Patrick Henry College’s Faith & Reason Lecture: Rape, Domestic Violence, and Child Abuse Denialism

[Trigger warning for rape, assault, and sexual harassment denialism]

This past Friday, Stephen Baskerville delivered Patrick Henry College’s annual (and mandatory) Faith & Reason lecture (you can read the full text here). Baskerville has been a professor of government at Patrick Henry College since 2007. Patrick Henry College, as you may remember if you are a regular reader, was founded by Michael Farris (founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association). Farris’ desire was to educate a generation of young people to go into politics, media, entertainment, education, and law to “retake” those public arenas for conservative evangelical Christianity. Queer PHC and Patrol have already covered Baskerville’s lecture; I highly recommend both treatments.

In his lecture, Baskerville argued that the current “war” being waged against Christianity in the United States is an outgrowth of the sexual revolution, and that evangelical Christians are not properly aware of the full extent of this problem. He argued that the “militants” heading up the sexual revolution have created new “gender crimes” designed solely to discriminate against and falsely imprison white males (presumably white male Christians, but to be honest Baskerville seems a whole lot more concerned about white males in general than Christians in particular). Again, you can read the whole thing, but what I want to highlight here is the center of the talk.

Since the inception of their Revolution—and well beneath the media radar screen—militants have been creating a panoply of new crimes and expanded redefinitions of existing crimes—all involving sexual relations. While it is very likely that the Sexual Revolution has also increased incidences of real sex crimes, the new gender crimes are very different: They play on the fear of sex crimes, but they redefine these politically to include not simply acts but heterodox political beliefs. The reality of the witch hunts thus bears no necessary relation to what is suggested by the inflammatory language and jargon:

  • “rape” that includes consensual relations and in most instances is no more than that;
  • domestic “violence” that involves no violence or any physical contact or threat of it;
  • sexual “harassment” that can mean anything from simple flirtation to unauthorized opinions about morality or politics;
  • “child abuse” that is routine parental discipline, or homeschooling, or concocted altogether to win advantage in divorce court;
  • “bullying” that involves criticism of the homosexual agenda or other differences of belief and opinion;
  • “stalking” that is forcibly divorced fathers trying to see their own children;

And much more.

Baskerville starts by claiming that those carrying out the sexual revolution have “redefined” a variety of terms. He then explains how these terms have been redefined—and fails in every count. No one defines rape to include consensual sex. No one defines domestic violence to include neither violence or threat of it. No one defines sexual harassment to mean “simple flirtation” (and I’m a bit up on definitions of sexual harassment, as I recently sat through a sexual harassment seminar for graduate instructors at my university). As for child abuse, I’d like to know how Baskerville defines “routine parental discipline,” because I suspect we disagree on that count. And for bullying and stalking, Baskerville strikes out yet again. No one defines these terms the way he does. He’s creating a strawman that doesn’t exist.

And there’s a reason he’s doing this.

These new gender crimes have been created not despite the new sexual freedom but as the inseparable corollary to it. The new crimes operate in concert with the new freedoms and smoothly combine expanded sexual licensee with diminished civic freedom, and indeed, state repression. This is why Jones can write that “Sexual revolution is a form of political control.”

Baskerville very much wants to argue that sexual freedom goes hand in hand with diminished civic freedom, state repression, and political control. Baskerville’s argument is that sexual freedom leads to men being forcibly divorced (his term), falsely accused, unjustly imprisoned, and leeched dry financially (via child support of course). Sexual freedom, he says, dethrones men and places women and children under the protection of the state, creating a behemoth political operation feeding off of male impotence and the coercive power to dictate every detail of people’s lives. Not surprisingly, this argument isn’t completely new. Much of it is actually a reincarnation of the arguments made by the antifeminists of the early twentieth century, who argued that giving women the vote would dethrone men from their place of authority over women and children and replace them with the state, which would act as women’s guardian and protector. (You can read more about this in Kim Nielson’s Un-American Womanhood.)

What’s most interesting about Baskerville’s formulation is that, delivered at an evangelical Christian college in the early twentieth century, it combined early-twentieth-century antistatist antifeminist arguments with essentially every MRA talking point in the book, creating an odd synthesis between “what did you think would happen” and “bitches be lying” that isn’t completely internally consistent. You see, Baskerville is a rape denialist, a domestic violence denialist, and a child abuse denialist (among others). Baskerville could simply argue that rape, domestic violence, and child abuse are results of the sexual revolution (or of feminism), a common argument in Baskerville’s camp, and to some extent he does. However, he is also arguing that as commonly reported and prosecuted, rape, domestic violence, and child abuse are nearly universally trumped up, false, and mere pretexts for divorcing, prosecuting, and imprisoning innocent men. And the enemy here, of course, are those evil, deductive, temptresses—women.

How does this happen? Baskerville explains:

The crime usually begins as some new sexual freedom demanded in strident terms as necessary to liberate women from some form of “oppression”—though crucially, the new freedom is also enticing to men, especially young men with strong libidos and few responsibilities. This then degenerates into a corollary criminal accusation against (usually) the man who takes the bait by indulging in the newly permitted pleasure.

Baskerville follows this by offering examples. Because this post is lengthy, what I want to do is first quote all of the examples, and then go through quoting each again and responding to it in particular. Feel free to skip to my conclusion after reading Baskerville’s examples if you don’t have the time or interest to read my response to and analysis of each.

  • Recreational sex in the evening turns into accusations of “rape” in the morning, even when it was entirely consensual. (This is especially rampant on college campuses.)
  • Demands for access to workplaces, universities, the military, and other previously male venues (accompanied with equally strident demands to engage there in female-only activities, such as pregnancy or breastfeeding) invite accusations of sexual “harassment” against the men when relations inevitably develop (and often turn sour), regardless of who initiates them.
  • Cohabitation and “no-fault” divorce are demanded to liberate women from “patriarchal” marriage but quickly generate accusations of male abandonment (even when the woman ends the marriage), as well as domestic “violence” and “child abuse,” in order to procure custody of children and the financial awards they bring.
  • The proclaimed right to raise children outside wedlock and without fathers to protect and discipline them soon turns into demands to prosecute adolescents and even children for “bullying” one another and eventually for more serious matters.
  • Defiant declarations that women do not need men for financial support quickly give way to demands to arrest and incarcerate without trial men who do not provide women with adequate income in the form of alimony or child support.
  • Assertions that women do not need men for protection soon produce hysterical outcries for intrusive police powers, innovative punishments, and expanded penal institutions to punish ever-proliferating and loosely-defined forms of “violence against women,” even when no physical contact or threat of it is involved. (Homosexuals are now mimicking this strategy.)
  • The demanded right to engage in homosexual acts and public displays translates almost automatically into the power to arrest or otherwise stop the mouths of preachers, “bullies,” and anyone else who objects or ridicules or offends the “feelings” or “pride” of homosexuals.
  • Demands to legalize prostitution feed hysteria to find and prosecute unnamed “sex traffickers.”
  • (My favorite, given our setting in higher education:) Demands for unisex bathing facilities in university residences lead to . . . —well, any young man lacking the intelligence to detect the trap awaiting him there may not belong in a university in the first place.

The basic thrust of this list is, as I stated, an odd amalgam of “what did you think would happen” and “bitches be lying.” Baskerville’s primary argument seems to be the latter, as he argues that rape, sexual harassment, domestic violence, and child abuse accusations are not reflections of reality but rather tools women use to control and manipulate men. Of course, Baskerville is wrong on all counts. Rape is real, sexual harassment is real, domestic violence is real, and child abuse is real. Oh, and while we’re at it, all of these things happened before the sexual revolution too, they were just more frequently ignored, justified, or swept under the carpet.

I’d like to point out that Baskerville’s lecture is heavy on “bitches be lying” and light on scripture. At a university as Christiany as Patrick Henry College, this is a bit surprising. It’s as though the Patrick Henry College leadership feels that teaching its students that accusations of rape, domestic violence, and child abuse are probably simply lies made up by conniving temptresses somehow became more important (or more effective) than sticking to the more common tactic of quoting Paul and asserting that women’s role is as nuturers and homemakers, not leaders or breadwinners. Is the Patrick Henry College really more interested in bending the knee to MRA talking points than to the Christian holy book?

Response and Analysis

1. Recreational sex in the evening turns into accusations of “rape” in the morning, even when it was entirely consensual. (This is especially rampant on college campuses.)

One in four college women will be raped or suffer an attempted rape during their time college. False rape claims are rare, and they are stiffly prosecuted (and given that women reporting rape are sometimes intimidated by the authorities into stating that their claims were false, it is likely that false rape claims are even lower than the official statistics). Baskerville is also ignoring the fact that very few rape accusations result in jail time for the accused, and that making a rape accusation is no piece of cake—it can mean going through hell and back. But note that, facts aside, Baskerville is arguing that rape is today a tool women use to control men.

2. Demands for access to workplaces, universities, the military, and other previously male venues (accompanied with equally strident demands to engage there in female-only activities, such as pregnancy or breastfeeding) invite accusations of sexual “harassment” against the men when relations inevitably develop (and often turn sour), regardless of who initiates them.

With this bullet point, Baskerville completely denies the actual reality of sexual harassment. Instead, he says that women make sexual harassment claims when “relations” develop in the workplace, university, or military and then “turn sour.” Never mind that sexual harassment is actually a thing, and that if a man is sexually harassing a woman (whether they previously had any sort of relationship or not) she has the right to demand that it stop. I actually think, though, that Baskerville is combining two arguments here, and isn’t sure which he’s actually going with. On the one hand is sexual harassment denialism—in which sexual harassment does not actually exist and women make sexual harassment accusations in order to control or punish men—and on the other hand is the “what did they think would happen when they asked to join the military” (or university, or workplace) argument.

