I have no daughters

I am the proud father of two boys, ages 7 and 5. Unless something truly unexpected happens I will never have the responsibility or the privilege of raising a daughter in this world.

I have several close friends who are also the fathers of one or more boys and no daughters. One thing that is somewhat common among fathers of boys, when there are no wives to overhear, and no fathers of daughters around, is to make little jokes about how we have “dodged a bullet.” And just as common when fathers of daughters talk to fathers of only boys (and without wives around), they will often make a small comment about our not understanding how easy we have it.

This is all 90% stupid bluster, obviously. At least one of my fellow fathers of boys only kept trying to get a girl until he had more boys than he and his wife could handle. And another one is planning on another try for a girl. When each of my boys were born, my wife and I chose not to know the gender until they were born, and I can remember being equally excited about the prospect of a son or a daughter, in each case.

Most of these little jokes are stupid obviously. Hey, maybe they all are. I’ve heard fathers of daughters congratulate me on not needing to spend so much on ammunition, ha ha, get it. And I’ve had fathers of daughters relate stories to me with a genuine sense of helplessness about dealing with their daughter’s body issues and self esteem, and who would think this stuff would start at such a young age. And then they try to joke about it, but…

Anyway, I thought of this when I read Rush Limbaugh’s disgusting comments regarding Sandra Fluke, who was not allowed to testify by Republicans in their little show they put on about contraception.

LIMBAUGH: What does it say about the college co-ed Susan Fluke [sic] who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex. What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex.

There’s your Republican Party folks. And before anyone tries to argue that Rush doesn’t speak for the Republican Party, please point me to any Republican leader who dares to criticize Rush on this issue, or any issue, and then is able to go 48 hours without apologizing and taking it back.

Women are under attack right now in this country. (Well, I guess they always have been, and there are probably a few women reading this and saying, “you just realized this?”) And make no mistake about it, the Blunt amendment that is being voted on in the Senate is a direct attack on women’s health care.

As a guy, I’m not even sure how to talk about this, without coming across as paternalistic. (In hindsight, framing it in the context of being a father probably didn’t help with that, did it?) Even President Obama, who I admire and am proud to support, came out last December with a boneheaded reason for overriding Kathleen Sebilius on Plan B availability. “As the father of two daughters,” he began, as women around the country threw things at the TV.

But then I read this excerpt from Bill Simmons’ interview with the president, where the president is talking about volunteering to coach his daughter’s basketball team:

 I’m 50 now, so I went to high school in the ’70s. We actually went to — I went to a school that had a strong women’s sports team. But it was still not the norm for a lot of girls to participate in a lot of sports teams, and now it’s just second nature. And they’re healthier for it. They learn competition. They learn how to bounce back from adversity. It’s just — it’s a terrific thing to see.

And that gives me a bit of hope. And of course on this contraception coverage mandate the president has been a strong advocate for women and women’s health, and I hope that people who believe in women’s rights are paying attention. There is a real difference between the president and the men who are currently vying to replace him, on this and many other issues.

(In typical Romney fashion the Mittster has already flip-flopped on his support for the Blunt amendment. The guy is remarkably consistent in his inconsistency.)

I guess this post is a bit more rambly than most. I started out thinking about my responsibilities as a father, and how they are different because my children are sons, and not daughters. And I guess my point there was that being a parent to daughters has challenges that are different than what I am familiar with, and I can only empathize with those parents. Comments like those made by Rush Limbaugh kind of pissed me off as a father of boys, and I can’t even imagine how pissed I would be as a woman or as a father of daughters.

Anyway, while I will probably never be responsible for raising a daughter, I am responsible for raising two boys. And as a father of two boys, I can promise you that if I ever hear either of my boys say anything that resembles the sentiment expressed by Rush Limbaugh, there will be… repercussions.

Author: Wiesman

Husband, father, video game developer, liberal, and perpetual Underdog.

22 thoughts on “I have no daughters”

  1. ‎(roll eyes)

    Excuse me for intruding on the effeminate circle jerk, here (I have two children, by the way — both daughters), but is Rush’s comment (which is tame compared to many things I’ve heard said about right-wingers from the lips of leftists — “Hitler” was pretty common during W. Bush’s term, for example) less offensive or more offensive than all the “I’m glad he’s dead” sentiment coming from prominent leftists, in prominent forums, about Andrew Breitbart?

