What We Missed

Michele Bachmann signs a conservative pledge that includes a number of promises, including banning pornography. It also includes some nasty language about how black children were better off during slavery because they were more likely to be born to a two parent home. WTF?

New York Senator Bill Perkins writes an open letter to the DA in the Strauss-Kahn case asking him to pursue the charges.

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  • http://feministing.com/members/azure156/ Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz

    She must have heard a veeeeeeeeeery different version of the history of slavery in America than I have if she thinks that. The version I heard had families being broken apart if sold to different owners, white masters creeping into the slave’s quarters (but not necessarily staying there to raise any offspring as the nuclear family unit she seems to be imagining) and fatalities due to poor treatment, overworking, or outright cruelty, which means parents may not have even been around to see their children grow. So, aside from the outright despicable racism of her remarks, there are a lot of factors she doesn’t seem to account for that make it an extreme history and logic fail.

    • davenj

      She also makes the extreme claim that the Founding Fathers worked to eliminate slavery, in spite of their numerous compromises in regard to the institution because a lot of the Founding Fathers OWNED SLAVES!

      It’s revisionist history beyond any stretch of plausibility to justify racism, classism, and a whole bunch of other “isms”.

  • http://feministing.com/members/thundermaker/ Thunder Maker

    I’m astounded that anyone with real ambition for the oval office would sign this document. Right now I’m drawing a Venn diagram to try and visualize the rather large set of voters one would alienate (women, single parents, african americans, historians, same-sex couples, anyone intelligent…)

  • http://feministing.com/members/dausuul/ Evan Grantham-Brown

    Hmm. Looking at that pledge, it says the candidate vows to “protect women from pornography.” Since making porn involves women actively participating, this would indeed amount to a porn ban… except gay male porn, which is apparently A-OK.

    As for the stuff about slavery, I wish I could say I’m surprised. But it’s a sad, sad day when the party of Abraham Lincoln descends to this level.

  • http://feministing.com/members/toongrrl/ Jessica “Jess” Victoria Carillo

    What planet is Bachmann on?

  • http://feministing.com/members/smiles/ Smiley

    Hmm. I am a little surprised.

    Nowhere in the pledge does it say or imply that ‘black children were better off during slavery because they were more likely to be born to a two parent home.’

    Only that ‘they were more likely to be born to a two parent home.’ Which may or may not be true.

    Seems a little unfair to put words into people’s mouths.

    • unequivocal

      Yep, much as I dislike Bachmann, this read more as “even though this was the worst time in history to be black in America, family life was more tightly knit than it is now.”

      It really bothers me when people view it as necessary or valuable to misrepresent the horrible things that the opposition does and says. It makes it seem like Bachmann isn’t objectionable enough in her own right, so we need to make up lies to discredit her. FanTAStic.

  • http://feministing.com/members/circa818/ Stefan

    I read her “conservative pledge” found it equally ridiculous and scary, filled with contradictions (“childbearing and reproduction is beneficial to the US economy” yet wanting to cut the “anti-marriage aspect of welfare” and “protecting children from abortion” so impoverished single moms cannot obtain future abortions and not receive public aid for her family unless she gets married???? I want to know how an increase in destitute children and single parent families helps a nation’s economy or society in any way ) and misinformation (claiming that “children raised by a mother and a father together experience better learning, less addiction, less legal trouble, and less extramarital pregnancy”) what about cases of children raised by single parents developing self-autonomy, independence, and accountability at earlier ages? what about parents that are same sex unions or domestic partnerships (common-law)? To believe that a modern politician in North America would openly support social regression is beyond me.

    the can be read @ nationalledger.com

  • http://feministing.com/members/jeremyb/ Jeremy Burton

    Long time reader, first time poster.

    One thing that always strikes me when an appeal to majority vote is used in a context that has any connection with sex (marriage, pre-marital sex, abortion, porn) is the willingness to accept a vote as gospel. It’s so easy to vote. But if we vote with our actions, I think the author can easily figure out that marriages sometimes fail (and why), that pre-marital sex is and has long been pretty common, that people who need abortions get them and that porn is a multi-million dollar industry that is supported by more than a handful of millionaire truck drivers.

    I love the inherent inconsistency of this pledge, which starts in the first two vows. Does respecting the marital bonds of others even include respect for hetro couples in open marriages, or is the default respect given to the ‘bonds’ rather than those bound? I would guess the former, in which case the respect means nothing to anyone. What defintion of fidelity are we using?

    I also like the vigourous opposition to redefinition of marriage. I know the current interest is in guarding the front door, but what about people that have already made it through? How far are they willing to go to prevent divorce or adultry or even more mind-bending – sex reassignment? Are we going to factor gender into the equation as well?

    The whole pledge, unsurprisingly is so steeped in Christian world views that I can’t help but thinking, that the next logical step is to prohibit marriage to all but hetronormative Christian couples. When they oppose Sharia law I can only assume they are headed in that direction. What Muslim laws aren’t Sharia? I think they could have parsed out their point here little more.

    And then there is the bizzare marriage of religion and state. I like how childbearing and reproduction is benefical to the state. I think there may be some studies out there that show “robust childbearing and reproduction” may not be beneficial to a family’s demograpic, economic, strategic or actuarial health or security. Nevermind that though, apparently the new interest is in serving the same state … which we are trying to downsize in the next vow. There’s a priceless idea. Explode the population and then downsize the government. I suggest teaching your children to hunt, fish and otherwise live off the land.

    And finally, the completely non-sensical “we should protect First Amendment rights but ‘especially’ the First Amendment rights of some people.” I don’t think I can add anything on this point beyond what Orwell said “some animals are more equal than others.”

    The whole thing is embarassingly inconsistent, even before you get to the gender and race dogwhistles liberally peppered throughout.