Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Gee. What an Honor!

I think feminists are being nicely demonized in this new Maureen Dowd lunatic rant:

But even as Obama was trying to savor, Hillary was refusing to sever. Ignoring the attempts of Obama and his surrogates to graciously say how "extraordinary" she was as they showed her the exit, she and a self-pitying Bill continued to pull focus. Outside Baruch College, where she was to speak, her fierce feminist supporters screamed "Denver! Denver! Denver!"

Bolding is mine. What did you take away from that piece? That there are no fierce feminists supporting Barack Obama? Katha Pollitt doesn't count? Eve Ensler doesn't count? Barbara Ehrenreich doesn't count? Amanda Marcotte doesn't count? Ann Friedman doesn't count? All those women and men who are feminists and who have worked for Obama's campaign don't count?

Of course Maureen Dowd is not a feminist herself. Her inability to see anything wrong with this sentence shows it very clearly:

For months, Hillary has been trying to emasculate Obama with the sort of words and themes she has chosen, stirring up feminist anger by promoting the idea that the men were unfairly taking it away from the women, and covering up her own campaign mistakes with cries of sexism. Even his ability to finally clinch the historic nomination did not stop her in that pursuit. She did not bat her eyelashes at him and proclaim him Rhett Butler instead of Ashley Wilkes.

Poor, poor Maureen. Feminism is all about emasculating men, wearing those pink gelding scissors at your belt, as all fashion magazines dictate. And politics is really nothing but retelling Gone With The Wind.

Perhaps this is the pearl in Dowd's latest outcry:

Either way, by broadcasting that she's open to being Obama's running mate, she puts public pressure on him similar to the sort of pressure Walter Mondale was under from rampaging feminists when he put Geraldine Ferraro on the ticket. Mondale ended up seeming henpecked, as Obama would seem if he caved to the women who say they will write in Hillary's name or vote for anti-choice McCain before they'd vote for Obama.

Now the feminists are rampaging. Earlier they were just screaming and fierce. And then they henpecked poor Walter Mondale. The way to look manly is by locking all your women up and by not letting them ever get close enough to men with those gelding scissors. Sigh. Of course Dowd herself emasculates every single male columnist by coming across so fierce and rampaging, and her next column should really be about how she should not be allowed to do that as it will cause the sales of Viagra among pundits to skyrocket.

Why am I writing about poor and deluded Maureen Dowd? Because her thesis encapsulates much of what I read every day: a certain kind of trivialization of feminism as unimportant, as having to do with shrieking women of a particularly illogical kind. Every day I read jokes about too many women crying sexism the way we usually say that someone cries wolf. Every day I see the threshold get lowered on what is acceptable to say about sexism as just another fun move.

No doubt something similar will be done to racism in the near future, to the detriment of all of us. But I don't think people on the left think of racism as something only shrieking or rampaging people oppose, or as something that's kind of fun to crack jokes about.