Thursday, March 06, 2008

Fear of the F-Word

Lisa Shiffren writing at the National Review's blog, The Corner, reacts to the infamous Charlotte Allen "Women are Dumb" column (see Hilzoy and Jessica Valenti for a recap if you aren't familiar, and Laura Rozen has been doing absolutely bang-up work as well):

As far as I can tell, there is more than enough stupidity out there to go round. When it's a writer with a dumb idea for a column, the idea is that an editor will exercise better judgement. I'm not an oversensitive feminist. But as a rule, "women are really stupid" columns aren't funny even when written by women.
Shiffren insists on caveating her feminist-based critique with an explanation that she is not really a feminist. Yes. What a terrible thing for a woman to be. And what a curious thing for Shiffren to insert at the end of a perfectly legitimate argument against Allen's shoddy, biased - if not mysoginist - column. Actually, not curious at all. This is a particular tic amongst women that seems to be waxing rather than waning.

If you want to see an example of how a non-feminist reacts to Allen's colum, check out Kathryn Jean Lopez - editor of the same Corner blog where Shiffren writes:

Charlotte Allen [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
eviscerates women. I love it.
What's not to love? KJL, obviously, does not need to bother with a caveat reassuring the reader as to her lack of feminist leanigs.

There are certainly many people more qualified than I to discuss the prevalent aversion on the part of so many women to identify themselves as feminists (Jessica and Jill for starters), but there is one aspect that I wanted to touch on briefly. Underlying this aversion is a certain disingenuousness and lack of acknowledgment for the many advances gained through tireless effort and immense sacrifice on the part of women that were less fearful of admitting their feminist bona fides (wonderment: women that actually believe themselves to be worthy of equal protection!). This anti-feminist pose is often struck by women who have taken full advantage of the holes in the ceiling drilled by women who didn't really have the luxury of deriding the women's empowerment movement. They were too busy fighting so that empowered women could decry the nasty feministsts.

This, from Atlas Shrugs' Pam Geller, is a fine example:

I don't need equal rights....I'm already equal. I don't need somebody telling me something that's already a fact. All these women like Gloria Steinem, "Oh, we made it happen for you!" You didn't make it happen for me. That whole rooted in Marxist-Leninist propaganda....I'm not a feminist, I'm an anti-feminist. I think it has hurt women enormously.
Where does one begin? Brad LeRoque pretty much sums it up:

Nope, I can’t even begin to parse this one. It reads like something an infinite number of monkeys would produce if you gave them a magnetic poetry kit comprised of the 200 most frequently used words in Liberal Fascism.
Yeah, and he's not even talking about the intentionally funny version Liberal Fascism.

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