Wednesday, May 15, 2019

How the "progressive" left has helped the right undo abortion rights

Should I restart this blog? I am feeling a need to piss people off. Here's my attempt to alienate everyone on all sides of the abortion controversy.

I am, of course, outraged by the recent threat to abortion rights coming out of Alabama. Hell, even Pat Robertson thinks that the state has gone too far. I agree with those observers who suggest that the new law was not written by people who actually have addresses in or near Mobile. This is all part of a national strategy to overturn abortion rights.

That said, I'm also outraged by this sort of talk:
‘A typical male answer’: Only 3 women had a voice in Alabama Senate as 25 men passed abortion ban
To Coleman-Madison, the moment crystallized a problem that has plagued women’s reproductive health debates over the years in Alabama’s legislature and beyond: They are typically dominated by male politicians. On Tuesday, that was in sharp focus. All 25 votes cast in favor of the bill were from white Republican men.
Yes, but who voted for those males? Both women and men cast those votes. There is no evidence of a massive gender divide in the Alabama electorate. The problem is not that those legislators have committed the "crime" of penis-ownership; the problem is that they really do reflect the views of their constituents.

The next paragraph in the above-quoted WP story concedes this point...
Coleman-Madison and Democratic state Sen. Vivian Davis Figures, the only women who spoke during the four-hour debate, acknowledged in interviews with The Washington Post that the divide on the issue is primarily one of ideology rather than gender; the Republican sponsor of the bill in the Alabama House, for example, is a woman, and Republican Gov. Kay Ivey will is expected to sign it.

I am infuriated by the feminist fantasy version of the war against Roe-v-Wade. You see this sort of talk all over Democratic Underground: Those poor, perpetually-blameless women are being battered into submission by a cabal of evil males!

It's a myth. Sorry, but I refuse to go along with a politically-correct hallucination.

Here's an obdurate fact which is sure to annoy reflexive male-haters everywhere: Men and women oppose abortion rights in equal numbers.

From USA Today:
Men and women have similar views on abortion: 60% of women and 57% of men say it should be legal in all or most cases, according to Pew.
That three percent difference is within the margin of error. In fact, some evidence indicates that more men than women favor reproductive rights.
Democratic pollster Celinda Lake said on Friday that women are more likely to oppose abortion rights than men.

“Women are much less likely to be pro-choice," Lake, who is the president of Lake Research, told Hill TV's Joe Concha on "What America's Thinking."

"Women are more religious than men, and so women are slightly less pro-choice than men," she continued.
I don't know if the phrase "much less likely" is justified by the numbers, but it is true that women are more likely to be religious, and to ally themselves with the more fundamentalist forms of religion. See here and here.

Yet delusional feminists perpetually pretend to be the victims of an all-male conspiracy. If you scream the truth at them -- You're doing it to yourselves, sisters! -- they will cover their ears and accuse you of verbal violence.

All polls indicate that the majority of Americans -- including the majority of American women -- dislike feminism, even though the vast majority of Americans favor equal rights for both sexes. Those sharply divided numbers prove that feminism has taken a seriously wrong turn.

Since so many people hate what feminism has become, and since feminism is conflated in the public mind with the Democratic Party, it is fair to posit that revulsion against modern feminism helped put Trump in office. Personally, I have no doubt that disgust with both Identity politics and modern radical feminism has helped the GOP maintain a stranglehold on the Deep South.

Modern feminism differs from the old school version in one key respect: Effectiveness.

Before feminism went insane, before "intersectional" became the new buzzword, back when feminism was liberal instead of radical, women's rights were on much firmer ground. Why? Because those fighting for said rights cared about effectiveness. They were more concerned with getting things done -- incrementally, if need be (and I am not among those who disdain that word) -- than with expressing their anti-male rage. When liberal feminism ruled the day, Planned Parenthood was stronger, Roe was the rock-solid law of the land, and an unwed teenaged mother could get an abortion in Alabama.

All of that has either evaporated or will soon vanish.

