Lang’s Skokie office in 2006

Illinois cannot cope with the present, let alone with the future, so it’s fighting a symbolic battle from the past.

Here’s a little history lesson: In 1972 Congress submitted the Equal Rights Amendment to the state legislatures, which read:

Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.

There was a rush of states falling over year other to ratify would have been the 27th Amendment before the seven-year deadline for passage, which in an unprecedented move, was extended by Congress for an additional three years. Thirty-five states–nearly all of them did so in the first year after congressional passage–ratified the ERA. Then opposition, led by conservative firebrand Phyliss Schlafly, who ironically lived in Illinois at the time, focused on such concerns that in an ERA America, women would be eligible for a military draft and gender-specific bathrooms would be abolished.

Blogger with Schlafly in 2006

Illinois did not ratify the ERA.

Three states, in a move never tested in a federal court, later rescinded their ratifications. No states ratified the ERA during the extension period and the Equal Rights Amendment died in 1982, three states–or six–short of what was needed to be enacted.

Or did the ERA really die?

Last year, thirty-five years after the deadline expired, Nevada ratified the ERA. And last month the Illinois state Senate voted to do the same. In the House, Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), who nominally represents me in the lower chamber, is the sponsor for the ERA there. It’s a pet cause of Lang, a consummate left-wing political hack. He’s the House deputy majority leader, in reality, he’s the head waiter for House Speaker for Life Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), who Reuters says is “the man behind the fiscal fiasco in Illinois.” Where is Lang’s pension fix? Illinois has one of the worst-funded public-worker pension systems of the fifty states. Its credit rating is the lowest of any state ever. Why? Pensions of course. And those generous retirement plans are in reality deferred compensation in exchange for public-sector union support of the Democratic Party. Yes, a couple of Republican governors, Jim Thompson and Jim Edgar, are also partly culpable. Illinois’ pension bomb, both at the state and local level, and the tax hikes to attempt to pay down that debt, are a millstone for the state and the reason the Prairie State is suffering from declining population.

Other than more tax increases, Lang has no solution to solve the pension crisis. And yes, he’s definitely part of the problem as Lang has been a state legislator since 1987.

What to do?

If you’re Lang, you create a distraction with a nostalgic, for the left that is, flavor. Ratify the ERA. The Democratic nominee for governor, JB Pritzker, is on board.

Of course Congress could vote to pass, with identical wording, a new Equal Rights Amendment. Lang can just call his pal US Rep. Jan Schakowsky, his (and yes, my) representative in the US House. She’s an even bigger leftist than he is. Then the states can have another go-around. That’s what the our nation’s founders would want.

On the other hand, passing an constitutional amendment is very difficult to do. In 229 years it’s only been accomplished 27 times. But the US Constitution has in reality been amended thousands of times–by the courts. Same-sex marriage was legalized in such a manner, as was abortion.

Other than making women eligible for a military draft, what would the ERA do?

Ruins of a LaSalle, Illinois bridge

But that’s not the point. Liberals are obsessed with symbolism.

After the 9/11 attacks author Tom Clancy expressed this notion better, telling Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, “The political left is, you know, they deal in symbols rather than reality.”

The ERA is a symbol.

“The general difference between conservatives and liberals is liberals like pretty pictures and conservatives like to build bridges that people can drive across,” Clancy continued. “And conservatives are indeed conservative because if the bridge falls down, people die. Where as the liberals figure, oh, we can always build a nice memorial to them and make people forget it happened and it was our fault. They’re very good at making people forget it was their fault, all right.”

The ultimate blame for Illinois’ pension debacle and the resulting people-drain lies with the left.

And Illinois is a collapsed bridge.

Will passing the ERA make Illinoisans feel better?

John Ruberry is a fifth-generation Illinoisan, who, with a 401(k) plan, is funding his own retirement. He regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

I saw this tweet from RS McCain today:

In fact what the young lady had to say was so obvious that one wonders why it would need to be said aloud.

If we don’t give colleges the power to put the accused on trial and convict criminals for murder, why do we give them the power to do so for cases of sexual assault? It makes absolutely no sense at all, and violates the very constitutional rights that our nation was built on.

Given the amount of time he has taken studying the insanity that is gender studies and feminist tumbler that paragraph must have been a pleasure

I refuse to call myself a feminist who needs to accuse men of rape whenever I wake up next to a stranger and realize I got too drunk and made a poor decision out of MY OWN POOR JUDGMENT to quell my regret and self-confidence issues. Instead, I identify as an independent woman who empowers herself by taking responsibility for my own actions, whether good or bad, and doesn’t need a bogus social movement like modern feminism to feel like I am worthy of being equal to men.

All of this is good news but this part is better news:

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this assignment came after the student turned it in. Instead of admonishing the student, the graduate student instructor was appreciative of her counter viewpoint. The instructor commended the student for not believing everything she hears and for providing a different take.

That’s a good sign, of course it would be a better sign if she didn’t have to be anonymous.

Closing thought Mark Steyn reports that this problem isn’t just an american problem:

by Linda Szugyi

“Heteronormative patriarchy” is a phrase that would make me chuckle under any circumstance.  That so much pomposity can be crammed into merely two words is a marvel on par with John Cleese‘s talent for parody.

One needn’t be a scholar of feminist theory to notice the attempt to make disapproval sound like academic enlightenment.  It’s a great example of the Marcusean idea that intolerance of the Right is the “real tolerance”–something feminist scholar Robert Stacy McCain recently taught me.

