Saturday, September 13, 2008

Two Sorts Of Feminism

I just read this article describing a speech by Newt Gingrich. According to the Washington Times:

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Friday that Sarah Palin represents a "threat" to modern feminism and to Democrat Barack Obama's quest for the presidency, and that is why the "elite media" is trying to tear her down.

"Governor Palin violates every norm they have: she is tough, she is smart, she is articulate, she is happy, she has five kids, she has a very hardworking husband who is a union member, she is an NRA life member, she actually goes to church and prays. The list just gets worse," he said.

Perhaps I'm quibbling semantics, but when you make a woman the 2nd banana of the most powerful country in the world, you're not undermining girl power. This is hardly a blow to women or a threat to women's rights. To the contrary, Mrs. Palin is poised to become the personification of equality between the sexes. I'd rather vote for her for President than for Veep.

If you let the girl drive, she has the steering wheel and she gets to decide which way she turns. This is feminism by definition. In this sense Mr. Gingrich's assertion that Mrs. Palin is a threat to feminism is wrong.

But there is a difference between feminism by definition and feminism by tradition and convention. (By this I mean conventions and traditions that have been adopted only since the early 1970s.) Traditionally and conventionally feminism started with bra burning and eschewing cosmetics. Traditional and conventional feminism regards the unplanned pregnancy as a curse and children as a punishment. This form of feminism is typified by the spinster scold. The sort of person Rush Limbaugh calls the feminazi.

In this second sense Mr. Gingrich is right, Mrs. Palin is a threat to traditional/conventional feminism. I suspect that after five children she doesn't share Catharine MacKinnon's notion that all consensual sex between husband and wife is rape. Mrs. Palin has demonstrated her pro-life convictions when she gave birth to a disabled child and when her daughter got "in trouble." Both "problems" are easily be solved by abortion.

It is a sham to claim that women should be empowered, but then require every woman to toe the Democrat party line and/or the radicalized agenda of a self-appointed elite of Womon's Studies professors.

A persistent slander that has been heaped upon Conservatives by traditional/conventional feminists is that we hate women. No, we hate some policy aims of some women. Ask any Conservative if he'd vote for Margaret Thatcher and the answer would be YES!!!

Some traditional/conventional feminists who realize that any power placed in Sarah Palin's hands would undermine their policy aims are now claiming that Mrs. Palin is not a woman. She can't be: she is a mother, and men find her attractive.

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