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I understand the part about "grey" in "The Grey Lady", but am not clear about the "lady" part. Especially since the editors of The New York Times cannot conceive (pun intended, I suppose) or comprehend that some woman might have a high view of motherhood and also reject the false promises of abortion and contraception:

It has dawned on Mitt Romney that he has a problem with female voters. He just has no idea what to do about it, since it is the result of his positions on abortion, contraception, health services and many other issues. On Tuesday night, he bumbled his way through a cringe-inducing attempt to graft what he thinks should be 2012 talking points onto his 1952 sensibility.

After all, as all chronological snobs know, the 1952 "sensibility" is boring and backward compared to the shiny, sexy 2012 sensibility! Later, the editors openly mock Romney and, more notably, thumb their collective noses at motherhood:

But then he started a slow, painful slide into one of the most bizarre comments on this issue we’ve ever heard, which became an instant Internet sensation. “We took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet,” Mr. Romney said, sounding as if that were a herculean task. An appeal to women’s groups, he said, “brought us whole binders full of women.”

This was important, he said, because “I recognized that if you’re going to have women in the work force that sometimes they need to be more flexible. My chief of staff, for instance, had two kids that were still in school.”

At this point we could practically hear his political consultants yelling “Stop!”

But Mr. Romney did not. “She said, I can’t be here until 7 or 8 o’clock at night. I need to be able to get home at 5 o’clock so I can be there for making dinner for my kids and being with them when they get home from school.”

Flexibility is a good policy. But what if a woman had wanted to go home to study Spanish? Or rebuild an old car? Or spend time with her lesbian partner? Would Mr. Romney have been flexible about that? Or if a man wanted similar treatment?

Because, of course, there are far more women out here in the real world with lesbian partners and car shops than with children. It brings to mind one of Chesterton's broadsides against birth control, from the 1927 essay, "Social Reform versus Birth Control":

The fact is, I think, that I am in revolt against the conditions of industrial capitalism and the advocates of Birth Control are in revolt against the conditions of human life. What their spokesmen can possibly mean by saying that I wage a "class war against mothers" must remain a matter of speculation. If they mean that I do the unpardonable wrong to mothers of thinking they will wish to continue to be mothers, even in a society of greater economic justice and civic equality, then I think they are perfectly right. I doubt whether mothers could escape from motherhood into Socialism.

But the advocates of Birth Control seem to want some of them to escape from it into capitalism. They seem to express a sympathy with those who prefer "the right to earn outside the home" or (in other words) the right to be a wage-slave and work under the orders of a total stranger because he happens to be a richer man. By what conceivable contortions of twisted thought this ever came to be considered a freer condition than that of companionship with the man she has herself freely accepted, I never could for the life of me make out. The only sense I can make of it is that the proletarian work, though obviously more senile and subordinate than the parental, is so far safer and more irresponsible because it is not parental. I can easily believe that there are some people who do prefer working in a factory to working in a family; for there are always some people who prefer slavery to freedom, and who especially prefer being governed to governing someone else.

But I think their quarrel with motherhood is not like mine, a quarrel with inhuman conditions, but simply a quarrel with life. Given an attempt to escape from the nature of things, and I can well believe that it might lead at last to something like "the nursery school for our children staffed by other mothers and single women of expert training."

Yes, a quarrel with life and reality, "solved" through the destruction of innocent life and the rejection of reality via the mocking of traditional virtues, Catholicism, and basic commonsense. Perhaps, just perhaps, in 2062, the editors of the Times will be mocking their pathetic "2012 sensibility". I say "perhaps", of course, because it's doubtful the Times will have an existence or readers fifty years from now.

 
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Carl E. Olson is editor of Catholic World Report and Ignatius Insight.
 
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