Tag Archives: Pseudo-Feminist

Sarah Palin, You’ve Left Me Speechless

Katie Couric, nice work. Look at these journalists asking questions, and REASKING them when they aren’t answered. It’s like we have a free press, dontcha know.




Filed under election 2008

It’s Witchcraft

Did you see the Sarah Palin witchcraft video?

Of course you did.

But did you see her short commentary on the whole thing just two months ago?

Apparently, before going into her whole “red-headed Sasquatch for Jesus” bit, which I posted on a couple of weeks ago, she commented on Pastor Munthee’s blessing (if that’s the right word for it).

In an earlier excerpt from that video (shown in this Keith Olbermann clip) she seems amused by this witch hunter’s prayer for her success in politics. In her words: “He’s so bold he’s praying…Lord, make a way. Lord, make a way. And I’m thinking this guy is really bold. He doesn’t know what I’m going to do. He doesn’t know what my plans are…”

Yeah, neither do we.

Maybe it is witchcraft.


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Filed under election 2008, Uncategorized

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.


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Filed under African Americans, election 2008, race, women

No Victims Here (But One Big Whiner, Phyllis Schlafly)

“Is this Feminism?” That’s how the San Francisco Chronicle headlined this weekend’s Insight, a special Sunday pullout section, focused on women’s reactions to Sarah Palin. Then they featured an op-ed by (cue groan) Phyllis Schlafly.

Here is a small sample:

The bad attitude of victimhood is indoctrinated in students by the bitter feminist faculty in university women’s studies courses and even in some law schools. Victimhood is nurtured and exaggerated by feminist organizations using their tactic called “consciousness raising,” i.e., retelling horror stories about how badly some women have been treated until small personal annoyances grow into societal grievances.

How is it that agents of change, like feminists, are branded victims by conservatives like Schlafly? Aren’t action and whining complete opposites?

I know of no progressive women who carve a life out of whining; as jke notes in an earlier post here, the media hungers truly for traitors.

I’m not sure Schlafly would be a household name, however, if she wasn’t tapped over and again to berate feminism. So you could say that Schlafly, and women like her, owe their lives to feminism.

Read the response to Schlafly by Caille Millner here.


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Filed under election 2008, women

Straw Women Feminists Hate Sarah Palin

Every day I get a google news alert, set to collect each news item that uses the term “feminist.” Since McCain tapped Palin for VP, my alerts have been really depressing. Sure, I knew that people regularly disparaged feminists as sexless baby killers (isn’t that a contradiction in terms, btw?), but it still startles me to see such characterizations pop up in my inbox every day, grouped under the heading “news.”

The straw woman feminist, that monolith man-hater, rears her ugly head in much of what I read. Here is one example from yesterday’s San Francisco Chronicle:

The sexist tenor of the attacks on Palin is only furthering this process. Some of the worst comments have emanated from self-professed feminists who seem to resent the path Palin has taken in life, even as it parallels their own. The always independent-minded Camille Paglia is a notable exception, but by and large, the liberal, female establishment has turned on Palin . Never mind that Palin — with an amazing record of professional accomplishment, a happy marriage, and five beautiful children — is the personification of the feminist “women can have it all” ideal.

What all the attackers have in common is an almost pathological hatred and attendant desire to project upon Palin all of their worst fears, prejudices[.]

Where is the liberal female establishment? Can I find these women somewhere and invite them to dinner? Are they buying up temples across town, like the freemasons of yore, and just didn’t invite me?

Seriously, feminists that actually exist haven’t “turned on” Palin. All of the criticism I’ve seen has suggested that writers are simply livid that a woman like Palin is appropriating our name and our work to promote an essentially anti-feminist platform. To my mind, it’s like a white supremicist applying for membership in the NAACP: shockingly offensive.

