Dave Sim's blogandmail #431 (November 16th, 2007)
Fifteen Impossible Things to Believe Before Breakfast That Make You a Good Feminist
1. A mother who works a full-time job and delegates to strangers the raising of her children eight hours a day, five days a week does just as good a job as a mother who hand-rears her children full time.
2. It makes great sense for the government to pay 10 to 15,000 dollars a year to fund a daycare space for a child so its mother - who pays perhaps 2,000 dollars in taxes - can be a contributing member of society.
3. A woman's doctor has more of a valid claim to participate in the decision to abort a fetus than does the father of that fetus.
4. So long as a woman makes a decision after consulting with her doctor, she is incapable of making an unethical choice.
5. A car with two steering wheels, two gas pedals and two brakes drives more efficiently than a car with one steering wheel, one gas pedal and one brake which is why marriage should always be an equal partnership.
6. It is absolutely necessary for women to be allowed to join or participate fully in any gathering place for men, just as it is absolutely necessary that there be women only environments from which men are excluded.
7. Because it involves taking jobs away from men and giving them to women, affirmative action makes for a fairer and more just society.
8. It is important to have lower physical standards for women firepersons and women policepersons so that, one day, half of all firepersons and policepersons will be women, thus more effectively protecting the safety of the public.
9. Affirmative action at colleges and universities needs to be maintained now that more women than men are being enrolled, in order to keep from giving men an unfair advantage academically.
10. Having ensured that there is no environment for men where women don't belong (see no.6) it is important to have zero tolerance of any expression or action which any woman might regard as sexist to ensure greater freedom for everyone.
11. Only in a society which maintains a level of 95% of alimony and child support being paid by men to women can men and women be considered as equals.
12. An airline stewardess who earned $20,000 a year at the time that she married a baseball player earning $6 million a year is entitled, in the event of a divorce, to $3 million for each year of the marriage and probably more.
13. A man's opinions on how to rear and/or raise a child are invalid because he is not the child's mother. However, his financial obligation is greater because no woman gets pregnant by herself.
14. Disagreeing with any of these statements makes you anti-woman and/or a misogynist.
15. Legislature Seats must be allocated to women and women must be allowed to bypass the democratic winnowing process in order to guarantee female representation and, thereby, make democracy fairer.
I've got a whole pile of Victor Davis Hanson columns here courtesy of the Hamilton Hammerlock, the Bard of Burlington Bay, Darrell Epp, so I'm just going to select over the next couple of days some interesting paragraphs at random.
From "Newsworthy Reconsidered: Paris Hilton or Colonel Sean McFarland?" (12 Oct 07): Hanson makes the excellent point that the headlines are still dominated by Paris Hilton, O.J. Simpson, Brad and Angelina, George Clooney showing off the "boo-boo" on his elbow from his motorcycle spill while nothing is heard about Colonels Rick Gibbs or David Sutherland or J.B. Burton or Paul Funk or Michael Kershaw who are turning things around in Iraq's former "Triangle of Death". I've thought the same thing: that what's missing in the War on Terror is information through the media about what's going on. Not the anecdotal "embedded" first person account stuff – it's interesting, but it all smacks of Battlefront Tourism -- but the coverage they used to have during World War II where there would be a map of Europe on the front page and a description of the most recent battles, who came out on top, where the action appeared to be shifting to next. Obviously such information has to be on a delayed release basis. There was no "Coming Next Week: D-Day!" But why is it that we need to know exactly what step in the process of their next walking UN family adoption Woody and Mia – sorry, Brad and Angelina -- are at but the disposition of the "Triangle of Death" is just a vague map and a lot of mealy-mouthed Vietnam quagmire hyperbole? You're never going to engage the attention – and court the approval -- of the civilians who ultimately control the military if you don't let them in on what's going on, whether it's four steps forward, two steps back or three steps forward three steps back. Of course, I'm the only one who is reasonably certain that the reason we don't have this is because of totalitarian Marxist-feminist control of the news media which only allows coverage of any military conflict as long as its framed in "Vietnam quagmire" terms. I don't know what other explanation there could be of something that has always been of interest to men throughout human history unless it's the inescapable fact that women have taken over. Certainly every military conflict in human history since the rise of broadsheet journalism dealt with every military conflict in meticulous detail right up to our Feminist Age when it suddenly vanished. What ELSE do you think could account for that vanishing act?
