The Conservative War On Women

You just can't make this next one up.

Actual headline on Politico (not The Onion): GOP looks for ways to stop the rape comments

Marina Ein, whose public relations firm does crisis communications, said the party needs some kind of “sensitivity training” for its candidates if it wants to do better in the next elections.

“It all boils down to whether or not the Republican Party thinks this is a problem,” she said. “If they want to make inroads with women, then they need to subject every one of their candidates to sensitivity training — not to mention reality training.”

The training would have to “educate politicians on subjects that are absolutely taboo, except to say, ‘I sympathize with the pain of anyone who goes through fill-in-the-blank,’” she said.

Madden’s advice is simply to stop talking.

Even after an election where the gender gap was quite large, they GOP needs to look to a consultant to tell them to shut up.

Seriously, this could be in The Onion.

Wow, Robertson will choose to blame women over video games, I'm honestly surprised. I guess the prejudices of thousands of years do trump the prejudices of 30 years.

For the first half minute or so he had me. Mom and Dad maybe should go on a trip together, some place romantic, to rekindle some of that lost feeling. Solid advice for any couple every once in awhile, and something simple that we can all forget easily. And then, wow.

I thought it was reasonable advice. In the dating thread, a common response to "I can't land a date," is "Make sure you look presentable and don't smell like a garbage dump," which is reasonable advice. Doesn't elicit any outrage there. Why should the same advice elicit outrage here?

LarryC wrote:

I thought it was reasonable advice. In the dating thread, a common response to "I can't land a date," is "Make sure you look presentable and don't smell like a garbage dump," which is reasonable advice. Doesn't elicit any outrage there. Why should the same advice elicit outrage here?

While I agree with that underlying concept, I think the problem here is that he automatically blamed the woman. From the question the was posed, the father clearly shares some of the blame for the state of the relationship. Does he hold all of the blame? We don't know. The mother most likely is responsible in some way as well. However, all we know for certain is the father's actions. That said, instead of giving advice for the father, he immediately blames the mother and gives advice for how she should change. Not once did he offer any direct advice for the father.

Tkyl:

From the state of salaries and the way the dating culture is set up in the US, I had gathered that "go somewhere romantic" was going to be mostly on the Dad's initiative and efforts. No?

LarryC wrote:

Tkyl:

From the state of salaries and the way the dating culture is set up in the US, I had gathered that "go somewhere romantic" was going to be mostly on the Dad's initiative and efforts. No?

I didn't interpret it as such. While it might be that in that couples situation the Dad would be the one who would control the money and would thus be responsible for making the effort to have a romantic vacation, I think that is a bit of a leap to make. I took his comment on "going somewhere romantic" to be more on both of the parents, not one more than the other.

And even if he did imply that statement to be directed towards the Dad as he is the bread-winner, I feel that just shows another comment many (including myself) would take fault with. Again, we don't know anything about their situation. While males still typically bring in the larger paycheck to a household, there are many households in which that is no longer the case. Add on to that, that Robertson's advice to the dad would simply be, spend money on your wife to make her happy, to me shows a fundamental lack of appreciation into the complexities of how the male/female relationship has changed in recent years. Instead, it is reminiscent of olden stereotypes in which the male's only responsibility was to bring in money while it was the wife's duty to take responsibility to for everything on the homefront.

I still feel that while it is very important to keep in mind the actions of both parties in the relationship and realize that both are probably doing some things wrong, Robertson should not have focused so primarily on things the wife might have been doing wrong. This is especially true given that the premise set forth in the question showed a clear fault on the father's actions while not indicating any such fault on that of the mother's.

There are way too many unknown elements in this story to make truly informed judgments here. Our evidence presented is that dad ignores mom in favor of playing video games; we don't know if mom is begging for attention in a skimpy outfit, if she no longer makes any effort in maintaining her physical appearance, or if she's out banging the Fuller brush man

That Robertson's second inclination (after recommending a couples reconnection meeting) was to blame the mom with zero evidence was more than a bit shortsighted, to the point of victim blaming. It reminded me of a situation when I was tutoring, and the teacher and I walked into a situation with one kid crying on the ground and another kid glaring defiantly at him, and the teacher's first response was to say to the hurt kid on the ground "what did you do to provoke this?"

