The Republican Outreach Towards Women Continues in Earnest

It’s been a banner week for Republicans courting the female vote.

First, we were told that Dianne Feinstein was too emotional to discuss the CIA and torture.

Then there was this:

Then we watch the mostly male Senate Republicans completely cockblock the Paycheck Fairness Act, causing Barbara Mikulski to basically go nuclear on the floor of the Senate:

Oh, and then this:

An adviser to Greg Abbott, the Republican candidate for Texas governor, said this week that he had found no “evidence” to prove that any woman had been a “significant original thinker in any of the world’s great philosophical traditions.”

In audio obtained by the Burnt Orange Report, American Enterprise Institute scholar Charles Murray can be heard explaining to an audience at the University of Texas that his views on women had not changed since a 2005 paper, in which he asserted that one or “maybe” two women had played significant roles in the field of philosophy.

When a woman at the event on Tuesday asked Murray if he still believed what he wrote, Murray quipped, “Who do you have in mind?”

Murray argued that in “certain traditions” like literature, women had been at the “peak of accomplishment.” But he said that he could only recall one important female philosopher, “and she was not a significant thinker in the estimation of historians of philosophy.”

“So, yeah, I still stick with that,” he insisted. “Until somebody gives me evidence to the contrary, I’ll stick with that statement.”

Well played, gentlemen. Well played.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit

100 replies
  1. 1
    Violet says:

    This is the same Charles Murray who wrote “The Bell Curve”. No surprise here.

  2. 2
    Jacel says:

    How about Susanne *Freaking* Langer? I don’t think I’m gotten more out of reading any philosopher’s writings than hers.

  3. 3
    dmsilev says:

    @Violet: I was just going to say. So he’s a racist *and* a misogynist? I’m shocked.

  4. 4
    Mnemosyne says:

    But he said that he could only recall one important female philosopher, “and she was not a significant thinker in the estimation of historians of philosophy.”

    Wait, wait, let me guess: Ayn Rand. Do I win the cigar?

  5. 5
    Suzanne says:

    @dmsilev: Two, two, two assholes in one.

  6. 6
    cminus says:

    Hey, at least they’re admitting that Ayn Rand isn’t a “significant thinker”. That’s progress of a sort, I guess.

  7. 7
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jacel:

    Or Simone de Beauvoir. Or Mary Wollstonecraft. And I took exactly one philosophy class.

  8. 8
    Baud says:

    he had found no “evidence” to prove that any woman had been a “significant original thinker in any of the world’s great philosophical traditions.”

    Maybe that’s why so many of the philosophies of the world suck.

  9. 9
    currants says:

    Do you mean to have two identical video clips of Sen. Mikulski?

  10. 10
    Anne Laurie says:

    After the last thread, I’m having a vision of Charles Murray’s mom suing the AEI for letting her non compos son embarrass himself in public…

  11. 11

    Charles Murray fluffer, Andrew Sullivan thinks that Christianity was essential to the scientific revolution, and we all know what he thinks of women, not named Thatcher. Birds of a feather…

  12. 12
    currants says:

    @Baud: Yes but…”evidence.” This is Charles Murray, right? EVIDENCE???

  13. 13
    eric says:

    might we point out the educational differences and societal barriers over the course of time????

    Dame Iris Murdoch; hannah arendt;

  14. 14
    dmsilev says:

    @cminus: Yes, but you just know that he’d put Rand in the category of “pinnacle of accomplishment in literature”. So I’m afraid we can only award partial credit here.

  15. 15

    @Violet: I saw him on snooze hour yesterday, discussing economics.

  16. 16

    Andy and Chuck sound like the Thinking Housewife.

  17. 17
    AnotherBruce says:

    @Mnemosyne: Well, it’s between Ayn Rand and Margaret Thatcher. Which right wing demi-Goddess gets eliminated?

  18. 18
    Mike in NC says:

    Well, nobody in the GOP will ever come close to Newt Gingrich for being a sexist asshole. On women in the military:

    “Females have biological problems staying in a ditch for thirty days because they get infections and they don’t have upper body strength”.

    As if that fat draft dodger knew anything about laying in a ditch.

