Cool girls fade out and become less interesting the minute they have a real thought. Otherwise, they’re just entertaining, frothy nothingburgers–an idealistic creation to make people feel better. At least, that’s my sum up of this piece about Jennifer Lawrence and the “cool girls” before her.
Pardon me if I don’t get so overwrought about this. Every once in a while, a woman comes along who has male interests, enjoys the company of men because of those interests, and she’s also incredibly beautiful. What the less pretty or less talented or more stereotypically female or as tomboyish but less feminine women don’t understand is that this girl, then woman, isn’t trying to be something. She is this person.
What can she do but be what she is?
In Lawrence’s case, she’s self-deprecating. She admits to be a virtual shut in. She isn’t a gad about (i.e. screwing around with male stars in succession). She is beautiful. She has a job. It’s not a world-changing job. It’s not a self-sacrificial job (like being a nun or nurse or fire fighter). It’s acting.
Jane Fonda’s job was to act. She was good at that. And then she changed the equation. She used her beauty and platform to lecture Americans about what they should believe. She changed her job title from actress to activist. Well, okay, that’s her choice. But don’t get angry when her fan base dries up because they disagree with her politics.
Sean Penn’s politics are naive and kinda make people hate him. They don’t hate him because he’s beautiful. They hate him because he’s stupid and uses his platform as a spoiled, rich actor to rail against the very system that benefitted him. Fonda is in the same category.
Are people bigoted against the “cool guy”?
If Jennifer Lawrence’s star falls, it will be because everyone likes to see the guy at the top topple. It’s a nasty reality of success. Once a person achieves it, there are multiple people who would love to see the person fail.
Jennifer Lawrence mitigates that far fall by stumbling over herself. She takes herself down a notch–whether it’s conscious or not. So, average person sees the beautiful, bawdy Ms. Lawrence and remembers falling at a wedding and doesn’t feel so envious. They pull for her because she’s human.
Well, most pull for her. For some, she can’t fall enough. One wonders what a woman must do to please other women.
Governor Scott Walker’s campaign spokeswoman Ciara Matthews finds herself on the receiving end of misogyny by feminists and leftist press.
Her crime? She waited tables at Hooters while going to college. Steven Elbow asks the penetrating question:
But to the direct question: Were you a Hooters girl? She said, “I was.”
Matthews said she waited tables for the popular restaurant chain — which features tasty chicken wings and waitresses in short shorts and low-cut tops –- while attending college at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.
“So you guys want to write a story that I waited tables in college,” she said. “I’m confused as to why that’s a story.”
Well, she may have a point. What makes news is not always easy to pinpoint. But as we say in the biz: You know it when you see it. [Emphasis added.] And with a recall election looming in which she will often be front-and-center as Walker battles to keep his job, details that might otherwise be ignored become interesting.
Like porn? So, working at Hooters is like story porn? That’s the allusion that this writer made:
The phrase was famously used by United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart to describe his threshold test for pornography in Jacobellis v. Ohio (1964). Obscenity is not protected speech under the Miller test, and can therefore be censored.
I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description [“hard-core pornography”]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that. [Emphasis added.]
The expression became “one of the most famous phrases in the entire history” of the Supreme Court.[1
But that’s just the beginning. Jezebel publishes a provocative picture of Ciara. Because, you know, conservative women get what’s coming to them.
And Ciara’s story comes on the heels of feminists doubling down on attacking Ann Romney.
Oh, and don’t forget Amanda Marcotte and the feminists over at Pandagon. Some women are more equal than others, just ask Amanda.
And then there’s Time Magazine’s Judith Warner piling on Ann Romney, too. Her implication is laughable. As though, she, Judith Warner, is somehow more touch with the suffering masses than Ann Romney.
On the positive side, one feminist, Wendy S. Goffe at Forbes, said this:
I thought of all this when the news broke recently about Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen’s comment that Ann Romney “never worked a day in her life.”
I don’t know Ann Romney, but as a working mom, I don’t know how she found the time to raise five children. And by the way, Ann Romney has multiple sclerosis. Her life sure sounds a lot harder than going to an office, where someone else makes the coffee, and I know my daughter is well cared for by a nanny that is the closest thing to Mary Poppins in the 21st century.