Tkyl wrote:
LarryC wrote:

I thought it was reasonable advice. In the dating thread, a common response to "I can't land a date," is "Make sure you look presentable and don't smell like a garbage dump," which is reasonable advice. Doesn't elicit any outrage there. Why should the same advice elicit outrage here?

While I agree with that underlying concept, I think the problem here is that he automatically blamed the woman. From the question the was posed, the father clearly shares some of the blame for the state of the relationship. Does he hold all of the blame? We don't know. The mother most likely is responsible in some way as well. However, all we know for certain is the father's actions. That said, instead of giving advice for the father, he immediately blames the mother and gives advice for how she should change. Not once did he offer any direct advice for the father.

Yeah, the money quote here was "How can you blame the Mother?"
"It's easy."

Still seems like a double standard to me. We "blame" guys for not being attractive enough to date (see: Nice Guy topic) in a situation when girls prefer not to pay attention. Is that misandry? No. It's just obvious. That's my first inclination in that situation, and it seems as if it'd be the same for many here posting on this particular Robertson topic. It's inconsistent to not apply the same underlying premise in a highly similar situation, only with the gender roles reversed.

Tkyl:

It doesn't make sense to hold him accountable for both things. If we say that he's making a grave mistake in assuming that the Dad will be pursuing the initiative in romantic getaways, then we are holding him to be guilty of exactly that, which means that his primary advice was actually for the guy first. If we don't assume that, then we default to Robertson asking the other party to increase their sexual attractiveness in a situation where the one party is not showing signs of attraction, which still doesn't seem all that far-fetched to me. Just because Robertson is saying it doesn't mean it's wrong. You take the statement for what it is.

Essentially, I interpreted his advice, using his wording and POV to be this:

"Hey dude, stop playing once in a while and take your wife out on a date."
"Girl, if your dude isn't taking you out on dates, make yourself a little more date-worthy."

I don't see anything inherently misogynistic on either count, since both could be applied to either gender depending on the situation.

I suppose that's possible, and my knowledge of pat Roberson as an awful person is coloring my view of his words, but his dismissiveness toward the (female) host and his immediate and unsubstantiated jump to blaming the woman came off as vindictive to me, not an innocent piece of advice.

LarryC wrote:

Still seems like a double standard to me. We "blame" guys for not being attractive enough to date (see: Nice Guy topic) in a situation when girls prefer not to pay attention. Is that misandry? No. It's just obvious. That's my first inclination in that situation, and it seems as if it'd be the same for many here posting on this particular Robertson topic. It's inconsistent to not apply the same underlying premise in a highly similar situation, only with the gender roles reversed.

I think you describe two vastly different scenarios. In the "Nice Guy" scenario, you have someone whom is looking to attract the attention of some other "nebulous" female. First impressions play a huge part in human psychology and often influence people's perceptions and attitude towards another. If you come of as disheveled, unkempt, awkward, etc... it can give people a poor first impression of you, making finding a partner much harder.

In the case described in the clip, we have two people whom are well past the first impression stage and into a much more complex relationship. While this certainly does not negate the importance of maintaining ones appearance, there are a whole host of other possible reasons for the husband's actions. Maybe:

1) The husband is so stressed out at work that he plays games at home to relieve his stress. However, this has caused his mother to feel alienated.
2) The parent's had an argument over some issue and have never been able to resolve that issue, leading to a building resentment/anger towards each other. This has caused them (at least the husband) to try to distance himself from his wife.
3) The husband has an addiction problem that has manifested through gaming.

