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Klavan On The Culture

Is There a War On Women?

March 19th, 2012 - 7:05 am

There’s been a lot of talk lately about a war on women. Much of this has been devised by the Obama administration and its cronies in order to divert our attention from their unprecedented and illegal attack on our Constitution’s guarantees of religious liberty. At its core is the old leftist canard that says if people won’t be taxed to pay for your goods and services, they are somehow denying you access to those goods and services. It’s low and dishonest garbage and the people who promulgate it should be kicked first out of office and then downstairs.

But this weekend, one of the Wall Street Journal’s better columnists, Peggy Noonan, while largely agreeing with the above, opined that there really is a war against women nonetheless. By this she means the rather frequent use of sexual slurs, mostly by leftist men but sometimes by men on the right as well, to denigrate women in high-profile positions. “The words used are vulgar,” Noonan says, “and are meant to tear down and embarrass.”

I enjoy Noonan’s column a lot, but I can’t agree with her here. It seems to me, in fact, that there has been an ongoing and wickedly offhanded war against men for the past forty years at least. It’s not just the outright insults that have been permissible in respectable outlets: i.e., calling men collectively and individually “pigs.” The war has been waged in far more subtle and disgraceful ways as well.

Consider the common phrase “he objectifies women,” which casually belittles and denigrates men’s sexual yearnings. Or think of the almost universal depiction of fathers and husbands in movies, television shows, and advertisements as weaklings and fools under their wife-mommy’s control. Imagine the knowing laughter that would follow if I were to remark that “women are smarter than men,” then imagine the furious outbursts that would result if I said, “men are smarter than women.” The war is waged not only in what is said and shown, but in what is not said, what is considered off-limits.

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