Saturday, June 23, 2007

Why Some Guys Are Liberals

There are lots of reasons why people lean toward the conservative or liberal side of social and political issues. There's little doubt that among them are intellectual considerations, but I suspect that one's temperament, the nature of one's religious commitment, and one's experience in life also play prominent roles in whether one tends to list toward starboard or port.

Be that as it may, these factors don't explain everything. A long time ago I read an essay that argued that there's another, more urgent, reason which accounts for why a lot of young men at least profess to be liberal and that is that they're profoundly interested in girls. I can't recall much about the essay except the general gist of it. It went something like this:

It is, from the perspective of some young men, an unfortunate fact of life that conservative girls often believe it is their duty to preserve their chastity until they are married. A young man, interested in exploring and exploiting a young lady's charms, could invest a great deal of time and treasure in such a girl only to have his investment come to naught. Thus conservatism has limited appeal for many men under a certain age.

Liberal girls, contrarily, are often convinced that such rules are remnants of an oppressive male patriarchy that must be rejected root and branch, and that they have an obligation to stand in solidarity with the sisterhood by liberating themselves through free expression of their sexuality. This, of course, is precisely the attitude that makes the eyes of oppressive males light up. They couldn't agree more. They, too, support a woman's quest to liberate herself from the shackles of puritanical prudery and male subjugation. The sooner she consummates her liberation the better, and he wants her to know that he will always be there for her to help her in any way he can to accomplish her emancipation.

Moreover, if a conservative girl gets pregnant she often feels it is her moral duty to bear and raise the child. This is a horrifying prospect for many a young man. Liberal girls, however, believe themselves to be sovereign over their bodies and that it is some sort of sin to let a baby ruin her life. This conviction is sweet music to the ears of said oppressive young men who dread the idea of child support or, worse, marriage. By all means, a woman should have the right, even the duty, to abort her child. Why should she, and by extension he, be tied to an unwanted child for the rest of their lives?

Thus it is in the interest of many young males, as they see it, to reinforce liberal beliefs about sexuality and abortion among their female friends and in society at large. To be credible, of course, they also have to adopt liberal poses on other issues as well, and so they do, not out of any principle, except perhaps the principle of pragmatic expediency: Whatever works is right.

So, for at least some young men, and you know who you are, their liberalism is simply a means to an end.


Homeschooling Is Child Abuse

When it comes to tolerance, choice, and diversity some lefties only find some choices and some diversity tolerable. If we're tolerating sexual heterodoxy or various marital permutations or the choice to kill the child in one's womb that's all just peachy, but if we're talking about choice and diversity in education and religion then the voteries of tolerance suddenly transmogrify into Robespierres.

Consider this example of left-wing tolerance from the pen of Darwinian atheist P.Z. Myers:

"I do wish we could arrest all those parents who use homeschooling as an excuse to keep their children ignorant."

Nice. No doubt if parents persisted in home-schooling their children despite having been arrested, Myers would have them carted off to Madame Guillotine.

Having taught lots of home-schooled children at the college level I can say that they're just as well-educated in all important respects as those who matriculate through most of our public schools. If Myers wants to arrest people for child abuse he should turn his attention to the people responsible for the sorry state of many of the public schools in this country.

But it's not education people like Myers are really concerned about. It's religious education that has their shorts in a wedgy. If the public schools aren't teaching kids history, literature, writing, and math that can be overlooked as long as they're indoctrinating them in materialist science and philosophy.

What cannot be permitted is the circumvention by homeschoolers of the materialist indoctrination students receive in many government schools. Escaping that indoctrination would be a crime in any world in which P.Z. Myers had any influence because, as Richard Dawkins asserts in The God Delusion, it's a form of child abuse.


Another Nifong Casualty

Kathleen Parker argues that one of the big losers in the Duke rape case will be ideological feminism. The sort of standard claim made, for example, by feminist law professor Wendy Murphy on CNN's The Situation Room, "I never, ever met a false rape claim, by the way. My own statistics speak to the truth," will, if they are made at all, likely in the future be met with looks of astonished incredulity.

Parker also notes that another big loser will be actual rape victims:

Already we may be witness to Nifong's dubious offspring in Cupertino, Calif., where a nearly unconscious 17-year-old girl was sexually ravished at a party by a De Anza College baseball player while several teammates stood by watching. The girl's face was covered with vomit -- not her own -- by the time three other young women burst into the room, rescued her from a mattress on the floor and took her to the hospital.

To any sane mind, a drunk, semi-conscious girl on the receiving end of sexual intercourse doesn't sound like consensual sex, yet the Santa Clara County district attorney has decided not to pursue charges. The problem, she says, is that everyone involved was drinking, including witnesses -- and the girl remembers nothing -- making it difficult to prove lack of consent.

What any reasonable person knows, of course, is that anyone too drunk to wipe someone else's vomit from her face is too drunk to give consent. We also can assume that Nifong, given a similar scenario, would have prosecuted this case (with our blessings) and been declared a hero.

Instead, his abuse of the justice system, indicting three innocent men for his own political gain, may have set the stage for other guilty parties to walk free and at least one 17-year-old girl, thus far, to be denied access to justice.

HT: No Left Turns