Posted on | January 26, 2014 | 32 Comments
Professor William Jacobson points out that Democrats now claim it is sexist to criticize Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis for her dishonesty, even though “she made her parenting a critical part of her political narrative.” Professor Glenn Reynolds adds:
When women say that Wendy Davis is being treated more harshly than a man, I wonder if they aren’t really reflecting just that it bothers them more when a woman is criticized this way than when it happens to a man?
All Democrats habitually lie — John Kerry’s Christmas in Cambodia, anyone? — so Wendy Davis is not really unusual in that regard.
What makes Wendy Davis a special case is that in 2013, as part of the Democrat Party’s plan to continue their 2012 “War on Women” theme in attacking Republicans, she led a filibuster against a bill in the Texas legislature that would limit abortion, from 24 weeks to 20 weeks of gestation. In other words, Davis made her debut as a national figure in support of late-term abortion, and she did so in the immediate aftermath of the Gosnell “house of horrors” revelations.
You can be pro-choice and still agree that late-term abortion — butchering an unborn child that is already at or near the point of being able to survive outside the womb — is a grisly atrocity.
It was in defense of such atrocities that Wendy Davis became a Democrat “star,” and her personal narrative was a crucial factor in her stardom. So when it turned out that she had been dishonest in describing her “single mom” status, this was important.
Many people are mystified by the Democrat strategy of running “Abortion Barbie” as their candidate in Texas — where polls indicate a 2-to-1 pro-life majority — but this was part of a national strategy, and if Davis was doomed to defeat, so what?
— Robert Stacy McCain (@rsmccain) July 12, 2013
What Democrats want is to promote a victimhood narrative to women voters, to portray pro-life Republicans as extremist bullies, and Wendy Davis was happy to volunteer as national poster girl for their partisan propaganda campaign. This much is obvious, but what many people don’t understand is that the feminist crusade for the past half-century, specifically including the embrace of abortion by the so-called “women’s movement,” has been built upon a foundation of deliberate deception.
We need only mention Betty Friedan’s Communist Party connections as a reminder that feminism is a species of Marxism, whose leading advocates in the 1960s and ’70s were all part of the anti-American, pro-Soviet radical Left. In this sense, feminism is merely a stale Cold War leftover, like the “anti-imperialist” views of foreign policy that Barack Obama learned from his Communist mentor Frank Marshall Davis. Yet while feminists today usually conceal the fact that they spent decades cheering for freedom’s deadliest enemies, they meanwhile are mostly ignorant of how their support for abortion was purchased by male capitalist plutocrats with decidedly non-“progressive” objectives.
The effort to legalize abortion wasn’t led by women seeking a “right to choose,” but by neo-Malthusian population control fanatics:
The population control movement . . . was largely the brainchild of John D. Rockefeller III. Rockefeller funded much of the movement himself and through a number of family trusts and foundations, and he encouraged other foundations (Ford, Scaife, Carnegie) to do the same. . . .
[B]etween 1959 and 1964 one organization alone, the Population Council, got more than $5 million from the Rockefellers, $8.4 million from the Ford Foundation and $2.1 million from Scaife. So that’s $15 million in five years, back when a million dollars was a lot of money.
Historian Donald L. Critchlow chronicled this phenomenon in his excellent 2001 book, Intended Consequences: Birth Control, Abortion, and the Federal Goverment in Modern America:
[T]o raise the public’s consciousness about the threat of overpopulation . . . the population movement undertook a concerted public relations campaign through a steady stream of books, pamphlets, and magazine and newspaper articles. This campaign was aided by the involvement of key publishers and editors who were actively involved in the movement, including George Hecht, editor of Parents Magazine. The drumbeat around the population crisis reached crescendo by the early 1960s. Readers of popular magazines were faced with a barrage of articles warning of an impending population crisis . . . Women readers were inundated with articles like “Are We Overworking the Stork?” (Parents Magazine, 1961), “Why Americans Must Limit Their Families” (Redbook, 1963), “Intelligent Woman’s Guide to the Population Explosion” (McCall’s, February 1965), “Overpopulation: Threat to Survival” (Parents Magazine, 1967) and “Population Increase: A Grave Threat to Every American Family” (Parents Magazine, 1969).
