Wednesday, February 08, 2012

F**k The Culture Wars

I've had enough of the mealy-mouthed mumblings about "culture wars." That is the worst euphemism of all euphemisms in American politics. Even worse than the Bush administration pollution initiative marketed under the label of "Clean Skies."

The "culture wars" are NOT about culture. By calling them that Serious People can ignore the issues. After all, they don't appear to be about money or civil liberties or anything else worthy of attention.

At the same time, the "culture wars" are NOT really wars in the sense the euphemism implies: As if the two sides in these wars are somehow balanced as enemies, as if the topic of the wars is of equal importance to both "extremes" and as if there is no way to tell who initiated those "wars" in the first place.

No. What is going on is very one-sided and initiated by the so-called social conservatives. That term is yet another euphemism. To see what I mean, think about the real agenda of social conservatives:

They don't want women to have access to abortion, many of them don't want women to have access to contraception and many of them don't want women to work outside the home. Some of them, at least, believe that men should be the heads of households and that women should gracefully accept the yoke of being their faithful helpmeets.

They oppose same-sex marriage, probably because it works against the hierarchical patriarchal traditional marriage.

There you have it. Or my interpretation of "social conservatism." It's not about the fashionable color this year or what artist or musician we are supposed to like. And it's not some war between two equal extremist groups while the rest of the country goes "duh, whatevah."

It's about the "social conservatives" trying to limit women's lives to certain carefully prescribed traditional roles. Here's where the economics enters, for those of you who rank political importance on the basis of money. If the "social conservatives" succeed in their demands, women will remain second class citizens with less access to good jobs, good income and good retirement benefits. Not to mention less ability to decide over their own lives.

And if the term "war" applies at all here, then it's in the sense of a defensive war from the other side of the political aisle and against the "social conservatives" whose attack consists of trying to force the rest of us to live our lives according to the tenets of "social conservatism."