Monday, March 05, 2012

Clarity Of Flippancy

People forget this, but the purpose of "irreverent" humor is to get to the fundamental truth of something by cutting through the solemnity or import that surrounds it - to refer to disreputable pharmacuetical companies as "Drug Dealers," for example.

So it was when I read this Washington Post opinion piece from Lisa Miller; which aims to take an "if-it-walks-like-a-duck" look at the image of American "conservative" politics of the moment as typified by the movement's two dominant public-images: Pols and pundits crusading for the moral-right to keep women away from birth-control on one hand; Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum's campaign-images as patrician papas flanked by their beaming, obedient wives and armies of offspring on the other. What she comes up with is nicely summarized by the headline the Post's online-version used to tease the piece: "The Republican Fertility Cult."

Short, accurate, incendiary and to-the-point. Well done.

17 comments:

antecedentless said...

Sigh... I've seen this article commented on before. Your side of the social issue debate is creating a false dichotomy, and it is blowing up in their face and making their cause seem radical. Yes, we need more contraceptive use (BY MEN!), more sex (if and only if the woman consents), but more importantly: we need more caring fathers.

The greatest danger to our society is the rise of single motherhood and daycare use. Statistic after statistic backs me up on this. We are a post "white-male" society, but we are far from being a successful "post nuclear family" society.

antecedentless said...

Dare I add: no one is denying women access to oral contraceptives. I like how one commentator put it... "If Ms. Fluke is paying $3000/year, the charitable Planned Parenthood must be price gauging."

On our side, we are simply arguing that insurance should actually be insurance, e.g. protection against real financial disaster, not some prepaid service plan.

antecedentless said...

(if and only if the woman consents without coercion/getting her "in the mood")
Excuse me. The first state sounds very, very wrong. I assure you that is not what I meant.

(Three consecutive posts again...)

Wendy said...

Seriously, stop trying to convince us you know shit about republicans or conservatives. You know exactly jack shit and you prove it every time you post one of these masturbation news posts.

You're not a family man, Bob. We get that. Stop shitting on me and my family life.

Sylocat said...

And the right-wing trolls flood the page right on schedule.

biomechanical923 said...

So if you think taxpayers should provide all people with birth control, does that mean I should be entitled to walk into Planned Parenthood and get a free vasectomy?

Anonymous said...

@Wendy

"Waaah waaah I'm tired of people misconstruing conservatism as angry reactionism so I'm going to act angry and reactionary on somebody's opinion blog WAAAAHHHHH!"

Mveculous said...

@Wendy

Stop your creepy and backwards politicians from shitting on anything that isn't a family life, then maybe people will stop "Shitting on you and your family life" As If Bob posting things to his blog were in any way equivalent to actual politicians influencing actual POLICY.

*sigh*

Apparently being a father or having a family "Automatically makes you better than most people" like Vegan-ism does in Scott Pilgrim. Thank Bahamut that it doesn't also give them the telekinetic powers.

antecedentless said...

>should provide all people
Way to stawman there.
We have a federal program in place that helps the poor pay for condoms. I forgot what it was called. Nevertheless Santorum wants to berid of it. That is wrong. It is no where near as wrong as his "black people" Freudian slip, but it is still wrong. No one should have a child before they are ready financially.

Speaking of race, Bob, I am not sure what thoughts go into your twitter feed, but if "backward" Republicanican ideals about family where actually implemented, whites would have been a minority decades ago.

MovieBob said...

@biomechanical
"So if you think taxpayers should provide all people with birth control, does that mean I should be entitled to walk into Planned Parenthood and get a free vasectomy?"

Well, I imagine whether or not they PERFORMED vasectomies would be up to Planned Parenthood; but honestly? Yes, if Planned Parenthood wanted to do so then I would have zero problem with it - in fact, I'd enthusiastically support it - and would be in favor of whatever government/insurance measure was necessary to make sure it was as affordable (or free) as the equivalent services they offer to women.

In fact, thinking on the matter - ARE vasectomies and other male reproductive-maintnance measures required to be covered under the Affordable Care Act? Because if not, they ought to be.

Jake said...

@Sylocat
So because they disagree that makes them trolls?

Cool story bro ;)

Cado said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cado said...

@antecedentless

I'd be curious to see the statistics that back your argument. Do you have a link?

As things are now, corrupt pharmaceutical companies run the show and dictate the price at which anyone acquires what they need be it contraceptives or medicine. That's one major reason we need reform-charity isn't enough. You can't throw enough money, from taxes or the public sphere, at charities or government agencies, to cover everyone's medical costs.

Including contraception in insurance packages is at least a step in the right direction. Having a child when you're not ready is a financial disaster and it's easier to give women all the tools they need to take charge of their lives than it is to change the social forces which have shattered the traditional family. That's something people have to work out on their own, and while I'm in complete agreement that more men should make use of contraception (and I can't wait for the male equivalent of the pill) that's a secondary focus because we're not the ones who are at risk of getting pregnant. Because of biological factors, men can always walk away and leave women to deal with things on their own and saying we can correct that in the short term is nothing more than extreme idealism.

I won't get too into detail because it's private, but I'm with someone who would have been screwed by the republican policies if things had played out differently, and even as things are now none of her options at the time were at all attractive. I can't help but think that even a toned-down version of what the right wants is the result of anything but a complete disconnect from the circumstances of people who need what the left is pushing for. The simple fact is that for our personal, societal, and economic health it is vital that we have control over when we have children.

Joe said...

@antecedentless:

The greatest danger to our society is the rise of single motherhood and daycare use. Statistic after statistic backs me up on this.

Do you have evidence that after controlling for income level and social status single motherhood is detrimental to society? I suspect the children of a single mother who makes $100,000/year turn out just fine. And sorry, every reputable study I see on daycare suggests there are as many good outcomes as bad, if not significantly more.

We are a post "white-male" society, but we are far from being a successful "post nuclear family" society.

The "nuclear family" is a construct of mid to late 20th-century North American society, fuelled largely by the post-war economic boom and the rise of surburbia. It was never a social norm for most cultures nor most of human history, and should not be seen as the only or even the most successful domestic arrangement without far more research.

@biomechanical:

Well, that depends. Would you rather your taxes pay for some pills and devices, or for all the extra education, schools, health care, bureaucracy, housing, roads, employment initiatives and law enforcement that all those extra citizens are going to need? Because you're going to pay for it either way, the only question is how much.

biomechanical923 said...

@Cado
I can't help but think that even a toned-down version of what the right wants is the result of anything but a complete disconnect from the circumstances of people who need what the left is pushing for.
I always thought the right just had some twisted moral belief that people need to "pay the consequences for their actions" or something.
I'm not advocating for the right, just saying that's what I thought their motivation was.

@MovieBob
I haven't found any information on that. But while searching, I found . this article
Georgia Dems introduced an anti-vasectomy bill, to prove the hypocrisy of bills that only regulate female reproduction. I hope it doesn't backfire and actually get passed, because naturally, the conservative media is having a field day taking it out of context.

cdstephens said...

These things make Republicans like me look very foolish...sigh. If I didn't care more about economic policy than social policy I would have jumped ship a while ago.

It just seems paradoxical to want to have a lot of government weighing in on moral decisions and the social sphere while making that government affect the economy as little as possible.

Not sure whether to blame sensational media, the legitimate ignorance of politicians, or the ignorance of the public in terms of this. Why can't there be more politicians that want little government in economy and social spheres?

willywild256 said...

Oh, snap!!!

That is all.