    For example: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/andrew-breitbart-death-of-a-douche-20120301

    Is that “your Democratic party”?

    Let’s just start with that.

    1. It’s always fun arguing with a conservative who resorts to the false equivalence game. Milo seems to think that if anyone, anywhere says anything bad, then Rush Limbaugh can’t be held accountable for anything he says. Personal responsibility!

      The fact of the matter is that yes, Milo, what Rush said IS more offensive than what Taibbi wrote about Breitbart. Rush Limbaugh is suggesting that any woman who wants to use contraceptives is a slut or a prostitute. He attacked Sandra Fluke for daring to suggest that this contraception is important for her and her friends’ health.

      For the record, the story that Fluke told was of a friend who needed contraception to prevent cysts. It had nothing to do with sex. But that’s really beside the point. Even if her friend did want contraception for having as much sex as any male is free to have without getting pregnant, she wouldn’t deserve to be called a prostitute and a slut.

      So, you know what? I’ll take responsibility for what Taibbi said as “my Democratic Party” even though I don’t think Taibbi thinks Democrats are “pure” enough for his tastes. Whatever, I’ll own it. I’m sad for Breitbart’s family, but hey, I thought he was a douche too. So yep, I’m owning it.

      Now, you take responsibility for the Republican Party being a bunch of misogynistic jerkoffs and make it clear that any woman who doesn’t want to be thought of as a slut or a prostitute should go ahead and vote Democratic.

      kthxbye.

  2. “Milo seems to think that if anyone, anywhere says anything bad, then Rush Limbaugh can’t be held accountable for anything he says.”

    Er, no. What I’m doing is attempting to neutralize your broad denigration of Republican politicians by forcing you to be objective about rancor on the left. If you’re going to extrapolate Rush’s comments into the deportment of the entire Republican party, then surely you’d have to identify “I’m glad that Breitbart’s dead, f*ck him!” with the entire Democratic party.

    “Rush Limbaugh is suggesting that any woman who wants to use contraceptives is a slut or a prostitute.”

    No, what Rush is saying is that any woman *who insists on being subsidized* for all or part of her sexual activity is akin to a prostitute, in that she wants taxpayers to give her money so that she doesn’t have to pay for protecting herself during sex. It’s an uncomfortable analogy, but it isn’t altogether inaccurate.

    Neither Limbaugh nor Republicans have any problem with woman’s freedom to use contraceptives (although many of us would discourage the practice). What has happened is that you leftists, in your ongoing attempts to demonize anyone who does not adopt your statist position, have ignored the central issue of *coerced subsidy* and turned the matter into “Republicans attacking women” — despite the fact that a great many women stand with the Republicans (and the Catholic church) on our not being forced to pay for something to which many of us have a moral objection.

    And while I’m glad to see you assign elation at Breitbart’s death the general sentiment among Democrats, I will not agree with you that we right-wingers are “misogynistic jerk-offs,” which is ludicrous in the face of the voluminous opposition to the left on this issue by women (on the right).

  3. P.S. I will agree with you, however, that a woman isn’t likely to be called a slut by any Democrat — even if she is, in fact, a slut. (This is mostly because the American left is largely owned by feminism.)

  4. Furthermore — sorry Jon, you’ve just given me so much material — you *seriously* think that calling someone a whore is worse than rejoicing at someone suddenly (or even not suddenly) dying?? (My guess is that this would be more of feminism’s dominant position on the left manifesting itself.)

    I mean, what if a woman *is* slutty? Is saying so still worse than public displays of joy when she dies?

    Not that I don’t know the answer to these questions, I just want to hear it from the proverbial horse’s mouth.

    1. What if someone *is* a douchebag?

      Now you’re just trying to engage in some kind of weird pissing contest. Taibbi’s post has nothing to do with what Rush said, nor with the subject of mandated contraception coverage. The fact is that contraception coverage is part of comprehensive women’s health, regardless of whether a woman is sexually active, especially since there are hundreds of thousands of women who become “sexually active” against their will.

