Joe Pug: Bury Me Far From My Uniform
"It's symbolic of our struggle..."

Tyranny of Liberalism 2

The fatal flaw of liberalism was always its pretense or fantasy that the state could and would remain neutral on most questions of value, especially the big ones. This illusion was only possible because there was a broad consensus on most of the most serious matters in that realm. When, almost immediately after the establishment of the liberal constitutional order in the United States, a serious disagreement arose on a serious moral question, it led to civil war. I wonder now that the catastrophe didn't produce a deeper examination of the fundamental questions involved: what exactly is the moral status of the state, and by what right and according to what critera can it resolve a moral dispute? Lincoln's elevation of the preservation of the union as an ultimate principle has always struck me as strange, especially in a nation that less than a century earlier had separated itself violently from its rulers.

The pretense of neutrality is not only maintained today, but asserted ever more forcefully in the face of resistance to putatively neutral interventions in ever more situations, while liberal doctrines on questions of value have multiplied and solidified. Increasingly now we see imposition of those doctrines by legal force, with the imposer utterly untroubled by any sense of hypocrisy or contradiction. In The Tyranny of Liberalism, James Kalb explains that liberalism is now functioning as a state religion, "a system of moral absolutes based on a denial that moral truth is knowable."

As an established religion grounding a political order, liberalism tries to eliminate competing systems of religion and morality to the extent they cannot be reconfigured as representations of purely human aspirations and so converted into poeticized versions of liberalism itself. The effort is inevitable. Liberalism relies on claims of pellucid this-worldly rationality. Treating liberalism and equal freedom as simply rational, however, means that those who recognize other standards must be treated as irrational and not properly part of legitimate political discussion....

.... Simply by existing, transcendent religion and traditional morality are oppressive, since they affect the social environment by making it less tolerant and inclusive. They must be suppressed.

Suppression most often takes the form of insistence, backed by nagging and social pressure, that traditional faiths accept transformation into something radically different and, at bottom, trivial. They must be "tolerant," and "come to terms with modernity," which means that they must subordinate themselves to an official outlook that aspires to reorder the whole of human life. And they must accept their status as purely private pursuits with no implications for social relations or understandings of reality.

As if in illustration of Kalb's point comes the recent case in New Mexico in which the state's Supreme Court ruled that the Christian proprietors of a small photography business could not refuse to photograph a same-sex "commitment ceremony."  The concurrence written by a Judge Richard Bosson is striking. No clearer instance need be sought of the liberal doctrine that in case of conflict between religious and other rights, it is the religious that must give way.

 The Huguenins [the photographers] are compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives. Though the rule of law requires it, the result is sobering. It will no doubt leave a tangible mark on the Huguenins and others of similar views.

On a larger scale, this case provokes reflection on what this nation is all about, its promise of fairness, liberty, equality of opportunity, and justice. At its heart, this case teaches that at some point in our lives all of us must compromise, if only a little, to accommodate the contrasting values of others. A multicultural, pluralistic society, one of our nation’s strengths, demands no less. The Huguenins are free to think, to say, to believe, as they wish; they may pray to the God of their choice and follow those commandments in their personal lives wherever they lead. The Constitution protects the Huguenins in that respect and much more. But there is a price, one that we all have to pay somewhere in our civic life.

In the smaller, more focused world of the marketplace, of commerce, of public accommodation, the Huguenins have to channel their conduct, not their beliefs, so as to leave space for other Americans who believe something different. That compromise is part of the glue that holds us together as a nation, the tolerance that lubricates the varied moving parts of us as a people. That sense of respect we owe others, whether or not we believe as they do, illuminates this country, setting it apart from the discord that afflicts much of the rest of the world. In short, I would say to the Huguenins, with the utmost respect: it is the price of citizenship.

Not the least disturbing feature of this smug little exercise is the utter blindness of the writer to his own intolerance and decided lack of respect for the Huguenins' consciences. He appears to think it obviously right that all that glueing and lubricating requires a "compromise" in which only the Christian side must bend. But there is nothing apart from an unstated liberal dogma which demands that conclusion. I have no doubt that the couple could have found another photographer. (In fact, they did.) It was obviously important to them that the Christians be penalized, and it is equally important to the unimpressive mind of this judge. He seems to think that the Christians should be happy to accept as their share of tolerance that they are still allowed to believe as they wish, though the state reserves the right to force them to act against those beliefs. Perhaps that is the sense in which he feels that a compromise has occurred; he seems to court admiration for his own largeness of spirit in acknowledging that the Christians, crazy though they may be, are sincere.

