Carol Platt Liebau

It has become fashionable among self-identified feminists of a certain age to decry the apparent apathy of their younger counterparts. They wonder why young women seem so disinclined to rally to their banner – or, for that matter, even to identify themselves as feminists.

The reason is simple. The feminist movement is full of hypocrites who care about nothing but abortion, and women know it.

Perhaps the first clue was contrasting ways feminists treated Justice Clarence Thomas and President Bill Clinton. Unproven, disputed allegations that Thomas had used inappropriately sexual language with a subordinate were enough, in feminists’ view, to render him unfit for a Supreme Court seat. Yet, six short years later, they wholeheartedly defended Clinton, who had sex with a subordinate (an intern, at that!) in the workplace, and was credibly accused of multiple other instances of sexual predation – even rape. The difference? The latter supported abortion rights.

Now, its proponents are about to drive the final nail into feminism’s coffin through their insulting treatment of Governor Sarah Palin – who, were it not for her pro-life credentials, would be any feminist’s dream. Unlike Hillary Clinton, she has risen to power on the strength of her own record of reform and taking on the “old boys’ network” – not on her husband’s coattails. Unlike Geraldine Ferraro, Governor Palin’s political career hasn’t been facilitated by her husband’s lucrative business dealings; Todd Palin is a blue collar worker who takes the night shift so he can stay home with the couple’s five children during the day. In fact, Governor Palin began her political career as a “hockey mom” who joined the PTA. How much more of an Everywoman – albeit a remarkably strong, accomplished one – could she be?

But rather than embracing Governor Palin as an example of the opportunities that feminism has made possible, the feminist elite can’t wait to take a shot at her. In a screed in The Los Angeles Times last Thursday (on an op/ed page entirely composed of anti-Palin pieces authored by females), Gloria Steinem described Palin as the pawn of “right wing patriarchs” and proclaimed her the “wrong woman.” The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd dismissed her as a “former beauty queen.” Writing in Newsweek, Sally Quinn deplored both “Palin's lack of experience and her family situation.” In the Boston Globe, Joan Vennochi demanded that Palin “answer for her weak resume and right-wing ideology.” And contrasting Palin’s education with Barack Obama’s Ivy League credentials, Sue Reimer of the Baltimore Sun asked incredulously, “The best McCain can do is a woman who minored in poly-sci at the University of Idaho?”

Ah, sisterhood.

Carol Platt Liebau

Carol Platt Liebau is an attorney, political commentator and guest radio talk show host based near New York. Learn more about her new book, "Prude: How the Sex-Obsessed Culture Hurts Young Women (and America, Too!)" here.