3. Cohabitation and “no-fault” divorce are demanded to liberate women from “patriarchal” marriage but quickly generate accusations of male abandonment (even when the woman ends the marriage), as well as domestic “violence” and “child abuse,” in order to procure custody of children and the financial awards they bring.

Baskerville is against no-fault divorce, and one phrase he uses a lot in his writings is “forcibly divorced husbands.” He doesn’t like that women can divorce their husbands without their permission. How he cannot realize that being unable to divorce your husband without permission when there is domestic violence or other abuse is a recipe for disaster—or that being forced to be married to someone you don’t want to be married to must be its own kind of hell—is beyond me. Freedom of association only works one way. You can choose to associate with someone, but you can’t force them to associate with you if they don’t want to. Divorce is a part of that. Baskerville himself was “forcibly divorced,” and it sucks that his life hasn’t turned out the way he wanted it to, but he did not have any right to force his ex-wife to stay married to him against her will.

Beyond this, Baskerville’s basic argument appears to be that things like domestic violence and child abuse (note his scare quotes) are generally just made up by vindictive or conniving women. It’s true, sometimes women do make false accusations in divorce court, but judges there are used to having to sort through this sort of he said she said, and it’s not like men are totally innocent here and never make false claim of their own. Baskerville, however, appears to assume that women are lying if they report domestic violence or child abuse. And that’s rather terrifying. What’s bizarre is that Baskerville sees women as horrible conniving beings willing to do anything to get what they want while men are wholly innocent, just, and upstanding. According to Baskerville, women lie and deceive, but men don’t. And that, I suppose, is why Baskerville thinks men should be in charge and be granted authority over the women in their lives.

Finally, as a side note, anyone who thinks women are getting rich off of child support needs to take another look at how much it costs to raise children.

4. The proclaimed right to raise children outside wedlock and without fathers to protect and discipline them soon turns into demands to prosecute adolescents and even children for “bullying” one another and eventually for more serious matters.

I had to read this a couple times to fully understand it and I’m still not sure I have it. I think Baskerville is saying that children become bullies and eventually (presumably) juvenile delinquents because they grow up in homes without fathers “to protect and discipline them.” Presumably in Baskerville’s world there weren’t bullies or delinquents before there was divorce, there are no bullies or delinquents from two-parent households, and fathers are always only a good and protective influence on children. What I’m still trying to figure out is why Baskerville puts bullying in scare quotes. Perhaps it’s because anti-bullying initiatives are equated by people like Baskerville with alleged attempts to criminalize those who believe that “homosexuality” is a sin?

Now it indeed is true that children growing up in single-parent households are more likely to be labeled delinquents than children growing up in dual-parent households. The thing is, in order to study the impact of divorce itself on the likelihood that children will be labeled delinquents we would need to compare children growing up in single-parent households with children growing up in dual-parent households that would have divorced but were legally prevented from doing so. But we have no way of doing that. When we compare the outcomes for children from divorced households with the outcomes for children from non-divorced households (or the outcomes for children in single-parent households with the outcomes for children in dual-parent households), we are comparing apples and oranges. And we’re not controlling for variables, because things like family income also affect the likelihood of children being labeled delinquents, and family income has nothing to do with fathers being able to “protect or discipline” their children.

And as yet another side note, this kind of rhetoric may contribute to the abortion rate, as unmarried or single pregnant women are well aware that if they carry their pregnancies to term they will face decades of the sort of blaming and shaming people like Baskerville regularly throw at single and unmarried mothers.

5. Defiant declarations that women do not need men for financial support quickly give way to demands to arrest and incarcerate without trial men who do not provide women with adequate income in the form of alimony or child support.

Baskerville misses the entire point of child support. Whether you are a mother or a father, raising a child on your own is expensive, and it only makes sense to ask the other parent to chip in. It’s not about gender. It’s about valuing children. (And again, anyone who thinks women are getting rich off of child support needs to take a look at what it costs to raise children.) And alimony? Alimony stems from the idea that if a wife was a homemaker, she was contributing to the family and to her husband’s career (and we know this is true, because men whose wives are homemakers have the highest earning potential), and that she was sacrificing her own earning potential to do so. (And for the record, women can pay alimony too.)

6. Assertions that women do not need men for protection soon produce hysterical outcries for intrusive police powers, innovative punishments, and expanded penal institutions to punish ever-proliferating and loosely-defined forms of “violence against women,” even when no physical contact or threat of it is involved. (Homosexuals are now mimicking this strategy.)

Once again I do not think Baskerville is sure what he is arguing. Is he saying that women need men for protection, and that when they’re not under the protectorship of a man (whether father or husband), they naturally find themselves threatened and endangered at the hands of men in general? Or is he saying that women today are falsely claiming that the are in danger and demanding expanded police presence while their claims of violence against women (again, note the scare quotes) are totally trumped up and involve neither actual violence nor the threat of it? To be honest, I don’t think he can say both and maintain any sort of internal consistency.

Whichever it is, what Baskerville is doing here is disgusting. If men were such beasts that they couldn’t help but be violent against women, and if women’s only alternative was throwing themselves at the mercy of a male “protector,” I would proudly don the “man-hating” feminist label. If, on the other hand, Baskerville’s argument is that men are perfect saints who don’t lift a finger to harm women and that any woman who so much as asks for a restraining order should be assumed to be lying . . . I just don’t even.

7. The demanded right to engage in homosexual acts and public displays translates almost automatically into the power to arrest or otherwise stop the mouths of preachers, “bullies,” and anyone else who objects or ridicules or offends the “feelings” or “pride” of homosexuals.

No one has jailed a preacher for teaching that homosexuality is sin. Can we pop that little myth now? In fact, I have yet to hear anyone say that preachers shouldn’t be able to say that homosexuality is sin (just as, believe it or not, they are still allowed to say that interracial marriage is a sin). And as for bullying (note Baskerville’s scare quotes), when LGBTQ teens stop committing suicide as a result of anti-gay or anti-trans bullying (or being murdered for their sexual or gender identities), I’ll reconsider Baskerville’s suggestion that LGBTQ rights activists are all worked up about people hurting their “feelings.” Until then, not happening.

8. Demands to legalize prostitution feed hysteria to find and prosecute unnamed “sex traffickers.”

I . . . what? I get the feeling that Baskerville is talking about things he knows very little about here. First, sex traffickers are real. No scare quotes needed. Second, the reason many activists working against sex trafficking want prostitution legalized (and not all do) is that legalizing prostitution would help protect women who are trafficked (as it is, they are generally punished as criminals rather than given aid as victims) and help prosecute those who traffic in women (as their victims could report them without fear of being jailed themselves). Is Baskerville arguing that a feminist defense of prostitution (again, he’s unaware that there is serious disagreement among feminists on this score) has led to sex trafficking? I’m not sure, but if so he’s very, very wrong (not to mention extremely ahistorical).

9. (My favorite, given our setting in higher education:) Demands for unisex bathing facilities in university residences lead to . . . —well, any young man lacking the intelligence to detect the trap awaiting him there may not belong in a university in the first place.

Interestingly enough, one reason most feminists do not (to my knowledge) support a move toward unisex bathrooms is the fear of sexual assault and sexual harassment. Once again, Baskerville is flipping this around. In Baskerville’s world, it is men who should live in fear of rape (or rather, false rape accusations), not women. Women are conniving and deceitful; men are innocent and upstanding. (As a side note, the discussion of unisex bathrooms generally has to do with how to best accommodate transgendered individuals, who may not be allowed to use the bathrooms that match their gender identity, or may choose not to use them out of fear of harassment or worse.)

Concluding Thoughts

Baskerville follows his list of examples with this paragraph:

Radical ideology has thus transformed our government into a matriarchal leviathan that operates like a massive, bureaucratic version of . . . Potiphar’s wife. We have not eliminated a “gender stereotype,” as we were promised; we have merely politicized it—in this case that of the temptress, the seductress who lures men into a “honeytrap” by offers of pleasure before springing a trap that today can mean decades in prison.

And there it is. Baskerville views women as “temptresses” and “seductresses” who “lure” men with the offer of “pleasure” and then “trap” them with a decades-long prison sentence. What a sad and twisted little world Baskerville lives in.

The extent to which Baskerville has taken the whole lot of MRA talking points and folded them into his evangelical political conservatism is at once impressive and sickening. The fact that he’s doing this at Patrick Henry College, and that Patrick Henry College endorsed his lecture, is also saddening to me. Yes, I know, Patrick Henry College is often laughed at as that crazy little conservative evangelical homeschool college, but I considered attending there. Further, it’s one thing to hear the typical and familiar antifeminist arguments the Patrick Henry types make—that God has called men to lead and women to submit, etc., etc.—and it’s another thing entirely to hear the Patrick Henry types trading in full-scale rape, domestic violence, and child abuse denialism (things I wasn’t generally exposed to growing up). It somehow feels much more insidious and dangerous—but maybe it’s just the blunt honestly slipping through the whitewashed exterior. Whatever it is, it’s not pretty.

I want to draw attention to what Baskerville does here: He takes sexual freedom and argues that it actually means statist tyranny. What the words mean matter, and Baskerville knows it. He is is faced with a generation of young people that is increasingly shrugging their shoulders at things like gay marriage, a generation of young people that finds anti-sodomy laws incomprehensible and at odds with basic American values, a generation of young people that takes no-fault divorce for granted, and he has to find some way to convince them that these things are bad things. This year’s Faith & Reason lecture was an attempt to do just that—and apparently, Baskerville felt that MRA talking points would be more persuasive than scripture references. Which is, I think, the weirdest thing about this whole story.

P.S.—There will be more coming on Baskerville’s child abuse denialism, which is way more detailed and outrageous than what is contained in his Faith & Reason lecture. (According to Baskerville, child protective services is a racket that exists to take children from straight couples and give them to gay couples, who are unable to procreate on their own. Oh yes.) I think is important to understand the extent and nuance of Baskerville’s child abuse denialism given the connections between Patrick Henry College and the Home School Legal Defense Association.

