Cognitive Simplicity--a Liberal Trait?
I often laugh when I read things written by liberal bloggers who try to interpret something that I have written. Granted, it doesn't happen often since this blog, hopefully, stays below the radar of most of the extreme lefty bloggers as it is small and targeted to people who tend towards being independent or libertarian types who believe in small government, something many on the left have no interest in (I acknowledge that the right also has problems with small government but that is another post!). That said, I have to point out the absurdity of some of the comments made by those of the far left persuasion to a href="http://pjmedia.com/2007/08/ask_dr_helen_3.php"my recent PJM column /athat addressed a question by a male who said he had assertiveness problems and felt guilty even taking up space on the sidewalk. One of the several suggestions I made was the following:br /br /blockquoteI have seen this fear of manliness in many modern husbands and fathers. Some men today are afraid of appearing like their own fathers, whom they thought of as unfair, controlling or condescending to women—the son swears he will not act the same way. Unfortunately, he often goes to the opposite extreme of letting his wife or others run all over him. These men are often doing dishes, watching the kids and earning much of the money all the while feeling guilty if anyone is unhappy with them. /blockquotebr /br /The problem here is not the man doing the dishes and watching kids (most modern men do nowadays, thank goodness!) but that some men act against their fathers and allow themselves to be doormats without saying a word to anyone. It is the guilt and harshness with themselves and the subsequent negative feelings that are the problem. Sticking up for themselves by setting boundaries and limits with others is reasonable. I would give the same advice to a woman who was supporting the family fully, caring for the children, cooking dinner and all the while feeling guilty that she was not doing enough. br /br /Apparently, the above ideas are too complex for some liberals. For example, a href="http://pjmedia.com/2007/08/ask_dr_helen_3.php#c061807"several of the comments /aat PJM that followed after Firedoglake linked there saw my response only in black and white:br /br /Sundown asks:br /br /blockquoteWhy do you think that men who do dishes aren't masculine? I say that's a very outrageous idea. /blockquotebr /br /and Courtney says:br /br /blockquoteOh, the HORROR of men washing dishes and spending time with their own children. Why is it that when women do the dishes, they're doing their wifely duty, but when men do the dishes, they're graciously "helping out" and "emasculating" themselves?? GROW UP. If a sink is full of YOUR dirty dishes, YOU WASH THEM. Same goes for YOUR OWN CHILDREN./blockquotebr /br /One of the commenters refers to me as a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phyllis_Schlafly"Phyllis Schlafly/a in order to make it look as if I think women should be stuck in the kitchen while men go to work. If that is not black and white thinking, I don't know what is.br /br /Another liberal, David Niewert talks about being a stay-at-home dad and a href="http://proteinwisdom.com/?p=9627"states the following: /abr /br /blockquoteAnd there were moments — whispered comments, offhand remarks — where I was reminded that a lot of people, both men and women, privately viewed stay-at-home daddies as wimps or out-of-work losers. Sort of like Dr. Helen./blockquotebr /br /Niewert takes my statements out of context and projects his own liberal agenda onto them--look, he says, "she thinks stay-at-home dads are wimps!" I have never said that, nor have I ever thought that. If Niewert were not such a simplistic thinker, he would have done more than glance over Jane Hamsher's post on the PJM column and would have actually analyzed my post himself to see that I was responding to a man who was having assertiveness problems--and the man's problem was possibly a response of guilt to his own father being controlling and condescending towards women.br /br /Some men are so guilty in that manner that they will not stand up for themselves in psychological ways with women or others. Apparently, this complexity of thought is more than Niewert or his cohorts can be expected to manage. My column had nothing to do with thinking that stay-at-home dads were wimps--and everything to do with men feeling that they are not allowed to express their feelings, something I thought liberal men were into. Apparently not. Men, in their book, are supposed to be the strong silent types that do dishes, watch kids, work all day, and never ever mention how they feel about anything. So much for escaping rigid gender roles.br /br /For more on the supposed "cognitive complexity" of liberals, a href="http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2003/07/22_politics.shtml"see this study /aon the traits of conservative vs. liberals here. My favorite line from one of the researchers is the following:br /br /blockquoteConservatives don't feel the need to jump through complex, intellectual hoops in order to understand or justify some of their positions, he said. "They are more comfortable seeing and stating things in black and white in ways that would make liberals squirm," Glaser said. /blockquotebr /Apparently, Glaser doesn't read liberal blogs.
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