Sunday, March 2, 2008

Thinkin' Like a Man

OK, well it didn't take long for something to push my buttons, did it?

From Media Matters today, we have this:

Though Washington Post ombudsman Deborah Howell has stated that "[c]oncern about keeping women as newspaper readers has been an issue for many years" at the newspaper, the Post published an essay by Charlotte Allen in which she called women "kind of dim," suggested that women were not only "the weaker sex" but "the stupid sex, our brains permanently occluded by random emotions, psychosomatic flailings and distraction by the superficial," and claimed that Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign has been "marred by every stereotypical flaw of the female sex."

Allen writes for the self-styled "Independent Women's Forum." After having sampled her "independent women's" thinking, I can only conclude that she is to independent women what the Clean Air Act is to, right, clean air. In fact, have I said lately that, except for groups with "fascist," "conservative," and "Right" in their titles, all Rightwing bills, laws, organizations, websites, and blogs stand for exactly the opposite of what their names say?

To wit:

"I can't help it, but reading about such episodes of screaming, gushing and swooning makes me wonder whether women -- I should say, 'we women,' of course -- aren't the weaker sex after all. Or even the stupid sex, our brains permanently occluded by random emotions, psychosomatic flailings and distraction by the superficial."
The girl can't help it. Tsk tsk. I guess she's never been to a hockey game, or heard David Gergen or Chris Matthews talk about W, either. Or for that matter, noticed the current Administration for the last seven-plus years. Guess she doesn't get out much.

And this:

"So I don't understand why more women don't relax, enjoy the innate abilities most of us possess (as well as the ones fewer of us possess) and revel in the things most important to life at which nearly all of us excel: tenderness toward children and men and the weak and the ability to make a house a home. . . . Then we could shriek and swoon and gossip and read chick lit to our hearts' content and not mind the fact that way down deep, we are . . . kind of dim."
Who is this person? Has she not heard tenderness is not a gendered quality? Has she never met a male interior designer or chef or homebody? As to enjoying the ability to make a house a home, I notice she didn't enumerate scrubbing floors, washing clothes, cleaning bathrooms, and fixing three squares a day. If she had, even she might have seen the feverish imbecility of exhorting "more" women to "relax and enjoy" said ability.

This isn't writing (thinking with a keyboard). It's blowing spit bubbles.

And finally this:

"As the blog Feministe noted, Allen wrote in a June 27, 2005, IWF blog post (accessed through the Internet Archive) that 'Frankly, even as a woman, I miss the old sexist days, when stewardesses were stewardesses: pretty young things in cute mini-suits and little heels who oozed attention onto everyone -- because who knew? They might end up marrying one of the passengers,' adding: 'Why does feminism have to mean the triumph of the ugly and the surly?'
Sounds to me like Miss Independent here ought to footnote the boys on the Right. If she were thinking for herself, she would know that feminists, like any other cross-section of humanity, aren't "ugly," and that "surly" is an apt word for a spoiled child but not for anyone engaged in a global movement for common human dignity. She'd know better than to tote the propaganda.

Not only that, Allen is obviously too infantile to have the first notion of what it was like to be a woman flying with the stewardesses of yore. Sweetie, you'd have been the last served. You know why? Because you're a woman. You wouldn't have gotten the blinding smile, the soft pat on the arm, the fluffed-up pillow, the third cocktail. You'd have gotten the "Go on, spit it out" expression, and a eye-rolling sigh if you asked for one drink, let alone three.

This might sound trivial, but the point is that women plugged into male supremacy aren't nice to other women. Aren't kind, or respectful, or courteous to, or sympathetic with, or remotely inclined to share perspectives. Women plugged into make supremacy can be counted on to project the dominant misogynistic perspective, to wave it like a banner so as to differentiate themselves from the despised class, "woman." It's called "lateral hostility," and "identifying with the oppressor."

Let me think. Where have I just seen that?