About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • AnonaMiss

    I read #4 as meaning, not that bullying is caused by single-parent households, but that because there’s not a manly patriarch around the household to model how a man is supposed to take a punch and teach their boys not to be wimps, the wimmins get all hysterical about boys-will-be-boys roughhousing that should be sucked up as an exercise in building character.

    • Jayn

      Yeah, I think the scare quotes there are because some people don’t see bullying as real, or at least a real problem. It’s just ‘kids being kids’ and something that ‘builds character’ (In my case it built a character that needs daily medication to stay functional. And I represent one of the better outcomes. Hooray for bullying!). The idea that it’s something to be stopped or minimized is relatively new.

      I also strongly suspect that he doesn’t acknowledge the reality of non-physical harassment. There’s a lot of harm that can be done to a person without ever laying a finger on them.

      • attackfish

        A lot of pro-bullying advocates don’t seem to realize that girls
        bully and get bullied too, so I don’t think a man being around to model how “real men” are supposed to behave will help model to girl bully victims not be such sissies.

        But of course in these people’s minds, girls can’t do any real harm, because they’re weak and inefective, except,of course they do all the harm, because, evil temptresses, you know.

      • Lucreza Borgia

        In my limited experiences, women are worse at bullying than men because they tend to do it in groups.

      • attackfish

        In my own experience, boys are plenty good at bullying in groups, and often, girls and boys group together to bully.

        The old idea that boys bully more or are more effective bullies comes from the fact that there’s a certain level of stigma attached as a child for playing with the opposite gender, so bullying happened between bullies and victims of the same gender more often, and of course boys who got to write the stories and have the viewpoints in society didn’t see the bullying girls engaged in because it didn’t happen to them.

      • Jayn

        I suspect the fact that boys tend to be more physical also plays a role. It’s easier to notice and take seriously the son who comes home with a black eye than the daughter whose peers told her that they won’t play with her because she has a huge gaping vagina that might suck them up like ants into a vacuum cleaner.

      • attackfish

        Absolutely. This too. And the thing was, I knew two very physical bullies who were girls (though one was always very sneaky about her use of physical pain) and I knew three boys who were physical bullies, and all of them also were verbally and emotionally abusive to their victims. But if their victims needed help, they quickly learned to emphasize the physical, even when the emotional and verbal hurt more.

      • Feminerd

        And it’s not as often physical. The emotional abuse leaves invisible scars- half of what’s so bad about common female bullying is that it can make you wonder if you really are crazy and just imagining things (common adult response to female on female bullying).

      • wmdkitty

        Pfft, yeah, it was so “character building” when that asshole in Grade 6 let the air out my tires.

      • Gillianren

        By high school, I was saying that my character had been built so much that it had a tower.

      • # zbowman

        ^You win an Internet for beating me to that comment. I was gonna go full-on orbital elevator with it, but yours is much more pithy.

    • Gillianren

      Sigh. And again, there have always been single-parent households, because of situations like my family’s. Yes, there would have been a time when we would have been living with an uncle/grandfather/something, but it’s not as though fathers only started dying while their children were young in the ’60s.

      • TLC

        Yes, and the New Testament emphasizes over and over again that taking care of widows and orphans is a primary role of the church. Seems like Mr. Baskerville hasn’t read that far in his Bible.

      • Gillianren

        They never have, have they?

      • # zbowman

        Doesn’t stop ‘em using the second half as their excuse for living as if the first half were true.

  • Christine

    This analysis leans more towards Baskerville saying “they’re making it up” than my reading. I saw a lot of it as him believing that what was claimed actually happened, but disagreeing that anything was wrong. Like AnonaMiss says about him changing how bullying is defined, he might be defining consent as “she didn’t say no”, which would make a significant portion of rapes not actually be rapes. If someone isn’t actually hitting you, it’s not violent, therefore most domestic abuse isn’t. It’s only sexual harassment if he assaults you, so it’s lying if you say you were sexually harassed when all he did was compliment you on how sexy you look each day.

  • AAAtheist

    “forcibly divorced husband”


    Really, Stephen Baskerville? Libby’s analysis of the PHC mandatory faith lecture (I refuse to associate the word “reason” with any of it) makes me think his ex-spouse was closely akin to a forcibly married wife.

    Props to his ex for becoming his ex as quickly as possible.

    • attackfish

      This. Either you allow for one party to leave the marriage unilaterally, Forcing divorce on the other, or you force the party who wanted to leave to remain married. I.E. forcible marriage. Both parties are allowed to leave that way. You can’t force someone to stay. But in this man’s terms, being left is somehow being forced into something. Having someone you love tell you they don’t love you anymore and don’t wan to be with you is a deeply painful thing, but it is not a violation of your rights. Forcing them to stay with you is a violation of theirs.

      But equality is anathema to these men. A woman shouldn’t be able to leave, because the belongs to the man, and if she leaves, she has stolen herself from him. Ick.

      • smrnda

        A lot of these guys, even though they talk a more or less ‘libertarian’ game sometimes, are all about big government once it comes to regulating marriages.

      • attackfish

        Funny thing is, this guy talks about the state dethroning men in their families, but he wants the state’s help in forcing women to stay in their place.

      • j.lup

        Yep. He says clearly that he thought that saying vows in church entitled him to be married until death. And he frames the argument that the courts invaded and carved up his marriage, rather than that his wife sought the divorce. He really does think that without a man’s consent, a woman should not be able to obtain a divorce from her husband.

      • Alex Harman

        Not necessarily; he might just want the state to get out of the way and let husbands beat their wives into submission.

    • brbr2424

      I read that he himself had been forcibly divorced. He hasn’t seemed to have gotten over it and carries a huge chip on his shoulder. He would be miserable on a first date whining about his wife leaving him.

      • AAAtheist

        Yeah, that’s a good call on your part.

        I read his take on his divorce. It’s entitled “Those Whom God Hath Joined Together Let No Man Put Asunder.” He only mentions his ex once throughout the entire piece, rambles on and on about all of the “rights” he’s being denied, and continuously paints himself as the aggrieved party. It’s like he can’t bring himself to admit that she left him.

        Now, I don’t know why she left, but considering how he trivializes rape, domestic violence, sexual harassment, child abuse, bullying, and stalking, is it that big a deductive leap to guess why? Personally, I would dive face first through a plate glass window to get away from this man.

      • brbr2424

        Great imagery with driving face first through the glass window. The woman’s friends and family were probably so relieved when she escaped from that marriage.

      • AAAtheist

        Diving or driving, both of those work!

        I imagine not only her friends and family are relieved, but that her children are immeasurably better off. I can see how Stephen’s education and background could have been used to further intimidate his ex into staying had she remained a second longer in that marriage, all the while passing his toxic ideology on to the next generation.

        In fact, now that I think about it, her divorce has all the hallmarks of a planned escape from domestic violence.

      • Newbie

        Omg I just read that.. He described the court dissolving his marriage w/o good reason. Because apparently the fact that your wife no longer wants to be married to you is not reason enough

      • Alix

        And, really, who would want to remain married to someone who didn’t want to remain married to them? Even if you accept his (highly unlikely) story that there was “no reason” for it – seriously? He’d rather be trapped in a loveless marriage with a resentful, angry woman than be free of that kind of toxic relationship?

        Oh, wait, he loses his slave if she can dump his ass.

      • brbr2424

        I just read it also. What a piece of work. He reminds me of the guy who stood outside the family court building, where I got my divorce, with a card table and placards about the unfairness of it all. He was a computer programmer and he just couldn’t pull himself together. Mothers get more time with infants and then as they get older, if he doesn’t demonstrate to the judge what a nut he is, he will get plenty of time with the kids.

      • Levedi

        Yeah, the loser always believes it was “for no good reason.” My friend’s ex is a drug user who let their baby OD on alcohol at a party and drives high when he gets visitation, but she left him “for no good reason.” The children I foster parent who come into the system with cockroach bites, cigarette burns, malnutrition, and bruises or who are born addicted to meth – they were taken away “for no good reason” too. There’s no reasoning with some people.

      • JR

        In no way does Baskerville’s piece imply that the horrible child abuse you describe occurs for no reason. To the contrary, it suggests that this and many other daunting problems of today’s society stem directly from sexual “liberation” and closely related deterioration of the intact family. Could he be right? Allow yourself ten minutes of honest reflection before you answer this question.

      • disqus_cfBevsr42L

        wha?!? you do realize this stuff happened before sexual liberation, it just was taboo to talk about it? “honor killings”

      • AnonaMiss

        Oh dear – thank you for linking that document, AAAtheist.

        So it starts out with him being summoned to court in the United States while he was living in Britain, being asked “a series of humiliating questions about intimate aspects of my relationship with my daughter, conversations with my wife, and a variety of private family matters.” And yet he claims that he was “accused of no wrongdoing.” A restraining order is placed to prevent him from seeing his daughter or unborn child for more than short periods (presumably with his wife’s oversight), and to prevent him from taking them out of the country.

        So reading between the lines, Baskerville was abusing his wife and daughter, and let the court know that he saw nothing wrong with what he was being accused of (while denying it). The court didn’t have the evidence that they would need to press charges, but his attitude that he was entitled to beat them if he wanted to made it perfectly clear that he was a danger to his wife & children, and they exercised their judgment to remove him from the situation.

        And of course, he continually denies his wife’s agency in this process: “couples must clearly understand that the rite now provides virtually no protection to parents or children from arbitrary invasion by the state.” Arbitrary invasion, Stephen? Your ex-wife went to the state for protection from you. You greasy little turd.

    • Lunch Meat

      Yeah, I couldn’t get over that either. Does he also think that he has the right to continue calling, emailing and visiting stalking ex-friends because the friendship isn’t over until he says it’s over? Does he go back to work the day after he gets fired because his employer doesn’t have the right to “forcibly” end his employment?