And then there's the irony of the claim that the ruling is consistent with an effort to prevent discord. Well, I suppose it is, if failure to accept the liberal consensus equals discord. The judge sounds pretty pleased by the thought of that "tangible mark." A touch of the financial and legal lash will perhaps keep the Huguenins in line, and make "others of similar views" think twice about committing similar crimes. For, after all, it is but a short step from the refusal to document a homosexual romance to racial segregation, lynching, slavery, the Holocaust, and the Inquisition.

"It is the price of citizenship," says the judge. $6,637.94 is the price for the Huguenins today; it will be higher, perhaps, tomorrow.

"On a larger scale," says His Honor, "this case provokes reflection on what this nation is all about." Indeed it does.

You can read the entire decision here. Bosson's concurrence is at the end.

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The fatal flaw of liberalism was always its pretense or fantasy that the state could and would remain neutral on most questions of value, especially the big ones. This illusion was only possible because there was a broad consensus on most of the most serious matters in that realm. When, almost immediately after the establishment of the liberal constitutional order in the United States, a serious disagreement arose on a serious moral question, it led to civil war.

Right. Very depressing to contemplate.

Lincoln's elevation of the preservation of the union as an ultimate principle has always struck me as strange, especially in a nation that less than a century earlier had separated itself violently from its rulers.

Yes, that is pretty strange.

The pretense of neutrality is not only maintained today, but asserted ever more forcefully in the face of resistance to putatively neutral interventions in ever more situations, while liberal doctrines on questions of value have multiplied and solidified.

I think liberals are just completely out of touch with reality.

"It's every man's right to have babies if he wants them."

Exactly.

As I once heard it put, a liberal is a man who stands on his head and tells the rest of the world it's upside-down.

Where matters of sex and gender are concerned these days, that's really true.

I suppose one could be liberal within the framework of Catholic Faith and Morals, or be strict within that same framework.

But this secularistic liberalism is just crazy.

There are people who in any other age would have been treated as insane (they might have been treated well or poorly) who are now affirmed in their crazy ideas. Like the single mother who was divorced by her husband and whose children chose to live with him, so now she has married herself. She had a commitment ceremony which somebody officiated at and an audience of about 40 people in attendance. Now that is just insane all round and that's what happens to a society which says that if you love someone you have to agree with whatever they want, instead of admitting them to a psych ward.

I would ask if you're making that up, but it's all too plausible.

I actually *am* a liberal in that sense. I need to post something about the way Kalb is using the word.

I'm armed with a link, but I don't want to make further assaults on your mental health!

I'm pretty liberal in that sense myself with certain issues, but am probably quite strict in other matters. Or at least, I am in this current climate. I would probably be more liberal in a society which took Catholic Faith and Morals for granted.

Oh, go ahead--I can just not follow it if I don't feel up to it, and other people might be interested.

"I wonder now that the catastrophe didn't produce a deeper examination of the fundamental questions involved: what exactly is the moral status of the state, and by what right and according to what criterIa can it resolve a moral dispute?"

I think a lot of this sort of argument occurred prior to the war, but was subsumed into the more immediate debate over slavery. I imagine that one could read the polemics of the era and cull out some examinations of the bigger issues that you mention.

After the war, with the breakdown of the thing into two conflicting narratives (The 'Treasury of Virtue' of the North and the 'Great Alibi' of the South, as R.P. Warren styles them) it was probably difficult to present a unified, coherent examination of such questions without taking one or the other narrative for granted.

It also seems to me that the sort of progressive/liberal do-goodism we are bewailing now had its roots in the abolitionist movement. This of course does not reflect badly on their goal of doing away with slavery, but the mentality and method of these "progressives" carried on into other crusades, some good, many bad. It is a non-religious remnant of a sort of Yankee Puritanism that thinks it knows what's best for everyone and is not afraid to exert energy accordingly.

I really should have put in a disclaimer along the lines of "as far as I know" there, since I'm certainly not that well acquainted with American history. I've wondered if a maverick like Orestes Brownson might have addressed it. I have been mulling over the idea that slavery will, in the end, have destroyed the republic, because it (and the oppression that continued after it) made it impossible to discuss certain principles abstracted from that debate.

