Derbyshire told Alan Colmes on his radio show today that women should not have the right to vote (emphasis is in original):

John Derbyshire, a British-American conservative authorand columnist for the National Review, has written a new book titled We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism. The book contains a section called “The Case Against Female Suffrage.” Yesterday on his radio show,Alan Colmes asked Derbyshire to articulate his argument.

“What is the case against female suffrage?” Colmes asked. “The conservative case against it is that women lean hard to the left,” Derbyshire responded nonsensically. “They want someone to nurture, they want someone to help raise their kids, and if men aren’t inclined to do it — and in the present days, they’re not much — then they’d like the state to do it for them.”

Colmes then pressed Derbyshire on whether women should have the right to vote. “Ah…” Derbyshire sighed, attempting to dodge the question initially. “I’m not putting forward a political program here,” he said. But then Derbyshire slowly began to open up:

DERBYSHIRE: Among the hopes that I do not realistically nurse is the hope that female suffrage will be repealed. But I’ll say this – if it were to be, I wouldn’t lose a minute’s sleep.

COLMES: We’d be a better country if women didn’t vote?

DERBYSHIRE: Probably. Don’t you think so?

COLMES: No, I do not think so whatsoever.

DERBYSHIRE: Come on Alan. Come clean here [laughing].

COLMES: We would be a better country? John Derbyshire making the statement, we would be a better country if women did not vote.

DERBYSHIRE: Yeah, probably.

Derbyshire reasoned that we “got along like that for 130 years.” Colmes countered by asking if he also wants to bring back slavery. No, Derbyshire responded, “I’m in favor of freedom personally.” Colmes noted that freedom didn’t extend to women’s right to vote, however. Derbyshire said, “Well, they didn’t and we got along ok.”

I’m looking forward to seeing the conservative commentary on this — especially from Derbyshire’s colleagues at NRO. So far only liberal bloggers have anything to say about it.

Kathy Kattenburg
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pacatrue
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pacatrue
6 years 11 months ago

I’m not up in my political pundits and have no idea who Derbyshire is, but it would seem like such a view would push him to the fringes of conservative punditry.

pacatrue
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pacatrue
6 years 11 months ago
Decided to come beat this horse a bit. I’ve been reading articles by Derbyshire on his web site and columns at the NRO. Odd character. Novels, non-fiction books on Reimann, self-published stuff. His mathematical non-fiction has gotten awards so I assume it’s quite worthy, but at the same time his article Will Obama Kill Science? is a horribly simple-minded understanding of the current state of the “nature/nurture” debate. That piece really isn’t about science, it’s about one tiny piece of research, which he thinks is best exemplified by that old book The Bell Curve. You see in Derbyshire’s world, all… Read more »
CStanley
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CStanley
6 years 11 months ago
I don’t see that as a rant at all, paca, but a very insightful comment. I agree completely (your discussion about the dangers of research being misapplied actually dovetails with a discussion on one of mikkel’s recent posts that I recently had with HemmD.)At any rate- Mr. Derbyshire, please go away…this is decidely not helpful. LOLWhat’s funny though is that I think one core part of what is saying has some validity and I suppose it’s causing him frustration, but he’s obviously promoting a very incorrect solution. What I’m referring to (and apparently Ann Coulter has also expressed this- which… Read more »
Don Quijote
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Don Quijote
6 years 11 months ago

And there’s plenty of blame to go around for that particular societal problem, since many women aren’t choosing reliable mates with which to raise families in many cases either.

If Corporate America wasn’t busy sending every job that paid a decent wage while not having a master’s degree to the third world and importing foreign labor like it was going out of style, there would be far larger pool of “reliable mates” available. It’s amazing what a steady job that pays a decent wage can do to improve the desirability of a male in the eyes of females.

CStanley
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CStanley
6 years 11 months ago

I’m not talking about ‘desirability of males’, DQ. The societal problem that I’m referring to is a tendency for people to ignore the need to find a committed mate before having children.

