James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal has provided an excellent service. He simply points to two pieces of advice offered by the same Washington Post/Slate advice columnist, Emily Yoffe, as part of a discussion of why social conservatism has much more appeal than, well, the folks at the Washington Post and Slate and other elite institutions realize. Here's the first piece of advic from Emily Yoffe's "Dear Prudence" column:
Q: I attend a small university studying engineering. I hold traditional values and I would like to get married to a woman willing to stay home and raise our children. I am lucky enough to not have any student loans and will be able to support a wife and children on my salary. Preferably, I would like to marry a woman who has a college degree and is smart because we would match intellectually and she would provide the best environment for my children. Women I meet on campus frequently call me sexist. I never thought of myself as sexist because I have no problem whatsoever with women who work in general and I respect my fellow female students and professors. Just because I don't want my wife to work does not mean I think women in general shouldn't work. Am I sexist? Is there any way I can meet a woman who shares my values, or was I born 40 years too late?
A: You sound like the male equivalent of the bride in the letter above who much preferred planning her wedding without the bother of a real person to marry. Of course we all have ideas of what our ideal life would be, then life happens and we have to--even want to--adjust to reality. Yes, there are women, even well-educated ones, who would prefer to stay home with their children. But dictating these terms before you've even gotten far enough to go steady makes you sound rigid, dictatorial, and yes, sexist. Instead of announcing your life plan for the so-far nonexistent woman you plan to marry, you should just date interesting, intelligent women and find out what they want out of life. But if you're determined to only spend time with women who meet your qualifications, go to a rally for Rick Santorum. He shares your views of women's roles, and during his Q&A ask if he can fix you up.
Now, I come from a different culture, one where even women who work want husbands who will sacrifice as necessary to enable women to spend more time at home with their children. The man could use more flexibility, perhaps, but the snide and judgmental tone from Yoffe -- the intolerance, as it were -- is really striking.
I'll let Taranto summarize the other piece of advice, lest I run afoul of the Code of Conduct:
In an earlier column, she responded in blasé fashion to a (fictional, we hope to God) letter from a man who claimed to be carrying on a homosexual affair with his own fraternal twin brother: "When people ask when you're each going to go out there and find a nice young man, tell them that while it may seem unorthodox, you both have realized that living together is what works for you," she advised.
But when a decent young man professes a desire to marry an old-fashioned girl and take financial responsibility for his family, Yoffe treats him as a deviant. She denounces him as "sexist" even though he is careful to affirm that women have every right to work outside the home if they choose to do so. He mentions nothing about politics, yet she feels compelled to bring Santorum, the feminists' Emmanuel Goldstein, into the mix.
Yoffe's hostility to this young man tells us more about elite culture than it does about her personally.
I can think of no better example of the "new tolerance," as D.A. Carson puts it in his new book The Intolerance of Tolerance. It's not tolerant so much as embracing of any social system that has no standards, quite intolerant of those that do, and firmly positioned to provide a morally relativistic philosophy in defense of this intolerant tolerance.