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  1. mustelid
    mustelid March 30, 2007 at 4:42 am |

    Shouldn’t Shlafly be in the kitchen, making up for all that time she spent on pursuing her education? And how about all the time she spent lobbying against ERA? Speaking out in public is best left to those manly men, whose voices are loud enough to be heard./snark

  2. preying mantis
    preying mantis March 30, 2007 at 6:54 am |

    But if we stop pretending she’s a housewife, we’ll all be blinded by the glaring irony that’s been her entire anti-feminist career.

  3. Lynn Gazis-Sax
    Lynn Gazis-Sax March 30, 2007 at 8:00 am |

    Yes, getting married means you consent to any sex whatsoever, at any time whatsoever, no matter how tired or nauseated you may be at the time. If I want my husband to have sex with me while crossdressing in delicate women’s lingerie, and to wield a whip on him in the process, I’m entitled. He married me, after all, and that proves he consented to sex. And if I use force to get him to act out that particular scenario against his will, it can’t possibly be assault.

  4. rachel
    rachel March 30, 2007 at 8:24 am |

    well, she’s right. marriage is inherently sexist and is created to give men as much power over women as possible. i’m glad she reminded people of that.

    although most states made marital rape a crime, there are a few exceptions. you can normally fuck your wife while she’s passed out from alcohol/drugs without fear of a rape charge.

    frankly, i don’t know why women consent to marriage at all. for all the threats to our lives, health, and financial security, what the hell do we get out of it?

  5. norbizness
    norbizness March 30, 2007 at 8:27 am |

    It’s weird, Schlafly had the exact same argument with Mary Wollstonecraft in 1791.

  6. R. Mildred
    R. Mildred March 30, 2007 at 8:37 am |

    because of their “inherent physical inferiority.”

    Yeah men do tend to be total wussy weight punchers because of that extra bulk of theirs.

    Though I’m not so clear as to why you’d specifically and exclusively want people with such an obvious physical inferiority fighting fires, constructing buildings, and waging our great patriotic wars for us…

    “They aren’t tall enough to see out of the trucks, they’re not strong enough to carry their buddy off the battlefield if he’s wounded, and they can’t bark out orders loudly enough for everyone to hear.”

    She screeched across the auditorium without any sort of electronic assistance.

    Is she seriously saying that women can’t drive!?

  7. Michelle
    Michelle March 30, 2007 at 8:46 am |

    If women are smaller and lighter, aren’t they also easier for their buddies to carry off if they’re the ones who are wounded? Just wondering..

  8. Djur
    Djur March 30, 2007 at 8:54 am |

    Gaggle of women students?” Huh.

  9. W. Kiernan
    W. Kiernan March 30, 2007 at 8:56 am |

    There are a lot of topics about which I must admit that a lot of other people know more than I do. But I am a construction worker, and I definitely, positively, unquestionably know a thousand times more about construction work than Phyllis Schlafly does.

    She is wrong. Ignorantly wrong. Blatantly wrong. Idiotically wrong. Period. She needs to shut her stupid yap about women construction workers, now and forever.

  10. RenegadeEvolution
    RenegadeEvolution March 30, 2007 at 9:05 am |

    Does one want to throttle this woman or pat her on the head and say “there, there now, go bake some cookies, your mind is just a bad dream”…

  11. lauram
    lauram March 30, 2007 at 9:06 am |

    Lynn Gazis-Sax, ah-ah-ah. Wrong dear. She said “By getting married the WOMAN has consented to sex…” She said nothing about the man. See, the man never hands over his decision-making authority – ’cause he’s the head of the house. Don’t you read the bible – it’s in Misogeny Chapter 1 5-8. So your fantasies of doing what you will w/your hubbie are misplaced. He ALWAYS gets to decide. Sorry dear.

    I have a take of Phyllis (housewife) Schlafly from yesterday here:http://sanguineinseattle.blogspot.com/2007/03/women-dont-get-married.html

  12. Lynn Gazis-Sax
    Lynn Gazis-Sax March 30, 2007 at 9:13 am |

    To lauram: Rats! You’ve set me straight and destroyed my fantasy. And I was so looking forward to that cross-dressing whip scenario.

    To rachel:

    you can normally fuck your wife while she’s passed out from alcohol/drugs without fear of a rape charge.

    Where, exactly, are you legally allowed to do this? Certainly not in California, for example:

    262. (a) Rape of a person who is the spouse of the perpetrator is
    an act of sexual intercourse accomplished under any of the following circumstances:
    (1) Where it is accomplished against a person’s will by means of
    force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the person or another.
    (2) Where a person is prevented from resisting by any intoxicating or anesthetic substance, or any controlled substance, and this condition was known, or reasonably should have been known, by the accused.
    (3) Where a person is at the time unconscious of the nature of the act, and this is known to the accused. As used in this paragraph, “unconscious of the nature of the act” means incapable of resisting because the victim meets one of the following conditions:
    (A) Was unconscious or asleep.
    (B) Was not aware, knowing, perceiving, or cognizant that the act
    occurred….

    (leaving off the other ways you might possibly rape your spouse, for brevity).

  13. Hawise
    Hawise March 30, 2007 at 9:17 am |

    “They aren’t tall enough to see out of the trucks, they’re not strong enough to carry their buddy off the battlefield if he’s wounded, and they can’t bark out orders loudly enough for everyone to hear.”

    All that says to me is that in 81 years, Phyllis Schafly has learned squat about women. Women come in multiple sizes, the lower center of balance makes carrying things easier and I can easily out bark all the men I know. I suspect that she lives in a timewarp and is only brought out for historical reference- which might explain that earlier argument with Wollstonecraft.

  14. bean
    bean March 30, 2007 at 9:35 am |

    Sigh. When I wrote the other day about the reintroduction of the E.R.A., one (conservative) commenter said my “and here comes Schlafly” comments were fruitless since people don’t pay attention to her anymore. And I thought to myself: People pay attention to her, because she says the most outrageous things and we (on both sides) just can’t ignore her.

    And I still think I’m right. Problem is, Schlafly’s outrageousness seems some of the other nutjobs over there on the right seem downright rational (if not still spite-filled).

