Thursday, December 08, 2005

A Catalogue of Commentators - Issue 4. Suzanne Fields

Hello all. I'm afraid that this is once again Maple Roberts, Personal Secretary and Mole Dampener to Alaistar Niedenmaker, also known as the Post-Modernist. I'm afraid he has been very busy the last couple of weeks, dealing with an invasion of Hedrix Worshipping Space Tarantulas. He had me hold off doing it, on the hope that he could make it back to earth. Unfortunately he and Nanook of the North have been captured and placed in suspended animation aboard the Tarantula Mother Ship, so it seems like there will be some delay.

This weeks subject is Suzanne Fields. She is a columnist who writes for the Washington Times and she has a doctorate in literature. Her biggest controversy so far has apparently resolved around her comments on a "Harvard-Yale study that suggests a college-educated woman who hasn't married by age 30 finds the odds stacked enormously against her." I'm not sure what that means, nor do I know what her take on the issue was; but it whatever it was it apparently propelled her to center stage.

She seems like the sort of woman who has spent a certain part of her career telling feminists and liberals what woman "really" want, as in
this quote during last years election campaign.
The conventional wisdom is that John Kerry lost female support when he didn't respond quickly to the attacks on the medals won in Vietnam. Women, it seems to me, were turned off more by the replays of his slurs against the soldiers he left behind in Vietnam. It was one thing to attack the war, but quite another to attack the men fighting it.
It is interesting to me that Ms. Fields feels comfortable speaking for a gender. That's not normally something I find appetizing; and I find it no more appetizing when a woman does it compared to when a man does it.

But I do appreciate a certain segment of male conservativism likes to hear a woman tell them they are right about women. And there is presumably a certain amount of money to be made doing just that.

Her literature degree has shown up a time or so in her writing; at one point she was advocating the study of the bible as literature.
No one proposes teaching the Bible as a sacred text or to promote religious faith in public schools. With three kinds of Jews, a dozen varieties of Methodists and countless flavors of Baptists, just for starters, we could never agree on what, exactly, should be taught as doctrine even if that's what we set out to do. But in a less-than-perfect world there can be no harm, and a lot of good, in well-informed surveys of the Bible as literature, showing how the Bible has shaped history, philosophy, the law, art and other subjects, inspiring our earliest settlers, Founding Fathers and presidents unto the modern day.
This seems reasonable enough; but it would require a certain amount of maturity on the parts of both the students and the parents, not to mention the teachers. And it would not take much to derail such a class. I would support such a class; but only for Seniors or Juniors.

And of course it is hard to know what they will teach about how the Bible has inspired Americans throughout the ages. Will they talk about how the Bible inspired slave holders to continue support of slavery while it also inspired abolitionists to press for freedom for the slaves?

Ms. Fields is resolute in her support of President Bush, who she generally
describes in glowing terms.
The Truman-Dewey comparison has its limits, but George W., like Harry Truman, acts as if he understands "the buck stops here." That understanding has shaped his foreign policy and, like Harry Truman, he stands stubbornly by his decisions as the nation faces a new and deadly menace.
Bryant noted that "The Buck Stops Here" theory also implies taking responsibility for the actions and mistakes one has made, so I will not cover that here. I will note that stubbornness is a neutral trait; being stubborn in support of bad policy can hardly be described as a great idea.

Here are some comments by Bryant.
I have to admit I don't have very many. I do think Suzanne Fields plays the same role that Walter E. Williams plays. She's a member of a "minority" telling males that they are just fine. There are some males who really enjoy that message. I don't think she's as cynical about it as Walter E. Williams; but she does it. Beyond that she's just one of the many conservative voices out there.

A few favorite posts on here.

February 26, 2003, Ms. Fields suggested that going to the gym will not actually protect you from Satan. I find myself wondering if any gyms have made that claim.

November 2, 2003, Ms. Fields wrote about how colleges are teaching classes she thinks are not useful. If there is one thing I have learned serving Mr. Niedenmaker it is that all knowledge is useful.

December 7, 2004, Ms. Fields attacked Europe for being insufficiently pro-America. She also made a grammatical error in her title. You can guess which part of the story Bryant found most relevant.

And that is it. Next week Mr. Durango will cover someone new.

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