      I think the word “forcible” is used to make it sound scarier than it actually is and steal sympathy away from victims of violence. It’s not like people with guns broke down his door and dragged him away from his wife. A legal consensual relationship was terminated because one party stopped consenting, and his wife left on her own because she’s a person with agency. I don’t see that any force was involved.

  • John Kruger

    Demands for access to workplaces, universities, the military, and other previously male venues (accompanied with equally strident demands to engage there in female-only activities, such as pregnancy or breastfeeding) invite accusations of sexual “harassment” . . .

    The female only “activity of pregnancy”!? Women are not allowed to be pregnant on the job or at school? I suppose the only appropriate place for that “activity” is privately at home as a homemaker. What an asshole.

    • Amtep

      Well if they didn’t want to be pregnant at people, they could always just… oh, wait.

    • Mel

      To quote my grandmother:

      It takes two to tango.

      • j.lup

        …but only one to do The Twist!

    • Gillianren

      I was going to comment on this one as well. “Activity”? Pregnancy? Really? And how in the names of Gods does pregnancy encourage sexual harassment? Aren’t we as a species supposed to be more protective of pregnant women?

      • Newbie

        That sounded like a stretch to me too.. The only “activity” involved in getting pregnant requires a partner, after that the pregnancy is really a state of being. Though I suppose a guy like him resents seeing a pregnant woman at the office

      • Julia O’Brien

        I think he probably resents seeing *any* woman at the office. He is really twisted.

      • BringTheNoise

        Aren’t we as a species supposed to be more protective of pregnant women?

        Unfortunately, I suspect his version of “protecting” a pregnant woman involves yelling at her to get out of the workplace and make sandwiches for her husband and/or making some rather unfortunate suggestions regarding her sexual morality.

      • Levedi

        Reminds me of a guy I dated. He was visibly and viscerally disturbed by pregnant women. Despite his own willingness to engage in sexual activity outside of wedlock he felt that pregnancy was too visible a sign that a woman had “done it” and he shouldn’t be subjected to her presence. Why I didn’t kick him in the shins and delete his number right then and there, I’ll never know.

    • KarenJo12

      Um, Mr. Baskerville needs a refresher course in biology if he thinks pregnancy is a “female-only” activity.

    • Lyric

      I think it may be breastfeeding that really bothers him, actually. Titties should be reserved for your lord and master.

    • Helix Luco

      in my opinion he’s welcome to pregnancy if he can manage it, wherever he happens to be at the time

    • Things1to3

      Well, if women are demanding gender neutral workspaces then it’s terribly unfair of them to then engage in “female only” activities within those workspaces. Mr. Baskerville just wants equal opportunity for all! We really need to pour more funding into exploring male pregnancy options so these poor men don’t feel so left out! (end sarcasm)

  • ZeldasCrown

    Rape is, by definition, non-consensual sex. So he starts off by trying to claim that many of the crimes he’s talking about have different definitions than they, in fact, do. Which I suppose makes sense if your position is that rape, child abuse, etc either don’t ever actually happen, or aren’t actually criminal and shouldn’t be illegal. It’s interesting that his note about bullying goes from homosexual people to Christians, rather than the other way around (so when a gay kid gets attacked, verbally or physically, that’s not bullying, but someone disagreeing with his opinions of homosexuality is).

    Just because there are some claims that are unsubstantiated (which doesn’t mean that the claims were necessary untrue, just that there wasn’t enough information/proof) or false (which doesn’t mean that the reasoning behind making the accusation was malicious in nature-sometimes people misinterpret things that they see/hear, or don’t have all the information, etc) doesn’t mean that these crimes never actually happen. I would agree with Jayn below, and guess that Baskerville doesn’t believe that any non-physical abuse/harassment “counts”. “Your husband doesn’t hit you, so he’s not abusive.”

    • Rosie

      I took his statement about rape to mean that he doesn’t believe marital rape exists. After all, she said, “I do” once, so that’s consent for whatever he wants to do to her forever, right? Except that our evil liberal government has acknowledged the existence of marital rape and has also given her the power to “forcibly divorce” him, so now he’s the victim.

      • Scott_In_OH

        I think you’re right that he doesn’t think marital rape exists, but he also says

        Recreational sex in the evening turns into accusations of “rape” in the morning, even when it was entirely consensual. (This is especially rampant on college campuses.)

        so it’s not just marital rape he’s denying; it’s acquaintance rape, too.

      • Rosie

        True. Perhaps he thinks drunkenness = consent also.

      • attackfish

        As another commenter says elsewhere on this post, his version of consent seems to be “she didn’t say no”, so incapacitation, totally the same thing as consent, right?

      • Scott_In_OH

        Perhaps he thinks drunkenness = consent also.

        Yes. Or wearing a short skirt. Or laughing with someone at a party. Or dancing.

        Cretins like this need to see “The Accused” (Jodie Foster and Kelly McGillis). To anyone with a shred of decency, it shows that yes, it’s possible for signals to get crossed, but no, that doesn’t mean you get to have sex with someone who doesn’t want it.

      • Nancy Shrew

        I wouldn’t be surprised if assholes like him watched The Accused as a cautionary tale aimed towards women rather than an examination of what it’s like to go through the system after being sexually assaulted.

      • Pam

        Personally, I think he thinks having a v@gin@ = consent

      • ZeldasCrown

        I’m almost starting to think that there are people who believe that once someone consents once (regardless of who’s involved and the circumstances) then they’ve consented in any future circumstances (even with a different person, different place, different situation-which would explain a lot of the vitriol aimed at rape victims who weren’t virgins before the rape).

      • Rosie

        I’ve never heard anyone say it in so many words, but yes. The fundigelical purity-culture assumption behind all their arguments is that a woman can choose “none”, “one”, or “all” when it comes to sex, but that’s the extent of her options.

      • Rosie

        Which means the only “real” rapes to a fundigelical of this stripe would be those that happen to virgins, or to married women by someone other than the husband.

      • BringTheNoise

        And even then, only if the perpetrator was a complete stranger to the victim, and attacked her while she was dressed in approved clothing, doing approved activity in an approved place. Anything else and she was just asking for it.

      • Angela

        And don’t forget that she must appropriately kick and scream. If she’s not bruised from head to toe then it means she didn’t fight hard enough.

    • Palindrome

      “Rape is, by definition, non-consensual sex. So he starts off by trying to claim that many of the crimes he’s talking about have different definitions than they, in fact, do.”

      I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if he believes that there is no such thing as marital rape. People who hold such (absolutely despicable!) views tend to believe that marriage implies consent. If you’re married, then that means you’ve consented to sex; therefore, rape cannot and does not happen in marriage, regardless of whether your spouse is forcing himself/herself on you.

      I would like to think that such views are rare, but I have my doubts. For example, Kevin Swanson, a well-known figure in the Christian patriarchy and homeschooling communities, has said that he believes that marital rape laws are an offense against God.

      • Pam

        Does he not think a husband making his wife have sex with him when she doesn’t want to might be seen as offensive by God? Or is that just too much sense?

      • Kate Monster

        I imagine that what he finds offensive in that scenario is the idea that a mere woman would dare to not want sex with her husband.

      • Palindrome

        To be fair, he would possibly find it wrong for someone to force themselves on someone (even though he seems to be against marital rape laws), but at the same time, he’d probably also blame the husband/wife for withholding sex from his/her spouse based on 1 Cor. 7:4.

  • jdens

    Libby Anne, that was incredible. I mean, this guy is really too horrible to be believed, but your explanation and rebuttal is so incisive, when I got to this part– “Baskerville’s argument is that sexual freedom leads to men being forcibly divorced (his term), falsely accused, unjustly imprisoned, and leeched dry financially (via child support of course). Sexual freedom, he says, dethrones men and places women and children under the protection of the state, creating a behemoth political operation feeding off of male impotence and the coercive power to dictate every detail of people’s lives. –I wanted to cheer you. Huzzah! That’s exactly what that sad man is trying to argue.

    • Mel

      Yes. Men must be deified and worshiped by the rest of humanity. Then women and children can be forcibly divorced, raped, ignored and left in destitute poverty. That’s totally a Christian idea.

      • # zbowman

        A Catholic idea, certainly.

  • Ahab

    “Sexual freedom, he says, dethrones men and places women and children under the protection of the state, creating a behemoth political operation feeding off of male impotence and the coercive power to dictate every detail of people’s lives.”

    You’d be surprised how many far-right voices see the state this way. Geoffrey Botkin comes to mind, but he’s not the only one. It’s as if they can’t imagine a functional society devoid of patriarchy — if men aren’t in charge, well, the state must be! Yuck.

    • Rosa

      they just don’t want their subjects to have other options, like the lords of fleeing peasants after the Black Death – if women can have JOBS even if pregnant or mothering, and get help raising children, they will only stay with men who treat them well. SO TERRIBLE. If children can go to authorities about abuse they can get out of their abusive parents households and ALL FAMILIES WILL FALL APART.

      And of course this goes even farther – if we have unemployment insurance and health care independent of jobs and churches, people will feel free to leave bad jobs or hold out for a living wage, taking power away from the purveyers of jobs and charity. ANARCHY.

      It’s like he can’t even imagine a family or a church held together by a web of love, interdependence, and mutual good treatment. Only a savage hierarchy protected by terrible punishments for those who leave.

      • CarysBirch

        My mother uses this as a straight face argument against equal pay for women: if women aren’t financially dependent on men, they won’t stay with them and the nuclear family will be destroyed! Oh noes!

        My response was that if the ONLY reason women stay with men it’s
        economic slavery, then maybe the nuclear family needs to go, it sounds awful.

        Needless to say, this line of reasoning did not much impress my mother.

