I despise right-wing religious pundit Matt Walsh as a raging misogynist. But to give him credit, he has called out religious conservatives who claim that Trump is a modern-day King David, a flawed man doing great things for God. As Walsh points out, the prophets of Israel confronted David about his moral failings, after which David repented. Trump’s court prophets refuse to call him out and Trump ain’t repenting any of his sins. That’s not an easy stance to take in the right-wing world.
When it comes to writing about women, however, Walsh is repellent. According to Walsh, the reason women feel horrible after date rape isn’t because they’ve been raped, it’s because they’re a slut. They feel bad because they had sex before marriage, which means the man used them as a “glorified masturbatory aid” (a version of the buyers’ remorse take on rape I blogged about a while back). So clearly, the solution is to bring back premarital chastity so women won’t wake up regretting the slutty sex they just had.
This is bullshit. Premarital relations can be warm and supportive; spouses can commit rape. Men still raped back when premarital sex was a big taboo; the Southern Baptist Conference, which is solidly on the no-sex-before-marriage side nevertheless is rife with rape and assault. Walsh is like a lot of religious conservatives who freak out about date rape not because it’s coercive but because it’s sex. Oh, he also believes that even a 12-year-old rape victim must bear the child, because otherwise there’d be no evidence of the crime. Does he not realize that a 12-year-old being pregnant is proof of a crime in itself?
Walsh is a complementarian and a firm believer that men and women are not equal — well, in the eyes of god, but the supposed inherent differences between the genders make equality impossible. His killer argument: “A guy who beats his wife is no worse than a guy who gets into a shoving match with his buddy, right?” Dude, if you’re beating up your friend, that’s wrong; if you’re using “shoving match” to refer to something light-hearted, well that’s not the same as beating your wife at all.
(I will pause her and note that saying Walsh is a misogynist does not mean he doesn’t love his wife. Just as some antifeminist women insist every woman who’s not them should stay home and pop out babies, misogynist men can love their wives, daughters and mothers and think about them differently from the rest of womankind).
When the National Guard and other responders were out rescuing people during 2017’s Hurricane Harvey, Walsh tweeted out photos of the men saying that this is what women want, and what they should want: “Woman cradles and protects child. Man carries and protects both. This is how it ought to be, despite what your gender studies professor says.” Of course in the real world, some women are soldiers, National Guard members and first responders, but Walsh would rather ignore that in favor of believing only men can be heroes. And that all women want big, strapping men to protect them, which is bullshit too; if that’s what TYG wanted, I’d still be single. So would Walsh because he doesn’t look any more the macho man of action than I do.
Walsh endorses the Pence Rule because he believes there’s no reason men and women should ever hang out: “What’s the appropriate reason for a married person to go out for a meal alone with a member of the other sex (outside of family)?” I don’t know, because they like each other platonically? Because they need to talk about work? Because they’re mutual fans of luchador films or Surrealist art and their spouses aren’t? And if it’s work-related, there are all kinds of reasons men and women might need to talk. I agree with Sheryl Sandburg, if the boss doesn’t want to meet privately with women, they shouldn’t meet privately with anyone. Otherwise it’s a serious handicap for women in their careers (I suspect Walsh sees that as a feature, not a bug).
Walsh is not quite as horrible as Warren Farrell, but he’s bad enough.