Reopening the Social Issues Debate in Missouri

Embattled Democratic Governor Jay Nixon is term-limited in Missouri come 2016.  Once considered a possible Senatorial candidate for 2016, his star was seriously tarnished given his performance in Ferguson this past year.  Everyone is aware that outside the metropolitan St. Louis and Kansas City areas, Missouri is increasingly drifting toward the Republican Party.  Six of their 8 representatives are Republican.  Nixon has to deal with a Republican state house and senate. The table has been set for a Republican take over at the highest level of Missouri’s state government.

Thus far, the only declared candidates are former US Attorney for Eastern Missouri and former state representative Catherine Hanaway and state auditor Tom Schweich.  On the Democratic side, no one has declared although everyone believes state attorney general Chris Koster will eventually do so and possibly Lt. Governor Joe Maxwell with Koster having the inside track at this point.

Recently, Hanaway created somewhat of a stir in Leftist circles because of a speech she made to the Educational Policy Conference in St. Louis.  This is the lengthy quote that the Left takes exception to in the media:

So, the liberals want to talk about conservatives waging a war on women…when their chief criticism is that we stand up for the sanctity of life.  That we are pro-life we are somehow against women.  I am here to say that their culture of permissiveness towards sexual activity is the real war on women.  Let’s start with the notion…its a fact that the culture of sexual permissiveness has led to record levels of out of wedlock births.  And what has that done for women?  It has impoverished women.  It has reduced their access to educational opportunities.  It has impoverished and endangered their children.  It has forced those children to grow up in households where their mothers have to work…How is that culture good for women and children?

She later went on to note the link between this sexually permissive culture and child pornography and child sexual abuse.  Being a former US Attorney, one would suspect that she, not the Leftist mouthpieces, would be in a better position to see this relationship.  In effect, she was noting that the so-called sexual liberation movements of past decades have created deleterious consequences on American society today.  One need only look at the evolution of some pornographic publications since the 1970s to see how this sexual permissiveness has become more accepted.  Whereas people who bought a copy of Playboy, for example, used to hide copies in the sock drawer or under the mattress, today it is almost accepted practice for public figures to grant an interview to the magazine.  Of course, people buy it for the articles…    She cited the example of child pornography.  It is a federal crime to even have it on your hard drive.  Yet, there are voices on the Left (and some libertarians on the Right) who argue that it is private conduct and should be left alone.  The Left’s misunderstanding of her statements have led to some vitriol that she is 2016’s Todd Akin and that she will turn back the clock to the Victorian Era where “women know their place and stay there.”

As for the other comments, one cannot deny that illegitimate births have increased since these sexual revolutions, as has the number of children and women living in poverty.  It is TRUE that there are a greater number of single mothers in the workforce today than at any time in the past.  It is TRUE that the number of cases of sexual abuse against children has increased.  It is TRUE that child pornography is today a multi-billion dollar business.  It is TRUE that sexual slavery is a problem in some areas today.  Unfortunately for the Left, facts often get in the way of their rhetoric.

Regarding illegitimate births, they have increased to the point where greater than 40% all of births are now out of wedlock.  The poverty rate for children in a single female-headed household is 36.5% compared to only 6.4% in a married relationship household.  That means that in a married situation, the child is 82% less likely to live in poverty.  And when we talk of illegitimate births, the Left likes to argue that teenage births have actually decreased as a result of their beliefs.  I fail to understand using this argument.  Does having an out-of-wedlock child at age 18 or 24 make that mother any more prepared to insure their child does not grow up in poverty?  Most of the illegitimate births- 39.1% of the total- occur in the 20-24 age group while another 22.2% occur in the 25-29 age group.  Hence 61.3% of all illegitimate births occur precisely in the age groups where women are entering the workforce or higher education. Catherine Hanaway has her facts firmly planted in concrete statistical evidence.  How can out-of-wedlock births advance a woman’s educational opportunity or entrance into the workforce?  And acceptance of single-motherhood is a direct outgrowth of liberal policies and beliefs from the 1960s and 1970s.  Today, being a virgin at age 20 let alone 16 is considered out of the mainstream and a sign of sexual repression.  What was once an act of defiance is now the convention.

And another point regarding Hanaway that rings true is that the radical individualism upon which the entire sexual revolution is based can and does lead into areas like acceptance of child pornography and increase in child sexual abuse.  Everything to the Leftist is left to mutual consent.  All too often regret is the unfortunate companion to that consent.

Despite their ignorance, there are other facts.  Women are equally divided on the issue of abortion on demand as are men.  Women are equally opposed to HHS  contraception mandates in health care coverage under Obamacare as are males.  A Wharton School study at the University of Pennsylvania has shown that even though women have greater access to educational opportunity and the workforce than at any other time in American history, their general happiness, as defined on the General Society Questionnaire (a highly reliable longitudinal survey of societal attitudes), has DECLINED over time.  The left ignores the FACT that over 19 million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases are diagnosed each year in the United States and that more than half (10 million) occur in the 15-24 age group.

The sexual revolution of past decades may have had some “good” consequences in some areas, but on balance it has had some very tangible bad consequences that outweigh the good.  If potentially sentencing your illegitimate child to a life of poverty is considered “good”- and the statistical evidence indicates such- then it is the liberal Left that is waging a war on women.  Despite access to contraception and abortion, these births still occur with serious consequences for a WOMAN’s life and their children.  And that war against women waged by the Left is most prevalent in the African-American and Hispanic communities which, together, account for 56.5% of all US illegitimate births.  Ironically, these are the same groups most drawn to Leftist/Democratic policies.

However, if one looks to the most “restrictive” subset of the American population when it comes to sexual permissiveness- Asians- they account for only 8.5% of all illegitimate births in the United States.  We also discover that female Asian students are usually the higher performers academically, have higher graduation rates, have greater college entrance figures, higher SAT scores and a higher rate of overall life satisfaction.  While some Asian communities may be too restrictive (Muslims), overall the one group of Americans that the great sexual revolution largely passed over seems to be the most empowered.

Given these FACTS, the denigration of Catherine Hanaway at the hands of the Left is revealed as nothing but their utter stupidity and rigid acceptance of their beliefs and policies through their rose-colored glasses of political correctness and cultural relativism.  The female who desires to remain a virgin until marriage is now seen as a caricature of a long-dead era worthy of humiliation and being cast out.  The porn star, meanwhile, has been elevated on a pedestal because she, after all, exercised her free will and isn’t that what its all about- yourself?  Yep, to quote an old commercial, “You’ve come a long way, baby…”