There could be any number of issues that has caused this wedge between the parents. And yes, the issue very well might be that the wife has "let herself go". This might have caused the husband to lose his attraction towards his wife and thus revert to spending time alone, doing what he likes to do (games). We don't know. But to place such an emphasis on this last possibility, and especially in the manner in which he did it, Robertson was just asking to offend people.

When I was watching the clip the first time, I really liked his initial advice. And I'll be honest, when he switched to blaming the wife, I even thought to myself that while the underpinnings of what he is saying is definitely important and bears thoughtful analysis on the wife's part, the manner in which he says it is absolutely awful. If he had talked about possible issues with the father (as I mentioned above) and then switched to talking about the mother, suggesting that we examine her role in the relationship and what she might have done to possible cause this attitude change in the father, I don't think we would be having this discussion. Instead, without so much as touching on what might the husband be doing wrong (especially since he is the only one we have examined evidence of a lack of effort into the relationship) he jumps straight into blaming the wife for not looking pretty enough.

That is the crux of what people are taking issue with, not that he suggested the wife look into what her faults might be in the relationship.

Edit:

Essentially, I interpreted his advice, using his wording and POV to be this:

"Hey dude, stop playing once in a while and take your wife out on a date."
"Girl, if your dude isn't taking you out on dates, make yourself a little more date-worthy."

I can definitely see how it can be interpreted this way. However, as Seth stated, maybe it's just our personal bias towards Robertson, but I have a hard time seeing his comments in that light but instead see them as much more vindicitive towards the wife. Again, I think the issue might be less about what he means and more with how he actually said it.

NathanialG wrote:

http://jezebel.com/5975076/paul-ryan...
Mind boggling.

Wish I could say the same. Depressing is about all I can muster in terms of outrage.

NathanialG wrote:

http://jezebel.com/5975076/paul-ryan...
Mind boggling.

This gif, linked in the comments, is the only appropriate response -

IMAGE(http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/18b6nsk0434hdgif/cmt-medium.gif)

Bloo Driver wrote:
NathanialG wrote:

http://jezebel.com/5975076/paul-ryan...
Mind boggling.

This gif, linked in the comments, is the only appropriate response -

IMAGE(http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/18b6nsk0434hdgif/cmt-medium.gif)

Works for both Democrats and Republicans who wish the party would just leave this issue alone.

Pat Robertson's comment did not come in a vacuum. For example, in the past he's told a man who complained that his wife did not respect him as "the head of his household" that he should "become Muslim and beat her". Then he noted that while he doesn't *think* we condone wife-beating any more, *something* had to be done to make her respect the husband as leader of the household...

Remember, "Feminism encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians." That's where he's coming from.

Tkyl wrote:

I can definitely see how it can be interpreted this way. However, as Seth stated, maybe it's just our personal bias towards Robertson, but I have a hard time seeing his comments in that light but instead see them as much more vindicitive towards the wife. Again, I think the issue might be less about what he means and more with how he actually said it.

Isn't that the guy who was basically telling men to beat their wives without actually saying it, by using analogy?

Yeah he seems like a classy guy.

I guess that answers my question!

Robear:

That just substantiated what I was saying even more. From previous comments about leadership, it's even more apparent that Robertson was charging the man with taking his wife out; to stop playing video games so much. He even clarified this himself - that marriage mut be worked on by both man and woman in order to make it strong. Sure, it's couched in words suited to his world view, but I don't see how his message here is bad for anyone.

No one is saying the message is bad. For example, what if a guy wrote in to Pat Robertson about how girls were too shy and suspicious of men, so it was hard to meet people? Pat Robertson could respond with a tirade of how women are correct to be nervous from their experience with awkward encounters and statistics on rape, and maybe the guy should make sure he doesn't sexually assault women and compound the problem, would that be applicable?*

I'm not saying that it's bad advice to tell someone not to sexually assault women, it's great advice, but is it useful? Was the answer to that question a leaping to possible failings on the part of he male gender, or specific strategies such as trying to get introductions with women from his friends or families, so that the women had some small measure of a screening process to hopefully put them more at ease. Now, it's a fair point to make, after all, the connection between the women who are nervous of him is him, so their is some inner searching that needs to happen here, but maybe it shouldn't be 3/4s of Robertson's argument. Also in the actual clip the question isn't "Every guy I've ever dated starts ignoring me after we start going steady". It's just one couple, and it's also from an outside observer, which makes Robertson's fixation on the female even less justified.

