Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Toxic masculinity and privilege

A comment by Renna on Twitter:  "If he's still single by nightfall, I'll be disappointed in you Texas ladies"

Feminists eat your heart out. He's a Houston SWAT officer

The Equal Rights Amendment is again on the table

Lena Dunham hadn’t even been born when the Equal Rights Amendment movement sputtered and died. Today, she’s among the activists and celebrities trying to revive it, mugging for a social media campaign in a T-shirt bearing an iconic photo of feminist activists Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Hughes.

Elise Bouc has long prepared for such a campaign. Four decades after watching the ERA debate as a teenager, she is the spokeswoman for the effort to stop it, using some of the same arguments as her predecessor, the late Phyllis Schlafly .

“I feel a little bit like a time traveler sometimes,” said Bouc, chairwoman of Stop ERA Illinois and spokeswoman on the ERA for the conservative Eagle Forum.

This is where women find themselves in 2017: revisiting a movement that predated disco. At least a half-dozen states have fielded new proposals to ratify a constitutional amendment on equal rights for women. In March, Nevada became the 36th state to ratify it, 35 years after missing the deadline.

The throwback movement picked up speed even before Donald Trump’s inauguration prompted massive protest marches and feelings of vulnerability among women. Activists believe women are now starting to appreciate that the policy gains of the past four decades could be wiped away without explicit constitutional protections. Moreover, women still don’t enjoy the equality promised from hard-fought victories: more than a half century after the Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963, women still make less money than men.

“I’m just tired of fighting all the time on things that should be moving forward,” said Jessica Neuwirth, president of the ERA Coalition. “What we really need is this constitutional amendment so it can’t be rolled back.”

The ERA would expressly prohibit discrimination based on gender, enshrining equal rights in the Constitution and providing a sturdier foundation for legal challenges, advocates say. “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex,” the amendment says.

Many young women, groomed to be soccer stars and scientists, may be surprised to discover their rights aren’t already constitutionally protected. A poll conducted by the ERA Coalition last year found that 80 percent of people believe they are.

But as activists point out, unlike other groups that have historically been discriminated against — based on race, religion, or national origin, for instance — courts have not found that women are specifically protected.

“Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex,” the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia once said. “The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t.”

That means women do not get the same “strict scrutiny” standard of judicial review that those groups receive before the Supreme Court.

Moreover, many assume that women have constitutional rights under the 14th Amendment that was adopted in the wake of the Civil War to provide equal protection to former slaves. But that clause has been applied inconsistently to sex discrimination cases.

In other words: Women often lose.

That’s the case laid out in Neuwirth’s 2015 book, “Equal Means Equal,” and a 2016 film by the same name, directed by actress Kamala Lopez, that helped spur some of the celebrity interest in a social media campaign for the ERA.

Whether a Hollywood message is helpful in the current cultural climate, though, is another question.

Joan C. Williams, founding director of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law, argued the ERA failed in the 1970s because of class conflicts — and would fail again today.

That’s because attitudes toward gender roles differ substantially by class, and the ERA tends to appeal to those on the higher end of the economic spectrum.

“Non-elite women tend to look back with nostalgia and longing on the homemaker role because that’s really still one of our hidden cultural ideals,” said Williams, author of “White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America.’’

Women who opposed the ERA in the 1970s framed it as “an attack on homemakers” whose personal choices would be threatened, Williams added. “There’s little doubt in my mind that they would do that again. And that this would be another example of sort of coastal elites attacking the American family.”

Though it’s closely associated with the cultural tumult of the 1970s, the ERA dates to 1923, when suffragist Alice Paul introduced it as the logical next step toward equality, three years after women won the right to vote.

Nearly five decades later, the ERA passed Congress in March 1972 and was sent to the states for ratification. It picked up support from 22 states within the first year but failed to garner the required three-quarters of states, even after Congress extended the deadline to 1982. The measure expired with only 35 states on board, three fewer than needed.