    Also, it was the feminist movement that taught women to be victims? Um, I think the whole point of feminism is acknowleding where women have been victims and figuring out how to not be victims anymore.

    Old dog. Same tricks.

  15. rachel
    rachel March 30, 2007 at 9:44 am |

    lynn, here:

    (A) (1) No person shall engage in sexual conduct with another who is not the spouse of the offender or who is the spouse of the offender but is living separate and apart from the offender, when any of the following applies:

    (a) For the purpose of preventing resistance, the offender substantially impairs the other person’s judgment or control by administering any drug, intoxicant, or controlled substance to the other person surreptitiously or by force, threat of force, or deception.

    (b) The other person is less than thirteen years of age, whether or not the offender knows the age of the other person.

    (c) The other person’s ability to resist or consent is substantially impaired because of a mental or physical condition or because of advanced age, and the offender knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the other person’s ability to resist or consent is substantially impaired because of a mental or physical condition or because of advanced age.

    your standard “force or threat of force” rape against your wife is illegal though.

  16. ginmar
    ginmar March 30, 2007 at 10:10 am |

    Why does Phyllis hate housewives so much?

  17. Zos
    Zos March 30, 2007 at 10:23 am |

    Does Schlafly realize that the reason she has a career outside of the home is entirely due to feminism?

  18. Lynn Gazis-Sax
    Lynn Gazis-Sax March 30, 2007 at 10:29 am |

    The California penal code has two sections defining rape, which to a large extent duplicate each other. One contains the “who is not the spouse of the offender” language, and the other defines what is rape if you do it to your spouse. In both sections, having sex with an intoxicated or unconscious person is listed as a circumstance that counts as rape. Some things are listed only in the “not the spouse” section, such as having sex with an underage person (presumably because your spouse is never underage).

    Why they wrote it that way, I can’t fathom; it seems to me that it would have been easier to get rid of the stupid marital rape exemption by simply striking the words “who is not the spouse of the offender”, and less confusing all around. Nevertheless, the fact remains that having sex with someone who’s passed out drunk is illegal whether that person is your spouse or not; it’s just written into different places in the code.

  19. Lynn Gazis-Sax
    Lynn Gazis-Sax March 30, 2007 at 10:31 am |

    If there’s some other state which actually allows sex with your passed out drunk wife not to be rape, I still want to know what state (or states).

  20. micheyd
    micheyd March 30, 2007 at 10:31 am |

    Zos: nope. I went to see her speak at my college about 4 years ago, and in replying to someone’s question she said that “feminism has never done anything for her”. It was so shockingly arrogant and ignorant that I’m surprised I didn’t just leave at that point. She thinks she really just pulled herself up-by-the-bootstraps in life, and that anyone who doesn’t have success is just a whiny, morally failed person.

  21. Michelle
    Michelle March 30, 2007 at 10:39 am |

    She thinks she really just pulled herself up-by-the-bootstraps in life, and that anyone who doesn’t have success is just a whiny, morally failed person.

    And let me guess, those women who have succeeded in traditionally masculine professions through hard work deserve all their success, right?

  22. preying mantis
    preying mantis March 30, 2007 at 10:42 am |

    “Some things are listed only in the “not the spouse” section, such as having sex with an underage person (presumably because your spouse is never underage).”

    I imagine it would also apply to circumstances where the spouse is considered underage in that state, but was not underage in the state where the couple was married. Considering how many states set the age of consent as 17 or 18, how many other states allow 16-year-olds to marry with their parents’ consent, and the ability of the state to prosecute statutory rape charges without the participation of the person named as a victim, it seems like a legitimate, if unlikely to be used, exception.

  23. R. Mildred
    R. Mildred March 30, 2007 at 10:51 am |

    If there’s some other state which actually allows sex with your passed out drunk wife not to be rape, I still want to know what state (or states).

    The most recent info I’ve seen is from 2005 – and that says that ALABAMA, ALASKA, ARKANSAS, CALIFORNIA [my strike], CONNECTICUT, HAWAII, IDAHO, ILLINOIS, IOWA, KANSAS, KENTUCKY, LOUISIANA, MAINE, MARYLAND, MICHIGAN, MINNESOTA, MISSISSIPPI, MISSOURI, NEVADA, NEW HAMPSHIRE, OHIO, OKLAHOMA, PENNSYLVANIA, RHODE ISLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA, SOUTH DAKOTA, TENNESSEE, WASHINGTON, WEST VIRGINIA and finally WYOMING, all have some form of martial exemption that makes it not rape if the wife doesn’t struggle or is incapable of struggling during the act.

    If you want to provide more recent info on all of those I’d be happy to see it, found it hard to double check them with plain ol’ google, lots of ’90s stuff bumfing the updated stuff out into the deep numbers.

    According to that same source, you’ll note, CT, DE, IA, MN & WV all extend that privelage to unmarried partners as well, which I’m sure has been changed since, but I suck at hte legalese googling.

  24. R. Mildred
    R. Mildred March 30, 2007 at 10:52 am |

    I can’t spell marital today, ungh.

    Martial exemption, bleh.

  25. rachel
    rachel March 30, 2007 at 11:00 am |

    lynn, i responded but it was in moderation for a while. comment 15, the state is ohio.

    i discussed it for a long time with my crim law prof and she agreed that the statute does say that fucking your wife when she’s passed out from alcohol/drugs is not rape. could be something else, assault or whatever, but not rape.

  26. ekf
    ekf March 30, 2007 at 11:21 am |

    I’ve noticed that Schlafly appears to have amended her tune about women not working outside the home to publicly rationalize her being a professional woman-hater. From the article:

    While Schlafly said she has no problem with women raising a family and pursuing a professional career, she said they can’t be done at the same time.

    See? Those mean, evil feminists tell you that you can work and raise your kids, but they’re wrong (because she says so, natch, and, well, because she and her ilk have made daycare a bad word and stalled out any movement towards governmental assistance with child rearing). But it’s still okay for her to flap her useless yap, because she’s done raising her kids, because we all know the real “conservative” mantra is “I’ve got mine; fuck you.” And, see, she can go in and out of the workforce and not worry about, say, falling behind on her professional development or losing all of her client contacts to other people in the office or whatever, because hate never goes out of style and always brings in new customers. All so easy for a woman who knows how to pick her line of work, like Schlafly.