As a Democrat, I am simply embarrassed by that comment. Rightly distancing himself from Hilary Rosen, President Obama came to Ann Romney’s defense, and the defense of all stay-at-home moms, saying that “there’s no tougher job than being a mom. . . Anybody who would argue otherwise, I think, probably needs to rethink their statement.” I am proud to have a president who is in touch with his constituents, regardless of political party or appearances.
I also feel privileged to have the job that I do and the ability to hire a nanny. Frankly, I don’t have the skills to raise five children.
Many liberals are wholly hypocritical about how they treat conservative women–whether they’re young, beautiful up-and-comer working outside the home women or middle-aged, working inside the home moms.
They hate conservative women and attacks are fair game.
That’s too bad because it seems to be the opposite of what the Women’s Movement was supposed to be about.
None of us lead the lives our appearance suggests. We each lie in bed at night with our personal terrors as to what life could be, or about what life is like right now, and whether we have the strength to get through it. Clothes and money rarely can make that go away.
The women’s movement loses all credibility with it’s “choices for me, but not for thee” and creating the abortion litmus test.
When conservative women are destroyed because they dissent from popular feminist opinion, all women lose. Why can’t liberal women see this?
Pinterest is sexist….against women. Seriously, that’s the position of Victoria Pynchon who says:
Pinterest Frames Women’s Interests within Tight Gender Boundaries
Go on over to Pinterest and try to find a category for business, marketing, management, entrepreneurism, politics, activism, reproductive choices, negotiation, finance, investing, law, consulting, journalism, or pretty much anything having to do with women working for a living.
This is, in a word, ridiculous.
Go to Barnes-N-Noble and what do you see? Racks of home improvement, cooking, house and garden, and fashion porn. That’s right, porn. It’s fantasy for the average woman, who comes home to her crappy couch and Hamburger Helper.
Where does she come home from? Work. What does she read because the last thing she wants to do is watch the news and/or think about business? Traditional Home, Better Homes & Garden, or in my bigwig President of a division at a Fortune 500 corporation sister: Rolling Stone (I know, I don’t get it either) and Conde Nast Travel or something.
What’s in these magazines? Beautiful pictures, mostly. Some human interest stories. Tips for living.
Why, just like Pinterest!
Yesterday, President Obama’s Pinterest team pinned some garbage about how awesome he is and so I trolled the pins. I linked to the truth. I disputed on a factual basis. No one disputed the facts, mind you. They disputed whether I should be talking about politics.
“Pinterest is a happy place,” one pinner said.
I’m figuring that Pinterest has done tons of market research and knows exactly what women want. Just as random porn sites know exactly what men want.
Is this a gross overgeneralization? Of course.
I noticed the constrained categories on Pinterest, too. Eh. I’ve worked around them. I have a Best Practices business page. I have a Tech Talk page. I have an America the Beautiful page. And then there’s the Politics of Freedom page.
They have lots of followers. My recipes page has more. Yes, I’ve used some of them–even women who own a couple business have to eat, and horrors! might like to cook.
What seems sexist to me is that a woman would consider a site dedicated to what most women consider interesting discriminatory.
After years of attempted gender reconstruction, and after years of women working (and nearly 80% of women do), women are still wired as women. That is, what stimulates them visually is, say, different than men. And that’s okay.
Being a girly girl is okay. I say that as a woman who has always liked “guy stuff” more–Google search metrics pegged me as a 50 to 60 year old man interested in technology and politics.
What bothers me is that to be a feminist, one cannot have traditionally feminine interests without being perceived as “less than”. Who is discriminating again?
If the majority of women like gardening, cooking, home improvement, kids crafts, and fashion, what do I care? Really? Why in the world should the difference bother any other woman?
I suggest the tomboys among us embrace Pinterest. It’s finally a female-dominated social media platform. It’s beautiful in form. It’s aspirational in substance.
Pinterest has the men joining in droves, too. As the demographics even out, categories will probably be added. Why? Because the market demands it.
It’s not discrimination. It’s Marketing 101 in practice.
But really, if men have to submit their boards to categories of the Matriachy’s standards, is that so bad?
My friend Adrienne Royer says this:
There’s so much stupid here, I don’t know where to begin.
1. Pinterest is still in beta. You MUST ASK FOR AN INVITATION. The women who are there are there because they want to be. Pink, lace and pretty houses aren’t being forced down their throats.
2. You’d think a writer at Forbes could do some research. Pinterest was started by a group of guys. Unless these men miraculously understand women better than any XY chromosome in history, the adoption of the site by women was purely accidental.
