Conservatives Are Rather Inconsistent About Morals and Women’s Sexuality – Regarding: The College That Considers Valentine’s Day Cards A Form of Sexual Harassment

Conservatives Are Rather Inconsistent About Morals and Women’s Sexuality – Regarding: The College That Considers Valentine’s Day Cards A Form of Sexual Harassment

This post contains one or two “adult” words, towards the bottom.


I am conservative. I’ve never been a liberal.

I do sometimes spot troubling contradictions or inconsistencies with other conservatives, however. This is one of those times.

So, I’m glancing at this editorial on a right wing site about liberals at some college campus possibly banning the handing out of Valentine’s Day cards, because they could be considered a form of sexual harassment by some students.

Here’s a link:

(Link): Valentine’s Day cards face ban as ‘sex harassment’

Here are excerpts from that page – I will address the problems I have with this below:

Students at the University of New Orleans should think twice about sending out any Valentine’s Day cards if they don’t want to risk being expelled for sexual harassment, according to a free-speech advocacy group.

A four-year-old harassment policy defines sexual harassment so broadly that it could effectively ban Valentine’s Day cards, according to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education

The College Fix reported the policy, which is scheduled for review next year, includes several examples of sexual harassment without noting they are not enough on their own to lose First Amendment protection.

FIRE named the public university’s policy, “Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation,” its “speech code of the month” for February.

The College Fix cites the code’s wording of offending actions and adds its own comment in parentheses:

(start quotation)
They include “unwanted sexual advances” as mild as “touching” (that handshake felt icky), “visual displays such as leering” (don’t look at anyone directly), “gratuitous displays of sexually suggestive objects” including cartoons (there’s some of that in The Simpsons), “graphic sexual commentary about an individual’s body” (no requirement that they even know about it), and – most relevant to Valentine’s Day – “sending suggestive or obscene letters, notes, or invitations.”
(end quotation)

Laura Beltz, FIRE’s senior program officer for policy reform, explained the problem with the code is that such examples are legally punishable only when they meet the Supreme Court’s Davis standard for “peer hostile environment harassment in the educational setting”
—(end)—-

Much of the sarcastic comments in parentheses in the quote above are spoken like someone who’s never been on the receiving end of uncomfortable or creepy unwanted sexual behavior, so I can only assume a man wrote those retorts. Most women would know better.

(Disclaimer. Occasionally, one can and will occasionally find a conservative woman who acts like a smart ass in dissecting such things, as over-compensation;  some conservative women think that combating liberal or feminist lunacy means denying full-on that sexism does exist in the United States.

Here is (Link): one example of what I am talking about: a conservative, anti-feminist woman who ends up supporting sexist stereotypes that endanger women and girls – because she thinks liberal feminist advice to boys and men on how to approach girls or women to flirt with them was ridiculous.

But usually, such ignorant commentary comes from male writers who do not know what it’s like to be degraded or subjected to creepy attention merely for being a woman.)

I do realize that sometimes liberals go overboard with some of their beliefs.

You can possibly construe the whole Valentine’s cards debacle at that college as liberal over-reaction or lunacy – which conservatives are wont to do to anything liberals or feminists say or do.

However, I myself am a conservative, and conservatives usually stand for traditional values. I come from a conservative Christian background (Southern Baptist specifically).

If you’ve spent even five minutes at this blog in years past, you know the drill – I’m in my 40s, I was committed to remaining a virgin until I got married, I never got married, so I remain a virgin.

I was a goody two shoes over my life. I never drank, smoke, skipped class. I studied hard, made straight A report cards. Even as a teen, I was respectful of adults. I followed the rules, never broke them.

I was taught as a kid growing up in a Christian family, and in the Christian churches I was brought to, that sex should be reserved for marriage only.

I was taught that people should be responsible sexually. One should not get pregnant outside of wedlock.

I was further taught in this conservative upbringing other things including, but not limited to:

Men and women should not make obscence jokes or comments.

Men and women should not use profanity.

Women are supposed to behave like ladies, and men are supposed to behave like gentlemen.

I was also exposed to something called Christian gender complementarianism as I was growing up (though I am (Link): no longer a complementarian).

In this complementarian teaching, men are supposed to be noble and protective of women. Men are not to grope women, or make lewd jokes to or about women. Men should not do or say anything sexually profane or suggestive to or around women.

I’ve also found that a lot of secular conservatives share these same, old fashioned ideas about men and women (even if some of those ideas – or all of them – are wrong and products of  sexist gender stereotypes): such as, that women need protecting; women should be sexually virtuous and dress modestly.

In light of all those conservative values regarding women and sexuality, I am having a difficult time understanding  why some conservatives mock liberal women or feminists for railing against sexist, rude, lewd, vulgar male behavior, such as (but not limited to) cat-calling, men groping women, or women using the “Me Too” trend to bring attention to sexual harassment on jobs.

I thought conservatives were all about teaching men to honor women, which means, among other things (this is not an exhaustive list), discouraging men from cat-calling women, discouraging men from treating women like sex objects, yelling lewd comments at women in public (or any where for that matter), doing things that can be construed by women as sexually inappropriate – such as giving a woman an unsolicited Valentine’s Day card, if that woman has indicated she finds Valentine’s Day cards inappropriate.

