Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Message to us evil pants-wearing feminists: don't vote

This "not really blogging" posting is working for me. You can tell, can't you? :)

Today's snippet: I never realized that there were Catholics out there who seriously claim that the advent of evil into society came because of--wait for it--the dreadful and shameful practice known as women's suffrage.

Here's Dale Ahlquist of the American Chesterton Society:

Chesterton explained that the main weakness of the feminists was that they believed all the silly claims that men made about the importance of politics. Most women were smart enough to let their husbands go off to argue in pubs and the clubs, since it accomplished very little and generally didn’t interfere with the real business of life, the drama of the home and the family. Men claimed politics was important; women knew better. They knew what was really important: shaping the minds and souls of their children in the ideal and independent setting of the home. But there were a few women, usually those whose upper class privilege had already separated them from their children, who fell for the male bombast and got political. Chesterton warned that if women got involved in politics it would have the dreaded result of making politics look more legitimate than it was. It would give cause for the government to grow in its reach and influence and eventually impose itself on every aspect of our lives. The result would be the weakening of the authority of the family and the strengthening of the authority of the state. History has shown that his warnings were justified.

Some may consider women getting the right to vote to be the triumph of feminism. But since feminists were a minority, the vote actually did not give them much of a voice. The real triumph of feminism was the legalization of abortion. The argument that women have the right to kill their own babies is not based on any known legal precedent, any traditional understanding of human rights, or any classic, civilized moral teaching. It turned the family violently inside out, making the very heart of the family its lethal enemy. But the feminist argument won…because a few men fell for it.

So...giving women the right to vote led to abortion being imposed by judicial fiat (that is: not initiated by voting) upon a nation that at the time was not at all inclined to think abortion was a good idea, except for a few liberal looney states which had decided to aid men's sexual access to the kind of women both cheap enough and stupid enough to fall for the sexual revolution's myths by making sure the women could easily kill off any of the men's unwanted offspring...um...wait...

And here's another blogger on the subject:
The family is destabilized by this equality granted to both husband and wife. The man no longer represents his family in society, and his unique role is denied. Can we deny that this has had negative effects on the family? This equality has entered into the family itself, and thence we hear of novel ideas such a “mutual submission” between spouses. The revolution in the state has infected its very foundation. The virtue of submission and beauty of femininity has been rejected, and a strange thing has occurred; as woman become more like men, the men become more like woman. The inversion is diabolical. Dead beat, effeminate fathers, and pants wearing feminists would be difficult to imagine without this development.

The result being that the peace of the home has been shattered. The natural complementary natures of man and woman are placed at odds with each other. On a personal note, growing up in a family divided by political parties, I can attest to the disorder which divisive republican politics can have on a family. I remember my father complaining about my mother canceling his vote. At the time his complaint seemed foolish to my ears. Now, I understand the truth of his words. Thankfully, my own wife refuses to vote. She says it is not her place, and resents any suggestion that she should take on a responsibility that is not properly hers. She has enough responsibilities within her duty of state. I could say the same for most husbands.
Message to all of us evil pants-wearing feminists (even the ones of us who are totally pro-life): don't bother your pretty little heads with voting and politics! Leave it to the men! Because true femininity is apparently completely incompatible with the concept of taking an intelligent interest in the world that lies beyond one's front door and picket fence.


Amy said...

This is so absurd. But I shouldn't be surprised when we live in a world that specializes in self-deceptions of all kinds (ex: abortion as a "responsible parenting choice", too big to fail, the fashion genius of the Olsen twins, etc... in all things big and small, important and unimportant.).

As someone who has been fairly recently drawn to deeper living out of my faith, I am naturally drawn to Catholics who are really living it out, and it is counter-cultural. However, I am dismayed by posts like this illustrating people who have just gone off their nut in the other direction.

I am trying to reject a lot of what the world peddles, since good and right and true have been turned on their heads. But I think serious Catholics need to also be normal and well adjusted and joy-filled and not -- INSANE. I want to look at conservative traditional practicing Cathokics faithful to the Church's teachings and be inspired to join them, not wish they'd shun the Internet along with their votes and pants.

App. Prof. said...

Wow, that blog you linked to is self-important and really silly. I'm sorry that Dale Ahlquist, whom I thought a bit saner than this, has expressed such a silly opinion as well.

I notice the "Durendal" blog has, as its URL, a name evoking Roncesvalles. "Durendal" was a sword in from the Song of Roland, I believe. That was not, as is a popular perception, a Christian/Muslim conflict, but your garden variety Christian/Christian conflict. I hope these guys are aware of that.

There are more than a few Catholics on the more conservative/traditional/right-leaning side of things who idealize chivalry, and confuse it with chivalric narratives, and who think that if they extend one common courtesy they deserve a medal (i.e., just because you open the door for me, respecting my womanhood, doesn't mean you get to deprive me of the RIGHT TO VOTE! And, if you really think that, DON'T open the door.)