In fact, Pinterest was started to be an idea board for creative thought leaders. The main founder has a degree in architecture and worked at Facebook. He was into design, typography and photography. He thought the site would take off in the creative class.
The way women have taken to it has shocked everyone, including Silicon Valley.
3. The real story isn’t that Pinterest isn’t forcing the patriarchy down our throats. The real story is that women love social networks, the ability to share information that is vetted by trusted people and the ability to research. The real story is how Silicon Valley is still a boy’s world and women are pretty much shut out. Right now, there are all kinds of venture capitalists scratching their heads and wondering how Pinterest became some popular because none of them ever thought about designing a social network that would draw women.
Why aren’t they harping on that?
People like to separate fiscal conservatives from social conservatives. It’s impossible to do.
The nut of Sandra Fluke’s argument is this: pay for my contraception. If it doesn’t work, pay for my abortion. If I decide to have the kid, but not work and do something like “community organizing” or “reproductive rights activism”, pay for my lifestyle choice. [More on Sandra Fluke here.]
And herein lies the problem with a purely libertine argument: Someone has to pay for all this freedom.
True personal liberty comes with a lot of personal responsibility.
The way it stands now, though, feminists are pushing for the state to take care of everything.
At the least, a man should pony up a condom to have sex, but no. A woman is too afraid to have this discussion, evidently, and refuses to force the man to buy and wear a condom. Were she mature enough to have this conversation, her sex life would be “free” so long as the condom wasn’t defective or broke.
Then, of course, whether the woman is on the pill or using condoms, there’s always contraception failure. The woman will have to live with the STD or baby consequences. And again, she’ll want the taxpayer to pay for that, too. Antibiotics and prenatal care aren’t free, after all. Worst, she wants people of conscience to pay for her abortion. They, in turn, feel forced to pay a hitman to kill an innocent person.
A truly “free” woman would pay for her choices, but the fact is, that these choices can all be very expensive.
In the past, when sex was more the provenance of two monogamous and committed people, the man and woman would negotiate these things. And if a “mistake” did happen, the man would “do the right thing” and marry the woman.
Old fashioned? Maybe. Cost effective for the taxpayer? Absolutely. Good for the fabric of society and for that child? No question.
Barack Obama and his merry band of slutty misfits want to have all the fun and none of the responsibility of the consequences should things not go just the way they’re supposed to in the sexual arena (and when do they ever?).
So, in the last year of a horribly failed presidency, President Obama wants the focus to be on “contraceptive rights” when there are no such thing. It’s a great way to distract from the statist policies he’s employing: He wants to diminish the role of faith in the public space, and in the place of men/husbands/fathers, he wants an all-powerful state to pay for, mold, and control the next generation. Or kill them.
If this fight feels primal and visceral, it is because it is. The cultural war that the left has started has had dire public policy consequences. The welfare state has failed.
We have a nation of fatherless children living in poverty because their mothers bought the feminist lie that having sex like a hound-dog man, outside of marriage is “empowering”.
Single mothers are faced with the bitterness of powerlessness.
Defend that, liberals. Explain how living in poverty, alone, with multiple children, no education, an STD and no father is better than a two-parent family, feminists.
Answer: It isn’t.
There will be no apologizing from me. The feminist movement as symbolized by the useful idiot Sandra Fluke has lied to and cursed a generation of women. Meanwhile, putting future generations of responsible tax paying men and women on the hook. [Update: Dana Loesch on faux rage.]
The culture war is a fiscal war. And America’s children are the losers both ways.
Teri Cristoph of Smart Girl Politics to Women: You’re Being Used. Teri says:
Knowing that women voters are leaving Obama, the left has deliberately waged a war designed to scare them into thinking their birth control will be taken from them. EMILY’s List calls these disenchanted women voters “defectors” and they’ll stop at nothing to get them back.
The use of the word “defector” by the left is supremely insulting. A defector is someone who switches allegiances, usually in a manner deemed to be traitorous. Got that? If you are a woman who voted for Obama in ’08 but don’t like what he’s done as president and don’t plan to vote for him again, you are considered a traitor by the left. Newsflash: Women are not born with a genetic allegiance to the Democrat party and its liberal causes. Plenty of us prefer to think for ourselves.
Democrats are running scared knowing that a significant number of women are wise to the fact that the economy has tanked, true unemployment is around 25 percent, and our president is wholly unequipped to deal with any of it. They also know that women voice their discontent at the ballot box. So they are waging this war against women. They use people like Sandra Fluke to distract from the real issues at stake this election season. They use women as pawns in their political game.
