Straw Feminist Weekly: The jealous bitch

Via The Sexist: the astute cultural analysts of The O’Reilly Factor (not Bill himself, but his sub, Laura Ingraham) know why feminists don’t like Sarah Palin (because apparently it is mid-2008 again?): we are just totes jealous of her cute hubby and her cute little babies and her smokin’ bod! Ingraham breaks it down with her guests, WaPo columnist Sally Quinn and Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway. See, it’s simple: all feminists are ugly, barren spinsters who are also firmly supported by the old boys’ network and who require you to have an abortion before they give you the time of day. (If you haven’t yet had an abortion, you should go ahead and get knocked up right quick so you can get the mandatory abortion out of the way ASAP.)

Sally Quinn, lord love her, seems to have both a sense of what feminism is and why Sarah Palin sucks:

QUINN: And most women I know are feminists. So I think it depends on who you call feminist. I think one of the producers was saying the sort of raging crazed pro-choice liberal women. But I have to say that of all the people I know, I don’t know a single person who feels jealous about her. I think that most of the people I know who are not Sarah Palin fans just don’t like what she has to say.

(Emphasis mine.)

But hers is not the voice of reason!  For that we need professional Republicans.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, REPUBLICAN POLLSTER:Yeah, the qualified stuff is a canard, and it came late after she made many women feel inadequate, Laura. This is a woman who is — her path to power was so unusual for women in power. She didn’t have the money or the power or the access of a father, of a husband. She certainly didn’t go to an Ivy League school. She was a standout athlete. I think of some of the spinster childless columnists who have attacked this woman for her right to choose…

INGRAHAM: Can you name names?

CONWAY: …and have five children. There are too many to name and then it would make them relevant on such a great show.


Also, you’re fat and your SO is ugly.

CONWAY: …the extended family. He’s cute to go. And look, she lost all her baby weight. It makes some women crazy. They’ve got 1.3 children and a Pilates schedule they have to keep, and it makes some of them crazy.

These, of course, are not the spinsters, but don’t worry — they’re still jealous! You don’t understand how CRAZY you get when you do Pilates. Conway knows. I mean, the name is even crazy, am I right? Pilates. Pilates Pilates Pilates. No wonder feminists are crazy jealous bitches.

Look, you know who loves Palin? Caregivers, that’s who, you selfish jealous feminist fatty.

CONWAY: But the people who love and support her are still pushing babies in strollers and elderly women in wheelchairs just to go see her, just to go buy her book, which is already No. 1 and not even out.

Maybe the babies and the old ladies aren’t that wild about her, but whatever, that’s cool — you can just push them to the side while you coo over Trig and check out Palin’s muscular thighs. Grandma can wait! She doesn’t have an opinion of her own — I mean, she uses a wheelchair.

Palin-hating feminists, let’s just come clean. Sure, we say that we dislike her because she coopts feminist rhetoric to push an agenda that hurts women, or because she encourages her followers to be shockingly disingenuous about reproductive rights, but we all know we’re just blowing smoke. We are just so fucking jealous of Sarah Palin. She has a book and everything! You don’t hear about feminists writing books, now do you?

Now quit being jealous and start making some babies, for god’s sake.

Straw Feminist Weekly: The Marriage-Hater

Charlotte Hays thinks feminists are going to turn on Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert because Gilbert’s new book is about the ultimate crime against feminism: Getting married!

Wait, what?


Will Ms. Gilbert’s fans now spend their book-club meetings plotting to find a man? Or will they be plotting revenge on the supposedly strong, single woman who betrayed them?

Getting married = betraying your feminist readership, apparently. (And/or inspiring them to desperately pursue their own weddings.) I guess that makes sense, if your research into contemporary feminism consisted entirely of a Sex and the City marathon on TBS:

[Gilbert] is a giddy girl with lots of giddy girlfriends. And they are, in the way that feminists always seem to be but hate to admit, boy crazy and sex crazy. When a chipper Ms. Gilbert, having just met Felipe, gives a New York friend with boy troubles some happy-talk advice, the friend replies: “Spoken like a woman who already had four orgasms today.”… Such women rarely remain single—even if they profess to be feminists.

And because of that:

loyal readers may well feel that their heroine has deserted them for a man. But women have been doing this to their girlfriends since time immemorial. Sisterhood is powerful, but not that powerful.

What the fucking fuck? I don’t even know where to begin. Fortunately, Anna North at Jezebel has done a pretty thorough takedown, so I don’t have to.

All of this is actually kind of difficult to pick apart, but what Hays seems to be saying is that feminists equate strength with singlehood, and view anyone who couples up as a traitor. But all feminists really want a man (lesbians don’t exist in the Hays universe), and would cheerfully abandon their feminist values should they find one. Of course, this is based on an outdated and wrongheaded notion of feminist values. Only a very few people still demand that feminists eschew men, and most feminists I know accept the notion that whether or not a woman is in a relationship doesn’t determine how “strong” she is. It’s true that the idea of taking a husband for “male protection” raises my feminist hackles, but the fact that Gilbert didn’t need such protection while traveling the world makes me more sanguine about her marriage, not less. She seems to have gotten married because she wanted to, and because she was in love, and “such women” seem pretty happy to me.

Yep. Pretty much.

