Natalie Portman at Oscars 311.
(photo credit: MCT)
Just as I was about to write a column praising Natalie Portman for hitting back
at John Galliano, along comes Mike Huckabee to attack her for being unmarried
and pregnant. This was the wrong time, Mike. But before I respond to Huckabee –
for whom I have much respect – let me first explain why Portman elicited my
OUR WORLD constantly excuses evil. The Hitlers and Stalins are
only “sick,” as if they committed their evil as a result of mental illness.
That’s how you now hear people speaking about Muammar Gaddafi – he’s a weirdo,
high as a kite – instead of calling him what he really is – evil to the
About five years ago I wrote a column that said that although most
of my close friends are staunch liberals, I could never embrace liberalism
because it refuses to hate evil. The inability of the two most powerful people
in the United States ( the US president and the secretary of state) to stand up
and say “Gaddafi is, was and always will be an evil despot” is sad proof of my
So it was with glee that I read Portman’s courageous
statement in the wake of Galliano’s exposure as an anti-Semite. When Mel Gibson
made a film depicting Jews as Christ-killers, the Jews of Hollywood – with the
notable exception of my former agent Ari Emanuel – excused him and continued to
work with him. Even after he got drunk and called us all “f-ing Jews” who incite
all the world’s wars, Hollywood still cast him in films. It wasn’t until we
discovered that he also hates women, African-Americans and Lord knows who else
that he was finally shunned.
But when a famed designer, an “artist,” made
his admiration for Hitler known, a leading actress who had just won an Academy
Award told him to go to hell. Saying she was “shocked and disgusted,” she
declared herself proud to be Jewish. Party on, Natalie! So perhaps Huckabee
should have thought twice before choosing this particular moment to attack a
Not that Huckabee doesn’t have an important overall
point. It is disconcerting that few in Hollywood seem to believe children should
be brought into the world amid the security of marriage, and surely our stars
would agree that most children love to see mom and dad as husband and
But having said this, Portman is quite simply the wrong target.
Huckabee’s ire ought to be directed toward the men who are the real
Once there was a code of honor among men about how to treat
women. If you lived with a woman and wanted to have a child with her, you
granted her the ultimate compliment of publicly declaring your love for and
commitment to her by making her your wife.
Marriage involves a man
selecting one woman and simultaneously de-selecting every other, thereby
establishing the object of his love as his one and only.
selfish age, however, the male honor code is broken. Men treat women casually,
and hedge their bets. And why not? If you can have a woman commit to you without
having to reciprocate, the whole marriage deal can seem a bit
This is a regular mistake made by social
Last week, Richard Land, head of the Southern Baptists,
published a column in The Wall Street Journal enjoining religious conservatives
not to give up the fight on abortion – which he called the most divisive of all
social issues in America. But why can’t we find language that is actually
unifying? Both the Left and the Right agree that respect for women is a
paramount virtue. Yet most abortions are the product of men having sex with
women they don’t love, impregnating them and abandoning them. These are not real
men but hormonally driven, walking sperm banks. Yes, women also have to learn to
respect themselves, but more importantly, parents and schools must give males a
desire to be gentlemen again.
So instead of beating an endless drum on
abortion, why not focus on the real problem? Is there anyone, of any political
persuasion, who would condone men using women as masturbatory receptacles and
then disappearing from their lives? Granted, men who have a child with a woman
in a serious relationship, like Portman’s beau, Benjamin Millepied, are not in
this category, and indeed he is her fiancé. Still, there are far too many men
who leave the scene as soon as a woman gets pregnant.
IN HIS comments,
Huckabee acknowledged that it’s the men who are the problem, which makes his
attack on Portman even more curious. “You know, right now, 75 percent of black
kids in this country are born out of wedlock, 61% of Hispanic kids – across the
board, 41% of all live births in America are out of wedlock births,” he said.
“And the cost of that is simply staggering.”
But it’s not the women who
are abandoning these kids, Mike, but the men.
And the same applies to so
many of the recent racist tirades, nearly all of which are by ‘famous,’ broken
and messed-up men.The writer is the author of 25 books, and has recently
Renewal: A Guide to the Values-Filled Life and
Honoring the Child
Spirit: Inspiration and Learning from Our Children. Follow him on Twitter