DISCLAIMER: This commentary does NOT apply to all women, or even most. It is about that small percentage of radical feminists that rise from the edges of the political left, which is currently sucking the vital juices of democracy from the namesake Democratic Party.
Pity this commentator. I am about to enter the world of sacred cows (sorry for the pun). In this case, I will deal with the broad (damn those puns) issue of Women’s rights from the battleground of left-wing feminism.
Oh, I know, as a male – especially of the older white variety – I am disqualified to participate in the national dialogue about women – or anything else for that matter. To the ladies of the radical left, I will be scolded as a chauvinist, misogynist, sexist, Neanderthal – and those will be before the pejoratives get ugly.
As a white male conservative, I am excluded from the protections of identity politics and live outside the boundaries of political correctness. While I must treat women, blacks, Hispanics, Asians and gays (all of whom I deeply respect) with all the deference, care and concern one usually affords a badly injured person lying in the street, we men are fair game for political muggings on a daily basis. In the brave new world of victimization politics and liberal feminist doctrine, men like me are the arch villains. Consequently, we can be attacked with abandon from political platforms and in the mainstream media as a matter of course. In the world of the newly advanced doctrine of microaggression, we are deemed to be aggressors by genetic predetermination.
I repeatedly hear radical feminists lay all the problems of society on the male psyche. Feminists on social media gave rousing cheers to the contention of Professor Suzanna Danuta Walters, of Northeastern University in Boston (that figures), who wrote an opinion article published in the Washington Post (that figures, too) contending that women have a right to hate men. Not just a reason, as if that is not a bad enough, but a right. Next, it will be a duty. And what has become of journalism that a major newspaper – albeit the Washington Post – publishes hate speech?
Oh! You should know that Walters is the Director of the school’s Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies Program. What kind of malignant teaching goes on about women from the perspective of a professor who hates all men?
And how should women manifest this hatred for men? Well, Walters tells us. We men should only vote for feminists. Never for a man for any reason. We should not even run for public office. And those of us with male genitalia who may currently hold “positions of power” should resign. “Don’t be in charge of anything,” says Walters.
Walters is not suffering from “Trump Derangement Syndrome.” She confesses to having had these thoughts long before the 2016 election. That is even scarier. She said, “Maybe it is time to go Thelma and Louise and Foxy Brown on their collective butts.” – an allusion to movie characters who are celebrated by feminists after the screen ladies resort to murder and robbery to seek vengeance on men who treated them very badly – including rape. Is Walters suggesting that all men deserve to be killed?
I am not sure what Walters was thinking in mentioning Foxy Brown, who was twice arrested and once jailed for violently attacking … women. Perhaps Walters is just a big fan of violence in general.
Somehow, I missed man-hatred as an inalienable right in my reading of the Constitution – and I was led to believe that taking the law in one’s own hands was a very bad thing to do. When in our culture, did hating people become acceptable, a good thing? As is too often the case with the far left, Walters condones bad anti-social behavior while giving it false legitimacy under the mantle of academia. Despite her faux intellectualism, Walter’s call to hatred is the equivalent of gratuitously screaming out the n-word at a group of blacks standing on a street corner.
Make no mistake, sexual harassment, sexual blackmail, sexual assault and rape are justifiably among our society’s most heinous crimes. But most men are honest, good citizens, great fathers, loving husbands. Maybe Walters is one of those who seem to be attracted to the bad dudes.
I wonder why these widely reported and promoted outbreaks of feminine protest are always the product of left wing feminism. You know, those feminist ladies on the left that are an integral part of the Democratic Party base. Oh, I know that there is a scattering of Republican women in the ranks to be propped up to give an appearance of a broader coalition, but conservative women do not share the same values as the so-called feminist movement – and it would seem there are more of them than the radical feminists.
I cannot help but think, however, that the greater feminist movement today is doing what it has done in the past. It might be described as an unintended consequence of those periodic “Years of the Women.” It may actually be making women look … well … weak – constantly in need of special protections and safeguards. A permanent class of socially and genetically disabled victims who cannot survive in normal society without special care and consideration.
Despite this, I am certain that the hardline feminist will bend my views as some form of retaliatory woman hatred. Au contraire! I am an admirer of strong women. I was raised by a very strong woman. I have worked for and beside strong women, and only hired women I considered competent, professional and strong-minded. I never admired or hired anyone I saw as a “yes woman” – or anyone who saw themselves a perpetual victim of the vicissitudes of society based on their gender.
