Back in the 1990s (and into this century), whenever conservative men criticized the then-First Lady within earshot of her partisans, they quickly lashed out against us, telling us how afraid we were of strong women.
Such folks quickly forget how many Hillary critics in the 1990s had been, in the 1980s, enthusiastic supporters of then-Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, a Mrs. (now Lady) Margaret Thatcher who just happened to be a woman. And some of us also admired an American woman whom for some reason I have long called Lady Jeane, the Democrat Ronald Reagan tapped to serve as his Ambassador to the United Nations, Jeane Kirkpatrick.
As I read Peter Collier’s biography of this great lady, Political Woman: The Big Little Life of Jeane Kirkpatrick. I am reminded that despite her intellectual acumen, Ambassador Kirkpatrick was subject in the 1980s to the same sort of attacks, another more charismatic conservative woman would face a quarter-century later.
Gloria Steinem called the ambassador a “female impersonator”. Wendy Doniger quipped that Sarah Palin’s “greatest hypocrisy is in her pretense that she is a woman.”
How ready some folks on the left who see us as somehow sexist when we don’t love the women they love. Yet, when conservative women rise in public favor, some liberals are quick to criticize them — and question even the reality of their sex. You would think feminists would welcome women who succeed in endeavors once reserved for men — and earn the admiration of men, particularly conservative men.
Why do accomplished conservative women arose such ire on the left?