I recommend for them a healthy and repeated reading of Don Quixote to counter the chivalric bloviations, and that they read it sans the "Man of La Mancha" romantic distortions of the original story; while we're on the Spanish theme, I'd like to remind these fellows that it was giving women the right to vote in Spain in the 1930s that gave the CONSERVATIVES more power in the government. During the Second Spanish Republic, many liberals, including liberal women, opposed female suffrage because they knew that the women would vote conservative. Do they think it's so different now? Who are the most politically active people in the country? In my community, it's the women who are out there volunteering and campaigning, and it's usually for the conservatives.

File this under "dumb ideas" and "shooting oneself in the foot."

Red Cardigan said...

App. Prof.--thank you for saying this so perfectly!

Amy--you have a great insight, too. How can we help influence the world for the better if the world can write us off as insane? :)

John E. said...

Check out the words of The Right Reverend Joseph P. Machebeuf


Though strong-minded women who are not satisfied with the disposition of Providence and who wish to go beyond the condition of their sex, profess no doubt to be Christians, do they consult the Bible?-do they follow the Bible? I fear not. Had God intended to create a companion for man, capable of following the same pursuits, able to undertake the same labors, he would have created another man; but he created a woman, and she fell. * * *

The class of women wanting suffrage are battalions of old maids disappointed in love-women separated from their husbands or divorced by men from their sacred obligations-women who, though married, wish to hold the reins of the family government, for there never was a woman happy in her home who wished for female suffrage. * * *

Who will take charge of those young children (if they consent to have any) while mothers as surgeons are operating indiscriminately upon the victims of a terrible railway disaster? * * *

No kind husband will refuse to nurse the baby on Sunday (when every kind of business is stopped) in order to let his wife attend church; but even then, as it is not his natural duty, he will soon be tired of it and perhaps get impatient waiting for the mother, chiefly when the baby is crying.

Red Cardigan said...

Isn't history interesting, John? I'm not at all appalled by Catholics, even Catholic priests, thinking in 1877 that women's suffrage might be a bad idea somehow (heck, even Queen Victoria thought so). I'm rather appalled by Catholics in 2011 thinking it, though!

Anonymous said...

I would hope that some from the school Dale co-founded would set him straight. A quick glance at their board of directors and I see a couple of women and also someone by the name of "Vigilante"; wonder if he's married to Susan the "desperate irish housewife" blogger. I've read her blog and she wouldn't put up with that crap.
I simply would not pay tuition to a school founded by a guy who really thinks like this. This is a bad business move, imo.

shadowlands said...

The second blogger you quote is talking as if he is reading from an old english script!! Check out his profile shot, he's still in costume. His written language is so affected. Did his parents talk like that at home? Nobody in England carries on like that anymore, even the Queen would give him a sideways glance! And my kids would chase him if he appeared at our house. I am not being converted by a blog of acted out scenes!! Come to think of it, Dale's a bit of an actor too, isn't he? I'm sure I've seen him on youtube. I bet the shea's put them up to this (joking, I love the shea!)

However, the lack of authentic humanity in the second blogger's spiel totally took away any serious attention I would be able to give to his words.
I wonder if he'll be present at his wife's labours forsoothh!!

Personally speaking, as a liberated woman, I'd be lost without me trooozerz! (scottish for trousers).

Bathilda said...

Oh, there was a time when idiots made me mad, but no longer. I pity them, but more, I pity that woman who married a neanerthal. That's got to be plain torture. She refuses to vote because it's not her place? I pray that she will some day wake up, smell the coffee, and ready her boot to place firmly in her husband's backside. Really, can he be serious? In the same way that super radical feminists make it difficult for "regular" feminists, these guys lose all credibility with their ridiculousness. They are clearly threatened by women who are smart, but especially women who are smarter than they.

Tony said...

I was trying to figure out how to approach this the proper way without stepping into it too badly.

Two questions for Erin:

1. In a family, where a major decision has to be made, and the husband and wife cannot agree, how should the decision be made?

2. In a family, where the decision of which elected officials might benefit the family and society the best, and the husband and wife cannot agree, how should the decision be made?

Anonymous said...

For Lent I gave up responding to blogs that raised my ire constantly by blathering away as if women were to be pedestalized; either as feminists or the other thing whatever that is. This tone blocks women into the corner of a peghole, whether square pegs or round pegs. And, that is NOT what humans are about!!

Each of us are called to be the best child of God we can, not only just 'this' or 'that'. By setting up and strictly defining some artificial 'role' for half of the human race; those that do not adhere to a contrived definition are considered outcasts or defiant to the will of the groupthink. God's WORD is NOT simply the latest flavor of the current groupthink defined in the prevailing culture arising from this or that degrees latitude and longitude!

Admittedly, we all need to think of some things from other angles that allow a commonsense regard for our fellow humanbeings. And, we do live with ironclad guidelines about what is right and wrong in consideration of all humans, and we each need to be reminded of what we are taught.

I have felt a lot better since Easter in not resuming a need to respond to such dingbats!


M.D. Amesse said...

Dear Mrs. Manning,
There is a distinct danger that cynicism will be added to the multitude of my sins and foibles, which you and your readers have graciously enumerated above, but I shall risk it. (Does that sound quite pretentious enough? Ha!) It is my opinion that an intelligent interest in the world outside one’s picket fence *almost* precludes voting for either sex. I think we are well beyond that point now, and most of us have enough concerns with saving our souls and raising our children.

