If Mama Ain't Happy, She May Run for Congress

Kathryn Lopez

6/11/2010 2:33:27 PM - Kathryn Lopez

Women can be completely irrational. They can be overemotional. They can be downright wrong.

Women can also be right. A woman can be a leader. She can notice things a man might not.

The bottom line is pretty obvious: Women are people, too. We see the world differently than men because we are different and complementary. But we also see the world different from one another, woman to woman.

Rush Limbaugh

This is the breakthrough we're seeing in American history right now: It's becoming next to impossible to successfully deny these realities. From Sarah Palin to Meg Whitman to the even Democrat Blanche Lincoln. In the wake of a series of primary elections this June, there is much talk that we are in another year of the political woman. And this time she is frequently more Right than Left.

In truth, this is neither shocking nor new. The celebrated model of the female politician may have been liberal Democrat Barbara Boxer, fighting against the rights of the most vulnerable among us, the unborn. But she was never every woman. Another type of woman, in fact, fought for a woman's right to vote, whether women who voted subsequently realized it or not. They brought a maternal instinct to their activism.

And so when you meet a Palin or a Carly Fiorina or whoever the next woman the media frenzies about as an exotic species, you're not meeting someone who appeared yesterday. When you look at some of the issues we're debating today about preserving who we are and protecting those innocents and the way we were, we're in exactly the place as a nation where a few good women of this kind might do a world of good alongside a few good men.

They'll still try, on the Left, to pretend a woman who doesn't buy the party line of the professional feminist sisterhood is somehow an oddity or, even, a betrayer of women. But the truth is that she may simply represent a commonsense backlash. The feminist movement tried to deny so much what women uniquely can bring to the cultural and political table.

So when you look around right now on the political landscape, you see the shoulder-padded walls of 20th century feminism crumbling throughout the political scene. Some women will always vote Democrat and have liberal views. Just as men will. But they do not vote or think uniformly. And it is not simply because a sexy Sarah Palin figure exists that this is true.

A woman who is pro-life and pro-marriage and embraces that which makes her different from a man while loving men for all they are is not something that was invented when John McCain picked the then-Alaska governor to be his running mate. She's been at home raising children. She's been doing the PTA work. She's been working hard and maybe internalizing some of what the feminist movement told her was the only way to be a success in "a man's world" -- internalizations that have frequently left her unhappy and childless and fighting everything she really truly wanted. Women who are running these days as center-right candidates are not Palin clones and they're not anomalies. They've been around and they're fed up. So many of the Tea Party groups have been started by women between children's Tee Ball games because they see their country in danger. They see so much of what they have always loved about the United States being underappreciated and trampled on legislatively. And so they do the "mama grizzly" thing and work toward protecting it. But you don't have to be an outdoorswoman from Alaska to appreciate that. There's a maternal gracefulness about it. And it manifests itself in different ways, on different issues, because women, just like men, have different issues and different styles and different thoughts and ideas.

It all seems like this would be common sense. But in the chattering class, common sense is frequently a rare commodity. And so you'll continue to hear how bizarre this all is. You can probably just look around your own family, though, to see the writ large writ intimate. The "National Organization for Women" could never actually represent us all. NOW isn't me and NOW we're at a point where it's hard for anyone much to deny.

And who, by the way, do you think has been raising all these male candidates for all these years? Conservative men and voters weren't raised by savages. Mom might have had something to do with how they got to think like they do.

Of course, deny some will. Attack they have, do, and will. If Harry Reid wins over his female challenger, there will be attempts to pretend none of this ever happened and the conservative pro-life woman is just an exotic political animal. If Meg Whitman becomes governor of California and Fiorina takes Boxer's Golden State Senate seat, it will be spun, as it already is, as women doing as the businessmen do, buying their way into office. But the truth is a lot less cynical. Women have free will as much as the next guy. And much of what you're seeing on the political scene right now is simply natural.