I blame feminism. And when I say those three words, I'm not blaming the victim: I'm blaming the victimizer.

I blame the monstrous, man-hating aberration that feminism has turned into over the course of the past quarter century, especially on our college campuses. Modern feminists have empowered the far right by making the left look foolish, hyper-judgmental and hate-filled. Modern feminists have empowered the right by presenting segregation, lesbianism and Total Male Obsequiousness as the only acceptable alternatives to "male tyranny."

Postmodernism. Modern feminism is a product of the vile, irredeemable philosophical movement called postmodernism. Postmodernism may fairly be called fascism's twin, since both world-views oppose the values of the Enlightenment. On college campuses across the country, postmodern feminist pseudoscholars denigrate reason itself while celebrating "alternative ways of knowing."

Translation: Let's haul out the tarot cards and the crystals! And if those items are not to your taste, haul out your Bible. And that brings us right back to the fundamentalists of Alabama. How can modern feminists oppose those fundamentalists when both sides hate science and reason?

I strongly urge you to read the above-linked essay. It was written by Helen Pluckrose, one of my new heroes -- or rather, heroines. (In the current radical feminist lexicon, "heroine" is now a verboten word, like "actress." All the more reason to use it.)
Despite all the evidence that racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and xenophobia are at an all-time low in Western societies, Leftist academics and SocJus activists display a fatalistic pessimism, enabled by postmodern interpretative “reading” practices which valorize confirmation bias. The authoritarian power of the postmodern academics and activists seems to be invisible to them whilst being apparent to everyone else. As Andrew Sullivan says of intersectionality:
“It posits a classic orthodoxy through which all of human experience is explained — and through which all speech must be filtered. … Like the Puritanism once familiar in New England, intersectionality controls language and the very terms of discourse.”
Physicists Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont address the same problem from the perspective of science in Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science:
“Who could now seriously deny the ‘grand narrative’ of evolution, except someone in the grip of a far less plausible master narrative such as Creationism? And who would wish to deny the truth of basic physics? The answer was, ‘some postmodernists.’”
“There is something very odd indeed in the belief that in looking, say, for causal laws or a unified theory, or in asking whether atoms really do obey the laws of quantum mechanics, the activities of scientists are somehow inherently ‘bourgeois’ or ‘Eurocentric’ or ‘masculinist’, or even ‘militarist.'”
When the organizers of the March for Science tweeted “colonization, racism, immigration, native rights, sexism, ableism, queer-, trans-, intersex-phobia, & econ justice are scientific issues,”[10] many scientists immediately criticized this politicization of science and derailment of the focus on preservation of science to intersectional ideology. In South Africa, the #ScienceMustFall and #DecolonizeScience progressive student movement announced that science was only one way of knowing that people had been taught to accept. They suggested witchcraft as one alternative.
I ask you: How does the postmodernist assault on reason differ from the anti-science beliefs espoused by the fundamentalist Christians who make the laws in Alabama?
It has become commonplace to note that the far-Right is now using identity politics and epistemic relativism in a very similar way to the postmodern-Left. Of course, elements of the far-Right have always been divisive on the grounds of race, gender and sexuality and prone to irrational and anti-science views but postmodernism has produced a culture more widely receptive to this. Kenan Malik describes this shift,
“When I suggested earlier that the idea of ‘alternative facts’ draws upon ‘a set of concepts that in recent decades have been used by radicals’, I was not suggesting that Kellyanne Conway, or Steve Bannon, still less Donald Trump, have been reading up on Foucault or Baudrillard… It is rather that sections of academia and of the left have in recent decades helped create a culture in which relativized views of facts and knowledge seem untroubling, and hence made it easier for the reactionary right not just to re-appropriate but also to promote reactionary ideas.”[12]
Postmodernism should be renamed Premodernism, since the goal appears to be undoing all respect for democracy and science. The neo-fascism of Alexander Dugin (the evil genius behind Putin) has precisely the same goal. The movements are twins.
This “set of concepts” threaten to take us back to a time before the Enlightenment, when “reason” was regarded as not only inferior to faith but as a sin. James K. A. Smith, Reformed theologian and professor of philosophy, has been quick to see the advantages for Christianity and regards postmodernism as “a fresh wind of the Spirit sent to revitalize the dry bones of the church” (p18). In Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism?: Taking Derrida, Lyotard, and Foucault to Church, he says,
“A thoughtful engagement with postmodernism will encourage us to look backward. We will see that much that goes under the banner of postmodern philosophy has one eye on ancient and medieval sources and constitutes a significant recovery of premodern ways of knowing, being, and doing.” (p25)
“Postmodernism can be a catalyst for the church to reclaim its faith not as a system of truth dictated by a neutral reason but rather as a story that requires ‘eyes to see and ears to hear.” (p125)
We on the Left should be very afraid of what “our side” has produced.
Let's apply these words to the current situation. What must we do about Alabama?  How do we face the coming nationwide battle over abortion rights?

