Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Ignorance of Non-Feminists, Part Whatever

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, James Taranto has a go at explaining "the left's deranged hatred" of Sarah Palin.

First off, he uses the royal we throughout his piece, and that annoys me. He is the only author in the byline, so it's not clear who else he is speaking for.

Thus, he begins by claiming that leftists hate Palin because "in their view, she has risen above her station" and that "we" (meaning Taranto and the folksy folks he's speaking for?), identify with her because "we have been on the receiving end of similar disdain" for not attending an elite university, as "our high school diploma is a GED."

This leftists-are-elitists bit chaps my ass to no end. Politically, I lean toward the left, but I grew up in a blue-collar single-parent home and put myself through college and law school. Isn't that the American Dream or some shit? Nope. Not when you're a progressive. When you're a progressive who has dared to rise above her station in life you're a frakking leftist elitist.

Taranto continues his opinion piece by gendering the conversation. Non-feminist conservatives do this basically every time they talk about Palin, as they suddenly remember that gender issues are a thing in our society. He opines:

"This unhinged hatred of Palin comes mostly from women."


And his evidence for this is....? Oh. He doesn't have any. I guess this falls into the "a man said it, we believe it, that settles it" category of information.

Then, to explain why women hate Palin so much, he produces some messages he received from one of his Woman Friends who "generously" let Taranto and Co. quote it for this piece. She opines:

"[Women] blame [Palin] for everything, and the jealousy/resentment factor is so clear and primal. I've never seen anything like it."

So, that settles it then? James Taranto's Woman Friend who is the Official Spokeswoman For All Women just confirmed that women hate Palin because we're jealous of her. Alrighty then.

Despite Woman Friend's Spokeswoman status, Taranto, speaking from his unique and royal male viewpoint, proceeds to tell us what's really up:

"We'd say this goes beyond mere jealousy. For many liberal women, Palin threatens their sexual identity, which is bound up with their politics in a way that it is not for any other group (possibly excepting gays, though that is unrelated to today's topic).

An important strand of contemporary liberalism is feminism. As a label, 'feminist' is passé; outside the academic fever swamps, you will find few women below Social Security age who embrace it."

Bwahahahahahahahaha! He just- oh- oh, "an important strand." Hahahahaha. He really thinks- "of contemporary liberalism" hohohoho "is feminism." Ahem.


I think, for people who don't follow feminism at all, their biggest mistake is in confusing the sexual revolution for a feminist one. Although I undoubtedly believe feminism is very important, it is pretty clear that "contemporary liberalism" does not. See also, "Liberalism's Woman Problem."

I think, also, for people who don't follow feminism, their second biggest mistake is in believing that only women's studies professors are willing to self-identify as feminists these days. I mean, the fact that folks so casually, ignorantly, and quickly dismiss the whole entire feminist blogosphere and its readers demonstrates how not "important" feminism is to "contemporary liberalism" (and conservatism, natch).

Taranto then tries to play gotcha with feminist criticisms of Sarah Palin's stance on abortion.

"It used to be a trope for liberal interviewers to try to unmask hypocrisy by asking antiabortion politicians--male ones, of course--what they would do if their single teen daughters got pregnant. It's a rude question, but Palin, whose 17-year-old daughter's pregnancy coincided with Mom's introduction to the nation, answered it in real life....

More important, why is Bristol Palin's decision to carry her child to term any of this [critic's] business? Those who claim to be champions of privacy and choice need to do some serious soul-searching if they have so much trouble tolerating the private choices of others."


You know how, like, if you're a woman and you say something, sometimes people ignore it. But then, like, if a man says the exact same thing 5 minutes later everyone's all, "OMG, what a brilliant idea!" Well, people who pay attention to feminism, sort of know that Taranto's "gotcha" is a conversation that's already been had. But, nothing like a man getting a forum in the Wall Street Journal to recycle it, eh?

And so we meet again, Automatically Authoritatve Male Voice.

We are not amused.

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