  27. Lynn Gazis-Sax
    Lynn Gazis-Sax March 30, 2007 at 11:29 am |

    OK, thanks, rachel. Sorry for jumping the gun while your post was in moderation. Yeah, that law sucks.

  28. Lynn Gazis-Sax
    Lynn Gazis-Sax March 30, 2007 at 11:31 am |

    And thanks to R. Mildred as well. Ugh, that’s a lot of states in need of some legal reform.

  29. sunburned counsel
    sunburned counsel March 30, 2007 at 11:33 am |

    when I read this article to my husband, and let him know that apparently he owns my vagina, he cheerfully replied that, in that case, he’d like to wallpaper it. Awesome.

  30. anna
    anna March 30, 2007 at 11:35 am |

    I think one thing the ERA will do is end gender-norming; that is, end setting a passing score on a physical fitness test lower for women than for men, as they do in the military and sometimes when qualifying for jobs like firefighter, etc. I suppose some women won’t like this, but I think it will be the thing that finally forces people like Schafly to admit some women can meet the standard in professions seen as masculine.

  31. mythago
    mythago March 30, 2007 at 11:44 am |

    anna, do you also look forward to the military eliminating age-norming?

  32. Jill
    Jill March 30, 2007 at 11:46 am | *

    I think Schlafly has a point here. After all, if I’m married and I take the car that my husband bought in his own name, take his credit cards out of his wallet, take the checkbook that is linked to only his bank account, and take myself and some girlfriends on a trip to Vegas, it’s not like I’ve stolen anything, right? I mean, I did exchange access to my vagina for access to his finances. What’s the problem?

  33. The Happy Feminist
    The Happy Feminist March 30, 2007 at 11:57 am |

    I have always understood age and gender norming to apply to requirements that measure general physical fitness. They want to make sure you aren’t going to die from a heart attack while you are dragging the fire hose. If you are unable to drag the fire house, that’s a separate issue.

  34. Jill
    Jill March 30, 2007 at 11:59 am | *

    I think one thing the ERA will do is end gender-norming; that is, end setting a passing score on a physical fitness test lower for women than for men, as they do in the military and sometimes when qualifying for jobs like firefighter, etc. I suppose some women won’t like this, but I think it will be the thing that finally forces people like Schafly to admit some women can meet the standard in professions seen as masculine.

    I’d like to see them create a fitness test that is actually relevant to the kind of work that they do, and that isn’t inherently sex-biased. That is, why does it matter if you can do 100 push-ups? Why are the indicators of strength disproportionately focused on upper-body strength? Universalizing the test doesn’t help if the test is biased to begin with.

  35. R. Mildred
    R. Mildred March 30, 2007 at 12:09 pm |

    They want to make sure you aren’t going to die from a heart attack while you are dragging the fire hose.

    But they’re the minimum standard of fitness for entrance into those professions generally – so if women only need to carry X amount of weight during their fitness test, then men should have to carry that much weight at a minimum as well, instead of having to carry Y amount extra because men are just so much stronger than women or any of that nonsense.

    Gender norming is sexist, and is designed to make female firefighters and soldiers (though they aren’t allowed to do frontline combat duty anyway, so it matters less) seem less capable, and poison their relationships with their coworkers, when they either A) can do the male test just as readily, or B) the male test can be lowered to the same level as the female test.

    Either way gender norming is done away with.

    Age norming is complete different.

  36. R. Mildred
    R. Mildred March 30, 2007 at 12:11 pm |

    That is, why does it matter if you can do 100 push-ups?

    Well one of the firefighter tests (AFAIK) requires you to run a course that includes a multistory building while carrying weights – women have to carry less weight than men, despite the fact that any female firefighter could easily do that course with teh same weights as men

  37. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne March 30, 2007 at 12:31 pm |

    She thinks she really just pulled herself up-by-the-bootstraps in life, and that anyone who doesn’t have success is just a whiny, morally failed person.

    Isn’t this the defining characteristic of all conservatives?

  38. Equine Shine » Rape is rape.
    Equine Shine » Rape is rape. March 30, 2007 at 12:34 pm |

    [...] were tainted by sex, not that it was against their will. And they certainly aren’t married, says Phyllis Schlafly: By getting married, the woman has con [...]

  39. r@d@r
    r@d@r March 30, 2007 at 12:41 pm |

    as i’m sure all the women here who have given birth will agree…and those few of us men who were allowed to witness it…..

    THAT is some s**t a man CANNOT do. that push that brings a human being into the world? we are JUST NOT STRONG ENOUGH….uh, “down there”. even if we did have the right equipment.

    if a man tried to push that hard – i’m sorry, he’d blow a gasket.

    period. i will not cede this argument. women are physically stronger than men in terms of core strength. they are physically stronger in terms of endurance, including enduring pain.

    men just have more testosterone, and have trained themselves to hit harder with their fists; but that’s just chemicals + socialization.

  40. mythago
    mythago March 30, 2007 at 12:43 pm |

    Age norming is complete different.

    Why? The issue is fitness to do the job, so why do we hold older people to a lower standard? “All right, you can’t do 100 push-ups, but you’re 35, so we’ll let the twenty-year-olds drag the hose for you.” Huh?

  41. mythago
    mythago March 30, 2007 at 12:46 pm |

    Oh, and if my husband owns my pussy, he can damn well take it in for the regular maintenance for a change.

  42. Viveth
    Viveth March 30, 2007 at 1:00 pm |

    Of course let’s not forget those female pilots that out-performed male pilots when being tested for the first space flight program:

    The Mercury 13

  43. Jill
    Jill March 30, 2007 at 1:05 pm | *

    Zuzu hates pilots.

  44. mythago
    mythago March 30, 2007 at 1:23 pm |

    They used to give me a sticker, but the glue didn’t hold up too well.

