Last night, I was at Room 5 to see Populuxe, probably the best unsigned band ever,* and I had one of those things where all I could think about was how happy I was right at that specific point in time. I don’t believe that art can be perfect, but I do believe that some art is perfect for some people, and to me, Populuxe is perfect. For the duration of their set, they made me happy, and the friendly & intimate club that is Room 5 made me happy, and my companions made me happy. And I thought that after the show was over, I would go home with Spooney and sit by the pond with a nightcap and a smoke and think about how goddamn fucking lucky I have been in my life.
And I try to feel fortunate that I can experience such contentment ever, and not sad that those feelings are ephemeral, and as easily dissipated as the flicking on of the television dissipates the quiet, or the opening of the Wall Street Journal Online dissipates my self-composure.
Or, to the point, I hate being told why I hate someone, especially by the Wall Street Journal.
Look, you know, WSJ, I appreciate that your grasp of feminism is tenuous at best, but I just don’t think that you should take these kind of wild stabs at the issue of why feminists have a problem with Sarah Palin. It makes you look like some kind of New York elitist publication whose only real interest is in making sure that people with money become people with more money, which I’m sure is not your intent at all.
Still, a lot can be learned about a society by looking at the faces that it chooses to present.
When motion pictures first started to appear in theatres all across this country, blacks had to content themselves with film representations that portrayed them as servile, stupid, fearful, lazy, and corrupt. I imagine that while it must have been thrilling for a black moviegoer to see the rare black actor on the screen in their local theatre, that thrill would’ve likely been tempered by a great deal of bitterness at the unfairness of that representation.
Similarly, until gay characters appeared openly in film, which is a very recent occurrence indeed, gays would’ve had to learn to embrace the bigoted portrayals of their closeted selves, and also the cinematic plots that more than likely made gay characters the victims of degradation, violence, and suicide.
Richard Pryor once challenged the black community for lamenting that then-heavyweight champion Leon Spinks, mentally and dentally challenged as he was, was not a suitable representation of black
But times have changed. A lone black sports figure no longer has to shoulder the entire mantle of black citizenship. And women no longer have to settle for an Uncle Tom in lipstick.
This is a point lost on Cathy Young of the Wall Street Journal, however. She begins her article by denouncing “left-wing feminists,” but then immediately abandons the phrase in favor of, simply, “feminists,” which frankly, says more about her than I could ever manage to summon here, long-winded though I be.
She also manages to conjure a sexist stereotype of feminists in record time, contending by only the second sentence that Palin’s candidacy has left us “unhinged.”
Oh, if only I were merely “unhinged.” What I am, bitch, is fucking pissed.
What she hasn’t considered, perhaps, is that it’s not Palin herself who has invoked such a strong reaction among feminists, it’s the absolutely dumbfounding event of Republicans 1) suddenly deciding that sexism exists, and 2) accusing the Democrats of being the primary culprits of its perpetuation!
And in a similarly stunning turn of events, Ms. Young places the blame for sexism in the 2008 election squarely at the feet of…feminists. I’m not kidding:
You'd think that, whether or not they agree with her politics, feminists would at least applaud Mrs. Palin as a living example of one of their core principles: a woman's right to have a career and a family. Yet some feminists unabashedly suggest that her decision to seek the vice presidency makes her a bad and selfish mother. Others argue that she is bad for working mothers because she's just too good at having it all.
Oh, is it feminists who suggest that she’s a bad mother for having a career? Are you sure about that, Ms. Young?
And do feminists say she’s bad for working mothers not because her policies don’t support working mothers, but because “she’s just too good at having it all”?
Is Young saying that feminists are jealous of Palin? If not, then what the hell IS she saying?
Well, don’t look for the next paragraph to make her thesis any more credible:
Mrs. Palin's marriage actually makes her a terrific role model. One of the best choices a woman can make if she wants a career and a family is to pick a partner who will be able to take on equal or primary responsibility for child-rearing. Our culture still harbors a lingering perception that such men are less than manly -- and who better to smash that stereotype than "First Dude" Todd Palin?
Oh my god, I love that 2nd sentence. It’s so awesomely intellectually retarded in, mmm, just so many ways. Because where women are going wrong, apparently, is not making good enough “choices” when it comes to their partners. See, if I had just picked a dude like Todd Palin, I also could have five kids and a political career! So, choose better, bitches!
Ms. Young then takes issue with an opposing viewpoint from Katherine Marsh of the
[Not to] Ms. Marsh, who insists that feminism must demand support for women from the government.
Um, the last time I looked, the government was the one making the laws.
In this worldview, advocating more federal subsidies for institutional day care is pro-woman; advocating tax breaks or regulatory reform that would help home-based care providers -- preferred by most working parents -- is not. Trying to legislate away the gender gap in earnings (which no self-respecting economist today blames primarily on discrimination) is feminist. Expanding opportunities for part-time and flexible jobs is "the Republican Party line."
I disagree with Sarah Palin on a number of issues, including abortion rights. But when the feminist establishment treats not only pro-life feminism but small-government, individualist feminism as heresy, it writes off multitudes of women.
Oh, my lord. I’ve got to start making lists now.
1. Look at the first sentence above. Young is asserting that federal subsidies are big government, but tax breaks and regulatory reform are small government. Can anyone please explain this to me? Oh, and by the way, feminists don’t oppose tax breaks and regulatory reform.
2. No self-respecting economist blames the gender gap primarily on discrimination? Well, it all depends on what the meaning of discrimination is, don’t it? Is discrimination limited to cases where two people doing the same job are paid unequally, or does is also mean that a woman never even gets a chance to do that job? Because I guarantee you that both instances are alive and well in this country, no thanks to John McCain, by the way, who opposed equal pay legislation named after the woman for whom the gap could most definitely have been legislated away. I guess self-respecting economists forgot to speak to her.
3. And again, who are these feminists, who are opposing part-time and flexible jobs? I think they must exist only in this writer’s imagination. Maybe she’s becoming unhinged.
4. See how quickly she breezes right by “abortion rights”? It’s just “abortion rights,” that’s all. It’s just that they don’t want women to have abortions. Such a little thing, when you think about it. Just no abortions - it isn’t that much to ask, really. Especially when there’s no rape involved. Although if there is, just to be clear…still no abortions. Okay? That’s all. Stop talking about the circumstances of your life, because you seem to not understand that they have no bearing on the issue. Just no abortions, and carrying every child conceived inside your body to term, no matter what your physical or mental circumstances, or whether your life is endangered, or whether it’s the child of a man who raped you, or was your father, or both. Just no abortions, okay? Are we all on board yet?
And lastly, Young warns feminists that by rejecting Palin, we are writing off multitudes of pro-life and small-government women. That is such an understatement! There are so many other groups we are writing off as well! Groups such as:
-Mothers for Shotgun Weddings
-The Russia-adjacent Neighborhood Council
-Earmark Lovers of
-Abortion Clinic Protesters Anonymous
-The Ladies Auxiliary Reichstag for Book Banning, and their sister group Librarian Harassers Local 31
-The Fraternal Order of Gay Haters
-Kappa Kappa Kreationism
And the list can only grow from here, readers.
*Except my boyfriend’s band, of course.