Yes, there is a war against women in 2012 and it’s certainly no fluke.
UPDATE & ASIDE:
What Rush Limbaugh should have done in the face of the attack by Mean Girls (emphasis on girls–women don’t act irresponsibly and then want to be personally bailed out):
There are many conservatives who unfortunately allow the left to take their morality and use it to stifle their dissent. Limbaugh should have gone on the attack. He should have said “no apology” and exposed her for the partisan hack that she is. Do I care if Fluke fucks 50 guys? No, but I do care if she uses her position to gang up with other mean girls (and guys) to ram a political mandate down the throats of companies who do not believe in what she is peddling.
Standing up to mean girls is hard. I am in the process of writing a book on men’s attitudes towards marriage and society and it is damn hard to get individual men to be interviewed. If I ask questions on the internet or in an anonymous setting, I am flooded with comments from men. I recently had over 3200 men answer a poll about paternity fraud, but try to get just a few men to talk in person? That’s tough. And most are very concerned that their name will not be published. I don’t blame them. The mean girls are out in society in full force.
If Rush Limbaugh can’t stand up to the mean girls, who can?
More on Fatherhood from LaShawn Barber.
Women want to believe that they’re impervious to things like age and ovaries. So, during peak creative years, women push their energy into relatively time unlimited endeavor–career–instead of a very time limited endeavor–having babies.
Young mothers are scorned for being stupid, giving up their potential, subjugating themselves to a man’s world.
Ironically, by subscribing to a dirty man’s definition of success — rutting like animals and climbing the corporate ladder by any means necessary — women deprive themselves of doing the one thing that is essentially female–giving birth.
Newsflash: Only women can do it. There are requirements. A woman must have a functional uterus, fresh eggs, good health and it’s really helpful to have economic and emotional support. In old-fashioned terms, that was called a husband.
Imagine the shock, then, when women find out that they’ve been lied to about their reproductive ability:
A decade ago, a fertility ad campaign on public buses in several big cities sparked a vicious backlash. It featured a baby bottle shaped like an hourglass, to warn women their time was running out. But women’s rights groups called it a scare tactic that left women feeling pressured and guilty.
Another ad campaign? Sure, says Mingo.
“And it needs to come on when men are paying attention,” she says. “Heck, put it on in the middle of a football game or something!”
Women are afraid of losing career opportunities. It’s not like there is one choice or the other. I’ve always worked while having kids.
Still, it helped that because of medical training waiting to have kids was no option because it limited options.
When you know you want kids, and maybe a big family, two things should be a priority:
1. Getting married.
2. Getting pregnant.
So, women in their 20s need to strike while their hot body and biology work to their advantage. This, of course, is very politically incorrect advice.
Telling a woman to carve out time to date, join social institutions (like, horrors!, churches) that encourage marriage, etc. just seems so old-fashioned.
Well getting married and having kids young has many biological and sociological and cultural advantages.
Women need to be told the truth about their limitations so they can change their life choices accordingly. Many who want and should have children won’t be able to because of the lies they believe and they’ll find out the truth too late.
I lived in the U.S. for many years and I was and am still pro-choice. Yet, when I returned to India as an adult even my pro-choice mind could not comprehend the absolute horror of the fact that in less than a century India has eliminated more than 50 million women from its population. It is targetted elimination and by definition a genocide. That’s when I started the 50 Million Missing Campaign. Our website is www.50millionmissing.in
And you are absolutely right Melissa. There is a big block in the west regarding female genocide in India. It is not an anti-abortion issue. The Soroptimist International just last week took on this cause. And I hope other feminist and human rights groups will.
More so it is not just about female feticide. There is infanticide, dowry murders, under 5 mortality rate and abortion related MMRs (1 woman every 5 minutes in India). I just published an article for the Australian journal Intersections. Here is the link:
At the link [Go read the whole thing]:
The public reservation, however, is with the actual likelihood of such a mass-scale elimination occurring. Occasionally one reads in Indian papers about baby body parts being found in a well in the compound of some clinic, or a young woman dying of burns under suspicious circumstances due to a supposed kitchen accident, but there is nothing in the news that suggests a blood-bath on the scale of a genocide. To drive home the point to my Rotary audience, I put up on the overhead a two columned table relating to the annual rates of female homicide in India. This slide included the means of elimination, and the estimate for the annual rate for each category.
