The Republican party has a long history of shaming women and trampling on their rights, but Jeb Bush has been one of the most successful in doing so.
In 1995, Jeb Bush wrote a book called Profiles in Character and the writers at Huffington Post have been so kind as to comb through the literary, erm, masterpiece to find a particular quote that may be of some interest to our female compatriots.
Check it out:
One of the reasons more young women are giving birth out of wedlock and more young men are walking away from their paternal obligations is that there is no longer a stigma attached to this behavior, no reason to feel shame. Many of these young women and young men look around and see their friends engaged in the same irresponsible conduct. Their parents and neighbors have become ineffective at attaching some sense of ridicule to this behavior. There was a time when neighbors and communities would frown on out of wedlock births and when public condemnation was enough of a stimulus for one to be careful.
Essentially, JB is missing the good ol’ days when the neighborhood sluts were kicked out of their houses and churches to live a hard life on the street, pregnant and ostracized from their community. What’s not to miss, really?
JB then recalls Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, The Scarlet Letter, in which adulterers were made to wear a scarlet ‘A’ on their clothing so that society would know their shame.
Infamous shotgun weddings and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter are reminders that public condemnation of irresponsible sexual behavior has strong historical roots.
Ultimately, in early 2001, he became successful at publicly shaming ‘sluts’ and even rape victims.
Years after his book was published, while Bush was Governor of Florida, he had his chance to put his shaming fetish into practice. In 2001, Florida legislature passed the “Scarlet Letter” Law that forced women to reveal their sexual partners publicly. While Jeb did not sign the law, he also did not veto it which allowed for its passage. For more information about this horrendous law, check out my colleague Sheila Wolfe’s piece here.
But the shame-obsessed governor didn’t just have his sights set on single mothers, Bush also wrote about people on government assistance:
For many, it is more shameful to work than to take public assistance — that is how backward shame has become!
And when it comes to juvenile delinquents, Bush had some ideas for them too:
In the context of present-day society we need to make kids feel shame before their friends rather than their family. The Miami Herald columnist Robert Steinback has a good idea. He suggests dressing these juveniles in frilly pink jumpsuits and making them sweep the streets of their own neighborhoods! Would these kids be so cavalier then?
And in case you aren’t quite getting it yet, Bush really, really likes the use of shame in society to make people act right:
Society needs to relearn the art of public and private disapproval and how to make those to engage in some undesirable behavior feel some sense of shame.
What happened in Jeb’s life that made him so obsessed with shame? And this is the sort of man who wants to be the leader of all people someday? Can he successfully lead a nation full of single mothers, rape victims, juvenile delinquents, welfare recipients, and those he fundamentally disagrees with, without resorting to shame? I highly doubt it.
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