Don Quijote
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Don Quijote
6 years 11 months ago
The societal problem that I’m referring to is a tendency for people to ignore the need to find a committed mate before having children. It’s not that they are ignoring it, it’s more the fact that there are no quality mates available.Why would an employed female nurse marry an unemployed or marginally employed factory worker even if he is the father of her child? He is as much of a burden as the child if not more…Now if he was employed in a steady dependable job that would be a different issue, he would have the habits of the employed… Read more »
Don Quijote
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Don Quijote
6 years 11 months ago

The conservative position on the vote has always been pretty straight-forward, only men of property should be entitled to vote…

Silhouette
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Silhouette
6 years 11 months ago

This goes back to the health care debate and how women are more compassionate towards the suffering of others in general. This is just another gyration of MedMob in its many forms of snakes on the medusa’s head of keep-profiteering any way they can.

It’s amusing. What’s next? Shall we return to the telegraph machine?

tidbits
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tidbits
6 years 11 months ago

No comment of my own. Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the comment by pacatrue and reply from CStanley, followed by others. This is TMV at its best.

kathykattenburg
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kathykattenburg
6 years 11 months ago

… there does seem to be a tendency for women, particularly single mothers, to vote Democratic, Obviously this is subject to the general caveat about research as it is true of the demographic group overall but certainly not all individuals in the group.

There is an implied assertion in the above that either you are not aware of, or feel is not a problem. I’m hoping it’s the former.

I was going to do a snarky reply, but maybe I should give you a chance to look that sentence over again.

roro80
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6 years 11 months ago
This idea that the world would be a better place if women didn’t vote because women tend to vote to the left of men is one that isn’t as uncommon as it should be. CStanley noted that Ann Coulter said it a while back, and I believe I’ve heard it from Phyllis Shafly in the past. As pacatrue points out, this could be said for black people as well, or in all honesty, about any group other than white, male, cis, able-bodied people. Pretty much every other demographic, when parsed out, votes slightly or heavily on the Dem side. One… Read more »
CStanley
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CStanley
6 years 11 months ago
Well, yes. It’s not necessarily that they’re looking for a handout or filling a desire to nuture though, and I think it would be a mistake to ascribe that reason. I know that as a women, I vote Dem because it seems like the policies on the other side of the aisle don’t particularly support women, or at least those of us who think we’re as good as men at making our own decisions or as deserving of rights. See the right’s positions on things like contraception, abortion, sex ed, sex in general, “traditional family values”, no-fault divorce, community property,… Read more »
roro80
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6 years 11 months ago
CStanley — I think we might have to agree to disagree on this count. I personally feel that contraception, legal and safe abortion and divorce are the best things in history to happen to women, and I mean that with no exaggeration. I realize that these things have come with their share of problems and moral ambiguity, and I also understand that this view is not mainstream, and that’s fine. You told your story, which is a great way (probably the best way) to go about things. I personally had a few very rough patches as a teenager, and while… Read more »
CStanley
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CStanley
6 years 11 months ago

Yes, I figured we’d at best have to agree to disagree and that’s fine, roro. What bothers me is when some feminists truly can’t even see it another way and believe that women who hold conservative political views are actually voting against our own interests, when in reality we just disagree about what our interests are (it’s sometimes a bit like conservative African Americans who get labelled as Uncle Toms, as though they’re not authentic in their ‘blackness’ or they’re thought to have been cowed into their support of the white hierarchy.)

