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Conservatives do it with class. (Part 2)

Here's a pretty old post from the blog archives of Geekery Today; it was written about 14 years ago, in 2008, on the World Wide Web.

Here’s a Valentine’s Day treat from self-described thinker Glenn Beck, who offers his insights into gender, sex, love, and marriage:

I’m not a sex expert but I’m — you know, I’m thinking, you know, you’re ugly and, you know, that’s a tough one to overcome especially if you’re a woman. If you’re a guy, that’s not hard to overcome. I’m sorry. That’s just the way the world is. Have you — how many ugly guys have hot wives? Take me, for example. I don’t know why she married — I think it was low self-esteem. I do. No, really I think it was low self-esteem. I got in — you know, you buy when the market is low. You know what I mean? While everybody else is selling, you buy. And I think I got in there right at the right time. Low self-esteem, low, wait a minute, could go a little lower, she might come down to my price. Hang on, OK, sold! Now her self-esteem is going up. And if my income wasn’t going up, she would have ditched me long ago. She would have gone, Wait a minute, I think I was depressed when I married you. I’m just — look. I’m not Tania, but I am a thinker. I’m on to you, Tania!

— Glenn Beck, The Glenn Beck Program (2008-02-14)

(Via Echnide of the Snakes 2008-02-15: The Patriarchal Ode To Sexual Love.)

Further reading:

4 replies to Conservatives do it with class. (Part 2) Use a feed to Follow replies to this article · TrackBack URI

  1. Discussed at radgeek.com

    Rad Geek People’s Daily 2008-02-22 – Technicalities:

    […] GT 2008-02-16: Conservatives do it with class. (Part 2) […]

  2. Anon73

    Given that Beck is a crass blockhead, the fact seems to remain that a) men more often care about physical beauty than women, and b) sometimes caring about physical beauty is normal and healthy, and therefore c) the leftist value of egalitarianism (which I assume you support) seems to contradict something normal and healthy, especially in the behavior of men. Premise a) is an empirical fact which I assume won’t change under any social system, and premise b) seems obvious to me, especially since some features of beauty (e.g. symmetrical faces,unblemished skin) serve as evidence of good health (stemming from our evolution). Do you disagree with a), with b), or my interpretation of leftist egalitarianism?

  3. Rad Geek

    I don’t think that there’s anything wrong per se with enjoying physical beauty. (That’s why we call it beautiful.) But I don’t think that prevalent male attitudes towards physical beauty in women (or, for that matter, prevalent female attitudes towards physical beauty in men, male attitudes towards physical beauty in men, female attitudes towards physical beauty in women, etc.) are either immutable or immune from criticism. I think these obviously have a lot to do with contingent and exploitative arrangements of social power. (So, among other things, I’d question the assumption that you conjoin with premise (a).) I’d also say that the issue with this quote has to do with rather more than liking a pretty face. Besides stereotypes about male and female priorities in dating, there’s at least one other fish to fry here, which is commodifying sexual desirability in women, and talking about your lover as if she were a piece of property that makes for a more or less valuable acquisition. That’s a somewhat separate issue from the specifics of the criteria used to appraise her value, once you’ve granted the basic worldview.

    Incidentally, even if differences like these were in some interesting sense natural, every civilized society expends a lot of its material and cultural resources in trying to do things that, in some sense, are not natural for human beings (like literacy or opera), while avoiding things that are (like cholera outbreaks or unplanned pregnancies). As I see it, there’s nothing wrong with that, and the basis for deciding whether people should encourage, discourage, or remain indifferent to a particular attitude or practice has very little to do with whether that attitude or practice is natural.

  4. Anon73

    I agree with you about commodification. My main concern is that if you take egalitarianism too far (as some seem to do), it requires absurd conclusions, like pretending beauty just doesn’t matter, or that there’s no difference between a skilled person and an unskilled one, etc. Just to be totally clear, do you agree that egalitarianism can be taken too far in the way I describe?

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