Would that women understood the dignity and necessity of their state in life! A woman’s role is a beautiful thing, which—when lived in union and docility to Christ—has a greater affect on the body politic than all the votes of Catholic men combined. I think, in certain sense, women have never been less influential for the common good than when they tried to influence the state and society directly. Their unique and essential role cannot be filled by men, anymore than a man’s role can be filled by women. We are complimentary; praised be the wisdom of God.

Should this reply see the light of day, I encourage your readers to present their concerns or objections to Durendal in our comment box, and we will be happy to explain the stances we have taken on various issues. I shall say no more on this here. May God bless and keep you all.

Yours sincerely,
M. Amesse
PS. I love Cervantes’ “Don Quixote.”

Barbara C. said...

I hate to say it, but there may be a kernel of truth about how womens' suffrage may have started a chain of events that led to the legalization of abortion. However, womens' suffrage was also necessary to get to the point of other necessary legal rights for women (like legal recourse from domestic abuse).

I can't help wondering if the second guy's wife really just has no interest in politics and voting, so she "submits" on this one. I certainly have enough responsibilities within my duties as wife, mother, and homeschool teacher. When election time comes around, I have to force myself to use my much coveted free time to do research for a somewhat informed decision.

Anonymous said...

Tony's question for Erin seems a bit of an ingenous kernoodle:
Two questions for Erin:

1. In a family, where a major decision has to be made, and the husband and wife cannot agree, how should the decision be made?

Obviously, the answer is that they divorce if they cannot agree. Disagreements are as sharply black and white and oppositely construed as night from day and light from absence of light. Disagreements in a family must be immediately and ultimately be referred to what's been written in stone, and irrefutable, especially in decisions which require instantaneously deciding whether or not to step in front of a moving five-ton truck.

2. In a family, where the decision of which elected officials might benefit the family and society the best, and the husband and wife cannot agree, how should the decision be made?

AND, obviously, it is an absolutely right or wrong decision in electing a public official which will change the turn of the tide, especially in the family where only the only two voters are wife and husband, their voting must be in complete tandem, and it is only in the rare occasion when one provides documentation of the marriage license wherein the election official has the authority to investigate the choices of each spouse in a married couple.

Nârwen said...

What gets me most is that these things always ignore unmarried women. Before suffrage, widows couldn't vote any more than wives could.
Not to mention us "battalions of old maids disappointed in love " !!! ;)

Do these guys realize that they are confirming every sterotype of the NOW-Ms.-NARAL crowd ? That those folks can point to these yahoos and say, "See ? Men really are evil oppressors. "

Recently, a process was developed to conceive lab mice who have two female parents and no male one - a mother and a female father. It is not being used or tested in humans, thank God. However, after reading this nonsense part of me wants to cheer, "Yes ! Continuing the species without twits like this would be a huge improvement !"

Anonymous said...

I am curious: Have any of these folks so eager to take a position on "The Woman Question" ever read John Paul II's "On the Dignity and Vocation of Women" (1988)? Or read even tidbits of Benedict XVI's recent reflections on the all-important social and ecclesiastical work of women saints?

Red Cardigan said...

Tony, I liked the somewhat sarcastic answers to your questions given by the anonymous poster. I've actually written about this sort of thing before; here's one example:


Here's the thing: if we're talking about a major decision that equally affects both parties (and, possibly, the whole family) the wife *may* have the duty to let her husband have the final say, provided the other circumstances I discussed at the link above have been met.

However, I sometimes hear of men insisting their wives "submit" when the decision is one that predominantly affects his wife--such as "his" decision that she should wear skirts only, or hang the wash out to dry on a clothesline in the backyard to save money and electricity, or wash the dishes by hand instead of replacing an old, broken dishwasher they could easily afford to replace, etc. I think that demanding "submission" in these cases is possibly sinful in that it fails to respect the intrinsic worth and personhood of a wife, treating her instead like a servant, a child, a dependent, etc.

beadgirl said...

1. In a family, where a major decision has to be made, and the husband and wife cannot agree, how should the decision be made?

It seems really simple to me. Who knows more or has more practical experience with the issue? And, who cares more about the issue? In the real world, I think that would determine who gets the final say (it's how it works in my marriage and a lot of others I've seen). No need to bring gender into it at all.

2. In a family, where the decision of which elected officials might benefit the family and society the best, and the husband and wife cannot agree, how should the decision be made?

What Anonymous said. Seriously, you do realize more than two people vote in each election? That individual votes "cancel each other out" but also aggregate to (ideally) reflect the will of the community? Also, have you considered the possibility that the husband could be wrong? I know lots of husbands who are pro-choice -- wouldn't be the DUTY of a pro-life wife to "cancel out" her husband's vote?

I always want to ask the men (and women) who blame anything and everything on women and their kooky desires to vote, own property, wear pants, leave abusive men, and get an education (or a job!): in your world view, do men EVER have to take responsibility for their actions? Or is it always the woman's fault? Do men have no will power, no agency, no ability to do the right thing or even be "real men" unless women lead them by the nose to it (while somehow being retiring and submissive and only concerned with family)?

