Home / General / Never Held ME Back

Never Held ME Back

Comments
/
/
/
525 Views

landscape-1490303342-whiteWashington Post op-ed by Mary Vought is a classic of the unwitting “but some of my best friends are black!” genre.   But the best part is here:

I engaged in senior staff meetings and strategy sessions side-by-side with the congressman and my colleagues, and I never felt sidelined because of my gender. My proposals and suggestions were always valued as equal with those of my male counterparts.

As time went on, I was able to prove that I could handle increased responsibilities, and so more responsibilities were provided to me. My gender never factored into how my work was evaluated, or whether my responsibilities were expanded. In fact, the congressman would sometimes send me to GOP leadership communication meetings to represent his voice —and more often than not, I was the only woman in the room. My work product determined my success — not private dinners with the congressman. When looking back on my time in the office of the man who is now vice president, I don’t consider it to be a period of missed opportunities.

Look, Mike Pence’s professional conduct towards his female employees may be exemplary; despite his decisions about dinner companions, he may take meaningful steps to ensure that those employees enjoy professional opportunities that they would otherwise be excluded from.  But the overall impact of the exclusion of women from one of the primary means of professional networking and socialization is obvious from the above; there’s only one woman in the room.  Vought thinks this is about Pence, and in trying to defend him she renders a crushing verdict on how the Party of the Patriarchy approaches women’s participation in politics.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Linkedin
  • Pinterest
  • pillsy

    Pence is one of the biggest advocates of legally barring certain marriages because of a nebulous theory that they sent harmful social signals to third parties, but now nobody is supposed to even comment on the signals sent by his marriage?

    Please.

  • D. C. Sessions

    If there’s a woman in that room, she’s off getting coffee.

    • Bob Loblaw Lobs Law Bomb

      Yeah, is this like Where’s Waldo? I’ve been looking at that pic for 5 minutes and don’t see her.

      • Bob Loblaw Lobs Law Bomb

        Opps, just realized that I was reading this in RSS, and didn’t see Farley’s update below.

  • Robert Farley

    Bolding function worked as a delete. Corrected now.

  • jim, some guy in iowa

    as Letterman used to say, “more fun than humans should be allowed to have” going on there

  • As T.S. Eliot said, all the women are the same woman, so why would anyone need another?

    • DocAmazing

      In the room the woman comes and goes
      Making way for Betsy DeVos.

      • The Dark God of Time

        "Does that suggest anything to you, sir?” “Yeah—it suggests to me that the guy didn't know very much about education."

    • Hogan

      As Edith Sitwell said, “At some point in their marriage, Tom went mad and promptly certified his wife.”

  • Jackson87

    Mary V. is missing the forest for the trees.

  • sharonT

    I should click the link and see how old this woman is, but I’m going to guess that she hasn’t hit forty.

    Being the only woman in the room can be intimidating, but it can also be a very powerful drug.

    • Denverite

      Her LinkedIn says she graduated college in 2005, so 33 or 34, most likely.

      • N__B

        Maybe she was left back thirty or forty times.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      I once knew a very impressive, accomplished Southern Republican woman. Her take on it all was that of course she had made it this far, she was exceptional and worked for it, and she didn’t need any collective solutions or victimhood status.

      Politely, and silently, I thought, “yadda yadda .”

      • And both their careers may well depend on defending that point of view. Vought certainly is getting paid for defending it officially.

        And okay, there’s a point, different in each place and for each person, up to which noncollective solutions do work. It’s not morally reprehensible just to advance in ways that wouldn’t work for everyone. (Nothing is going to work for everyone, everywhere, even in the most ideal world.)

  • It’s also possible she’s in less need of networking, and other, more usual ways of getting noticed or promoted, because she shares an ideology, and likely religious beliefs, with her boss. That’s not something you can actually recommend to many women as career advice: be sure to have the same religion as the guy who put out the ad.

    • phalamir

      That’s not something you can actually recommend to many women as career advice: be sure to have the same religion as the guy who put out the ad.

      Oh, I don’t know. Seems that ”be sure to be an evangelical pentacostal dominionist of the ‘everything after Deuteronomy does not exist – and any parts before that that imply not being pure evil are also right out’ persuasion” is easy enough to say.

