Saturday, May 31, 2008


A few days ago the Salt Lake Tribune published a comment by Rebecca Walsh that pointed out that the ACLU hasn't been particularly valiant in defense of the women's issues that have clearly come to the forefront of the Texas/FLDS child custody case in recent weeks. If I remember correctly, she characterized the ACLU response as "waffling".

Ms. Antoinnette Billings of Cottonwood Heights has taken umbrage, and responded with a Public Forum Letter, which I have linked and quoted in its entirety, along with my own comments.

FLDS women brainwashed
Public Forum Letter
Salt Lake Tribune

Rebecca Walsh confuses feminists with the American Civil Liberties Union in "Feminists waffle in FLDS case" (Tribune, May 25). Polygamy is inherently sexist. It fosters the control of women. Feminists have no role in the defense of women in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Feminism rightfully selects issues that address a woman's right against subordination. It would be appropriate to assist the FLDS women in a variety of ways, but not in their "choice" to allow abuse to perpetually rain upon their children. There is no "choice" to defend when brainwashing begins at birth.

The notion that a woman gains power in polygamy is an acquiescent lie. It is something she achieves through the manipulation of her husband in the performing of her childbearing and household duties. Manipulating one's spouse instead of communicating as adults has no place in any equal partnership. Manipulation belongs in the repertoire of wily, whining children. In the adult, it is found in the dishonest and immature.

An issue of "waffling" or "conflict" does not exist.

Antoinette Billings
Cottonwood Heights

There were many comments, and I added my own.

This charge of being brainwashed is a clever but vacuous argument, designed to discredit anyone who chooses to oppose a particular point of view, in this case, a feminist one. It's manipulative, dishonest, and deceitful. It's a clever way of saying "the choice you've made is stupid, so you must be stupid."

Today's feminists are a generation who have grown up having been thoroughly indoctinated in the feminist dogma. In other words, they've been brainwashed, too.

The problem with this kind of argument is that it dehumanizes the people who are being targeted. If you've been brainwashed, the argument would logically flow, then you shouldn't be allowed to make choices, you shouldn't be allowed to vote, you shouldn't be allowed to make personal decisions, such as who to marry, or when, and you shouldn't be allowed to have children. If you've been brainwashed, then it's alright for the state to take away your children and put them up for adoption, hopefully by people who've been indoctinated in a more acceptable dogma.

If you're interested, you can go to the link and read all the comments. Be warned, some of them are pretty tedious.

Incidentally, here are some dictionary definitions of brainwashing and propaganda:

1 : a forcible indoctrination to induce someone to give up basic political, social, or religious beliefs and attitudes and to accept contrasting regimented ideas
2 : persuasion by propaganda or salesmanship


: the spreading of ideas or information to further or damage a cause; also
: ideas or allegations spread for such a purpose

To be honest, I believe there's been an inordinate amount of brainwashing and propaganda going on for several decades, in the news media, in public schools and on college campuses, and it's a liberal, leftist, socialist idealogy that has been promoted. The purpose, I suppose, is to establish this idealogy as the approved, acceptable social dogma, to which all civil society must ascribe.

To counter this trend, many conservative parents have started sending their children to private schools, or began homeschooling. And to counter that trend, there's a movement afoot to make homeschooling in California illegal. If Illiberal liberals don't like something that's going on, they just criminalize it.

Hattie Mae Charming

Hattie Mae, who's 22 months old, came to the hospital to visit her newborn cousin Anson. It took her a few minutes to wake up from her nap and perk up her usual charming smile, but she managed.

Here she poses with one of her favorite people, her mom.

And here is little cousin Anson, one day old.

Anson was more interested in sleeping than meeting his relatives.

Anson may have been the center of attention, but with this great smile, Hattie Mae held her own very well, thank you.