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National Review Blogger Calls for Repeal of Women’s Suffrage

By Amanda Marcotte
Wednesday, February 20, 2013 9:15 EDT
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Thanks for getting arrested, but since your forebears chose to use their rights to get more rights, all rights have to go.

Thanks to Donkeylicious for bringing this to my attention. Michael Walsh of National Review Online called for the termination of women’s right to vote last week:

 Nevertheless, you’re on to something I’ve been advocating for years now. And that is the repeal of all four of the so-called “Progressive Era” amendments, including the 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th, which were passed between 1911 and 1920.

One of those has already been repealed—the 18th amendment, which ushered in Prohibition—which Walsh admits. That’s not really what he’s on about anyway:

The income-tax amendment was a self-evident attack on capitalism and led to the explosive growth of the federal government we currently enjoy today. (Without it, there’d be no need for a Balanced Budget Amendment.) Direct elections of senators has given us, among other wonders, the elevation of John F. Kerry to, now, secretary of state. Prohibition was directly responsible for the rise of organized crime and itsunholy alliance with the big-city Democratic machines. And women’s suffrage . . . well, let’s just observe that without it Barack Obama could never have become president. Time for the ladies to take one for the team.

I suppose we’re supposed to imagine it’s a “joke”, because he takes a jovial tone for the last one. But if so, it doesn’t make sense. He’s dead fucking serious about the other two—three, really, because he only seems to be against Prohibition because he believes it gave Democrats a leg up, which is one of those deaf-to-historical-change moments that lead Republicans to imagine that Lincoln would have anything to do with the modern version of their party—so, as a joke, it falls completely apart. If he hadn’t rolled it up with the other amendments initially, the “joke” defense he clearly has in his pocket would be an easier sell. Something like, “I’ve long advocated for the repeal of 3 of the Progressive Amendments (though one has already been repealed), and hey, ladies, sometimes you make me wish to repeal all four.” It would still be a misogynist joke, but easier to sell as a joke, even if not a very funny one.

As it stands, it’s clear he’s doing what Al Franken calls “kidding on the square“, where you say something you mean but pretend it’s a joke so you don’t have to take responsibility for it. Franken has some fun with it in his books, calling himself out for it and therefore turning a typically unfunny bit of passive-aggression into a for-real joke, but I’m guessing you all know that because of course you’ve read his books. Kidding on the square is a favorite tool of sexists, who want to say sexist things, but are too cowardly to say them directly. Walsh is just a particularly obvious example. And no, none of the other National Review bloggers argued with him on this point.

I’m trying to imagine the shitstorm that would erupt if a feminist dare say men should forsake their right to vote until they shape up and start voting correctly. It certainly wouldn’t slide under the waters, like this did.

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
 
 
 
 
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