A Big "Who Cares"?

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Aug 29, 2010 1:20 PM
Writing in The New York Times, Rebecca Traister and Anna Holmes bemoan Sarah Palin's "greedy grab at making feminism her own."

It's hard not to notice a certain obsession from lefty women writing in The Times about whether Sarah Palin is a "legitimate" feminist; sitting in last week for Hugh Hewitt, I discussed a dialogue between Gail Collins and author Stacy Schiff on the same subject.

All of them seem worried about the power and impact of Sarah Palin, and obviously they're right to be.  After all, she's not the one sitting around and obsessing about them

But they're also right to be worried about the status of their brand of feminism, because -- as a woman myself -- when I see this discussion about whether Sarah Palin is a "real" feminist (or rather, from this crowd, why she isn't), my first reaction is a big WHO CARES?  It's all such silly lefty in-crowd chitchat.

Indeed, ironically, for women who have no problem using the term "mean girl" in reference to Palin (as Traister and Holmes do), they and Collins and Schiff remind me of nothing so much as a clique of mean girls trying to figure out how to snub, insult and exclude a "new girl" who  -- and here's the kicker -- couldn't care less about their opinion.

Their frustration comes from their powerlessness over her and millions of other women like her.

What's more, as Traister and Holmes come close to realizing, Palin's power comes from their failure.  Americans (and American women, especially) realize that the feminist empress has no clothes.  In the end, they've come to know that feminism isn't about advancing or protecting all women; look how they've treated Palin vs. Pelosi, and Anita Hill vs. Paula Jones.

In fact, if feminism were simply about female empowerment and independence -- as its proponents sometimes try to claim -- Palin would be its poster girl.  She took on the "old boy's club" in Alaska and won; she's worked and raised a family; she's even had something of a house-husband, for Pete's sake!

No, the Palin experience simply reinforces what everyone knew already: "Feminism" as used by the old-school types is nothing more than a proxy for two things: Support for abortion and big government. 

Take abortion (please).  It explains why feminists sold out every principle they had in order to save Bill Clinton; remember the"journalist" who proclaimed her willingness to perform a sex act on the former President to thank him for his stand on abortion?  Typical.

Then there's big government.  Collins and Schiff give away the game when Collins wrote that "I don’t see how a feminist can be opposed to government programs that provide poor working mothers with quality child care" and Schiff asked, "What Mama Grizzly wouldn’t believe in school lunches, health insurance and quality childcare?" 

Somehow, these women want us to believe that it's advancing women's interests to replace social and economic dependence on a husband with social and economic dependence on big government. (Maybe they'll reconsider their thinking if we rephrase it as "Mr. Big Government"?!)

Sheez.  That's cluelessness at an Obamanian level.  And then these women wonder why regular Americans prefer the Sarah Palin model of feminism?  Hellooooo?