      That you think that what Rush said is not “altogether inaccurate” is really all there is to say, frankly. Please continue to spread that message. I urge you to tell every woman you know that wishing for comprehensive contraception coverage is analogous to prostitution. Please do so, and don’t forget to identify yourself as a conservative. Please. Spread it loud and clear, far and wide. Defend Rush Limbaugh and make sure every woman in America knows that you think they should just lighten up because Rush was speaking “mostly in jest”. AND MAKE SURE YOU SAY WHO YOU ARE VOTING FOR.

      I’m not sure why Rush isn’t insisting that employers can refuse to fund insurance for Viagra, which unlike contraception, really is just for sex.

      1. “What if someone *is* a douchebag?”

        Fine, then call him a douchebag! Not the same as saying that you’re glad he’s dead, dude. Not even the same ball park.

        “Taibbi’s post has nothing to do with what Rush said, nor with the subject of mandated contraception coverage.”

        Again: My objective in pointing out that “I’m glad Breitbart is dead!” article was to ruin your notion that that kind of rancor is the exclusive province of right-wing politicians, which was the implication of that part of your post. (In fact, it’s *much* more common on the left, but that truly is another discussion.)

        None of that obsequious deference to women and womanhood in your article — which is rather characteristic of leftist men, I might add — really interested me. (You’ll even go so far as to threaten your own sons in a public forum — “there will be repercussions!” — just to appease your feminist masters, LOL! So classic.) I just wanted to retort when you began attacking Republicans. Sue me! 😀

        “I urge you to tell every woman you know that wishing for comprehensive contraception coverage is analogous to prostitution.”

        You’ve got a deal! … If you go around telling every conservative that you know (all three of them!) that you rejoice unabashedly when people that they admire die.

      2. I think maybe you’re missing the point. I said that Rush and his opinion represents Republicans, and you take offense and bring up some obscure Taibbi quote. (How many people have even heard of Taibbi compared to Rush, btw?)

        But you’re not disagreeing with Rush. You are defending him. You agree with him. So… pretty much you have nothing to complain about. My point was that Rush is an accurate reflection of Republican values, and you… agree! What’s the problem again?

        Who cares what a blogger for Rolling Stone says about Breitbart? You agree with Rush Limbaugh. Got it. You think that women who want contraception coverage are akin to sluts and prostitutes. Noted. Conservatives and the Republican Party are well represented by Rush Limbaugh. Nothing to argue about.

        Thanks for commenting and reaffirming my theory!

  5. JW: “… you take offense and bring up some obscure Taibbi quote.”

    Obscure??

    It’s all over the web — no surprise, since it’s dead top-center on Rolling Stone’s political page.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/03/01/1069983/-Matt-Taibbi-on-Breitbart?via=recent

    http://www.democraticunderground.com/101617217

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/rusty-weiss/2012/03/01/rolling-stone-breitbart-hes-dead-good

    http://nation.foxnews.com/rolling-stones/2012/03/01/rolling-stone-breitbart-i-couldnt-be-happier-hes-dead

    http://www.thejanedough.com/matt-taibbi-human-excrement/

    And you can bet it’ll be well discussed on televised news and radio for the next couple of days.

    Obscure, LOL!

    JW: “My point was that Rush is an accurate reflection of Republican values, and you… agree! What’s the problem again?”

    No, your point was that Republican values comprise calling women who want their sexual activity subsidized “sluts.” You mentioned Rush *as evidence* of this.

    The problem, since you ask (although I thought I made it clear), is that this is not behavior that is exclusive to the right. In fact, not only do you leftists do it as well, but I’d say that you actually do it with greater frequency and intensity than we on the right, and to the general *approval* of your fellows. A few quick examples:

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/bill-maher-calls-sarah-palin-the-c-word-during-his-stand-up-act/

    http://www.freedomworks.org/blog/bstein80/moveonorgs-ad-comparing-bush-to-hitler

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/20/world/americas/20cnd-chavez.html (and http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/09/21/248527/-SATAN-TRASHES-CHAVEZ-BUSH-COULDNT-CARRY-MY-PITCHFORK)

    So, to claim that we Republicans own the behavior that you’re decrying is completely disingenuous. The fact is that there are people on both sides who get too close to the line, or even cross it — although you leftists do it much more often than us right-wingers, from what I’ve seen.