* That would totally not be his response to this question.

We have gone down this hypothetical rabbit hole, and I am afraid I can only award you 2/10 possible points on the question because you did correctly identify at least some of the underlying issues. Seems sight was lost on the original premise however.

Maybe outline your answer a bit more before writing the final one in your Blue Book.

Yonder:

He only broached that part after the interviewer herself highlighted it, told an anecdote that's supposed to be humorous to elaborate, and then went right back to "marrige is the work of both men and women." I'd say it's as egalitarian a piece of advice you're likely to get from him, and it's directly applicable to the problem at hand. Whatever else Robertson may have said elsewhere, this clip doesn't showcase outright misogyny, except as implied in his manner of speaking. I'll add that a hefty amount of misogyny is also implied in the manner of speaking around here (Man Up. Manly Tears of Manliness. Don't be pussy) so it's not like he's alone in that.

Taking him to task for saying an egalitarian piece of advice the wrong way smacks of personality politics and/or unreasonable fanaticism.

Taking him to task for saying an egalitarian piece of advice the wrong way smacks of personality politics and/or unreasonable fanaticism.

That's like accusing someone of fanaticism for criticizing Sun Myung Moon. Seriously. Robertson is as crazy as they come in the US Fundamentalist scene, and pointing that out makes us fanatics? I think you need to recalibrate. His concern is not egalitarian; his concern is that the man of the household is not properly worshipped by the woman. He regards equality between the sexes - social equality - as a myth, something contradicted by Biblical exegesis and Natural Law.

LarryC wrote:

Taking him to task for saying an egalitarian piece of advice the wrong way smacks of personality politics and/or unreasonable fanaticism.

Google Pat Robertson, LarryC.

He's an evangelical piece of sh*t who built himself an empire--he's owned multiple cable channels--by getting old people to send him money to buy their way into heaven. He started the Christian Coalition, a right wing political group dedicated to getting Christian conservatives into political office, which has directly led to us having to put up with things like politicians pushing for creationism in school or saying stupid things like a woman's body has a way of shutting a rape down. All of those highly unenlightened views come from mixing politics with extreme religious beliefs, something Robertson helped start.

He's claimed that 9/11 was because of the ACLU, pagans, abortionists, feminists, gays, and lesbians. He's claimed that Hurricane Katrina was because we allowed abortion. And he's claimed that the Haiti earthquake was because Haitians made a pack with Satan.

His advice wasn't egalitarian in the least. It was colored by his outdated religious beliefs, which enforces ridiculous gender roles (and automatically assumes the man is right since the bible says so), which was why I linked it here. Seriously, look at the clip again, but this time ignore Robertson and focus on the reaction of the co-host/interviewer. You can see the shock and incredulity on her face when the old coot speaks.

I paid attention to them both. What you are all engaging in at the moment is ad hominem - attacking the argument by attacking its proponent, in this case, Pat Robertson. I have a vague inkling of who he is and what he stands for. I am NOT defending him. At all. Whatsoever. In any way, shape, or form. I have no interest in him.

If his advice is being colored by outdated religious beliefs, then he thinks for himself and is far more egalitarian than you are painting him to be, for what he is. What he says here, in the manner of his world view, is that both men and women have a responsibility to uphold the marriage institution, and that a problem in the marriage is traceable to problems with both. I do not see what's sexist or misogynist about this message. It's being promoted by a misogynist, in misogynist language, but that doesn't make the message itself misogynist.

