Posted by: Donna
EDIT: Oops, sorry, the book is called Scorpions for Breakfast.
Howie Fischer reported that Governor Brewer claimed that President Obama’s recent moves on immigration may cause a delay in the completion of her much-awaited memoir, Breakfast with Scorpions. Hagiography writin’ and governorin’ are hard, as it turns out.
What caught my eye about Howie’s piece was this bit on Brewer’s
ghostwriter uh co-author Jessica Gavora:
“I have to pay for the people that are helping me,” she said. That includes co-writer Jessica Gavora, author of her own book criticizing federal laws against gender discrimination in funding high school sports.
Oh, this is going to be good, says I to myself. I vaguely remember Gavora for being married to right wing bloviator Jonah Goldberg and for being quite the bloviator in her own right with her screed about Title IX. I figured I’d see what else she’s gotten up to in the past few years and googled her. I found Gavora’s most recent career highlight (prior to the Brewer project) on a 2010 Human Events post called Exciting Books at a Crucial Time for Conservatives. The exciting book Gravora contributed to was Adam Bellow’s New Threats to Freedom.
Veteran conservative editor Adam Bellow (Illiberal Education, The Bell Curve, and Liberal Fascism) has put together a varied, interesting collection of different takes on current threats to our freedom. Threats anatomized in these essays range from “the new dogma of fairness”—the latest iteration of the inevitably destructive egalitarian imperative—through “the loss of the freedom to fail,” “bad political theater,” the UN Women’s Treaty, “the rise of antireligious orthodoxy,” ingratitude, complacency about liberty, “the urge to regulate” to Islamic shariah law. Playwright David Mamet, who announced his conversion from “brain-dead liberal” to conservative (and Thomas Sowell fan) before the 2008 election, eviscerates the “fairness doctrine.” Christopher Hitchens indicts multiculturalism. British M.P. (and Youtube sensation) Daniel Hannan exposes the European Union to well-deserved criticism. Jessica Gavora picks a very unlikely threat to our liberties—single women—and then makes a persuasive case that women are exchanging marriage for dependency on the state, and voting the way they live in such large numbers that the trend is endangering our entrepreneurial economy, the free market in medicine in America, and more.
I couldn’t get a Kindle version of Bellow’s important collection of freedom defending essays so I haven’t read entire Gravora’s argument yet but I can tell you that there’s nothing “unlikely” about a conservative blaming single women for society’s ills. It’s a longstanding conservative standby. Recall that the godmother of modern anti-feminism, Phyllis Schlafly, inveighed against single female Obama voters last year:
“Unmarried women, 70% of unmarried women, voted for Obama, and this is because when you kick your husband out, you’ve got to have big brother government to be your provider,” said Schlafly, president of Eagle Forum and infamous for her opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment.
Let’s examine the premises at work here:
1. Women can only exist in a perpetual state of dependency, either on men or welfare programs.
2. Despite our utter inability to figure out how to support ourselves, we women still possess amazing powers which include forcing men and/or governments to support us and acting en masse to destroy the free market, entrepreneurship, the health care system, and probably puppies and rainbows just for practice.
3. The concept of freedom, as understood by conservative pundits striving valiantly to preserve it, by definition does not extend to women. Freedom demands that women be placed properly under the supervision of husbands upon whom they depend for their survival, lest they unleash their formidable socialistic-single-woman-society-destroying capabilities upon the land!
Meanwhile, uppity liberal feminists maintain that continued discrimination and paternalistic attitudes present the biggest hurdles to women supporting themselves and families. But American women as a whole are better off than they were 50 years ago, prior to legalized contraception and abortion, equal pay laws, easier-to-obtain-divorce, domestic violence laws, more aggressive prosecution of rape, increased child support enforcement, etc. And yes, public assistance programs that prevent poor women and children from falling through the cracks into starvation because no amount of lecturing women on the benefits of traditional marriage will produce gainfully employed and eagerly supportive husbands. (Especially in an environment where many of the conservatives banging on and on about the magic of marriage also advocate for getting rid of minimum wages, labor unions, health insurance coverage, and just about everything that would enable a married couple to support a family nowadays.)
What’s most fascinating about this is that Gov. Brewer, who adopted that most iconic symbol of female empowerment, Rosie the Riveter, for her reelection campaign joined forces with someone with so dim a view of women as Jessica Gavora to help her write the book about how she overcame adversity to become a powerful and accomplished woman.
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