Monday, June 21, 2010

Trying To Be Angered By Ross Douthat's Latest, But Really Just Bored

Apparently, a dude by the name of Ross Douthat has mansplained feminism to the readers of the Times.

After his uninspired claim that the US is now a matriarchy because "all major female candidates won" the recent primaries whilst, mind you, 21.8% of Congress is female, he opines:

"What Tuesday’s results demonstrated, convincingly, is that America is now a country where social conservatives are as comfortable as liberals with the idea of women in high office....Yes, female public servants still face a thicket of sex-specific challenges while running for office.... But these challenges no longer manifest themselves in predictable ways, as the peculiar left-wing misogyny that greeted Palin’s candidacy emphatically demonstrated."

And this is what happens when non-feminists/anti-feminsts try to write about feminism.

First, he presents the "Is Sarah Palin a true feminist" question as though it's remotely interesting or relevant to the liberation of women. It's not. More relevant to women's liberation are the policies for female liberation that Sarah Palin opposes or supports.

Then, in answering his own deep question, he mistakes female complicity in patriarchy with female liberation from patriarchy, effectively declaring that feminism has won because conservatives are okay with conservative ladies in power now.

And then, for the final swing and miss, he conflates the left-wing political movement with feminism, expressing the idea that he is shocked and awed that left-wingers can be misogynists. As if anyone who pays attention to the feminist blogosphere (you know, since we don't tend to get our own columns in the Times) is actually surprised by such a thing. As if feminists, rather than being being largely ignored, mocked, and ridiculed within the movement, actually rule the left-wing. As if left-wing politics does not have it's own rather larger and inconvenient Woman Problem.


May these men one day learn to stop mistaking their own ignorance for Just Tellin' It Like It Is explanations of political phenomena.

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