May I point out too that feminists (academic feminists, at least) are the last people who will say that women can have it all? Indeed, feminist professors have spilled a lot of ink showing how women’s entry into the workforce has increased the amount of work that they do, as it hasn’t resulted in less housework or childcare hours.

Palin’s life has no parallel to my own, and I feel no connection to her. I’m the daughter of a brown-skinned immigrant single mother who calls herself a feminist because she is one. I know a lot of women like her, and frankly, none like Palin, or like the straw woman “liberal female establishment” evoked above.



Filed under election 2008

Why Are Feminists Afraid of Palin?

As blog administrators, we can see the search engine queries driving people to our site. “Why feminists fear Palin” is one of the queries I’ve seen in recent days, so I’d like to answer that question directly.

Feminism has a specific definition: advocating for the freedom and rights of women.

As a pro-lifer, Palin is against one of the key tenants of feminism: that women control their bodies without state interference.

Call yourself a pro-life feminist if you’d like, but that’s a contradiction in terms. There is no way around this requirement to be pro-choice if you are a feminist.

You can be a feminist if you believe life begins at conception. You just can’t advocate imposing that belief on other women via the state, forcing thousands of thousands of women to have unwanted children or back-alley abortions, and still call yourself a feminist.

I’ve never been a fan of wishy-washy multiculturalism, with its emphasis on inclusiveness and tolerance. I blame multiculturalism, in part, for the rhetorical troubles we are having today, right now, in our discussion of Palin.

Multiculturalism gave entire generations (including mine) the impression that eating Thai food was a way to fight for social justice.

It also gave the impression that feminism could stretch to mean anything, and include anyone. As the examples of Palin, Paglia, and Bruce all confirm, it can’t.

Feminism doesn’t mean whatever you want it to mean.

I pray women like these three think of another, more honest label for themselves, so I won’t ever have to mention their names and feminism in the same sentence again.


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Filed under election 2008, Social Justice

Everybody loves a traitor

I just raised my blood pressure significantly by reading Camille Paglia’s characteristically asinine, incoherent and grandiose column at Salon, about how great and feminist Sarah Palin is. What about all the conservative positions she has taken that directly conflict Paglia’s avowed libertarianism? That doesn’t matter, because Paglia just doesn’t believe anything she reads about Palin’s record since it’s all Left propaganda. I guess it’s easy to declare Palin a feminist if you decide to ignore everything she’s ever said or done. And although Paglia is pro-choice, Palin’s ultra pro-life position doesn’t bother her either, because the Left needs to accept that the Right has the moral high ground here. (And how is that pro-choice, exactly? Nevermind, I don’t even want to know.)

I suppose it’s not really a surprise that Paglia would trot out this tired pseudo-feminist nonsense. First Bruce, now Paglia. Who’s next, Kate Roiphe? Whenever the going has gotten rough in the last twenty years for the Right, they have latched on to women who would espouse all their values in seeming contradiction to their own best interests. During the 1980s culture wars it was so-called feminists like Paglia who insisted that women brought their troubles on themselves, in the 1990s it was ‘third wave’ lightweights like Roiphe who…oh wait, her argument was the same as Paglia’s, wasn’t it? Then we got Bush’s handmaiden, Condaleeza Rice, always on hand to make a good argument for bombing the shit out of brown people. The Right simply couldn’t function at this point without emissaries from oppressed groups spouting their nonsense.

As long as you can get huge amounts of attention from saying exactly what people think you wouldn’t say, there will be people like Paglia lining up to take the most ‘surprising’ and ‘interesting’ positions and calling them feminist or Left or progressive. If you espouse actual feminist positions, on the other hand, just try getting into the NYT. Who cares–you’re just another feminist woman on the Left, and mainstream papers aren’t much interested in printing feminist analysis anyway.

As for Paglia, I’m with one of her commentors, Francesca:

Why is this woman still writing for Salon? She is self aggrandizing, and deluded. Her voice is not meaningful to women. She is a total drag.



Filed under election 2008