Women’s rights are eroded by retrogressive politics and religion

The new wave of conservatism in America is nothing new. The combination of politics and religion has always, for centuries, been geared toward the aggrandizement of men and the subjugation of women, and so it is happening once again with moralistic fervor.

The human-rights gains made during the last century by half our population — the female half — are being eroded with alarming speed, and we stand around swatting at gnats while vultures circle overhead.

Heath Shuler’s brand of anti-women politics and religion is dangerous and scary. Everyone with mothers, sisters and daughters needs to wake up. We have really not come that far from the centuries-old political and religious reformations inherited from Europe that have consistently disenfranchised women and continue to suppress the rights of women, even to this day.

The personal life and body of each and every woman are her own — and hers alone. No one has the right to tell her what to do with them: not fathers, preachers, lovers, husbands, doctors, politicians — not anybody.

Conservative politicians and religionists bemoan the decline of marriage. They bemoan the decline of traditional patriarchal marriage in which the woman is a second-class citizen.

No woman in her right mind chooses to be subject to such a marriage, and complacent young women nowadays will have a rude awakening when they discover that the laws of this country have stripped away their basic human rights, dignity and economic wherewithal and set them back a century.

— Betty Cloer Wallace
Asheville

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65 thoughts on “Women’s rights are eroded by retrogressive politics and religion

  1. Grant Millin

    Hey Betty,

    This is good. I can’t imagine Shuler’s positions really working for the modern American woman.

    Obviously ALL of our constitutional and modern human rights and community responsibilities to each other are not going to be nurtured with Shuler’s vision of ‘moderate’ policies. I call this ‘The Shuler Stratagem’, which is some kind of artificial, unholy 50/50 split between milquetoast Dem ideas and some really, really backwards GOP ideas.

    The Dems need to regroup. The GOP needs to dissolve and come back with some decent notions about what Americans really need.

    I would have to point out that women have kept most of the jobs over the recent recession. At the highest economic levels male investors, CEOs, board members, public officials still dominate. Obviously cutting back on both public and nonprofit programs that might help women get into those positions in not a good idea.

    Right now Shuler and Andrew Whalen are asking environmental groups to back him. We can expect to see more of the A C-T LTTEs appearing this week and other items in the near future along those lines. Doing something, anything, to cut pollution and environmental toxins is the minimum we should we be expecting from ANY public official.

    What’s the vision for NC 11? What characteristics do we want in our US House representative?

    Shuler is on the home page of an organization controlled Evangelism Explosion International called the The D. James Kennedy Center for Christian Statesmanship (CCS): http://www.statesman.org . In their article mentioning Shuler, the very next person mentioned in that crazy sack of crap Paul Broun. CCS gives out Distinguished Christian Statesman Awards to people like Tom DeLay, Mike Pence and John Ashcroft. It’s some kind of secret GOP paleoconservative club.

    I have no problem with people of faith seeking elected office. I do watch for theocracy, or at least theocratic polices which do come up for vote fairly often.

    I understand what Sierra Club is trying to do, but being a Member of Congress in not a one trick pony show. Clinton’s Shuler Stratagem has failed. We need a great Democratic Party primary candidate to come forward in the next few months. With organization, that person can win.

    It’s great if that person has a message attractive to UNAs. Unfortunately it is a rich person’s game to run a third party candidacy for Congress.

    Well said, Betty.

  2. Cosmic Ballroom

    From the letter title I thought the writer was going to discuss Saudi Arabia.

  3. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Not quite, but somewhere along that continuum, given the historical context.

  4. who

    I’m a man and I am radically pro-choice. Because I’m not a woman doesn’t mean I’m indifferent, which is sometimes intimated. Many woman are pro-life. Many issues touted as gender specific are really not. If it’s a real issue of fairness, it is a human rights issue. In my view, the right to abortion is a human rights issue that trumps any notion of gender inequality.

  5. JWTJr

    Continuums are big. What specifically is Health up to? The letters and comments are very vague. What legislation is the threat?