      • Rosa

        it’s surprisingly like the argument that if we don’t sufficiently terrorize gay people, lots more people will be gay. It seriously undermines the “this is how to live to be happy because it’s natural/God wants it for you” argument, huh? They don’t seem to believe their lives are inherently attractive to anyone.

      • Alix

        The only argument I’ve ever heard from these folks as to why everyone has to be forced to follow their rules that doesn’t immediately shoot itself in the foot is the argument that things like women being out from under male headship or homosexuality are sinful and destructive, but super-tempting, thus requiring strong social safeguards against such ills.

        …It’s a line of thought I find deeply abhorrent, but at least it follows logically. :/ And honestly, I suspect that’s at least partly the underlying belief here, it’s just that the patriarchal-authoritarians are catching on that the rest of the world doesn’t buy their definitions of sinful and corruptive, and so they’re scrambling for new arguments. And failing, because they have none.

  • Amtep

    Somehow it bothers me that he looks like such a nice man in the picture. Shouldn’t he have… fangs, or something? Glowing red eyes?

    • wmdkitty

      Sadly, “monsters” are all too human.

    • Kate Monster

      Only under the light of a full moon. Duh.

  • Hannah_Thomas

    “”give way to demands to arrest and incarcerate without trial men who do not provide women with adequate income in the form of alimony or child support.””

    Sounds like he doesn’t understand the court system. People can ‘demand’ incarceration all they want, but you must have a conviction – or grounds for arrest – before that happens. “Demands” can happen all the time – I mean he is ‘demanding’ isn’t he? If people don’t have something to back it up? Good luck with the ‘incarceration’ part.

    Courts normally use the individuals income to decide how much support they will pay. Making the decision NOT to pay out of principal or something else? That’s on the individual that was ordered to pay it – not the recipient.

    What I have found is people like him make all kinds of out there claims, and yet can’t back it up with any proof for their points. SURE you can find all kinds of people to whine for you, but that isn’t what is needed…and they know it. They also quote studies, etc that are non existent – or written by them with again no back up data.

    He seems to be what is labeled from the teens now days as a ‘hater’. Personally? I prefer pathetic. I’m so thankful I have been bless with true men in my life. I feel sorry for this gentleman – he has bought into a bags of lies…and no doubt doesn’t even realize it.

    • Rosa

      Men in his world are such naturally terrible fathers that all of them would refuse to support their children if not threatened with jail or bribed with wifely services.

      As the daughter of divorced parents, I can attest to how loved that whole “not going to pay unless forced!” thing made me feel.

      • Hannah_Thomas

        I’m so sorry Rosa. My father was in the same boat there. He would go on visitation, and would give my dad a message to tell his mother he wasn’t going to support him anymore. I know how that effected my father, and my heart breaks you as well.

    • phantomreader42

      And as to the “without trial” part, if there’s a court-ordered child support requirement, then there’s already been a trial, and the refusal to pay court-ordered restitution is reason enough for the arrest.

  • Mel

    Yet another example of how my at-risk teenagers are more in-tune with reality than allegedly educated adults. I’d love to use this speech as an example of flawed logic in my classes, but it has way too many triggers .

  • Mira

    All I can say to him is: “sources, please. You seem to be pulling shit out of your ass and you just sound like a whiny little man who can’t get what he wants all the time. Thanks.”

  • attackfish

    This is purely tangential to the post, and I apologize if this comes across as derailing from the discussion. I just wanted to point something out.

    Now it indeed is true that children growing up in single-parent
    households are more likely to be delinquents than children growing up in
    dual-parent households.

    I’m not sure this is entirely true. One of the things I studied in Criminology in college was who and what gets labeled delinquent. There may be more kids labeled delinquents from single parent households, (which almost always means female headed households, but not always) but that doesn’t mean there are more kids doing delinquent behavior from those households. Female headed households are disproportionately economically disadvantaged, both because of the loss of a male earning potential, and also because poverty has all kinds of ways of pushing women into being single mothers. Interestingly enough, divorced families where the parents share custody are often not included in single parent households for the purposes of many studies. Anyway, as you go down the socioeconomic ladder, your behavior is more likely to be considered criminal, and as you go up the socioeconomic ladder, your behavior is more likely to be excused. Also, because of many intersecting forces, including classism, sexism, and often racism, single mothers have lower efficacy in dealing with schools, police, etc. so are less able to fight on behalf of their kids when they are labeled delinquent. So children from poorer single parent families are much much more likely to be labeled as delinquents, even if their behavior is identical to kids from wealthier two parent homes.

    • Libby Anne

      Thank you for making this point. I was sort of trying to group this in the whole host of reasons bit, but I think I’ll reword and be slightly more specific.

      There is nothing that annoys me so much as the “look, these families are wealthier/more stable/whatever! and they’re married, so that must be the key! everyone should get married, that will fix everything!” argument. Like, how about stop and think that maybe those people are married because they are wealthier (or more stable, or whatever), not vice versa? Anyway, that’s a tangent to what you were saying but I feel like it’s related. People don’t know how to do statistics or sociology.

      • attackfish

        There was a comment on another post that talked about how said commenter wished there was some sort of mandatory science literacy course at colleges, and I agree, especially if the course also taught how to understand findings in the social sciences. In fact, I think that this would be more worthwhile to learn in high school than a year of physical science, (though that’s important too) seeing as this will provide a foundation for further scientific learning. There is so little understanding of the fundamentals of physical and social scientific analysis in our society, so it becomes easy for the powerful (or just loud) to mislead lay people into believing a piece of scientific evidence means something it manifestly does not.

      • Newbie

        Yes! And any college freshman who’s taken a statistics class can tell you that *correlation does not prove causation* because it is quite possible that those 2 variables have a completely independent cause.

      • attackfish

        Or that you have the cause and the effect reversed, or there’s a third variable causing both, or coincidence, or…

      • Alice

        This was also strongly emphasized in Psych 101 when I took it.

    • Hilary

      Thanks for this, fact based reality checks rock!

  • Scott_In_OH

    If you visit his PHC page and his own site at stephenbaskerville(dot)net, you find what looks like a pretty normal academic career for a while. He wrote about the English Revolution and Puritanism. Then he got divorced (1997), lost custody of his children, and seems to have leapt into MRA-land. Part of me wishes I knew more about what precipitated the divorce.

    • NeaDods

      I’m adding wife left + lost custody + “if there is no physical violence, there is no abuse at all” + long discussion of divorce that’s all about his “rights” and never mentions the actual ex-wife = a very ugly idea about what may have precipitated the divorce.

      • wmdkitty

        Fridge Logic at its best, yeah?

      • Ibis3

        You forgot to add + “rape” in square quotes.

    • brbr2424

      That is very interesting. At some point he went off the deep end. The first couple of years after divorce are hard and their may be displaced anger. It’s been 15 years since his divorce and he has not reached the acceptance stage. He doesn’t seem to have taken the time to look inward and be reflective. I think it is safe to assume that he has not had a relationship since the divorce. What woman would want a guy carrying such baggage. His inability to shake it off and deal with his new reality seems what – unmasculine maybe? It is unusual for a man to have such contempt for an entire gender. He is in good company with Mohamed Atta and Rush Limbaugh.

    • whatcom mom

      His charges against the “divorce regime” are helpfully bullet pointed at .stephenbaskerville(dot)net/default/

      They include (plus many many more):

      forced labor facilities created specifically for parents

      children instructed to hate their parents with the backing of government officials

      children abused and killed with the backing of government officials

      government officials using the mass media to vilify private American citizens, and political leaders using their offices as platforms to verbally attack private American citizens, who have no right of reply or opportunity to defend themselves

      parents jailed without trial reportedly beaten, in at least one case fatally,
      and denied medical attention while in police custody.


      • wmdkitty

        I don’t know whether to laugh or cry…

  • Phatchick

    Reading this is making me ill. I wonder what the poor girls in that audience were thinking as they were forced to listen to this crap. Me. I’d be wondering how soon I could transfer to a school that didn’t resemble an insane asylum.

    • Nancy Shrew

      “Thank God I’m not one of /those/ girls.”

  • Sheryl Westleigh

    My college had unisex bathrooms, still does as far as I know. I remember one afternoon continuing a long conversation with one of my male friends while we took showers (in separate stalls). We had started talking on the walk back from fencing practice and just kept going when we reached the dorm. Nothing at all sexual about it, it was just normal after so many months living in the same dorm sharing a bathroom. I probably wouldn’t remember it if it wasn’t for the topic of the conversation being something that ended up as a running joke between us. It’s almost as if people can actually treat each other with respect even if they’re of the opposite sex.

    • Gillianren

      There was a unisex bathroom in the studio at the community college where I took video production in ’96. This is in no small part because there was only really a need for one bathroom. The room (no stall, just one room) was big enough to also serve as a changing room.

  • Scott_In_OH

    Sorry, just one more on this post, because the speech is just so infuriating.

    – I agree with Libby Anne that it’s striking how little he refers to the Bible or God; it’s pure MRA.

    – To go even further, I think it’s interesting that this seemed appropriate in the PHC environment, supposedly one suffused with God and the Bible. And I certainly know many conservative Christians who would nod along with much of this, especially the idea that the sexual revolution (or liberals in general) have replaced the God-ordained family unit with a father-substitute government, leading to many of the problems he describes/imagines here.

    – Finally, the delivery of this non-Biblical-but-nastily-conservative speech at a Bible college is just more evidence to me that people use the notion of God or divine scripture to justify what they already believe, rather than as a source of moral direction.

  • MyOwnPerson

    I’ve never used this term to describe someone, as I think it’s a very strong one, but this man is a misogynist.

  • Lucreza Borgia

    My snarky response, because you just can’t make this brand of crazy up!

    • # zbowman

      ^I hope you don’t mind. I’ve saved this image, because frankly I could’ve used it seven or eight times in the past fortnight if I’d had it then!

