It's comforting to know there is still one political party out there willing to battle the dark forces of misogyny. Just knowing that so many of its leading lights -- John Edwards, Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton come to mind -- did not hesitate to personally show their profound respect for womankind is reassuring.
But I fear we're losing ground.
As you've heard, nepotism's never-ending gift to California -- the nation, really -- Jerry Brown, is in a tight gubernatorial race against Republican Meg Whitman, former eBay CEO. In leaked audiotapes, a Brown campaign aide is heard mulling over the pros and cons of using the word "whore," and no one challenges him.
It's time to release that righteous feminist anger, right, sisters? No?
Perhaps these days, the word "whore" is more accepted as a gender-neutral definition of politician. I leave these linguistic questions to you. The National Organization for Women wasn't too offended and endorsed Brown only a day after we learned about the incident. And even if the entire Brown brouhaha is overblown politics -- and, actually, I think it is -- you can't help but wonder whether a Republican would ever survive a similar scandal.
Nah, I'm kidding. No rational person wonders about that. Though Whitman is a pro-choice moderate and her accomplishments in the private sector are impeccable, there is, in the end, an "R" after her name. And you know what "R" denotes? Reactionary, radical and almost certainly racist.
If there's anything worse than having "R" attached to your name, it's having an "R" next to your name and being pro-life. It means that you're actively driven -- by some baffling genetic malady -- to work against the interests of women (well, except for the hundreds of thousands of future women you want to save each year).
In Colorado, television ads, press releases and e-mails assure me that Republican senatorial candidate Ken Buck is anti-women -- and pro-rapist even. (An example of a recent representative tweet: "Tea party Republican Ken Buck Chooses Rapists Over Women.")
These people care so much about women that they've led a concerted effort to track down an alleged victim of date rape and exploited her tragic and un-prosecutable case -- as found by two district attorney offices -- for political purposes.
Yep, politics is a revolting business. I'm just trying to figure out when to get angry.
I must have missed the feminist outcry, for instance, when conservative columnist Michelle Malkin was referred to as a "big mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick on it" by Keith Olbermann on MSNBC.
And if you're interested in a rape case that was eminently prosecutable in Colorado, revisit Kobe Bryant's time in beautiful Eagle in 2003. As Greg Pollowitz of the National Review Online points out, "when you ask yourself if Ken Buck is anti-woman, also ask if Buck went on to honor the alleged rapist in his home."
President Barack Obama did.
Do I believe the president is anti-women? Of course not. And neither has Buck done anything to suggest misogyny, other than disagree on left-wing social policy.
Admittedly, I comprehend precious little about women. Yet it remains a mystery to me why more women aren't offended that a small group defines what real "women's issues" are, or dictates to everyone which words and ideas they should all find offensive.
Unless, of course, we are to accept that women walk in ideological lock step. Which seems like a pretty misogynistic position to me.