  6. cwaster

    Separation of church and state is important for this very reason. Far too often the lines become blurry in politics, especially those of the right.
    In essence, you can be any kind of white, rich, Christian male you want and it’s all good. ;)

  7. Andy Fard

    Women’s “rights” often step on the toes of others, especially unborn children. I am for unborn baby rights, and the self-centered “mother” can just go with nature and put the baby up for adoption if she is too “inconvenienced” to raise it. It’s a child, not a choice.

  8. Betty Cloer Wallace

    @Who: “I’m a man and I am radically pro-choice. Because I’m not a woman doesn’t mean I’m indifferent, which is sometimes intimated.”

    “Radically pro-choice?”

    So what does that mean for you personally?

    And you say “…..indifferent, which is sometimes intimated?”

    Indifferent to what? And sometimes intimated by whom? So what does that mean to you personally?

    The crux of the matter is why do you think you have a vote if the matter is not your body in question?

    And for whatever it might be worth to you, I am both pro-choice and pro-life under the current cliched definitions as set forth by the conservative populace and as I think (I’m not sure) is being set forth by you.

    So, you make decisions about yourself, and I will make decisions about myself. Is that enough of “a real human rights issue of fairness” for you?

  9. Betty Cloer Wallace

    @JWT Jr: Keep following Heath and his beliefs will become apparent for you. I have no authority to speak for him, but then I don’t need to. He does quite well at regularly shooting himself in the foot.

    The embarrassment for me is that I voted for him;

  10. contentpersephone

    Don’t beat yourself up too much for voting for him, Betty – I did the same; the GOP alternative *was* worse.

    @JWTJr. – there’s a fairly recent interview with Mr. Schuler right here on the Xpress – maybe an issue or two back. illuminating.

    (btw- Xpress webfolks, can you please, please, please fix the “search” feature here? thx.)

    I presume that Betty’s letter was instigated primarily by Mr. Shuler voting in favor of defunding planned parenthood.

  11. I honestly believe many women are totally unaware of the struggle for women to obtain basic rights. It’s been a very short time (30 -40years), that women could have credit in their own name. It was during a very liberal court that abortion became legal…sine then there has been constant attack against this basic right. There has been a sea change in women’s options since birth control became much more reliable. My Mother (born in 1925 had little to no options) Women born in the 40 to mid 60’s were on the cutting edge of changes that gave women a lot more power…and the wolf is always looking for ways to take that away. No woman is safe from these regressive agendas.

    Here is a brief history of the struggle for conraception: “A. Comstock, who was born in New Canaan, Connecticut, was responsible for the federal law banning birth control and for the passage of similar laws in twenty two states. The strictest laws were passed in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

    1879 General Statutes of Connecticut, Section 6246: Use of drugs or instruments to prevent conception. Any person who will use any drug, medicinal article or instrument for the purpose of preventing conception shall be fined not less than fifty dollars or imprisoned not less than sixty days nor more than one year or be both fined and imprisoned.
    Accessories. Section 54-196: Any person who assists, abets, councils, causes, hires or commands another to commit any offense may be prosecuted and punished as if he were the principal offender.

    Comstock worked as a special federal agent charged with the responsibility of enforcing laws aimed at stopping proliferation, distribution and use of “obscene” articles.
    Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) campaigned from 1914 until 1937 to remove the stigma of obscenity from contraception. Working with a doctor to save the life of tenement dweller, Sadie Sachs, from the affects of a self-induced abortion, she made her decision to fight the Comstock Law and to insure that women received contraceptive education, counseling and service. She is credited with coining the phrase, birth control.

    In 1914, Sanger published and mailed a magazine, Women Rebel, advocating the use of birth control techniques she had learned about in France. In 1916, she opened the first birth control clinic in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. Hundreds of women attended the clinic; but within one month police arrested Sanger, her sister, and her friend and closed the clinic. Sanger then turned her energy toward the legislative process; the Suffragette Movement contributed to her feeling that legal reform was possible if newly won political power was used. Sanger’s ultimate goal was to make medically prescribed birth control legal and available to anyone for any reason—personal, social, economic or medical.