  45. Raine
    Raine March 30, 2007 at 1:38 pm |

    She came to my school a couple years ago. At the time I had no idea who she was, but she was brought by the College Republicans. A lot of people went to hear her. (I remember my friends and I getting quite angry as we listened to her). Near the end one student raised her hand and said, in response to Schlafly’s comments about women in the troops, that her sister was in the Marines (I believe) and had not only been able to physically match her fellow Marines (male and female), but had also completed training at the top of her class (or however that works with the Marines–it’s been awhile so I don’t remember the details). Schlafly’s response was to say, “I didn’t hear you very well, but I think you said something about a hypothetical situation in which women could match men physically…”

  46. The Happy Feminist
    The Happy Feminist March 30, 2007 at 1:44 pm |

    By the way, I don’t have a stake in defending or going against gender norming because I don’t know enough about how it works or its history.

    R. Mildred’s comment about gender norming being sexist reminds me of the discussion in Collette Dowling’s book The Frailty Myth about the Presidential Physical Fitness test for gradeschoolers — the standards for boys were automatically made higher than for girls even in areas where there were no differences between boys’ and girls’ abilities at that age (something I always suspected as an angry fourth grader determined to hit the boys’ standards).

  47. Laurie
    Laurie March 30, 2007 at 1:50 pm |

    I think we need to follow her around to her speaking engagements (in shifts, if necessary, or by region) and make sure to get *on mike* at her Q&A portion (assuming she has them). We then ask where she would be without the right to vote, the right to have gone to school, the right to own her own property/NOT have to hand her salary directly over to her husband, etc. Make real pains in the ass of ourselves, on film/video and in print as often as possible. See if we can MAKE HER admit that feminism has done anything, any tiny scrap of a thing, for her. Once she admits that, her other arguments have a fundamental flaw that ANYONE (except perhaps the willfully ignorant) should be able to see.

    Yeah. Unfortunately, I don’t know anyone who has the time/resources/stomach to do the work. But anyone who does may feel free to use my idea, copyright free, with no acknowledgment needed. Please, have at.

    Signing off, tired and rather depressed by the world as a whole lately, Laurie in MN

  48. mythago
    mythago March 30, 2007 at 1:52 pm |

    Paper mats? Heck, last time they gave me a little pine-tree-shaped deodorant pad.

  49. Dr William Dyer
    Dr William Dyer March 30, 2007 at 2:00 pm |

    An interesting question I would like to hear from Phyllis Schlafly on is that while humans do have sexual dimorphism, what happens when there is a difference between chromosomal and phenotypic sex? All sorts of things can happen between the genes one has and the expression of said genes. I’d like to know how Phyllis accounts for those people and the roles/jobs they be given in our society.

    My curiosity for her answer stems somewhat from having come across her Eagle Forum University. Very interesting to see her analysis on all sorts of things. The legal understanding there leaves me wondering why she has not found a home in this administration with Gonzo and his Justice Department.

  50. ekf
    ekf March 30, 2007 at 2:09 pm |

    Laurie, I think it would be more fun to tweak her on her own level by asking her questions like:

    I understand that in marriage I give my husband control over my body, but he’s really into [stage whisper] anal sex [/stage whisper], and I only believe in procreative sex. He takes me in my sleep and it really makes it hard for me to care for the children sometimes. What can I do to make him stop? – or –

    Because I am traditional and am aware of my inherent physical inferiority, I chose a job as a waitress, but my boss wants me to carry heavy buckets of ice and large trays of food. How can I get him to understand that waitressing is for women, and so women should not be asked to carry heavy things? – or –

    Like you, Mrs. Schlafly, I raised a gay son, but I also have a straight daughter, thank the Lord, and she has given me a grandson. What have you learned from your mistakes as a mother that I can pass along to my daughter, so that she doesn’t raise her son to be gay like we did?

    I’m sure wittier folk than I can come up with other questions that would answer her aggression with a delightful cocktail of aggression dressed up as passive-aggression. The rightists know how to deal with being confronted. They’re practiced at it. But it’s clear they don’t really know how to deal with the Colbert-Report-esque level of earnest irony, so it would be funny to see how it being employed at her Q&A would trip her up.

  51. Kat
    Kat March 30, 2007 at 2:35 pm |

    The last sentence of your post is quite disturbing–having serious difficulty processing the image of you as a housewife. ;-]

  52. Doc
    Doc March 30, 2007 at 2:44 pm |

    I’m kind of surprised that “Schla-face” didn’t sprinkle in some racism for good measure. Are you SURE she didn’t say that Asian Americans shouldn’t be in the military “’cause their all traitors, and they are too damn short for humvees too”? Perhaps she suggested allowing discrimination against “teh Mexicans” in construction work because they take too many siestas under the shade of a cactus and sombrero.

    I figure she is a Highlander that won the contest by lopping off here competitors’ heads with her razor-sharp nonsequiturs and mind-exploding illogic. Thankfully, there can be only one.

  53. Bird
    Bird March 30, 2007 at 2:46 pm |

    men just have more testosterone, and have trained themselves to hit harder with their fists; but that’s just chemicals + socialization.

    I have some broken boards here on my bookshelf that say it’s mostly training/socialization.

    There are days I’d be happy to give Schlafly a demonstration of that fact.

  54. Natalia
    Natalia March 30, 2007 at 3:04 pm |

    “I’ve got mine; fuck you.”

    I want to stitch that on a pink accent pillow, and send it to Phyllis for Christmas.

  55. bekabot
    bekabot March 30, 2007 at 3:13 pm |

    “Women in combat are a hazard to other people around them.”

    And why would this be? Well, three reasons are offered. Let’s take them in sequential order, shall we?

    1. ““They aren’t tall enough to see out of the trucks.”
    At the risk of being impolite, and speaking as a shortish woman, I have a suggestion to make, which is: Crank up the seat, you stupid old cow.

    2. “They’re not strong enough to carry their buddy off the battlefield if he’s wounded.”

    This seems to me to be a fairer point. On the other hand, how much carrying of wounded buddies off the battlefield actually takes place during a military engagement? Those among my relations and acquaintances who have known military service tell me that the duties of soldier are twofold: first, to salute, and second, to shoot. Women can perform both tasks.

    And, finally (this one is my favorite):

    3. “They can’t bark out orders loudly enough for everyone to hear.”

