Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Red-State Feminism

Marriage and Caste in America author Kay Hymowitz writes about it at City Journal’s site - - -

Sarah Palin may be today’s Elvis, but that doesn’t mean she’ll be the Queen. Vice presidential nominees rarely change the course of presidential politics, and despite last week’s Google records, Palin may well take her place in the nation’s large pantheon of would-be veeps whose names history has forgotten.

Still, beware of underestimating Palinsanity, as blogger Ann Althouse has described the storm of comment that the Alaskan governor has aroused. Whatever Palin’s political impact, her cultural significance is profound. For better and for worse, she introduces a new and likely long-running cultural type to the national stage—the red-state feminist.

Of course, the feminist commentariat, primarily coastal and upper-middle-class, has been quick to deny that Palin is any sort of feminist at all. Yes, Palin can boast political success, activism, authority, and self-confidence in front of an audience of 37 million, and, though less widely discussed (perhaps because so profoundly envied), an egalitarian marriage of the sort that has become the foundational principle of feminist utopia.

But in most other respects, especially her position on abortion, she has struck female media types as something more like the Anti-Feminist. She is a “humiliation for America’s women” (Judith Warner for the New York Times) and a tool of the “patriarchs” (Gloria Steinem for the Los Angeles Times).

But the crucial point here is that Palin never wanted to be part of Steinem’s club, and in that respect she speaks for many of her sex. (emphasis added)
The large majority of women—surveys have put the number at somewhere around 75 percent—shy away from calling themselves feminists, even while supporting some movement goals like equal pay. The primary reason for their coyness: feminism’s ambivalence at best, and hostility at worst, toward motherhood and marriage. …

The rest of Hymowitz’s article’s

Warner, Steinem and feminists like them can't tolerate women who don’t behave like malleable, go-along members of NOW.

“Hurry and get that abortion. There’s no telling what could happen if you delay. This is a downright mean country.”

“NOW’s not saying Bill’s conduct was perfect. But she’s 22. And he’s done so much for our cause.”

I don’t wonder so many women don’t want to be identified as “feminists.”

Amazon has more about Hymowitz’s book, including 12 reader reviews, here.


Anonymous said...

Today's leading feminists have established the paradigm for a feminist. She must be: pro abortion on demand (even better if you can get the taxpayer to underwrite the cost); a man-hater; a yellow dog Democrat; a socialist-cum-communist; a nasty-tempered harridan; a Christian-hater; in short, a bitch.
"Saracuda" Palin, alas, doesn't fit any of those attributes, so she cannot be acceptable to the leaders of NOW and other Frau-ueber-alles organizations. Well excuuuuse me as Steve Martin used to say. It seems the vast majority of REAL women have chosen to accept Sarah because she is a woman who has broken through the glass ceiling and is coasting toward becoming the nation's first female vice president. When will these hateful broads from NOW understand that it's accomplishments, not the degree of loathsomeness, that makes a feminist effective? All the lies that circulate about Palin have been generated by the leftwing nut blogs and appear to have a half-life of about one nanosecond. They've invented stuff about her pastor, her librarian, her brother-in-law, and who knows what else--all fabrications. Meanwhile Sarah keeps on giving speeches, smiling her angelic smile, and bringing more and more people out of darkness into the light of sweet reason. Sheeesh, no wonder St. Barack is so bummed.
Tarheel Hawkeye

Anonymous said...

Tarheel Hawkeye - Your analysis of the Palin situation for feminists is correct. They have been hoisted on the tip of a petard of their own making. They have claimed all these years that a woman should have all the rights of men (a point on which I agree) and that a woman should be able to choose how she should be able to live her life (another point in which I am in agreement) and they have preached since the bra burning days of the late sixties that women should not have to be dependent upon a man that she can "do it all" should she so choose. The problem with the feminazis is that the choices that women could have could only be the choices that they had ordained as being the correct ones (get a job, postpone or not have children at all - and if one finds oneself pregnanet enjoying one's sexual freedom then abortion is the easy choice, and when all else fails play the victim card.. Then along came Sarah Palin. A wife and mother who, (how terribly unthinking has had not the environmentally correct no. of children {2}) but has had five AND to make matters even worse the last child has Downs Syndrom which she knew about ahead of time and STILL CHOOSE TO HAVE! And, she did not grauate from an elite institution where the feminazis could indoctrinate her but graualted from a state school in Idaho, no less! Then, she did not get her political position because she was someone's wife but through her own hard work because she wanted to make her world (starting small) a little better - and she did it without image makers and pollsters. And then, to top it off, she is pleasant, down to earth and admits that she doesn't have all the answers and has family issues like the rest of us - not some perfect life.
It is hilarious that Obama feels that he is now running against Palin. Crafty McCain must be chuckling. He is a maverick - the agent of change that Obama and Biden will never be. Daily Kos and the Huffington blog writers have done more (through their vituperative attacks on Palin) to undermine the Obama-Biden campaign than anything. Anyone with one scintilla of intelligence can see the outrageous lies about Palin's family for just that as well as the stupid claims that she is incapable of being both a mother and political leader. Interesting, isn't it that according to the latest polls, Palin 's greatest support is from males who see her as better qualified than Obama to run this country. The other group is working women with children who each and every day work hard and still manage to come home and nurture their children - we know that it can be done...it may not be easy but it is possible.

Anonymous said...

The WSJ made a couple of interesting points about Palin as Gov of Alaska.

First, the Alaska governor is not a figurehead as in some states (like Howard Dean's Vermont) but ranks as one of the 5 or 6 most powerful governors. The Alaska governor has line item veto power and the line item vetoes must be overridden by 75% of the legislature. That is significant power that many chief executives do not have.

The article also pointed out that she is responsible for a $12 billion budget. Bill Clinton's budget in 1992 as Gov of Arkansas was $2 billion. Even with inflation, this puts her role in proper perspective.

It is interesting how her opponents are trying to downplay her role and to diminish her state. We are being told that Alaksa is unimportant so Palin must be unimportant. Did the Clinton boosters ever suggest that he was unimportant because he was from a small state?