    Between 1912 and 1930, House Bills to repeal the Comstock Laws in Connecticut were repeatedly rejected. In 1931 doctors began to support the bills. Between 1941 and 1959, seventeen bills were entered; some passed in the House but were defeated in the Senate. Arguments continued to center on religious views and questions of public morality.

    In 1961, Dr. C. Lee Buxton and Estelle Griswald opened a birth control clinic in New Haven, Connecticut. They were arrested and fined. The Planned Parenthood League appealed the Griswald vs. Ct. case and, in 1965, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional the 1879 birth control law. After 86 years, birth control could be used legally in Connecticut, and contraceptive services have become increasingly available to teenagers, including minors. During 1980 and 1981, a number of bills and amendments were entered which attempted to limit the availability of these services to adolescents.

    Boston Women’s Health Book Collective, Our Bodies, Ourselves. N.Y.: Simon and Schuster. 1975.

    Gordon, Linda. Woman’s Body, Woman’s Right: A Social History of Birth Control in America. New York: Penguin Books. 1976.

    Guttmacher Report. Teenage Pregnancy: The Problem That Hasn’t Gone Away. New York: The Alan Guttmacher Institute/Policy Analysis and Public Education. 1980.

    Hatcher, Robert A., MD., et al. Contraceptive Technology 1980-81. Atlanta: Emory University/Grady Memorial Hospital, Family Planning Program. 1981.

    History of the Birth Control Movement—Tape of Connecticut Public Radio broadcast—Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

    London, K. “Mainstreaming the Adolescent Mother.” Issues in Health Care of Women Vol. 3, No. 1 Jan.-Feb. 1981.

    Reed, James. From Private Vice to Public Virtue: Birth Control in America Since 1830. New York: Basic Books. 1978

  12. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Andy Fard, I too believe in “unborn baby rights” and believe that “self-centered” men should choose not to father any unwanted babies they are “too inconvenienced” to raise.

  13. Notice how the onus of responsibility is always on women…..can’t help noticing Mr. Fard’s chastisement of women left out the man’s responsibility in prevention or subsequent participation in raising the children.

  14. Ken Brocklin

    God bless Rep Shuler. Why should the taxpayer pay for “planned parenthood”, an organization that performs infanticide through “abortions”, and has been caught counseling pimps on trafficking underage female prostitutes. Abortion may be legal, but that doesn’t make it right. The majority of Americans are opposed to abortion and should not be forced to pay for it. Let Planned Parenthood raise funds from their supporters…privately. pro-abortionist writers here, make your contributions now!

  15. who

    There are renewed assaults aiming to hamper a womans right to choose. New bills are being introduced in certain states. Radical pro-choice means No Conditions on the woman’s right to choose. As a human being, I find it troubling that some humans want to dictate to other humans what to do with their body/lives when it is none of their business -hence, human rights issue. I shouldn’t have the option to vote if it is not my body/life choice in question. That it should even be up for vote is ridiculous. Saying that one is both Pro-life and pro-choice does a disservice to the pro-choice stance. Again, more intimation, but it’s like saying that pro-choice is anti-baby, which is pandering to those who are establishing phallacios definitions. It is like you just want to make it clear that you are really not a baby killer. To say that you are both is redundant. Pro-choice is not cliched – it is pretty simple and clear. And my answere to your last question: Yes.

  16. Betty Cloer Wallace

    The danger of religion mixed with politics has deep roots in our British heritage and is exemplified clearly every time that small group of Asheville preachers comes to City Council meetings to try to prevent individual rights and equality for various groups of people.

    Very few young people today realize that their marriage is a strange patriarchal vestige of property management mandated by England’s King Edward VI in his Act of Uniformity in 1549 and his subsequent Book of Common Prayer in 1552 constructed by the Archbishop of Canterbury as a compromise between Catholics and Protestants.

    The section mandating the exact wording of marriage vows is still largely used today throughout the English-speaking world for both religious (Christian) and secular marriages, although the only legality required now for marriage in most states is a signed document filed with local government.

