Some Feminists In Spain Take Lesson From Franco In Seeking To Ban Or Burn Best Selling Book

BOOK_2762523cItalian author Costanza Miriano’s best-selling book Cásate y sé sumisa would normally be a cause of celebration for feminists as another successful female author who has soared in popularity. However, the book’s title is translated “Get Married and Be Submissive” and advocates a life of married women of “loyal obedience, generosity and submission.” While soaring in popularity in both Italy and Spain, feminists have publicly destroyed the book in protests and some have called for Miriano to have the book banned as promoting violence against women.

The book was published by the Catholic Arbishopric of the southern city of Granada in November and became an instant best seller, primarily with women. It is currently number 15 on the Amazon bestseller list. It applies the teachings of Saint Paul to modern marriages.

It is certainly easy to see why many women would take offense as such passages as “We [women] like humiliation because it is for a greater good.” Then there is the observations that “It’s true, you’re not yet an experienced cook or a perfect housewife. What’s the problem if he tells you so? Tell him that he is right, that it’s true, that you will learn. On seeing your sweetness and your humility, your effort to change, this will also change him.”

This is not something that I plan for a stocking stuffer for my wife, who would likely use it to beat me into submission. However, I am astonished by the quick response of some feminists and liberals to go from opposition to suppression of the book. We have been following a trend in the West to curtail free speech in the name of tolerance or non-discrimination. For recent columns, click here and here and here.

France has been particularly aggressive in the rollback on free speech, including the recent move by Jewish students to attack free speech on the Internet. We have seen the same desire in the United States (here and here and here), though our first amendment continues to insulate much of our unpopular speech.

The effort to ban Miriano’s book is a continuation of this trend. What is so disturbing is that it seems more often heard today from the left in the name of non-discrimination or as a way of fighting “hate speech.” (here and here and here). Miriano is advocating a mix of religious and social values, which these women believe should be banned.

I certainly do not object to the protests over the book. However, when those protests seek action to ban or destroy a book, we need to seriously examine the direction of Western countries in banning speech and ideas. This is more than banning a book. It is an effort to ban the idea — or at least the publication of an idea — in the name of tolerance.

I am hopeful that most feminists would not support such action against a writer and would see the danger of book banning and burning. However, we will have to come to grips with the increasing conflict between free speech and anti-discrimination values. Obviously, I fall on the side of free speech in such disputes. We cannot achieve tolerance in society by showing intolerance for different views and values.

What do you think?

19 thoughts on “Some Feminists In Spain Take Lesson From Franco In Seeking To Ban Or Burn Best Selling Book”

  1. Generally I don’t study posting for websites, nevertheless i would like to declare that this specific write-up really obligated everyone to have a look from plus take action! A person’s writing preference continues to be stunned everyone. Cheers, extremely great write-up.

  2. Actually LK…. They must tow the company line…. But each is autonomous….. It’s generally viewed by the committee…. And god forbid the names and initials of the selected…. Usually take more time to read….. Even nuns in some places have a say…. And are creditd….. They may or may not run it at a profit…..

    Double Day printing is an arm of the episcopal church…. Or it used to be….. That board is very exacting…. And profits do matter…. Just an FYI…. The diocese of NY owned or owns that as well as the property that Wall Street sits on…. For having one of the smallest congregations they have the wealthiest per capita income member…..

  3. AY, thanks for that explanation. I wonder, do these publishing houses have to have the work they publish cleared through the Vatican? What’s to keep some rogue Archbishop from publishing just crazy stuff. I would assume all work so published would have to have the OK of the Holy See.

    LOL, just being a nice guy and answering my question only to be hectored by more questions, you can’t win. 🙂

  4. Everyone has a right to express their opinions, however, increasingly we are marginalized for expressing our own. Everyone wants our respect, but very few respond in-kind. When it comes to free speech, give 1 inch, and you eventually end up losing 1 mile — then your other freedoms follow.

  5. LK…. It’s part of the RCC in Italy….. It’s the area that an archbishop has control over…. Something like the place where all power is vested…. And money to… Before it heads to Rome…. Lots of churches have publishing companies…..

    So it’s not surprising that they find in fact publish this title….