Will Duquette said...

In the quote from Dale Ahlquist, I see three assertions:

1. Per Chesterton, the feminists of his day gave too much importance to politics and too little to home and family. (I expect Chesterton thought the same of the men of his day, too, actually.)

2. That, again per Chesterton, that the participation of women in the political process might lead to Bad Things.

3. The triumph of feminism wasn't women's suffrage but rather legal abortion.

As I see it, point 2 is fair game for criticism; I rather agree with points 1 and 3, though I wouldn't limit point 1 to women; home and family *are* more important than politics.

What I don't see is any assertion in the quoted passage that women's suffrage led to legal abortion, which is your immediate claim following the passage.

E. Jones said...

The problem with women's suffrage is not, per se, that "women are voting," as if putting a piece of paper into a box was somehow inherently un-feminine, but rather that the voting in question pertains, as Chesterton and Ahlquist were pointing out, to politics. And politics -the affairs of the world at large, outside the home, are traditionally the purvey of the man.

Put another way, societies are constituted not of individuals, but families. This is the traditional Catholic teaching. Families produce children, and are the building blocks of a society. Therefore, in something which affects the course of that society, like voting, it is natural for families, rather than individuals, to get the vote. It is logical, to prevent as much manipulation of the system as possible, for the vote to be restricted somewhat to qualified candidates, and not merely indiscriminately granted to all, as is currently in vogue. This is because voting affects the course of society, and the course should be governed by those who contribute most to it, whom it exists to serve and foster, and who have the requisite perspective and wisdom to see the direction things should go. (I don't think being a family man gives one unusual clairvoyance or infallibility, but it does give a vastly different perspective, and acts as a sort of qualification. If a man has what it takes to be the head of a family, he probably has enough sense to make at least a semi-informed decision before casting his ballot.)

Traditionally, voting was restricted even further, to men with enough social clout (expressed through their landholdings, in a more natural time when land, not money, was seen as the basic driving force of society) to have a greater knowledge of the issues at stake, and the men in question.

These "old-time" restrictions were a good idea, given that nowadays, in our era of universal suffrage, it is very easy to manipulate the people into loving or hating a man (and consequently electing or refusing to vote for him) with nothing but money, to put out the slickest television advertisements or buy the candidate the most well-fitting suit and adept speechwriter.

This being accepted (that voting should be somewhat restricted, ideally, and that among those who can vote, families, not individuals, ought to do so) it only makes sense for the family's vote to be exercised by its head ----and who is the head of the family? In traditional Catholic teaching, as St. Paul expresses very clearly, it is the man, the husband. Ergo, women's suffrage is a bad idea. Truth doesn't change. If it was a bad idea, a liberal one conducing to the destruction of the social order and the egalitarian reformation of society, in 1811 or 1911, it's a bad idea in 2011 still.

God bless,

Eric Jones

Siarlys Jenkins said...

It is good to know that there are intelligent conservative women in the world capable of so eloquently refuting arrant nonsense, without giving on inch on their principles.

If Erin couldn't vote, that would be one less vote for the pro-life movement, and don't you think there are a good number of men who will vote pro-choice, some for the most sincere of motives, others for exactly the kind of self-serving reason Erin has highlighted?

As to disagreement between husband and wife on how to vote, they each enter the voting booth independently, and cast a SECRET BALLOT. So, if the wife wishes to defer to her husband's advice, of course she may. If she does not, he'll never know. There are many yards in my neck of the woods that carry signs at election time for opposite candidates -- and not because the dwelling is a duplex.

I'm not married, nor shacking up, but I've always said I would like to believe that when and if I marry, I will have the good sense to know what my wife has better judgement about, and that she will have the good sense to know what I have better judgement about.

I've also said more than once, if she were pregnant, and I thought there were good cause to abort, or not, I would give her my opinion, but for so many reasons, those argued by feminists and those argued by Gerard Nadal, it must be her decision.

beadgirl said...

Let me guess, E. Jones, whatever qualifications you think should be in place, you would of course meet them -- YOUR right and qualification to vote is a given, right?

First of all, we do have restrictions. For example, felons cannot vote, and neither can illegal aliens.

Second of all, the idea that only people who do not meet your criteria for voting rights can be manipulated in electoral campaigns is ludicrous on its face. Nothing about being wealthy or being married or being male inoculates someone from foolishness.

Third, the idea that only families should vote because families are the foundation of society is illogical, not to mention insulting to people who cannot get married or have children for whatever reason. Or who choose not to -- I'll be sure to mention to my brother, a priest, that he is not qualified to vote because of his vow of celibacy.

Third, the reason why we did away with restrictions (such as only white, landed men could vote, which is how this country started) was because laws and government and society affect ALL people, regardless of whether they own a home or have a Y chromosome or are descended from white anglo-saxons. These people (including myself, since I own a home but am neither white nor male), regardless of whether you think we are worthy, work and participate in society just as much as married fathers -- we pay our taxes, hold down jobs, buy goods, volunteer, and otherwise contribute to society.

