Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Malkin on Sally’s Field

I didn’t post about Sally Field’s embarrassing display at the Emmy awards before because I thought it was a bit unfair. I mean, she really showed herself to be in pretty much the same place she was intellectually as she was in the days of filming Gidget. Why pile on? I actually felt sorry for her.

But Michelle Malkin didn’t pull any punches in this latest--which rather proves (in itself) that Sally is a fool. I like Malkin’s take on the matter--even if it extrapolates a bit. There is something to her description of the two kinds of mothers: sheep and lions. She sees herself in the tribe of the lions and I’m sure that is true.

But I think I differ just a bit with Malkin’s neat juxtaposition in that I think some of the most vicious and nasty people I have ever met are precisely the sheepish mothers she describes. Their precious infants can do no wrong. Try to insinuate otherwise. Just try to suggest that perhaps they ought to--heaven forfend--spank their little darling for mouthing off to grown ups assisting their teachers. Believe me, you will see some fangs. If the mothers of the world actually ran the world (well, one might argue that we do run the world indirectly) . . . but if we ran it in the way Sally Field wishes we would, not only would there be just as many wars as there are now . . . they might be more vicious. Tribalism has its roots in the family. Who, in general, is a more staunch partisan of a particular family or tribe? Mothers or Fathers?

Discussions - 26 Comments

To supply more fuel to your very good fire: Somewhere like 80 percent of men in US Prisons who have been convicted of violent crimeswere raised by mothers - fathers were absent....

But just think, if mothers like Brittney Spears ran this country, we would surely lose the war on Islamic Terrorists and become a Nation of Islam. Of course in Brittney's case it might be helpful. Not only would she be required to wear underwear, but a berka also. We would be spared the daily overload of her life and she would have to sober up and really be a mother.

Hmmmm... there always an upside to the downside.

Ahhh, Julie,

Once again, I would point out that children are the only human beings in the country whom it is legal and (among a subset of Americans) acceptable to hit.

And again, I would point to the irony of writers who pretend to value courage in themselves and in their children, and yet take advantage of this cowardly state of affairs by hitting their kids because they can.

If you want to demonstrate and instill courage, go hit someone who is bigger than you. Go take on the authorities, who have lawyers, and tradition, and police behind them, while you have nothing but right on your side. Put yourself in harm's way, while you help another who is helpless.

But please spare us the hypocrisy of the bully parent who takes our her frustration and ignorance of childrearing by hitting children because they are allowed to by law, all the while extolling the virtues of courage and "lion" characteristics!

Our children have no one but us to advocate for them, to protect them, and to teach them how to deal with their problems. They deserve better than a parent who knows no better than to hit.

Ahhh--Fung . . . somehow I knew you'd take that bait. But I'm not going to re-engage in that old battle, sorry.

The term "bait" generally implies that you're going to reel something in. What you've done, Julie, is basically to throw chum in the water and leave.

Good post. Interesting points made by you and Malkin; Mansfield agrees with you in "Manliness" when he mentions that it is the fathers who instill the abstract concept of justice rather than environmentally intuned mothers - who are loyal unto their own much more so than the men (also see Kipling's wonderful "The Female of the Species").

As far as Sally Field's speech is concerned . . . I guess she's not aware that the vast majority of mothers who are "waiting" at home for their "children" to come home from war actually support the mission. She's not invested in this fight, but yet she projects her unbridled emotions onto the mothers, wives, and sweethearts of those who are. It is cheap and insulting to the women who quietly wait and support their children abroad.

Good Kipling selection, Andrew. See also my favorite.


LOL! Honestly, I thought it was a parody until the end. The fact that you really believe it made is ROFL! Funniest thing I have heard all day...thanks!

So, Julie, the mothers that don't take well to your pleas for them to spank their kids are sheep, but they're vicious and nasty sheep with fangs (!) who would, if given the chance, actually lead (you know, sheep that lead!) us into wars of excessive viciousness? And you and Michelle are lions in possession of a deep sense of civility and propriety that is readily apparent when you're not engaged in reluctant heroic combat in a non-battlefield setting?

What's the collective noun for a group of lions...?? Is it pride or arrogance?

Points well taken, Julie.

I do think, though, that women and mothers have a general disinclination to war, since it means sending their or other mothers' children off to die, possibly. Women, and especially mothers, seem to have a stronger sense of the loss of a life. Biologically, they simply are more invested in giving and sustaining life -- each life -- than men or fathers are. As Aristotle said, women are interested, naturally, in preservation, which seems incompatible with hawkishness or desire for foreign war.

But harshness on the domestic front? Of course. And tyranny in domestic politics? Perhaps. Think of the big-government designs of hyper-maternal icons like Rosie O'Donnell or the enthusiasts of the Million Mom March. Down to earth and less vociferous, think also of the policy inclinations of both the "soccer moms" of the nineties and the "security moms" of the aughties. Are either particularly concerned about limited government?

CS: Yes, it's not that complicated actually. Such women are are sheep before their own children but crazed when confronted with those who dare to speak ill of their progeny. Theirs is the hypocrisy because while they preach the gospel of non-violence and non-aggression (in order, I think, to justify their own weakness or lack of will) they show no attempt to control their rage when it is suggested that their little angels could do with a little correcting and their parenting skills are in need of a little refreshing. Arrogance, indeed!

But for the record, I did not claim to be a "lion" mother. I know I can only aspire to such a status. No one knows more about my own parenting flaws than I do. The only thing I know for certain about parenting is that anyone who claims to have all the answers is a liar.

Maybe if Fung and Scanlon got beat by their mommas a few times they wouldn't be such liberal pantywaists who want to surrender to the Arabs.