I'm not sure if it's the abolitionist movement specifically, but your last sentence is exactly right, I think. There was a little-noticed bit about that in Joseph Bottum's recent notorious piece on same-sex marriage that I really liked. He compared a furious WASP abortion-rights supporter to her Puritan-later-Unitarian and anti-Catholic forebears.

I read a book not long ago that showed how seriously anti-Catholic the radical Abolitionists were. They viewed Catholicism as a form of mental slavery that was bad because it inhibited freedom of thought.

Doesn't that sound familiar?!

Wonder if those abolitionists knew that Pope Eugene IV had banned enslavement "on pain of excommunication" in the Papal Encyclical Sicut Dudum of 1435? Or that Pope Paul III forbade "slavery of the indigenous peoples of the Americas as well as of any other new population that would be discovered" in 1537?

Found that in a timeline of the abolition of slavery here. Some very interesting things there, like France abolishing slavery in all its possessions in 1794 but then restoring it under Napolean in 1802.

They would probably have said that mental slavery was worse than physical slavery.

Interesting bit about France. That's less than 10 years. I wonder what made them change back.

Economic reasons having to do with Bonie's need to conquer the world, I suppose.

Doesn't that sound familiar?!

Is this a case of "the more things change, the more they stay the same"?

The story of the woman who married herself is here. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2149364/Single-mother-reveals-married-HERSELF-goes-date-nights-alone.html#ixzz1vpnM2YH8

It's not all bad - she is right about needing to love herself. But "marriage"? She needs therapy, not wedding presents.

I can't even laugh at that, as absurd as it is. It's too sad. Poor woman.

I know. I mostly just felt angry with all the stupid people who went along with it instead of helping her.

I really did look for some indication that this was satire: UK's first transgender convert to Islam. Now if only he/she could make him/herself black, he/she would be all set.

Notice that it's now "gender confirmation" surgery.

Louise, your comment about mostly just feeling "angry with all the stupid people who went along with it instead of helping her" reminded me of the psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins who was responsible for stopping sex-change operations being performed there -- he had a good phrase for this kind of thing: collaborating with madness.

And, Mac, hadn't seen that "gender confirmation" term before. It will never end, this playing with our heads, will it?

If "gender" is a social construct despite its genetic basis, why not race? Wouldn't it possible to be a "transracial"? Why can't I be a black man trapped in a white body, and have my body chemically darkened to confirm my true race?

Excellent point, Rob. Not only does that follow the logic, the whole point that race is a social construct has been pushed by liberals for a long time now. It's hugely contradictory, because at the same time they treat it as all-important and immutable. Someone should call them on it. It wouldn't even require changing skin color etc.--just declare that you feel black, or white, or whatever, and insist on being treated as such. Liberals started referring to "Chelsea" Manning as "her" instantly when "she" requested it.

Marianne, I'm glad to hear about the Johns Hopkins guy. I wonder if he's been penalized.

Re the "playing with our heads," it has taken on the characteristics of Soviet-style government-mandated redefinition of reality. Some people buy it, many just play along with it when they have to.

She is referring to Paul McHugh, who was at one time the chief of psychiatry at Hopkins. I believe he has retired.

Wikipedia entry.

"McHugh believes that adult males who wish to surgically alter themselves to appear anatomically female fall into two main groups: (1) "conflicted and guilt-ridden homosexual men"[26] and (2) "heterosexual (and some bisexual) males who found intense sexual arousal in cross-dressing as females".[27] McHugh, had several other impressions: First, "they [the transgendered individuals] were little changed in their psychological condition. They had much the same problems with relationships, work, and emotions as before. The hope that they would emerge now from their emotional difficulties to flourish psychologically had not been fulfilled".[28] Second, they expressed little interest in and seemed indifferent to babies or children (typically female interests).[29] Third, they came off as caricatures of the opposite sex.[30]"

About what I would have guessed.

Yes, that does seem to accord with what used to be common sense.

Marianne, that "collaborating with madness" is exactly right.

I have a younger relative who was driving me mad with her descriptions of the man who will probably emerge from our Australian federal election today (Oz time) as our new Prime Minister. She called him racist, homophobic, sexist and bigoted. I am fairly certain he is none of those things. He will not be the perfect PM and may prove not to be even a tolerably good one (although I personally have a soft spot for him), but I don't see how he can reasonably described as any of those things.

This poor young lassie is simply brainwashed as far as I can tell.

