Dancing Dogs & Cats

In the old Superman comics, Superman used to visit a land called Bizarro World, where everything worked backwards. Clocks ran backwards, the laws of physics ran backwards, and dogs and cats danced the rumba together. Listening to the news last week, I thought that I had been transported to Bizarro World. Why? Because the president of the United States stood accused of groping a distraught woman, and feminist leaders—normally hypersensitive to such accusations—yawned. Unfortunately, I was still on Planet Earth. I was witnessing, not Bizarro World backwardness, but feminist hypocrisy. A few days ago, on network television, a former White House volunteer named Kathleen Willey made sensational charges against President Clinton: She alleged that she came to the president in distress over her family’s finances. She claimed that the president made unwanted sexual advances. One would have expected feminist leaders to be outraged. But in our Bizarro public square, nothing is as it should be. Anita Hill—who once accused Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of making lewd comments in her presence— says that the Willey incident was "very different" from her own experience. "It is a reality that… we live in a political world," Hill said, "and… there are larger issues other than just individual behavior." In other words, Hill is saying: "As long as I agree with your politics, Mr. President—go ahead and grope." Or, consider the words of White House Director of Communications Ann Lewis. Lewis suggests that since Willey remained on good terms with the president after the alleged incident, she must be lying about the harassment. And yet, six years ago, Lewis said just the opposite about Anita Hill when it came out that she remained on good terms with Clarence Thomas: Then Lewis said it was common for victims of harassment to remain loyal to their harassers. And what did feminist icon Gloria Steinem have to say? Steinem said that after all, the groping occurred only once, so what's the big deal? Incredible! Feminists ran Bob Packwood out of the Senate for this very thing. These feminists are doing more than just giving hypocrisy a bad name. They're exposing the moral bankruptcy of their own movement. They're unmasking the fact that feminism is not about promoting equality; it's about raw political power. Most feminist leaders are ignoring the president's transgressions because he does their bidding—even vetoing the Partial-Birth Abortion Bill, which would have outlawed infanticide. By shrugging off the president's alleged misconduct, feminists are giving aid and comfort to future harassers, and they're exposing their own partisanship. In the future, Americans will cause Americans to view with cynicism anyone who talks about the rights of women. The saddest part of all this is that Americans don't seem to care. As columnist Charles Krauthammer says, Americans are reluctant to trade their new Ford Explorers for good government—or even moral consistency. It's time to remind our neighbors that righteousness exalts a nation, but deliberate moral blindness is, as Proverbs puts it, a reproach to any people. If we don't hold people accountable for their conduct, we may one day wake up to find that Bizarro World is no longer limited to Superman comics. And we will have the backward society we deserve.


Chuck Colson



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