    We still practice a rather comical but loaded modern version of the centuries-old English system in that men still request permission from a father to take ownership of his daughter, and the father then gives up his ownership of her to the man. Even Prince William in 2011 requested from Kate Middleton’s father permission to marry her, she still being considered chattel to be passed from one man to another, as will be her children.

    Men still are expected to initiate marriage (men ask women to marry them, but not vice versa). The woman is then expected to act surprised and emotional that he would want her. The man requests permission from her father. An engagement announcement is publicly declared like the 16th century banns (a form of licensure) read out three times and posted on public buildings so that people with any property claims could speak now or forever hold their peace. The bride (wearing virginal white) is walked down the aisle by her father and handed over to the man. A ring is required to bind the bride’s vow to obey the man but not vice versa.

    http://www.google.com/search?source=ig&hl=en&rlz;=&q=the+form+of+solemnization+of+matrimony&btnG=Google+Search&aq=1m&aqi=g1g-m1g-v1&aql;=&oq=Form+of+Solemni

    Yes, Davyne, many young women today are totally unaware of the long struggle for women to obtain basic rights for themselves and for their children, especially for their daughters; and the fresh wave of religious and political conservatism now sweeping the country is a giant leap backward.

    One of the most disturbing of all the retrogressive groups is the Promise Keepers, an organization of fundamentalist Christian men who vow to keep wives and daughters in perpetual servitude.

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=“primise+keepers”+daughters&btnG=Search&aq=f&aqi;=&aql;=&oq;=

  17. who

    Ken Brocklin’s use of the term infanticide is a case in point concerning phallacious definitions.

  18. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Who, I am sorry and feel bad that I misread your intent in your first statement above. Women need all the help we can get in trying to prevent encroachment on our personal lives and bodies, i.e. to prevent having other people think they have the right to make decisions for us (such as the South Dakota governor and legislators).

    Anyone who is seriously pro-choice by any definition, although the use of the term is becoming clichéd, does care about individual human rights; and my misreading of your statement was couched in my defensiveness about having anyone else express the right to be “giving” any rights to me.

    A lot of young men nowadays think it is cool to say they are pro-choice, but when you dig deeper you find their meaning is that they feel no personal responsibility about any unborn children they might father. Proclaiming that they are pro-choice seems to justify their own lack of responsibility.

    I saw a young man in a tee shirt recently that loudly proclaimed “FREE SPERM BANK” and under it in smaller letters, “I am pro-choice for all you chicks.” When I asked him what his message meant personally for him, he said that his only responsibility was “to give away my sperm free for the taking” and that “the chicks should be grateful (to men) for giving them a choice”!

    I am not a violent person, but I did have to work hard at not incapacitating his reproductive parts.

    And pro-choice is not anti-baby. That is a common hyperbolic and false argument set forth by religious and political conservatives. Pro-choice is about having the right to make individual decisions about one’s own personal life and body, and that applies to people of all genders.

  19. who

    Thanks, Betty, I was a little confused. I think that the 2 most important things going on right now is happening in Wisconsin/Ohio and also what is happening to limit women’s reproductive rights. It is becoming insidious and sly. Another case in point, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/01/ohio-abortion-bill_n_829893.html. The rights of people are being assailed. The American dream via power to the people is being dismantled. This power being economic, political, and individual. This could be the coming of the age of the new American aristocracy whereas if you are not in it, you are socio-economically and poltically inconsequential. It started with Reagan. The revolution may well be over.

  20. who

    Thanks, Betty, I was a little confused. I think that the 2 most important things going on right now is happening in Wisconsin/Ohio and also what is happening to limit women’s reproductive rights. It is becoming insidious and sly. Another case in point, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/01/ohio-abortion-bill_n_829893.html. The rights of people are being assailed. The American dream via power to the people is being dismantled. This power being economic, political, and individual. This could be the coming of the age of the new American aristocracy whereas if you are not in it, you are socio-economically and poltically inconsequential. It started with Reagan. The revolution may well be over.

  21. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Who, you are so right about the “power to the people” being dismantled. Even the phrase “we the people” has been appropriated for ulterior motives by those who want to become the “new American aristocracy.” (They did the same thing with our American flag symbolism a couple of decades ago, trying to claim the meaning of the flag for themselves.)