Some activists think that, after Nevada’s recent approval, they only need ratification from two more states to make the ERA a reality. However that would likely require another extension from Congress and also face legal challenges, in part because some states later rescinded support. The 15 states that have not ratified it are largely clustered in the South and lower Midwest.

The divisive debate of the 1970s nearly turned “equal rights” into dirty words. Schlafly led the opposition through her conservative Eagle Forum and warned the ERA would lead to taxpayer-funded abortion; force women into combat; give gay couples rights; and allow anyone into any public bathroom.

Opponents are still employing some of those same arguments today.

Though women can now serve in military combat, Bouc raises concerns about the draft. “While the military draft has not been used since Vietnam, it’s always a real possibility,” Bouc said. “Right now, we are in the situation women from the ’70s wanted: Women now can choose whether or not they want to place themselves in that vulnerable position of being in combat.”

She also warned that an amendment intended to help women would end up hurting them, by invalidating gender-specific benefits that already exist, such as workplace accommodations for pregnant women; alimony; and federal funding of nutrition and health initiatives. Housewives would lose their claim to half their husbands’ Social Security benefits, Bouc said. Gender-specific bathrooms and women’s shelters could be rendered obsolete.

“In essence, it will turn us into an androgynous society where even when it makes sense to make a distinction based on our gender, we will not be allowed to,” she said.

ERA advocates dispute those points and say the current laws don’t sufficiently protect women. They point to the nation’s largest-ever sex discrimination case, which the Supreme Court threw out in 2011. Despite evidence of disparities in female Walmart employees’ pay and promotions, the court found the women had provided “no convincing proof of a companywide discriminatory pay and promotion policy.”

Neuwirth noted that the Equal Pay Act was practically negated by the Supreme Court, which found that a woman had to file suit within 180 days of being hired. (The Obama administration subsequently eased that time constraint.)

“There are laws that protect women in theory, but in practice they don’t work,” said Neuwirth. “What this would do effectively is give women more adequate remedy.”

Still, the remedies would depend on the cases, said Williams. “ERA is a bit of a cipher,” Williams said. “Equal means equal to somebody, and it’s unclear to whom. It would all be decided in the courts.”


Christian girl, 5, is forced into foster care with Burka-wearing Muslim carers who 'took away her crucifix and stopped her eating bacon'

A Christian girl aged five was forced to live in conservative Muslim foster homes where nobody spoke English and she was encouraged to learn Arabic, it was reported.

The girl, who was white and a native English speaker, spent the past six months in two Muslim households after being placed into foster care in Tower Hamlets, east London.

Local authority reports describe how the little girl sobbed and begged not to be returned to her niqab-wearing carer’s home, telling a social worker: ‘They don’t speak English.’

The reports, seen by The Times, detail how the child was ‘very distressed’ and claimed the foster carer had removed her Christian cross and encouraged her to learn Arabic.

It was even suggested that the carer had forbidden her from eating a carbonara meal, because it contained bacon – which Muslims do not eat.

The two placements were made by Tower Hamlets borough council against the wishes of the girl’s family.

According to the newspaper, the girl also told her mother that ‘Christmas and Easter are stupid’ and that ‘European women are stupid and alcoholic’. Local authorities are required to give due consideration to a child’s religious persuasion, racial origin and cultural and linguistic background’ when placing them into a foster home.

The girl’s mother is said to be horrified by the circumstances her daughter has been placed in.

A friend told the newspaper: ‘This is a five-year-old white girl. She was born in this country, speaks English as her first language, loves football, holds a British passport and was christened in a church. She’s already suffered the huge trauma of being forcibly separated from her family.

‘She needs surroundings in which she’ll feel secure and loved. Instead, she’s trapped in a world where everything feels foreign and unfamiliar. That’s really scary for a young child.’

