Monday, June 13, 2011

The Feminist Ruse

Let’s say you’re a committed feminist setting off on a recruiting drive. What should you tell young women to draw them to your cause?

Given the interests of young women, you would do best to tell them that if they follow the feminist way of life they will end up with a happy marriage and domestic bliss.

But then you need to explain how they can do this by putting career first.

It may seem counterintuitive, or downright absurd, but as a feminist recruiter you want to tell women that once they become perfectly independent and autonomous, equal to men in every way, they will be less needy and less dependent, thus,  more likely to be loved for themselves, less likely to be taken as sexual objects.

Let’s grant this argument a certain seductive force. It had better be seductive because any young woman with a modicum of sense would look to recent American history, identify the greatest of feminist heroines, Hillary Clinton, and conclude that the feminist siren song is nothing  more than a ruse.

If a young woman is tempted to see Bill Clinton as an anomaly Maureen Dowd will set her straight.

In her most recent column Dowd tells us that many men who have married incredibly wonderful, independent, accomplished, feminist women, have, subsequently, in Dowd’s phrase, dated down.

From John Edwards to Arnold Schwarzenegger to Anthony Weiner... we might even add Mark Sanford, except that his paramour was apparently accomplished in her own right.

Here Dowd was faced with two possible explanations.

First: Perhaps, feminism got it wrong. Perhaps, feminists did not really understand men or did not care to understand men. Perhaps. feminists were peddling falsehoods in order to lure women into their cause.

None of these satisfies Maureen Dowd. No, siree.

Dowd digs deep into her mental arsenal to arrive at the perfect explanation, the one that answers all your doubts. Men do as they do because they are “dogs.”

Which is what feminists believed from the beginning. They may not have gotten the men, but they now have irrefutable proof that they were right all along. Do not underestimate the power of feeling you were right.

Now we have a new group of feminist heroines. Let’s call them the Wronged Wives Club. From founding member Hillary Clinton, they include the late Elizabeth Edwards, Jenny Sanford, Silda Spitzer, Maria Shriver, and Huma Abedin.

In all of these cases, as soon as a man is shown to have dated down, the press will be filled with encomia about the extraordinary wonderfulness of his wronged wife.

There is no possible way that a sensate human being could prefer the maid to Maria Shriver. No man who has anything going on between his ears could prefer Lisa Weiss to Huma Abedin, Monica Lewinsky to Hillary Clinton, Rielle Hunter to Elizabeth Edwards.

These men are nothing but dogs.

And yet, the down-market women these men lusted after are women too. Don’t they also belong to the sisterhood?

If they do, then, as James Taranto noted on Friday, feminism has “created a female class war.” Link here.

In his words: “At the same time, by denying the differences between men and women, it [feminism] has turned the battle of the sexes into a female class war, with high-status women on one side and low-status but attractive ones on the other. Maureen Dowd and Lisa Weiss may both be liberals, but they are anything but allies. The sisterhood has made them into enemies.”

FYI: Lisa Weiss is the Las Vegas blackjack dealer with whom Anthony Weiner was conducting one of his virtual sexual relations.

We will not even bother to ask how all of these spectacular women managed to marry dogs. Dowd would probably answer that reality forces women to choose between dogs and permanent singlehood. .

How does it happen that these women, respendant in lives that perfectly embody the feminist ideal, find themselves in the Wronged Wives Club?

Do you honestly think that the fault lies entirely on one side of the barrier that divides the sexes? That would be naive, indeed.

Feminism has insisted that it alone knows how women should best conduct their relationships. In its contemporary incarnation it has given out extraordinarily bad relationship advice. Wouldn’t it be reasonable to think that its relationship policy agenda nudged or pushed each of these husbands to get in touch with his inner dog?

Here are the basic tenets of the feminist relationship policy agenda:

1. Put your feminine mystique in a lockbox.  

If the feminine mystique is a sign of female servitude, a woman should repudiate it, forcefully.

But, what happens to a man when he is radically deprived of feminine charm.

He feels that he is starving and goes out looking for crumbs. Apparently, it is not very difficult to find some.

One day when he was asked why he did not cheat on his wife, Paul Newman responded that he had no reason to go out for hamburger when he could have steak at home.

Now we have a group of men who get neither steak nor hamburger at home, but who must content themselves with going out for buns.

2. Turn your home into a laboratory for social justice.

Feminism has always tried to produce a strictly egalitarian division of household labor.

Think of a man who is working late with his management team on a major project. His wife calls to berate him about forgetting to put his dishes in the sink or not changing his fair share of diapers. She has been keeping count.

The stressed-out executive tries to recover his focus by making an offhand remark about his wife’s call.

A comely female junior assistant in the corner of the room pipes up: If you were mine, I would never let you change a diaper.

He may or may not take up the offer, but surely he has just discovered that a relationship with a woman is not the same as a relationship with a feminist zealot.

His marriage is now in trouble.

3. Reject the stereotypical role of homemaker.

A man might well be married, but his wife is never home. If she is not traveling around the world with her female boss, she is working all the time.

Not only is she never home, but she has never bothered to make a home for him.

I will not belabor you with a discussion of what a home feels and looks like when it reflects a woman’s wish to make a home.

And I will not burden you with a discussion of a woman’s nesting instinct. The feminists would say that it is a patriarchal plot.

As it happens, feminism told women that there was something that was even worse than being a housewife: being a homemaker.

So, a man gets home after a hard day’s work, and he does not feel a woman’s touch or a woman’s presence.

How does that make him feel? Alone and rejected, for sure. Emasculated, perhaps.

If he is looking for a woman’s presence as well as a cure for his feelings of having been unmanned, if his initials are AW he knows where he can display his manhood to women who think he’s really the dude.

So far, so good. But what are we to do with the fact that many of these cheating husbands are proud feminists themselves.

This means that they cannot allow themselves to think that their disquietude about their marriages, their feelings of anomie when they walk through the door at night, might result from the fact that their wives are following the feminist relationship manual.

Failing to identify the problem, unable to admit that they are feeling deprived of a woman’s presence, they act out. And they act out in a way that makes them look bad. How selfless can you get.

They know that they look bad; they must know that they are going to get caught. But they do it in a way that will make them look so bad that it will make their wives look good. Worse yet, they will do it in a way that seems to confirm the feminist judgment that all men are dogs.

All of this was well and good.  But then... along came Sarah Palin.

Sarah Palin does not fit the narrative. She does not confirm the party line. In fact, her presence, her aura, her feminine charms, have taken up a comfortable residence in a woman who is strong, powerful, and accomplished.

Since reality can never be allowed to get in the way of ideology, feminists and their male enablers have had to demonize Palin, to make her a complete bimbo, an utter fool and idiot, to denigrate her professional achievements, the better to show that the men who desired her were lusting down.

Sarah Palin’s life suggests that a woman can be accomplished and attractive, but only if she rejects the policy recommendations of the feminist sisterhood.

Feminists have fought back against Palin with a vengeance. They are not going to let Sarah Palin make them look like fools.

No siree, Mo.

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