    But, I have belief and faith that “the revolution” is not yet over. We’re just in a lull right now. The power of the American people rests with those huge numbers of freedom-loving people who somehow always find a rallying point when they need it and somehow always rise to the occasion. It’s that spirit upon which our country has evolved as a work in progress.

    In addition to those brave women and landmark occasions referenced above by Davyne, remember when, after the major civil rights gains of the 1960s, there was a depressing and retrogressive period during the 1970s—–until a country music singer named Loretta Lynn burst forth with The Pill and with the lyrics in that song turned the whole reproductive rights movement on its ear with grassroots momentum.

    Even people who did not like country music embraced the meaning of that song, and the rest is history for both Loretta and the country. We The People had spoken, loud and clear, led by an unlikely leader named Loretta Lynn who defined the problem and the solution.

    http://www.google.com/search?source=ig&hl=en&rlz;=&q=“loretta+lynn”+pill+lyrics&aq=f&aqi=g1g-v1&aql;=&oq;=

  22. john

    I’ve personally never met anyone who has wished they’d been aborted. I’m grateful I’ve had the priceless gift to be born and have a LIFE. I want other souls to have this opportunity, too. I don’t want to deny anyone else this opportunity. Let us treat the unborn the way we ourselves have been treated. We were allowed to live and are here today to even have this discussion.

  23. who

    John, nice belief, but when it comes to another sovereign life, it is not your decision, and really none of your business. Moot point, anyhow. The only reason you have a view at all is because you exist. If you are non-existant, you don’t know it. Nothing comes from nothing – has always been nothing, and forever will be nothing. You can’t profess to speak for what doesn’t exist. That is truly nonsensical. And if it exists, it always has existed and forever will exist. There is no coming and going from existance to non-existance. You can claim your views with a sense of matter of factedness, but others can too.

  24. Big Al

    Betty, I am amused to hear you extol the virtues of those who claim pro-life views, only to QUESTION the sincerity of those views when they are claimed by “a lot of young men”. As for their assumed “lack of responsabilty”, unless we are talking about rape, that responsabilty is equally shared, is it not? Or is all that gender equality talk just more bitter militant feminism?

  25. Karen Marston

    @Betty, so if a guy forgets to wear protection and the woman gets pregnant, she should go ahead and have an abortion because the guy was careless? How’s that being for baby rights? I’d say the problem these days is there is no public moral standard. And our kids are constantly bombarded with sex in the movies, MTV, and in magazines. I think we’d all be better off (and more babies would live) if we progressed to 1950s moral standards and abstained from sex until marriage.

  26. artart

    Why are women the only ones who can, arguably, terminate the life of those they consider parasites and inconveniences? I would like the right to kill all those I consider parasites and inconvenient to my existence.

  27. bill smith

    [i]Mike Huckabee assumes he has a vote about someone else’s body.[/i]

    @Betty–Don\t you feel the media is taking that quote form Huckabee about Portman WAY out of context? His point was merely that hollywood makes single motherhood appear glamorous, which I’d say is pretty accurate.

  28. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Sounds just like always to me–men criticizing single mothers, but not single fathers.

  29. So Karen…can you imagine the hardship to be had by being an unwanted child. What proposals do you have to support that or those children?????? Or do you just insist they be born and then forget about their quality of life. Put your money where your mouth is.

  30. Betty Cloer Wallace

    It’s always sad and disgusting when any discussion of women’s evolving and regressive political and religious rights—the topic of the letter above—gets reduced to abortion, which for most women is a mere fraction, if any, of their total life.

    Every woman is far, far more than her womb, and reducing everything about her life to a discussion of womb is a grave disservice to her entire life and personhood.

    What if everything about the rights of men were reduced to a discussion of their reproductive parts!

