January 02, 2004

Stupid Conservative Myth #14

Here's another one from the list of myths held by stupid conservatives:

Liberals believe that Margaret Sanger and Gloria Steinem are more important to American history than Thomas Jefferson, General Robert E. Lee or Thomas Edison.

I'm not really sure how to refute this. Speaking personally, I guess I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I don't know who Margaret Sanger is. I suppose I could look it up, sure, but off the top of my head, I've no idea. I know Steinem was pretty big in the feminist movement in the 70's, but that's about all I could tell you now.

About the only feminist author I've ever read was Naomi Wolf's "The Beauty Myth", which I thought was very interesting. I mean, it's hard to really discuss or even empathize with the feminist movement unless you have the facts and figures in front of you to see what women are so pissed off about. There are several books, I'm sure, that lay it all out, and Wolf seemed to do a fine job of it. I presume Steinem was one of the first of this era to do that in book form.

So from my liberal perspective, I'll take Jefferson first, then Edison (I am a scientist, after all), then Lee. And I'd take a whole lot of other people in front of Lee. But this isn't a myth about me personally. It's about all liberals. So where does it say on my vast liberal conspiracy club card that I can find this list that ranks people in order by historical significance? Who really believes this nonsense?

Probably a few academics have ventured such a hypothesis, which probably makes sense in a certain context (like if you think everything depends on women's rights), a scenario played out in an academic journal or book. But if you believe that "liberals" buy into it because of a few weird cases which supposedly represent the mainstream of liberal thought, well, you know where that road leads. And lately, there's a lot more wackiness that passes for conservative philosophy among actual elected politicians than among liberals.

Posted by Observer at January 2, 2004 09:15 AM
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Margaret Sanger "created access to birth control for low-income, minority, and immigrant women", and went on to found Planned Parenthood in the U.S. [quote from Planned Parenthood Web site]

As a fellow scientist, love your unique perspective on world issues.

Posted by: Mychelline Fiadhiglas on January 22, 2004 02:03 PM