Sex Mad: Why the Rightblogger Obsession With Ladyparts Never Ends

tomt200.jpgWith all the recent women's health controversies -- Komen/Planned Parenthood, contraception in Catholic hospitals, and Virginia's plan to wand women who want abortions -- and their potential to steer women's votes away from Republicans, you'd think conservatives would prefer to get back to talking about the economy, foreign affairs, and other things normal people care about.

Some of them, sure. But many of our rightbloggers keep hangin' in. Much as they want their candidates to win, they're even more interested in standing athwart history, yelling "Is not, so there." So they're still fighting this Lost Cause as if victory were in sight, and probably will be when the rest of the world is celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Griswold v. Connecticut.

At National Review, for example, these issues have been Topic A for weeks, and always described as symptoms of encroaching orgasmo-tyranny. The National Review blog The Corner is full of posts such as "Sex & the HHS Mandate" ("The HHS mandate is a coercive codification of the libertinism of the sexual revolution"); "A Nation of Villeins" ("we are not free men, but serfs to an increasingly confident master. That is the nub of the HHS-mandate ruling"); "Abortion Advocates Wage a Misinformation Campaign over Virginia Ultrasound Legislation" ("[Doctors] shouldn't fling the abdominal inducer over the woman's stomach and claim to have 'performed' an ultrasound"); etc.

The god-bothering eventually got so egregious that editor-at-large Kathryn J. Lopez had to start her own blog to carry the run-off. (We don't see why she bothered, as The Anchoress seems already to be working that side of the street very well, with posts such as "Obama vs First Amendment Liberties," "HHS Mandate Serves Totalitarian Mindset," etc.)

When these issues first emerged, our Kulturkampfers don't bother to advance any coherent arguments showing why requiring insurers rather than churches to provide birth control is an affront to religious liberty, or why women should be wanded by the state if they request abortions, or why contraceptives are bad in the first place. They still don't, and when they do, it's just embarrassing.

For example, in "The Pill Is Not Good for Women," Erika Bachiochi and Catherine R. Pakaluk argued at National Review that birth control is evil because it "ushered in an era of unprecedented (and, as things turned out, unwarranted) confidence that sex could be pursued without risk" -- presumably via mislabeled packaging, as the products claim no such thing -- resulting in in "a staggering increase in non-marital births" since the 1960s, abortions, unwanted children, etc.

If you're wondering why conservatives, of all people, think adults need to be protected from the consequences of their own free choices, you're not the target audience -- though it's hard to imagine even reliably rightwing National Review readers accepting Bachiochi's and Pakaluk's alternate prescription: The rhythm method, the number one birth control choice of early-20th-Century Irish Catholic households in which two or more children slept on the fire escape.

This the authors portrayed as a more woman-friendly family planning tool: "The feminist movement asked men for very little," they wrote. "We should ask them for much more." Thus, instead of forcing women to take birth control pills, Bachiochi and Pakaluk would throw to the menfolk the responsibility of asking, "Hey, when was your period again?"

At Impacting Culture, Tara Stone invented a Socratic dialogue in which Socrates argued that in the pursuit of sexual pleasure, "passions have enslaved or oppressed [a person's] free will"; also, as "pleasure can be the only end of a contracepted sexual act," it objectifies the other party; therefore, "contraception, then, must also be the opposite of liberty," that is, slavery. In her reading of Plato, Stone presumably skipped the part about the Sophists.

At Wizbang, David Robertson also tried a philosophical approach:

As I see it, liberal hate is born out of a liberal's desire to do whatever pleases the liberal, to give the liberal's flesh what it wants. Whenever a conservative uses a standard of morality that conflicts with the liberal's desire, the liberal will accuse the conservative of hatred, when in reality it is the liberal who hates the standard of morality used by the conservative.
To sum up, if a conservative takes something away from a liberal, the liberal is wrong because the conservative is wearing a crucifix. Also, why are you hitting yourself?

Not convinced? Robertson further explained: "It is always possible that a liberal will have a just cause to hate something, but if it is a just cause, then a conservative will hate it, too." No wonder there've been like 50 Republican Presidential debates -- they can say anything and it will never be so ridiculous that it won't be taken seriously by somebody.

Slightly less sweeping, but no less a master of argumentation, was The Cranky Housewife, who told readers about "the dif­ference between con­ser­v­a­tive women and pro­gres­sive women. For a progressive woman whose only con­cern in life is how to achieve her next orgasm with­out bio­log­i­cal con­se­quence -- whose central vision which is the real glass ceil­ing (which happens to be the mir­ror over her bed, her pathetic, decom­pos­ing uterus which has been chem­i­cally stripped of all repro­duc­tive function and whether someone's going to leave what she's got com­ing to her on the bed­side table)..."

We'll cut to the chase: Progressive women don't like Republicans because they're sluts. This was not the end of Cranky Housewife's comedy routine; having apparently noticed that conservative men sometimes get accused of amatory shortfalls, Cranky Housewife turned the tables and applied this treatment to... David Gergen, the famously and tiresomely bipartisan Washington insider, whom Cranky Hosuewife accused of "atti­tu­di­nal hedonism," "intel­lec­tual onanism," and failure to satisfy his wife. Bet they were busting a gut about it at the Press Club.

Despite all this conservative colloquy, a number of the brethren claimed that it was Obama who was making an issue out of contraception in order to distract us from the recovering economy and the 13,000-point Dow.

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