  • phantomreader42

    Baskerville is against no-fault divorce, and one phrase he uses a lot in his writings is “forcibly divorced husbands.” He doesn’t like that women can divorce their husbands without their permission. How he cannot realize that being unable to divorce your husband without permission when there is domestic violence or other abuse is a recipe for disaster—or that being forced to be married to someone you don’t want to be married to must be its own kind of hell—is beyond me.

    When it’s convenient for him, he pretends domestic violence and abuse do not exist, so he has never had to consider that. And he never will, because he will not allow reality to penetrate his armor of willful ignorance.

    • katiehippie

      No-fault divorce is the only reason I’m alive today.

      • TLC

        This brings tears to my eyes. I hope you are safe and MUCH happier now!

      • katiehippie

        Not quite happy yet but safe. I had felt so trapped and he had tried to keep me that way.

      • smrnda

        The problem with a ‘fault divorce’ is you run into the possibility of some gaslighting ass of a judge who doesn’t think the abuse is serious enough to be grounds for divorce.

  • mary

    Holy Crap. Methinks someone is still pissed that his wife left, and is in need of therapy, not that he probably believes in it. Also…, narcissistic much?? There are no (polite) words.

    Yes, there are some screwy things that have happened in the name of zero tolerance policies, affirmative action, anti-discrimination laws, etc. (Like suspending a kid from school for pointing their finger into a “gun” shape on the playground, forcing a private vendor to provide services to a wedding that they believe is wrong, etc.) But none of that is remotely related, causally or otherwise, to what he’s talking about. As we, as a society, move toward some very good and needed change (more LGBT rights, more gender equality, less racism, etc) we sometimes go too far/sometimes people are idiots. But dude- if we ditched every conservative or libertarian ideology the instant someone implemented it stupidly…. well, a lot of good things would be extinct. Seriously.

    (Personally, as a libertarian, I think that gay marriage should be legal, but that people should be allowed to disagree with that position and refuse to participate in gay weddings if they like, so long as they are not serving in any type of government or as part of a publicly funded or traded entity. The right to be wrong and/or stupid is an important one. :) As a capitalist, I would think that the extra revenue from extra weddings would only be a good thing. Consistency, people… )

    • Lucreza Borgia

      Do you have an example of a vendor being forced to provide a service?

      • Christine

        I can tell you that in Canada it would be illegal for someone to refuse service on the grounds that they disagree with same-sex marriage (Charter of Rights and Freedoms). I can’t speak for the various states where this happened, and not the cases that make the media, but it would be a valid thing to say happens.

      • alfaretta

        If you are licensed by the state to provide services to the public, you are not allowed to decide which members of the public you want to serve. If that’s your desire (at least here in the U.S.) you need to create a private, members-only club.

      • Christine

        There are limits here as to what you can get away with for a private members-only club. I believe that the only reason that the churches that don’t perform same-sex marriages can get away with it, is because they were given specific exemptions on religious bases, so even that trick wouldn’t suffice.

      • mary

        This is different in different states, at least in the US. Different states also have slightly different takes on freedom of conscience as it applies to private business/sole proprietorships.

      • Rosa

        Not really. The protections for people included in “the public” of public accomodations are mostly federal even though they’re enforced at the state level. Some groups not covered by federal law (LGBT people mostly) are included or not at the state level.

        People prosecuted for not providing services include landlords that won’t offer apartments to nonwhite people – my city used to run stings, with white and black or mixed couples applying for the same rentals – and banks settling charges for discriminatory lending practices. Wells Fargo paid out pretty big on that one recently.

        There’s that cake baker in I think Washington State getting press lately for refusing to serve a gay couple, so in places where gay people are included in antidiscrimination laws, enforcement will happen – venues for instance can’t refuse to rent to an event for reasons having to do with legally protected classes.

      • TLC

        This story was in the news recently. An Oregon couple refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, which violates the state’s anti-discrimination laws. As a result, they closed their store.

      • mary

        A couple, yes. One in Oregon, and one in Arizona. The first was legal, as the business was in violation of Oregon law. The second case was not, as I understand it. In the second case, it was a florist who declined to provide flowers for a same sex celebration. The couple sued, and I believe the case is still in progress. Due to my personal political ideology, I think the vendor should be able to decide who they serve. I am not looking to argue that point here, however, and I’m sure there are those who disagree. The point is that imperfect implementation does not make an idea or change or point of social progress a bad thing.

      • Stev84

        This was settled back in the 1960s. Running a business open to the public is a privilege and not a right. Businesses (in certain states) can no more discriminate based on sexual orientation than they can based on race. Your vaunted free market is simply incapable of correcting misbehavior in all but huge cities. Except in your libertarian fantasy land, minorities need to be protected by laws. Their right to conduct their lives normally counts for far more than the “rights” of business owners (who can still have whatever opinions they want in their private capacity).

        Also, selling someone a cake or a dress is not “participating in a wedding”.

      • smrnda

        Good point – where I live, a business that pissed and shat on Black or GLBT people would find itself very unpopular, but in some places, the market would reward discrimination. In that case, the law needs to protect those that the Magic Market does not.

    • smrnda

      I find it odd that you strung ‘zero tolerance policies, affirmative action, and anti-discrimination’ together, since I tend to find that ‘zero tolerance’ is just a codeword for ‘find ways to kick minority kids out of school.’ It’s schools claiming that they are functioning in a state of constant emergency and that they have to kick difficult kids out of school. Combine that with highly inconsistent disciple :teachers label minority – particularly Black students as more disruptive than white kids even when the behaviors are the same, and you’ve got a kind of reverse affirmative action, where the goal seems to be to take education away from minority kids who need it most.

      We’ve ‘gone too far’ away from bigotry? Tell that to the Black kids getting ‘stopped and frisked’ or GLBT people who still get threatened with violence.

      • Baby_Raptor

        It’ll only matter once someone finds a way to discriminate against her. As long as she’s not being inconvenienced, the rest of us are acceptable losses in the name of freedom.

      • smrnda

        I think it’s whether you think freedom comes from human rights… or property rights. I think the latter is called ‘feudalism.’

      • CarysBirch

        Are you sure it’s not called American conservatism? Because I totally hear almost that exact thing frequently.

      • mary

        You can disagree with me all you like, but that sort of baseless vitriol really doesn’t work well for you. You could certainly assume that I’ve never experienced discrimination or been inconvenienced,and you could assume that you know me and my life, but you’d be mistaken. Also, I’m sorry, but I have no idea how my original comment could be remotely the legitimate antecedent of anything you just said.

      • mary

        My point is not to argue libertarianism or anything else here. Not the place. I think we can assume that we all see regular instances of sexism, racism, bigotry, bullying, etc that make us sad and/or mad, right? We’d all agree that this stuff happens, and we need to fight it, and it’s bad? Well, some of us have different ideas of how that should happen, what laws we should have, and exactly how we go about creating that change, and even where we are in that process. That’s ok, and it’s also not remotely the point here. The point is that 1. Libby’s post was great. 2. This dude is seriously nuts, and 3. The one I was trying to make with my original comment, That the dude has the worst logic EVER. He’s saying that ohmygodmenare beingpersecuted (and lets not even start on his statistics) I’m trying to say that even if we sometimes foul up in our well-intentioned efforts to make our society better, this doesn’t mean that the ideas (gender equality, feminism, LGBT rights, whatever) are bad, or that we should just say for example that because sometime somewhere a woman might have falsely accused a person of rape that all the thousands or even millions of women who are raped are making shit up. I’m trying to point out some terrible logic in the guy’s speech here, not get into some debate on specific policies. If we applied his own logic, then the instant a parent abused their kid, all parents are evil, people who would want to be parents are suspect, and kids who claim not to be abused are making shit up. Basically, I’m being fair and saying that the implementation of change is not perfect, but that his using that to justify resisting the much needed change is ludicrous.

      • mary

        In point of fact, the cases I remember from the news regarding the reactive stupidity and zero tolerance” stuff were all white children. Not to say that it’s being used disproportionately against minorities isn’t a thing, but I wouldn’t know, my familiarity with it being limited to specific cases.

        My point was that yes, sometimes new ideas and policies are not perfect, but that that doesn’t justify moving back to the dark ages of social policy- nor does it justify this dude’s horrible logic and manufactured facts. We can correct what doesn’t work without giving up certain ideas altogether our going to extremes and staying there…. Take bullying, for example. It’s a serious problem, and has been so since long before feminism was a word. (have you ever read any teachers manuals or school books from the sixteenth or seventeenth centuries? Yikes!) But- I think we can ditch the ”boys will be boys” ideology and treat bullying as the serious thing it is without over reacting to stuff that’s honestly harmless, like pointing a finger in a ”gun” shape.

      • mary

        Also, I never said we’ve fine too far away from bigotry. I’m really not sure where you got that. Bigotry, unfortunately, is alive and well and we’ve lots of work left to do on that score. I will say that once seen some well-intentioned but misguided things done in the name of ”fighting bigotry” that didn’t really help with that, which types in with my original point, which was that an instance of a good idea being poorly implemented does not make the idea a bad one.

      • mary

        Gosh. Posting in disqus from a phone is godawful. Gone, not fine, and ties, not types.

      • smrnda

        I wasn’t suggesting that we need to kick kids out of school for pointing a finger in a ‘gun’ shape, just that your lumping of that together with racial discrimination and affirmative action implies that those three things are all potentially bad, and that they are all connected in some way. I do not see these things as related since anti-bullying measures and ‘zero tolerance’ policies aren’t even very connected, as far as I can tell, and are motivated by totally different agendas.

  • teaisbetterthanthis

    I’ve known a LOT of single/divorced parents. And I only know of one situation where the father wants more visitation (and would gladly take custody) but the mother refuses and claims that he’s terrible, his second wife is mean to the child, the child is sad and afraid during those visits…And the mother’s statements are patently false. (A miserable child wouldn’t tell her stepmother “I wanna sew you a dress, can you show me how to sew?”) One. Out of dozens of friends and relatives.