Losing track of this message in the heat of personality assassination - that's unreasonable and illogical. Whatever your view are about Robertson, if you start blatantly ignoring his statements in favor of always just hearing it in the worst possible light, then that's crossing the line into fanaticism. Might as well just shoot the guy now and get it over with.

What I perceive in your clip, OG_Slinger, and in this thread, is partisan politics of the worst sort. It's exactly the sort of thing that would exasperate and anger you if it were done to you. You are no longer listening to Robertson. You're just looking for sound bites to insult him with without regard for context or meaning. You can clearly see at the end how he basically throws his hands up in frustration because what he meant was getting lost in the interviewer's trying to skewer him with words she put in his mouth.

LarryC wrote:

I paid attention to them both. What you are all engaging in at the moment is ad hominem - attacking the argument by attacking its proponent, in this case, Pat Robertson. I have a vague inkling of who he is and what he stands for. I am NOT defending him. At all. Whatsoever. In any way, shape, or form. I have no interest in him.

If his advice is being colored by outdated religious beliefs, then he thinks for himself and is far more egalitarian than you are painting him to be, for what he is. What he says here, in the manner of his world view, is that both men and women have a responsibility to uphold the marriage institution, and that a problem in the marriage is traceable to problems with both. I do not see what's sexist or misogynist about this message. It's being promoted by a misogynist, in misogynist language, but that doesn't make the message itself misogynist.

Losing track of this message in the heat of personality assassination - that's unreasonable and illogical. Whatever your view are about Robertson, if you start blatantly ignoring his statements in favor of always just hearing it in the worst possible light, then that's crossing the line into fanaticism. Might as well just shoot the guy now and get it over with.

Pro tip: Ad homenim arguments aren't always fallacious. When a known misogynist gives you marriage advice in misogynist language, it's not illogical to assume his advice is misogynist. There may be a kernal of truth in it, but it's not worth wading through the hateful bile that surrounds it.

LarryC wrote:

You are no longer listening to Robertson. You're just looking for sound bites to insult him with without regard for context or meaning.

I think the problem is that you are in fact the one without context here.

LarryC wrote:

What I perceive in your clip, OG_Slinger, and in this thread, is partisan politics of the worst sort. It's exactly the sort of thing that would exasperate and anger you if it were done to you. You are no longer listening to Robertson. You're just looking for sound bites to insult him with without regard for context or meaning. You can clearly see at the end how he basically throws his hands up in frustration because what he meant was getting lost in the interviewer's trying to skewer him with words she put in his mouth.

This entire thread exists because of the bleed over of misogynist religious ideas into our politics, specifically conservative politics. Conservatives have made this partisan politics because they are the ones who self-identifying with these ideas and refusing to acknowledge modern views on gender, sex, and more.

And nothing is being done to these idiots, Larry. They are doing it to themselves.

No one forced Todd Akin to say that women have a way of "shutting down" a "legitimate rape." He said that all on his own because he needed to justify his religiously-driven political position of preventing women from getting an abortion even in the case of rape.

No one forced Pat Robertson to claim that feminists wanted to kill their own children and practice witchcraft. He did that all on his own because he considered a state equal rights amendment to be incompatible with his religiously driven view of traditional families. See, according to Robertson, women can't be considered equal with men because that's not what the bible says about gender roles: women always have to be subservient (and inferior) to men.

I'm not just looking for sound bites to insult him with, Larry. He does that by simply opening his mouth. Nor do I present it without regard to context or meaning, because context for Robertson includes his 40+ years of saying horribly misogynistic, vehemently anti-gay, and racist things.

As far as the clip was concerned, what, exactly, was he throwing his hands up in frustration about? That the interviewer didn't accept his position a husband can become an alcoholic if he thinks his wife is too ugly? That the interviewer didn't accept his position that the letter writer's mom just might be a bitch? Or perhaps the interviewer just didn't accept his position that a wife's primary role in the family is essentially to look pretty for the husband?