You'll excuse me if I don't trust you to have my best interests at heart, given that you don't think I have the right to participate in our government.

Rebecca in CA said...

Okay, I don't have a lot of formed opinion on this one Erin, but I am personally a little hesitant just to shoot down fellows like this who don't state their case well. I really am glad I am allowed to vote, though I am sympathetic for various reasons with those who questioned it at the time. But in general, I would be very interested to see you talk more about what *is* the special role of men in society and in families and the special role of women, given that there will be some overlap of roles rather than sharp definition. It does seem that the modern tendency is the blurring of the roles to a fault, so I would like to know what you think ought to be. I guess this question of politics is maybe a little akin to the question of altar servers--the Church does allow girls up there but I really prefer to see altar boys and I do think boys are more likely to want to do that if it is their realm...I'm just thinking aloud. Anyway I know this is a huge question and maybe you don't want to tackle it, but while I am more sympathetic with your view than with the writers you quoted, I don't myself feel that I have made sense of the whole thing.

Turmarion said...

beadgirl: Who knows more or has more practical experience with the issue? And, who cares more about the issue?

Excellent! I'd add: in each relationship, there's usually one partner who tends naturally to have the final say. In some relationships it's the man; in some it's the woman. Neither is intrinsically right or wrong. Erin quotes St. Paul, but the same saint counseled Onesimus to go back to his master and a life of slavery, and also said that in Christ there is "no male or female". Proof-texting Paul to support social policy is notoriously tricky.

What I think interesting about the whole deal is if we parallel it with, say, gay marriage.

The supporter of gay marriage would argue that a gay couple getting married does not affect the ability of a straight couple to get married, and to do so as traditionally as they wish. "How does my marrying another man damage your marriage?" The answer, in a direct, obvious way is, "It doesn't."

The opponent of gay marriage must make a subtler argument: "Yes, it doesn't keep me from getting married, but by altering the definition of marriage, making it but another lifestyle choice, and putting forth gay couples as exemplars, it will over time gradually have effects that will prove corrosive to conventional marriage and society as a whole." This is a Burkean argument--you don't pull out the brick since the whole wall may collapse.

Now, take the above and replace "gay marriage" with "women voting" and "straight marriage" with "men voting" and the argument is one hundred per cent identical. In short, giving women the vote seems OK but corrodes society in the long term. It is very clear that Chesterton was making a version of such an argument, and crystal clear that this is what E. Jones above is saying.

The point is that the same arguments about subtle, long-term effects that are made against such things as cohabitation, gay marriage, etc. are the same ones made about women voting or wearing pants. The latter have obviously been discredited (except for Dale Ahlquist, E. Jones, and others of their ilk); so this is, for any thinking person, going to cast doubt on the former.

Another way to put it: if you want to argue against women's suffrage or gay marriage, you can do it one of two ways. One is to hold that both groups really are inferior--chicks just can't be trusted with the vote, and gays are hedonistic libertines who'll destroy society if we let 'em.

By the turn of the 20th Century, most thoughtful people had abandoned the notion that women are morally and intellectually inferior to men; and gay culture has become mainstream enough that few would argue gays to be any more "degenerate libertines" than straights. Well, when you lose the "they're just not as good as us" argument, all that's left is arguments about subtle, long-term effects. Such arguments, though, are weak, since they have been used in the past to support such odious practices as slavery, denying women the vote, etc. Moreover, arguments that rely on subtle, long-term effects are nearly impossible to prove--unless you make the social change in question and wait a hundred years, you don't know if it really does corrode society in the long term.

Just for disclosure, I'm not arguing for gay marriage--I don't particularly favor it, though I think some form of it is inevitable. However, I'm willing to consider it possible that a conservative religious blogger of 2111 might see the denial of gay marriage in the 21st Century as being every bit as absurd as Erin sees denying women the vote in the 19th Century. The same may even be true for churches or the Church (before anyone says, "never the Church!" consider that Pio Nono would probably have seen Vatican II as a massive exercise in worldwide heresy). We never know who ends up on the wrong side of history.

Red Cardigan said...

Beadgirl: I like what you wrote to Mr. Jones. I couldn't have said it better.

Rebecca: your thoughtful question deserves an answer--probably in its own post. :) I'll revisit this when I start fully blogging again next week, if that's okay.

Turmarion, I think there's a huge difference when we talk about gay "marriage." Giving women the vote didn't force children to chant in school that two dads are as good as a mom and dad, or two moms are as good as a mom and dad, or to force society get to the point where genealogy will be looked at as a bigoted heterosexist hobby, etc.

Nevertheless, there is one part of your parallel that I acknowledge: society, with its divorce and remarriage and cohabitation and open relationships and hooking-up and promiscuity and so forth has already ruined things pretty well for children. There are already so many children who are genetic orphans (never knowing sperm donor dad or surrogate mom), divorce orphans (seeing their real parents on alternate weeks and having to call someone else "mom" or "dad" the rest of the time, with the "step--" in front of it or merely implied), cohabitation orphans (whose parents split up when their relationship was over and took it for granted that the father's relationship with his kids was also all but over), "hook-up" orphans whose moms may not be sure exactly who "dad" is anyway, and so forth. Will creating the fiction that two men or two women can be "parents" make things worse? Yes--to a degree. But it's not like we have a healthy, thriving society with lots of stable, two-parent, married families anyway. Most likely gay "marriage" will just end marriage altogether (as it seems to be doing in countries where it is legal).

