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Friday, April 18, 2003  
John Lott's woman problem

This is not a blog item about Mary Rosh. Gun enthusiast John Lott, Jr.'s problem with the other gender extends beyond his creation of a subservient female Internet sock puppet to do his bidding. Like many on the far Right, Lott seems to consider the expansion of voter enfranchisement to include women a mistake.

The esteemed Edward (Ted seems too informal with 'esteemed') Barlow has drawn my attention to an a question of interpretation in regard to a remark I made in a previous blog entry. I implied Lott favors denying women the right to vote. In support, I directed readers to the document abstracted here:


This paper examines the growth of government during this century as a result of giving women the right to vote. Using cross-sectional time-series data for 1870 to 1940, we examine state government expenditures and revenue as well as voting by U.S. House and Senate state delegations and the passage of a wide range of different state laws. Suffrage coincided with immediate increases in state government expenditures and revenue and more liberal voting patterns for federal representatives, and these effects continued growing over time as more women took advantage of the franchise. Contrary to many recent suggestions, the gender gap is not something that has arisen since the 1970s, and it helps explain why American government started growing when it did.

Though I cited only one item in support of my remark, that paper, I based my opinion on broader reading.

That reading includes the use to which Lott's position, that extending the ballot to women led to negative impacts on society, including the growth of government and more enfranchisement of liberals, has been put. Reactionaries have used Lott's research to argue for the repeal of the 19th Amendment.

The Nineteenth Amendment caused government spending to skyrocket, which converted the United States, its Constitution, and its Bill of Rights, into a totalitarian state.  Professor John Lott of the Law School University of Chicago proved statistically that it was women's suffrage, and nothing else, which caused this unbridled government growth.  Spending too much for government destroyed private property rights, plunged the US into huge debts and destroyed Personal Savings.   Professor Lott demonstrated that the reason the increase in federal expenditures resulting from the First World War didn't return to its previous historic level was due solely to the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1921.

The author of the petition goes on to use women's suffrage to explain everything he considers wrong with American society, using Lott as his only source.

He, and others who use Lott's 'research' are overt about about their belief women are inferior to men.

The female brain is hard-wired differently, as shown by authors Anne Moir and David Jessel in their great 1992 book Brain Sex, by Dell Publishing. This book gives details about how men's and women's attitudes about life issues are, as a rule, very different -- in many cases, those male/female attitudes oppose each other.

Women often make political decisions based on feelings and emotions rather than on pure facts. . . .

Indeed, Lott himself has said 'hysteria' causes people to favor limiting gun ownership. Claims of 'female hysteria' have long been a way of implying women are overly emotional and unbalanced.

Some on the far Right have adopted Lott's ideas and added to them.

Researchers John Lott & Lawrence Kenny, in - “Did Women’s Suffrage Change the Size and Scope of Government?” suggest that power of the government increased dramatically as a result of females getting the right to vote.[11] However, voting is only the symptom. The deeper cause has been the Jewish propaganda influencing their voting. Indeed, women are the largest market segment and are a sought after audience.

Others, such as conservative Ted Lang, hammer away at the Lott-inspired notion that women are dangerous as voters because they are more likely to be liberal.

Flippant, hateful, socialist-adoring, female radicals refer to the Founders as 'dead white guys,' perhaps explaining the statistical, graphic curves prepared by Dr. John Lott, Jr. equating women's suffrage with the rise of socialism. This reaffirms their hatred for white males while embracing the 'manhood' of Big Brother and Bill Clinton.

Also important to my understanding of Lott has been a grasp of his constellation of beliefs. Those beliefs form a portrait of a reactionary who would be comfortable with a society in which women were not allowed to vote. Handgun Control has made a similar observation.

He has long been a proponent of the "Chicago School" theories of law and economics on subjects ranging from crime to the environment. In the past, he has argued that the benefit of a crime to a criminal can outweigh the harm that a crime inflicts on a society and, according to him, "the worst thing people can expect from dioxin is a bad rash." Two days after the Jonesboro schoolyard shootings, Lott called for arming teachers as the solution to preventing such tragedies. Most recently, Lott has argued that the hiring of more women and minorities in law enforcement has actually increased crime rates.

I realize some people will interpret Lott's positions to merely be evidence he is a rash person. However, I believe Lott and his cohort are creating a blueprint for the America they would like to live in. That America is a very different one than the one that exists today. I also grant Ted Barlow the point that John Lott has not, as far as I know, said, "We should repeal the 19th Amendment." Instead, he has provided the appearance of scholarly groundwork that would support others making that assertion. However, I believe the way Lott's writing on women's suffrage was taken by the Right was both foreseeable and intended by its author.

5:11 PM