First, we must resist the feminist insanity of blaming all our ills on the imaginary Great Penismonster Conspiracy. Pluckrose has a better idea:
In order to regain credibility, the Left needs to recover a strong, coherent and reasonable liberalism. To do this, we need to out-discourse the postmodern-Left. We need to meet their oppositions, divisions and hierarchies with universal principles of freedom, equality and justice. There must be a consistency of liberal principles in opposition to all attempts to evaluate or limit people by race, gender or sexuality. We must address concerns about immigration, globalism and authoritarian identity politics currently empowering the far- Right rather than calling people who express them “racist,” “sexist” or “homophobic” and accusing them of wanting to commit verbal violence. We can do this whilst continuing to oppose authoritarian factions of the Right who genuinely are racist, sexist and homophobic, but can now hide behind a façade of reasonable opposition to the postmodern-Left.
If I had the time I would write a book about Sandra Bland and how a newly discovered video she took somehow unearths new intel about her arrest and subsequent suicide in jail. The 39 second video does not show anything new, just a new angle. The original 40 minute video showed these exact same 39 seconds.

The ultra progressives continue to enflame their base, be it Sandra Bland or any issue that they can misuse to prove that white males are evil.
There's nothing new in this particular post modern nonsense. I remember twenty years ago hearing about the "Woman's Way of Knowing". You'd think we could have figured out epistemology by now.
Your notion of 'pre'modernism is equivalent to the saying "regressive left."

After reading this and a big chunk of Helen's article I had a flash of insight. The reason why the regressive left are so enamored with Islamism/Jihadism is because they are bedfellows - regressives and true enemies of the Enlightenment/modernity, i.e. "the West." It all makes perfect sense now and points the way toward addressing it because we can at least define what "it" is.
The term feminist has been co-opted by the Right starting with Rush Limbaugh's Feminazi. Same way they turned the word Liberal into a pejorative. Unless Huffpo asked a series of questions w/o using the word feminist I wouldn't put too much faith in it.
Anyway glad to know you still have a pulse and look forward to subsequent musings.
Terry, I have often felt there is a kinship between the Conservatives and Ultra Restrictive Religions. Now you are saying the Progessive left is doing the same thing. That leaves the Moderates who continually are drowned out by both the Progressive left and the Conservative right.
I went mad this week with the wall-to-wall, one-way reporting on the Alabama "anti-abortion " law that has not the slightest chance in Hell of surviving a SCOTUS review. Stare decisis rulings are few and far between among the Supremes, even when the constitutional basis for protecting "women's rights" while killing babies is stupid, surpassing even the dumbest Donald Trump thought.

Murder has always been against the law and doctors do not have that right. Anyway the parade of talking head after talking head pro-abortionists on CNN and MSNBC got old with nary a word about Pro-Life supporters, nor murdered babies. Worse, the comments quoted from Alabama representatives did not include words like pro-life or dead babies. Dishonesty is easy to spot and that is why I don't watch Fox, but not everyone is for abortion, so why is the story twisted?
Not pro-life, only pro-birth. Give me a call when any of these sanctimonious bastards gives one shit about children after they're born.
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