Friday, October 22, 2010

Rape Culture 101 -- Internecine conflict as entertainment

by Connie Chastain*

I subscribe to Google Alerts for about five different subjects. One of them is feminism and I'm notifed weekly of the items found by Google's search programs relating to this subject.

As an ardent anti-feminist, I'm intrigued by the rumbling going on of late in the feminist quarter of western hegemony. Judging by the alerts in my in-box, there appears to be a multi-sided battle brewing. It's the aging second wavers vs. the smart-aleck third wavers, certainly. But it's also between liberal feminists on the left and conservative ones on the right.

As interesting as it is to watch the old gals and the young twits square off, for the next few weeks -- the run-up to the U.S. elections -- I'll have to give more attention to the political cat fight.

In the words of Howard Dietz, That's Entertainment! I won't say it's as entertaining as SEC football of a Saturday afternoon. It might run even with old MGM musicals, and it has spectator golf beat hands down. Hey, when you live in a dark and oppressive rape culture, you have to get your entertainment however you can so I have popped up some Jiffy-Pop, poured cola on ice, propped my feet up, and settled back to watch the Feminist Wars.

Conservative feminists? Who knew there could even be such an animal? Feminism has been the purview of the left for generations. Everybody knew conservative women, whose brains were damaged by housework, stayed home, raised kids and volunteered down at the church. Voting was the extent of their political involvement.

But we're seeing some strange things happening now. Women who don't spout the orthodox feminist line are emerging as political candidates, raising money (tons of it, jaw-dropping mountains of it) and making their voices heard with the electorate. And quite a few stand a good chance of getting elected to everything from the U.S. Senate to governors' offices to county commissions to local soil and water boards....

As I've stated before, I believe that the core of feminism is the hatred of men as a group, or hatred of masculinity itself. That is why abortion is the number one cause of feminism -- not equality for women, not opportunity for women, not giving women greater choice, but abortion: the removal from the uterus material put there by a male. Everything else on the feminist agenda, including the claims of rape culture, serves this cause.

But conservative women seeking office, and their numberless supporters, don't talk much about abortion, or rape culture, or the glass ceiling, or any of issues old-time feminists constantly moan about. They talk about reducing the size of government, lowering taxes, enacting sane health care legislation, putting power back into the hands of states, counties, municipalities -- in short, not only ignoring the orthodox feminist agenda, but supporting policies that would undermine feminist power by knocking government support (i.e., funding) out from under it.

Would these Mama Grizzlies make good elected officials? I dunno. I haven't paid close attention to politics since 1998, when I was a Congressional staffer and saw enough of federal politics to last me the rest of my life. And frankly, I prefer male leaders. But if I had to choose between a male liberal and a female conservative, I'd probably vote for the latter.

Fortunately, I don't have to delve that deeply into it. I've turned cynic enough to view the whole of western politics as a joke. I'm much more interested in the culture wars, and politics is important to me only to the extent it affects the culture.

I've seen speculation that the rise of conservative feminists means the old feminism is on the way out; that it has achieved what it set out to achieve, and is no longer needed -- that it has basically outlived its usefulness and will be elbowed aside by more relevant movements.

I don't know about that but I do know we have a lot of damage to undo, not the least of which is the damage done to men by feminist get-evenism supported by the power of government. Maybe electing conservative women to office is part of the solution, maybe not. But I'm for anything that undermines the power that institutional feminism has wrenched for itself over the decades.

If you've got some Jiffy-Pop and cola, and you'd like to join me in watching what's turning out to be a highly entertaining interlude, follow the links below (and you can Google to find lots more).

Feminism's Mother-Daughter Divide -- Susan Faludi
High heels and high hopes -- Suzanne Fields
Feminist Groups Call Conservative Women ‘Nutty’ and ‘Whores,’ Media Ignores -- Alana Goodman
Sarah Palin vs. Emily's List: a Twitter 'feminist' feud
Oxymoron of 2010: feminist conservative -- Beverly McPhail
Real Mama Grizzlies -- Karoli (the video's a real hoot! Enjoy! ~Connie)

Connie is a member of the FRS team whose column appears here every Friday. Her blog is