Table 1. Annual Rates of Female Homicide in India
Female foeticide approximately 1 million
Female infanticide approximately 25000 in the State of Kerala alone
Dowry-related murders approximately 25000
Preadolescent mortality 1 in 6 dies before 15 yrs (CRY)
Mortality rate 40% higher for girls under 5 than boys the same age (UNICEF)
Maternal mortality rate (MMR) 136,000
(1 woman dies every 5 minutes due to pregnancy-related causes) (WHO)
# The number one means of elimination I pointed out, is female foetal abortions. An estimated 1 million female foetuses are selectively eliminated in India each year, and that number is expected to rise to 2.5 million within the next few years. Method number two is female infanticide, a practice that has a long history in India. So far there has been no national average estimated for female infanticide, largely because it is difficult to track down with there being no administrative compulsion for citizens to register births. Nevertheless, existent data gives an indication of the scale of the practice. In the state of Kerala, one of India’s most progressive states, with a literacy rate of over 90 per cent, it is estimated that about 25,000 new born girls are killed every year. In other states like Bihar, where the issue of gender bias is plainly discernable, one survey reveals that mid-wives interviewed admitted to being paid to kill almost 50 per cent of the baby girls they delivered. As the number three method of elimination I listed dowry murders, also known as ‘dowry deaths.’ Despite the fact that a majority of dowry-related homicides of young married women in India are never even filed with the police, in the late 1990s it was estimated that at least 25,000 young married women were cold-bloodedly murdered by their husbands and in-laws in dowry extortion cases. That number has continued to rise, as the practice of dowry itself spreads to communities, like tribal groups, that traditionally never had the custom of dowry.
What happens when an evil element of a culture meets up with technology? Genocide.
There is a disconnect for Western women. Because of cultural relativism and their own desire to have the power of life and death over another human, they avert their eyes when the same motivation is used on a grand scale to engage in the most misogynistic of ventures: killing women because men are better (and, in India, cheaper).
But the choice to eliminate a life for gender seems like just one reason among many to have an abortion. 90% of mongoloid children are aborted in America. In America, that child is viewed is dysfunctional, less than, and wrong. In India, women babies are viewed that way. It’s just a different culture. All over the world, people want the “useful”. In India, women aren’t very useful. In America, retarded children aren’t very useful.
At some level, mostly unconscious, Western women know they are little different than their Indian counterparts which is why they stay silent in the face of the biggest female genocide in history.
Wayne Elise: The Modern Dale Carnegie Explains How To Talk To Women, Tech & Dating, And Sex V. SensualityThursday, September 24th, 2009
Wayne Elise makes his living helping men find women. I suggested to him that we should have a lonely hearts male blogger meet-up, video tape it and see how good he really is. I personally wonder if the male bloggers protest too much and actually have healthy personal lives or if they’re in dire need of his services. Wouldn’t it be fun to find out?
Anyway, we also talked about the culture and how it’s affecting dating. He noted that women are getting much more aggressive, that sex is talked about more but there seems to be less of it, and that mystery is gone, too.
At the end I discuss Obama v. Palin. Hope you’ll listen!
It’s statements like these that get my co-blogger John Hawkins in trouble:
It’s not choices that are causing problems for women, it’s expectations.
Women are no longer merely expect to act like women. Now, feminism, liberalism, and Hollywood says they’ve got to be able to do everything women used to do AND everything that men still do, and then some.
The old feminine ideal was the woman who got married to a good man, stayed home, took care of their house, took care of the kids, and took pride in making the whole family function.
Now, look at the messages women get from popular culture: Dress like a fashion model, cat around like the women from Sex in the City, get married, have a beatiful house, have 2.5 kids, have a career that’s every bit as successful and fulfilling as your husband’s, and still look like a professional actress, even when you’re 60 years old.
There are only so many hours in a day, days in a week, and weeks in a year and there just isn’t time for most women to do all that. Granted, there are a few who manage to pull it off — or at least seem to do it to the outside world.
But, the reality is that most people have skills, abilities, desires, and wants that they never fulfill — women, in part because of their emotional natures, are just made to feel worse about not living up to the hype of what modern feminism says a woman should be.
