The Audacity of Entitlement

It was only a matter of time.

Rebecca Walker- self-anointed mother of the naval-gazing third-wave feminism that we so dislike here at Across the Pond – posted on Palin Power today over at the Huffington Post.

I posted on the similarities between Palin and Walker’s weak brand of feminism almost immediately after Palin hit the scene. It seems that Walker also sees striking similarities between her experiences as a feminist and Palin’s rise to the top.

Walker claims that feminists who just can’t get with the fact that not all feminists are “progressive” have maligned her and Palin. Now, we like to think that feminism is progressive by definition, but according to Walker, we’re wrong.

Of course, Walker has seized on this historic moment in US political history to talk about her pain at being rejected by 2,000 participants at the National Women’s Studies Association annual meeting a couple of years ago. They didn’t like her talk and suggested to readers of their newsletter that Walker is not actually very feminist. What did Walker do? What any hard-working, grass roots, in-the-trenches feminist would do – she threatened to sue.

It couldn’t be that 2,000 women were right to be pissed of at her, just like it can’t be that mobs of women who are pissed off at the blatant tokenism, co-optation and distortion of feminism that resulted in Palin’s nomination can’t be right either. There can’t be something wrong with Walker’s or Palin’s politics…it must be us.

Walker embraces her shared victimhood with Palin and then blames feminists for it all. She warned us about all of this 15 years ago, she writes, and what did she get in response: “I’ve been attacked, undermined, and politically abused by some of the very women I sought to serve.”

Sought to serve?


Real feminists, and women with any shred of dignity, don’t get all petulant when the people they “seek to serve” don’t bow at their feet. By the way, real feminists understand the problematic power dynamics that are reflected in the phrase “women I sought to serve.”

I am a feminist woman in her thirties and I have always found Walker’s brand of feminism to be vapid and slight compared to the work of other feminist women, and not just the feminist icons that Walker always alludes to in the hope that it will get her more press. I’m talking about my mother and those millions of women who are deeply engaged in feminist practice – not “just” ideology – without always looking around for a pat on the head or some other nauseating form of approval.

Walker’s critique is as superficial as Palin’s lipstick.


Bookmark and Share


Leave a comment

Filed under African Americans, election 2008, race, women

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s