  6. Theo:

    Didnt Engles say some of that in his book “The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State.”

    I wonder if he knew about Bonobo’s, man they are some freaky apes. Like a 60’s commune.

  7. Maybe it’s time to burn a few of the Archbishop’s churches down… You know while his out banging some young boy in the butt! Forking church! Yeah, teach women to be submissive Bishop, then you can go fork yourself!

  8. Feminists have pretty much destroyed the American Family Dynamic.
    Sounds like they are now setting their sights on Europe, I mean why not? European families spend time together and are happier than American people, so why not spread their misery there as well.

    Feminists, and I am sure there are some here, can kiss my ass btw. Most are nothing but angry bitter trolls that are just pissed off they cannot attract men as well as other women.

  9. Theo, I’m going to re-read your posting again because it is dense with ideas and I need to linger over some of them, but on first read I must say that it is a remarkably well put together thesis. Well said.

  10. “The book was published by the Catholic Arbishopric of the southern city of….” [my emphasis]

    I have never seen or heard that word before, don’t know what it means and don’t know how it’s supposed to be pronounced but in the context of the article and the book it seems particularly appropriate.

  11. The call for censorship of the book is understandable considered from the standpoint of women’s increasing anger over the continuing game of one step forward, two steps back for women’s advancement and in view of the ugly and well-funded backlash against feminism around the world and in America and the presence and actvities of the Catholic Church in this backlash. I don’t support censorshp either but the activities of the backlashers are so brazen and sick that I can well understand the response. I do support censorship in some cases.

    A great number of the religious, especially tdominionists and other fundamentalists who put their faith in patriarchy and magical thinking are one of the main drivers of this backlash and the suppression of the rights of women. Religion is one of the main buttresses of patriarchy and the rule of elite males.

    It is the nature of conservatism and conservatives to be antidemocratic and hierarchical. They stand in place of an aristocracy, a institution they desire to foster and emulate, they seek deference, they seek to dominate the lives of others in all areas, including their sex lives. Their fierceness and industry in support of their interests make them the natural supporters of the status quo and at the same time they work to undermine and roll back advances achieved by those who were at one time denied any power whatsoever: women, so-called minorities (blacks, homosexuals, etc.), children, workers, prisoners, teachers, other public servants who make up the government bureaucracies nationally and in the states. The list is large and mine is not all inclusive.

    Privatization is an example of their aggression and greed, as it undermines government in support of the rights of all and destroys accountability and settles power in non-governmental entities and non-public institutions where elites can more easily work to ensure that power stays in the hands of elite males.

    The urge to dominate is so strong and their activities in behalf of their interests so protean is it any wonder they usually roll over their adversaries. They don’t play fair, they don’t compromise, they lie, they are fiercely self-interested, what they support in one year or decade or even the day before they can renounce in a blink to achieve their goals, and most of them, I’ve come to believe, are unaware of their own motives (the more intelligent are perhaps), but in any case they are always right. I may be wrong about the last; it may simply be I am still a bit unwilling to accept that human beings can be so rotten by intent. I don’t know why I should be unwilling given the evidence in history and our own times.

    I am not saying that their adversaries are always upright, truthful, and act from the purest of motives. No indeed, but there is not the fierceness, the win at all costs mentality they possess. Among the liberal class their own devotion to liberalism and its promise was only skin deep in most cases so they easily gave in and showed themselves to be political cowards and are still showing themselves feckless today. Now the neoliberalism of both conservatives and self-imputed liberals is the mechanism and support structure for this predation and greed.

    I’ve come to the sad conclusion that although relatively few in number conservative leaders make up for it in the fierceness and aggressiveness of their characters and that the tendency toward us/them thinking and paranoia is strong in human nature on the whole and that is why it is so easy for them to manipulate their supporters and get them to believe the worst about the enemy du jour and the historical record. In other words, conservatism represents the worst instincts of human beings. What most people believe conservatism to be is completely opposite to what it actually is.

    These days dominators at the top of society’s institutions, whether church, military, educational, governmental, media and other corporate entities, and their lobbying groups and retainers, have honed the techniques of manipulation to a fine degree so that to most people these manipulations pass over their heads unrecognized. Most people are very unsophisticated and haven’t a clue.