  19. 19
    WaterGirl says:

    I’ve never seen Senator Barbara Mikulski before. Is it crazy that she reminds me of Teddy Kennedy?

  20. 20
    gf120581 says:

    Imagine how bad they’ll get if they face Hillary in 2016. The gender gap could make the Grand Canyon look like a crack in the sidewalk.

    Boy, is Mike Huckabee a piece of shit. I was well aware of his virulent homophobia (he’s the kind of conservative who’d throw gays into camps if he could) but his women-hating is Akin-like in its stupid venality.

  21. 21
    Nutella says:

    @dmsilev:

    So he’s a racist *and* a misogynist?

    He’s an equal-opportunity bigot!

  22. 22
    jl says:

    Since when do these guys care so much about philosophy? And how is a guy who I think has a hard time understanding how intermediate statistical methods work qualified to judge anything about philosophy?

    Anyway, things have picked up big time, philosophy-wise recently with the little wimmins, think.
    G.E.M. Anscombe
    Simone de Beauvoir
    Nancy Cartwright
    Susan Haack

    That is off the top of my head.

    Why not use math and science, you know, the hard real sciency numbers he-man stuff to decide? But, I dunno, too many women have made undeniable original contributions there. I guess a guy could stick to very established reputations, you could put Emmy Noether first, and work backward.

    This is a fun item for the annals of GOP outreach to [write name here].

  23. 23
    gf120581 says:

    @Mike in NC: Newt also said that men are “biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes.” Which led Al Franken to make this comment:

    A picture comes to mind. The African plains. Newt, Rush and Bill Bennett, all 800+ pounds of them, trying to run down a giraffe. The giraffe is thinking, “No problem here.”

  24. 24
    AnotherBruce says:

    From Hammerin’ Hank: (From TPM)

    Aaron told USA Today in an interview published Tuesday that he still has the hateful letters he received as he closed in on Ruth’s career home run record 40 years ago this week. He said he keeps them as a reminder “that we are not that far removed from when I was chasing the record.”

    “If you think that, you are fooling yourself,” he said. “A lot of things have happened in this country, but we have so far to go. There’s not a whole lot that has changed.”

    According to Aaron, things are not that much different today — the country’s first black president notwithstanding.

    “We can talk about baseball. Talk about politics. Sure, this country has a black president, but when you look at a black president, President Obama is left with his foot stuck in the mud from all of the Republicans with the way he’s treated,” Aaron said.

    He added, “We have moved in the right direction, and there have been improvements, but we still have a long ways to go in the country. The bigger difference is that back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts.”

    Yep, still hammerin’

  25. 25
    Gordon, the Big Express Engine says:

    That huck quote is funny. I am on a two day hunt as I write this (all men save one person) and several of us have said we wish there were more women here!

  26. 26
    Origuy says:

    I never studied philosophy, but how about St. Hildegard of Bingen. in the 12th century, the lines between philosophy, theology, and science were not as clear-cut as today, but she was listened to by kings and popes.

  27. 27
    Mnemosyne says:

    @jl:

    These are the same guys who say things like, There will never be a woman who is a grandmaster of chess despite, y’know, all of the women who have already done that very thing. Facts are irrelevant.

  28. 28
    maya says:

    Next Republican outreach and possible 2016 election plank: Chastity belts. Just a dark ages fashion statement or intriguing solution to teen sex, abortion and male anxiety for our times?

  29. 29
    sparrow says:

    woot woot! Mikulski! That’s my senator!

    (that’s all… it is nice living in a blue state sometimes, after all those years in Tejas…)

  30. 30
    jl says:

    And I think the assertion that there is no statistically significant gap in pay, once adjusted for differences in working career lengths, child rearing, etc. is wrong. There is still between 10 and 20 percent gap in average pay that cannot be accounted for by those factors.

    And funny, but fields where performance can be more objectively judged, and men have been new entrants to fields previously dominated by women, there is no detectable pay gap on average at all (high tech nursing services, is an example).

    But the really serious problem is hidden by an analysis that focuses on averages. As in health insurance premium, the averages hide huge and difficult to justify variations in certain fields and geographical areas that are impossible to defend.

    But, I say, let the GOP carry on with their brave outreach efforts. Riffing off a quote by Harry Truman, while Democrats have to do their own work to win elections and we can’t realy on them completely, the GOP will always be willing to provide help. There was a period when that was not so true, but I think those days are coming back.

