Monday, December 07, 2015

What Conservatives Think About Women

Two non-scientific samples from my readings today.  They are from different communities, by the way, though not intended to be representative of conservatives in general:

1.  Two people working for the conservative and rabid Fox News have been severely punished (aka allowed to take some vacation time which Fox calls being suspended) for using bad language.  This is what one of them said:

During a December 7 appearance on Fox Business, Fox News strategic analyst Ralph Peters said of President Obama after his Oval Office address last night: "I mean this guy is such a total pussy, it's stunning." Host Stuart Varney told Peters he can't "use language like that on the program," and Peters replied that he was sorry.

Echidne dons her VeryNaiveGoddess pretend-helmet (with pink Hello Kitty war wings), and asks what's so naughty about calling the president a kitten?  Kittens are Kute!!!

Then the other Echidne takes that helmet off and lets the snakes writhe freely (think of Medusa).  She corrects the former naive goddess by noting that a "pussy" is the vulva (or perhaps the vulva-and-the-vagina), and it's very very naughty to call the president of a country a part of the female genital system.  Very naughty.

But why is that the case?  Because anything associated with women is deemed the same as being a frightened critter, cowering in the corner, mewling in despair, and No Real Man (tm) can take such a slur (i.e., being called a woman) standing up.

The deep philosophical question is naturally this:  Was Ralph Peters suspended for his sexism or for using a naughty word?  My guess is the latter and I am always right.

2.  A Southern Baptist preacher reminds us that the radicals of all religions have a lot of trouble with viewing women as human beings, with equal rights to those of men.  Indeed, the misogyny of fundamentalist religions is shared by all extremists, whether they are Christians, Muslims or Jews.  Why don't they just get together and establish their own godlands somewhere elsewhere?  Preferably in another star system.

Anyway, this preacher, Ashley E. Ray, senior pastor of Ridgeway Baptist Church of Memphis:

...told his congregation on Sunday that women needed to submit to their husbands in all things, and that the “feminist rebellion” was responsible for many of the problems the country was facing.

Yup.  Climate change is due to feminist rebellion, religious wars are due to feminist rebellion, all recessions are due to feminist rebellion, the worsening quality of the chocolate reserves is due to feminist rebellion.

Ashley E. Ray has one of those gods which work like a hand puppet.  Ray sits on a chair and moves the puppet's mouth*.

He's not an extreme kind of an extremist.  For instance:

“That’s not to say patriarchalism is the thing, that’s not to say traditions and men mistreating women and women getting less pay for the same work, I’m not condoning any of that.”

Oh sweet Ashley, how simple-minded you are.  If men are always to be the heads of women in marriages, how could a woman be elected to any prominent position?  That would mean secretly electing her husband! And what happens if a woman refuses to submit herself within marriage?  Can the husband beat her?  And if not, how can he maintain his bosshood?

What about the other reference you made to other bits in the Bible, this:

And then he added a message from the book of Timothy: “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.”
To obey that command, no woman could be in a superior position to any man.  No woman could be promoted over men, no woman could teach boys, and all women would have to get their vocal cords removed.


*  As an aside, I'm so very tired of the literal readings of two-thousand old texts (put together from hearsay and memories and myths and such by many different writers but almost all of them were patriarchal guys from nomadic herding tribes) as the final words of various gods.

I'm equally tired of the way the lack of any mentions in the Bible (or other holy books) doesn't stop those puppeteers from saying that their god is firmly against abortion and so on.

And I'm knackered (knackered!) when I read the odd contortions which more liberal believers engage in while trying to rescue what the misogynist Paul said from being, well, misogyny, or when trying to argue that the literal reading of the role of women in the Bible or the Koran is compatible with modern social justice.  It is not.  But then slavery is no longer condoned on the basis of the Bible, so perhaps the women of the future have some hope.