18 November 2012

Defaming Men, Women, and Christianity - All At Once!

Every now and again, in spite of my low opinion of him, Pat Robertson reaches a new nadir. He manages to defame men, women, and the church in two paragraphs. A dubious achievement to be sure, but worthy of note none-the-less. The block below is from a Huffington Post article.
Robertson excused CIA Director Petraeus for the extramarital affair with his biographer, Broadwell, on Monday's episode of "The 700 Club," the flagship program of the Christian Broadcasting Network.

"Who knows?" he said. "The man's off in a foreign land and he's lonely and here's a good looking lady throwing herself at him. I mean, he's a man."
(Emphasis mine)
Huffington Post Article by Cavan Sieczkowski 13 November 2012

This is classic bigotry. Men are of course hopelessly driven by their, "needs." This puts all the burden for self control and decent conduct on women. So, when some foolish man is caught in the wrong bed, it is not his fault, it is to use Rush Limbaugh's favorite word, the "slut" who is at fault. And of course she must be, "throwing herself at him!" After all no upright, decent and politically useful man would ever seek to put himself in a young women's love life! The ultra-right wing of the Republican party has not only become unhinged because a black guy won twice, it is also firmly stuck on, "stupid."

The remark reeks of the same ignorance we saw in Rush Limbaugh's idiotic comments on Sandra Fluke, and Todd Akin's lunatic biology. It is a sort of perfect storm of misogyny. For the amazingly ignorant Mr. Robertson, and other terminally ignorant persons, let's review:
  • Women are seldom sexual aggressors. Note that most rapists are men.
  • On the record, no one forced the general into the lady's bed.
  • We do not know that the lady, "threw herself" at the general. In any case, the expectation of the military honor code and US security rules set a clear standard.
  • Unlike Roberston, the general has not said one public word blaming the lady. He simply did the honorable thing (belatedly perhaps) and resigned.
  • Women are not universally temptresses.
  • Men are not unthinking slaves to their sexuality.
  • Marriage calls ALL OF US to faithfulness. Even generals deployed overseas!
Robertson owns the cable station that broadcasts his bigotry into gullible American homes: firing him is probably not an option. One might hope that fathers of daughters turn him off, or turn off the contributions on which he relies. We could even hope that Republican presidential and other high level candidates might begin to ignore him.

This week, Rachel Maddow has been reporting that some of the responsible leaders in the Republican party have begun, tentatively, but none-the-less, the housecleaning I here and other sites have been calling for since before the votes were counted. If the Republicans want to survive, they have to rid themselves of the bigots, the theocrats, and the crazies. Prominent in all three categories is Robertson. Symington in the 50's rid the Democrats of the Marxists. Now it is time for someone with courage to retake the Republicans.

Repudiating misogyny would be a great first step.

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