  31. 31
    the Conster says:

    Thanks so much for this post John Cole. I knew I loved you for a reason – you’re grokking the white male privilege you soak in, and believe me when I tell you how rare that is. I just wish EVERY white man of every age – but especially MY age – would just shut the fuck up now about race and women, and sit down and listen. So.fucking.sick.of their stupid shit.

  32. 32
    J.Ty says:

    And I guess science and math don’t count as wings of philosophy any more. K.

  33. 33
    Baud says:

    On the contrary, the civil law, as well as nature herself, has always recognized a wide difference in the respective spheres and destinies of man and woman. Man is, or should be, woman’s protector and defender. The natural and proper timidity and delicacy which belongs to the female sex evidently unfits it for many of the occupations of civil life. The Constitution of the family organization, which is founded in the divine ordinance as well as in the nature of things, indicates the domestic sphere as that which properly belongs to the domain and functions of womanhood.
    …..
    The paramount destiny and mission of woman are to fulfill the noble and benign offices of wife and mother. This is the law of the Creator. And the rules of civil society
    ….
    This fairly belongs to the police power of the state, and, in my opinion, in view of the peculiar characteristics, destiny, and mission of woman, it is within the province of the legislature to ordain what offices, positions, and callings shall be filled and discharged by men, and shall receive the benefit of those energies and responsibilities, and that decision and firmness which are presumed to predominate in the sterner sex.

    Vote Republican 1872 2014!

  34. 34
    MikeJ says:

    @jl: Does Ariel Durant fit in there anywhere? She was mostly a popularizer, but that’s a valid kind of thing to do.

  35. 35
    Schlemizel says:

    Now, now, you girls settle down. I have proof that there are no great influences from girls. That proof? Well I can only think of one, maybe two, girls that ever wrote anything I was taught about so there you go. Same thing with the coloreds, I don’t remember them being mentioned in my fairly expensive schooling either – QED!

    And even worse, the girls and the coloreds want special months and college classes focusing on their work but they get all pissy if us real people want classes focusing on all the real giants we learned about in school.

  36. 36
    BBA says:

    Sometimes I think the 19th amendment didn’t go far enough and we should deny the vote to men.

  37. 37
    JPL says:

    @sparrow: Well la di da my rep is Tom Price who thinks that buying insurance across state lines will rid all those companies of GA regulations and lower rates. When he was practicing my son saw him for a knee injury and after seeing that we had gold insurance recommended an Ct scan. It’s the only time the gold insurance company called asking if he mentioned part ownership in the company he sent us to. Of course, I’m not sure what they said is true but none the less the law is changed to prevent self referral.

    also..too.. he saw son’s x’rays and said I notice you have x insurance and you have a choice.. a cast for six weeks or this Ctscan ..

  38. 38
    RepubAnon says:

    Funny thing: when sexists omit any mention of women philosophers in their “Great (White) Men of the Greco-Roman Tradition” class, none of the students hear about women philosophers. Yes, another Republican exercise in assuming one’s conclusions. But then, the comment is all part of the great Republican philosophy of circular reasoning.

    It’s a particularly apt form of reasoning for Republicans, as the water in the toilet bowl also travels in a circular manner when dealing with matters similar to the output of Republican pundits.

  39. 39
    WereBear says:

    @gf120581: Boy, is Mike Huckabee a piece of shit. I was well aware of his virulent homophobia (he’s the kind of conservative who’d throw gays into camps if he could) but his women-hating is Akin-like in its stupid venality.

    It’s in his mean little eyes, like some kind of rabid rodent.

    It was instant revulsion when I first encountered him, and nothing since has changed my mind.

  40. 40
    RSR says:

    Plus the ‘Breitbrat’ California debacle.

  41. 41
    Poopyman says:

    @sparrow: Yup! She’s a pitbull, but she’s our pitbull.

  42. 42
  43. 43
    Pogonip says:

    @gf120581: If I may play devil’s advocate a moment: a lot of men DO like to go off for a weekend sans women and women often DO go to the restroom in herds. Here we have a rare occasion of a politician telling the truth. Shouldn’t they be encouraged to tell the truth more often? Preferably on more important subjects than hunting camps and restrooms.

