The Professor was recently telling me about a fight she’d gotten into with a colleague where the colleague said something like, let’s say, “Power doesn’t have to be inherently linked to violence.” and the Professor said, “Well, we feminists have only been saying that for 70 years. Thanks for finally noticing.” and the colleague totally wanted to act like it didn’t matter that folks had been saying it for 70 years, because, since it was a good idea, it doesn’t matter who came up with it.
I find this hilarious. I want to go over to his office and move in and just start teaching his classes and when he asks me what I’m doing say, “I think being a professor is a grand idea, so I just decided to start doing it.” And when he complains that I don’t have the training or the depth of knowledge for it, I’m going to say, “But it’s a good idea. Why do I have to have any sense of its history?”
Anyway, I was reminded of that, because Andrew Sullivan has posted a letter from a reader who gets that there really is a war on fucking going on and that, at its root, is the fear that women will be able to fuck without being properly punished for it. (Sullivan is using Christianist to mean dangerously politicized co-opting of Christianity.)
You observe with regard to Tim Graham’s remarks at NRO that “it’s stigmatization that these people are so adamant about.” That’s spot on and it got me thinking. Why so adamantly oppose abortion, but also convenient access to birth control and sex education, or oppose the HPV vaccine? Because they allow people to “sin” without bearing the stigmatizable (if that’s a word) results of that sin.
And Sullivan says that the reader makes a good point.
It is a good point. It’s just that it’s one that folks like Amanda Marcotte over at Pandagon have been making for years. I’m glad that Sullivan and his readers see it, too, don’t get me wrong. But the fact that they can act as if they are the first people to discover it, or that it doesn’t matter if other people articulated it first, kind of bugs.