The girl lived with her first carer, who is believed to have worn a niqab outside the family home, for four months. Her current carer wears a burka, which covers her face entirely, when she is out in public with the child. Tower Hamlets council reportedly refused to respond to requests to explain why the girl had been fostered in the households.

The Daily Mail have contacted the council for comment.

It’s not the first time Tower Hamlets has been embroiled in scandal. In 2014, a leaked government report suggested the mayor Lutfur Rahman and his finance minister, Alibor Choudhury, had links to Islamic extremist groups, including one seeking to set up a Sharia state in Europe.

A document handed to The Sunday Telegraph alleged that three community centres owned by the council, or by their housing authority, were used for meetings of radical groups including Al Muhajiroun, the banned Islamist terrorist organisation founded by Omar Bakri Mohammed and Anjem Choudary.

A third was used by political hate group Hizb ut-Tahrir and ‘may still be’ in use, according to a report which was prepared for David Cameron in 2013.

In 2011, it was reported a 31-year-old Asian woman who worked in a local chemist’s had received death threats for refusing to wear a veil, even though she was not a practising Muslim. The woman’s boss was later approached by an Asian in his 40s who told him his employee must cover her head and wear longer robes.


Leftists condemn a Confederate gentleman but love a racist goon

While the Left claims the violent, racist, history of the Confederacy warrants the removal of all depictions of its military commanders, they simply can’t get enough of the violent, racist, military commander Che Guevara.

Whether it’s denouncing blacks as less than human, brutally executing children or leading a militant force dedicated to enslaving millions, Che Guevara is the bloodthirsty racist liberals see in Robert E. Lee.

In many ways, Guevara was the original Social Justice Warrior.

The rich, privileged kid of well-off white Argentine parents, Guevara became radicalized in college.  Traveling around Central America in one of the first “poverty tourism” trips, Guevara treated blacks and indigenous people with the condescending contempt now synonymous with American liberals.

In fact, he could have easily passed for a KKK member. Writing in his diary in 1952, Guevara sneered:

"The blacks, those magnificent examples of the African race who have maintained their racial purity thanks to their lack of an affinity with bathing, have seen their territory invaded by a new kind of slave: the Portuguese. The black is indolent and a dreamer; spending his meager wage on frivolity or drink; the European has a tradition of work and saving, which has pursued him as far as this corner of America and drives him to advance himself, even independently of his own individual aspirations".

Yes, the people who want to rip down statue of Robert E. Lee are erecting icons to the man who wrote that.

After leading Cuban Communists to military victory, Guevara made it clear people with black skin would be treated as second-class citizens in the new regime.

“We’re going to do for blacks exactly what blacks did for the revolution. By which I mean: nothing,” Guevara promised in 1959.

True to his word, to this day Cuban blacks are treated as chattel — by a racist slave empire liberals openly admire.

And if liberals want to express opposition to a military commander dedicated to hate, they simply need to look down at the grotesque face on their trendy t-shirts.

In a 1966 speech, Guevara screeched:

Hatred is the central element of our struggle! Hatred that is intransigent…hatred so violent that it propels a human being beyond his natural limitations, making him violent and cold- blooded killing machine…We reject any peaceful approach. Violence is inevitable. To establish Socialism rivers of blood must flow! The imperialist enemy must feel like a hunted animal wherever he moves. Thus we’ll destroy him! These hyenas are fit only for extermination. We must keep our hatred alive and fan it to paroxysm! The victory of Socialism is well worth millions of atomic victims!

If Robert E. Lee is a racist mass murderer who led the fight to build a slave empire, it appears the only problem liberals have with that is that he didn’t persecute racial minorities to advance socialism.

If liberals want to condemn to the ash heap of history a violent, psychotic, anti-black bigot who led an army expressly dedicated to hate and human slavery, they can start with their most cherished, blood-soaked bigot — Che Guevara.


