This morning at Mad Genius Club, I posted about how I’ve come to the decision that my advice to writers about keeping the politics separate from their careers was wrong. I started changing my mind when I watched a small number of authors and agents jumping all over anyone who dared disagree with them about whether or not Amazon is the cause of all publishing’s problems or whether the agency pricing model is a good thing or not. I’ve been pretty vocal about my thoughts on both issues. First, Amazon might not be anything close to a paragon of virtue, but it is by far NOT the big evil this small group of people want to make it out to be. As for agency pricing, even the publishers using it point out they don’t make as much money from it as they did from the previous pricing model. So how in the HELL can it be better for them, much less for authors?
But what finally threw the lid off my reticence to talk politics or religion or anything else I damn well please has been the rash of pile-ons by another group of very vocal folks (funny thing is, many of them are the same ones who think we should continue backing publishers that have been slowly continuing policies that are killing the industry) who feel they have the right to bash those who don’t agree with their social policy beliefs.
I’ve done my best to ignore most of the Facebook posts about the so-called Republican War on Women. But the final straw came over the last 48 hours when a group of them felt they had free rein to go to Sarah A. Hoyt’s blog and attack her because she dared not agree with what they had to say. After all, she wasn’t being loyal to her gender when she said employers shouldn’t be forced to pay for birth control for their female employees. They took offense when she commented that any war based on sex that is being waged in this country is against our men. They called her names, they suggested she leave the country and they howled in outrage when she finally started blocking the more offensive comments.
They accused her of stifling discussion and of not wanting to hear the truth. Of course, it was their “truth”, usually unsupported by hard facts or data. At best, most of the data cited was flawed because it mingled different “classes” of people (no, not economic or racial, but by age). This co-mingling would be enough for most statisticians to toss it out as being flawed. But that co-mingling was the only way this vocal group could make its point.
What was worse is that it was so clearly a case of someone being outraged at what Sarah had to say that she called/texted/pm’d her buddies and said they had an infidel to deal with. Most of the comments were nothing more than almost verbatim repetitions of the one before it. They weren’t interested in discussion. They were interested only in browbeating Sarah and those who dared agree with her. Most of all, they were interested in disrupting Sarah’s blog.
So, for the record, there is no war on women. There are some really stupid pieces of proposed legislation out there. Most are not sponsored by more than one or two loonies. There are a few with more sponsors. But the actual probability of these being passed into law are slim to none.
Moreover, assigning a sinister motive to an entire political party based on the actions of a few of its members is ridiculous.
I’m more worried about how we are raising our kids now. As the mother of a son, I’ve watched him being told by teachers and administrators that boys are bad. They have centuries of mistreatment of women to make up for. They are taught that women have never had any power and the feminist movement is a natural correction to that oversight. There are even history classes that teach women never had the right to own property, have a profession or ply a trade (other than prostitution) until the last century. There’s more, but I think you get my drift.
So, if I don’t agree that employers should be forced to pay for birth control — for the purposes only of not getting pregnant and not for any existing medical condition — if it is against the employer’s fundamental religious beliefs, get over it. No one forced that woman to go to work for that employer. There is this thing called personal responsibility.
And don’t give me the line of crap that the employee pays for the insurance. They only pay a portion of it. This is the real world, boys and girls, so grow the hell up.
I’ll go even further. I think the government, be it state or federal, should put limits on welfare and unemployment benefits. But, in doing so, it should also offer job training and placement services. But the days of going on the government dole and staying there for years, even decades, has to end. Of course, if there are medical reasons, that is a different story.
We have spent the last generation weakening our country and our citizens. We have become a country full of folks who feel entitled to whatever they want. If they don’t get it, they pitch a fit like a little kid in the grocery who doesn’t get the piece of candy he wants. They kick and scream and call names. And they don’t think about the consequences of their actions.
It’s like this trend we’ve had for much too long of not keeping score at kids’ games. The reason, well meaning I’m sure, is to make sure no kid has his feelings hurt. The problem is, it doesn’t teach a kid how to lose, how to fail. And if you never experience either a loss or a failure, what is there to drive you to seek to achieve a gain or a win?
This trend has moved from the playground into the classroom. There are schools now where homework is no longer mandatory. In fact, if a teacher assigns it, it can’t be graded. Some schools now allow students to retake exams as many times as they want if they failed. Classroom curriculum is a one size fits all in public schools. Teachers aren’t allowed to adapt their lesson plans to meet the needs of all their students. And yet people wonder why our scores are continuing to fall when compared to other countries.
Then there’s the consequence–yes, I know that’s a word a lot of folks don’t like to think about–of not teaching our kids how to fail, or how to achieve. They get to college or into the workforce and are suddenly faced with the fact that not all people are created, much less treated, equal. Not everyone is going to like them and–gasp–maybe they aren’t as wonderful as mommy and daddy and their teachers led them to believe.
Personal responsibility needs to be re-introduced to this country. It starts with something as simple as taking responsibility for obtaining your own birth control if it isn’t a medical necessity for some physical condition. Guys, it includes you making sure some form of birth control is being used unless you want to assume the responsibility for a child. You can’t rely on the women to do it. Most of us are pretty honest, but there are those who will tell you they are on the Pill or using an IUD and aren’t.
Personal responsibility as parents means teaching our kids that not everything in the world is good. Nor is the world fair. There are times it will kick you in the teeth and the only way to respond is to pick yourself up and work harder. If you se an injustice, it is your decision to determine how you will react–and you have to live with the consequences. The government needs to stay the hell out of our bedrooms (as long as they are occupied by consenting adults) and out of our kitchens. I don’t need it telling me what to eat or not to eat. I take the responsibility for my actions.
One commenter the other day said they are fighting for a society. Of course, they didn’t say what society. Nor did they seem to care that there might be folks who don’t want to be part of it. In fact, they didn’t care about much of anything as long as we all agreed with their opinions. Sorry, but think about how boring the world would be if we all agreed on everything and if the world was a social utopia.
I’ll go back to that “heretic” Heinlein: TANSTAAFL
It’s time we remembered that.