness? Or, is it just good, old-fashioned misogyny?
(Hymowitz’ theory is it’s a little of all of the above, plus the “men aren’t used to competition” slur, plus a broad upset over dating/mating gender roles, which have changed, partly, for women but not for men, in case you’d rather not read the whole thing).
Hymowitz missed the real story – or perhaps the real story was outside the scope of a book and article whose purpose seemed to be to reassure a generation of jaded younger women that they’re OK, it’s all those guys who have the problem.
There was another bit of news last week that is interesting to juxtapose with Hymowitz, though.
Earlier this week, a Texas non-profit announced it was going to start giving scholarships for white guys.
The “Austin American-Statesmen” reports a Texas nonprofit group called the Former Majority Association for Equality is behind the scholarships.
Texas State University student Colby Bohannan says he launched the group after returning from the Iraq war to find there were college scholarships for women and minorities, but white males were left out.
Bohannan and his friends will start giving out 500-dollar scholarships this summer.
It’s a stretch to call it “racist”; applicants need to be 25 percent Caucasian, so the skinheads who fret about “mud people” aren’t likely to be much assuaged. It’s certainly politically-incorrect, of course – a point in its favor. Our self-appointed elites are tittering, of course – not just the giggly bit from the Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove, but the inevitable droning jeremiads from the Southern Poverty Law Center, whose stock in trade is finding hatred in every box of Cheerios:
“It looks to me like a simple provocation,” says Mark Potok, who monitors hate groups for the Montgomery, Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center. “These people have fallen directly into the ever more popular myth of white oppression in America. The reality is that whites, to this day, have enormous privileges in landing scholarships and have real advantages in finding places at good schools.”
Potok says he isn’t impressed by the Former Majority Association for Equality’s avowed benign intentions, pointing out that professional racist David Duke, of the European-American Rights Organization, has used similar anodyne arguments while making a big show of sending money to poor whites in Appalachia. Potok also cited one of Duke’s favorite tracts, racial theorist Wilmot Robertson’s influential and wildly popular 1972 book, The Dispossessed Majority, which argued that the relative population decline of the United States’ white founding stock, compared to rise of non-Caucasians and immigrants, was allowing the nation to fall under the pernicious influence of foreign interests and Jews.
Potok is doing the SPLC’s usual voodoo, finding correlation and claiming causation, and doing a poor job even of that. Is “White Oppression” an absurd case to try to make? Sure.
But Potok, Bohannon and Hymowitz all came —-> || <—-that close to hitting an actual point.
Are white males oppressed? Not in any meaningful way.
Are young males of most races angry, and perhaps reacting to that anger detrimentally? Very likely.
Is it because they face changing gender roles in dating? Maybe, but then so did my generation. If anything, the change was more radical thirty years ago. when the entire change in gender models at home, at work and in society was both brand new and being taught as a crash course. Today, young men express puzzlement that women their age can have sex without guilt just like they (purportedly) do; thirty years ago, it was that women could earn a living without guilt.
But guys in my age bracket, and not a whole lot after, had one huge advantage over today’s young men.
So it’s a tragedy, truly, that Scarlett Johannson and, er, whatshisface are calling it quits:
“After long and careful consideration on both our parts, we’ve decided to end our marriage,” they say in a joint statement. “We entered our relationship with love and it’s with love and kindness we leave it. While privacy isn’t expected, it’s certainly appreciated.”
Johannson and that other guy. One might worry about the sanctity of marriage in Hollywood.
According to a source, the couple quietly split six months ago, and Johansson initiated the move. The actress began apartment-hunting in New York City and is currently in Jamaica with some girlfriends, the source adds.
Like I said. No comment.
UPDATE: Welcome, readers of PZ Myers’ Twitter feed. The line you’re looking for is down in the comments.
And, using the same logic Gavin Sullivan used in stating I “confirm” that your hero’s marriage was “ordained by God”, it’s fairly certain that Gavin Sullivan supports indiscriminate torture, since he pretty well waterboarded context.
I was a little leery of tackling the Tom Hackbarth story last week.
Not because I didn’t think I had the story right; Hackbarth’s behavior was unseemly, as was that of those who piled on to add detail to the story based purely on innuendo and supposition.