Or, as editor Lori Leibovich told Tracy Clark-Flory back when Jessica Valenti’s engagement was totally! shocking! news!:

I think the people who take issue with feminists like Jessica getting married are the same people whose perception of feminism is completely warped. They are the people, mostly conservatives, who think that being a feminist means that you love having abortions, you hate men, and you do vaginal self-exams for fun, therefore you shouldn’t want a wedding.

Adds Tracy: “In this skewed view, of course Valenti is a hypocrite, because they haven’t the slightest clue what she stands for in the first place.” Yep. Pretty much.

I would write more, but I have to go meet my giddy, boy-crazy girlfriends for our monthly vaginal self-exam party. Oh, wait, who am I kidding? I’m married! My single friends all hate me now! The truth is, my schedule for the day looks like this:

1) Iron Al’s shirts.

2) Clean toilet.

3) Spend hours preparing complicated dinner.

4) Clean up kitchen after complicated dinner.

5) Think of England while Al soullessly bones me in hopes of making a baby that will give my life meaning.

6) Take tranquilizer and go to bed.

In fact, that’s been my schedule every day since December 26, 2008. You’d think that as a feminist (formerly, obvs) I would have seen that coming, huh? But no, I just stupidly went ahead and got married, betraying everything I stood for and all of my feminist readers and single pals. I’d apologize for that, but frankly, I’m not sorry. I’ve got a man! And a ring! YOU KNOW YOU’RE JEALOUS.

Straw Feminist Weekly: The baby-hater

Introducing what I hope will be a regular feature here: Straw Feminist Weekly! In which we give a shout-out to the egregious straw feminists that cunningly populate the media and blogosphere.

<div><a rel="cc:attributionURL" href=This week’s Straw Feminist is a classic, and it comes to us from that site which is itself gunning for the 2009 Straw-Feminist-Fighting Championship: DoubleX. Shapelings, welcome an old favorite: The Baby-Hater. Katie Roiphe’s essay on how much she loves her newborn is accompanied, naturally, by the subtitle: Why won’t feminists admit the pleasure of infants? Come on, feminists! Why do you hate tiny babies?

This is you
This is you.

Who are all these feminists who hate infants and want to take away Roiphe’s ability to experience “The high of a love that obliterates everything. A need so consuming that it is threatening to everything you are and care about”? Well, for one thing, they’re Second Wavers:

One of the minor dishonesties of the feminist movement has been to underestimate the passion of this time, to try for a rational, politically expedient assessment. Historically, feminists have emphasized the difficulty, the drudgery of new motherhood. They have tried to analogize childcare to the work of men; and so for a long time, women have called motherhood a “vocation.” The act of caring for a baby is demanding, and arduous, of course, but it is wilder and more narcotic than any kind of work I have ever done.

Hear that, ladies? You may find yourself longing for adult conversation and wishing you could get a full night’s sleep while your partner feeds the baby for once, but that’s because you’re denying the narcotic effect of your infant’s natural musk!

Feminists of the world, how can you not love the “opium-den quality to maternity leave”? Maternity leave, as we all know, was benevolently granted to women by men because they understand that motherhood is like an addiction, and hey, we all deserve a little time off from work when we’re high on opiates, am I right? Wait, what’s that — maternity leave is only available to you because of feminist activism that “analogized childcare to the work of men” (you know, real work!), and in fact we have far less paid parental leave than many of our international peers? Oh, you feminists and your politics! Why don’t you put those boring history books down and pick up a baby, for god’s sake? Quit being so dishonest and tell it like it is: motherhood is just like drug addiction, which is a financially supported and widely approved lifestyle.

But look, it’s not only Betty Friedan and her lying friends who hate babies: it’s also every great woman writer of the past 250 years.


I remember visiting one of my closest friends on her maternity leave last summer. We sat on a wooden bench in her garden and drank iced coffees, and gazed at her second baby. She is a writer, and we talked about how the women writers we most admired had no children, or have had one child, at the absolute most, but never two. (Edith Wharton, Virginia Woolf and Jane Austen had no children; Mary McCarthy, Rebecca West, Joan Didion, and Janet Malcolm all had one.) My friend looked down at her newborn and her tiny eyelashes. She could entertain this conversation in an academic way, but as she adjusted the baby’s hat I could see how far removed it was from anything that mattered to her. Here, sitting in the garden, looking at the eyelashes, would you trade the baby for the possibility of writing The House of Mirth? You would not.

Oh, sure, some women writers had babies, but they totally hated them! You can tell because they only had one: real women love babies so much they have as many as possible. You never see books about how much women love their children and miss them when they’re gone. I mean, Virginia Woolf had that whole room of her own, right? Surely she could have fit a crib in there.

Look, Edith Wharton may have had a Pulitzer Prize and a bibliography as long as her baby-less arm, but The House of Mirth is some crazy feminist novel and thus totally not worth having written. It’s all about how upper-class women are forced into marriage because it’s their only economic option and beauty is their only currency! What kind of crazy nonsense is that? Leave the novels to the men, ladies. You wouldn’t want to spend all your time crafting deathless prose if you would just snorgle a baby once in a while. Those eyelashes!

Remember, feminists: you’re all a bunch of baby-haters who are so selfish you don’t even want Katie Roiphe to love her baby — even if you are parents yourselves, even if you advocate for longer parental leave, even if you run an orphanage filled with nothing but sweet, sweet babies. Katie Roiphe knows: she wrote a whole article dissing you; therefore, she’s right about feminism and you’re wrong.

Straw Feminist Weekly: We define feminism so you don’t have to!