Friday, June 12, 2015
Jeb Bush and The Scarlet Letter
The first is that it is yet another perfect example of misogyny. Bush's rhetoric included condemnation of men walking away from their responsibilities as parents, but it did not include shaming them publically. While women bear children, they do not do so in the absence of a man's contribution to the biological process. The disproportionate blame Bush places on women is a window into how he really feels about them. Take note of that when you enter the voting booth.
The second is the referral to a book. The Huffington Post noted: "Bush points to Nathaniel Hawthorne's 1850 novel The Scarlet Letter, in which the main character is forced to wear a large red "A" to punish her for having an extramarital affair that produced a child, as an early model for his worldview. "Nathaniel Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter is a reminder that public condemnation of irresponsible sexual behavior has strong historical roots,” Bush wrote." Okay, that is technically true but it completely misses the mark on what the book is about. This this just makes him look ignorant at worst or like he didn't read the book at best. The take home message, as any high school student who read this in English can tell you, is that the public shaming of Hester went terribly wrong. The book is a cautionary tale against the value of shaming, not a support of it.