I sometimes wonder if the push for gay "marriage" isn't just the sign that our culture is already so broken, filthy, and damaged as to be beyond repair, and that in a few generations it will be replaced by a culture of stable marriages and traditional values. Whether those new Americans will be predominantly Muslim is another topic.

John E. said...

I went to the second referenced link - that has got to be an over-the-top parody site, right?

Red Cardigan said...

John: nope. :)

Hector_St_Clare said...


I think the difference is that many of the people who oppose gay marriage would say that a gay relationship and a straight marriage are fundamentally, and essentially, different things. Simply put, one is capable of procreation, one of them isn't. If you think that the basic purpose of marriage is to provide an environment for bearing and raising children, then it doesn't really make sense to call two essentially different things by the same name.

That being said, while personally I do think that childbearing is the reason marriage exists in the first place, I realise that neither the American government, nor the American people, really shares my opinion. Just look at all the couples who get married saying happily that they don't want any children. I've never personally seen the point of that, but plenty of people do. I don't see that two gay people getting married is going to drive any more of a wedge between marriage and childbearing then any of the millions of voluntarily childless couples out there, and that's why I don't oppose gay marriage.

Like Daniel Larison, I'm not a particularly big fan of voting in general, but if that is going to be how we choose our leaders, then women should have every bit as much right to make a mess of things as men do.

By the way, you should really comment on Alexandria right now. It's a multi-author blog featuring many of the same people who commented at Mr. Dreher's old site. I think your opinions there would be much appreciated, as I always thought you were one of the most thoughtful commenters there.

David Casson said...

"So... giving women the right to vote led to abortion being imposed by judicial fiat..."

I'm confused. First, I don't see where Ahlquist claims that the vote led to the judicial ruling. However, it is clear that it was a judicial ruling that made abortion possible, at least here in the U.S. Are you not from the U.S.?

Also, Ahlquist does not say women shouldn't vote. Why do you put him underneath a post titled, "Message to us evil pants-wearing feminists: don't vote"?

Also, your response to the second author you quoted... was a straw man. You didn't grapple with anything he actually said. For example, he never said women were stupid, nor did he imply it. If you think he did, you don't understand his argument, which has to do with the proper relationship between men and women - not the intellectual abilities of either. You say you are perfectly capable of taking an interest in the outside world, and you no doubt are; but here, at least, you do not demonstrate an ability to grapple with what you find there.

Red Cardigan said...

Hello, David! Welcome.

Now, to business:

First, Ahlquist condenses Chesterton's argument and then goes from there, as follows: women (says G.K.) shouldn't vote because voting will make women think politics are important and would weaken the family; women got the vote; women still didn't have the majority, but persuaded enough men to legalize abortion (e.g. "enough men fell for the feminist argument"), which did weaken the family just as Chesterton said (and worse). If you think that's not what Ahlquist is saying, please feel free to make your case for what you think he is saying; however, I find it hard to see how anyone could interpret these two paragraphs differently.

Second: the second blogger believes (as can be seen in his full post as well as elsewhere on that blog) that *in order* for men and women to have the proper relationship with each other it is important--perhaps imperative--that women confine their sphere of influence to the home and family, which necessarily makes it impossible and unnecessary for them to take their own interest in politics. Presumably, they could take an intelligent interest in such matters, but only if they are willing to be shaped, guided, and instructed by their husbands whose "place" it is to vote. Any discord would simply prove how unfit for voting the woman is in the first place, and what a good thing it is for her that her husband has the responsibility to take care of such things.

Now, if you can somehow construe that to a vision of the world which sees women as people in their own right in an equal partnership with their husbands--okay. But you're telling half of humanity that they shouldn't vote because of their genders, and I find that inherently demeaning.

Clare Krishan said...

RE: "Traditionally, voting was restricted even further, to men with enough social clout (expressed through their landholdings, in a more natural time when land, not money, was seen as the basic driving force of society) to have a greater knowledge of the issues at stake, and the men in question. These "old-time" restrictions were a good idea, given that nowadays, in our era of universal suffrage, it is very easy to manipulate ..."

Indeed there is an universal principle at stake here, just not that of suffrage [meaning "right to vote" is first found in the U.S. Constitution, 1787, historically ie in olden-times, late 14c., its meaning was "prayers or pleas on behalf of another," from M.L. sub-fragium (ie undertake fractiousness)] but rather franchise (late 13c., from O.Fr. franchir "to free, grant legal privilege"). The determination of obligation came first, from which one was granted an exemption from, thus the holding of property title to land was not absolute an liberty, but rather the 'entitlement' to make creative use of a universal resource exclusively in perpetuity so long as the title holder maintained legitimacy.

