Friday, March 7, 2008

Slightly Off-topic: C'mon, Cut Gloria Steinem a Break...


Michelle Malkin, author of Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild, is the epitome of conservatism gone totally loony--definitely not the "compassionate conservatism" touted by our own George W. Bush.

Quote from Malkin's 5 March 2008, column, The Death Cry of Gloria Steinem:

"From once-ripe feminist icon to idea-barren harridan, [Gloria Steinem] offers nothing to young women but anachronistic man-hate, anti-military bigotry and woe-is-me wallowing."

Huh?

I would like to remind Ms. Malkin and other pipsqueaks like her that she enjoys a certain status because of brave women like Gloria Steinem--that Malkin enjoys the right to spew vitriol (and get paid plenty for it, thank you) at a national level.

Thirty-seven years ago, Ms. Steinem showed great courage in publishing Judy Brady's (Syfer's) seminal essay I Want a Wife in Ms Magazine; she took a lot of heat from the establishment, good-old-boy network who accused feminists of not knowing their "true" place: in the bedroom, nursery, and kitchen and out of the boardroom.

I'm not even going to bother quoting anything else from Malkin's spew--the quote above pretty much sums up the entire tone of Malkin's "article."

But the hatred and prejudice exhibited in the 21-word spew (I counted the hyphenated terms as one word) makes one wonder if women's rights have taken a giant leap backwards.

Let's deconstruct that sentence:

1. The word "harridan" suggests that "old" women no longer have value in our culture. An "old" woman with a viewpoint should just shut the hell up and let the young decide what is best. Ageism.

2. "Once-ripe" suggests that youth and physical beauty are the only attributes that offer women the right to speak out and be movers and shakers. Aegism and Lookism.

3. "Idea-barren" is simply the inverse of #2. It is also imprecise because Gloria Steinem is still a mover and shaker and will be remembered long after Michelle Malkin has faded into the sunset. Ageism. Also, "barren" suggests a prejudice against women who cannot or choose not to bear children.

4. "Man-hate" is also imprecise; Steinem has never stated that she hates men. In fact she enjoyed a long-term marriage to, guess what? a MAN!

5. "Anachronistic." Interesting word choice, one that I would not exactly associate with liberal thinking. Hmmmm. Somehow, GWB pops into mind, along with "ineffective," "ignorant," "narrow-minded," etc.

6. "Anti-military." Interesting term, perhaps a bit overstated. Ms. Malkin seems to equate anti-Iraq war with being anti-military. Most reasonable people accept the reality that the U.S. needs to maintain a strong military; however, it is our right to protest what we feel is an unjust war, while, at the same time, supporting our troops and hoping that our young men AND young women (take note, Ms. Malkin) come home alive and without too much psychological damage.

7. "Bigot: one intolerantly devoted to his or her own church, party, or opinion." Merriam-Webster Dictionary." If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck..., well you figure it out. In short, "Bigotry" is a word that should be used sparingly and precisely, not just tossed around like confetti.

8. I have never read anything by Ms. Steinem that has had a "woe-is-me" tone, nor does she "wallow"; she is a person who gets things done, and she does it in ways that are empowering.

Do I agree with everything Gloria Steinem says? Of course not, but I respect the way she has helped women find their collective voice.

Michelle Malkin, you should kiss Gloria Steinem's feet; your current position is possible because of her and others like her.

Tomorrow is International Women's Day. Rejoice and celebrate.

Jennifer

1 comment:

Ms. Strega said...

This is a wonderful post, and very well-written. I agree that we owe a lot to Steinem.