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I think it's pretty clear I don't understand women. But it seems politically, the way to win the support of women's groups is to support women in general, but show disrespect for women individually. Conversely, no matter how well a man has treated women in his personal life, he is judged solely on his position on a single issue.

Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy are considered "heroes" to the women's movement. Bill Clinton has a record of womanizing (Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky). Ted Kennedy has been the subject of rumors of womanizing himself (the "Dodd Sandwich" and "offshore drilling" stories spring to mind) and even killed one once.

George W. Bush, on the other hand, has never faced any serious allegations of mistreating women in his life. Many of his key advisors have been women, including three Cabinet Secretaries and his National Security Advisor, yet because he opposes the women's groups' position on a single issue -- abortion -- he's demonized by NOW and their ilk. He liberated millions of Afghani women from a hideously oppressive government (the Taliban repressed everyone, but women were singled out for extra helpings of oppression).

I happen to be pro-choice, myself, but I just don't get it. Is that the sole basis on which women's groups judge a politician's acceptability?



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Comments (19)

I think it's pretty clea... (Below threshold)

I think it's pretty clear I don't understand women.

Like anyone does?

I have a standing rule that I enforce in all of my classes: whenever someone claims to be a feminist I ask them very nicely what they think of Bill Clinton. When they say they like him (they always do) I tell them that they aren't feminists, they're partisans.

I think Mary Jo Kopechne wo... (Below threshold)

I think Mary Jo Kopechne would say Kennedy committed a more grievous offense against women than a Dodd sandwich.

I don't understand either, ... (Below threshold)

I don't understand either, and I'm a woman. The best I can tell you is that these women were so completely screwed by the male figures in their lives, that they can't tell the difference between a slimeball who happens to have charm and a good, honest guy. It's like the woman that continues to date creeps who abuse her - you'd think she would have learned her lesson after the first couple, but she continues to be attracted to exactly what has hurt her in the past simply because it's what she knows.

And I'll never EVER understand how the state of MA continues to keep a murderer in office.

oops, you mentioned that al... (Below threshold)

oops, you mentioned that already. I need to go take some reading comprehension classes, excuse me.

You're apparently making th... (Below threshold)

You're apparently making the mistake of thinking that feminism is about women. It isn't. It's about changing the existing order.

If feminism is about aborti... (Below threshold)

If feminism is about abortion, then I'm an astronaut -- and I assure you, I don't even play one on TV.

Abortion is a women's issue solely in this: it's women who conceive. The reason abortion is any kind of public-policy issue is men's successful seduction of women out of their unwillingness to have sex outside of marriage.

Men were the architects of the sexual revolution. Men were the principal beneficiaries of cheap, generally reliable contraception. And until Roe v. Wade, men were the parties most "discommoded" by an unwanted pregnancy; it meant they had to do the right thing or be revealed as exploitive cads.

Until Roe v. Wade.

Today, when an unmarried woman says to her beau, "I'm pregnant," he can respond, "What are you going to do about it?" as if he were uninvolved in the matter. The sexual revolution rejected the notion that one should own up to the consequences of his actions. It also gave rise to the modern epidemics of venereal diseases, including AIDS, since even the diseased could convince themselves that they had a right to sexual indulgence.

Yes, yes, I'm a 52-year-old dinosaur. But we dinosaurs had far less VD, far fewer single-parent households and far fewer career welfare recipients. And I can't help but think that trading the presumption of a two-parent family for the right to screw around was a really bad idea.

Jay, You're being logical a... (Below threshold)

Jay, You're being logical again. You have to knock it off. It just won't get you anywhere with the women you're writing about. And why would you want to get anywhere with them anyway?

I have to agree with Mauree... (Below threshold)

I have to agree with Maureen. I had to quit dating for nine years in order to get the "bad boy syndrome" fully out of my system. I'm now happily engaged to one of the sweetest men on the planet and he adores me to no end.

These women have serious mental problems.

Francis, there are plenty o... (Below threshold)

Francis, there are plenty of classes in the US (prior to Roe v Wade) where men were branded CADs long before they knocked up a woman and didn't marry. In any case the woman is stuck with an unwanted pregenancy. Pre Roe v Wade, her reputation would be severely compromised when the CAD didn't marry. But are you saying that Men had more to lose? Not every woman is the mere wife of a CEO or Political figure. True, pre Roe v Wade men were typically bread winners, and a mark on their reputation could have financial repercussions for the whole family. Today however women more often out earn their husbands, and their reputation trumps the man's.

As for what happens today, not all men say "what are you going to do about it." No. Some promise keepers are saying "you better NOT get an abortion because that's MY child." In either case, the man is inconsiderate and woman is better off not marrying the guy. I think in most cases, it's actually more common for the man to say what are WE going to do about it. In any case, the woman needs to be able to choose for herself what's best for her. Take away that choice and she's powerless.

What really irritates me is... (Below threshold)

What really irritates me is that the "Women's Movement" claims to speak for all of us (I'm personally somewhat ambivelent on the issue), and if we don't toe the abortion line, we're Uncle Toms. Or if we choose to stay home. Or, God forbid, choose to submit to our husbands. Or at least consider that women are different from men. As good as, yes, but the same as, no.

