Conservative Feminists and Arrogance
Dana and I are Feminists from way back. Maybe you’ve noticed.
So we take issue when a group of powerful and important women trash Feminism, which is what happened last week at the Heritage Foundation’s celebration of Women’s History Month, “Evaluating Feminism, Its Failures and Its Future”.
These women have some serious hubris. Do they even know what the word Feminist means?
Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women (dictionary.com)
The Conservative Right would have us believe that Feminism only serves liberals. That’s not true. Sarah Palin is a product of Feminism. Condolezza Rice. Michelle Bachman. Bay Buchanon. Michelle Malkin. Even, and sadly, Ann Coulter. The only reason Karin Agness, Mona Charen and Mollie Hemingway even had a microphone to speak in front of the other day is because of Feminism.
And yet these women blithely turn their backs on the path forged by our grandmothers and great grandmothers, a path that says that every woman born to freedom in this great nation can be anything she chooses to be. Like a presidential candidate, Secretary of State, political pundit or even character assassin in a nodding relationship with the truth.
I am pretty sure that Mona Charen who “called the glass-ceiling a ‘supposed barrier’ and said Feminists and the Obama Administration often use “much debunked statistics” to argue their points” didn’t get where she is by sleeping her way to the top. But 70 years ago, who knows if she would have had the opportunity to run her mouth as a syndicated columnist? Maybe some cigar smoking editor with girlie pictures hanging all over his office would have sent her home to her husband and babies with a smack on her bum, or even invited her to “discuss” her career on his couch.
But that’s not allowed anymore, because of Feminism.
And Mollie Hemingway? It’s odd because I cannot find much specific information on this lady on the internet. Beyond that she’s a highly educated and decorated writer who lives in DC. I know she’s married because she wrote a defense of submissive wives after the whole Michele Bachman thing. But I don’t think she has kids. Which makes this statement all the more puzzling: “ ‘We’re telling women they should delay marriage, ‘lean in’ on career, focus on themselves,” Hemingway said. “And we know these things don’t lead to female happiness.’ “
I have no idea why this submissive wife doesn’t appear to have kids but does have a nationally important voice in the political debate. Or does have kids that are well hidden from an intrusive media, but still travels the country for her day job.
Oh wait, yes I do: Feminism.
And either way, I’m not judging her choices, even if her life seems to give a lie to her words. I don’t judge working moms and stay at home moms and single moms and two moms and dads who are moms and grandmas who are moms again. Because it takes a damn village, and there but for the grace of God go I, and no one should have to feel abandoned and alone before anyone else has walked a mile in their shoes.
You know where I learned all that?
Jesus. And Feminism.
So here’s the thing. If you think your daughter would make a great lawyer, you’re a Feminist. If you think your daughter would make a great wife and mom, you’re a Feminist. If you think your daughter is going to earn a scholarship to play soccer at Stanford or become a Rhodes scholar and get into every single Ivy League school she applies to, you’re a Feminist. If you proudly take her to vote the first time after she turns 18, you’re a Feminist. If you raise your sons to treat the women around them with respect and if you married a man who treats you with respect, you’re a Feminist.
Heck, let’s make this bottom line easy: if you teach your daughter to read and write, you’re a Feminist. And thank God, because in places where they don’t believe in Feminism, girls die on the way to school, shot by men who think they should never leave the house. Their. Entire. Lives.
So come on ladies. Where’s your humility? Maybe you don’t like the tone of womanhood today. I don’t, either. Too much sexuality, too much photoshop, too much divorce, too many babies born out of wedlock, too much abortion. But that’s not Feminism. That’s a crooked culture, and if we could just stop flailing at each other, we could band together like the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and put the crooked straight.
(Well, maybe not just like them, because I do enjoy a good vodka tonic)
The point is that history shows us that women’s voices are strong and powerful and sensitive and maternal and compassionate and unyielding when we have something to protect.
You know how I know this?