Category Archives: Sexism

Dr. Seuss is in Leftist cross hairs, but conservatives shouldn’t rush to his support

With the Left now gunning for Dr. Seuss, it’s tempting for conservatives reflexively to support him — but they may want to think twice about doing so.

I’m sure that you’ve already heard that, per the most recent Leftist purge of pre-woke people, ideas, and books, a new study states that Dr. Seuss (aka Theodor Seuss Geisel), probably the most famous children’s book writer in America, has now landed on the naughty list:

“[This study reveals] how racism spans across the entire Seuss collection, while debunking myths about how books like Horton Hears a Who! and The Sneetches can be used to promote tolerance, anti-bias, or anti-racism,” Katie Ishizuka and Ramón Stephens write in their February 2019 report, “The Cat is Out of the Bag: Orientalism, AntiBlackness, and White Supremacy in Dr. Seuss’ s Children’s Books,” as part of St. Catherine University’s Research on Diversity in Youth Literature.

They continue: “Findings from this study promote awareness of the racist narratives and images in Dr. Seuss’ children’s books and implications to the formation and reinforcement of racial biases in children.”

The study continues by explaining that some of the most iconic characters relay the troubling messages of Orientalism (the representation of Asia and Asian people based on colonialist stereotypes), anti-blackness and white supremacy.

“Notably, every character of color is male. Males of color are only presented in subservient, exotified, or dehumanized roles,” the authors write as part of their findings. “This also remains true in their relation to White characters. Most startling is the complete invisibility and absence of women and girls of color across Seuss’ entire children’s book collection.”

I know that conservatives will be tempted to cling more tightly to Dr. Seuss’s books now that he’s persona non grata on the Left, but I’m not sure that’s a good idea. I know he’s dead, but the fact is that, whether you’re coming at him from a leftist or a conservative perspective, he wasn’t that great a care and pouring more money into his estate may end up feeling as wrong for you as it does now for the lefties. Here are a few interesting points about Theodor Geisel the man, and Dr. Seuss the writer:

First, Geisel was a lifelong Democrat.

Second, Geisel was a typical Democrat racist in the years leading up to and during WWII. His early drawings showed blacks as savages and, especially during WWII, Japanese as evil (a view shared by most Americans after Japan’s unprovoked attack on Pearl Harbor, throughout the horrific war years in the Pacific, and upon learning about the torture the Japanese visited on POWs).

Third, Geisel was also an objectifier of women. After all, he wrote vaguely erotic stuff in his early years.

Fourth, to be fair to Geisel, all children’s books before about the 1970s, except for the exquisite The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats’ (whom I always thought was black and just discovered was Jewish and white), unthinkingly focused on white kids. Whites were the vast majority in America and, outside of major urban areas and the less populated South, most people didn’t even have minorities in their frame of reference. This narrow frame of reference, combined with focusing on the most massive part of the mass market, meant that children’s book authors probably excluded minority characters without malice. They just did….

Fifth, still being fair, the most memorable Dr. Seuss books still read today are heavy on non-human characters. Sure, the kids in The Cat In The Hat are white, but who remembers them? It’s the non-human Cat and the non-human Things 1 and 2 that linger in people’s memories. Likewise, books such as Yertle the TurtleGreen Eggs and HamThe Grinch Who Stole Christmas, and Hop on Pop, are about non-human characters.

Sixth, Geisel came to regret his early racism. His most significant allegorical work about racism was Horton Hears a Who, first published in 1955.

Perhaps you remember the plot: Horton hears a voice speak from a small speck of dust. He realizes that there is life on that minute speck and, despite extremely hostile action from a kangaroo and her joey, monkeys, and an evil eagle. No matter the opposition, Horton fights to save that speck and the life upon it, repeatedly saying “A person is a person no matter how small.” Eventually, the smallest of those small persons on Whoville makes enough noise that everyone in Horton’s Jungle of Nool hears and agrees to protect that speck and the life upon it.

The commonly accepted history of Horton Hears a Who is that it represents Geisel’s about face regarding the Japanese in the years after WWII (hyperlinks omitted):

Geisel began work on Horton Hears a Who! in the fall of 1953. The book’s main theme, “a person’s a person no matter how small”, was Geisel’s reaction to his visit to Japan, where the importance of the individual was an exciting new concept. Geisel, who had harbored strong anti-Japan sentiments before and during World War II, changed his views dramatically after the war and used this book as an allegory for the American post-war occupation of the country. He dedicated the book to a Japanese friend.

Seventh, what’s really funny about Horton Hears a Who is that, while you have to work really hard to see it as an allegory for Japan, which had started the war against the U.S., fought it with unabashed fury, abused POWs and civilian internees with unbelievable ferocity, and refused to surrender, it actually works effortlessly as an allegory against abortion.