roro80
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6 years 11 months ago
Fair enough, CS. Certainly I’ve run into feminists who are so convinced that their own path is the only “correct” one that they will say things disparaging stay-at-home moms, or those who choose to abstain from sex until marriage, or those who choose to keep an unintended pregnancy; I disagree strongly with these sentiments. On the other hand, I do understand where they are coming from in a certain way, but I wouldn’t characterize it as voting against your own interests, as it’s not up to me what your interests are. I would say that allowing women the right to… Read more »
CStanley
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CStanley
6 years 11 months ago
Shorter: instead of saying “You are voting against your personal interests”, I would say “I am not voting against your personal interests but you are voting against mine”. Hope that makes sense. Yes, I do understand why you’d have that perspective (and it’s one which I can respectfully disagree with much more so than the sentiments we initially both acknowledged from some feminists.) I think both you and Kathy have attributed some views to me though which are not accurate in regard to where I believe the legal lines should apply. That is most likely my own fault as I… Read more »
kathykattenburg
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kathykattenburg
6 years 11 months ago
From a conservative female perspective, instead of looking toward government policy which would allow me to terminate a pregnancy which might result from a sexual relationship at a time when I wasn’t prepared to rear children, I sought out a life partner with whom I felt assurance of lifetime commitment, with whom I could welcome the children that would result from our union.Do you have access to any statistics or other convincing evidence that men were more responsible about children and families before 1973? Can you support your apparent belief that after Griswold v. Connecticut and Roe v. Wade made… Read more »
CStanley
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CStanley
6 years 11 months ago
Do you have access to any statistics or other convincing evidence that men were more responsible about children and families before 1973? Can you support your apparent belief that after Griswold v. Connecticut and Roe v. Wade made contraception and abortion legal, and after laws that made divorces very hard to get were changed, men became more likely to walk out on their families, cheat on their wives, abuse their wives, gamble away their earnings, be alcoholics, be unreliable, not be able to find work, end up in prison, etc., etc., etc.? Basically, there were FAR fewer children being raised… Read more »
CStanley
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CStanley
6 years 11 months ago
Similarly, if contraception and abortion are returned to their illegal status, and the only way a woman can prevent a pregnancy that would have disastrous consequences for her in any number of ways is to not have sex, that presumably would mean that until a woman was well beyond childbearing age (just to be on the safe side, you know) she would not be able to have sex. Imagine that. Women up to the age of 50 or even beyond who abstain from sex because they don’t have a viable life partner. Leaving aside that I don’t see that as… Read more »
ordinarysparrow
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6 years 11 months ago
How far back does this go?. . . .I do not know anything about this guy or what his background is but would imagine that one would not have to scratch very deep to link him back to the first chapter in the Bible, Genesis where women are suppose to be submissive to men. . .This is old time patriarchal tribalism in its lower form and this guy is drudging the depths of that density. . . .I was in African at a remote tribal trust land, and a young girl child was in the hospital. She had been bitten… Read more »
roro80
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6 years 11 months ago

Oh ordinarysparrow, you seem like such a lovely person, truly. While I object to the idea that women are nurturers and therefore vote in certain ways, there is the wonderful point that you made in your first comment: being nurturing should not be considered a negative quality. If women are nurturing and men are not, maybe that’s a problem with men, and not with women.

pacatrue
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pacatrue
6 years 11 months ago
Colbert had a really nice piece related to this that Joe Windish linked a few weeks back related to the Sotomayor nomination. For much of American, being white, non-Hispanic, is considered neutral. And it’s everyone else who has cultural biases. I think the same thing is going on in Derbyshire’s ideas. In his mind, men are the sort of default. Women are driven by this nurturing need and it’s affecting their votes, making them vote poorly. But men apparently aren’t affected by such biological desires, or, if they are, it’s not a need which causes a problem, unlike women. If… Read more »
CStanley
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CStanley
6 years 11 months ago

If women, and mothers in particular, really do continually vote in a way different than men, perhaps what’s going on is that men are not taking into account the needs of the entire community that they are a part of.

To give the conservative perspective on that though, instead of ignoring that these ‘needs’ exist, the conservative movement should attempt to convince women (and anyone else with that kind of nurturing/high empathy attitude) that nongovernmental options are better sought than governmental ones in most cases.

pacatrue
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pacatrue
6 years 11 months ago

Yes, agreed. If there’s going to be any sort of biological pressure towards voting, I assume the exact methods to meet the goals would be up for debate.

kathykattenburg
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kathykattenburg
6 years 11 months ago

How does a woman get to have nongovernmental options if the government passes laws to prevent her from having those options?

I don’t understand that concept. There’s a basic contradiction there.

CStanley
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CStanley
6 years 11 months ago
How does a woman get to have nongovernmental options if the government passes laws to prevent her from having those options? I don’t understand that concept. There’s a basic contradiction there. In case I haven’t already clarified it in the other responses, the only choice that I believe the govt should prevent is the option to abort because that goes beyond bodily autonomy. Once another human life is involved, it’s no longer about her own body (I’m sure we won’t agree, but again I ask you to at least accept that there is a difference between that and prevention of… Read more »
roro80
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6 years 11 months ago

Love this comment, paca!

