“Disparagement of males is commonplace in today’s culture”

Oh look, sly dishonest interpretation from James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal, in an article on the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s ad responding to the Hobby Lobby ruling in the New York Times. (That’s too many things. It’s too confusing. The FFRF ad was in the Times. It was responding to the Hobby Lobby ruling. Writing is hard.)

…the FFRF’s rhetorical approach does not seem finely tuned for the purpose of winning political allies. The ad is more in the spirit of James Blaine than James Madison. It begins with a quote from birth-control (and eugenics) crusader Margaret Sanger, then, in large capital letters, declares: “Dogma Should Not Trump Our Civil Liberties. All-Male, All-Roman Catholic Majority on Supreme Court Puts Religious Wrongs Over Women’s Rights.”

Disparagement of males is commonplace in today’s culture, but anti-Catholic bigotry still has a bad odor. It must be said, however, that the FFRF ad is not the first, or even the worst, example of it in the context of the ObamaCare mandate.

“Disparagement of males” ffs – they were all male, and males don’t get pregnant; males are not vulnerable to bad rulings on contraception in the way that females are; it’s not “disparagement” to point that out. As for “anti-Catholic bigotry” – oh never mind, I don’t have the energy. He will win anyway: that kind of thing is one reason people are so squeamish about this subject.


  1. karmacat says

    Should we remind Taranto that it is disparagement of 5 male supreme court justices and “#NotAllMen” And just because contraceptives are mandated in insurance coverage, doesn’t mean he has to take them. These people need to go to Saudi Arabia and see what it is really like to live under religious law. If we are lucky, they will stay there

  2. thephilosophicalprimate says

    Ugh. The WSJ opinion pages was a haven for right wing liars and lunatics BEFORE Rupert Murdoch bought the paper.

  3. thetalkingstove says

    It’s apprently impossible for some men to hear “hey, this group of people isn’t very diverse, perhaps it would be good to have some women or people of colour involved” and not comprehend it as “hey, white guys! you suck!”

  4. Bruce Martin says

    When he says “Disparagement of males is commonplace in today’s culture,…” does he mean the culture at the Board meetings of Emily’s List? Because I have friends on the local version of the board here, and I never got that vibe from them, or from my Planned Parenthood friends either. And I’ve never gotten that feeling in the times I’ve talked with Annie Laurie Gaylor or the other FFRF staff at meetings over the years. Where is this feminist paradise that WSJ scribes hang out at?

  5. opposablethumbs says

    Agree w James O’Day – isn’t it pathetic and laughable how Taranto tries to pretend that a legitimate criticism of a specific group of men (in the specific context of a ruling that only affects women) somehow magically means an attack on all men everywhere! Well, it would be laughable if it weren’t actually a real and present threat to women’s health and wellbeing.

  6. ambassadorfromverdammt says

    “Disparagement of males is commonplace in today’s culture . . .” because males whose behaviour/attitudes are in desperate need of disparagement are also commonplace. Taranto is one of them.

  7. says

    Yeah, I mean, how dare we notice that those people who voted against women’s health had some things in common (like male and catholic) while those who voted in favour also mostly had something in common (like female)?
    Next time somebody notices that a lot of serious accidents are caused by young male intoxicated drivers there will be cries of misandry…

  8. culuriel says

    To be fair to this guy, he probably sees sexism as part and parcel of masculinity, so of course he’d feel men in general were being disparaged.

  9. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Next time somebody notices that a lot of serious accidents are caused by young male intoxicated drivers there will be cries of misandry…


    I’ve had MRAs bring up the fact that auto insurance is more expensive for males aged 18-24 ish (in the US anyway) as an example of supposed female privilege.

  10. says

    ’ve had MRAs bring up the fact that auto insurance is more expensive for males aged 18-24 ish (in the US anyway) as an example of supposed female privilege.

    Well, AND fewer women die in self-caused traffic accidents, so it’s total misandry and evidence that society wants to kill all males.
    It is also completely fair that women pay more for healthcare because of baby-making related costs, which, as we all know, have no male involvement at all.

  11. Jeff Engel says

    Anti-Catholic bigotry would be a bad thing – see, it’s the “bigotry” part that gives that away. And there’s some history of it in this country, but it’s at least one sort of bigotry we’ve pretty well put behind us.

    Legitimate issues with Catholic doctrine is something else entirely – it’s a matter of beliefs; beliefs can be true or false, justified or not, relevant or not. Beliefs one holds as a matter of Catholic doctrine are not appropriate bases for judicial rulings. It’s a First Amendment thing. Perhaps Mr. Taranto has heard of it. Perhaps these Supreme Court justices have. Criticism of their relevance to rulings is thoroughly apt. Criticism of their justification or truth is too, though we need not even go there to have a problem with U.S. theocracy.

    And pointing out that it’s a judgment which zero of three women on the court and five of six men supported, when it’s all about women’s health care – pregnancy specifically – is square on. That figure is not plausibly an accident that it’d be opportunistic to pick on.

    None of this is hard. It’s all boring and obvious. It takes a lot of willful denial to miss.

  12. Uncle Ebeneezer says

    I used to think that the infamous concerns that JFK’s election would make America into a puppet government for the Vatican, were ridiculous anti-Catholic bigotry. After Hobby Lobby, I’m not so sure.

  13. says

    A lot of pearl clutching by guys like Douthat and Taranto over the unseemly anger of liberals over this decision but no mention of all the right wingers screaming how whores need to close their legs.

  14. Maureen Brian says

    culuriel @ 11,

    Tell me, why do we have to be fair to people who are actively disparaging us, putting roadblocks in our way and, in other news, deciding that we may not discuss a misdeed of one of the bros, even six years later. I think being fair to them is calling them out before they do any more harm.
    And as there have only ever been four women on the US Supreme Court, when you get a majority decision impacting women most then the fact that the majority in this case = the men is just a fact and not an attack on Mr Taranto’s delicate nether regions.

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