    Young women, just like young men, need to learn to stand up for their own basic independence (not being dependent on anyone else), their economic wherewithal throughout life (especially in old age, their most vulnerable stage of life), their equal right to employment with equal pay, their equal status in religious organizations (the right to hold leadership roles), their societal impact on daughters (everything breeds more of the same), their right to legal protection when victimized physically (domestic abuse is no less important than violence committed by a stranger), their own independent credit rating (about which most young women are totally clueless), their right to medical research and health care, their right to equal educational opportunities, their right to not have their life be defined by their relationship to a man —-and much, much more.

    When people like Mike Huckabee, Heath Shuler, and the Asheville Baptist ministers carry out such blatant political and religious aggrandizement of themselves—to the detriment of women—every caring person should stand up against such attempted oppression and subjugation of half the population.

    Try standing up for your mothers, sisters, lovers, and daughters. You might find that standing up for them will bring some real dignity and peace into your own life.

  31. dpewen

    Nice letter Betty and I agree. This country has been going backwards for a long time and women are suffering for it. As a male I feel abortion is a woman’s choice pure and simple.
    I am also embarrassed to have voted for Shuler. I will not vote for him again.
    I am preparing to leave this country for good and will not miss it … not one bit!

  32. john

    Sorry Who, but we are all interconnected. I’ll stick with my own conscience and freedom of opinion and freedom of expression–not your arbitrary rules.

  33. brebro

    According to that new Dan Abrahms book, women are scientifically proven to be better than men in practically everything.

    Therefore, I, for one, welcome our new female overlords (overladies?) and wish to apologize for all that second-class citizen stuff, objectification and general property-like treatment that happened over the centuries and I hope that when you are deciding which men to keep around that you will remember me as one of the good ones!

  34. Mr Brebro….I don’t think it will come to your welcoming suggestion. But if it should, indeed you’d be high on the list as a “keeper.”

  35. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Ditto, Davyne.

    Brebro is clearly a keeper, and so is that smart and hunky Dan Abrams.

    Picking good candidates for “interconnectedness” is one of the finer talents of humans of all genders.

    It’s an evolutionary thing.

  36. bill smith

    @Betty [i]Sounds just like always to me—men criticizing single mothers, but not single fathers. [/i]

    But he wasn’t criticizing her. He was criticizing the hollywood spectacle that implies single motherhood (or fatherhood) is glamorous. Which, in my estimate, is a pretty legitimate criticism.

    Unfortunately, many in the media, including the link you provided, seem to have intentionally confused Huckabee’s comment’s with the comment’s of the guy interviewing him.

  37. Karen Marston

    @Davyne. A baby has a right to life. If a woman has gotten pregnant out of wedlock, the fix is not to punish the innocent unborn baby by killing it through an abortion. The fix is for the woman to bring the baby to term, birth it, then put it up for adoption if she doesn’t want to be bothered. Since the late 1960s and the advent of birth control pills, we have gotten way too far into left field morality-wise. We need to remember that actions have consequences. Sometimes sex causes pregnancy. We would all be better off to admit the liberal experiment of free love has been a failure, and return to traditional Christian values of waiting until marriage to have sex. Then build a loving family.

  38. who

    Okay, after this, I’m out, but for what it’s worth… John, the difference between you and I is this: both of our free opinions may be arbitrary, however I don’t want to impose my opinion on others. Think about it for a second. Do you understand that illegal abortion would be akin to you forcing a woman to go through a pregnancy against her own will? Wouldn’t that be a sort of slavery and tyrrany that you would condone and take part in – forced surrogacy? That is so inhumane. The term captive breeding comes to mind. I get enraged just thinking about it. Abortion rights are consantly under attack and I see this issue as the maginot line of a free society. If this line is passed, it is down the rabbit hole. So John, it is nice how you have your freedom of expression. What is not nice is that you don’t value others’ – I’m assuming that you are anti-choice. Also, I think that you and I would agree that an acorn is not an oak tree. If you smash an acorn you did you kill a tree? Do you understand that your free opinion may not be equal to truth? I understand that my opinion may be wrong, but it doesn’t have a provision of prohibitedness towards others. That is the difference.

  39. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Politician Mike Huckabee was trying to sell his new book and radio host Michael Medved was trying to improve his media ratings—and Natalie Portman was a convenient, glamorous, newsworthy, Oscar winner who translated into fodder for Huckabee’s and Medved’s political and media-ratings agendas.

