reflections of a pragmatic optimist, lover of freedom

Category: Feminism (Page 1 of 5)

So Long, California

On receiving a campaign email titled “Every Radical Woman” last week from my former Congresswoman, Democrat Jackie Speier, whose mailing list seems to have mis-classified me as a supporter, I felt compelled to reply.

I suppose I might have saved my energy and let this one go — I no longer live in California, after all — but its cynical and disingenuous attempt to tar the pro-liberty Tea Party movement as somehow anti-woman, as part of the bombastic “war on women” meme that today’s Democrats seem to hope will distract from their out-of-control spending and abysmal failure on the economy, was too far beyond the pale to go unchallenged.

On a range of issues culminating in Speier’s enthusiastic support for the legislative and financial disaster known as ObamaCare, whose detractors her campaign vilified as fear-mongering extremists, I never felt Congresswoman Speier represented my positions or values. Thankfully, we are now both relieved of the representative-constituent relationship, as I explained in my emailed reply:

You may wish to update your contact list. I did not vote for you, but you may thank me for relieving you of the burden of representing me.

After 33 years in California, some of it lived as a moderate Democrat, I have given up on my beloved home state, and departed with my productivity and entrepreneurship in search of places where fiscal sanity is practiced. I have been much happier for it, and have not had cause to look back.

As one municipality after another goes bankrupt, while voters refuse to do the difficult grown-up work of reining in out-of-control spending, my only remaining hope for the state of my birth is that it may serve as a warning to the rest of the country before it is too late.

Suffrage was and remains a fine and just achievement, but it’s an irreversible milestone from which society has rightly moved on. Today’s authentically “radical women” are those who challenge the regnant orthodoxy of unsustainable, infantilizing nanny-state feminism and are routinely vilified for it. The overwrought notions that calling for fiscal responsibility somehow constitutes a “war on women”, or that the economy- and liberty-focused Tea Party represents a resurgence of anti-feminist social conservatism, are farcical and disingenuous scare tactics, and I suspect most of those who promulgate these desperate fallacies know that. If there is a war on women, it is nowhere more manifest than in persistent unemployment that disproportionately affects women — the foreseeable result of decreasingly competitive, increasingly business-unfriendly economic policies. What will most help women is what will help us all: a return to smaller government and fiscal sustainability.

For my part, I’ve had enough of fiscal denial, and the ugly and cynical politics of fear, envy, and entitlement that have fed this crisis, having left in search of places where the pioneering American Idea still thrives. I will go wherever I have to to escape the ruinous advance of Progressivism — a philosophy whose state mechanisms, as California’s 33rd governor aptly put it, resemble nothing so much as my newborn’s alimentary canal — with an insatiable appetite at one end, and no sense of responsibility at the other.

I do hope California can be saved. I’m done waiting and wishing, against all evidence and common sense, for it to happen, and I leave the state to those who seem to think they know better.

You’re welcome.

Your Former Constituent,
Troy Stephens

A snapshot of the campaign email to which I replied:

'Every Radical Woman' Campaign Email, Received from Jackie Speier for Congress, 2012-08-27

Hats Off to the “Dudettes”

I’d probably have missed this if not for a post on Ricochet:

Hats off to the flying “Dudettes”, and Godspeed to all our troops and airmen, male and female alike, in harm’s way. I’ll just bet our guys on the ground calling in for air support are just a little extra happy to hear their voices. I love how they appreciate the positive effect that has on morale, while at the same time just doing their job the same as other airmen. My kind of feminism. Rock on.

Phyllis Chesler: Obama Throws Muslim Women Under the Bus

Did President Obama sacrifice the interests of Muslim women in his Cairo speech? Phyllis Chesler thinks so, and says as much in a characteristically well-articulated piece at PJM:

It is a Catholic woman’s right to become a nun and shave or cover her hair; it is an Orthodox or Hasidic Jewish woman’s right to shave or cover her hair; and it is a Muslim woman’s right to cover her hair and her face–as long as those women who refuse to do so are not browbeaten, beaten, ostracized, stalked, stoned to death or honor-murdered. I have written about just such cases in the West right here, at this blog, cases in which young American- and Canadian-Muslim girls were tormented, then killed because they refused to wear hijab.

In Europe, where there are many more Muslims, there is a veritable epidemic of such exceedingly dishonorable and incredibly gruesome “honor” murders.

But there’s something more. Let’s face it: The Islamic face-veil and headscarf have become symbols of “jihad” and Islamic religious apartheid or intolerance in the West. And, it is spooky, even frightening to see women, (or are they men?), face-veiled or wearing full-body shrouds. Masked people, hooded people, have cut themselves off from human contact; they can see you, but you can’t see them. You cannot see their expressions in response to what you are saying. I would not want to appear before a masked judge, study with a masked teacher, hire a masked lawyer, etc. Would you?

Whether I approve of their clothing choices or not, Hasidic (ultra-orthodox or anti-modern) Jews and Catholics are not threatening western civilization and are not out there be-heading those who leave Judaism or Catholicism. Nor are they force-converting Muslims and Hindus. Muslims are doing just that at this very moment in history when America’s President has reached out to the entire Islamic world.

What’s more, Jews and Catholics are not honor-murdering their daughters and wives because they refuse to veil their faces, their hair, or their bodies. Mainly Muslims do that.

See the full article for more good argument, and quotes from a worrisome exchange between President Obama and French President Sarkozy on the subject of women’s rights and headscarves.

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