    Seriously, Mrs. Schlafly, have you ever heard yourself give a speech? If not, let me assure you that everybody present could hear everything you had to say, and that none of your dicta sounded like tentative suggestions.

    So…we have three reasons given by Mrs. Schlafly in support of her notion that women are unfit for combat. Of these three reasons, two turn out to be pretty flimsy, though one (the second) has some substance to it. Now, if two out of three ain’t bad, one out of three still ain’t good; one valid point out of three isn’t likely to carry the day. One would think that Mrs. Schlafly, a debating veteran of many years standing, could do better than this, and if she expects to keep women out of combat roles by force of argumentation alone, she’s going to have to.

    (For the record, I personally am not breathlessly eager to see other women on the front lines. But I’m even less eager to see women reason badly. I get annoyed when I hear, or when I think I hear, women offering up crock-of-clams arguments in support of their philosophical or political positions in the serene expectation that their grade-C performances will be accepted because nobody seriously expects that a uterus-bearer can do better. Call me touchy if you like, but that aggravates me. It aggravates me even more when the woman who is offering up arguments which are not even sophomoric is a gray feminine eminence who ought, in the event that she genuinely wants her notions to be widely adopted by women who are younger than she, to present herself as a plausible spokesperson for her ideas, and to leave the gotcha-made-ya-look agent-provocateuse stuff for babes who have not deliberately invested themselves with so much dignity, Aqua Net, and eye shadow. JMO.)

  56. nik
    nik March 30, 2007 at 3:30 pm |

    Going off the ERA/SSM issue. I’ve always wondered about whether ERA is compatible with current Equal Pay legislation. Zuzu gives the standard reason why banning SSM is incompatible with ERA “telling someone that they can marry a man but not a woman is a distinction based on sex”.

    Wouldn’t that reasoning hit equal pay too? If you’re a woman doing the same job as a man and being paid less you can sue under equal pay legislation, but if you’re a woman doing the same job as a woman and being paid less you can’t – because the law gives you the right to be paid the same as someone of the opposite sex. Not a general right to be paid equally to anyone doing the same job. Obviously, this was a deliberate choice to prevent certain type of lawsuits.

    I don’t know if this is right, I’m genuinely wondering. But I can’t see how distinctions based on sex are different in equal pay law and marriage law and why they wouldn’t be hit the same way. BTW I’m not saying broadening equal pay legislation would be a bad thing, just wondering if there’s an issue.

  57. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth March 30, 2007 at 3:37 pm |

    I gotta ask, what trucks are so tall that there is no possible way I can see out of them when I am meant to?

    And wouldn’t I generally drive them or something…? You know, like when you sit in a car and drive. Wouldn’t the problem be the length of my legs, in which case you move the seat forward (my Mom is 5 feet tall and this is her only problem with an large vehicles.)

    Also, I am better at things like dragging than my brother is. He is better at things like riding bikes, I am good at things like dragging wagons full of my little sisters, which adds up to a lot of weight. Truthfully, to be a stay at home mom muscle is necessary, this lady is just absurd to think otherwise. I live in a family of 5 kids, I know how these things work.

  58. Ismone
    Ismone March 30, 2007 at 4:14 pm |

    Some of the best men I knew in the military were at or about my height–5’6″. I won’t name names, but there was two who went to Marine Corps. bulldog training at my height, one who was the boxing champ (he was about an inch shorter than me), one who was exactly my height who was training for spec. ops. and could bench 250% of his weight (and he was so hot!), and one who was the biggest badass in my basic class who was my height. (I know this because you march in height order, and he was already in front of me.) Oh, and that subordinate of mine who was slightly shorter who was on a skydiving team.

    So none of this heightest crap.

    As far as fitness tests, I have no problem with men and women being held to the same standard, as long as the standard has something to do with the work. So I am a much bigger fan of tests that mimic actual conditions rather than pushup type tests. One thing that pissed me off was that until several years ago, my branch of the military had a higher situps max. for women, because we could do significantly more situps then the men. (Which I learned during training sessions when my roomie and I felt like beating the crap out of our trainees.) The woman’s max. was significantly under what our real max. was, and then they adjusted the men’s max. upward so they wouldn’t be trailing us. In short, argh.

  59. Rosasharn
    Rosasharn March 30, 2007 at 4:16 pm |

    I thought the “women are too short to be in the military” comment hilarious. It’s such a perfect example of the absurdity of stereotyping. How can anyone seriously argue that a specific demographic group is too short to do something?

  60. Ismone
    Ismone March 30, 2007 at 4:17 pm |

    There *were* two.

  61. Lesley Plum
    Lesley Plum March 30, 2007 at 4:21 pm |

    As far as fitness tests, I have no problem with men and women being held to the same standard, as long as the standard has something to do with the work. So I am a much bigger fan of tests that mimic actual conditions rather than pushup type tests.

    This is exactly my view on it. Figure out a real physical test for the work to be performed and then anyone who wants to do the work has to pass the realistic test. I get a bit leery when someone just suggests “Have men and women pass the same test” without any condition for the test having to be realistic. It’s not like we live in a culture where you can reasonably expect that any old physical test won’t favor men. The easiest way to make a test realistic is to have them actually do the work in question for the average length of time it would really be done.

  62. mythago
    mythago March 30, 2007 at 4:46 pm |

    I’ve always wondered about whether ERA is compatible with current Equal Pay legislation.

    Which specific Equal Pay legislation are you referring to?

    The ERA wouldn’t get rid of legislation that says ‘you can’t pay Job A less than Job B when they are pretty much the same job, except that more women do Job A and more men do Job B’.

  63. R. Mildred
    R. Mildred March 30, 2007 at 4:51 pm |

    On the other hand, how much carrying of wounded buddies off the battlefield actually takes place during a military engagement?

    Since I think it was vietnam, US military uniforms have had a discrete little loop on the back of the neck that’s there specifically for being grabbed and used to drag wounded soldiers out of battle with.

    However, it’s not that hard a task really.

    I gotta ask, what trucks are so tall that there is no possible way I can see out of them when I am meant to?