Re: my young relative - it feels so good to get that off my chest. hehe

I think one of Dr. McHugh's explanatory illustrations which was persuasive to his colleagues at Johns Hopkins was this: "we do not give liposuctions to anorectics".

very good!

I would expect he's been vilified for these opinions.

I've decided that people who talk like your young relative, Louise, are best treated as one would treat anyone with a monomania--don't respond, try to change the subject. In their minds the "racist sexist..." stuff automatically applies to pretty much anyone who doesn't toe the liberal line.

I didn't respond, but it's good to see that backed up by your advice. :) A monomania is pretty much what it is.

Louise, in a piece in the Telegraph about Abbott's win in Australia, this caught my eye because of what you said about your young relative's being “brainwashed”:

...every slip of the tongue has been magnified into idiocy or bigotry, making him all the more guarded and awkward. Poor Mr Abbott has adopted the air of a man permanently on the edge of exploding in foolishness: tight-lipped, pent-up, leaning forward in expectation of an interviewer's insult. Off camera, he is apparently charming and intelligent and very funny – as are most people who get to where he is. But the media campaign to present him as a thug has been overpowering. Fortunately, the Australian electorate has seen through it to the real man therein – perhaps because they, too, are exhausted by a decade of puritanical political correctness.

If only the American electorate had been so clear-sighted last November!

Better yet, November 2008. But I can't complain very loudly that we missed a McCain administration.

A couple of sentences before the part you quoted is: "Kevin Rudd is guilty of losing his cool on camera and being so rude to his associates that they felt compelled to sack him."

This is the way the media game is played. Compare Biden and Quayle, for instance. The former is surely one of the most clownish, and yet unpleasant, men ever to be a heartbeat away from the presidency.

I was just thinking how eerily similar things are with our ALP voters in Oz and the Democrat voters in the US. I'm sure it's magnified terribly by the internet as I don't recall my fellow Australians ever being quite so unhinged before. It's just like Bush Derangement Syndrome. And it's so disturbing that although the media bias is overwhelmingly opposed to our new PM, the people who hate him (literally hate him) are claiming he only won because of the media bias towards him (I think Rupert Murdoch's papers). Now this is just not tenable. Sure, Murdoch is biased in favour of the "conservative" Liberal Party (called Liberal because it actually is economically liberal), but our public broadcaster is somewhere to the left of Chairman Mao! As are most of the other papers etc.

We have just had two terms of the ALP and basically no party will last much longer than that if the electorate is disgruntled (which it typically is! LOL!) But our terms are roughly three years, rather than four, so we can recycle ours quicker!

Off camera, he is apparently charming and intelligent and very funny – as are most people who get to where he is.

I have definitely had that impression of him, not that I know how exactly.

Poor Mr Abbott has adopted the air of a man permanently on the edge of exploding in foolishness: tight-lipped, pent-up, leaning forward in expectation of an interviewer's insult.

This is what happens to a person who is constantly berated by people who are insane/mentally ill. Ask me how I know. (No, don't).

It borders on psychological abuse, IMO. The badgered, sane person simply must hang on to their own sanity for dear life and not get sucked in to the chaos of the people around them.

Thankyou so much for that link, Marianne! I enjoyed it very much. It shows what I like about the man.

I just went to the BBC website, and here's the photo they've got there of Tony Abbott. When I clicked on the link for the main story about his election, the photo there is this one.

Interesting choice of lead photo, no?

The lovely "media game" just never stops.

The Telegraph blog that Marianne linked to mentioned B.A. Santamaria, who sounded interesting, so via Google and Wikipedia I found (besides a rather startling declaration by a 1950s ALP politician that "I would welcome the Russians to the Indian Ocean") Cardinal Pell's 1998 eulogy of Santamaria (which expresses "a great debt for his leadership in the fight against communism in the unions; for his indispensable contribution in obtaining financial justice for all Christian schools from state and federal governments; for his authorship of fifteen of the Bishops' statements on social justice") which ends with some lines by James McAuley:

It is not said we shall succeed,
Save as his Cross prevails;
The good we choose and mean to do
Prospers if he wills it to.
And if not, then it fails.

Nor is failure our disgrace:
By ways we cannot know
He keeps the merit in his hand,
And suddenly as no one planned,
Behold the kingdom grow!