  44. 44
    Ripley says:

    Maybe men are simply more adept at protracted, passive, verbose, oblivious, and ultimately fruitless gazes up their own asses?

  45. 45
    Poopyman says:

    @J.Ty: Actually not, especially at the undergraduate level. And both science and philosophy are the poorer for it.

  46. 46
    Pogonip says:

    @Gordon, the Big Express Engine: What’s in season in April?

    A lot of men like to go hunting sans women; the smarter ones take us along!

  47. 47
    Roger Moore says:

    And what exactly are Murray’s qualifications for judging the impact of women on philosophy? He doesn’t have a degree in philosophy. As far as I know he hasn’t written anything important about philosophy. If he doesn’t know of any important women philosophers or religious figures, maybe that’s proof of his ignorance rather than any lack of female contributions.

  48. 48
    Chris says:

    @gf120581:

    Even in the field of repellent nimrods that was the 2008 Republican candidate bench, Huckabee stood out as the worst of them to me.

    (In 2012, it was Herman Cain).

  49. 49
    Poopyman says:

    @Ripley: Hmmmm, depends. What’s your definition of a fruitful gaze up ones own ass?

  50. 50
    WereBear says:

    I’ve never liked it when men explain why women are lacking in areas they are not allowed to compete in.

    And yet it’s wrong of me to coat them with honey and roll them in fire ant hills. Go figure.

  51. 51
    Pogonip says:

    @Roger Moore: This is what you see in a society that has cut itself off from its own past–historical ignorance even among the “educated.”. It’s a bad thing.

  52. 52
  53. 53
    jl says:

    @Pogonip: Good try.

    I think Huckabee was not making any coherent point, unlike Murray or Abbott who were, he just wandered off into sexist drivel while talking about another topic entirely, the importance of be willing to stand up for your convictions and go it alone for both men and women.

    So, in Huck’s case, we just got a glimpse into how he thinks about things. Maybe he could have thought of a better example of women doing things together than going to the toilet? Is that too much to ask? Apparently, yes it is. Anyway, I don’t really see much of that among people middle age or younger, so I think it is dated, which makes sense for Huckabee.

    Huckabee: Men Hunt Together, Women Go To The Restroom Together
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/l.....m-together

  54. 54
    Ash Can says:

    @Pogonip: I haven’t seen any women, including me, go to the restroom in a “herd” since I was in undergrad, many many years ago.

  55. 55

    I am surprised that Charles Murray does not consider Sister Sarah to a be a great philosopher.

  56. 56

    @Ash Can: I didn’t get that joke either. I have only seen it happen in the movies.

  57. 57
    cckids says:

    @Mike in NC:

    As if that fat draft dodger knew anything about laying in a ditch.

    Also, too, because we’ll be re-fighting WWI any day now.

  58. 58
    efgoldman says:

    @WereBear:

    And yet it’s wrong of me to coat them with honey and roll them in fire ant hills.

    Why?

  59. 59
    Constance says:

    Simone Weil.

  60. 60

    Perhaps add Martha Nussbaum’s name to the philosophers’ roll.

  61. 61
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Ripley:

    Maybe men are simply more adept at protracted, passive, verbose, oblivious, and ultimately fruitless gazes up their own asses?

    I’m going to have to think about this

    ETA- for like a long time

  62. 62
    Ian says:

    It’s little nuggets like that one that really make me hope Huckabee gives up his wingnut welfare to pull off a presidential run in 2016.

  63. 63
    MomSense says:

    I’m feeling pretty volcanic myself!

  64. 64
    WereBear says:

    @efgoldman: Well, that’s what the forest ranger told me.

  65. 65
    tybee says:

    @Pogonip:

    turkey and hog ?

  66. 66
    Ian says:

    @jl:
    These are the people who really, really liked it when the illiterate manchild from Connecticut (erm, I mean Texas!) said his favorite philosopher was Jesus. So no, they don’t care about it, except when philosophy can be used to bash liberals.

  67. 67
    Pogonip says:

    @Ash Can: Really? Maybe it’s a regional thing? Here on the Midwest we are prone to form herds on Friday and Saturday nights.