    Well the military uses new giraffe driven trucks these days, because the greater neck height allows them to see potential enemies from further away than the old human ones.

  64. Lynn Gazis-Sax
    Lynn Gazis-Sax March 30, 2007 at 7:51 pm |

    It strikes me that if there were trucks so constructed that people my height couldn’t see out of them, even after adjusting the seats all they could, we’d be looking at a deliberate manufacturing decision to make trucks that most women and a sizeable minority of men couldn’t drive, rather than some eternal truth about what women are capable of doing.

    On the other hand, as a Quaker, I hold no position, as a matter of principle, about how combat troops are chosen, regardless of what trucks they are equipped with.

  65. Tricia(freya)
    Tricia(freya) March 30, 2007 at 9:27 pm |

    Ismone: Yeah, I was reading this thread when my Japanese-American co-worker stopped by — my barely over 5′, might weigh 100lbs. soaking wet, just managed to finish his commitment before this last round of stop-lossing got so bad, former Army Reserves Staff Sergeant, co-worker.

    I could pick him up and put him over my shoulder if he let me, but he is hell on wheels when he wants to be.

  66. Laurie
    Laurie March 30, 2007 at 11:22 pm |

    Ms. Schlafly has also never met some of the women up here in the northland — my step sister is 6’1 1/2″ *barefoot*. I’m pretty sure she’s tall enough to drive damn near anything she wants to. *grin*

    And she has obviously never heard a) my ex-ROTC, currently in Army Reserves, college roommate, b) my dance teacher, or c) ME when we actually project our voices properly. (I have actually startled people when I decide I need to be heard over, say 12 other women all talking at once.) Women can’t bark orders my ASS!!!

    ekf:
    I *like* your passive-aggressive tactics! :) But of course I would — I grew up in Little Scandinavia, aka Minneapolis. We don’t like to be assertive, here. *ack!* I’m thinking they just might work on her…. *grin!*

  67. Laurie
    Laurie March 30, 2007 at 11:22 pm |

    Ms. Schlafly has also never met some of the women up here in the northland — my step sister is 6’1 1/2″ *barefoot*. I’m pretty sure she’s tall enough to drive damn near anything she wants to. *grin*

    And she has obviously never heard a) my ex-ROTC, currently in Army Reserves, college roommate, b) my dance teacher, or c) ME when we actually project our voices properly. (I have actually startled people when I decide I need to be heard over, say 12 other women all talking at once.) Women can’t bark orders my ASS!!!

    ekf:
    I *like* your passive-aggressive tactics! :) But of course I would — I grew up in Little Scandinavia, aka Minneapolis. We don’t like to be assertive, here. *ack!* I’m thinking they just might work on her…. *grin!*

  68. Laurie
    Laurie March 30, 2007 at 11:23 pm |

    Sorry for the double posting — got an error message. D’oh!

  69. Random Observer 3
    Random Observer 3 March 31, 2007 at 1:36 am |

    This is a good example of argument by proxy, rather than a real argument.

    Women in combat are a hazard to other people around them,” she said. “They aren’t tall enough to see out of the trucks, they’re not strong enough to carry their buddy off the battlefield if he’s wounded, and they can’t bark out orders loudly enough for everyone to hear.”

    It is certainly true that women are in general shorter and less strong than men. However the real argument to make here is that every driver in the army should be able to see out of a truck and that every soldier be strong enough to help a fallen comrade. Which is quite reasonable but has nothing to do specifically with women.

    Being tall enough is a job qualification. Being male isn’t.

    Random Observer 3 shorter: I’d rather have Nicole Kidman driving the truck than Tom Cruise. (Her feet would reach the pedals)

  70. ginmar
    ginmar March 31, 2007 at 9:12 am |

    I don’t know what in hell kind of truck she’s talking about and I’ve driven Jeeps, Humvees, cutvees, and the Deuce—which is a two and a half ton truck. I’m five three. Oh, wait, then again, I’m not talking about of my ass either.

  71. heocwaeth
    heocwaeth March 31, 2007 at 9:27 am |

    they’re not strong enough to carry their buddy off the battlefield if he’s wounded

    So, women can’t be nurses.

  72. anna
    anna March 31, 2007 at 10:49 am |

    As long as women are not held to the same physical standard men are (and perhaps that standard should be lower than the current male standard, but it should be the same for everybody) people will be able to say women are getting special privileges, and people will say that without that privilege, women couldn’t succeed in such jobs.

    If women want respect, they have to earn it the same as a man. If a group of men who could lift 150 pounds were allowed to be firefighters, while another group had to lift 200, no one would respect the first group, regardless of their real abilities.

  73. mythago
    mythago March 31, 2007 at 11:06 am |

    Still waiting to hear why you think age norming is acceptable, anna.

    Oh, right–because you don’t genuinely think women are as worthy of respect as men, and sexism is based on an objective, realistic assessment of women’s inferiority.

    I have an acquaintance–not somebody I would describe as feminist at all–who wanted to be a firefighter. Being a proactive sort of lad, he went around to various firehouses to ask them what they looked for in a candidate, what they suggested he concentrate on most, etc. At one, a fireman took him aside and told him not to worry about the test, because while it was pretty stringent, “we mostly just use it to keep the broads out.”

  74. evil fizz
    evil fizz March 31, 2007 at 11:52 am | *

    If women want respect, they have to earn it the same as a man.

    And why is deadlifting a certain amount of weight the only criteria for respect? If you can do the job, what’s the problem?

  75. MikeEss
    MikeEss March 31, 2007 at 12:00 pm |

    “And why is deadlifting a certain amount of weight the only criteria for respect? If you can do the job, what’s the problem?”

    The real question is: Even if the requirement is shown to be necessary, and there are women who can meet it, what are the odds other “requirements” will suddenly materialize that those women will not be able to meet?

    There needs to be some kind of independent overview of this stuff to ensure reasonableness and fairness…

  76. anna
    anna March 31, 2007 at 12:01 pm |

    I think we need to design physical fitness tests that accurately reflect what is necessary to do the job, and we need to apply them to everyone, regardless of gender or age.

    If you want to insist this means I don’t respect women, fine.