I mean, it’s so obvious. That speck upon which life exists isn’t just Whoville, it’s a zygote. After all, as Horton says with numbing repetition, “a person’s a person no matter how small.” In a world dedicated to abortion, Horton is the ultimate pro-Life activist.

To that end, Horton stands up against the angry feminist and her brainwashed child (the kangaroo and joey), the Leftist mobs (whether in the streets or the state houses), and the abortionist (that’s the evil eagle determined to destroy life at all costs). Through it all, Horton clings to one principle: Life is life. You cannot parse it away simply because it’s too small to see or its voice is too quiet to hear.

Sadly, it’s certain that Geisel would resent my pro-Life spin. Indeed, true to his life-long Democrat credentials, Geisel was staunchly pro-abortion and aggressively fought against having his name associated with pro-Life projects. In other words, even as Geisel/Seuss was writing, “a person’s a person no matter how small,” he didn’t really mean it. Moreover, his widow has continued that anti-Life legacy, by being a long-time Planned Parenthood funder:

“It has been well known for years around San Diego that the Geisels were pro-abortion and active supporters of the local Planned Parenthood affiliate,” said Operation Rescue spokesperson Cheryl Sullenger, who lived in San Diego for 23 years. “Many years ago, I remember seeing Dr. Seuss at a Planned Parenthood fundraiser that we were protesting. People find it hard to believe that someone who could write such amazing children’s stories could support the brutal killing of innocent children through abortion. His wife, Audrey, has been very active in her support for the abortion group over the years, and our documents prove that.”

It’s ironic, really, that both Dr. and Mrs. Seuss, whose fortune came from children’s books, so enthusiastically supported killing their customer base.

Given the facts, perhaps it’s time for everyone, both leftist and conservative, to stop buying Dr. Seuss books. He was a racist, sexist, baby-hating monster. Why in the world is he even still being published, much less being published as a beloved children’s book author? I find myself in agreement with the Lefties when it comes to suggesting that Theodor Seuss Geisel comes with way too much baggage to be a worthy author of today’s children’s books.

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SHOCKER: Feminists admit Hillary incompetent to be president

Yes, that caption is click bait exaggeration, but actually only by a little. Feminists have not said explicitly that Hillary is too mentally and emotionally weak to be president. They have, however, said it implicitly by saying that, to the extent she didn’t completely destroy Trump during the first debate, it was because she was struggling under the severe handicap of dealing with his sexist conversational style.

In other words, they’ve pretty much admitted that the woman seeking to lead a country and to do battle on Americans’ behalf at home and abroad can’t handle dealing with men. They’re just too overwhelming for her.

If you doubt my take, get a load of the whiny feminist headlines that have taken over my Facebook feed, thanks to my living in a Blue enclave:
Stephen Colbert calls out debate double standard:

Stephen Colbert blasted the different expectations for the presidential candidates in their first debate in a live “The Late Show” Monday night.

“Hillary (Clinton) had to be confident without smug…commanding without shrill,” Colbert said.

I don’t see anything “shrill” about Hillary. She hectors, rather than shrieks. Remember this:

To read more, please go here.

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The Bookworm Beat 9/21/16 — the “I’m mad as Hell” evening edition and open thread

I can’t say too much lest I breach Little Bookworm’s privacy, but suffice it to say that, after only two weeks at her Obscenely Expensive Liberal Arts College, she has already taken a giant step in the direction of moronic, damaging Leftism. I have refrained from berating her because that would be counterproductive. Instead, I provided her with objective information about the direction she has taken and she, with all the confident arrogance of an uninformed youngster, has refused to reconsider. I’m not feeling the love today.

I hope blogging helps me vent my spleen. Otherwise, if you read tomorrow that a woman suffered a deadly attack of spontaneous combustion during the night . . . well, that just might be me.

Preachy Leftist “comedians” may be harming Hillary. Mr. Bookworm adored Jon Stewart and was endlessly certain that, if I just sat and watched for a while, I’d be riotously amused and return to the Democrat fold. His confidence in Stewart’s powers of persuasion was misplaced. I found Stewart intentionally both ill-informed and dishonest.

When Stewart resigned, Mr. Bookworm transferred his allegiance to John Oliver and Samantha Bee, both of whom are even harder Left than Stewart, and both of whom have the same shtick: They say something insulting about a Republican or conservative, following it with a strained analogy, and then pause for the adoring audience’s laughter. It’s like a call-and-repeat in the Church of Leftism.

Mr. Bookworm has suggested that I lack a sense of humor, which may well be true. I prefer a bit of wit and intelligence to flavor political insults, so I’m probably expecting too much from the current generation of humorists. I, on the other hand, have tried suggesting to him that these smug Leftist harridans simply aren’t funny.