And then there was this:
"I don't wish to suggest that our present titillation on the home front, or amnesia about those fighting overseas, is entirely foreign to the American war experience. In 1942, Americans kept their business-as-usual East Coast cities lit up at night, apparently oblivious that their resulting silhouetted freighters meant German U-boards would sink a fifth of the entire U.S. merchant fleet in the first year of the war, along with slaughtering 5,000 Americans, usually right off the American shoreline."
Now, there's a sobering paragraph. Okay, feel free to go back to talking about Star Wars now. I know how important it is to you.
Another issue he tackles in "No More Anonymous, Please!" (20 Aug 07) is the overuse of anonymity in news stories these days. Certainly, you have to protect "inside" whistleblowers or people in a situation where there's the chance of genuine physical harm or career meltdown in retaliation. But too often it's a way of creating an illusion that there's an authoritative voice behind the story by describing the source as "high placed" when the source turns out to be anything but.
"Michael Isikoff wrote a story in 2005 for NEWSWEEK, apparently based on an anonymous but "solid, well-placed" source who told of callous military guards at Guantanamo flushing a Koran down the toilet.
"The account turned out to be false, but the supposed blasphemy may have caused riots in the Islamic world – and untold damage to the prestige of the U.S. military in a time of war. Yet Isikoff never identified from whom he got such a tale or why he rushed to print something so explosive on evidence so shaky…anonymity gives them free rein as judge and jury, exempt from cross-examination. This `trust me' practice goes against the very grain of the American tradition of allowing the aggrieved the right to face his accusers."
The lead section of "Why Study War?" Hanson's piece from CITY JOURNAL (http://www.city-journal.org/printable.php?id=2299) sets the tone for what is to follow:
"Try explaining to a college student that Tet was an American military victory. You'll provoke not a counterargument – let alone an assent – but a blank stare. Who or what was Tet? Doing interviews about the recent hit movie 300, I encountered similar bewilderment from listeners and hosts. Not only did most of them not know who the 300 were or what Thermopylae was; they seemed clueless about the Persian Wars altogether…This state of affairs is profoundly troubling, for democratic citizenship requires knowledge of war – and now, in the age of weapons of mass annihilation, more than ever."
It's a longer piece, running eight printed-out pages which is really pushing the envelope of what people are willing to read on the Internet these days (unless it's about Paris Hilton or Star Wars), but it's definitely worth checking out. He starts with his own experience wanting to write his Ph.D. on the Spartan ravaging of the Athenian countryside during the Peloponnesian War and the scepticism of his advisor. "It was as if the university had forgotten that history itself had begun with Herodotus and Thucydides as the story of armed conflicts."
"Further, the sixties had ushered in a utopian view of society antithetical to serious thinking about war. Government, the military, business, religion, and the family had conspired, the new Rousseauians believed, to warp the naturally peace-loving individual. Conformity and coercion smothered our innately pacifist selves. To assert that wars broke out because bad men, in fear or in pride, sought material advantage or status, or because good men had done too little to stop them, was now seen as antithetical to an enlightened understanding of human nature. `What difference does it make,' in the words of the much-quoted Mahatma Gandhi, `to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?'"
Hanson allows the question to stand as if (as Gandhi intended it), it was purely rhetorical. But it isn't. What it is is myopic, feminine and suicidal. After the battle venue is reconstructed, presumably the orphans who will grow up to have children of their own and the homeless who will now have homes are going to be a lot happier in the rebuilt context if it is founded on liberty and democracy, the rule of law and guarantees and protections of human freedom than if it is rebuilt as a Soviet puppet state or under the iron rule of the Taliban and Sharia Law. Like all Marxist-feminist views, Gandhi's moral relativism which makes totalitarianism and democracy interchangeable, adopts a zero sum view of the world. All battlefields are the same, all battlefields have casualties, casualties are bad, ergo all battlefields are bad, ergo utopia can only be achieved through pacifism. In actual fact, one-sided pacifism is just a synonym for suicide.
Tomorrow: Hey! Darrell's got some Mark Steyn in here!
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