As the mother of a so-called illegitimate child I also react viscerally to use of such rhetoric, but rationally have to recognise the social principle being defended, the common good (NOT the greater good, which would admit to all sorts of corruptions along the lines of 'might makes right').
The soon to be beatified Ven. Palafox is a holy model in this regard, born the wrong sides of the bedsheets (when that sort of thing automatically excluded one from entering holy orders) he rose to be the most respected Hierarch of his age, active in Imperial polity conflicts over natural law rights of the indigenous souls under his care in the Americas.

Democracy is not per-se the best exercise of our faculty for autonomy in pursuit of the good, especially within a system so skewed away from the franchise and towards the suffrage model of social organization. Indeed it would do modern-day Catholic intellectuals well to reconsider associating the orthodox approach to 'right makes might' (metaphysics) to the current debates on property and stakeholders (the so-called entitlement culture is now most prevalent, not in the indigent or poverty stricken but in the ageing and educated, who are coming to see that the demographics they created by limiting their family size to sub-replacement levels leaves them vulnerable to 'default' on the social contract called SSI and Medicare.) Voting dominance puts the geriatric class in the driving seat as we face looming national bankruptcy, yet what have women voters to say now? Especially since among the elderly, and those who work with them, females -- and franchiseless immigrants-- predominate? The family is still the realm of influence, but its no longer private and domestic, its the public dole. Is this the fruit of separating the franchise from the property being privileged?


Clare Krishan said...

8<...SNIP ...continued

A return to some sort of franchise principle will be necessary IMHO (capitalism is the democracy of daily life, you vote with your feet with each cent spent in the free market of goods and services). So long as the government can out-compete a regular breadwinner father figure, women will prefer dependancy on the collective purse over dependancy on an autonomous one. Our menfolk's incapacity to resist tyrannical statism is directly related to their vote declining in value when the pool of voters was diluted by a factor of two as their wives and sisters joined the playing field. A pasha-like polygamous nation-state is not the Christian model of commonwealth practiced under monarchical rule during Blessed Rosmini's time (read up on his 'Constitution under social justice' to grasp how objectionable it is to have those who hold no title determining the outcome of the revenue raised by taxing property-title stakeholders ie the moral hazard of all social redistribution schemes whereby finite assets are consumed until depletion rather than productively re-invested for accretion).

We Western women need to become better versed in the expropriation of the things of value to us, being conducted in our names when voting for or against certain government interventions. That is our 'matriarchal' duty so to speak, making sure so-called patriots don't corrupt the very families they share the neighborhood with! Our in-born aptitude is to nurture, so how do we measure the growth chart of the "baby" we have spawned:
* public schooling - to preserve the faith we'd rather home school
* public service - our daughters may now die in the same numbers as our sons in nation-building warfare overseas, while the nation decays at home
* public welfare - Medicaid, food stamps and section 8 housing neuters any natural self-sufficiency while thwarting profitable social cooperation
* public transport and broadcasting on the public airwaves - licentiousness and crude behaviour predominate crowding out conventional tastes or cultural voices.

If women's taxes have come to subsidize misogyny something is awry - what rubric of feminine values to use to quantify the deficit and the debt to be repaid? I think the chauvinists above are to be critiqued only so far - they chose the wrong rubric, and therefore indicate a false remedy. But we contributors to the thread have not articulated a more appropriate alternative... yet...

What is amiss is the categorical tools of franchising - how to associate privilege and obligation in the social realm. Here's a good book to start us on our quest:
BOUNDARIES OF ORDER - Private Property As a Social System by Law Prof. Butler Shaffer

The Divine Cocreator Franchise is of course the gift of family, built on the perichoresis of the trinitarian communio personarum. Ingrates abound, but maternal duty would imply it's we ladies' job to teach the p's* and q's* of saying thank you!

Clare Krishan said...

* p = participation and q = qualification

ie never one without the other.
Thus your kids participate in pocket money to the degree they have qualified for such a dispensation of privilege by the title holder of the mutual fund asset under management - Mom and Dad's petty cash!

P = on the team
Q = skin in the game

Who's referee you ask?
I say, the natural law given by God,
What's the game?
JPII coined an apt term, Culture of Life
What's the penalty?
Same unavoidable outcome played out anywhere - death and final judgment - What's the reward?
Christians cherish hope in the celestial League Table known as the Book of Life, joining the All-time MVP award recipient Mary Mother of our Lord in her son's Hall of Fame) known as the Book of Life, joining the All-time MVP award recipient Mary Mother of our Lord in her son's Hall of Fame)

Clare Krishan said...

oops, excuse the repetition typo, should read:

What's the reward?
Christians cherish hope in the celestial League Table known as the Book of Life, joining the All-time MVP award recipient Mary Mother of our Lord in her son's Hall of Fame)

Jean said...

My goodness! This actually reminds me of Chesterton's comments about the Irish in America being so very different from the Irish in the UK, so that the British complaints that the Irish weren't interested in politics, civics, etc. seemed absurd.

Similarly, the American suffragettes like Susan B. Anthony serve as the inspiration for pro-life groups like Feminists for Life because THEY opposed abortion and recognized it for what it was: the pitting of mothers against their own children, as if there was nothing of common welfare.