    • ThresherK

      Is there a term for how the first “other” (woman, person of color, immigrant, GLBTQ, non-Fundie) to succeed in an organization does so by acting just like every other straight white Christian man there?

      I’m convinced that’s the case but, like Faith Popcorn, I haven’t done any real research. My conscience is the only thing which keeps me from becoming the next Faith Popcorn.

      • The thing is she probably didn’t succeed by acting like a man. She probably acted like Pence’s religion’s idea of how a Christian woman should act. “Act subordinate, prioritize emotion over substance (at least in direct interactions with the boss and his peers), and pick up on his dogwhistles” doesn’t work for anyone but upper middle class white women who grew up with the same dogwhistles and are comfortable in emotional, subordinate relationships with men who use them.

        • Julia Grey

          Act subordinate, prioritize emotion over substance (at least in direct interactions with the boss and his peers), and pick up on his dogwhistles

          In other words, the Feminine Mystique. “Charm.” I used it myself. A lot. It was the only way to operate in male dominated situations. Still is, to more or less an extent.

          Pretend to be demure (or ladylike with a wicked streak, knowing JUST how far you can take that with each individual), concentrate on communicating your “substance” in a “non-threatening” manner by being aware of emotional freight and cross-currents, and keep your eyes open to all subtle clues concerning how you are coming across (“intuition”), altering your behavior accordingly.

          You have to be very alert and very emotionally and socially intelligent to use this method, but it’s still the expected way for women to behave if they want to advance in their careers in very male environments.

          • Origami Isopod

            You have to be very alert and very emotionally and socially intelligent to use this method

            … and it’s completely undervalued in society, because it’s something that dumb girls do. If those girls were smart, they’d know how to code, amirite?

      • Also I don’t know the demographics of this comments section, but fundie-run organizations, nationally, are actually rare. Another reason “be a fundie” isn’t great career advice in general. As they will probably tell you as they detail their victimhood experiences in non-fundie world.

        • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

          fundie-run organizations, nationally, are actually rare.

          Let’s see- seems to me there’s various national anti-abortion groups, anti-GLBT groups, and most of the Republican Party, plus a lot of fundamentalist denominations. Doesn’t seem that rare to me.

          • Thresher seemed to imply the way to get ahead in America is to “act like a straight fundie male”.

            • Ithaqua

              That “in an organization” clause seems me to make his implication “the way to get ahead in the GOP is to ‘act like a straight fundie male'”, instead of “America”.

  • ThresherK

    Still waiting for the white male in the FOW (fish out of water) story who peddles the line:

    My work product determined my success — not private dinners with the (bosses).

  • gyrfalcon

    You silly liberals with your 'gender equality', expecting half of Congress to send women as capable and qualified as Mary Vought to leadership meetings. I mean, wherever would we find them all? And what about the career advancement of the eminently qualified male staffers they displace?

    • Little Chak

      Affirmative action policies are discriminatory. If accumulating wealth, power, and influence is a 400-meter race, the only way to prove you are the equal of white men is to allow them to have a 300-meter head start. Definitely don’t ask for any sort of head start for yourself. Cheaters.

      After all, there exist white men who start at the 10-meter line, and some women and minorities who start at the 250-meter line, so the fact that the vast majority of the winners of the race just so happen to be the white males who started at the 300-meter mark is just a reflection of their superiority and innate call to leadership.

  • LeeEsq

    The real depressing about the photograph is that there are no shortage of rightist wing-nut women in Congress that believe just as many dumb things about providing healthcare as Republican men in Congress. Even including them in the photo op was too much for the Republicans.

  • BiloSagdiyev

    I swear, with each passing year, I need to start selling T shirts that read:

    ONE OF THE GOOD ONES.

    So handy for so many people in various situations, snarky, ironic, or sincere. Or oblivious, in this case.

    • farin

      As a white male, I think about getting that shirt often.

      Then I consider what faint praise I would be damning myself with.

    • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

      I think if I wanted a T-shirt I’d go for “mostly harmless”.

