Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


There are two issues I want to discuss regarding feminism. The first is the female role and the second is a case of feminism's misuse. I am not a trained feminist or academic so I'm going to use the tactic Republicans love, which is to take my own opinion and present it as universal.

Starting backwards, we've recently seen a couple of accusations of sexism from women mocked in an article in the Village Voice.

Ann Althouse responds:

Yes, the lefties think sexism is quite okay when it's used to attack their opponents. I'm too thick-skinned — despite the routine application of moisturizer — to let things like that annoy me anymore. But I don't mind saving the evidence to use against people like Roy when my wily feminine emotions tell me to attack.

Athouse later quotes Megan McArdle:

... I'm annoyed that a typically female narrative style, which touches on personal experience, is derided as fundamentally unserious--particularly when it is so derided by people who admire it in feminist bloggers.

Both women play to traditional gender roles to win support, roles that the substance of their lives contradict.

It's a canny dodge, since no liberal wants to be seen as sexist, and so many sexist conservatives are convinced that deep down, everyone else is like them. But it only works if women critics and substantive criticisms are ignored. That gap is so obvious that calls of sexism are extremely weak.

Logic ought to tell McArdle that if liberals admire the female narrative style yet criticize her, they aren't criticizing her female narrative style; they're criticizing her content. But it's easier and more pleasant to claim victimization than it is to respond honestly. Self-styled independent thinkers ought to have principles based on reason and careful thought, and should be able to defend them.

I'm sure there's no malice involved, however. They probably aren't trying to avoid criticism, they just think that there's no chance they could be wrong.

Gender identity is much more complex and will take a longer post.


Anonymous said...

One of the things that gets me about their whining is that they seem to be claiming that any criticism is because they are women. I haven't read one guy write something along the lines of "those b*tches should be in aprons and keep their feeble-minded little opinions to themselves." They are criticising their content the same way they would, you know, a GUY doing the same damn job. Just because they throw around words like "lipstick," doesn't mean they think Althouse and McArdle should be baking pies in their bare feet.

BTW, you're ten times the writer Megan is, at least judging from what I've read over the few short weeks I've been familiar with your blog. If the Atlantic wanted to hire a woman, I'd endorse you over her any day.

Susan of Texas said...


Yes, the sexism is just an excuse.