Just a moment ago, while perusing Instapundit, I chanced upon his link to Cathy Young’s thoughtful piece, “Why Feminists Hate Sarah Palin.” I had printed the piece up last night and read it before bed, taking particular note of the spot-on opening paragraph:
Left-wing feminists have a hard time dealing with strong, successful conservative women in politics such as Margaret Thatcher. Sarah Palin seems to have truly unhinged more than a few, eliciting a stream of vicious, often misogynist invective.
It reminded me of the reaction I got this weekend when a left-wing blogger linked my recent Washington Blade column. I experienced the same kind of name-calling and stream of vitriol that Sarah Palin has. (The same invective we hear over and over and over again.) Except on a much, much smaller scale.
It seems the same factors are at work. These leftists are angry at someone who upsets their narrative of what a woman or gay man should be.
The goal of these angry feminists is not so much that we should break down barriers to women’s advancement so that jobs and opportunity once open only to men should be available to them as well, but to break down those barriers as part of an effort to remake society in a leftist image.*
The goal of these gay activists is a similar social refashioning. They call us self-hating without bothering to consider how our being openly gay in conservative circles accomplishes something they advocate when promoting coming out in general. People are less likely to harbor anti-gay sentiments (and more likely to favor pro-gay policies) when they have family members, friends or co-workers who are gay.
Left-wing prejudices notwithstanding, that applies to conservative individuals just as it applies to all individuals.
By coming out to conservatives, we help change the attitudes of those least favorably disposed to gay people in American society. But, so politicized have they become that they refuse to see what we have accomplished.
While the angry gay left has loudly berated Mary Cheney for not becoming a gay activist like other children of prominent politicians, she has silently done more than the entire budget of the Human Rights Campaign to promote understanding of gay people. When she appeared on the Hugh Hewitt show in 2006, Hugh’s conservative listeners heard an open lesbian answer questions intelligently and conduct herself with grace. Just by being herself, she challenged their prejudices.
If the goal of the gay activists were greater social understanding of and less prejudice toward gay people, they should welcome openly gay and lesbian conservatives like Mary Cheney, Patrick Sammon, Tammy Bruce, Bruce Carroll and myself. But, to call us self-hating, Jewish Nazis or Black Klansmen is to ignore what we do merely by being open about our sexuality.
Shouldn’t then feminists welcome the reception that Sarah Palin has enjoyed on the right? Â Because by celebrating her, indeed, by campaigning to elect her Vice President, we are saying we believe she can lead this nation. And she is woman. Therefore, the political party supposedly most resistant to feminism is saying a woman is qualified to be president, thus, by extension, qualified for any job a man can do.
And isn’t that supposed to be the ultimate goal of feminism?
*Or, as Ann Althouse puts its, “The feminism of the last dozen years has been a dull, uninspired argument for keeping Democratic politicians in power.” Â Read the whole thing!