I'd never heard of McAuley (really, why are the only Australians we ever hear of Germaine Greer and Clive James? Proximity, presumably), so wanting to know more I Googled the first line quoted, "It is not said we shall succeed", and the first thing that came up was Tony Abbott's 2004 speech to the Adelaide University Democratic Club in honour of a poet who died 30-odd years ago. Touch politics touch pitch, and all that, but I have to say, he doesn't come across as much of a Neanderthal. Standards are no doubt different in the more effete atmosphere of Australia.

I should perhaps add: this is in no sense an endorsement of Tony Abbott. Just an observation that the strategy of portraying him as a Neanderthal is ludicrous. I will be trying to find out more about James McAuley.

Germain Greer. Now there's a name I haven't heard for a while. It brings back not-so-fond memories of the 1970s.

I vaguely recognize Santamaria's name. I mean in the context of conservative Anglosphere politics (name notwithstanding). I'm thinking there may have been some discussion of him in The New Criterion a while back.

"...the more effete atmosphere of Australia..." [laughter]

Consideration of the media game can really drive me a little crazy. There's nothing one can do about it, but sometimes it's necessary to rant a bit just to take the pressure off.

And about the monomanic people: those exist on the right, too. I think Obama is one of the worst presidents we've ever had, and an enemy of the Christian faith. Yet I've come across people who can fairly be said to suffer from Obama Derangement Syndrome, and with whom I deal in the same way I described above.

Yes, undoubtedly monomania is something any human being can fall into.

Re media spin: There's nothing one can do about it, but sometimes it's necessary to rant a bit just to take the pressure off.

There's not much we can do, but if we point it out from time to time, it keeps the crazies at arm's length. Plus, as you say, it does let off steam.

Paul, I'm so glad you looked up Mr Santamaria! I haven't read enough of his work to know how far I agree with him, but I do think he was quite a force for good in his time.

Also, James McAuley was a worthy Australian poet and is one of Nick's favourites. Google "By your kingly power, o risen Lord"- I'm pretty sure that was one of his. I think he lectured in English at the University of Tasmania, my Alma Mater. That poem you quoted is great!

There are good Australians, but they don't have much of a profile in the main, except to be demonised at home. They are unheard of overseas. I think +Pell is our only good guy known overseas.

Our public broadcaster (lerv-child of the Beeb!) recognises only 5 Australian Catholics: +Pell and Abbott (boo, hiss), and 3 rather lapsed/heterodox others whom I won't even bother to mention.

I guess the Aussies who fought the good fight will get their guernsies at the Last Day. :)

And really, there are only 21 million of us and our home is at the end of the world and we're all a pack of convicts anyway. LOL! No wonder you don't hear much of us. :)

Yet I've come across people who can fairly be said to suffer from Obama Derangement Syndrome, and with whom I deal in the same way I described above.

They generally come in several varieties:

1. People fixated on his birth certificate.

2. People given to phrases like "the Obama Marxist Regime"

3. People who attribute to him all manner of direction and control over the flotsam and jetsam of what is reported in the newspapers. (What's reported is bad enough in what it indicates of the political culture of la gauche). These people might benefit from a brief lesson from Terry Eastland, who was for a time the press agent for the Department of Justice ca. 1985. He said that shortly after he first arrived there two Canadian documentaries were declared foreign propaganda by the department under a law passed ca. 1954. Projectionists were required to run a trailer informing viewers of this and federal agents were supposedly required to compile lists of people viewing the film. He said he was shocked and thought the Attorney-General must have issued this directive. Nope. "It was some GS-12 doing his job". Obama ain't responsible for the depredations of Bernardo de la Rionda.

There is a fourth bit of business associated with Steven Sailer, who is not deranged, just episodically silly. It involves obscure machinations re 'favor banking' between the Central Intelligence Agency and the Ford Foundation, and relies on some one-or-two-degrees-of-separation connection between Ann Dunham (once on the staff of the Ford Foundation in Indonesia) and Timothy Geithner's father. The thought patterns are redolent of Kennedy Assassination literature (which Sailer ordinarily scoffs at).

I forgot category five: the people who fancy the Department of Homeland Security is planning a military coup.

I think Obama is one of the worst presidents we've ever had,

He is indicative of the pathologies of the age, but he has a ways to go competing with Andrew Johnson, Woodrow Wilson, Herbert Hoover (capable man, disastrous in office) and Lyndon Johnson. You need forty or fifty years to take the measure of the era except tentatively.