Where I agree: Yes, women have more expectations now and that can make life difficult. That is, women both internally and societally are expected to do the whole female progenitor life-cycle thing within the male-defined work-cycle. A woman who doesn’t “work” is often viewed with suspicion both by modern men and women who work outside the home.
As a working, professional woman, I can tell you that the expectations grate. I’ve had women judge me for working (a female patient said to me once, as I was taking the practice for my husband who had sprained his ankle), “You’re not leaving your children at home, are you?” I’ve had women judge me when I took time to take care of my babies and then, home school my children one year. Men, too.
So the nearly impossible standards applied culturally–Oprah, Martha Stewart, Rachel Ray–can make a woman feel “less than” no matter what she decides to do.
Where I disagree: This statement rather breezily dismisses the untapped potential of women: ” the reality is that most people have skills, abilities, desires, and wants that they never fulfill”.
Really? Without the biological imperative, men have a freer time of fulfilling their skills, abilities, and desires. What are they denied? Gestating, birthing and nursing a baby is what they’re denied. That’s a huge trade-off, one, as a woman, I would never give away. Still, the reality is this: since I value myself and my children, and how I’m wired and made, I decided to focus on my children for a few years. That, by necessity, slowed my career roll during what would be considered peak professionally creative years. Ten years later, I’m jumping in with both feet while still balancing my child raising concerns–working around a school schedule and cutting hours to be with my pre-school age child. Childhood is fleeting, and I want to be there for it.
Still, I do not have the dichotomy that only a stay-at-home mother can be a good mother. That’s just patently false. Both fathers and mothers can parent a child, even a baby. There are wonderful care-givers who raise children even better than parents. For generations, children have had nannies, grand-parents and other care-givers and most survive just fine. I am not, however, a fan of huge day care centers, but there are even good versions of those.
This all being said, a woman with talents and gifts does NOT have to subsume them to motherhood in order to be a good woman, or a good Christian woman. That is just nonsense. It should be an affront to all men and women that a woman’s talents, gifts and desires can be dismissed as an acceptable trade for a housewife life.
Many women find a way to incorporate their gifts into their family life. Having stayed at home, I can testify to the challenge of managing a house and kids. It is no lie when people say it’s the most difficult job and so many elements of it are beyond a person’s control. That is, a child may cry inconsolably, the house is perpetually being “undone”, dirty laundry self-generates, and all of these things are out of a person’s control. And in today’s society, a woman is alone at home. She can be socially disconnected. The internet has been a huge gift to stay-at-home parents. It’s a connection.
Social isolation and lack of control contribute to unhappiness. Read up on psychologist Seligman’s work in this regard. That’s a stay-at-home parent’s whole lot in life. There is a good reason women at home might be unhappy and the unhappiness increases the more kids a woman has. More kids equals less control. Also, she may be frustrated at her unused talents.
Before the post-war generation, women often worked with men–in the fields, in the tavern, in the store, etc. A woman was not June Cleaver. The industrial age changed a woman’s role. Tasks became divided. A man changed the oil and mowed the lawn. A woman cooked and cleaned. Exclusively.
In this new generation, women are working and rearing kids and doing many things. They may be unhappier than men, but that in no indicates that a woman should be only in the kitchen. Now, if that role fulfills her (and I know that for many women, this is the case) she will contribute mightily to the household.
More women these days are like me. Moving in and out of the workforce around children and going back to work when the kids reach school age. Is it more challenging? Maybe. Not maybe. Absolutely, it is. But would women trade this? I can only speak for myself, but the answer is a resounding “no”.
I have the pleasure of writing, doctoring and being an online activist while also being a mother. I love it all. And many women embrace the freedom to choose these roles.
It should also be noted that with loosening societal strictures, men, too, are becoming more involved in the household tasks and child rearing. That’s all to the good. This too, is not a new phenomenon. In the pre-industrial world, kids knew what dad did because at a certain age, kids helped dad do the work. Kids bond with fathers just as surely as they bond with mothers. It has a different quality, of course, but it’s just as real and necessary.
This is a lot of words to say that I think it’s wrong to dismiss the loss to the individual woman and to society when a woman doesn’t use her gifts and talents just as I think it is a loss to the individual man and to society when a man doesn’t involve himself with his child’s life.
That men would discourage women from using their gifts is patently wrong. That women would discourage men from child-involvement is patently wrong.
If there is one gift the feminist movement gave to society, it’s this: women have the freedom to pursue developing their talents. This societal shift forced men to become more involved (or, it put more burdens on women who don’t hold a man’s feet to the fire). Both men and women have benefited.