    1. Again, you fall back to picking nits. Taibbi is not obscure? In relation to you and me, no. In relation to Rush Limbaugh? Yes, absolutely. There is not a single US Senator who is more famous than Rush Limbaugh, with the possible exception of John McCain. But, whatever, it’s completely irrelevant to the subject at hand, and you are just wasting time arguing about it. But, hey, thanks for finding all those links to prove that… Matt Taibbi isn’t obscure. Great use of time there.

      Do me a favor and don’t tell me what my point was. I happen to have pretty good knowledge of what my point is, because, well, it’s MY point. And my point in the post was that Rush’s comments about women were an accurate reflection of how Republicans view women’s health issues. It’s completely my fault if I didn’t communicate that very well, so I’ll take responsibility for that, but you don’t get to tell me what MY point is. Sorry, dude.

      Anyway, Rush Limbaugh thinks that women who want contraception to be covered by health insurance are sluts and prostitutes. You keep defending Rush, so I assume that you agree with him. Do you or don’t you? If not, say so, and cool. But I think you do agree with him, because you said that his point was, quoting here, “not altogether inaccurate.”

      That’s the issue here, dude. Either you agree with Rush or not. Bringing up Taibbi as an example of “both sides do it” false equivalency crap and then going off on a tangent (with LOTS of links!) about whether Taibbi is sufficiently obscure or not is fun, I guess, but the issue is that you think Rush has a point. Cool, go with that. Shout it from the rooftops.

      I think you represent a misogynistic backwards ignorant point of view, but I’ll still buy you a beer next time I see you.

      Cheers.

      1. JW: “Taibbi is not obscure? In relation to you and me, no. In relation to Rush Limbaugh? Yes, absolutely. There is not a single US Senator who is more famous than Rush Limbaugh, with the possible exception of John McCain.”

        Except that you’ve already unequivocally owned Taibbi’s remarks as respresentative of the Democratic Party.

        But I’ll bite. OK, so now, for someone’s remarks to be representative of a political party, that person has to be really famous.

        Like Bill Maher ( http://www.mediaite.com/tv/bill-maher-calls-sarah-palin-the-c-word-during-his-stand-up-act/ ),
        or Janeane Garofalo ( http://archive.mrc.org/cyberalerts/2003/cyb20030821.asp#2 ),
        or Linda Ronstadt ( http://www.usatoday.com/life/music/news/2004-11-16-ronstadt_x.htm ).

        Got any more qualifications for me, or will you finally relent (again)?

        “You keep defending Rush, so I assume that you agree with him. Do you or don’t you? If not, say so, and cool. But I think you do agree with him, because you said that his point was, quoting here, ‘not altogether inaccurate.'”

        Actually, I don’t even accept your premise that Limbaugh thinks that women who want their contraceptives subsidized are sluts. Limbaugh often makes inflammatory quips like that just to kick the anthills of leftist institutions — feminism, in this case — and watch the insects inside lose their minds. He and most of his audience (including me!) have little or no respect for these bastions of leftism, and we enjoy watching you fume when he openly assails them (with the intent of making you fume).

        Since I’m a lot more familiar with Limbaugh than you are, you can trust me on this… in much the same way that you get to tell me what YOUR point was because it’s YOUR point! (Dammit!) I can tell when he’s completely serious (like Matt Taibbi was) and when he’s being provocative.

        “I think you represent a misogynistic backwards ignorant point of view…”

        What a reckless assertion, one that is absurd on its face. How are Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, Michelle Malkin, Michele Bachmann, Margaret Thatcher, et al. — all virulently despised by the left — all rock stars in Republican circles (and all greatly admired by Limbaugh) if we hate women??

        Maybe we just don’t care for leftists or their ideas.

        Think.

      2. What a reckless assertion, one that is absurd on its face. How are Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, Michelle Malkin, Michele Bachmann, Margaret Thatcher, et al. — all virulently despised by the left — all rock stars in Republican circles (and all greatly admired by Limbaugh) if we hate women??

        This is awesome, kind of sums up the differences in our thinking. Just because a woman says something, it doesn’t make it any more or less pro- or anti-woman. Just as when a black person says something, it doesn’t make it more or less pro- or anti-black. Palin, Coulter, Malkin, Bachmann, and Thatcher are not given a pass by the left because they are women; they are judged by the policies that they would have enacted and the opinions that they espouse. I mean, duh. And congrats on conservatives for thinking Sarah Palin is a rock star, btw. You should be proud.

