Archive for March 23rd, 2012

Alice laughed.  “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.”

“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day.  Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”  –  Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass

In my column “Doublethink” I explained the term, coined by George Orwell in 1984; it means the ability of a political stooge to simultaneously believe two different and mutually-exclusive ideas.  Neofeminists are the undisputed champions of doublethink in today’s world:

On the one hand, neofeminists state that women are just as competent as men, yet insist that women need special legal protections.  They observe that women are rational adults who can control our own destinies, yet lobby for paternalistic “mandatory prosecution” laws because they claim women aren’t competent to decide for ourselves whether to press charges against abusive men.  They say that women should have control over our own bodies, unless of course we choose to use those bodies for sex work.  They recognize that women can think for ourselves, then demand we adhere to neofeminist groupthink or be labeled “traitors”.  Many of them openly despise men and consider their characteristic behaviors a pathological deviation from female norms, yet they promote all-consuming male-style careers for women and many even adopt masculine modes of dress and grooming.  The heterosexual wing of neofeminism bitches about male sexual behaviors, yet encourages women to act in exactly the same way.  And so on, and so on, and so on, ad absurdum.

Politicians are nearly as adept at doublethink as neofeminists are, and both groups use doubletalk and double-dealing to foster doublethink in those they wish to control.  My column of one year ago today gave a lesson (complete with quiz!) in how the police (with the assistance of obedient reporters) use doubletalk to promote anti-whore hysteria, and today we’re going to look at another example:  the oeuvre of “Two Face” Kristof, who uses his New York Times pulpit to promote an oleaginous mixture of prohibitionism and nanny-statism of the cookie-cutter “left wing” variety.  Like the neofeminists whose rhetoric he adopts, Kristof claims to respect women yet denies our agency, and bleats about choice while he advocates treating women like sheep.  But to this he adds his own special (though, sadly, not by any means unique) duplicity:  representing himself as a crusader against the sexual exploitation of women while sexually exploiting women himself by attracting readers eager to stimulate themselves with his lurid “sex slave” porn.  Take a look at his column of March 4th, called to my attention by regular reader Aspasia:

…Under a new law that took effect three weeks ago with the strong backing of Gov. Rick Perry, [a Texas woman seeking an abortion]…must typically endure an ultrasound probe inserted into her vagina…“It’s state-sanctioned abuse,” said Dr. Curtis Boyd…“It borders on a definition of rape.  Many states describe rape as putting any object into an orifice against a person’s will…The new law is demeaning and disrespectful to the women of Texas, and insulting to the doctors and nurses who care for them.”  That law is part of a war over women’s health being fought around the country — and in much of the country, women are losing.  State by state, legislatures are creating new obstacles to abortions and are treating women in ways that are patronizing and humiliating…

What about the war on women’s sexual freedom, Mr. Kristof?  What about the patronizing and humiliating ways that you and other “rescue industry” fanatics treat sex workers?  What about the state-sanctioned abuse of women advocated by people like you; don’t you consider arresting prostitutes and our clients at gunpoint to be “demeaning and disrespectful”?  And I think every person whose head, unlike yours, resides outside of his own arse will agree that for a woman to endure a cop’s penis being “put…into an orifice against [her] will” doesn’t merely “border on a definition of rape”, it is rape…rape that you and others like you enable, excuse and celebrate.

Kristof and the neofeminists want you to think that abortion rights and sex worker rights are unrelated issues, when it’s clearly obvious to any intellectually honest person they aren’t:  a woman’s right to own and control her own body includes not only the right to decisions about the possible consequences of sex, but also the right to decide how, why and with whom she has sex in the first place.  But lest you think prostitution is just a blind spot for Kristof, a single example of doublethink in an otherwise self-consistent personal philosophy, consider this impassioned defense of the nanny state in which he states that “The long trajectory of history has been for governments to take on more responsibilities, and for citizens to pay more taxes” and argues that non-nanny governments invariably lead to countries like Pakistan…you know, the kind of countries where whores are persecuted as they are in the United States.

If we combine all of Kristof’s various positions in one place, we get something like this:  “Only third-world countries allow people to make their own financial choices; advanced countries control their citizens’ lives, except in the case of abortion.  Compulsory ultrasounds are rape, and prostitution is rape, but police rape isn’t rape as long as it happens after they abduct a woman against her will from a brothel.  Nanny states are good, except when they decriminalize prostitution, at which point they become bad.  And third-world dictatorships are bad, so our prostitution policy should be more like theirs.”  Rational people, like Alice, simply can’t believe in such self-contradictory nonsense.  Unfortunately, we live in a world populated largely by people like the White Queen, who practice believing impossible things every day until doublethink becomes second nature.

Read Full Post »