« BACK  |  PRINT

RS

MEMBER DIARY

Feminism’s Last Chance for Legitimacy

Be careful for what you wish. The fem blogs finally noticed the craziness going down in South Carolina. Rather than use this as an opportunity to attack the establishment good ol’ boy network, they question if the allegations were true.

Note the Jezebel‘s headline, which is the only fem outlet to cover this story the entire time, “Nikki Haley Refuses Polygraph.”

An article on The Daily Beast makes my skin crawl. This is exactly the type of journalism propels me to fight feminists:

Granted, Haley has a hypocrisy problem: Like Mark Sanford, the adulterous and love-sick Republican governor she’s trying to replace, Haley is one of those preachy “family values” conservatives who seem to think the rules apply to everyone but themselves. In a May TV ad, Sarah Palin is seen describing Haley as “a strong pro-family, pro-life…conservative reformer.” A campaign flyer announces that Haley “supports traditional, family values,” and in her latest TV spot, produced after the sex scandal broke, Haley introduces her silent and slightly dorky looking husband, the possibly cuckolded Michael, in what might be termed a Spitzer reversal. Watching the ad made me cringe; it’s uncomfortable to see Michael standing there next to Nikki, just as it was uncomfortable to see Silda standing by Eliot. “What are they thinking?” you wonder. “Why aren’t they mad as hell?”

Given that the allegations are likely false, and South Carolina has the political machine that would make Huey P. Long sick, how can feminists do this? They aren’t taking the high road or waiting for evidence. They’re sitting with baited breath waiting for clear proof to come out against Haley. They’re dying to bring her down.

This is wrong, wrong, wrong. This is exactly the same hypocrisy that feminists demonstrated with the womanizing Bill Clinton. This is one of the few times that feminists could have transcended party lines and fought for a true pro-woman cause. Every feminist blog, magazine, spokesperson and pundit should denounce the sexist operation going on in South Carolina. This type of campaigning should not be allowed to exist.

By primly sitting back, feminists are silently endorsing this sleazy behavior.

Is it too much for feminists to take a few minutes each day and read right-wing blogs? If they only read Red State, they would have seen the post penned by Lori Ziganto, a South Carolina voter, on the state’s corruption. That was the focus of the Haley campaign. Nikki Haley took on establishment corruption. Shouldn’t all women respect that regardless of political affiliation?

Hanna Rosin at Double X likens Haley to Riot Grrl, an early third-wave feminist movement. That’s a silly comparison because Haley has campaigned on her record for demanding accountability and transparency in a state that nearly operates under a cloak of darkness. Riot Grrl was a small under-the-radar movement that gave us the conflicting and ambiguous third-wave feminist definition of “as long as you’re empowered to make choices, you’re a feminist.” But through their actions over the past year, that definition has proven hollow.

I wish the Dana Goldstein, the sleazeball masquerading as an editor at The Daily Beast, and Hanna Rosin, sadly one of the more reasonable writers at Double X, would wake up and see how futile this quote is:

Weathering a scandal of this magnitude would help conservatives see modern women as we really are: complex, sexually liberated, and free to make our own decisions about what we do with our bodies.

No Dana and Hanna. Perhaps feminists should understand how silly and marginalized your movement is now? Modern women are far more complex and view politics through a wider lens than just abortion. That’s why your movement is decreasing in size. That’s why fewer and fewer women identify as feminists. That’s why pro-life PACS are out-fundraising the old dinosaurs like EMILY’s List and NOW. That’s why more and more Americans are identifying as pro-life. And that’s why mostly conservative women won primaries across America tonight.

Feminists, you had one last redeeming chance to prove that your movement was legitimate. I’d say you failed…miserably.

Get Alerts