    Read what Thomas Hazlitt, the 18th c. English philosopher had to say about the Tory party in parliament on the subject of conservatives and conservatism and today Corey Robin in our own country. Coming into focus as a result of the French Revolution, they never change in essentials.

    In America the Vatican and U.S. Catholic bishops have long been working with the radical Christan rght to roll back the rights of women and having quite a bit of success and that is an understatement. And with the current economic conditions and forty year, if not longer, project to trample the safety net, any vestige of the New Deal, and any hope for social democracy (indeed for democracy at all) employers of all kinds, whether corporations or small businesses and other elite institutions, no longer have to hide their animosity to women’s rights, the rights of so-called minorities, or the rights of labor either for men or women. Note the suits against the right to contraceptives and other rights that the sanctimonious owners or heads of these entities bring under the dishonest banner of religious liberty no less, e.g., their right to tell you what to believe.

    Women who seek the liberation of their kind and indeed of all humans (feminism is really the liberation of both genders) are outraged at these attacks on our rights, perhaps especially when they come from women themselves (think of the success of backlash entrepreneurs like the female author of Fifty Shades of Grey who calls on the twisted relationships females have always been taught to have with males to sell her book, and statements that women should not vote from female (and male) politicians who won office as a result of many female voters, and, in the case of one prominent U.S. Catholc lobbying group for the family, should not even receive college or university educations as they should stay in the home and don’t need them).

    The choice such women as the author and all women are faced is the choice between making a pact with the devil (that is, wth the outright or implied violence of the patriarchical, even demonic male, who seeks domination over her and other men and women (and, in her case, the interests of most of the male hierarchy of the Church) in order to, she believes, receive some protection from them so that she and any children will also be free of that violence, whether physical, mental, emotional, or suppression of opportunities for advancement for herself and her children or, in today’s world, for her own aggrandizement. In other words, she trades the welfare of all women for her own and that of her children, understandably so but unfortunate nonetheless.

    In the primate world generally it is the male who dominates the female and human societies are no different (although there are examples of more egalitarian societies and others that are free of violence in human history and prehistorically). Primate females as well as nondominant males have developed strategies for coping with that demonic dominance, not all of them successful.

    Human females have not been able to successfully assert themselves as a group and for the long term, altough some females have been remarkably successful in achieving success for themselves and their families for the short term. Also, females have not been successful in achieving the support for their emancipation from males to the extent that would ensure their equality.

    Bonobo chimpanzees have developed a relationship where the females and males are equal and smooth over any unpleasantness with sex. It would be a better world if we could do this free of coercion and to the benefit of all, at least metaphorically and in the case of sex without the load of censorious baggage that accompanies most sexual relationships.
    Pornography and prostitution do not stand in for such smoothing over, quite the opposite.

    Savannah baboons are matriarchical as well as rhesus macaques, where the females outnumber males in their troops and more easily exert control over their own lives and those of their offspring. There may be others, but I can only recall at the moment these three examples where there is a change from the usual pattern of male dominance, which has long existed among human primates to the detriment of all.

    I am not saying that all males are violent or that males are naturally violent, or that females do not engage in violence. I am not saying that males are exclusively to blame for relationships that go wrong. I am saying that the violent conditions of our evolution has left us with a violent and destructive hertage that is destructive of all life.

    I am aso saying that the coping mechanisms of males and females in societies rife with violence such as our own, in history as well as at present, were/are not conducive to peace making and human well being, only the short-term well-being of an elite in most cases.

    Violent individuals are capable of change given the right conditions. Unfortunately we don’t have those conditions now. Constant war making, militarism, the peculiarities of the various modes of political economy (e.g., capitalism), domestic violence, human slavery and trafficking, out of control pornography, advertizing using sex and gender as seling points, unequal and propagandized education, mistreatment of children, lack of family-centered support systems, and support systems for individuals in need of temporary or long-term aid do not exist and are always under attack from conservatives. Coordinated activities aimed at the overthrow of the gains made by democrats (as in democracy, the Koch brothers as but one example)–it has really been a counterrevolution–are legion and well funded by elites.

