Brian Micklethwait's Blog

In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Friday September 12 2008

Mark Holland emailed a link to me today, to a headline that he believed might interest me, because it suggests an army of digital photographers.  The headline reads Feminist Army Aims Its Canons at Palin.  Mark added: “Surely that’s a spelling mistake rather than an Americanism. Or perhaps it refers to men of the cloth?”

More to the point, the piece itself, by Jonah Goldberg, is rather good:

Whether or not Sarah Palin helps John McCain win the election, her greatest work may already be behind her. She’s exposed the feminist con job.

Don’t take my word for it. Feminists have been screaming like stuck pigs 24/7 since Palin was announced as McCain’s running mate. (Are pig metaphors completely verboten now?)

Feminist author Cintra Wilson writes in Salon (a house organ of the angry left) that the notion of Palin as vice president is “akin to ideological brain rape.” Presumably just before the nurse upped the dosage on her medication, Wilson continued, “Sarah Palin and her virtual burqa have me and my friends retching into our handbags. She’s such a power-mad, backwater beauty-pageant casualty, it’s easy to write her off and make fun of her. But in reality I feel as horrified as a ghetto Jew watching the rise of National Socialism.”

And that’s one of the nicer things she had to say. Really.

So much for what is happening.  But why is it happening?

The academic feminist left has scared the dickens out of mainstream men and women for so long, the liberal establishment is terrified to contradict feminists’ nigh-upon-theological conviction that female authenticity is measured by one’s blind loyalty to left-wing talking points. This is a version of the Marxist doctrine of “false consciousness,” which holds that you aren’t an authentic member of the proletariat unless you agree with Marxism.

I disagree with that.  Speaking as a mainstream man, at any rate for these purposes, I am not scared of mad feminists and I never have been.  Nor, as far as I am concerned, has mad feminism ever been a “con job”.  It never convinced me of anything.  I never wanted to believe it, and I never did.  But, as a mainstream man, I have been raised to tolerate the madness of mad women and not call such mad women mad, at any rate not to their mad faces.  It’s not polite.  It’s not chivalrous.  It’s cruel.  Women have babies and period pains, and they’re weaker than us.  They must be allowed their tantrums.  That’s the line I’ve been fed since infancy, and I have not dissented.  And that goes for most other mainstream men, I surmise.

What has happened with Sarah Palin is not that the mad feminists have suddenly gone mad.  They have been mad for a quarter of a century and more, and we have all known it.  No, what is now different is that now there is a woman being very publicly screamed at, by other women who are, to an embarrassingly obvious degree, less womanly than she is.  So, we mainstream men are now impelled by the very same conditioning that caused us to suffer mad feminists in silent pity, decade after decade, to defend the wronged woman against creatures who are, compared to her, not so much women as monsters.  The same chivalry that protected the mad feminists for so long now turns against them.  Back off bitches!!!  I have never before in my life said anything like that, or written anything like that, about women, but I say it and write it now.  It wasn’t fear.  It was self-restraint.  But now, duty of a different sort calls.  A damsel is in distress and must be protected.

If the mad feminists continue their mad attacks on Sarah Palin to the point where these absurdities sets the tone of the entire presidential campaign, that twenty per cent swing among women to Palin-McCain will be followed by another huge swing among men to Palin-McCain.  These men know at the merely conscious level, as I know, that Sarah Palin is not in any real distress.  She can swat aside a few dozen tenured harpies and silence their thousands of idiot devotees with a few smiling put-downs.  But this is not about logic.  This is about What Men Do.  Men Take Care of Women.  Even women who can perfectly well take take of themselves.

Since you’re probably asking, I think Margaret Thatcher was something else.  She came across as the kind of woman who would actually be insulted by chivalry.  I don’t need you to defend me, you foolish little man. So when the mad feminists attacked her, in the same stupid way that they are now attacking Sarah Palin, we mainstream men left her to look after herself, which, like Palin, she was well able to do.  The difference was that when you protect someone like Thatcher - the very idea is laughable, which is exactly my point - she is liable to hit you with her handbag.  Palin, you just know it, would smile sweetly and thank you.  It’s the difference between protecting your favourite sister, and not needing to protect your scariest aunt.

None of which is to say that Palin, up close, is not made of tempered steel, or that Thatcher, up close, was not sweet and sexy.  Not having met either, I wouldn’t know.  By all accounts, Thatcher was tempered steel and sexy, to a certain sort of man.