March 20, 2006


Now, at least, we have some back-and-forth going. It's about time! I know it's Monday, but really, I was starting to wonder if everyone had succumbed to narcolepsy.

I'm about to fall asleep myself--the unfortunate result of a marvelous dinner--but let me pick out some highlights from the discussion for those of you who normally shun the comments. First up, the ever-blistering Andrea:

I'm not sure what your beef is and what you want conservative women to do. As for the rape victim's letter you linked to, I don't can't see (probably because I am blinded by my worship of Ronald Reagan or something) why this case should be some sort of condemnation of conservative women's viewpoints and tactics. For one thing, I not only don't understand why those men were not given harsher sentences, I don't understand why they aren't all dead at the hands of the girl's father. My father would have killed them with his bare hands. Moreover, why were they allowed to harass this woman for years afterwards? And while I'm just being a conservative witch who refuses to fall into a bath of outraged tears because she's got icewater in her veins and sold her soul to Nixon in '72 (when she was eleven! they start 'em young in Rightville), what the hell were her parents thinking letting their underage daughter go to a party where young men would be present?

I would like to use the above as an excuse to seize--FINALLY!--an opportunity to say something that has been on my mind for some time:

The next time one of you is perfectly horrified by the way Andrea goes off on someone in my comments, remember that I do not ask any commenter at this blog to tolerate anything up with which I would not my own self put. Okay? If I don't have to stop, drop, and roll after this, then, frankly, I don't know what you consider your excuse. The thing I like about Andrea is that she is not covert-caustic, she is in-your-face caustic, and I can deal with the latter. It's the former that gives me hives.

Beth also takes issue:

Why "most feminists identify themselves as liberals?" Look at what organizations like NOW support that really don't seem to have anything to do with feminism. They show up at antiwar rallies, anti-globalization rallies, and other shit I wouldn't be caught dead associating myself with. They fought Alito and Roberts because of abortion, of course. Well, those two are my kind of judges, and I'm not going to change my mind just so I can be "accepted" by a bunch of people who disagree with everything I believe in.

Which brings up a good point: When does something cease to be "about feminism" and become "about every injustice suffered by anyone anywhere ever, but also, maybe, if we have time, feminism?"

This is a research topic I want to get into this week because it's my admittedly hazy understanding that at times, when the feminist movement has tried to be more inclusive of others, it has been surprised to find itself and its goals fucked over in favor of the cause it has allied itself with. In other words, feminism has traditionally loved cooperation, but cooperation has not always loved feminism back.

I think there likely are good arguments to be made against everything-and-the-kitchen-sink feminism, but I confess that at this point I don't know enough to say further--which is why I begged shamelessly for input, assistance, and GUEST BLOGGERS, you slackers.

Anyway, thanks for bringing that up, Beth; it's a good point that I don't want to get lost.

Then we have Meryl Yourish with the rebuttal:

I think, Andrea, that Ilyka was pointing out that the majority of conservative anti-feminists are so busy pointing out the canard that liberal feminists aren't working for women's rights in the Middle East that they're ignoring the fact that women still have an uphill battle right here at home.

Ding-a ding ding: "Why aren't we seeing more of this kind of thing from feminists?" as Glenn Reynolds once put it. I do see an effort made to downplay and minimize problems for women right here in the good ol' U.S. of A.; I don't, however, consider pointing that out an indictment against conservative women en masse. I am merely asking them to consider it another way: "Perhaps you should not have surrendered so quickly" versus "Them bad ol' bitches stole my feminism." If that's an indictment, fine, bring me my robe and wig, Judge Bitchy presiding.

Finally, I've got to hand it to Andrea again for reminding me, in comments to another post:

Actually, I remember the Clinton era as "The Year Feminism Broke," when about 90% of feminist "spokespersons" bent themselves into pretzels trying to find reasons not to condemn their man for having a female intern smoke his love cigar.

And that is an entirely valid point, though again, I am sorry for the cop-out here, one which I will have to revisit later (I did write 7 or so posts in the last 24 hours, and how often does that happen? Hmm?). In the interim, those of you who wish to discuss it further may have it TOTALLY UNSUPERVISED for the evening, woot. Please don't spill anything, unless it's on the slipcover, in which case, BLESS YOU.

UPDATE: I've been in a quandary about the ensuing discussions noted above. I think what I'll do is participate in 'em where they're occurring rather than write some rambling post about how no-I-didn't-mean-this, I-meant-that, because that would be not only tiresome for me, but unfair to the participants. Maybe this is just a personal preference of mine, but I kind of view extracting stuff from the comments and using it to launch a whole other post at your critics as clubbing your critics over the head, hitting back at the secondary (comments) with the primary (posts) means of communication in blogging, and I tend to dislike when other blogs do that, although I recognize that sometimes they have to, that sometimes there is simply no other way to get things back on track.

In the interests of keeping things on track, I will note that this is Blog Against the Strawfeminist, not Blog Against Nina Burleigh. Yes, the knee pads remark was stupid and revolting and even, I think, antifeminist, because anytime someone suggests women accept bad behavior from a guy simply because he can get them things, well, I don't see that as any different from suggesting women stay with abusive husbands because, when the husbands aren't drinking and knocking hell out of their wives, they buy the women really swell stuff. Not my idea of empowerment; but then, I never did go looking to Mirabella, back when it still existed, for feminist writing.

Posted by Ilyka at March 20, 2006 09:07 PM in blog against the strawfeminist

One strawfeminist that needs to go is the "Why don't American feminists care about Muslim women?" I for one remember vividly the days before 9/11 when American feminists begged and pleaded for the U.S. government to do something more about the plight of women in Afghanistan to no avail. Indeed, Muslim women were never ignored by feminists--they were ignored by everyone else until they became a politically useful tool to justify aggressive action.

Posted by: Amanda Marcotte at March 21, 2006 08:03 PM