Don’t get distracted by the shiny cross

Recovered from the Wayback Machine

Both Rox Populi and PZ Myers are outraged at a post by a “Christian Libertarian” weblogger who is, himself, outraged at a new mandate in Norway to open up executive positions for women and a new law to force men to help out with household chores in Spain. He writes:

Far too many women are fascists at heart. You can see this at work in almost every female-dominant organization and in the way that women’s organizations constantly attempt to force change on everyone, men and women, who don’t want it. Some people think the Founding Fathers had never even considered the thought of allowing women to vote, that it was just a historical oversight on the part of some unconsciously sexist men. I suspect that they knew perfectly well what they were doing, given the obvious connection between the female franchise and the West’s continental drift into socialism.

I adore Rox Populi and PZ, but in this case I just can’t share their anger. You see, writing like this doesn’t really make me angry. If anything I chuckled gleefully throughout the whole thing because it represents such an raw, blatantly open viewpoint, with absolutely no sly wit undermining good sense or logic; having no subtlety, it actually helps those it supposedly is meant to hurt, and hurts those who are meant to be helped.

For instance. I imagine that after reading this, libertarians like Glenn Reynolds are frantically waving their hands in negation and quickly saying, “Hey, he’s not my kind of Libertarian”, and good Christians like Michelle Malkin are going, “Hey, he’s not my kind of Christian–and let’s wall up the borders!”

(Oh, beg pardon–I forgot that Michelle is also a woman, and therefore fascist at heart.)

If I am peeved by the writing it’s not from the opinions expressed, but the fact that they’re based on historical misinformation. I mean if one is going to make such sweeping pronouncements, you would think that one would take a moment to actually check facts in Yahoo or Google before doing so.

Those who met to draft the Constitution and new government of the United States didn’t want to make a decision about who could and could not vote and set up a system whereby people from each state would vote for representatives who would then elect the leaders. By doing this, the federal government left the decision on who could, or could not, vote to the states.

Beginning with the very formation of the government of the US, women did have the right to vote. It was only after the formation of the new union was this right removed, state by state, with New Jersey removing it at the last, in 1807. However, as new states entered the union, women having the right to vote or not changed with each, and throughout much of our history women had the right to vote somewhere. It is only with the passing of the Nineteenth Amendment that the right to vote for women was made part of the Constitution, overriding whatever states rights existed at that time and since.

Frankly, before making the decision to deed voting rights to the states, the founding fathers spent more time discussing whether a voter should have real property than whether the voter should be a man.

As for Mr. Vox Popoli’s connection between women suffrage and fascism, as evidenced in the following statement:

There is a reason why a fascist demagogue like Benito Mussolini made suffragism the very first point in the Fascist Manifesto, after all.

Leaving aside such breathless leaps of inference, again if we look at history, we’ll see that women have campaigned vigorously against slavery, for free schools and libraries, accessible medical care, and for the rights of of workers. In fact, women were some of the most vocal anti-slavery campaigners, and the earliest union members. So if we are extrapolating from women’s activism to a specific political and financial system, women have historically favored a more *socialistic form of government and society.

In fact, Mr. Populi would seem to agree with this, and this gave cause for my injured neck this morning when the very sentence before the one I just quoted read (in reference to the Founding Fathers not giving women the vote):

I suspect that they knew perfectly well what they were doing, given the obvious connection between the female franchise and the West’s continental drift into socialism.

Whiplash such as this can cause permanent injury. Mr. Populi, you should provide warnings.

Really, the only reason I’m linking to this post at Vox Popoli is that the stories he linked to (the Norwegian executive mandate, and the new Spanish law requiring men to share housework) are fascinating discussion items worthy of much debate.

Once we find people capable of such a debate, of course.

*Before we sidetrack into a debate on ’socialism is fascism’, see the Wikipedia article comparing the two.

Technology Weblogging

First alpha release

Following the open source mantra of “release early, release often”, I’ve uploaded the first alpha release of Wordform. You can access it from SourceForge.

You’ll want to backup before using this, and install the application in a database separate from your production environment.

You’ll need to edit config.php to match your database information and also add in the siteurl for the URL of the weblog. If you move the installation, you’ll need to change this value.

The install files are in /admin/install and are pretty simple. If you’re making a copy of your existing WordPress database (not using your production one, of course), it should upgrade fine. But this is early alpha, so anything goes.

For creating static files, set the static subdirectory to world writable. To have the system manage your .htaccess file, make it writable by the world.

I recommend this release only for developers and those experienced with early releases. You can add bug reports at SourceForge, but if you have installation problems, you might want to add a comment here or send me an email.

A more stable release will go out at end of week, and I hope to make new releases weekly, as well as use the CVS facilities. When I release at the end of the week, I’ll release a separate package with just those files that have changed between alpha-01 and alpha-02.