        The GOP want to make it harder for women to get contraception, even though having access to contraception significantly reduces the cost of healthcare for women, reduces unwanted pregnancies and therefore abortion, and prevents health problems that have nothing to do with sexual activity. Rush’s initial objection seems to be the cost of the contraception, but that can’t be right, because providing access to contraception is cheaper than not providing it. Antonin Scalia has already written the majority Supreme Court opinion that ruled that moral or religious conscience does not excuse institutions from compliance with the law, and that laws are only in violation of the First Amendment if they are written specifically in animus to the religious belief (like anti-Sharia laws, but I digress).

        So what’s the problem here?

        You call it a reckless assertion that these views held by Limbaugh are misogynistic. I call it calling the sky blue.

  6. “Palin, Coulter, Malkin, Bachmann, and Thatcher are not given a pass by the left because they are women; they are judged by the policies that they would have enacted and the opinions that they espouse.”

    😀 So, we don’t hate *all* women, we just hate women who don’t hate women. Or something.

    Never mind that the common strain in ideas that we oppose is statism, and that women tend to support statism (if the fact that the majority of them vote Democrat is any indication, which I believe it is). No, it *has* to be that we evil Republicans hate women! (Except for women who must also hate women, or whatever.)

    This is the same kind of ill logic that suggests to you jokers that we hate gays because we oppose gay marriage. *chuckle*

    Let’s have some more fun! How is anything that the aforementioned women have done or espoused anti-woman? Pick whatever issue you like.

    “The GOP want to make it harder for women to get contraception…”

    😛 How are we making it *harder* for women to get contraception? What legislation are we trying to introduce to that effect?

    Leftist logic. Resisting an imposition on me that makes someone else’s life easier means that I want to make things harder for her. Huh?? Maybe I simply don’t want to be coerced into doing something that I don’t want to do. (Shock!)

    1. Are people coercing you into taking contraception, Milo? That’s awful. No one should do that.

      Oh, that’s not what you’re talking about? You’re being coerced into doing… what now?

      Oh, paying taxes to support things you don’t agree with? Like… contraception? You don’t support women having contraception? No? Yes? Wait, this isn’t about contraception? It’s the principle? Or something?

      So I didn’t support the invasion of Iraq. Where was my freedom when I was coerced into paying taxes to fund it?

      Just stupid.

      1. “You don’t support women having contraception? No? Yes? Wait, this isn’t about contraception? It’s the principle? Or something?”

        Principle, yes. (I know, I know, foreign notion to a leftist, since principles frequently get in the way of objectives. Witness the left’s progressively more brazen flouting of the Constitution, your touting its changeability as its greatest attribute, and even your open, public disdain for major parts of it.)

        If a woman wants to use contraceptives, more power to her.

        But she has to pay for it herself. I don’t care how much your self-effacing reverence for women is offended, I don’t care how much your sense of altruism is offended, I don’t care how much your passion for egalitarianism in outcomes is thwarted — no one has a right to anything that involves the resources (time, labor, money, whatever) of someone else to procure. That’s some basic conservatism — basic *Americanism* — for you, smart guy.

        “So I didn’t support the invasion of Iraq. Where was my freedom when I was coerced into paying taxes to fund it?”

        Why are you asking me? Your party supported going into Iraq, too (until it became politically expedient for them *not* to support it).

  7. Note: For anyone else who might be reading our little exchange, here, and considers him/herself an objective, free-thinking individual, Limbaugh made a great statement in response to all the ruckus (deliberately) caused by his remarks. You can read it here:

    http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2012/03/02/i_m_a_danger_to_the_women_of_america

    (Start at “Let me explain what’s going on here.”)

    No need to challenge me to defend Limbaugh — I’ve done enough of that with Jon, and I’ve got other responsibilities that need seeing to. Just some reading for you if you’re inclined to side with Wiesman.

  8. I’ve got to bow out, now. Falling a little behind in my work.

    If you want to respond again, I’ll read it, but I can’t devote any more time to this discussion.

    Later, Wiesman.

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