Naomi Wolf defended the Muslim veil. This is something I wrote about a couple weeks ago amidst some controversy because I feel that the face covering specifically is wrong for the reasons Phylllis Chesler mentions here:
I know that writers don’t often choose the titles of their articles but your article led your editor to title the piece: “Behind the Veil Lives a Thriving Muslim Sexuality.” I do not want to repeat what I’ve already written but your article asks whether “we in the West (are not) radically misinterpreting Muslim sexual mores?” And, you write that the “Western interpretation of veiling as repression of women and of their sexuality….is not so, (but is rather) rooted in a strong sense of public versus private…what is due to God and what is due to one’s husband.”
This does not sound like a feminist indictment of female genital mutilation, forced veiling, forced illiteracy, forced arranged child marriage, polygamy, normalized daughter- and wife-beating, honor killings, or the torture and murder of so many people, both women and men, in Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sudan, Somalia and Algeria, by Islamists paramilitary forces and by the Islamic government.
You ask that I publish your piece. Indeed, I have already “published” your piece by linking to it in my blog. It is embedded in the piece. Check it out for yourself.
Naomi: Both your generation and my much earlier generation of feminists have failed a universal vision of women’s human rights; most have become multi-cultural relativists and politically correct leftists. Such feminists have been more concerned with the rights of formerly colonized Muslim men than with the rights of formerly colonized and still colonized Muslim women. And, they view America and often Israel as the Evil Empires par excellence and give a free pass to Muslim tyranny.
I have stood almost alone and have been condemned by many for telling the truth about Islamic gender and religious apartheid, and about Israel, anti-Semitism, jihad, and America.
Post-modern feminists are loath to condemn real injustices towards Muslim women. They prefer whitewashing with pap like this from Wolf:
“Many Muslim women I spoke with did not feel at all subjugated by the chador or the headscarf. On the contrary, they felt liberated from what they experienced as the intrusive, commodifying, basely sexualizing Western gaze. … Many women said something like this: …’how tiring it can be to be on display all the time. When I wear my headscarf or chador, people relate to me as an individual, not an object; I feel respected.’ This may not be expressed in a traditional Western feminist set of images, but it is a recognizably Western feminist set of feelings.”
Here’s what I wrote August 19:
It would make sense that Feminists would oppose burqas because they are a tool of oppression for women: that is, burqas are specifically made to make a woman persona non grata. A burqa’s very purpose is to hide the woman and make her invisible as an individual. She is just not there.
But feminists, and liberals in general support the burqa. The woman has a “right to choose”.
Most Muslim girls and women are not given a choice about wearing the chador, burqa, abaya, niqab, jilbab, or hijab (headscarf), and those who resist are beaten, threatened with death, arrested, caned or lashed, jailed, or honor murdered by their own families. Is Wolfe thoroughly unfamiliar with the news coming out of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan on these very subjects? Has she forgotten the tragic, fiery deaths of those schoolgirls in Saudi Arabia who, in trying to flee their burning schoolhouse, were improperly veiled and who were beaten back by the all-powerful Saudi Morality Police?
And this reality is what feminists don’t want to see. They wish to excuse sexist, abusive, raping, and murderous behavior inherent in much of Islamic practice because to be against it would be a tacit approval of Western standards and that simply would not do. It would require a moral choice that would undermine their own criticism of their own patriarchal culture that has long since ceased to be abusive to women. Again, Phyllis says:
Wolf presents the West as anti-woman because it treats women as sex objects. Am I happy about pornography and prostitution in the West? Hell no and, unlike Wolf, I’ve fought against them–but to portray these vices as a “Western” evil, and one that the Islamic world opposes, is sheer madness.
It is well known that the Arabs and Muslims kept and still keep sex slaves–they are very involved in the global trafficking in girls and women and frequent prostitutes on every continent. You will find pornography magazines in every princely tent–those for boys as well as for girls. I am told that the Saudis fly in fresh planeloads of Parisian prostitutes every week. Perhaps they veil them before they conduct their all-night and all-day orgies. Or, perhaps they view them as natural, “infidel” prey.
