If you like your misogyny with a heavy serving of irony, you could do no better than the United Nations this week after Saudi Arabia was elected to a 2018-2022 term on the Commission on the Status of Women, the U.N. agency that, according to its website, is “exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.” As with Iran being put on the Commission, the irony would be humorous if there were not millions of victims over decades of abuse by these countries. Previously, Saudi Arabia taking over the top spot on the Human Rights Commission was viewed as unbelievable, but the entry on the Commission on the Status of Women sets a level of irony that may be unsurpassable.
There is an interesting finding from a Washington Post poll that is rather buried in the story: “The new survey finds 46 percent saying they voted for Clinton and 43 percent for Trump, similar to her two-point national vote margin. Asked how they would vote if the election were held today, 43 say they would support Trump and 40 percent say Clinton.” Given Trump’s dismal popularity (perhaps the least popular president in the first 100 days in office since the start of modern polling), it was a surprising result. It comes at a time when Clinton has been listing a number of reasons for her historic defeat . . . except for herself. This includes her explanation (and her supporters) that it was not Clinton but self-hating, misogynistic women who could not vote for any woman for President.
The two teenage girls in Maryland have been charged with hate crimes after they lit a Trump sign on fire. The novel charge is based on the prosecutors treating Trump supporters as the protected group. It is quite a stretch from the conventional hate crime. The very notion of a hate crime has been criticized by civil libertarians as raising free speech and double jeopardy concerns.
We have been discussing the erosion of free speech on our campuses across the country through speech codes and increasingly violent protests. Conservative speakers are now routined denied the opportunity to speak on campuses by university officials who cite security concerns or by mob action preventing events from occurring. The latest example is Ann Coulter whose speech was cancelled at the last minute by the university even though she agreed to additional conditions set by officials. Coulter however pledges to show up to speak regardless of the decision. That could produce a confrontation with the university in its continued failure to protect free speech on its campus.
We have previously discussed how some schools are abandoning the use of traditional pronouns to reflect a growing list of possible genders for students. Brown University has pushed these changes even further in its acceptance letters this year by using “they” as the “gender-inclusive” pronoun. Thus the letter refers to “their” achievements when referring to the singular admitted student. For many, the use of such plural pronouns for a single individual is confusing and ungrammatical. However, the Associated Press recently adopted the use of “they” as a preferred pronoun in recognition of transexual and other individuals who may not be comfortable with traditional genders.
We previously discussed the controversy over a painting by a constituent of Democratic Rep. William Lacy Clay that depicted police as pigs in Ferguson, Missouri. As we discussed, the House had a right to remove the art and eventually did precisely that. However, before that decision from the House, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R., Cal.) took down the painting. Clay called for criminal charges. When the painting was rehung, another Republican member removed it. At the time, Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said “We may just have to kick somebody’s ass and stop them. Then the architect stepped in and barred the hanging of the picture. A lawsuit challenged the actions of the House of Representatives and I expressed my great skepticism over the merits of such a case. It appears that U.S. District Judge John D. Bates agrees with that assessment. In a ruling yesterday, Bates rejected the claim that the Architect’s actions were unlawful in removing the painting by David Pulphus, a student artist from Missouri. Pulphus joined Rep. William Clay, in the legal challenge.
The world has condemned the referendum that narrowly gave near dictatorial powers to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Not only was the government accused of tampering with the close results, but the referendum represents the final demise of democracy in Turkey. Erdogan is also responsible for destroying the separation of church and state. However, Erdogan did get one call of congratulations . . . from the President of the United States.