If there was one thing that I found truly entertaining was the laugh out loud Kathleen Parker column republished in the Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Washington) on the 23rd of June 2010. Seems that feminism is reduced to two truisms, either you are opposed to abortion (religious) or you are for abortion (immoral). But of course, one can’t say religious v immoral in this political climate of constantly needing a label to dress up a naked argument, you must be “right wing” to oppose abortion and “left wing” to be for it. I’ll dispense with the labels and instead declare religious versus secular on the abortion issue. As by the way, I fail to find much that is “pro-family” by religious special interests who oppose abortion or that their arguments by dint of being religious are necessarily moral. Like any other special interest that turns to gvt for what ever reason, religious groups simply use abortion to advance what are after all their own interests as opposed to advancing interests that might truly benefit a people as a whole. Which is why I make the argument of religious versus secular instead of “left” versus “right.” Too bad that Parker uses labels to obfuscate and further complicate what should be easy to understand agendas. But, that is not the worst of it, not by any means.
There was a time when feminism saw equality in many fields: The woman who could enter any labor pool, any job in the U.S. Military, could obtain her own credit cards, could have bank accounts under her own name, could run for political office and even run a major company. Abortion was certainly part of the overall platform, but that was not all that feminists were all about. But, that was what the religious opposition wished to reduce it to and then base the idea that women should be “mothers first” to oppose the idea of women being in the work force at all not just working outside of traditional “women’s roles.” In short, Kathleen Parker being a newspaper columnist would be a “leftist,” by this particular religious paradigm. The various Republican women whom Parker gushed over, inclusive of Sarah Palin, would also be “leftists” because they did not stay home and rear their children but instead entered into the halls of power as a Governor (Palin), by being candidates for public office (Sharron Angle, Fiorina), of running a major corporation (Fiorina). But, I guess if you put an R after your name, then you must be a “right winger” even though you are carrying out what was then a leftist agenda of original feminism (whether abortion should enter into the discussion or not). It was original feminism that paved the way for Parker to get into the newspaper business, for Barbara Boxer (whom Fiorina wants to run against) to obtain a seat in Congress, for Palin to become the governor of Alaska. But in the religious v secular argument, one can, it would seem, lay aside the history of left wing pioneering feminism, all that it made possible and instead argue that as long as I am a “mother” that makes me “better than you.” (I am sure that Christ would have some news for the self-righteous right about now.) In that regard, there is only one definition of feminism: the moment the woman moves out of her “traditional role” of wife and mother and does some distinctively unfeminine things (including taking pot shots of wolves by helicopter); she’s a feminist. Where feminism had always been regarded as left wing, then she’s still a lefty regardless of party. And by the way, as long as Palin was watching over the state of Alaska, who was keeping the kids out of trouble at home? A preggers and out of wedlock teenager that the press and bloggers (as well as unabashed and ready to excuse this lack of family morality Palin fans) made much of. Seems that what Palin practiced in this case was the downside of feminism. Wouldn’t a “traditional mom” tell her hormone driven daughter to keep it cool and out of some guy’s bed until she was safely married? Mom Palin, in this case, had a state to run, so I guess not.
Further; last week Parker was all about how feminism destroyed the American male. This week; Parker gushes over the “real man” in Todd Palin’s case who doesn’t hold his wife back. From what I understood about Todd Palin, there were some questionable matters involving family and a guy who lost his job as a police officer (?) because Todd Palin could take advantage of his wife’s position of governor. There was enough of a question about it that an ethics probe was convened, and that it may have been one of the underlying reasons for Palin leaving the governor’s job. Even though the ethics’ probe I believe cleared her of wrong doing.
We all know where Parker’s politics lie; she pushes a failed CEO of HP as the ultimate in feminists (because she is also anti-abortion?); she throws out any number of Republican women’s names (that by the way, their political and religious postures would be in complete opposition to assuring equality in the workplace and etc. for their sister feminists) as the ultimate feminists (because of their positions on abortion).
Abortion was only one plank in the overall leftist feminist platform. The fact that Fiorina could run a company then run for office is the proof of the success of feminism. The very fact that Sarah Palin became the next in the list of women who run for the office of the Vice Presidency of the U.S. is the success of feminism. The fact that Senator Clinton could run for the office of the U.S. Presidency and then get rewarded Secretary of State is the success of feminism. The fact that loud mouthed shriekers on Fox News are now partly comprised of women and are actually deemed “credible” by their male counterparts on the staff and the management proves the success of feminism. After all, if feminists quit after a few years of getting nothing but a hard time by the conservatives who lived then in the early 20th century society; Kathleen Parker would not now be in the newspaper business “defending the men” against a foot note in history, Palin would never have been governor and Fiorina would never have run HP. That does say a lot about the people who lay aside history lessons for the politics of the moment.