      • efgoldman

        if I wanted a T-shirt I’d go for “mostly harmless”.

        I’d probably go with “Fuck you and the horse you rode in on”
        But that’s just me.

        • N__B

          Fuck the horse? Breaking news: efg is Catherine the Great.

      • Hogan

        “I won’t be offended if you take the next elevator.”

  • catbirdman

    My wife’s a Latina doctor who works in a major children’s hospital. She’s gone far by being exceptionally talented and hard-working, but I’m sure that her frustrations concerning persistent, deep-seated gender and racial inequality are much more typical than the wonderful experience expressed by the woman who wrote this op-ed. Maybe she just has a high tolerance for macho bullshit. I mean, you’d pretty much have to in order to be a Republican of any stripe.

    • efgoldman

      Maybe she just has a high tolerance for macho bullshit.

      Or maybe being a True Believer is a pre-requisite to working for Dense. Aren’t congresspersons exempt from EEO requirements in hiring? Wouldn’t the VP’s office be, by extension? Even it it isn’t, does this maladministration know r give a shit?

  • Murc

    Fred Clark, who as always is doin’ god’s work, has an excellent dissection of the creepyness behind Pence’s worldview and behavior.

    • Karen24

      Thanks. I was an active Slactivite for many years but have fallen away since the move to Patheos. I should go back sometime, but the 800 + comments in an hour get a little heavy.

      • Murc

        He’s worth reading even if you don’t comment or read the comments, which I’ve never done.

        • Tehanu

          100% agreement from me. I usually read the first few dozen comments — “Daniel” is especially worth catching — but even without comments, Fred Clark is a goddam national treasure and why he doesn’t have a gig with the NY Times or, well, any venue with more readers and clout, is beyond me to understand.

          • He writes perceptive, deeply thought out essays based upon understanding of what he is writing about. NYT and the like certainly don’t want that!

        • Karen24

          I’ve actually made three real-life close friends from when we were all regular commenters. I’m going to have to go back there now.

    • LeeEsq

      This sort of rule isn’t limited to Evangelical Protestants though. Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox Judaism has even stricter beliefs about gender relations than Evangelical Protestants. So do many interpretations of Islam and Hinduism. Taken globally, Pence’s worldview is not that uncommon even if it is creepy by Western liberal standards. Like I mentioned below, I really think that Pence’s Muslim equivalent might end up getting defended by the people going down Pence’s throat if attacked by the right sort of person. These things really need to be universal. Evangelical Protestants should not be signaled out if other people are worse.

      • The Dark God of Time

        Mene, mene, tekel upharsin.

      • liberal

        Difference is that those other folks are relatively tiny minorities in the US.

        Fundie perverts are a pretty hefty fraction.

      • e.a.foster

        protestants shouldn’t be singled out if other people are worse:” OMG are you being honest or sarcastic. that is like saying well they only beat up on the person and didn’t kill them. they only chopped off a finger instead of a hand. Get a grip here. Any discrimination is WRONG!. Yes, there are all sorts of religions which do not take the view that women are equal and all of them are to be condemned for it. Doesn’t matter if one is worse than the other. they are all BAD. And all make life difficult for women.

        it all gives credence to the belief women are evil, dangerous, etc. that we can’t be trust. that women make men behave badly. What is really is about is men behaving badly and they need to blame the victim. its [email protected] get over it all.

        • Origami Isopod

          Thank you.

          No tolerance for “but it’s our beliefs/tradition/culture” when it leads to injustice.

      • PhoenixRising

        You seemed to have missed the part where oppression is prejudice plus power. Once Pence’s Muslim equivalent moves into the Naval Observatory, we will talk about how his religious beliefs running his life impact my freedom. But at the moment that seems…improbable.

        I can react a lot of ways to being told that the flight for Tel Aviv isn’t taking off til some dumbass who believes he’s following the advice of a Bronze Age shepherd as to G-d’s preferences is happy with his seating. If my government ran the airline, that would be a different kind of problem.

        • Robespierre

          It’s power enough to oppress muslim women. If you wouldn’t accept the same from a white male christian, don’t accept it.

      • Little Chak

        Shorter:

        “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity!”