UK: Jeremy Corbyn’s talk of ‘kinder politics’ isn’t matched by Labour’s actions

Katie Glass

I would rather spend a night with the Mogginator [Popular but very old-fashioned Conservative politician Jacob Rees-Mogg] than endure a soy latte with Laura Pidcock. Most of Jacob Rees-Mogg’s voting record appalls me, but at least he’d be a laugh and rather more charming than the Labour MP Pidcock. She informed us last week she had "absolutely no intention of being friends" with Tories because they’re "the enemy". Which sounds like the ridiculous fighting talk of someone who’s been playing too much Call of Duty rather than the sentiments of an elected MP.

Pidcock, the member for North West Durham, says she would never "hang out" with Conservative women, who are "no friends of mine". She followed this up by tweeting the message that "it’s visceral. I’m not interested in being cosy with Tories". Well, that’s going to disappoint her local WI.

I’m not militant about who I’ll hang out with. I’m as easy with leftie, lentil-munching fake hippies as with blue-blood Tory boys. I’m as comfortable at the Glastonbury festival as at . . . well, other parts of the Glastonbury festival.

Still, hearing Pidcock reminded me why I’d rather be friends with Conservatives. Tories always get their round in and are much less judgmental, partly because they are so much more confident about their own views.

Right now I’m staying in the house of a One Nation Tory who bakes bread for me every night in his Aga. It sure beats the time I went to stay with my "leftie" mates and they spent the whole week slagging off my job, even as they suggested I "expense" the drinks.

I feel increasingly alienated by lefties who call themselves liberal, but refuse to listen to different opinions; who claim to be compassionate, but use the smallest political difference — or none at all — as an excuse to resort to personal abuse.

At its "funniest" it’s hearing people joke about dancing on Margaret Thatcher’s grave or finding T-shirts with the Nye Bevan quote about Tories being "lower than vermin" for sale on leftie websites such as RedMolotov, with text in the shape of a rat. At its worst it means watching the hard left viciously troll the soft left on social media, particularly if their targets are female and Jewish.

It is no less distasteful when their victims are unappealing, as when Owen Jones, a Guardian columnist, tweeted "few things more beautiful" alongside a video of the US alt-right activist Jason Kessler being swung at violently by a mob.

How would Pidcock respond to someone spouting such offensive nonsense towards any other group? She’d (rightly) call it hate speech. Yet look how Amina Lone, a Muslim Labour councillor in Manchester, has been treated by her own side after daring to speak out against the abuse of children by grooming gangs. She has been barred from standing for re-election after seven years on the council because of her "outspoken" campaigning for gender equality within the Muslim community.

The Tories are supposed to be the Nasty Party, but it’s hard to believe in Corbyn’s "kinder politics" while listening to chants of "Tory scum". I can’t trust a movement where actions don’t match words. If you’re going to bang on about how caring you are, that compassion must be inclusive. As the Labour MP Jess Phillips bluntly observed, when it comes to sexism, left-wing men are the "actual worst".

After the murder of MP Jo Cox proved political rhetoric had real consequences, Pidcock should be ashamed for peddling what the Tory MP Nadine Dorries rightly calls the "politics of hate". You have to build a rapport to wield influence in a parliamentary democracy. It takes cross-party collaboration and adult debate.

This is, after all, how Corbyn justifies sharing a platform with terrorists. If the Labour leader can talk to Hamas and the IRA, can’t Pidcock give Norma Major a chance?

It took reporting on the Grenfell fire to make the Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow wonder, mournfully, if he is part of a disconnected elite. I could have told him that he is.

As a cub reporter, new to London, I once approached him nervously at a National Portrait Gallery party. He was dismissive and rude, ridiculing me in front of his female fans for not recognising a portrait of the former Venezuelan leader, Hugo Chavez.

"If he was a singer in a rock band called Up your Jumper, you’d know who he is," he said, pleased to have embarrassed a girl 30 years younger, and 30 times poorer, than him.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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