    Natalie, on the other hand, is a brilliant award-winning actor who is having a baby and is delighted to be doing so, as is her fiancé Benjamin Millepied.

    Huckabee and Medved used the situation to further their own NEGATIVE anti-woman agendas with America’s conservative base, not to criticize Hollywood’s glamorization of “single motherhood.”

    Just think how much conservative political and media-ratings mileage they could have gleaned if she had had an abortion!

    Or how little mileage they could have gleaned if she had been physically ugly?

    And, how is this different from Elton John and David Furnish being delighted at becoming parents?

    When people are happy to become parents and to bring well-loved and healthy babies into the world, we should rejoice with them, not criticize them, especially for extraneous and ulterior motives.

  40. Then there’s the situation of putting the unwed Mother into the damned if you do, damned if you don’t, catagory.. If she aborts, she’s a baby murder, if she goes to term she’s a bad exsample and most likely a fallen woman. And if she’s a famous woman, she’s leading our youth down a path to hell. Which really gets to the bottom of this subject. In some people’s eyes, women will always be easy targets of condemnation, no matter what they do. Note the women on here doing this very thing. But they don’t hold men to their same high standard AT ALL.

  41. Then there’s the situation of putting the unwed Mother into the damned if you do, damned if you don’t, category.. If she aborts, she’s a baby murder, if she goes to term she’s a bad example and most likely a fallen woman. And if she’s a famous woman, she’s leading our youth down a path to hell. Which really gets to the bottom of this subject. In some people’s eyes, women will always be easy targets of condemnation, no matter what they do. Note the women on here doing this very thing. But they don’t hold men to their same high standard AT ALL.

  42. john

    @who: you make some negative judgments about me without knowing me. I’d say the intolerance about a difference of opinion belongs to you. Good luck with that.

  43. cwaster

    @Karen Marston: “We would all be better off to admit the liberal experiment of free love has been a failure, and return to traditional Christian values of waiting until marriage to have sex.”

    Many of us Americans aren’t Christians. Besides, the “traditional Christian values” you speak of haven’t worked out so well in the past in my mind.

  44. bill smith

    [i]Politician Mike Huckabee was trying to sell his new book and radio host Michael Medved was trying to improve his media ratings—and Natalie Portman was a convenient, glamorous, newsworthy, Oscar winner who translated into fodder for Huckabee’s and Medved’s political and media-ratings agendas. [/i]

    Sounds to me like you still haven’t even read or listened to the actual interview. Medved made the criticism, Huckabee merely made it about the larger spectacle, and NOT about Ms. Portman specifically.

    Looks to me that in your haste to jump on the bandwagon, you didn’t take the time to examine the content beyond the punditry. Huckabee did not disparage Ms Porter, as you have implied. Go ahead, read the interview.

  45. bill smith

    @Betty–It’s ironic to me that you criticize Huckabee for making a passing comment about a current media persona (and a fairly benign one at that), while apparently doing the same thing yourself in regards to Huckabee.

  46. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Huckabee’s public criticism of “single moms” focused specifically on “a Natalie Portman or some other Hollywood starlet” who “boasts” about having an “out of wedlock” baby, followed by his declaration that “it’s unfortunate that we glorify and glamorize the idea of out of wedlock children.”

    Such an attitude of patriarchal chauvinism is especially disturbing when coming from the mouth of someone who might become President.

    It is none of Huckabee’s business whether any woman who chooses to have a baby is married or not, but it is our business as voters to voice our opinions about such retrogressive politicians and potential Presidents who think they have the right to discredit women’s choices and who are in a position of power to influence legislation detrimental to women.

    And whether the woman is rich or poor is a moot point since being married is certainly not a guarantee of anything economically.

  47. bill smith

    @Betty- The actual quote:

    [i]”One of the things that’s troubling is that people see a Natalie Portman or some other Hollywood starlet who boasts of, ‘Hey look, you know, we’re having children, we’re not married, but we’re having these children, and they’re doing just fine.’ But there aren’t really a lot of single moms out there who are making millions of dollars every year for being in a movie.