        Stop drinking the alt-right Kool Aid. It’s hazardous to your thinking. And it makes you start talking about going down people’s throats.

        Why do you think Keith Ellison, rather than “Pence’s Muslim equivalent”, is in Congress? Could it be, perhaps, that since American Muslims have generally been embraced by the left and shunned by the right, that they have embraced the values of secularism and actual religious freedom rather than the right’s conflation of religious freedom with dominionism, and so “Pence’s Muslim equivalent” has very little support?

        The best way to improve the lives of women in patriarchal, fundamentalist societies is to lead by example, and work at a grassroots level with NGOs that empower women and girls and have earned some goodwill in those societies. The worst way is to use their societies as a shield to assist in the push to move our society backward.

  • CP

    As time went on, I was able to prove that I could handle increased responsibilities, and so more responsibilities were provided to me. My gender never factored into how my work was evaluated, or whether my responsibilities were expanded. In fact, the congressman would sometimes send me to GOP leadership communication meetings to represent his voice —and more often than not, I was the only woman in the room. My work product determined my success — not private dinners with the congressman. When looking back on my time in the office of the man who is now vice president, I don’t consider it to be a period of missed opportunities.

    “The fact that my boss is a nice guy completely negates the fact that the system we both work in still thinks me and those like me are all second class citizens.”

  • cpinva

    “and more often than not, I was the only woman in the room.”

    the complete lack of self-awareness, as demonstrated by this portion of a sentence, is awesome in its awesomeness. either she was badly damaged as a child, never receiving the competent psychological counseling she so obviously needed; failed to take the drugs she was prescribed by said counselor; or is just a total moron remains to be determined by competent authority. as for myself, I’m going for total moron.

    if the Strump admin goes down, I hope it takes everyone in the line of succession down to Mattis, who at this point seems like the only sane one of the bunch.

    • efgoldman

      the complete lack of self-awareness, as demonstrated by this portion of a sentence, is awesome in its awesomeness.

      Someone ought to superglue her ass to a chair and make her read biographies and the autobiography of Jackie Robinson.

  • cpinva

    off topic:

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/joe-donnelly-announces-he-will-vote-confirm-gorsuch

    so much for the democrats sticking together. I wonder what goodies were promised him, and his state, for ratfucking the American people?

    • Murc

      Christ, that’s three defections. We can’t abide many more.

      • Lurking Canadian

        What the ever living hell are they thinking? He should get zero Democratic votes. He should instead get 48 upraised Democratic middle fingers.

    • ColBatGuano

      They need 8 Democrats to vote for Gorsuch.

      • efgoldman

        They need 8 Democrats to vote for Gorsuch.

        To break the filibuster. They need no Democrats if Yertle McTurtle goes newkyeler.

    • liberal

      I thought he’s relatively conservative, and comes from a relatively conservative state.

      Leahy, on the other hand…I imagine he won’t vote for cloture, but in one newspaper piece it sounded like he was conflicted. I thought a few years ago the Republicans were abusing the Senatorial hold crap, and he refused to do anything about it.

      I can’t quite figure out whether he’s corrupt or just fucking stupid.

      • Aaron Morrow

        I could see him being the seventh vote, but he won’t be the eighth.

        Nelson is on board to filibuster, so I doubt they’ll get to cloture.

  • LeeEsq

    I’m struggling with the Pence thing. We might find Pence’s ideas silly at best but tens or hundreds of millions of people believe the same thing across the globe. Such systems are part of the stricter forms of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism. Since all politics are tribal, I’m relatively sure that if dude bro atheists were making fun or being harsh towards a Muslim male politician in a Muslim majority country that believed the same thing, a lot of the people jumping down the throats of Pence would be offering at least some defenses of Pence’s Muslim equivalent because imperialism or something. Tribal politics can and does lead to “he might be a patriarchal bastard but he is our patriarchal bastard” situations at times.

    Farley’s observations are correct though. Pence’s policies towards his dining companions even if done for entirely sincere religious reasons does lead to women being excluded from the halls of power and result in a bunch of men discussing women’s healthcare without any women’s input. There are some very obvious problems with this. The nature of democracy means that decisions entirely affecting one particular group are going to be at least partially made by non-members of the group. The affected group still needs to have a big or majority part of the decision making though.

