July 11, 2009
The Feminist Way of InterviewingBy Robert Knight
What do you think a New York Times writer would do if a conservative Supreme Court justice like Antonin Scalia opined that:
Do you suppose a follow-up question might have been, "Excuse me, but just which populations are you referring to?"
Alas, the statement was made by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a New York Times Magazine article, The Place of Women on the Court by Slate editor Emily Bazelon, who did not inquire further. Perhaps some groups representing minorities and the disabled will show more curiosity about this shockingly callous comment.
The wide-ranging interview, set for publication on July 12 but already online, reads like a leftist/feminist love-in, with all the inherent contradictions of that ever-evolving philosophy. For example, how about this softball?
Ginsburg agreed to the assertio of unfairness, but laid it to ideology: "There are people in Congress who would criticize severely anyone President Obama nominated."
She then cited Sotomayor's 2001 remark about a "wise Latina" reaching "a better conclusion than a white male" and said, "I thought it was ridiculous for them to make a big deal out of that." Feminists are not concerned when the ox being gored is a white male, any more than a matador thinks twice about putting the blade between the shoulders of a charging bull.
Bazelon eventually brought up the court's overturning of Sotomayor's ruling in the Connecticut firefighter's reverse racism case (Ricci v. DeStefano). Ginsburg's comment was that they picked a "nice guy" who was a "dyslexic firefighter. Which is exactly what you should do as a lawyer." Bazelon agreed, observing, "It's true, it's a very good strategy. He was a very sympathetic plaintiff." As for the merits of the case and whether reverse racism is okay if you don't have such a sympathetic client, well, there was no follow up.
Bazelon moved on to the case of a strip search of a 13-year-old girl, suggesting that the men on the court were largely clueless, to which Ginsburg said, "I think it makes people stop and think, maybe a 13-year-old girl is different from a 13-year-old boy in terms of how humiliating it is to be seen undressed."
That is probably true, but are you saying, Justice Ginsburg, that females are more modest? So it's okay to strip search boys but not girls, or what?
The first rule of feminism is that males and females are identical in all respects except when it advantages females to be treated differently. As Christina Hoff Sommers, author of Who Stole Feminism?, a searing critique of "gender feminism," says, the idea is that "men and women are the same, only women are better."
Getting back to the modesty issue, let's dig a little deeper. As a died-in-the-wool Planned Parenthood ideologue on sexual issues, Justice Ginsburg must know that the typical sex ed class in public schools championed by PP and affiliates such as the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) work to destroy girls' modesty at earlier and earlier ages through graphic exposure to sexual content in mixed-sex sessions. By the time they hit puberty, they're considered somewhat weird and maybe secretly Amish if they have not at least had oral sex or intercourse before their 14th birthday.
The results of Planned Parenthood/SIECUS's "comprehensive sex ed" classes have been devastating, from millions of cases of incurable sexually transmitted infections to millions of unwanted pregnancies and abortions. It sure gives Planned Parenthood clinics a lot to do, which is why Congress keeps shoveling more than $300 million annually at them while sharpening the knife to eliminate abstinence-based education.
Ginsburg sticks consistently with the hard left's abortion agenda, as was revealed in her answer to a question about her dissent in the Carhart v. Gonzales case in which the court upheld the federal ban on partial-birth abortions, which Bazelon calls "the so-called partial-birth abortion ban." The addition of "so-called" to describe a law that specifically defines "partial-birth abortion" is a reporter's cute way of saying, "I disagree with the law." They pretty much all do it.
Anyway, Ginsburg reflects on Justice Kennedy's expression of concern for women who later regret their abortions. At the time, she wrote a bitter dissent saying that this idea of protecting women "reflects ancient notions about women's place in the family and under the Constitution-ideas that have long been discredited." In the Times interview, she gets down and earthy: "The poor little woman, to regret the choice that she made. Unfortunately, there is something of that in Roe. It's not about the women alone. It's the women in consultation with her doctor. So the view you get is the tall doctor and the little woman who needs him."
So let's leave things to the kindly, always altruistic abortionist. And would the "little woman" include the 13-year-old taken across state lines to have an abortion without her parents' knowledge? By all means, let's defend her modesty, but apparently she can make life-changing decisions without her parents or even a doctor's advice. Feminism, you recall, does not have to be consistent, just creative in its relentless disparagement of family and slavish devotion to the sacred rite of abortion.
Throughout the interview, Ginsburg and Bazelon reiterate that the court will be a better place with more women on it, because, as Ginsburg says, "women bring a different life experience to the table. All of our differences make the conference better."
Well, maybe so. But if we're into the numbers game, why isn't there a single conservative, evangelical Christian on the Supreme Court? Such folks make up a self-identified 25 or 30 percent of the population. One reason this is not an issue is that the court sports several Catholics who are eloquent champions of judicial restraint and constitutional fealty, so conservative evangelicals feel their views are well represented. Plus, conservative evangelicals, by and large, oppose quotas.
They also dislike social engineering, unlike Bazelon, who complains that men are still not taking on enough "domestic responsibility." She actually asks Ginsburg, "Can courts play a role in changing that culture?"
Ginsburg, who it is hoped suppressed a laugh but probably didn't, answers, "The legislature can make the change, can facilitate the change, as laws like the Family Medical Leave Act do. But it's not something a court can decree. A court can't tell the man, you've got to do more than carry out the garbage."
At last, judicial restraint!
Robert Knight is Senior Writer/Correspondent for Coral Ridge Ministries and a Senior Fellow for the American Civil Rights Union.