  68. 68
    jl says:

    @MikeJ:

    I don’t know.

    @Ian:

    I think anyone who is at all familiar with Western philosophy over last 100 years would have to include Anscombe among important and original philosophers, particularly on the ideas of intentional action, philosophy of mind, and causality. She was also a fervent anti-abortionist, and I think was a very traditional Catholic, so they could use her as some kind of example.

    But, she was consistent (a philosopher you know), so also fervently against war, MAD and nuclear weapons, so there is that too.

    And she wrote all high toned and fancy, used jargon, precious and complicated subjunctives whenever she could, all that academic he-man raw steak and ‘taters Western philosophy stuff.

  69. 69
    Monty says:

    Murray argued that in “certain traditions” like literature, women had been at the “peak of accomplishment.” But he said that he could only recall one important female philosopher, “and she was not a significant thinker in the estimation of historians of philosophy.”

    Yeah, that’s gotta be Ayn Rand…who is definitely NOT a significant thinker in the estimation of historians of philosophy.

    On other hand, there’s Hannah Arendt & GEM Anscombe to name but two.

  70. 70
    Woodrowfan says:

    he was just getting too emotional…

  71. 71
    JGabriel says:

    In audio obtained by the Burnt Orange Report, American Enterprise Institute scholar Charles Murray can be heard explaining to an audience at the University of Texas that his views on women had not changed since a 2005 paper, in which he asserted that one or “maybe” two women had played significant roles in the field of philosophy.

    As mathematics is frequently regarded as a branch of philosophy, I’d like throw a few names in the hat here:

    Emmy Noether
    Hypatia
    Sophia Kovalevsky

    There’s three, just in the philosophical branch of mathematics alone, you insufferable, sexist, racist prick.

  72. 72
    efgoldman says:

    I don’t know that she was any kind of philosopher, but my very distant relative Grace Hopper was a pioneer in computer science.

  73. 73
    Heliopause says:

    no “evidence” to prove that any woman had been a “significant original thinker in any of the world’s great philosophical traditions.”

    Well it’s obviously the case that women have been systematically excluded from the “great traditions” of the humanities, arts, sciences, etc. Interesting he gives a pass to literature. Maybe because Austen wrote some books that still get turned into BBC dramas? Woolf is as painful to read as Joyce? Not sure about his reasoning there. The main lesson I get from the “great traditions” is that nearly 50% of humanity’s intellectual capital has simply been wasted.

  74. 74
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    American Enterprise Institute scholar Charles Murray

    Tells you everything you need to know about the intellectual sewer that is AEI.

    Wipe them out. All of them.

  75. 75
    Marc says:

    In audio obtained by the Burnt Orange Report, American Enterprise Institute scholar Charles Murray

    Of course it was.

    can be heard explaining to an audience at the University of Texas that his views on women had not changed since a 2005 paper

    Now ask him about the blah people.

  76. 76
    Birthmarker says:

    Maybe women would seem more accomplished by a man’s definition if we weren’t so busy keeping the kids alive every day.

  77. 77
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @AnotherBruce: Noisemax is outraged that Hammerin’ Hank called the teahadis little more than the KKK without the sheets.

  78. 78
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mnemosyne: I don’t know if I’d call someone who wrote turgid, stilted fiction an “important philosopher”.

    But we are talking Charles Murray’s characterization here, so anything goes, I guess.

  79. 79
    J.Ty says:

    @efgoldman: If you count her within the philosophy of language scope, which, well, she did create the first compiler…

    ETA: for some reason I always picture her with a badass eyepatch that she alas did not have.

  80. 80
    Ash Can says:

    @Pogonip: Not regional; I’m in the Midwest too. I guess I just don’t hang around with any women who see a trip to the can as a social event rather than, well, a trip to the can.

  81. 81
    Suzanne says:

    I was always encouraged to go into public restrooms in a group as a safety measure, not as an opportunity to socialize.

  82. 82
    StringOnAStick says:

    That Huckabee fella sure knows how to charm the votin’ ladyfolk. Apparently we’re supposed to have as high an opinion of our intellectual capabilities as Jeff Foxworthy does of his fellow rednecks.

  83. 83
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @WaterGirl: Mikulski is great. An O.G. liberal.