As amusing as heteronormative patriarchy may be on its own, however, said scholar’s use of it is pure comedic genius:

“Roses are red, violets are blue.  The heteronormative patriarchy is raping you.”

I am not even a casual reader of feminist theory.  Was feminism a diverse movement that included conservatives until it was hijacked by Gloria Steinem in the 1970s?  Who led the “Women’s Liberation a/k/a ‘Second Wave’ feminism” movement?”  I haven’t the foggiest.

Even so, growing up in the seventies and eighties meant that I unknowingly absorbed of a great deal of feminism.  So, while the idea of getting married was okay, the vows had to be for “husband and wife,” not the unequal “man and wife.”  The vow to obey my husband was acceptable only because my husband vowed to obey me, too.  I didn’t even have to request that wording.  It must have been standard.

I grew up in a world that said of course men and women are perfectly equal.  Of course you and your husband are equal partners in the marriage, with equal power over household decisions.  Of course you can bring home the bacon, and fry it up in a pan.  (And never let him forget he’s a man!)

1980 Enjoli commercial

That equal life eventually led me to the military, with all its rigid hierarchical glory.  Authority must rest on the shoulders of a single commanding officer.  Otherwise a stalemate can occur, and the mission doesn’t get accomplished.

What an irony: my feminist-minded career ambitions ended up convincing me to assume the role of second-in-command in my own house.  After all, chain-of-command issues apply to marriage, too.  If both spouses have the same level of authority, what happens if they reach an impasse?  The marriage must end.  It can’t be helped; they “just grow apart.”  The marital strife in Die Hard is a good example.

So, that’s my experience with feminism.  I wore the mantle reflexively, then cast it off and forgot all about it.  Feminists haven’t forgotten about me, though, have they?  They keep thinking up new ways to explain what’s wrong with me.  Wikipedia says that “heteronormativity” originates from a 1991 queer theory work, but “became incorporated into both the gender and the transgender debate.”

Just add the term “patriarchy,” and viola: “patriarchal heteronormativity” and “heteronormative patriarchy.”  Either way, it seems pretty well established in the academic realm.  As one might guess, it merges two different perceived injustices.  First, if you hold the opinion that homosexuality is anything less than perfectly normal, then you are part of an oppressive culture that forces people to conform.  Second, if you hold the opinion that a male head of the household is an ideal situation, then you are part of an unjust system that oppresses women.

Additional themes are tied to “heteronormative patriarchy/partriachal heteronormativity:”

The Binary Concept

Heteropatriarchy (a third way to say it) “creates a hierarchy that ‘rests on a gender binary system in which only two genders exist, one (male) dominating the other (female).’ ”

Heteronormativity is the pervasive, hegemonic state that exists because we choose to draw binary conceptions of gender in our society.”

One heteronormative power structure is “[t]he gender binary, that humans are man and woman, that man is one thing and woman is another. . . .”

“Gender is inherently hierarchical and oppressive. . . .  The goal of feminism, then, must not be just the elimination of gender inequality or gender oppression, but that abolition of gender itself.”  Heteronormative Patriarchy for Men, explaining and critiquing Godlessness in Theory.

Very interesting.  The fact that different people engage in different types of sexual activity apparently means that basic biological differences should be thrown straight out the window.  There is no male and female anatomy; there is only a complex tapestry of desires and Thou Shalt Not Judge Any Of Them.

Heterosexuality = Colonialism and Imperialism

Today’s lingering oppression of women stems from colonial history, and the ‘Western-centric/Christian-centric, capitalist world system, and it is also connected to racist regimes.  Can anyone rationally explain these connections?  Other than the fact that Marx Said So, why is the fact that men and women tend to get together, have babies, and raise them together inherently a bad thing?

My Existence = Their Oppression

I oppress the LGBT community.  My lifestyle “goes deeper . . . and it takes many different forms.  Patriarchy affects everyone. . . .  it’s not only about gender – ‘race’, ethnicity, sexuality, disability, age, class, religion, and more all come into it.  Even those in power who have to conform to a specific set of rules are affected by patriarchy.”

Wow, even those in power are oppressed by patriarchy.  They oppress . . . themselves.

I’m told that my personal beliefs and thoughts are a problem that must be cured.  What a crock.  I choose to live my life according to my Christian beliefs, to the best of my ability.  Those choices don’t oppress anyone.  I have no control over what perfect strangers do with their own lives.  Please, go ahead with your own lives, feminists.  Leave me alone.

..and they were right!

Stacy McCain has assiduously covered “the other side” of the Courtney Stodden-Doug Hutchinson nuptials, in which Courtney’s mother, Krista, gave permission for her 16-year-old daughter to marry 51-year-old Hutchinson.

Now, Da TechGuy blog is a Catholic blog, so I’ll start with the reasons why Catholics might oppose such a union: marriages wherein the woman is under 18 when she weds are the most likely to end up in divorce. Although Hutchinson and Stoddard were wed in a church, or with the consent of their pastor, they only dated for a very short time (perhaps four months?) before getting married.  Catholics usually require at least six months, which is designed to prevent rash decisions (or, hypothetically, a 16-year-old with a crush on an older man from making a decision that affects her for the rest of her life).  Furthermore, pre-Cana classes cover everything from finances, intimacy, Natural Family Planning, discussions with a priest, the sacrament of marriage, and the mentorship of a married couple.

Continue reading “They told me that if I voted for John McCain, Christians would railroad their teenage daughters into marriage…”