Last month, radio host Alan Colmes asked National Review columnist John Derbyshire about a chapter in his new book, called “The Case Against Women’s Suffrage.” After Colmes repeatedly pressed him about his views on womens’ suffrage, Derbyshire admitted that while he thinks women should be allowed to vote, we’d “probably” be a “better country” if they didn’t
Yesterday, radio host Thom Hartmann probed Derbyshire about the suffrage issue, and Derbyshire re-affirmed his view that “of course” he believes women should have the right to vote. But, he explained, they shouldn’t exercise that right because it is “bad for conservatism” and therefore “bad for society”:
HARTMANN: Do you believe that women should be allowed to vote?
DERBYSHIRE: Yeah, of course I do.
HARTMANN: Why then is the title called “The Case Against Female Suffrage”?
DERBYSHIRE: Because it is a case against female suffrage. […]
HARTMANN: Did you not say to, for example, my colleague Alan Colmes that women should not be allowed to vote, that it would be a better country anyway if women were not allowed to vote?
DERBYSHIRE: Well, you know, my mentor Paul Buckley used to say, he who say a must say b. And the logic of that chapter, that chapter five in my book, rests on the proposition that women voting is bad for conservatism, and as a conservative, of course, I think that’s bad for society.
HARTMANN: So therefore if women were not allowed to vote it would be a better country in your opinion?
DERBYSHIRE: I think as a hypothetical I think that’s arguable, yeah. Yeah, I think so. Yeah.
While Derbyshire may think that gender equity is “bad for society,” the fact is that the countries that rank the highest in the World Economic Forum’s gender gap index — meaning they have the most gender equality — tend to also rank the highest on the U.N.’s Human Development Index. While it’s possible that women’s suffrage is “bad for conservatism,” maybe it’s conservatism — not women’s suffrage — that is “bad for society.”