    • ColBatGuano

      “Everybody does it” is not a valid defense.

      • LeeEsq

        I’m not saying that is. What I am saying is that this something you really need to be universal about rather than saying its say worse when Evangelical Protestants do it because reasons.

        • Lee are you saying discriminatory behavior against Jews is okay with you because you feel you’d like Jewish managers to discriminate also? Or because they are (you feel) the majority after all? Or that some jobs just “aren’t for Jews” anyway? Or do you feel all religions discriminate against women and atheists but are cool with one another?

        • efgoldman

          you really need to be universal about rather than saying its say worse when Evangelical Protestants do it because reasons.

          No. Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and even Catholics don’t control huge swaths of our political sphere, and have at least tacitly agreed to abide by the constitution. The holy roller bible bangers have not only decided they don’t like it, but are actively working against it at every level. They are christofascist theocrats, and we owe them less than we owe the Mullahs in Iran. Fuck Dence and fuck them all, with a rusty, flaming crucifix.

          • Colin Day

            even Catholics don’t control huge swaths of our political sphere, and have at least tacitly agreed to abide by the constitution.

            The Supreme Court (especially with Scalia)?

          • Colin Day

            even Catholics don’t control huge swaths of our political sphere, and have at least tacitly agreed to abide by the constitution.

            The Supreme Court? Especially with Scalia.

          • PhoenixRising

            well, you said it better, as usual

          • CP

            I would disagree about Catholics, actually, and I say this as a practicing Catholic. I think it’s the most successful example by far of a once “alien” religion becoming so well integrated that even “real Americans” now cheer on its theocratic elements. I mean, the entire abortion/contraception thing revolves largely around Catholicism – it’s the only major denomination that considered it something to crusade on even before desegregation and the religious right.

            And, given its longstanding presence in urban and immigrant-heavy populations, I’d say the RCC is pretty much the only thing that allows the religious right to reach beyond its rural/all-WASP base.

    • Lurking Canadian

      If his faith requires him not to be alone with women, that’s fine. He should therefore adopt a non-discriminatory policy and have no one-on-one meetings with anybody. Oh, that makes it impossible for him to do his job? Well, the Lord loves those who are persecuted for His sake. That should be a great comfort to former VP Pence on the unemployment line.

      • N__B

        Bingo.

      • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

        To be fair to Pence, avoiding one-on-one meetings is probably vital to avoiding indictment in the Trump White House.

        Plus, since his job consists of waiting for Trump to die/quit/be impeached plus going to the Senate a few times to cast a tie-breaking vote, he doesn’t really need to meet with anyone as part of his job.

        • ajay

          To be fair to Pence, avoiding one-on-one meetings is probably vital to avoiding indictment in the Trump White House.

          And, I would have thought, a fairly good thing to do as vice president. How often should he really be meeting someone one-on-one? Shouldn’t there at least be a note-taker or something in the room?

    • sharculese

      Plenty of people of all of those faiths manage to figure out their god doesn’t require them to treat half the population as less than human. Mike Pence is an adult man with a post-graduate education. If he can’t put the pieces together and mockery on the internet is the worst he suffers I can’t say I feel bad for him at all.

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      Catholic Church has plenty of opportunity for a guy who (doesn’t like/is scared of/wants to control from a distance) women to attain worldly power. Maybe Pence should have explored career day with *them*

    • Chetsky

      Pace bianca steele, I think LeeEsq’s onto something important, that’s bothered me for a while. I’m of Hindu descent. My family history and the histories of some female Indian-American friends, have taught me a lot about the misogyny of some parts of Hindu culture. Some of it is pretty awful.

      What LeeEsq is saying, I think, is that lots of religions (or religious traditions) have that part, where, if we look carefully, we’ll see some pretty awful things, esp. when it comes to misogyny. We jeer (rightfully) at Dense. But perhaps if someone from some other tradition were to engage in similar (or even worse (and there -is- much, much worse)) behaviour, some on the left might end up defending them. E.g. via “anti-racism”.

