The Washington Post reported yesterday that, “Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) said Tuesday that America’s educational troubles began when women began working outside the home in large numbers.”
Bryant was participating in a Washington Post Live event focused on the importance of ensuring that children read well by the end of third grade. In response to a question about how America became “so mediocre” in regard to educational outcomes, he said:
I think both parents started working. And the mom is in the work place.
Watch courtesy of the Washington Post:
It wasn’t long ago that we saw Rep. James Lankford (R-OK), who happens to be the fifth-ranking House Republican, blame “welfare moms” for gun violence. Not the lax gun controls championed by the Republican Party.
We’ll remember that the next time a white Christian male walks into a church and opens fire. The next time white teenagers walk into a movie theater or a school and start killing people. Not the widespread availability of guns. Not 100-round magazines. Welfare moms. Got it.
Can we blame welfare moms for this guy, who fired his AR-15 into his own house because he was convinced some bad guys were in it?
Yes, somewhere, somehow, women are obviously to blame. Proceed from there.
So as excuses go, that’s like having a Republican drive a car off a cliff because he doesn’t know how to drive. But when they pull him out of the wreckage, he says the reason he crashed was because a woman built the car, not because he lacked the requisite skill to operate a motor vehicle.
Of course, they also blame women for being raped. Rape is the fault of hormones. Rape is anyone’s fault but the man’s, just as the economy is anyone’s fault but the Republicans.
Women are hated by the Republican Party. Simply loathed. They ought to change their party acronym to GOM, for Grand Old Misogynists although if they leave it at GOP we still have Grand Old Patriarchs, which covers a whole multitude of intolerances.
Look, the reason our education system is so bad, besides the fact that Republicans refuse to properly fund our educational system, is that so many schools in Red States are teaching the children that humans played with dinosaurs, and that God made the Grand Canyon, and that the Earth is only 5,000 years old. That evolution is “a lie straight from the pit of hell” (this, by the way, is the view of Republicans sitting on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology).
In one Louisiana school, the Loch Ness Monster nobody has been able to proves exist disproves evolution.
As a medieval peasant, you could get away with this level of what passes for knowledge. “Knowing” these things did not stop you from sowing or reaping your crops on time. But if you want to compete in the information age, you have to do better than the Great Flood to explain the Grand Canyon.
Teaching kids stupid things when you bother to teach them anything at all, is not a recipe for success. It makes no sense to blame women.
But women are uppity. Anyone who is uppity – in other words, does not know their place in the conservative scheme of things – is marked for destruction by the forces of patriarchy. It’s what conservatism does. It preserves the status quo and when the status quo is shifted, it restores the status quo.
The Gilded Age went away. Well, it should not have, conservatism says. Let’s bring it back!
Children, back to the factories, workers, back to your eighty-hour work weeks, and women, back to the kitchen and catering to your husband’s every manly whim!
And you can’t have a return to the Gilded Age without putting an end to educating all those future uppity takers we call children. Yes, Republicans hate women. They also hate education, as the Great Test Bed of Republicanism, otherwise known as Michigan, demonstrates.
The problem with the GOP – one of the many problems with the GOP – is that it is not about solutions. It is about putting a spin on solutions. Losing two presidential elections because your message was bigoted, repressive, and exclusive, means not that you should be more tolerant, accepting, and inclusive, but that when you’re being bigoted, repressive, and exclusive, you should smile more.
In the end, Bryant’s presence in the Washington Post Live Event was seen by him not as an opportunity to examine a very serious problem and search for relevant answers, but an opportunity to publicly indulge in his bigotries, which he then proceeded to do with great aplomb.
Which brings us here.
Sadly, Gov. Bryant is not alone.
Fox Business’ Erick Erickson claiming that science puts women in a subservient role is indicative of the Republican attitude toward science and the factual versus the ideological. Conservative ideology makes women subservient to man; ergo - and even though science is actually telling us that sexually women are as “animalistic and ravenous” as men, science must prove women are naturally subservient to man. Just as homosexuality is wrong from a conservative standpoint, therefore science must prove that homosexuality is unnatural.
Unfortunately, for the GOP, science proves nothing of the sort. Nature abounds with homosexuality.
The conservative response to this uncongenial fact? GAY ANIMAL DEMONS!
Where, ask yourself now, does that put education vis-à-vis the Republican Party? We can throw our hands up in despair and probably should. It’s unhealthy to keep your emotions bottled up, after all.
But a more constructive approach might be to vote these medieval-minded gentlemen out of office at the local, state, and federal level, until such time that they demonstrate that they are willing to embrace the twenty-first century.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.