To me, the strong woman is the one who stands up bravely to hardship and who works hard to achieve her goals and successes without the whimpers and whining that so often characterizes the left-wing feminists.
The strong woman does not need “safe spaces” to serve as a womb protecting them from the realities of life in the real world. They do not need “quiet rooms” where the constitutional freedom of speech is suspended so that there “never is heard a discouraging word.”
To me, a strong woman is not traumatized by a pat on the fanny, an unsolicited kiss or the complimentary catcalls and wolf whistles of construction workers. They know how to handle boorish behavior. Elevating such behavior to the level of criminal sexual assault exposes a sense of excessive vulnerability and victimization that is not consistent with personal strength. In claiming such actions are tantamount to rape is not only nonsense, but it does a great disservice by equivocating bad social manners to serious crimes. It demeans the victims of real sexual violence or intimidation.
Recently, the well-deserved promotion of Major General Ryan Gonsalves to a third star rank was put on hold so that he could be fully investigated for calling a young female Democrat congressional staffer by the once-considered endearing term of “sweetheart.” She posted on Facebook that because of his comment, he was the wrong man to receive that promotion. In other words, his long, courageous and distinguished service to this nation should be brushed aside because of the opinion of an apparently overly sensitive young lady steep in the traditions of feminist victimization. While she may be a heroine to the radical fringe feminist types, to me her response suggests weakness.
Marching, shouting and demanding are not, in and of themselves, measures of strength. It is the nature of the cause that gives relevancy to such actions. Standing up to injustice, as was seen in the civil rights movement and the efforts to secure the vote for women, is not the same as complaining about things that one might find personally offensive – while others may not.
I also do not see strength in the surrender to crudity and vulgarity. Women wearing mock vaginas and “pussy” hats that are a reference to a pejorative for the female sex organ may attract attention, but it does not make women appear ready for serious public policy participation.
To put this into partisan perspective, Republican women led the fight for the abolition of slavery and the right to vote. These were strong women going against the culture of the day to end real injustices. Today’s Democratic Party feminism is about identity politics – creating divisions based on political benefit rather than worthy causes.
The alleged enemy of feminism is sexism – basing opinions, attitudes and decisions on a person’s gender. The liberal feminist movement flies under the banner of “equal rights” when it demands and expects special privilege. This need for special treatment suggests an inability to achieve on an equal basis – a weakness, not a strength.
One of the resume boosters in the Chicago Police Department is to take first place in the physical testing. I had a good friend who came in second behind a woman, even though her requirements in every category were significantly lower than his. Feminism demanded that male and female recruits be pitted against each other, but the rules were bent to accommodate the generally weaker physique of women. Is that a demonstration of equality or a show of weakness?
The “snowflakes” was a name given to those who went far beyond disappointment in the results of the 2016 presidential election. It was an appellation to those who manifested a hysterical response, driving them into an irrational state of depression and dysfunction. Having watched the phenomenon played out on many of the cable news networks, it seemed that most of the emotional meltdowns were on the part of women. Make no mistake, there were plenty of men disappointed and even angry, but they did not grovel for emotional comfort like many of the women.
Even the “Me Too” movement has been undermined by those women who live up to the appellation as the “weaker sex.” The women who have suffered job loss, lack of promotions or other sexual intimidations have stories worthy of telling and being considered. Those who have suffered rape by force, coercion, intimidation, blackmail or incapacity to respond have serious stories to tell. This is not true, however, of those who pile on the movement with claims of being fanny patted or groped long before the statute of limitations expired – even if it did rise to the level of a crime, which in most of these cases it did not.
Hardcore feminists are even willing to set aside the Constitution and the rule of law to claim special consideration. One of the more disturbing aspects of the #MeToo movement is that the word of a woman should be taken not only seriously – as in checking out the facts — but should be accepted as truthful. Some of the more extreme left-wing feminists have openly argued that the rules of evidence should be set aside. They say that it is better to have a man suffer wrongful accusation than to let a guilty man go free for lack of evidence. They completely overturn our basic concept of innocence until PROVEN guilty.
The weakness of the left-wing feminist movement is that it shamelessly uses sexism in fighting what they claim to be sexism.
Now for the good news. The vast majority of women are NOT radical feminists. Outside of a little inter-gender good-natured teasing, they get along in life quite well – and they get along with we men. They love their sons, fathers and husbands. They live in the real world, not the fictional dark world of perma-victimization feminist fantasy. As the French say, !