Indeed, Rep. Gary Condit has been so successfully portrayed as a "CONSERVATIVE RIGHT-WING Democrat" that it would probably be safe even for Dan Rather to mention the story on CBS News. Really clearing the way for Rather, Condit was apparently a member of a congressional Bible study group. (Can anybody make heads or tails of this commandment?)
The feminist enthusiasm for Condit goes something like this: Feminists have always stood for freedom of "choice" (unless it involves something other than abortion, adultery or sodomy), and isn't it wonderful that Chandra Levy was able to choose to have an affair with a married man? Congratulations, Chandra!
If you think I'm making this up, here is what Gloria Jacobs, editor of Ms. Magazine said about Chandra on Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor": "I think the idea is that what feminism always wanted for women is the right to choose their partners, their own sexuality, whether they're young women or older women. ... I think it's really that one would have hoped that as women had more access to power that this wouldn't be the way they would have to go about it. But everybody makes their own choices."
Feminists are actually trying to claim credit for the dumb decision of a girl who is now missing. Anyone who sees a connection between Chandra's choice of sexual partners and her disappearance is probably the sort who thinks promiscuous sexual behavior has some metaphysical link to venereal disease, abortion and divorce, too. If rumors are correct that Chandra was pregnant, a very broad definition of the "right to choose" could be at work. Another triumph for feminism!
It wasn't just the Ms. magazine editor. The airwaves are lousy with liberal women putting in a kind word for adultery these days.
On Fox News Channel's "The Edge With Paula Zahn," Eleanor Clift said: "Congressman Condit, so far, is guilty of having extramarital affairs, and that is something that a number of congressmen are probably familiar with."
On "The O'Reilly Factor," Geraldine Ferraro said: "If every member of Congress or every public official in Washington were to resign because they've been having an affair, dear God ..."
On "CNN Late Edition," Rep. Chris "Rape Is Not Impeachable" Shays, "R"-Conn., said: "I mean, if infidelity is a test, there would be a number of members of Congress that should resign."
I love the idea that a mass exodus from the U.S. Congress would constitute some terrible tragedy. How could we ever replace these Titans! But what's with the neurotic compulsion to assert that half of Washington is committing adultery? How do these girls know what's going on in other people's "zones of privacy"?
There has been only one serious sex survey ever conducted in America, released in 1994. (Time magazine called it "the first truly scientific survey of who does what with whom in America.") Using peer-approved methods, a team of researchers at the University of Chicago surveyed thousands of respondents over several years. They concluded that 75 percent of married men and 85 percent of married women have never been unfaithful.
By contrast, Alfred Kinsey's purported "study" in the '40s concluded that 50 percent of men cheat. The reason his study is discounted by scientists -- but revered at Playboy magazine -- is that his sample group consisted of prostitutes, prisoners and inmates in mental institutions.
I can understand why I would want to lump members of Congress in with this crowd, as a measure of my esteem. But why do liberals want to make that argument? They're the ones who think we should be sending more of our money to these clowns. What are the feminists up to?
I put the question to a leading scholar of feminism, the author of the Encyclopaedia Britannica entry on "feminism." She explained that 30 years ago what bugged feminists was that men had affairs and everyone thought it was cute, whereas women had affairs and they were sluts. It wasn't the immorality but the double standard that had them hopping mad. And there are two ways of eliminating a double standard. Since feminists figured they couldn't change men, their goal was simply to even the score.
So in a maniacal pursuit of equality -- we've fully transitioned into my analysis now -- these querulous little feminists stripped women of the sense that they can rely on the institution of marriage and gave men license to discard their wives. But at least women can choose to be pigs now, too! This is what happens when you allow women to think about public policy. It's also what happens when you start assuming the whole country has the mores of prostitutes, criminals, mental patients and, evidently, congressmen.