The problem with the women's groups is that they aren't women's groups, they're abortion groups in pink clothing.

-- But are you saying that ... (Below threshold)

-- But are you saying that Men had more to lose? --

No, I'm saying men had more to gain. They achieved sexual access to women without the obligations of marriage, and eliminated the last slender possibility that they might have to answer for a consequence of their indulgences.

The only way they could get all of that was by persuading women, against their natural inclinations, to believe that "the right to choose" trumps both the right to life of a developing baby and the loss of the most important single bargaining chip women have had in their relations with men over all of recorded history. But what were they being told to "choose"? The murder of a helpless creature, the only truly innocent participant in the whole affair, who wouldn't even exist except for its parents' negligence or carelessness!

There was always an alternative to being an unwed mother: surrendering the baby for adoption. It isn't pleasant -- it involves some inconvenience and guilt -- but that is as it should be.

There is nothing to compare with the villainy of abortion as an evasion of sexual responsibility -- and we men brought it about.

Having lived most of my lif... (Below threshold)

Having lived most of my life in the midst of the women's movement, and having both profited from and used it to my advantage, I can attest that we have been equal for a very long time.

I used to vote on choice, but I no longer believe it to be at risk. Sometimes I think it only remains an issue so Patricia Ireland et al can demand speaking fees.

Great post Jay. Being a wo... (Below threshold)

Great post Jay. Being a woman, I never understood why other women dug Kennedy or Clinton - they are both scumbags in my mind. Dubya is pure class.

I believe most liberal/femi... (Below threshold)

I believe most liberal/feminist women's organizations are still sore about that episode in the garden of eden about 6,000 years ago. Leave it up to disgruntled women to hold a multi-millenia grudge.


He's done nothing to help g... (Below threshold)

He's done nothing to help gain women equal pay for equal work, a traditional feminist talking point.

Clinton and Kennedy both get high marks on that from them.

So two things I can think of, yeah.

And freeing the Afghani women was high on his list of priorities, I'm sure


that's as opportunistic a statement as I've ever heard

"Bill Clinton and Ted Kenne... (Below threshold)

"Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy are considered "heroes" to the women's movement." These two men make me absolutely sick to my stomach and cannot imagine anyone wanting to be with either one of them, Jay. I like George Bush, I always have. One of the things that have striken me over the last four years, is his relationship with his wife, Laura. Never do they walk apart and automatically their fingers join. They have a great love for one another and a great deal of respect. One is not complete without the other and their natural demonstration of their love for one another has always touched my heart. It is something I notice when they are together all the time and I really, really envy that kind of loveset, mindset, soulset.

I can't answer your question because I do not feel that way. I'm more in George Bush's camp with his wife, Laura and it's that kind of relationship that I would like to have and he's much better looking than Ted Kennedy (gag) or Bill Clinton (gag again) could ever imagine to be. I'm also pro-choice and even though our President has a different view, it's his view; it's what he believes despite the fact that most women don't agree with it. But he leads with his heart and that is quite obvious, so I can forgive a man like that anyday but I can't and would not ever want to be in the shoes of the women attached to either Kennedy or Clinton.

sdunn:"As for w... (Below threshold)
Jim Price:


"As for what happens today, not all men say "what are you going to do about it." No. Some promise keepers are saying "you better NOT get an abortion because that's MY child." In either case, the man is inconsiderate and woman is better off not marrying the guy."

Are you saying that when a child is concieved (which of course, happens by way of a woman AND a man- pretty elementary), that what is "best for the woman" trumps what's best for the child- and is somehow separate from, and also more important than the male?

I'm just curious, because it sounds to me like you're saying that men are basically just sperm donors, and children in the womb are nothing more than an inconvienience to be dealt with.

Add to that the fact that the woman will go after the men for child support with fervor (which they should, if the men shirk that responsibility), and it sounds like you put forth a very one sided equation.


"In any case, the woman needs to be able to choose for herself what's best for her. Take away that choice and she's powerless."

I also realized that you don't state the obvious: What about the woman's choice to think about the consequences of having sex before jumping in the sack?

Can you clarify your position a bit? It seems quite lacking in any mature/moral thought process.

Telling women their power c... (Below threshold)

Telling women their power comes from the choice of whether to have an abortion, is like telling black people their political power lies in voting so predictably for a single party that neither party sees any point in contesting for their votes.

A woman's power does not lie in killing an infant. It lies in being able and ready to tell a man NO.

When she gtives up that choice, that's when she's powerless.

I don't understand women, e... (Below threshold)

I don't understand women, either. I can't fathom how a woman can live with another human inside her for 9 months and give birth to it, let alone how one would have pro-choice views (killing the baby inside).

Francis -- I couldn't have said it better. Responsibility would get us out of the entire mess of abortion.

Unfortunately, the word "irresponsibility" is oft confused with "freedom." If we banned abortion outright, both men AND women would be forced to accept responsibility for their sexual activity, and that isn't allowed in Liberal Loony Land, where people have the right to screw each other...in more ways than one.






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