>Nevada senatorial candidate Sharron Angle was pleased to tell primary election voters that she had secured the endorsement of Phyllis Schlafly and the Eagle Forum. Schlafly is still heading the opposition to what she and her group consider “radical feminism.” The definition of that phrase is contentious. Interestingly enough, only three elements of the current Eagle Forum web site litany address “radial feminism” directly: [Eagle Forum]
We support constitutional amendments and federal and state legislation to protect the institution of marriage and the equally important roles of father and mother.We honor the fulltime homemaker and her rights in joint income tax returns. Parsing along the way: “protect the institution of marriage,” evidently means heterosexual unions exclusively. How this connects to “feminism” is a stretch, it does, however, link easily to the Eagle Forum’s ultra-conservative perspective. “Equally important roles of father and mother.” Again, this sounds like opposition to gay marriage and unions, with a dose of “stereotypical” gender roles; missing the point that men in marriages with more equal divisions of total workloads and child care, live longer, are generally healthier, and enjoy better sex. [CBS] No one, at least no one recently, has suggested the return to the days of the “marriage penalty,” though this artifact remains on the Eagle Forum list.
We oppose the feminist goals of stereotyping men as a constant danger to women, while at the same time pushing women into military combat against foreign enemies. (1) Who says men are a constant danger to women? However, the statistics are clear in terms of physical danger. One in six women may be the victim of a sexual assault during their lifetimes, compared to one in thirty three males. We also know that about 60% of sexual assaults go unreported, but that the reporting of rapes and sexual assaults has (thankfully) increased since 1993. [RAINN] The initial statement constitutes a straw man argument, and has been corrupted in some quarters to mean that if a woman “dresses provocatively” she “led him on.” Realistically, some men are dangerous to women, no matter how the lady might be clad; and, no matter the woman’s age or socio-economic categorization. Unfortunately, there are some males who are simply dangerous – to themselves and others. Modernizing and rationalizing statutes on sexual assault, intimidation, and harassment, is helpful to both men and women, and doesn’t serve to sort the conservative from the liberal, but the perpetrators and the victims of any gender.
This isn’t the perspective displayed by Mrs. Schlafly in a recent post: “A good Father’s Day gift would be to reform the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), make it gender-neutral, and assure men that family courts will accord them constitutional rights equivalent to those enjoyed by murderers and robbers. VAWA will be coming up for its five-year reauthorization later this year, and that will be the time to hold balanced hearings and eliminate VAWA’s discrimination against men. VAWA illustrates the hypocrisy of noisy feminist demands that we kowtow to their ideology of gender neutrality, to their claim that there is no difference between male and female, and to their opposition to stereotyping and gender profiling. VAWA is based on the proposition that there are, indeed, innate gender differences: men are naturally batterers and women are naturally victims.” There’s a little problem with the logic herein. How should one seek to make the law “gender neutral” (first sentence above) and then castigate the law as “kowtowing to their ideology of gender neutrality?” Then, there are the statistics from the Department of Justice: “(a) While women are less likely than men to be victims of violent crimes overall, women are 5 to 8 times more likely than men to be victimized by an intimate partner. (b) Violence by an intimate partner accounts for about 21% of violent crime experienced by women and about 2 % of the violence experienced by men.
(2) The Eagle Forum hasn’t quite caught up to modern warfare either. With an all volunteer Armed Forces no one is forcing anyone to take up the occupation. The young men and women who serve us, and who are ready to give that “last full measure of devotion” on our behalf, are assigned to theaters of conflict in which 19th century definitions of “front” and “rear” no longer apply. The young woman driving a truck in the Middle East is “at the front,” just as a young man in a computer complex tucked in a “remote undisclosed location” working to prevent a cyber-attack is also “at the front.” Once more, the fundamental rhetoric of the Eagle Forum is more of an echo of an America decades ago than a clarion to future generations.
Eagle Forum successfully led the ten-year battle to defeat the misnamed Equal Rights Amendment with its hidden agenda of tax-funded abortions and same-sex marriages. Once more, the Eagle Forum looks backward rather than forward – except for the abortion and same sex unions message. If there was a ‘pro-abortion’ or ‘pro-marriage equality’ component in the ERA, it was certainly well hidden indeed, existing primarily in the minds of anti-modern opponents of the ERA. If there is one message that can taken from these three major elements of Eagle Forum philosophy on “radical feminism” it must be that the organization is out of step with current realities and out of date in terms of modern American life, roles, and occupational choices.
If the position statements of the Eagle Forum are antiquated, its filing of amicus briefs in recent court proceedings has been up to the minute. First, the filings have less to do with fighting “radical feminism” than with protecting property rights, gun rights, opposing bilingual education in Arizona, and alignment with the oil and fossil fuel industry and the hedge fund financial sector.
Ned Comer v. Murphy Oil USA — Eagle Forum filed an amicus curiae brief (PDF) in the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, May 7, 2010.
Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund urges the Fifth Circuit, sitting en banc, to end the silly lawsuit trying to recover money from energy and other companies for what is really a global warming hoax. Read our amicus brief explaining numerous reasons why the Court should throw out this global warming lawsuit. Judicial activism should not allow the looting of our productive, free enterprise system based on hokey, untestable theories of global warming. [Eagle Forum] (emphasis added)
Bilski v. Doll: Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund has filed an amicus brief in support of strong patent rights for inventors. Eagle Forum urges the Supreme Court to allow patents for useful new inventions even if they are not tied to a machine or physical transformation. Exactly how this particular case connects to a “family values” organization is a stretch because, “
The claim at bar is for a method of hedging commodities risk. Suppliers of goods would like to hedge their risk against a market drop in price; consumers of goods (such as manufacturers) would like to hedge their risk against a market increase in price. The pa-tent claim describes use of an intermediary, called the “commodity provider,” which would buy and sell at fixed prices as sought by the ultimate suppliers and consumers. The patent claim also extends beyond that to encompass the trading of options. The patent examiner rejected these claims (1-11) [Eagle Forum pdf] (emphasis added)
Mrs. Schlafly also offers some intriguing advice passed along from the Center for Marriage Policy, “Usher and McManus urge reforming welfare and child-support policies to remove financial incentives for non-marriage. Present policies of welfare-to-perpetual dependency should be replaced with policies that promote welfare-to-marriage because marriage is one of the best routes out of poverty. ” [Eagle Forum] (emphasis added) The image of the local social services and child welfare departments functioning as match-makers, adding shidduch to their list of duties is interesting if not quite credible. This might, however, increase employment levels for a community’s local shadchen?
Questions for the Candidate
(1) Does candidate Angle, in accepting and publicizing the endorsement of the Eagle Forum agree that the Violence Against Women Act should be repealed or significantly revised?
(2) Does candidate Angle, in accepting and publicizing the endorsement from the Eagle Forum agree that young women should not be “forced” by the military to accept assignments that might put them in harm’s way?
(3) Does candidate Angle, in accepting and publicizing the endorsement from the Eagle Forum, believe that global climate change is a hoax?
(4) Does candidate Angle, in accepting and publicizing the endorsement from the Eagle Forum, believe that hedge fund firms should be allowed to patent their investment models or strategies?
(5) Does candidate Angle, in accepting the endorsement of the Eagle Forum, believe that federal, state, or local laws should be changed to require welfare recipients to get married?
If any broadcast or print media outlet does get to interview Mrs. Angle — anywhere, at any time, by any entreaty imaginable — it might be nice to hear her answers to these questions.