I read a book of McAuley's essays a few months back. I don't remember the title offhand but R. Kirk had praised it and quoted from it in one of his essays. At the time I had no idea that he was also a well-respected poet and literary critic.

I didn't recognize McAuley's name. Apparently I'm mistaken in thinking I might have heard Santamaria's name in The New Criterion. But in searching for it I found an amusing title for an article about Cuba: Castroenteritis.

A sixth category, Art: the Obama-the-secret-Muslim crowd. This could be viewed as a case of a genuine insight going around the bend, as I do think Obama lacks some fundamental sense of being an American that most of us have, but in this he is not really much different from a lot of cosmopolitan liberals.

Re that "GS-12 doing his job": a lot of people have made the point that the evanescent executives passing through the White House are not nearly as influential as the permanent bureaucracy.

a lot of people have made the point that the evanescent executives passing through the White House are not nearly as influential as the permanent bureaucracy

I think that was the main point of the English TV series "Yes, Minister." Very amusing show!

http://cantusmundi.blogspot.com/2013/04/by-your-kingly-power.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_McAuley
"In 1952 he converted to Roman Catholicism, the faith his own father had abandoned. This was in the parish of St Charles at Ryde. He was later introduced to Australian musician Richard Connolly by a priest, Ted Kennedy, at the Holy Spirit parish at North Ryde[1] and the two subsequently collaborated to produce between them the most significant collection of Australian Catholic hymnody to date, titled "Hymns for the Year of Grace". Connolly was McAuley's sponsor for his confirmation into the Roman Catholic Church. In his undergraduate years McAuley was influenced by both communism and anarchism, but although a man of the left[discuss][citation needed], McAuley remained staunchly anti-communist throughout his later life. In 1956 he and Richard Krygier founded the literary and cultural journal, Quadrant and was chief editor until 1963. From 1961 he was professor of English at the University of Tasmania."

I might have to search for that hymn book.

I used to see this show a lot as a child (is was highly uninteresting to me in those days). I saw it because it was on before the news or thereabouts and my grandfather would always happen to watch it. I don't know really if my grandfather agreed with him or not, but he used to enjoy impersonating his greeting and adieu!

BA Santamaria's "Point of View" - here he is taking the "GayBC" (my term, not his) to task.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLoZalF29JY

Unfortunately the clip is not complete and the sound is muffled after 2 minutes.

The comments on that video are illustrative of what we're talking about: "absolutely insane", etc.

Indeed. :)

Memories of the 1970s? Throughout the 1990s Greer was on BBC television at least once a month as a "cultural commentator". I assumed they had her on retained. Often she said quite sensible things, and would then occasionally come out with something truly bizarre.

I do think Obama lacks some fundamental sense of being an American that most of us have, but in this he is not really much different from a lot of cosmopolitan liberals.

I sometimes follow the blogger "Diplomad". His post on 17 August 2013 on the culture of the Department of State, &c.

http://thediplomad.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2013-08-26T01:16:00-04:00&max-results=7&start=7&by-date=false

But I wasn't watching the BBC in the '90s, Paul. What I remember is her status as celebrity feminist in the glory (ahem) days of the movement in the '70s. She seems to have always made it part of her project to veer from sensible to bizarre.

Did you mean this, Art? Pretty interesting. Filed under "Suspicions Confirmed."

Greer has always loved the limelight first and foremost, I think. I vaguely remember seeing her on an interview show with Norman Mailer at the height of her fame; she came across as very intelligent, but seemed mostly interested in shocking people. She also flirted very openly with Mailer.

I see in her Wikipedia entry that she's still out there, trying her best to shock. For example, she published a book in 2003, The Beautiful Boy, an "art history book about the beauty of teenage boys, which is illustrated with 200 photographs of what The Guardian called 'succulent teenage male beauty'. Greer described the book as an attempt to address modern women's apparent indifference to the teenage boy as a sexual object and to 'advance women's reclamation of their capacity for, and right to, visual pleasure'."

As I recall she was the most flamboyant of the feminists of those days, and went out of her way to be sort of flamboyantly sexy, sometimes to the annoyance of other feminists. Wonder how many teenaged boys she's creeped out.

Feminists are always "reclaiming" stuff that nobody took away from them.

That's just worrisome.

I know. To think that the modern woman has become indifferent to teenaged boys as sexual objects.... I mean, we all know how sexually repressive modern culture, but I didn't realize it was this bad.

I meant to say before that I thought Castroenteritis was a pretty funny article title!

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