  77. Matt
    Matt March 31, 2007 at 12:05 pm |

    I have to agree with Random Observer 3. The requirements should be universal. I agree that military fitness tests are antiquated, but they are a general, if not relevant, indicator of strength. I’m a powerlifter, and I don’t know many who can bench a ton but can’t do a chin-up. Now there are many who can bench a ton and can’t squat for shit, so I’d be worried about them being able to pull me off a battlefield. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t feel comfortable trusting my life to someone who gets to bypass the normal requirements just because she has a vagina. Especially if she couldn’t otherwise meet that requirement. The military definitely needs to change their fitness tests to reflect real-world applications of strength, but the new requirements should apply to all. If it takes a 200lb squat to drag/carry the average soldier out of harm’s way, then everyone should have to squat 200lbs. Weak men don’t make it and strong women do. If you have to be 5’8″ to see out of a tank, you’ve gotta be 5’8.” Short men don’t make it and tall women do.

  78. Matt
    Matt March 31, 2007 at 12:26 pm |

    Upon looking at the most recent comments, I realize that the deadlift would be a much better indicator of being able to drag something. And also, I wouldn’t feel comfortable with requirements that reflect the bare minimum required to perform a task. I would want to stand side by side with someone who I know could drag 100 wounded men to safety if need be. This, of course, would be problematic because the number of troops fit for combat would drop drastically. This ain’t Sparta. And then women would cry foul about the requirements being unnecessarily high. I suppose weaker/out of shape men would also fall into this category.

    And r@d@r, nobody buys into that horseshit. I’ll be damned if any woman has more “core strength” than I do based on her ability to deliver a child vaginally. If this is the basis for women thinking they have more endurance, I’d like to see them complete a marathon in a time that would rival the winning man, or bench 225 with as many reps as the college boys do at the NFL combine. It’s a cheap shot, I know. But I’m not going to have faith in your ability to drag my 250lb body anywhere based on childbirth.

  79. evil fizz
    evil fizz March 31, 2007 at 12:39 pm | *

    If you have to be 5′8″ to see out of a tank, you’ve gotta be 5′8.”

    Not to beat the dead horse or anything here, but is there some sort of intrinsic reason *why* tanks have to be designed so you’ve got to be 5’8″? I could see the argument for height requirements for certain kinds of fighter planes or submarines, but tanks?

    This, of course, would be problematic because the number of troops fit for combat would drop drastically

    You know that only 15% of the population meets the current standards, right?

  80. evil fizz
    evil fizz March 31, 2007 at 12:40 pm | *

    f this is the basis for women thinking they have more endurance, I’d like to see them complete a marathon in a time that would rival the winning man, or bench 225 with as many reps as the college boys do at the NFL combine. It’s a cheap shot, I know.

    You know, for someone who professes to know a lot about weight lifting, I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what core strength refers to.

  81. Matt
    Matt March 31, 2007 at 12:42 pm |

    @evil fizz

    I agree with the tank issue. They should be designed so that they can accommodate drivers of varying heights. But since they’re already in use, it’s spilled milk. Perhaps new tanks could be made this way.

    And 15% of what population? The country or the military? I hope you don’t mean 15% of the US population, because that’s 45 million people.

  82. Matt
    Matt March 31, 2007 at 12:49 pm |

    @evil fizz:

    I have a very good understanding of what core strength refers to. But core strength alone, with no strength in the limbs, is useless. Someone who can do 500 crunches and 500 hyperextensions could perhaps only squat an Olympic bar. Core strength != battlefield strength. I am not in the military, so I can’t speak from personal experience. But no one has a solid deadlift and no core strength.

    As far as the larger issue, is Schlafly married? I would hate for her husband to take advantage of the irony. Or maybe I wouldn’t hate it.

  83. mythago
    mythago March 31, 2007 at 12:58 pm |

    Well, Matt, I’m not going to have any faith in your ability to drag a 250# body anywhere based on your ability to pee standing up.

    Still waiting for somebody to justify the military’s age-norming.

    I think we need to design physical fitness tests that accurately reflect what is necessary to do the job, and we need to apply them to everyone, regardless of gender or age.

    When you start your campaign to get the military to eliminate age-norming, I’ll be right behind you. In the meantime, you should drop the useless prattling about how women need to EARN their respect and my gosh, nobody would be sexist except that the ladies keep asking for special treatment.

  84. mythago
    mythago March 31, 2007 at 1:04 pm |

    Heh. My husband is eternally grateful that I was turned down for the Reserves before things really started to go to hell in a handbasket. “Otherwise, they probably would have waved you in, and you’d be in Iraq right now!”

    I keep telling him they don’t generally stick lawyers on the front lines, but he has a point.

  85. Matt
    Matt March 31, 2007 at 1:06 pm |

    Touche, Mythago. But I would pass the tests and therefore prove my strength. Not that many question it anyway.

    As far as age-norming, I agree. If you pass the tests (physical, mental, etc.), you should be in. I know some older folks that can still kick my ass and probably mentally multiply while doing it.

  86. mythago
    mythago March 31, 2007 at 1:43 pm |

    As far as age-norming, I agree. If you pass the tests (physical, mental, etc.), you should be in.

    “Age-norming” means that the requirements are lowered because of age. The physical fitness standards (push-ups, sit-ups, two-mile run) are grouped by age in the military. Yet nobody complains that we should make forty-year-old soldiers meet the same standards as eighteen-year-old soldiers. Nobody says that middle-aged military personnel are less deserving of respect because they don’t have to be in as good shape as the young’uns.

  87. Kat
    Kat March 31, 2007 at 1:52 pm |

    Actually, cockpits are kind of small, so maximum height requirements make more sense.

    I believe they do a “seated” height for pilots and air crew… I knew guys in college who were on the fast track to be pilots (ROTC) that ended up getting kicked from the program because even though they had steller qualifications and met standard for standing height, they were too tall when they were sitting.

    My ex-husband was a submariner. I don’t remember hearing anything about them excluding anyone for being too tall, but the taller or stockier guys had a hard time with the tight spaces, especially the racks (beds.) I don’t know that being too short or too small was an issue–I think the more important factor was having the intelligence to run the computer systems onboard.