The truth about this is something I’ve mentioned before:
- May 8, 2010: The Pill at 50: Unhappy Un-Birthday
- Feb. 18, 2013: About Paul Ehrlich and ‘The Most Spectacularly Wrong Book Ever Written’
Like the facts about feminism’s Marxist origins, it is not really difficult to discover the truth about Rockefeller’s funding of this population control campaign — which connected abortion to the feminist cause — once you are aware of its existence. But as with so much else in our culture, liberal hegemony in academia and journalism results in the suppression of this important truth.
Do you remember when feminist Meg Lanker created a hoax at the University of Wyoming by threatening to “hate-f*ck” herself? Her fictional victimhood was typical of the lies that feminists tell routinely, a phenomenon I began to notice about 15 years ago in examining a series of feminist memoirs that were a vogue with publishers in the mid- to late 1990s. What caused that trend? My surmise was that publishers figured out the institutionalization of feminism in university Women’s Studies programs had created a certain baseline level of demand. College libraries would more or less automatically buy any book about feminism, and if an author had a few friends who were professors that would assign her book as required reading for students, even the most tedious and badly-written memoir could sell thousands of copies.
Whatever the inspiration, in the 1990s there issued forth a number of books by middle-aged feminists whose life stories tended to follow a certain narrative arc: They grew up in suburban middle-class homes, got involved with the anti-war movement in the 1960s, endured a series of failed relationships with men, had a feminist “epiphany” at some point, and ended up as radical lesbians.
After reading about a half-dozen of these books, I noticed that their theme was usually at odd with their narrative, and that many elements of their narratives were “just so” stories, i.e., unverifiable anecdotes that — coincidentally! magically! — just happened to prove whatever political point they were trying to make.
When I say there was a conflict between the themes and narratives of these memoirs, what I mean is that the oppression they claimed to have suffered was not generally perpetrated by reactionary right-wing forces. No, these women left behind their bourgeois homes, got involved with the anti-war Left and then were treated abusively by left-wing men in the movement who, if you take these feminist memoirs at face value, were all insensitive monsters with a knack for turning women into angry lesbians.
While I’m willing to believe the worst about hippie peacenik creeps, however, the tendency of feminist memoirists to use unverifiable anecdotes to form their indictment of oppressive patriarchy struck me as inherently suspicious. If “the personal is political,” as feminists insist, why did it seem that the “personal” always involved a male victimizer known only by a pseudonym, so that there was no way to check the facts or learn the other side of the story? Unless you’re an angry lesbian whose confirmation bias predisposes you to believe such tales, at some point you begin to notice how these victimhood anecdotes serve the narrative function of providing male scapegoats whose alleged villainy relieves the author of responsibility for her own choices and decisions.
“The patriarchy made me do it!”
Victimhood tales are to feminism what success stories are to capitalism. Just as no entrepreneur would start an independent business if not for the belief that success was a possibility, so no woman would become a feminist unless she thought she could parlay sympathy for her tales of victimhood into career opportunities. Organized feminism provides a ready-made audience of credulous listeners for these victimhood narratives, and the Democrat Party’s political investment in women’s victimhood provides an incentive for the partisan publicity machinery of left-wing blogs and liberal media to promote such feminist myth-making.
If Wendy Davis’s single-teen-mom-in-a-trailer story is not as complete a fiction as Meg Lanker’s rape-threat hoax, the deception is not really a difference of kind, but merely a difference of degree. And if feminists are crying foul about Wendy Davis’s disgrace, this is only because feminism as a movement is implacably hostile to truth.