Let’s look at those excerpts again:

(start quotation)
They include “unwanted sexual advances” as mild as “touching” (that handshake felt icky), “visual displays such as leering” (don’t look at anyone directly), “gratuitous displays of sexually suggestive objects” including cartoons (there’s some of that in The Simpsons), “graphic sexual commentary about an individual’s body” (no requirement that they even know about it), and – most relevant to Valentine’s Day – “sending suggestive or obscene letters, notes, or invitations.”
(end quotation)

So, whoever wrote that is ridiculing the idea that maybe some women regard a handshake with a man as being sleazy. Well, maybe some women do not want a man to shake hands with them – because they are sexual assault survivors and being around men at all, or having any sort of physical contact with men, makes them feel afraid; perhaps having even “G-rated” physical contact with a man causes them to have flashbacks to their sexual assault.

Maybe they have O.C.D. and are germ phobic.

Who knows what their reasoning is?

But does it really matter? The fact is, women are adults, too. Women are entitled to determine how they want to be treated.

Each woman is allowed to draw whatever boundaries feel comfortable to her, even if that includes some women saying they find hugs, hand-shaking, or Valentines Day cards sexist or offensive, and they’d rather not participate in any of that.

Why are some of you conservatives ridiculing or mocking liberals or feminists who are raising these issues?

A lot of you conservatives expect and demand women to be sexually chaste and to behave in a lady-like manner.

In decades past, there have been double standards in American society: men get patted on the head for behaving like man-whores (for sleeping around), but if a woman has sex one time with a guy prior to marriage, she will be “slut shamed.”

According to even conservatives in our country, for years, it was considered okay (and even expected) for men to act like promiscuous horn dogs in our nation – but not women.

So it makes no sense to me that whenever women (regardless if they are liberals, feminists, conservatives, or what have you), tell you things like,
“Hey, please do not engage in behavior X, because it makes some women uncomfortable – that behavior does have sexual connotations to some of us,”  that you conservatives refuse to respect this. Instead, you mock it.

Conservatives are supposed to be about respecting women, correct?

And conservatives usually claim to support old-fashioned sexual mores, yes? And they claim to be all about men behaving like old-fashioned gentlemen, who open doors for ladies and so on, yes?

It’s supposedly liberals and (some) feminists who have lax sexual standards, right?

Well, in this case, and ones similar to it, we have liberals and feminists asking men to treat women with respect, to behave in a noble fashion, to refrain from actions that may be construed as sexually inappropriate by some women – and you conservatives are balking at this, you are ridiculing this?

Conservatives (and I remind you, I myself am a conservative): you’re not being consistent with your own world view.

Either you conservatives believe men should behave as gentlemen, treat women with respect, and be the protectors of women and their virtue and honor women’s sexual boundaries, or you do not.

In mocking liberals and feminists over, or attacking them, over things such as, “Me Too,” “Toxic Masculinity” (which most conservatives do not even correctly understand), or things like banning Valentine’s Day cards, you conservatives are betraying your own values.

If a woman tells you that receiving Valentine’s Day Cards, or hand-shaking, feels wrong to her – she considers it skanky, sleazy, and dirty – she is simply trying to adhere to those chaste values you conservatives bray about all the time.

She’s trying to “be a lady” (and not a sleazy whore), and rather than support her in that, many of you conservatives mock her for “being too sensitive,” being a “wet blanket,” or for being “politically correct” or for being into identity politics.

Either you conservatives support women in their sexual boundaries they are maintaining, and you claim to be in support of sexual purity, or you do not and are not.

You cannot have it both ways.

And please, male conservatives, try the prison test for some of these examples.

If you’re in prison, and your male cell mate’s name is “I like to rape other male prison inmates in the ass for fun,” would you appreciate getting a Valentine’s Day card from him? Probably not.

If I came to visit you at prison one day, and you told me, “That guy – Mr. Ass Raper – gave me a Valentine’s Day card, and it makes me uncomfortable,” would you appreciate me telling you that you’re being “too sensitive” and that you’re a triggered snowflake, so get over it? Probably not.

Yet women are expected to tolerate all this sort of bullshit (and far worse) all the time or else get accused of “hating men,” of being “too sensitive,” we’re all supposedly over-reacting, or being “politically correct.”

How about if you have a teen-aged daughter who has been stalked and targeted for attention by some teen boy who creeps her out, he won’t respect her “I ain’t interested, buzz off, dude” messages, and he still gives her a Valentine’s Day card? That probably wouldn’t set well with you, if you’re a parent. But if liberal feminists mention this creeps them out, all the sudden, zero empathy from conservatives.

But anyway.

Either you, Mr. and Ms. Conservative support sexual purity and men respecting  women, or you don’t.

When you conservatives ridicule women (regardless of their political orientation) for being honest about things that they might consider sexual harassment (even if it seems minor or weird to you), you’re not really respecting women or sexual purity. You’re being an ass hat – and all for the sake of a political agenda; you’re more beholden to defeating liberals than in defending all women. Stop it.


Related:

(Link): Ways To Avoid Sounding Like a Sexist Jerk – Even If You’re a Woman (mentions marriage and parenthood)

(Link): Women Are Sharing Their Experiences of Receiving Unsolicited Advances From Men

(Link): The Authors at The Federalist Site Often Don’t Get It: Joy Pullman is Fine With Men Harassing Women Who Wear Headphones in Public – Part 1

(Link): The Horrible, Sexist Advice And Attitude Behind the ‘How Do I Approach A Girl With Headphones In?’ Post from the Absolute Ability Blog

(Link):  Your Boss Hired You to Perform A Job Not Flirt With Co-Workers

(Link): This Is Why Being a Nice Guy Just Isn’t Enough by E. Tatum 

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