No, I was leery mostly because whenever the topic of Planned Parenthood or any sort of offense against women is concerned, there are not a few people out there who would toss rationality to the wind, if they ever had it in the first place.
I don’t know Rachel Nygaard, and she damned sure doesn’t know me. Can she approach this, or any, issue rationally? Well, she writes for Minnesota Progressive Project, which isn’t a good sign. But that’d be a smear by association, and judgment by innuendo, and that’s the sort of stuff I condemned in my original piece on the subject.
Of which more later.
For better or worse, Nygaard does capably summarize the core of the local Sorosphere’s meme on the subject:
“I understand why the police and the security guard thought what they might have thought, but it really was insignificant to me.” – Representative Hackbarth
Tracking down a woman you met once while carrying a gun is an insignificant act? Even if you remove the fact that he was carrying a gun, a man that felt the need to track a woman down when he felt she wasn’t being completely honest with him is stalking behavior
And if you leave aside the facts that Hackbarth was accused of no crimes, that there is no evidence that the target of his misplaced interest ever knew Hackbarth was looking for her, and that the gun is irrelevant (Hackbarth has a permit, and permit-holders are two orders of magnitude less likely to commit any kind of crime than non-permittees like, well, Rachel Nygaard, among others), she’s right. Hackbarth, by his own admission, was at the very least exceptionally clingy; at worst…
…well, we don’t know, because there was no “at worst”. Hackbarth parked his car – near Planned Parenthood. He got out and changed jackets; a security guard saw Hackbarth’s legal, holstered gun, and called the cops. But for that chance encounter with a closed-circuit camera, we’d have likely have known nothing of the story…
…and, Rachel Nygaard will no doubt remind you, Hackbarth could have gone on to shoot the woman in a fit of rage.
Which is, really, all she has. Could-haves.
Could-haves and dogma, of course:
The ‘boys will be boys’ dismissal of his actions by the conservative bloggers astounds me. When is this type of behavior ever okay?
Remember – in the world of domestic law, including “abuse”, “domestic violence”, “stalking” and the like, men are considered guilty until proven innocent.
Going on to say that
Everything Is Stalking
He later qualifies his more offending statements (not those listed above) but the misogynistic attitude seethes from his post.
Go ahead and read the article. It’s nonsense, of course; there is no “misogynistic attitude” – not in the sense that a rational person would understand. The only “offense” would be to those who find any questioning of The Narrative offensive.
I won’t say “Nygaard is lying”, because “lying” implies knowing that she’s spreading a falsehood; I think that to Nygaard’s perspective, which (I’m going to go out on a short limb and guess) comes from marinading in Big Feminist dogma for an entire adult lifetime, men are guilty of misogynism, stalking, abuse, or whatever until proven innocent – and furthermore they can never be proven innocent!
Of course, to Big Feminism (and I think it’s fair to say Nygaard is acting as an agent of Big Feminism), defending a man against even the most facile, unsupported innuendo, by introducing fact into the discussion (or, in this case, pointing out the lack of facts behind the innuendo thrown at Hackbarth),is itself “anti-woman”.
Clearly, Mitch Berg and Rep Hackbarth have a different moral compass than the rest of us.
I believe that the guilty should be punished – and that people are innocent until proven guilty, and that “proof” means a lot more than innuendo, narrartive, and ideology-based assumptions. I believe in empirical, observable fact, not dogma. I believe that people are individuals with their own motivations and backstories and strengths and weaknesses and the dignity (and degradation) that comes from the exercise of their own free will - not facile cartoons that follow pre-written narratives.
And it’d seem that Nygaard believes that I’m a cartoon. She puts it in as many words:
I truly hope that they educate themselves about domestic abuse and difficulties protecting women, men and children from domestic assault.
Dear Rachel Nygaard; keep your prejudices, your narratives, your bigotry off my body. You don’t know me. You have no idea where I’ve been and what I’ve done in my life (and I’m not going to tell you any of it here, anyway). Just as your idiot friends rushed to judge Tom Hackbarth based (as I showed) entirely on narrative, screed and innuendo, so you’re doing with me.
That’s OK – I can take care of myself just fine, and it’d seem to be all you are equipped to do anyway, and we should expect no more.
As I said in my original post; stalking is wrong. Clinginess is a bad idea. Separation and divorce are a bitch, psychologically as well as every other way.