  84. 84
    AnotherBruce says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: He also called them “starched shirts” He’s right, you can sense that they would be much more comfortable in their sheer robes.

  85. 85
    Petorado says:

    I think it’s pretty much a rule that any portion of humanity that claims that they were born better than any other part of humanity are themselves the least of the species and are merely projecting their deficiencies.

  86. 86
    Jrod says:

    The fact that women are poorly represented among “significant” philosophers is nothing but proof that women are the smarter sex.

  87. 87
    Ripley says:

    @Poopyman: A segment on Ellen.

  88. 88
    hitchhiker says:

    First lets eliminate all the male philosophers who were independently wealthy/supported by patrons and those who were fathers.

    There.

    A little bit more of a level playing field.

    Women could not even own effing property until recently. They couldn’t choose when or if to get pregnant, and they weren’t allowed access to teachers. Murray is a dumb feck, but even he should be able to see that he’s making the wrong point.

    He’s a man smugly claiming, “Look, we kept you blindfolded and tied your hands behind your backs for all of recorded history, right up until the invention of the pill! And you didn’t write any important philosophy, you dumb bitches.”

    Why does anybody care what he says, my god.

  89. 89
    mclaren says:

    Between a front-pager who’s been accused of rape and another commenter who keeps laughing and making jokes about the fact that 1 out of every 3 women in the army gets raped by another soldier, it looks like the liberal progressives forum Balloon Juice is working hard on their outreach towards women too.

  90. 90
    Lurker says:

    Wow! Barbara Mikulski really went ballistic! Great speech.

  91. 91
    Sherparick says:

    Murray has always had a basic confusion between “cause” and “effects.” Here is citing an “effect” of millenia of patriarchy (where most women were kept illiterate and where those who could read were usually either suppressed or ignored) as proving some sort of cause. Also Murray, the Ol’ Crossburner, demonstrates one of the great “strengths” of Movement Conservatives, the complete lack of imagination and empathy to understand the situation of anyone outside their own privileged, upper class, male position.

  92. 92
    Paul in KY says:

    @AnotherBruce: Excellent & true comments by The Hammer.

  93. 93
    Paul in KY says:

    @mclaren: You need tro post your comments up higher in the comment chain (pro tip).

  94. 94
    TooManyJens says:

    @Paul in KY: But then somebody might actually see those comments and refute them. Better for mclaren to just drop this shit at the end of dead threads so it can go unchallenged.

  95. 95
    low-tech cyclist says:

    Before moving to Maryland ~15 years ago, I’d grown up in Virginia, and spent most of my adult life there too, and I confess I still identify more as a Virginian than a Marylander.

    But hearing Barbara Mikulski, and knowing she represents me, makes me proud. And knowing that Maryland has just joined Connecticut in raising its minimum wage to $10.10/hour makes me proud to belong to this state. More states ought to be like Maryland!

  96. 96
    low-tech cyclist says:

    @WaterGirl: Imagine Teddy with blue-collar roots. That’s Mikulski. I hope she lives forever, because she’s an old-fashioned liberal who will continue to get re-elected and speak up for ordinary men and women as long as she’s got a pulse.

  97. 97
    WaterGirl says:

    @mclaren: This was my reply to your nearly identical post from the earlier thread today, except that you added this line:

    No one wants to talk about that?

    I’ll talk about that. As soon as you provide links to the comments where Omnes is laughing and laughing and laughing and making jokes about the fact that 1 out of 3 women in the military are raped.

    I’ll leave be sure to leave this thread open in a tab for a few days, that way I can check back for those links.

  98. 98
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Gordon, the Big Express Engine: The women are too busy going to the restroom together, doncha know?

  99. 99
    Epicurus says:

    Just when you think Murray could not possibly become more obtuse (and obviously wrong), he surprises you. He is a truly dangerous person, a bigoted idiot masquerading as a smart person. He’s a lying, oblivious piece of excrement, imho, and should be mocked, or preferably, ignored. If he represents the highest level of thinking on the Right, there are some very intelligent pigs looking to run for President.

  100. 100
    Julie says:

    @efgoldman: We had a conference room named after her at the place I used to work. It always made me happy. :)

Comments are closed.