Thursday, August 30, 2012

Is democracy for people or heads of households?

Off topic here, so I'll be brief:

I added a little to the Storify about women as people that I started in response to the Akin thing. I'm still concerned that feminists, labor writers, and others are missing the fundamental traditionalist belief behind Republican rhetoric. It's that freedom -- in the sense of freedom under law, in the sense of freedom to participate as a citizen in governmental and other public fora -- belongs to heads of households, including heads of businesses. In their view, freedom is for the public sphere, where heads of households speak for their households. Subordinate members of households -- which in their view, most of us are -- belong in the private sphere, under private control. The notion that every person has an equal right to the equal protection of the laws, and a corresponding equal right to participate in government, strikes them as not merely inappropriate but comical. It's why they can't accept reproductive rights, or unions, or any other refusal of a person to be an instrument.

[The angry bafflement at assertions of voting rights and at the claiming of full-scale personhood by immigrants would seem to be part of the pattern.]

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