Naomi Wolf and her American feminist ilk are spoiled rotten grown women who seem to have lost the ability to spot true oppression when it’s right in front of their faces. The burqa has been effective on them, too, evidently. They don’t see the individual under the cover, either. They see their own desires to be judged purely by their brains and accomplishments and long for a way to have their physical imperfections hidden. They see a burqa as a useful feminist tool to achieve that end. What they don’t see is that by being visually invisible, burqa clad women become literally invisible in society, as a cohesive force, as women.
The Feminist’s own callous disregard for the covered and abused women as individuals demonstrates why burqas are an abomination. Perhaps if they saw the bruised, beaten, bleeding, burnt bodies of these women, the torment of women suffering under radical Islam, under the burqa, would be real to them.
My latest Pajamas Media column practically wrote itself this last weekend and could have been twice as long. The column discusses how feminists are a-ok with misogyny as long as conservative women are the recipients. It’s summed up nicely in the bumper sticker, “They’re not women! They’re Republicans!”
I’d like to add a few more examples of the Feminists willful ignorance and determination of silence in the face of injustice. India has experienced a gendercide–that is millions of female babies have been aborted because they’re female. The same thing has been happening in China where single men looking for women become scam victims. All in all, the very tool the Leftist women worship (Bonnie Erbe, “Abortion is a rite of passage”) is used against women to annihilate the “lesser” sex. Leftists will stand around and wonder, however, what happened to 100,000,000 women–that’s the gender disparity now. Don’t say it ladies. Do not say it. Don’t condemn the tool used to create this disparity. And don’t condemn the religious and cultural foundation of hate for women. Don’t do it.
You know those women being stoned in Saudi Arabia for showing ankles? Crickets. You know the women beaten, have acid thrown on them, and are beheaded for shaming a man? Not a word.
No wonder the Feminists are okay with President Obama’s hideous Cairo speech. No wonder they stay silent regarding the hypocrisy of a President Obama’s moral equivalence while he kept his wife out of Egypt and out of a burqua.
And finally, why would Feminist women condemn the cyber-rape of women they believe have it coming when they won’t even defend themselves. Cassy Fiano writes of a Dutch journalist kidnapped and repeatedly raped by Islamists in Afghanistan who then goes on to defend her attackers who “respect her”:
This is a perfect example of the problems with so many liberals today. They are so terrified to call Muslim jihadists what they are — terrorists, murderers, monsters — not because they might be physically harmed in some way, but because they might be branded intolerant. People like Joanie de Rijke don’t look at themselves as sufferers of Stockholm Syndrome, they look at themselves as righteous and intellectual and open-minded and modern. What Mrs. de Rijke, along with so many others on the left, do not understand is that we do not call Muslim thugs and murderers (like the coward who abducted and raped her) monsters or terrorists simply because they are Muslim. We call them monsters or terrorists because they are murderers, rapists, and terrorists. Unfortunately, situations like this are black and white, even though liberals love the idea of moral relativism. There are no shades of grey. Murder is murder, just like rape is rape. A rapist cannot “respect” you, and rape is not something beyond a man’s control simply because of his “high testosterone”.
Also interesting is de Rijke’s description of Gul as a religious man, yet also a hypocritical one. She, of course, is holding Gul to Judeo-Christian religious standards, not Islamic ones. The truth of the matter is, that his actions would indeed be considered hypocritical (and monstrous) by Judeo-Christian standards. By Islamic standards, they are not only not hypocritical, they are expected and acceptable. Muslims are commanded in the Koran to rape and kill infidels, and de Rijke would be considered an infidel. Of course, that little nugget of truth does not fit very neatly into her enlightened liberal worldview, so she ignores it.
So backward and insane are feminists that they will abuse themselves, abuse other women, and annihilate their own gender to serve the ideology that there is no right or wrong and that there is no one better or worse. The only sin is the sin of judgment and intolerance. And these women are willing to tolerate nearly anything except anyone who points out the limitation of their belief system.
Please read the column here.
Addendum: Yesterday night, Media Lizzy and I talked about feminism, beautiful women, sex and much more on my radio show for RFC radio called Right Doctor. You can listen Monday and Wednesday nights and chat with me from 10 – 11 EST, 9 CST, or catch the podcast from iTunes. Subscribe to The Right Doctor on iTunes.
Megan Carpentier editor of Jezebel contacted me and noted that she had written about the Playboy article. I had read her post but didn’t link the article since the website itself seemed more of a fashion and style website. Upon further investigation, the site covers news of the day, too. Megan deserves credit for giving voice to what many self-professed pro-women refused to do: condemn sexism. Read her piece here.