    And as for gender-neutral bathrooms…I like them. There are a few in the building where I work (on a fairly large university’s main campus), and most are single or two-stall bathrooms with locks. It would take me a little while to get used to a multi-stall bathroom that was gender-neutral, and I still prefer single or two-stalls, but I’d still use it.

  • Lucreza Borgia

    Less snarky response: What planet do these people come from because what I learned about the sexual revolution was that it wasn’t anywhere near as far-reaching or revolutionary as evangelicals in the US make it seem.

    There are more single mothers these days not because more people are having sex out of wedlock but because there is less shame involved in single parenting. It also helps that we as a society are no longer forcing single mothers to give their children up for adoption tho certain sects (Mormon church especially!) in the US do put enormous pressure on single parents to give their child up.

  • Limeade

    I have no idea how men can say that women just ‘cry rape’ after consensual sex seriously. A few years ago in the south an 11 year-old gang rape victim and her mother were harassed out of town when the video of the girl’s assault was leaked. Little girls who are attacked by men are treated with suspicion and disgust, why would a woman go through that for chuckles?

    • Lucreza Borgia

      Because most rapes are not what popular culture envisions them to be. Most rape is done by a person the woman trusts. Most rape happens in situations that are anything but the dark alley or empty parking garage.

      • RowanVT

        And even then we’d get comments of how we “should have known better” than to be alone while female.

      • wmdkitty

        And let’s not get into date rape or partner/marital rape. It “doesn’t count”.

  • Guest

    I just need to say that that story Libby Anne links to about the woman who was intimidated into recanting her rape report is one of the most enraging things I’ve ever read. I hope that detective is currently on fire somewhere.

  • lawrence090469

    The unstated premise behind this and other theories of fempocalypse I have read recently is this: women will never voluntarily associate with men without the political and social control structure of the patriarchy.

    • attackfish

      My mom and I were talking about this a while back. Patriarchal men are deeply insecure about their ability to convince a woman to come near them without force. The idea that heterosexual women might want to be with a man for the same reason most heterosexual men want to be with a woman, love, trust, companionship mutual support, SEX, as much as men, is a foreign concept to them, so they think without patriarchy, women have them over a barrel.

      • Alix

        That, and sometimes I think on some level these authoritarian-patriarchal men know that women have good reason to despise the shit they pull. They just think that doubling down is a good strategy, since moving to a more egalitarian position does come with the risks of rejection and so forth. They aren’t willing to risk that, so.

      • attackfish

        Well, without the patriarchy forcing them to, no woman would want to go near them specifically. They have every reason to be insecure, a********s.

      • Barbara

        This is it.

        These sorts of men want only to interact with women in a way that entails having power over them. So, when that power is threatened, they themselves feel threatened. They simply cannot imagine approaching a woman on an equal playing field, as all of their self-worth is tied to their supposed superiority.

      • Rosa

        I’m not sure they believe most heterosexual men love, trust, or mutually support the women they are with, to be truthful.

      • Alix

        Says rather a lot about them, doesn’t it.

      • Alex Harman

        And if they do, then they’re “whipped,” “betas,” “manginas,” and all the other pejoratives that misogynists use to denigrate men who don’t hate women.

  • smrnda

    Many Christians seem to believe that anything except a Fundamentalist Biblical Tyranny will lead to a left wing Statist tyranny, so he’s really not saying anything different than a lot of other Christians parroting right-wing Christian talking points.

    On the idea that more and more men are being thrown in jail for trumped up sex crime charges, he should look at statistics. His fear about white men being incarcerated for sex crimes is laughable given low convictions rates for rape are, while he’s missing the fact that we see a HUGE number of Black men in prison on non-violent drug charges.

    • Alix

      I really think that, at least for some authoritarians, they honestly cannot imagine anyone else not being as authoritarian as they are. So these folks who are pro-patriarchy or pro-dominionist or whatever honestly do think that egalitarianism or a pluralistic society aren’t possible.

      Makes it damn hard to argue with them, when they think you’re just using buzzwords to hide your “real” agenda, when those “buzzwords” are your real agenda…

      • smrnda

        The ‘pluralism is impossible’ I get quite often (there was a commenter a while back on some of the patheos blogs who said little else) but part of this is that many of these people live in monocultures or self-segregate into societies of like-minded people. They obviously aren’t used to living in pluralistic societies, and since they don’t like it, imagine that it must be terrible and that everyone must hate it.

        There’s also an inability to understand that I can be okay with *other people doing drugs* (for example) but I don’t feel like doing them myself. It’s like you must not just have preferences, but you must think they are right and everyone should do them.

        I wonder how much of this is life experiences. Do authoritarians tend to not have much experience living in diverse places?

      • Alix

        Do authoritarians tend to not have much experience living in diverse places?

        For some, maybe a lot, that’s probably true. I do know a startling number of authoritarians who have lived in diverse places … and walk away from that convinced of the utter superiority of their own worldview.

        I don’t know why that happens. There’s a peculiar combination of a love of hierarchy, a belief in universal values (their own, of course), and a lack of empathy that goes into making an authoritarian, and I’m never quite sure where they get it from.

      • Alix

        (Hit post too soon) I also think that while plenty of authoritarians live in diverse places and even interact with lots of people, they don’t necessarily get out of their head/comfort zone and really incorporate that experience. So they’re essentially living in a self-created mental bubble, even if not an actual one.

      • Barbara

        “Do authoritarians tend to not have much experience living in diverse places?”

        The research indicates that this is true. Exposure to diversity (typically in college) decreases one’s degree of authoritarian thinking.

        The trouble is twofold: a) many colleges have been demonized as terribly biased (toward, of course, a liberal perspective) by certain individuals with a vested interest; and b) people raised with authoritarian views are more apt to try to avoid environments that might challenge them, which means that they’ll tend to choose colleges that are likely to support their views.

      • smrnda

        I’m guessing this is why Patrick Henry College exists. It’s a way to continue the home-school bubble through college, a time when the bubble would normally burst.

  • Mariana

    If you didn’t already read the take-down at Patrol, it’s really fascinating and brilliant, and focuses on different things than LA did:

    “Ideologies are portrayed in dark terms: “they always entail grievances, and they thrive on resentment—grievances that must be redressed by wielding government power” (5). But oddly, only political orientations that conservative Christians generally oppose can be ideologies. Those ideologies find “enemies” on which to “fixate”: “the aristocracy, the bourgeoisie, Jews, the Christian West, or Dead White Males” (6-7). Christianity is magically exempt from ideology because it “offers a theology of forgiveness” (5). This is an astounding claim: if Christianity cannot be ideological, then how do we explain the ideology of right-wing evangelical Christianity, which happens to fit Dr. Baskerville’s specifications precisely? With its resentment for abstract enemies like secularists, liberal elites, feminists, the gay agenda, the liberal media, etc? With its vast network of organizations built to stoke resentment of those enemies? What does evangelical conservatism—the soul of Patrick Henry College—want if not to mobilize hostility against these enemies in order to take back political power?

    Considering that the bulk of the lecture is devoted to alarmism about abstract enemies, the irony of its framing is impossible to overstate: an essay against ideology that is an ideological screed par excellence.”

  • K. Mueller

    Should say warning TRIGGER Material: My rage and disgust level got so high not even a quarter of the way through that article, I stopped reading. I haven’t the stomach for such filth. I guess my physically visible scars are figments of mine and the homosexual agenda’s imagination. Not to mention the emotional and sexual scars.

  • Trollface McGee

    These women sound like horrible creatures. We need to protect men, from “rape,” “sexual harassment,” “overusing” quotation “marks.”

    It seems to be there is one, and only one true solution. Mandatory homosexuality for all. No more will men have to worry about false allegations or threats of alimony because men are perfect and never do anything wrong. And most men don’t take up pregnancy as an activity. Similarly, women will have to sue each other for child support, falsely accuse each other of crimes and forcibly divorce each other.

    And don’t tell me it can’t be done. If being gay is a choice, surely being straight is too. Why be tied down to a boob-wielding harpy who will steal your manly essence and use it in one of her silly little hobbies like bringing new life into the world.

    • TLC

      LOL! I love this. And yes, we should save these poor men from their “quotation marks.”

  • Baby_Raptor

    In short: Nobody but straight, white Christian men have any rights. The rest of us are persecuting teh poor menz when we claim we do. Because Jesus. Now suck his dick, already. It ain’t gonna pleasure itself.

    • wmdkitty


  • Justin

    This is just…wow. I’ve seen some paranoid, bigoted shit from Christians before, but this takes the cake.

  • Kathleen Margaret Schwab

    Does anyone know anything about Baskrville’s divorce? I tried google, but just info on all his yadda yadda about the big feminist lawyer comunnist plot to castrate and enslave all straight men. I’m just wondering what went down in his life to make him this nutty.

    • Justin

      Well, he was raised on a book that says victims must marry their rapists, that wives must always obey their husbands, and that women shouldn’t speak ‘in church’. So it’s not surprising that he’s soaked up some of that, well, a lot of that misogyny.

      • Kathleen Margaret Schwab

        He’s clearly a jerk.
        I just wonder if the reason he is so adamant there is no such thing as rape, there is no such thing as a bad father, stems from the fact that his wife left him for those very reasons. Like… he insisted on alot of spanking with a wooden spoon, he was verbally abusive, he demanded o be catered to by the entire family – and in his mind that was just norml life as a male … oh, what the heck, I should probably just figure that exactly what happened. Why else all the protesting that no such things even exist?

    • TLC

      You’re right. The only thing I found was the article on his website where he says he was summoned to Fairfax County to answer questions. I am assuming this is in Virginia. The court records are public information, but they are not available online.

      I saw another article that said his divorce settlement took two-thirds of his salary and he had to move into his mother’s house.