      Is he saying (for example) “some Hindus do some awful things to women, so we should exclude them all” ? Nope:

      Such systems are part of the stricter forms of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism.

      He’s explicitly -not- saying that all Jews are to blame for the behaviour of a few (from what I’ve read) who insist that women not be allowed to use the same public transport as men. But the behaviour and beliefs of those few are still a problem.

      [speaking for myself] Concretely, are “good liberals” OK with the niqab (full-body veil)? Are they OK with families forcing their daughters to marry men they do not know (and at a young age)? What about FGM? And what about polygamy (Utah? Arizona?) These are all practices of cultures/sects that are out there. We get our dander up about Dense, but what about all these other religious practices?

      And then there’s the problem, that the uproar against these practices, can just be a cover for out-and-out racism. It’s hard to know where one stops and the other begins. It’s not easy.

      • Chetsky

        ETA: EFG’s right, that in the short/medium-term, those other cults/sects don’t matter. What matters is Xianist nutjobs who want to destroy -our- liberal culture. B/c they actually have the power to do so.

        Notwithstanding, Dense’s attitude towards women isn’t essentially different from that of a Wahhabi cleric who insists that women wear one-eyed niqabs, b/c both eyes unveiled, well, that’d just be too alluring for men.

        [I think the old pervert should put his *own* eyes out to solve the problem, but hey, I’m just being practical.]

        • efgoldman

          ETA: EFG’s right

          Thankee. Are you Murthy elsewhere?

          • Chetsky

            indeed, at BJ

        • Origami Isopod

          “Sister, your behind moves obscenely when you run.”

          (incredulous pause)

          “Well, don’t look my ass, then!”

      • Hogan

        What LeeEsq is saying, I think, is that lots of religions (or religious traditions) have that part, where, if we look carefully, we’ll see some pretty awful things, esp. when it comes to misogyny.

        Part of the point here is that this isn’t something we had to look carefully at Pence’s religious tradition to find. He’s nailed his colors to the mast.

        We jeer (rightfully) at Dense. But perhaps if someone from some other tradition were to engage in similar (or even worse (and there -is- much, much worse)) behaviour, some on the left might end up defending them. E.g. via “anti-racism”.

        Can you find an actual example of this? Or is it a case of “both sides do it because my impression is that our side would do it”?

        • Chetsky

          Recently I saw a TV show from Canada, wherein a woman in a niqab (full-body veil) was interviewed, and said that part of why she emigrated to Canada, was that she wanted to be able to practice her religion freely.

          As I said, my own background causes this to flash giant red lights. Enough to light up a city. Once, on another blog, I described some of this (and other stuff from my own background) and was attacked as being a racist (if I remember correctly).

          Just to be clear, I have the same feelings about such religious practices, as I have about the FLDS in Utah/Arizona. They’re both abhorrent. And I’ve seen niqabs only rarely in the US. I’ve not read of honor killings in the US, either. But my background makes me particularly sensitive to these things.

          But I’m a man. And it seems to me that it’s not my place to be deciding on whether those things need to be addressed *now*. Whereas, there is racism here and now, and I have no problem with addressing that. That said, if feminists and women’s organizations push for restrictions on what misogynist religious traditions and cultures can do in America, within broad limits (== “not associated with Xianist thugs”) I’m going to be supporting that. B/c it’s something I think needs to be addressed … -eventually-.

          So yeah, I’ve actually seen the “you’re a racist to be pointing out that some of those cultures’ traditions are pretty misogynist”, even when one of the cultures in question was my own birth-culture.

          • It’s in the interest of the dominant culture to enforce attitudes that come easily to them, and require outsiders to contort themselves to display the same attitudes, if they want to be fully accepted.

            “It’s racist to talk about the misogyny of various religions” is a tiny, tiny step away from “it’s prejudiced to talk about the racism of white West Virginians.” The attitude is paternalistic.

            • Origami Isopod

              “It’s racist to talk about the misogyny of various religions” is a tiny, tiny step away from “it’s prejudiced to talk about the racism of white West Virginians.” The attitude is paternalistic.

              Yes.

        • Chetsky

          Part of the point here is that this isn’t something we had to look carefully at Pence’s religious tradition to find.