As for my own horse in the race, I am property-owning spinster who believes it a wonderful blessing and a serious duty to vote. And I'm Catholic, which clinches the reason for wanting to vote. Every election, I think of my great-grandfather, whose family was denied property rights by Irish laws, whose Catholic relatives had to flee from Orangemen when they attempted to settle in Canada, and who finally became a US citizenship in his 50s because he was called for jury-duty and the judge recognized he'd been denied for decades by a rigged "citizenship test" that no non-Catholic in the region had to take.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Don't forget that the bishops of Ireland cut a deal with the Brits to suppress independence as long as the church was allowed to function, and in fact excommunicated anyone involved with the Irish Republican Brotherhood.

Jean said...

Well, Siarlys, I haven't forgotten that the Irish Republican Brotherhood was an oath-bound secret society and, like secret societies ranging from the Skull & Bones to the Masons, Catholics aren't supposed to belong to them. It wasn't like the Young Irelanders.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Maybe not, but it WAS what secured the independence of 26 counties from the British Crown.

I've read Leon Uris's Trinity many times over, as well as Thomas Flanagan's The Year of the French and The Tenants of Time. I know there were shades and nuances, there were priests who participated in Gaelic revivals, up to a point, there was tacit church endorsement of the Land League, so long as Devoy kept his distance and O'Rossa loudly condemned the whole thing.

I know there were flaws in Parnell's leadership, even without considering "Kitty O'Shea's drawers." Nothing in real life is simple. I even know that revolutionaries who cursed the church (often with some cause) had to intervene to protect "Catholics" from a "Protestant" mob. I know there is no oppressed people in history that have not been capable of turning around and oppressing another.

I know that Frank Murphy, the grandson of an Irish revolutionary hanged by the Brits, was just barely persuaded not to call out the National Guard to put a bloody end to the Flint Sit Down Strike, as governor of Michigan. And I know that Cardinal Spelman made a remark that bordered on treason to the Constitution of the United States when he said he did not understand how "the Catholic member of the Supreme Court" (the same Murphy I was just talking about) voted with the majority that no, the First Amendment does NOT allow funding of church schools with tax dollars. Murphy upheld his oath.

So what property rights your great-grandfather was allowed or denied by British laws at the time simply doesn't have beans to do with the sanctity of the Roman Catholic Church, or abortion, or even much to do with Chesterton.

Jean said...

"So what property rights your great-grandfather was allowed or denied by British laws at the time simply doesn't have beans to do with the sanctity of the Roman Catholic Church, or abortion, or even much to do with Chesterton."

Actually, it does. It's why I don't take my rights - including my right to vote - lightly. Which I believe was the point of the post, no?

I guess I shouldn't have responded to your off-topic post as it's just angered you. Sorry about that.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Jean, I am not in the least bit angry. If we were sitting in the same room, I would be smiling cheerfully, perhaps even offering to refill your glass, although, for reasons which have nothing to do with moral repugnance, I don't drink beer or whiskey or even wine. I just never liked the taste. I responded at length because, if we really want to get at The Truth, its a tangled mess, like most human conditions.

You said you take your right to vote seriously, because your great grandfather was denied the vote on account of being Catholic. Your right to vote (here) was secured to you by an overwhelmingly Protestant body politic, which found its constitutional principles could survive freely allowing massive Catholic immigration, among other interesting angles. We might agree that government in the U.S. is a big improvement over British government. But I recall the American tourist entering Northern Ireland, who gave his religion as "atheist." The clerk asked him "Could you be a wee bit more specific sir? Are you a Catholic atheist or a Protestant atheist?" British policy had nothing to do with God.

Stump Philosophy said...

Ahlquist's opinion is that the best and most fruitful place for a mother and wife is in the home, being a mother and wife. This sounds demeaning, until you realize that as a Distributist he also opines that the ideal place for a father and husband is right beside her. As a home-schooling mother, I think it obvious that you have a well-developed "Philosophy of Home", in that your home and family are the center around which your world revolves. I agree with your sentiment. While Dale makes the argument that voting is too bad for women (admittedly strained) I think he identifies a thought of Chesterton's that is extremely powerful. Promoting political interest among women is too good for the government. Politics are not a virtue for women, but a vice for all.

Traditionally, a man would visit a pub and talk all sorts of politics and economics. His wife would come to the pub door and demand that he come home and tend to the things that really mattered. Only a fool of a husband would have claimed that the polls were more important than the hearth.

Now, as a Catholic, you know that many things are good, when used in the right and divinely intended way. Intimacy,for instance, is a wonderful thing that gets used in various ways that are decidedly not good. I do not deny that women having a voice is a good thing. But feminism, which has had the end result of disparaging all things feminine in preference of the masculine, is a misuse of that voice. It has, historically, taken a dim view of the lifestyle that your and my family have chosen.

In our time, we are subject to a thing called "propaganda" which is probably better known as "temptation". Temptation is an attempt to elicit desires that may not be healthy for us (physically or spiritually). It is worth reflecting on what the modern world has told us about today and history in comparison to what was the normal Christian conviction for almost 2000 years. What propaganda have we swallowed whole? What has modernity told us about ourselves that conflicts with what the Church has always taught about us?