June 27, 2018

Women are Evil?!

There is a species of blog post / article out there which pretends via headline or introduction to discuss an issue in an evenhanded or politically neutral way, but then proceeds into the usual tribal claptrap, name calling, etc.

One such article appears today in Huffington Post, entitled "Women are Evil." Given the title itself, one might suspect that it is a bit broad. However, if simply making the claim that women can engage in evil acts, even as men do, then it would be an unremarkable and unsurprising bit of opinion, somewhat on the level of claiming that bacon and pulled pork both come from the same animal.

But, this particular article deals with the evil women in a different way than expected. The article begins with the broad statement:
The monsters are always men. They menace from the highest positions of power; they lurk in the shadows of our subconscious. At this time of reckoning ― thanks to movements like Me Too and Time’s Up ― some of our cultural monsters are being revealed. 
Again, with the exception of rhetorical flourish (surely the author is aware of true female monsters), an unsurprising statement.

The author continues to lay out her argument that women are evil as follows:
But there is a reckoning that hasn’t yet happened and that’s with women, who use their bodies and social positions as wives and mothers to mediate how we handle the monsters of our society....These intermediaries are all too often women ― white women ― of privilege, who are doing quite well under the patriarchy. It’s a neat trick ― enforcing a system that affords you an amount of privilege but also oppresses others just like you. And it’s one white women have been playing for years...It was 53 percent of white women after all who voted for Donald Trump, a president who has publicly admitted to assaulting women. Women are in positions of power in his cabinet and it is his daughter Ivanka who provided much of the cover for his policies during the campaign. Her presence, for many Trump supporters, continues to soften his most aggressive and erratic positions.
The author, Lyz Lenz, continues with examples of women (especially white women) whom she claims "cover up" for male monsters - the 53% of white women who voted for Trump, Kirstjen Nielsen who (in defending the Trump zero-tolerance policy became "another female human shield"), Ivanka Trump (who provides "cover" for Pres. Trump's policies and softens Pres. Trump's positions), and so forth.

There is an odd contradiction here. First, the argument that women are victims of male monsters and the patriarchy, in statements such as:
Patriarchy both shelters women as frail things in need of coverage and uses their bodies as human shields. It also abuses women and puts them in places where calling out abuse puts them in more danger.
Then the argument that these women are evil and intentionally "using the purity of their bodies and their roles as women and mothers to justify the menace of their actions." And that:
Ivanka Tump [sic], Melania Trump, Conway, Sanders and Nielsen are complicit. They are no innocent mothers, whose uterus provides protection for their involvement. They actively benefit and stand for a system that also demeans and destroys.
The essence of Lenz's argument is, in my own summation:
White women benefit from the male hierarchy, so they are willing to use their bodies and status to protect the evil actions of corrupt male moral monsters within the hierarchy, which abuses white women and prevents them from revealing the abuse; so their complicity in covering up the male evil destroys their innocence. 
So, Lenz appears to indicate both that white women are abused by, and victims of, the patriarchy, while simultaneously claiming that women (such as those who opposed suffrage) are not innocent and are independent moral agents.

This is a demeaning article which is viewed through the twin lenses of race relations and sex relations. In fact, the author seems like a monomaniac, so focused and biased that even women who wrote in support of men who were entirely cleared of wrongdoing (see Junot Diaz) are chided for daring to support a male even accused of sexual wrongdoing.

This article simultaneously paints women as victims, oppressors, independent thinkers, cowed into submission to powerful men, incapable of thinking independently, evil, and biased. There IS no reason, in Lenz's mind, that a woman could have supported Trump over Clinton, other than being such a victim of patriarchy that women were bowing to their husbands',  boyfriends', or fathers' demands that they vote in a certain way.

What a terrible article, devoid of any real thought, and simply mean to vilify women with whom the author disagrees, perhaps for the author to attempt reaching a moral high ground different than "I don't like Trump, and therefore, anyone white woman who supports him must be evil."

June 9, 2018

Conservative Authors - June 9, 2018

Okay, so I recently posted a query on one of my conservative / libertarian Ben Shapiro groupie sites, asking whether anyone had put together a list of conservative / libertarian / classical liberal authors to read. People had suggestions, but no list has apparently been produced. So, I will make an attempt below. This initial list will be authors only - we will get to works later. I am trying to divide these by century, with authors who lived across divides classified in the later. I am using various sources for these names, including Wikipedia, Russell Kirk's Conservative Mind, the ISI website, and various searches using the privacy-attacking know it all Google.

Really, the idea of a "conservative" seems to have come about with Edmund Burke, although I am sure there were people writing earlier who could be considered as such. I will begin the list with Burke, and will add more if I discover earlier. Also, as should be obvious, not all of these will fit within any given conception of the term "conservative," and it is difficult to

18th Century
Edmund Burke
Thomas Jefferson
Alexander Hamilton
George Washington
J.S. Mill
Thomas Paine

19th Century
Benjamin Disraeli
Frederic Bastiat
Jean-Baptiste Say
Henry David Thoreau
James F. Cooper
Alexis de Tocqueville

20th Century
George Santayana
G.K. Chesterton
C.S. Lewis
Leo Strauss
Eric Voegelin
Richard M. Weaver
Michael Oakeshott
Friedrich Hayek
Russell Kirk
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Peter Viereck
Roger Scruton
Rene Girard
G.E.M. Anscombe
Milton Friedman
Robert Nisbet
Richard M. Weaver
Murray Rothbard
Ludwig von Mises
Wilhelm Ropke
Karl Popper
John Dalberg-Acton
Bertrand de Jouvenel
Michael Polanyi
Mel Bradford
Harry Jaffa
Henry Hazlitt

21st Century
Ben Shapiro
Jonah Goldberg
Walter Williams
Thomas Sowell
Antonin Scalia
Clarence Thomas
William F. Buckley, Jr.
George Nash
Robert Nozick
James V. Schall, S.J.
Wilfred McClay
R.V. Young
Patrick Deneen
Richard M. Reinsch II
Robert George
Pierre Manent
Yuval Levin
George W. Carey
George Panichas
Jude P. Dougherty
Thaddeus J. Kozinski
Peter Augustine Lawler
Bradley C.S. Watson
Ross Douthat
Christopher Dawson
Remi Brague