    “I think it gives a distorted image that yes, not everybody hires nannies, and caretakers, and nurses. Most single moms are very poor, uneducated, can’t get a job, and if it weren’t for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death and never have health care. And that’s the story that we’re not seeing, and it’s unfortunate that we glorify and glamorize the idea of out of wedlock children.”

    [/i]

    Pretty reasonable statement when you actually read it, instead of just reading the pundit’s interpretation.

  48. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Bill Smith, by any name, you’re a lot more interesting when you use your considerable brain power for straightforward discussion of pertinent issues rather than compulsive trolling.

    But, in keeping with our giving Huckabee continued media presence, here is his statement copied and pasted in its entirety:

    “You know Michael, one of the things that’s troubling is that people see a Natalie Portman or some other Hollywood starlet who boasts of, ‘Hey look, you know, we’re having children, we’re not married, but we’re having these children, and they’re doing just fine.’ But there aren’t really a lot of single moms out there who are making millions of dollars every year for being in a movie.

    And I think it gives a distorted image that yes, not everybody hires nannies, and caretakers, and nurses. Most single moms are very poor, uneducated, can’t get a job, and if it weren’t for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death and never have health care. And that’s the story that we’re not seeing, and it’s unfortunate that we glorify and glamorize the idea of out of children wedlock (sic).

    You know, right now, 75 percent of black kids in this country are born out of wedlock. 61 percent of Hispanic kids — across the board, 41 percent of all live births in America are out of wedlock births. And the cost of that is simply staggering.”

    You say it is a “pretty reasonable statement” but I say it is just one more disgusting example of political grandstanding at the expense of women—and clearly illustrative of just how out of touch Huckabee is with real world cause and effect regarding the personal and economic struggles faced by women, the limited personal and economic choices available to them, and how their lives could be improved by addressing the underlying economic and health care problems rather than casting aspersions.

    Just think how everyone’s lives could be improved, including the lives of children, if we worked toward real gender parity in this country.

  49. Either way. Poor, uneducated women are having children out of wedlock. And those women who become pregnant must carry the child and raise it, or adopt it out…but not terminate. Both are being condemned…with nothing in the way of effort to prevent either of the wrongs (their terminology, not mine). Sound very no-win for any woman in the eyes of those placing the harsh judgments.

  50. travelah

    You know, right now, 75 percent of black kids in this country are born out of wedlock. 61 percent of Hispanic kids—across the board, 41 percent of all live births in America are out of wedlock births. And the cost of that is simply staggering.”

    Betty thinks that is a disgusting example of political grandstanding. That is odd. It fits the context of what was being discussed in the previous comments and it is the truth. What part of the statement is not true. What part of the statement is disgusting? Would it be fair to suggest you are merely projecting your bias upon Huckabee?

  51. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Travelah, perhaps Huckabee will answer your loaded questions and verify his statistics for you, if he’ll take your calls, and tell you if his numbers are the truth–and if so, what is the underlying cause.

  52. travelah

    OK, so it is fair to state that Betty is projecting her bias upon Huckabee without offering any justification for doing so.

  53. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Sorry, travelah, but I can’t speak for Huckabee or justify his statements since I’m not on his team, but I heard he’s scheduled to do book signings down your way and maybe you can ask him if he meant something other than what the newspapers reported.

  54. travelah

    Most people who have read the statement already understand what is being stated. Apparently you do not.

  55. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Travelah, you really should ask Huckabee about his statement. He came through here several days ago and got some good press coverage. I really can’t speak for him.

    Perhaps someone on the MtnX staff can enlighten you (whoever covered his book signing).

  56. travelah

    Your inability to speak for him certainly did not affect your ability to denigrate him. Have the last word on this matter.

  57. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Oh, he’ll be around for a while, maybe even our next President, and he seems to be quite approachable on his book tour for conversation and press coverage and such, especially if you have a camera.

    I’m more worried about Barnes and Noble (who hosted him) going into bankruptcy.

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