Dan Leibert
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6 years 11 months ago

Some one must have told John this joke and he took it too seriously: There are 2 lines up in heaven one reads “FOR ALL THOSE MEN THAT HAVE DOMINATED BY WOMEN, PLEASE STAND HERE” this cue goes back 22 miles!!!
The other reads “FOR ALL THOSE MEN NOT DOMINATED BY WOMEN, PLEASE STAND HERE.”
Theres only one guy in this line. Someone from the other line says “What the hell you doing over there mate?”
To which the reply was “oh the wife told me to stand here!!”

ordinarysparrow
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6 years 11 months ago
ordinarysparrow
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6 years 11 months ago

If women did not have the right to vote. . .do you think these issues would make headlines today?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/womens-rights

this is the third time i have posted this link and the comment is not being shown. . .so if there is a repeat that is why. . .

ordinarysparrow
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6 years 11 months ago

Thank you roro80 for your kind words. . .this has been an interesting discussion and so appreciate how each side made their points CStanley, Precature, Kathy and you Roro80. . . .

JeffersonDavis
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JeffersonDavis
6 years 11 months ago
Women rock. They are God’s most wonderful creation. Most are smarter than I am. Most are more mature than I. And most definitely look better. I vote. Why shouldn’t they? With the exception of a few biological, psychological, and physiological exceptions, women are equals to men. My wife and I are complete equals. Wouldn’t have had it any other way. As far as the divorce and abortion conversation…… I stand against frivolous uses of both. 93% of all abortions are for reasons other than rape, incest, and health. Oddly enough…..93% of all divorces are for irreconcilable differences. One could postulate,… Read more »
Don Quijote
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Don Quijote
6 years 11 months ago

This guy is an idiot. He doesn’t represent conservatives.

In which case the NRO (one of the foremost ‘conservative’ media outlets) should fire him and hire another Conservative Pundit.

roro80
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6 years 11 months ago
“One could postulate, then, that 93% are irresponsible morons who marry for the wrong reasons, have sex for the wrong reasons, or both. Why worry about safe sex? I can get an abortion. Why worry about getting to truely know a potential mate? I can always get a divorce.” Hmm…well, perhaps for the same reason I don’t put a nail gun to my hand and pull the trigger just because I know I have excellent health insurance and they’ll fix me up: both divorce and abortion are messy, painful, expensive procedures that pretty much suck. This idea that someone’s made… Read more »
pacatrue
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pacatrue
6 years 11 months ago
It seems a key question in this discussion between yourself and JD is whether easier divorce and abortion is a cause of bad decisions, or only a remedy to them. I don’t know enough to really say, but my guess would be that they tip towards your argument: The majority of people who make bad choices about sex and marriage would make those bad choices if divorce and abortion were heavily restricted, and so they’d just spend the rest of their lives cutting their feet as penance. But I’m sure there will be some who marry more easily than they… Read more »
JeffersonDavis
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JeffersonDavis
6 years 11 months ago
You missed my point, Roro. I know that things happen beyond your control. When a woman (or man) is beaten by their spouse, or is subjected to infidelity – a divorce is warranted. When UNCONTROLLABLE situations result in a pregnancy, then abortion could possibly be warranted. Although my wife and I had this conversation, and she said in the off chance she were raped, she’d keep the child, because it wouldn’t have been the baby’s fault (another reason I love her so much). The basic argument which you missed, was that people run to divorce and abortion rashly, many times… Read more »
roro80
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6 years 11 months ago
It’s definitely my bedtime, but I thought I’d add one more response here. I didn’t miss your point, JD. I just fundamentally disagree with it. Basically, neither you nor I is in a position to judge which are the divorces or abortions (or whatever) for the “right” reasons; likewise, neither is the government, nor churches, nor whatever other body or person outside that particular situation in a position to make some sort of judgment on whether or not the particular course of action is justified. Therefore, we must allow — from a legal perspective — those who are in the… Read more »
JeffersonDavis
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JeffersonDavis
6 years 11 months ago
You make a very good argument, Roro. Well said. The root of all of this is accountability. The lack of it is destroying our nation’s common fiber. It trickles down into every facet of our lives. No one wants to take responsibility for their own actions. Divorcees blame each other – when the finger should be pointed back at themselves since both were selfish. People want to be sexually free, but do not wish to accept pregnancy. Latch-key kids kill each other in schools and there was no one at home to teach them basic morality. And so on. Don’t… Read more »
roro80
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6 years 11 months ago

duplicate post

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