    My second husband was a Marine, he drove a 5 1/2-ton and 7-ton truck. These trucks were enormous… My husband happens to be 6’2″ but a lot of his fellow drivers were shorter than me (I’m 5′ 10″) and quite possibly 5’5″ or so. They didn’t strike me a “big men”. Marines in general seemed to be, to me anyhow, pretty average in stature.

    So anyway, my point is that average to short people are already doing a lot of these military jobs and in some cases smaller is actually better. When she talks about how women aren’t big enough to do these jobs, I’m wondering what size she imagines most male soldiers/sailors/marines to be? Its really just using size to exclude gender, and its really off from what is the reality in the military today anyhow. By her reckoning, it seems a lot of men that are already doing the job would be excluded for lack of height/stature.

    As for the age factor. I went to a manning briefing once and they talked about how the Marine Corps is a young force which is a function of its mission–they need young, strong bodies and aim for lower reenlistment rates then other services because they only need a few seasoned Marines to lead the younger troops and to man the support commands. In contrast, services like the Navy or Air Force need to retain personnel with technical expertise, so they encourage reenlistment at higher rates.

  88. Roy
    Roy March 31, 2007 at 2:02 pm |

    I can tell you from personal experience that being really tall in a tank is not advantageous. You don’t have to be tall to see out of a tank, and anyone who suggests that you do is lying. The cockpit of a tank is very tight. You can be tall and sit inside one, but it’s not comfortable. It’s rather advantageous to be kind of on the short side if you’re going to be hanging out in a tank, because they don’t want to create a cockpit with a lot of extra space- they want it to be as low to the ground and small as possible while still meeting the mission requirement.

  89. Ledasmom
    Ledasmom March 31, 2007 at 3:54 pm |

    I’ll be damned if any woman has more “core strength” than I do based on her ability to deliver a child vaginally. If this is the basis for women thinking they have more endurance, I’d like to see them complete a marathon in a time that would rival the winning man, or bench 225 with as many reps as the college boys do at the NFL combine

    At last year’s Boston Marathon, the top woman finished at 26th overall. That is, ahead of the vast majority of men who ran that race. In 2004, the top woman finished thirteenth. Close enough for you?

  90. Matt
    Matt March 31, 2007 at 6:47 pm |

    I stand corrected.

  91. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne March 31, 2007 at 7:11 pm |

    If this is the basis for women thinking they have more endurance, I’d like to see them complete a marathon in a time that would rival the winning man …

    This year’s Los Angeles Marathon:

    Men’s winning time (Fred Mogaka): 2:17:14
    Women’s winning time (Ramilia Burangolova): 2:37:54

    The winning woman came in 16th overall (and, interestingly, was 20 years older than the male winner).

    What’s next, asking us when there will finally be a woman Grandmaster in chess?

  92. Henry Holland
    Henry Holland March 31, 2007 at 8:48 pm |

    but of course, nobody could imagine in those days that Teh Gays would want to get married!

    I’m old enough to remember the Gay Liberation Front/Mattachine Society days of the early 70’s and I guarantee you, gay marriage was about 1,487th on the list of priorties for gay activists back then; for example, homosexuality was still listed as a mental illness in by the American Psychiatric Association in 1972, that was a more pressing concern. In fact, marriage was seen as a tool of the patriarchy and that it forced people in to outdated roles and saddled them with rules that were a maze of contradicitions. I know a lot of gay activists now try to link GLBT issues with the civil rights struggle in the 1950’s/60’s, but I’ve long felt that most GLBT issues are more at home in feminism.

  93. It's Me... Maven
    It's Me... Maven April 1, 2007 at 2:01 am |

    Am I the first one to suggest that if Mrs. Shlafly VOTES in any election, she’s a hypocrite?

  94. maja
    maja April 1, 2007 at 1:48 pm |

    Oh, she and her fellow Conservative women can vote, as long as they follow the guidance of their husbands.

    Odd how the female vote is never really an issue anymore in those circles.

  95. prairielily
    prairielily April 2, 2007 at 3:27 pm |

    You know, in the old days, they used to say women were too short to fly planes. There are probably people who still say that.

    I’m pretty short, and I commented to my boyfriend the other day that if the airbag released while I was driving, it would hit me pretty hard because I’m so close to the wheel. He’s an engineer, and told me that he thinks more women should be engineers, because then everything wouldn’t be designed from the perspective of men.

    And isn’t that how the whole world is designed? From the perspective of men?

    That probably didn’t really make sense, but I’m sick right now.

  96. Laurie
    Laurie April 2, 2007 at 4:03 pm |

    prairielilly:
    Made perfect sense because at 5’2″, I’m in *exactly* the same boat. Cars. Restaurant booths. Desks. CHAIRS. And I mean ALL of them! *sigh!*

    I get that things are designed with the “average” height in mind, but “average” for women is defined as 5’6″. In wedding wear, they assume a 3″ heel, too! :P This is pretty odd given the large number of very, very short women I see every day, and not just as an alterationist.

    I think you BF is onto something — tell him we feminists like his way of thinking! :D

  97. arvan
    arvan April 3, 2007 at 2:25 pm |

    I, for one, am glad to see the E.R.A. back again.

    There is no good to come from the extended bullying of women and gays in our world. I fully expect complete jackasses like hateful men in positions of governmental and religious power and their well-heeled women accomplices to step up and tell us all that the end of the world is upon us for letting women and gays have a decent life in a country where they pay taxes too.

    The desire for a society where women and gays have no voice in society is already fulfilled in numerous countries throughout the world. The benefits and “moral high ground” of these cultures include mutilation, murder, child rape, forced prostitution, lack of education, disease, murder of women children, complete absence of human rights in daily life and court of law, abject poverty for entire countries and regions, hatred, fear and war.

    The future success of human beings living together on this planet lies at the end of each person living in dignity and freedom under the rule of law and not the benevolence of a supposed god or the male representative (self-appointed) of. I fully expect to be called a liberal (which is much worse a name than anything else, it seems). Hate mongers mean to scare and imprison us, so that they can retain a hold on us to reap our taxes and purchases.

    I, for one, refuse to comply.

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