Is "Free Speech" Code for Racism and Sexism?

An argument that it is not. Some evidence:
In my estimation, few things divide the right as much as traditional gender roles. The divide is not just ideological, pitting traditionalist social conservatives against right-leaning libertarians, but also generational. As the gay marriage debate showed, a typical Baby Boomer and a typical Millennial, right or left, hold vastly different views about the shifting norms of gender and sexuality.

Polls strongly suggest that the right has achieved nothing like consensus on these issues. Of course, public-opinion data typically measure the beliefs of Americans as a whole, not those of intellectuals in particular. Still, it is telling that 55 percent of Republicans favor women taking on combat roles in the military, one of the starkest departures from traditional gender roles in our society.

Lots of other survey data reveal similar lacks of consensus.

In one survey, Pew reported, “About two-thirds of Democrats who say men and women are basically different in how they express their feelings, their approach to parenting, and their hobbies and personal interests say these differences are rooted in societal expectations. Among their Republican counterparts, about four-in-ten or fewer share those views.” In another Pew study, when Republicans were asked about changing gender roles, 36 percent said they’ve made it easier for women to lead satisfying lives, 32 percent said they’ve made it easier for parents to raise children, 53 percent said they’ve made it easier for women to succeed at work, and 26 percent said that they’ve made it easier for marriages to be successful. Twenty-six percent of Republicans said the country hasn’t gone far enough when it comes to giving women equal rights.
Nevertheless, it is true (as the argument he is countering goes) that much of the effort at suppressing free speech is pointed at arguments that there are innate differences between groups. I think that the sexes are obviously, truly innately different; the real issue is what to do about it, rather than whether or not it is the case. There's a better question about what is commonly called "race," but it's hard to know what to make of it because people who set out to study it are hounded out of the academy.

Some questions are dangerous, of course, but the basic question -- are there such differences? -- is surely worth asking. Even if the answer is "yes," as it is with sex, there remains a wide open field of possible answers to the following question about what to do about those differences.


The Clinton-appointed judge appointed a Clinton-appointed "special master" to review the President's communications with his lawyer.

Hillbilly Hip Hop?

I first heard this musical mix when I started watching Justified.

More recently, I've been listening to Crowder.

An Interesting Analogy

It was 43 years ago that feminist British film theorist Laura Mulvey coined the term male gaze in her essay “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema”: “The determining male gaze projects its phantasy on to the female figure which is styled accordingly. In their traditional exhibitionist role women are simultaneously looked at and displayed, with their appearance coded for strong visual and erotic impact.”

The neo-Expressionist Eric Fischl (while clarifying that “I don’t do nude, I do naked. Naked is psychological; it involves a much more complicated set of emotional relationships to physicality, to need, to desire, to pleasure”), believes that it’s important to analyze how the male gaze works in making art. But he’s also of the opinion that men looking at women is, to some extent, “a genetically engineered reflex for very particular reasons.” To try to make it somehow “an unnatural aspect of being a man” doesn’t make much sense, he says. “It would be the same as supposing the children of women who paint mothers and children said, ‘Stop the motherly gaze; it’s inappropriate, invasive, objectifying.’ What would the women do? They’d say, ‘It’s natural for me to look at this aspect of womanness,’ and the children would say, ‘No, you’re not treating me as though I’m separate and other.’ ” Fischl laughs.
Motherhood tends to be idealized because it is a form of service on which civilization depends, as soldiering is. The gaze of male attraction to women is not similarly idealized, but treated as selfish and offensive. On the other hand, without the male gaze there is no mothering; motherhood depends on male attraction to women, excepting relatively rare cases of medical intervention.

Interestingly to me, the consent we usually invoke to justify male attraction to a female is entirely absent in the mother/child relation. The child has no capacity to reject his mother's attention, or her mother's; similarly, the mother can impose either her motherhood or death upon the child at will until the child is born. The child's interests are not considered until birth, and even then they are legally subordinated. In that way the cases differ sharply.

Otherwise the analogy holds pretty well. Children are certainly objects of their mother's gaze, and her attention: hopefully, also of her love and affection. A man who loves a woman hopefully also gives her a kind of love and affection in addition to his gaze. If he doesn't, the problem is with the absence of the love; it is possible to be a bad mother (or father) by withholding those things, too.

H/t: Arts & Letters Daily.

Happy Birthday

My father died in 2016. This was his birthday. I don't think I noticed the first one when he was gone. I was too busy that year, finishing his business as well as my own. In fact I'm still finishing up some of his business even now, and lately I'm all but overwhelmed with my own. A man like him leaves a hole in the world. It's a deal of work to close such business. To fill the hole would be a life's work of its own.

I wish I had better words for the occasion, but I don't. I will refer you to the same essay I linked below by the picture of his father, my grandfather. It's a piece I'm glad to have written. I'm even more glad that the original was written in 2004. I had twelve years after that to try to make it right with him. I did my best.

America is a Philosophy

Here's a man from Yorkshire who'd have fit in at the Boston Tea Party. He'll be doing 8 months in prison, a fact the police celebrate in their message to the public. I have no printable response to them, but I hope that when he's done being a political prisoner he'll come home to America.

Old Cheese

This article is about the Viking-era cheese of that name, or Gamalost in the Norsk. There's also an Arabic dish whose name also translates as "old cheese," but it has very different qualities.

That Thing You All Knew Was True

The DOJ IG report found administration interference in investigations for political reasons.

For the Ladies

Some of you might prefer a firearm, but swords are an option too.

(Note the small print citation, giving credit to what I hope is the original artist. It's based on a sketch from our friends at The Art of Manliness, which you can see here.)

Slow Your Roll

Grouchy Farmers in the UK

A farmer fed up with ‘townies’ complaining about the noise and smells of the countryside has posted a sign outside his farm in a dig at sensitive city dwellers.

Stephen Nolan, 48, put up the notice after receiving consistent complaints for four years about noise from his animals.

‘This property is a farm. Farms have animals and animals make funny sounds, smell bad and have sex outdoors’, it reads.

‘Unless you can tolerate the above, don’t buy a property next to a farm.’

The cheeky missive, erected at Laneside Farm in Lancashire, has received a lot of love on social media from locals who described it as ‘hilarious’.

I'd be pretty grouchy about it too, especially the bit later on about neighbors threatening to sue if he builds a bigger stables for his horses. He has Shire horses and Clydesdales.

Angelo Codevilla: Living With Politics as War

Codevilla's article at American Greatness argues that it's too late to make peace with the Left and that a counter-march through the institutions would be pointless. He argues for creating a strong separate conservative culture that would replace the Left-dominated institutions. He talks about boycotts, state nullification of federal laws, replacing universities, etc. It's a good article, although I don't know how far I agree with it. In the very long run, pushing for more balance at currently-Left-dominated institutions may be productive.

There are some specific recommendations he makes that I'd like to post about later, but it's a good read whether I get around to that or not.

The Carlos Hathcock Method of Sighting in a Rifle

An excerpt just to get you started on a good story:

I didn’t know Carlos then and did not know of his exploits in NM and Sniper shooting. Ted talked to Carlos about it and Carlos stopped by the shop later that afternoon. Carlos looked at me and said, “So you want to sight in your rifle, eh? OK, thoroughly clean the bore and chamber. Dry the bore out with patches just before you come down to Range 4 tomorrow at noon on the 200 yard line. Have the sling on the rifle that you are going to use in hunting.” Then he went on about his business.