Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Hypocrisy of Moralists

Dr. Laura has been all over the airwaves promoting her new book “In Praise of Stay-at-home Moms.” I caught part of an interview with on a radio station while traveling and cannot recall the station or host. She made the comment “men have been emasculated by feminism and no longer feel an obligation to take care of the woman.”

Really? Feminism emasculated me? Apparently - as I would soon be told – it was because feminism took woman out of their designated place as wife, mother, and homemaker. I always thought it was responsible for opening up the door so that woman could pursue any path they wanted to. You mean like be a radio talk show host, or pursuing a PhD and a certificate in Marriage Counseling? Surely you don’t mean opening the door so that woman could have the ability to have a career?

Apparently, according to the Doctor, this is not an acceptable path for woman. And we men, shame on us, have lost our way in protecting and providing for these lil’ delicate flowers. Oh really? When someone rails against the same lifestyle they have benefited from and still enjoys, we would call that being a hypocrite. Not so! says our good Doctor…….

"A hypocrite says, 'Do what I say, not what I do,' rather than, 'Do what I say, not what I did'. Note 1

How in the world does someone find the gall to write a book called “How Could You Do That?! The Abdication of Character, Courage, and Conscience” when they have lived the vary life they are writing about as bad for others? Yes, people make mistakes, some learn from them, admit them, and move on. Other people, like our good Doctor, have made numerous mistakes over time, denied them, and then self-anointed themselves as righteous and virtuous purveyors of all that is good and bad in society.

Where is her candor, her admission of a less than stellar lifestyle – both past and present? Where is her embarrassment for the stupid mistakes she partook in as an educated older adult? Case in point:
  • She was married and divorced….How could you do that?!
  • When she was 28 she and had a sexual relationship with a man 29 years older than her…..How could you do that?!
  • She allowed him to take nude pictures of her……How could you do that?!
  • She had an affair with a married man who had dependent children…..How could you do that?!
  • She lived with the man for eight years before getting married…...How could you do that?!
  • She bore a child, out of wedlock, at the age of 38…..How could you do that?!
  • And then, as an observant Jew – orthodox, no less - with new found moral authority, lied when she denied that those same nude photos were really her. How could you do that?!
It is not how could she have done those things, it is how she did them and still finds herself qualified to write books on morality? Had she called it “How could I have done that?!” I would not be writing this about her. Leonard Pitts summed this type of hypocrisy up pretty succinctly:

"There are few things more entertaining than the hypocrisy of moralists, caught living Married With Children lives while preaching Leave It to Beaver virtues."

Note 1: Dr. Laura. NPR interview (October 3, 1998)

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