          Perhaps if we look at Christianity at the same level most people look at Hinduism or Islam, then indeed the misogyny isn’t so apparent, eh? But in each of these major, wide traditions, there are misogynist cults/sects. Like Dense’s. Or the FLDS. Or Wahhabism. Or some of the nuttier Hindus.

      • CP

        What LeeEsq is saying, I think, is that lots of religions (or religious traditions) have that part, where, if we look carefully, we’ll see some pretty awful things, esp. when it comes to misogyny. We jeer (rightfully) at Dense. But perhaps if someone from some other tradition were to engage in similar (or even worse (and there -is- much, much worse)) behaviour, some on the left might end up defending them. E.g. via “anti-racism”.

        Uhhh… the thing about this is those “other” traditions do suffer from a racism problem in the U.S. that Pence’s denomination doesn’t, and said racism is frequently justified by pointing a finger at questionable religious practices and pretending that they’re worse. (Sam Harris and Bill Maher come to mind). In other words, there might very well be a reason for the “anti-racism” pushback that isn’t about defending those religious practices.

        Not that what you’re describing doesn’t happen. But I’ve been a daily participant in the liberal blogosphere for seven or eight years at this point, and in all that time I remember exactly twice that I’ve exploded at somebody for defending the unjustifiable under the canard that “hey, it’s just their religion, man, you’re a racist if you don’t respect it.” Even in the liberal blogosphere, which is far less prone to that than the nation as a whole, I’ve seen more Islamophobia than the other kind of sentiment. (Can’t speak for Hinduism or other religions, since there the topic much more rarely comes up).

        All of which you acknowledge with “it’s hard to tell where one starts and the other begins.” But IMO, the one is simply far, far, far less widespread a problem than the other.

      • CP

        [speaking for myself] Concretely, are “good liberals” OK with the niqab (full-body veil)? Are they OK with families forcing their daughters to marry men they do not know (and at a young age)? What about FGM? And what about polygamy (Utah? Arizona?) These are all practices of cultures/sects that are out there. We get our dander up about Dense, but what about all these other religious practices?

        In order, and based both on my experience and on what I’ve seen “good liberals” campaign on in the political sphere;

        1) On a personal level, maybe and maybe not (usually not), but in terms of whether it should be “allowed,” yes. Much like, say, Christian marriages that use the phrase “wives submit to your husbands;” we cringe, but we recognize it’s not up to us.

        2a) No, but currently the law doesn’t provide for that; parental pressure notwithstanding, it is still the woman’s legal decision whether or not she wants to marry the person her parents would prefer. Since there has been no liberal campaigning to have that law changed to accomodate different cultures and tradition, I’d have to say that’s still the status quo they prefer.

        2b) Since I also haven’t heard much about liberal campaigning to lower the legal age of marriage so that underage girls can be married off, I’d have to go with “no” on that as well.

        3) Pretty sure that’s a no, though I’ve rarely heard it brought up in a domestic context.

        4) Also pretty sure that’s a no, and for the same reasons as above (polygamy is illegal and campaigns to change that aren’t getting a lot of traction on either side of the aisle).

        These are all practices of cultures/sects that are out there

        Yeah, and… I really, really, really don’t see a lot of liberals rising up to defend these kinds of practices just because they’re done by other cultures, no matter how much the right wing wants to claim that we do. That a few well-intentioned and/or idiotic people do it every now and then, I have no trouble believing. But not in any way that’s significant enough to be reflected in our politics.

  • liberal

    Fundies are sexual perverts.

  • BiloSagdiyev
  • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

    Will there be an article about how the fact a slave worked in the master’s house proves that no slaves worked in the fields?

  • Gretchen

    Seriously, she doesn’t see that there is only one woman in the room as an indication that gender is a factor? Or that there are no young people, no people of color, no women at all in this picture? That somehow it’s merely by chance that every picture of the decision-makers is a bunch of old white guys? Has she seen any pictures like this of the Obama White House? Hint, it doesn’t look like this.

    • Origami Isopod

      She’s a Republican. She excels in closing her eyes to reality.

It is main inner container footer text