JQA: I think you are almost right. I think mothers, in general, have a natural disinclination to send their own children and the children of others they know and love off to war. That's for sure. But I don't know if that particular disinclination always extends to the universal. It would depend, I think, on how personally she felt the insult or danger. And--as long as we're speaking in generalizations--I wonder, too, about the trigger fingers of mothers. How many husbands have been upbraided for not speaking up in the defense of their wives? There are probably just as many of them as there are husbands who have been upbraided for over-reacting and losing their tempers when their honor is offended. And it's likely that they are the same men! My point is simply that women are no better than men at judging when or if war is appropriate. But I do think we come at the question from different angles and I think there is something to be said for both approaches. Women keep men in check, I think, by reminding them of the cost of war. But men should keep women in check, too, by reminding them of the cost of pusillanimity. We both have to do battle with our natural inclinations if we ever want to come close to a correct solution.

Craig Scanlon,

I think it was Sun Tzu who said,

You know you are attacking the right hill when they retaliate with both "ROFL" and "Liberal pantywaist."

Before this, I didn't know that corporal punishment was a foundational principle.

Everyone knows that the founders spanked their kids. Hell, Jefferson used to beat the crap out of his, especially the black ones. Because everyone knows that they didn't buy into the egalitarian garbage. They loved their kith and kin.

None of this made any sense. What a waste.

Ah Ms. Fields, slogansare always dumb, but did you have to choose one so cliched? Isn't there a law prohibiting baby boomers from uttering more than ten Vietnam-era anti-war cliches per year? Oh, there oughta be...

If Ms. Fields wants to engage in adult anti-war thinking, I'd advise her to read the chapter entitled "War is not the worst of evils" from this book and then to respond.

You know you are attacking the right hill when they retaliate with both "ROFL" and "Liberal pantywaist."

"Attacking", "retaliate", from someone who is a principled "non-corporal-punisher"!?!? LOL!

I finally got to watch Sally Field on YouTube. Malkin's column is a grim over reaction to a silly speech: a would-be Andromache forgetting that Sally Field is a comic actress.


As you may tell from Julie's hasty retreat, she and I have a history in the context of this topic. Apparently, she is still smarting from her humiliating defeat and her exposure as a bully of children.

Your bizarre response shows that you suffer from thinking similar to hers; that punishment of children is comparable in any way to the attack or retaliation between recognized opponents.

While is is acceptable and often effective (even encouraged!)to strike your opponent, it is not acceptable to strike someone who is vulnerable, smaller, weaker, or dependent upon you. It is also only effective if you want them to stop doing what they are doing while you are around. Or, if you want them to resent you and think that you are too stupid or lazy to use reason, logic, or verbal guidance in your dealings with them.

Speaking of logic and verbal fluency, please keep using "LOL" in your comments. It's really neat.

Your bizarre response shows that you suffer from thinking similar to hers; that punishment of children is comparable in any way to the attack or retaliation between recognized opponents.


Fung, your precious. Please, another post please PLEASE!!!!

Does anyone remember the scene in Godfather III when Michael's sister tells her son (the new Don) to hit the other families HARD!!!!????

Funny that few ever talk about that in this context....

At age 60 I will give Sally Field a pass on just about anything-- she is not only comes from a kinder and gentler generation, but also from "a world" that was far less threatening.

Michelle needs to lighten up on this--why the meaness? I choose to celebrate Sally's flaws/inconsistencies as a light moment given all the "madness" out there. I will continue to seek the light!

Vee, look, I owe a lot to great teachers from the boomer generation, and to my liberal-ish-but-socially-more-conservative-than-they-admit parents, but all personal debts aside, I am DONE cutting these liberal boomers a pass. We HAVE HEARD their point of view. For ALL OUR LIVES. WHY does an ACTRESS think it is her duty to educate us on things political, by means of SLOGAN-THOUGHT? What bizarre instinct makes her think her "mothers" comment is going to change anything at this point in the four-year long debate we've been having about Iraq? Is it not the instinct that says, I'M RIGHTEOUS by saying this, and which accuses those of us who disagree with her viewpoint on Iraq of having FUNDAMENTALLY ALIENATED OURSELVES FROM AN APPRECIATION OF MOTHER-LIKE LOVE? Or of some such war-loving sin?

That is, respectfully Mr. Vee, and with generally greater respect for your polite instincts than Michelle Malkin's "penknife" ones, how can you claim that Sally Field's generation was really a GENTLER one, when in fact they did come from a less-threatening and much more polite world and then proceeded, from Dylan's ...and I hope that you die... lyric ("Masters of War") on down to frenzied '68-'69 cries of "fascist," to create the current expected climate of rudeness, denunciation, expressive anger, etc.?

People always get cranky as they age, but the old liberal boomers are going to be the worst ever.

The days of an entertainer like Duke Ellington not bringing his politics into his performances, of treating his audiences with respect, wouldn't those days be nice to return to? But in the meantime, it's "Hey Ms. Fields, thanks for the memories, we'd like to honor you (again) for your acting," and in return it's, "Okay, as long as I get to INSULT the moral instincts of HALF of America, insult them as NOT CARING ABOUT SOLDIERS DYING." This is not a gentle soul, not a gentle generation. Let me end by quoting one of their greatest pop artists, the troubled Brian Wilson: They come on like they're peaceful, but inside they're so uptight...

"WHY does an ACTRESS think it is her duty to educate us on things political, by means of SLOGAN-THOUGHT?"

Fred Thompson's doing just the same thing (along with Arnold Schwarzenneger and Ronald Reagan, too), no? Do/did they cause you to feel similarly indignant with their political instruction, as well?

Don't forget Charleton Heston, Tom Selleck, and Sonny Bono.

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