      Someone would probably have to go to the courthouse and look at the records. He’s probably NOT going to post them. Maybe he doesn’t want everyone to see the entire record?

      • Alix

        Fairfax County is indeed in Virginia. Either that or I’m living in the middle of nowhere. :P

        Aside from that, I can’t find anything more about the divorce than what y’all have turned up.

    • Lizzie

      I did all kinds of searching and I couldn’t even find her name. Everything I could find is about is “expertise”.

  • Barry Deutsch

    Great post!

    I do think you got one of your statistics slightly wrong, however, You wrote “One in four college women will be raped or suffer an attempted rape during their time college.” That statistic actually refers to their lifetime up until the time they were interviewed, not just to their time while at college.

  • Pam

    Whenever I read such vehement ‘b!tches be lying’ arguments I always wonder just how horribly the speaker/writer treat(ed) the women in their own life. From his comments, Baskerville strikes me as the type who did everything short of beating his ex wife up and now thinks she and, by extension, all women, are uppity slappers who need to be shown their place by whatever means necessary.

  • Beutelratti

    Baskerville … or basket case?

  • Caroline Galwey

    Trading standards ought to get this guy for calling his lecture ‘Faith and Reason’. Bigotry and unreason … now that’s slightly more accurate.

  • Jolie

    Hmmm… Brace yourselves, ’cause this is going to be quite long and not 100% related, it’s just that this post made my brain make some interesting connections:

    In a comment that I had left here : I was arguing that adopting a liberal or conservative moral/political identity comes
    down to a fundamental metaphysical assumption about human nature:

    That is: people who believe human beings are inherently good, valuable and
    more or less able to make good decisions for themselves are lead by the
    implications of this assumption to become liberals. People who believe
    human beings are inherently evil, sinful and/or often incapable to make
    good decisions for themselves are lead by the implications of this
    assumption to become conservatives. However, this didn’t get to the full extent of the matter; especially not when it came to left wing vs right wing economically and also to the obsession with authority and tradition. Now I think I’m a bit more enlightened.

    I’m curious if Baskerville is a calvinist; now I admit it may be the case that a lot of the metaphysical assumptions between Calvinism are common to other forms of neo-protestant/evangelical faith; also I admit I’m approaching it completely from an outsider’s perspective, based on mostly having read Max Weber and a bit of independent documentation; I guess I’d just like your thoughts on that.

    So, here it goes:

    18th Century French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau believed that human beings are good by nature, but corrupted by society. Specifically, it was the apparition of private property and consequent unequal power structures that caused corruption, injustice, violence and so on; and since it is now impossible for humanity to return to the pre-private property natural state, we need a social contract to empower us to live together and make it work.

    A good two hundred years before, theologian John Calvin advanced the idea that people are totally depraved, nature, necessitating the sovereign grace of God for salvation; redemption is basically the Guy in the Sky changing your mind from rebellion to obedience; namely a Guy in the Sky who would be just in condemning all people; but has chosen to save a select few, not on the basis of foreseen virtue, merit, or faith in those people but merely based on his mercy (or shall we say caprice?); you can recognise those people by their faith (which you can then easily define narrowly as *my interpretation of the Bible*).

    Now, I might be drawing big generalisations here, but I find that these two fundamental assumptions about human nature and/or the nature of evil in society are at the core of left-wing liberalism and right-wing conservatism, respectively. I shall refer to them as ‘Rousseauist’ and ‘Calvinist’ for simplicity from now on:

    Rousseauist model: If people are usually good, then
    they function best when they actualise their individuality and reach
    their maximum potential; society need to function in such a way to give them the maximum effective liberty to do so (which does not necessarily coincide with the maximum *negative* liberty for everyone: measures such as higher taxation of the rich in order to give free university education to everyone willing and mentally able to undertake it or forbidding hate speech that would make a certain space unsafe for certain minorities may be necessary).

    Calvinist model: If people are usually bad, then they function
    best when they submit to authority- as opposed to doing what they
    please (of course, provided that the authorities are people who fit your church’s definition of ‘saved’).

    Rousseauist model: If the world around you is morally wrong, work to change the social structure and make it fairer for everyone.

    Calvinist model: If the world around you is morally wrong- you’re saved, they’re not, shield yourself from it.

    Rousseauist model: Your body belongs to you; it’s the greatest instrument you will ever own, use it to express your individuality. Generally, sex feels good and is to be celebrated between two (or more…) human beings; however, we live in a society where this has become pretty twisted and fucked-up, all with being taught that men always want sex, women never do, and men are supposed to ‘conquer’ women and make them their property… Ethical sex means fully and enthusiastically consensual sex that is mutually pleasurable for all involved; but in order for this to be the norm, we need to acknowledge how rape culture work and to free ourselves from it.

    Calvinist model: Your body is lustful and greedy and this is horrible. Censor it. Men are all potential rapists who can’t contain their sexual urges when they see an exposed ankle. Women are evil temptresses who seduce men and then put them in jail.

    Rousseauist model: When someone is poor, this has usually a lot to do with structural inequality. In order to understand what happens to them and especially why some people are more likely to be at risk of poverty or underachieving, we need to check our own privilege. The State should have a safety net in place in order to provide even the disadvantaged with the basic means to reach their maximum potential as individuals ; therefore we should have welfare, free daycare for single parents and other similar measures.

    Calvinist model: If someone falls on financially hard times or are otherwise unprivileged, they probably are sinful or lazy; the State should not assist them but instead leave them to deal with the consequences of their own choices. Also, if members of certain minorities are consistently more likely to be poor or t under-achieve in various fields… oh well, that means the Guy in the Sky just decided mostly white, non-immigrant, wealthy, heterosexual cis men should be saved and all others are filthy sinners.

    Rousseauist model: : Children are individuals with minds and needs of their own- and this is great. We need to teach them critical thinking so that they can
    develop their individuality; along with mutual respect and cooperation
    so that they can relate to others and reach their maximum potential
    together.(See Rousseau’s actual writings on education close to nature).

    Calvinist model: Children are little bundles of sin- we need to teach them absolute and unquestioning obedience lest they succumb to their sinful nature.

    Thoughts on that? ;)

    • mary

      I definitely see some of it, but I think it’s oversimplified….. there are lots of other options besides some of the ones you listed. That, and Calvinism (My family is, I’m not, but I’m very familiar with it) does not teach the things you are imputing to it- I know you’re just extrapolating from the original thesis, but it doesn’t always follow that way. Calvinism is just a theological position, and there are people who adhere to it who believe pretty much everything you just listed, on both sides. Yes, total depravity is one of the fundamental tenants of Calvinism. However, the ways in which that is practically applied vary IMMENSELY and in no way naturally lead to the “unquestioning obedience” model, for example. Calvinism isn’t a wholistic life philosophy- and the “neo-reformed sexists” and weird “Pearl” esque camps by no means have the corner on living Calvinism.

      • Jolie

        That’s a very fair point; it’s what I was trying to avoid by using the terms in inverted commas rather than straight up- pending better terms; I like the expression ‘neo-reformed sexists’; it expresses a lot of what I was trying to say by ‘Calvinist’-in-inverted-commas; though it doesn’t sum it up quite fully. Any ideas what that mindest could be called? Pessimistic authoritarianism maybe?

  • Shaenon K. Garrity

    His use of language is interesting. Nonviolent actions by women and gay people are described in violent terms to make them sound scary. People pushing for equal rights are “militants.” Women who leave their husbands are “forcibly divorcing” them. Women and gay people engage in “witch hunts” over “sex crimes.” And of course feminists are “strident,” “defiant,” and “hysterical.”

    Meanwhile, he dismisses actual violence as no big deal, as long as it’s against someone who isn’t a straight man. Rape, domestic violence, child abuse, sexual harassment, bullying, and stalking all get scare quotes and weaselly equivocations. (Other things that get scare quotes: sex trafficking–apparently those evil women and girls enslave themselves–violence against women, and gay people having feelings.) Things that happen to lesser people aren’t real violence. Real violence is when a woman dumps Stephen Baskerville.

    The specificity of including “stalking” as a bullet point–it’s just a good father trying to see his children!–paints a beautiful picture of what this winner’s divorce was like.

    • Ahab

      Great observation. Baskerville has reversal and projection down to an art.

  • j.lup

    I searched on line to find any articles debunking Basketcase – uh, I mean Baskerville – but couldn’t find anything. And while I respect his ex-wife’s right to privacy, does anyone know of any statements she’s made or anyone else has made regarding their marriage and divorce?

  • old_redneck

    Let’s not forget: Baskerville’s wife divorced him on the grounds of cruelty.

    Could it be this has colored his view of things?

    I’m betting he’s gay.

  • Levedi

    As a Christian who teaches at an evangelical university, I am deeply alarmed and grieved to see the level of intellectual dishonesty going on here. That Baker not only gave this lecture, but gave it under his schools aegis and as a faith integration talk horrifies me. I don’t always agree with my more conservative colleagues, but we get along because I can respect their intellectual consistency and their interest in the truth. Baker is not stupid, but he has said some very stupid things here that would not pass muster in a freshman writing class. I can only guess that he’s let his personal animus against his ex wife push him completely around the bend. When that happens to one person it’s very sad. When an entire university applauds and sanctions that kind of thing it’s time for the rest of the intellectual community to vocally oppose them. And when it’s done in the name of Christ…absolutely unacceptable.

  • Karen

    This guy just so clearly hates women. His use of the buzz words, “strident” and “hysterical” clued me in from the start. That he would be employed at an institution of higher learning — any academic institution — just blows my mind.

  • Alex Harman

    I’d like to introduce this Baskerville to a certain large canine with an interest in his family name….

  • Kagi Soracia

    This is so horrible, all of it, not least because I am pretty sure my father would have approved and applauded this speech, if not given it himself had he still had a pulpit to do it from. Ugh. I feel so sickened and sad now. MRA talking points and worldview are vile.