Ross Douthat might agree with me on that last point. He also thinks that these cultural avatars, along with the Lefties on football teams and at award shows, have pushed themselves into such an extreme political corner that they’re leaving no room for Hillary Clinton to survive:

The culture industry has always tilted leftward, but the swing toward social liberalism among younger Americans and the simultaneous surge of activist energy on the left have created a new dynamic, in which areas once considered relatively apolitical now have (or are being pushed to have) an overtly left-wing party line.

[snip]

First, within the liberal tent, they have dramatically raised expectations for just how far left our politics can move, while insulating many liberals from the harsh realities of political disagreement in a sprawling, 300-plus million person republic. Among millennials, especially, there’s a growing constituency for whom right-wing ideas are so alien or triggering, left-wing orthodoxy so pervasive and unquestioned, that supporting a candidate like Hillary Clinton looks like a needless form of compromise.

Thus Clinton’s peculiar predicament. She has moved further left than any modern Democratic nominee, and absorbed the newer left’s Manichaean view of the culture war sufficiently that she finds herself dismissing almost a quarter of the electorate as “irredeemable” before her donors. Yet she still finds herself battling an insurgency on her left flank, and somewhat desperately pitching millennials on her ideological bona fides.

Isn’t that just delicious? All I can say is, from Douthat’s essay to God’s ear.

If you like to read more (and there’s lots more), please go here.

The Bookworm Beat 9/19/16 — the “we’re still singing” edition and open thread

The miserable sexism of Hillary’s supporters. I’ve agreed with myself to disagree with Jonah Goldberg about Donald Trump, while still greatly respecting and deeply appreciating Goldberg’s take on just about everything else. In the wake of Hillary’s 9/11 collapse, followed by her dehydration, followed by the media castigating as sexist anyone who dared suggest the woman is ill, followed by her “oh, it’s just pneumonia,” followed by the entire media admiring Hillary for the strong female way in which she “powered through” things, Goldberg had this to say:

But here’s the thing. After weeks of bleating that it was sexist to raise questions about Hillary’s health, the immediate response from the very same people was an irrefutably sexist argument. Men are just a bunch of Jeb Bushes, low-energy shlubs laid low by a hangnail. But women are the Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Bangas of the species. (For non-longtime readers, this translates from the original Ngbandi, “The warrior who knows no defeat because of his endurance and inflexible will and is all powerful, leaving fire in his wake as he goes from conquest to conquest.”)

This raises a subject of much fascination to “news”letter writers who are fascinated by it. I don’t want to go too far out on a limb, because you never know if you’ll fall into raging torrent of angry weasels, but I gather that the word “sexist” is supposed to have a bad connotation. That was the sense I got taking women’s studies courses at a formerly all-women’s college. I’ve also drawn this conclusion from a fairly close study of routine political argle-bargle.

The problem is we don’t really have a word for observations and statements that simply acknowledge that men and women are . . . different. Not better or worse. Just different. If I said that dogs aren’t the same as cats, no one would shout, “Dogist!” Everyone would simply say, “Duh.” In fact, if I said to about 90 percent of normal people, of either sex, that men and women are different, the response would be “duh” as well.

[snip]

The frustrating thing is that feminist liberals like to have it both ways (and not in the way that Bill pays extra for). Women are “different” when they think it means women are “better,” but when you say women are different in ways that annoy feminists — for whatever reason — they shout, “Sexist!” Lena Dunham rejects the idea that women should be seen as things of beauty, and then gets mad when she’s not seen as a thing of beauty. Women should be in combat because they can do anything men can do, but when reality proves them wrong, they say the “sexist” standards need to change. And so on.

Hillary Clinton is like a broken Zoltar the Fortune Teller machine shouting all sorts of platitudes about being the first female president, cracking glass ceilings, yada yada yada. She openly says that we need a first female president because a first female president would be so awesome. But she also wants to say criticisms that would be perfectly legitimate if aimed at a man are in fact sexist when directed at a woman. That is a sexist argument.

No campus safe spaces for Jews. “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,” said Ralph Waldo Emerson. I’m happy to report that when it comes to the aggressive special snowflakes on America’s college campuses, consistency is never a problem. You see, it turns out that the whole thing about safe spaces and microaggressions and triggers and political correctness doesn’t apply to Jews:

But little has been said about how the idea of “intersectionality” — the idea that all struggles are connected and must be combated by allies — has created a dubious bond between the progressive movement and pro-Palestinian activists who often engage in the same racist and discriminatory discourse they claim to fight. As a result of this alliance, progressive Jewish students are often subjected to a double standard not applied to their peers — an Israel litmus test to prove their loyalties to social justice.

You and I have been tracking this problem for years, but I’m hoping that Jewish parents will start realizing that there’s a problem on American campuses. As it is, in today’s world, I would have to say that the single biggest reason that American Jews are so hard left is that they are so likely to go to college, which they get exposed to the pernicious disease that is Leftism. This has been going on for at least 40 years — I was exposed in Cal, although I was eventually able to build an immunity — but it’s gotten worse of late.

To read more, please go here.