    The computer has enlarged our world immeasureably but also given rise to an increase in propaganda on line and it continues to be found in almost all media, poitical passivity, egregious forms of pornography (gonzo, revenge, child) and the usual and widespread venting of anti-female bias and hatred from many males, and even from females themselves against other females. Females engaging in such venting (which may in some cases take the form of shaming) are trying to cope with unequal relationships and trying to find advantage for themselves or in some cases, by feminists and their supporters among males, asserting the right to condemn destructive behavior. Misogyny is taught to both males and females in the family and in society.

    These issues may appear to some to be tangential to the subject raised, but I believe are the crux of the matter. We live in an America where the cult of mascuinity reigns, for all the female bodies that are spread around us, indeed that is proof of such a cult. It is defnitely not proof of the cult of feminity, at least not a healthy one.

    Why should censorship in each and every case be thought harmful and beyong the pale no matter the degree of harm caused by some of these activities to individual women and women as a group? We draw the line with respect to children, but never women. I don’t ask because I believe women are like children. I ask because women and men of any age have the right to be treated with respect.

    I am mainly thinking of the rationale on the basis of no censorship for the most debasing pornography that males of all ages are watching now and militarism and a military that slaughters and maims in the case of America, considerably more than 20 million dead and considerably more than that wounded with concomitanat destruction of lives, relationships, and animal and environmental health. And where the culture of rape as a form of gender policing against females and males is celebrated and rapists pretty much go free and where war making and aggression are put forth as humanitarian activities in support of democracy, when the complete opposite is true.

    War has always been a form of aggression for the purpose of plunder and advantage. We can envsion it being necessary in the most extreme case as a matter of self-defense but this rarely occurs–quite the opposite is true in most circumstances. It is among the many ways predation, greed, maintenance of the political status quo, relation of the male to the female and the female to the male, and the relation of elites to those they govern are reinforced.

    As are war making and militarism, the kind of pornography that is everywhere celebrted today is an education in hatred and violence and very young males are being exposed to it and I have seen how it is affecting relationships with females.

    Like war and militarism and many other widespread miseries, misogyny and pornography are addictive and destructive of the human character, and in their effects on both human and animal life and the life of the planet.

    In our world, it is capitalism, religion, elite males and their supporters of both genders, male aggression, greed and male and female passvity in the face of them that are driving these destructive forces forward. These destructive forces won’t disappear if capitalism disappears, but their amelioration and the focusing of the human character on life-sustaining activities to engender better human behavior cannot occur until we bring them under control.

    On the other hand, human nature may just be so rotten in the main that humans will deserve to go the way of the dinosaurs. It looks like we are a species that is failing to adapt and create the conditions for own survival, collective activities on the basis the common good being so out of fashion with those who rule over us.

  12. The author, Costanza Miriano, claims the book is based on the teachings of St Paul and that a perfect wife should be submissive.

    “Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. As the
    church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands” (Eph 5:22)”

    Now before we take this Italian Phyllis Schlafly too seriously, we need to look at the history of her inspiration driver, St. Paul (Saul of Tarsus).

    Paul was a Pharisee who persecuted the early followers of Jesus of Nazareth and violently tried to destroy the newly forming Christian church. His dream on the road to Damascus radically changed the course of his life and he became a zealous supporter of Christianity. In essence, a flip-flopper.

    As a Pharisee during that time Paul had to be married but there is no indication or evidence from the New Testament that Paul was married. Once a flip-flopper, always a flip-flopper.

    In my opinion, anyone who bases their life on the teachings of Paul are going to eventually flip-flop on ya’. Her next book will be all about living a fulfilling life as a divorcee.

  13. Imagine what might have been if the German people had spoke out regarding the hate speech directed at the Jews-if the Jews had understood the hate speech would turn to hate action. No one has a right to speak hatefully. Hate speech is not free speech and should never be endorsed. Even in childhood, we learned-If you can’t say something nice, say nothing. We should not endorse hate by remaining silent, we must aggressively speak out. The only thing that needs silencing is hatred. Civility in our free speech must be demanded.

  14. The have to buy the book to burn it. Maybe the publisher is trying to win this niche market.

Comments are closed.